Blu-rays for the Weekend: World War II

Brad Pitt wrapped up filming for his latest movie, the World War II action thriller Fury last week, so we thought this weekend might be a fine time to revisit some of the greatest movies inspired by the epic conflict in high definition on Blu-ray.


Inglourious Basterds

Brad Pitt saw his first collaboration with the legendary Quentin Tarantino in his only other World War II movie, Inglourious Basterds. Pitt stars as Lt. Aldo Raine, a soldier heading up the Inglourious Basterds, a band of Jewish-American guerrilla fighters hell-bent on rounding up Nazi Officers in occupied France. Elsewhere, Shosanna (Mélanie Laurent), a young Jewish girl, narrowly escapes capture by the Gestapo and flees to Paris, where she finds work at a cinema. Set on seeking vengeance, one night Shosanna lures a group of senior Nazi officers to her movie theatre, a decision that sets her on a collision course with Raine’s gang. The Blu-ray comes complete with an interview between Brad Pitt and Quentin Tarantino, where the pair share anecdotes about creating the movie, as well as the full cut of Inglourious Basterd’s film within a film, Nation’s Pride and extended and deleted scenes.





Saving Private Ryan Special Edition

Steven Spielberg’s epic story of heroism and sacrifice, Saving Private Ryan, is another World War II movie set in France, but this time the action takes place a few years later, in the midst of the D-Day landings. A group of US paratroopers headed up by Captain Miller (Tom Hanks) must go behind enemy lines on a mission to retrieve Private Ryan (Matt Damon), whose brothers have been killed in action. The Blu-ray comes on two discs and includes over three hours of bonus features to look at the real-life events that inspired the movie. Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks narrate some fascinating extras to discuss how the grittily realistic combat sequences, including the now notorious opening on Omaha Beach, were pieced together.






Enemy at the Gates

Enemy at the Gates tells, unflinchingly, and in vivid detail, the story of the siege at Stalingrad. Red army marksman Vassili Zatisev (Jude Law) is an exceptional sniper, and when his talents are noticed by the young political officer Commisar Danilov (Joseph Fiennes), he finds himself the centre of a propaganda exercise. Danilov publishes Vassili’s exploits in local newsletters in a bid to boost morale and he soon comes to the attention of the Soviet national press. The Germans call in their best sniper, Major König (Ed Harris), to eliminate Vassili, and soon the pair are locked in a game of deadly cat and mouse as the battle for Stalingrad rages on. The Blu-ray captures the intensity of the siege with a formidable soundtrack and breath-taking high-def visuals. Extras include two in-depth making of pieces, which incorporate interviews with the cast and crew and nine deleted scenes.

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