The story of Nelson Mandela’s rise to power in South Africa is truly an inspiring one. Though most people outside of Africa may be unaware of how Mandela united the nation. It wasn’t just his willingness to forgive those who wrongfully imprisoned him; it was the sport of rugby that brought unity. It may seem like a cliché movie-of-the-week kind of plot, but it really happened and director Clint Eastwood delivers this story in his typical superb fashion.
When Mandela (Morgan Freeman) becomes South Africa’s president he realizes there is still much division amongst the whites and the blacks. This is something that becomes very apparent to him while at a rugby match for South Africa’s team: the Springboks. While the white people are cheering for the team, all the blacks boo them.
So Mandela approaches team captain Francois Pienaar (Matt Damon) with one simple task: Win the 1995 Rugby World Cup. This is a tall order for this bottom of the barrel team, but with the inspiration of Mandela and the nation behind them the Springboks put their best foot forward and show how important sports really can be.
I know nothing about rugby and after having watched this film I still know very little about it, but I certainly have a great respect for it. This is an important historical story that I, and I believe, many Americans aren’t aware of. It’s a truly powerful story and brought to the big screen with a very talented cast and crew.
This was one of the films that I assumed would be good, but really didn’t have any interest in seeing. Now that I have seen it, I’m very glad I did and would highly recommend it to anyone.
Invictus is presented in 16×9 2.4:1 and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 Dolby Digital surround. Eastwood is a fantastic director and this film definitely shows it. It looks and sounds amazing. The High Def really makes you feel like you’re right there in those Rugby games.
Picture-In-Picture Commentary:Cast and Crew members as well as the real people who lived the story share tales about the film while you watch it. This is a lot more interesting than a regular old commentary.
Mandela Meets Morgan: (28 min.) This is a great making of, but don’t let the name fool you. It’s not a 30 minute conversation between Mandela and Morgan. This covers every aspect of the making of the film. However the few minutes that Mandela is on screen are pretty fantastic.
Matt Damon Plays Rugby: (7 min.) This shows what Damon went through in learning how to play rugby.
The Eastwood Factor: (22 min.) I can’t comment on this special feature. I tried three times to watch it and each time the disc froze up on me and I had to turn to the player off.
Invictus Music Trailer:
Also included is a DVD/Digital Copy combo disc.
With Invictus Eastwood delivers yet another fantastic film. I figured going into this film that it would be good, however it was far more entertaining and engaging than I expected. Truly a wonderful story that I highly recommend.
Warner Home Video presents Invictus. Written by Anthony Peckham. Based on the book “Playing The Enemy” by John Carlin. Directed by Clint Eastwood. Starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon. Running time: 133 minutes. Rated PG-13 for brief strong language. Released on DVD: May 18, 2010. Available at Amazon.com