Invictus (Blu-ray)

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Product Overview

He was imprisoned 27 years for his heroic fight against apartheid. So what does Nelson Mandela do after he is elected president of South Africa? He rejects revenge, forgives his oppressors and finds hope of national unity in an unlikely place: the rugby field. Clint Eastwood (the National Board of Review's 2009 Best Director choice) powerfully directs an uplifting film about a team and a people inspired to greatness. In a performance that won him NBR's Best Actor Award and an Oscar nomination, Morgan Freeman portrays Mandela, who asks the national rugby team captain (Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominee Matt Damon) and his underdog squad to do the impossible and win the World Cup. One team, one country. The universal language of sports has never spoken so thrillingly as in Eastwood's Invictus.

Specifications

Studio Warner
SKU 214939020
UPC 883929061167
UPC 14 00883929061167
Format Blu-Ray DVD
Release Date 1/24/2012
Rating Rating
Aspect Ratio
Widescreen  2.40:1
Awards
Image Award (2010) Anthony Peckham, Nominee, Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture (Theatrical or Television),Invictus, Nominee, Outstanding Motion Picture,Morgan Freeman, Winner, Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
Golden Globe (2010) Clint Eastwood, Nominee, Best Director - Motion Picture,Matt Damon, Nominee, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture,Morgan Freeman, Nominee, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama
Screen Actors Guild (2010) Matt Damon, Nominee, Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role,Morgan Freeman, Nominee, Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Oscar (2010) Matt Damon, Nominee, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role,Morgan Freeman, Nominee, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Reviews
ReviewSource ReelViews
Review With the election of Barack Obama, we have apparently entered a kinder, gentler world in which films about racial harmony and goodwill to all men are becoming commonplace (at least during awards season). How else to explain the presence of both The Blind Side and Invictus within the first year of Obama's term? Both are transparent Oscar bait - they are inspirational and earnest, but each preaches a little too loudly. That's one of two problems with Invictus: it makes its point early about the power of sports as a force of unification then beats us over the head by repeating that idea ad nauseam. The second issue is that the movie is poorly edited; the inclusion of too much extraneous material adds about 20 minutes to the length and results in parts of the story feeling unfocused. Still, the overall experience is uplifting and enjoyable. History has pre-determined the outcome but, flaws aside, Eastwood has crafted something that works both as a sports drama and as an examination of the birth pains of the racially unified South Africa...There's no debating that the message of Invictus is worthy, but there are times when its repetition elevates it to a level that's almost sanctimonious. Eastwood goes overboard in depicting the unifying power of sports. The most cloying example is a little black boy who hangs around a taxi to hear the broadcast of the game on the car radio. At first, the white driver tries to shoo him away. By the end of the game, they are celebrating together. The point has been adequately made without this additional, pointless display of theatrics...If these criticisms seem a bit harsh, it's because the movie had the potential to be one of the truly great inspirational sports movies. Although its flaws keep it from achieving that level, it's still a strong piece of mass market filmmaking. The message is undeniably positive, there are enough details about the difficulties faced by Mandela to recall how divisive a time it was in South Africa, and everything builds to the kind of rousing climax that a sports movie demands. Invictus is engaging enough that it's easy to forgive, if not overlook, its problems. Like The Blind Side, it offers a more hopeful view of humanity than something like 2012. Frank Capra would be pleased.
ReviewDate
ReviewPage
Reviewer James Berardinelli
ReviewRating 7
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review Morgan Freeman has been linked to one biopic of Nelson Mandela or another for at least 10 years. Strange that the only one to be made centers on the South African rugby team. The posters for Clint Eastwood's Invictus feature Matt Damon in the foreground, with Freeman looming behind him in shadowy nobility. I can imagine the marketing meetings during which it was lamented that few Americans care much about about Mandela and that Matt Damon appeals to a younger demographic...Screw 'em, is what I would have contributed. The achievement of Nelson Mandela is one of the few shining moments in recent history. Here is a man who was released after 24 years of breaking rocks in prison and sleeping on the floor to assume leadership of the nation that jailed him. His personal forgiveness of white South Africa was the beacon that illuminated that nation's Truth and Reconciliation Commissions, one of the very few examples in history of people who really had much to forgive, and forgave it. Let us not forget that both black and white had reasons to grieve, and reasons to forgive, and that in many cases they were facing the actual murderers of their loved ones...It is a very good film. It has moments evoking great emotion, as when the black and white members of the presidential security detail (hard-line ANC activists and Afrikaner cops) agree with excruciating difficulty to serve together. And when Damon's character -- Francois Pienaar, as the team captain -- is shown the cell where Mandela was held for those long years on Robben Island. My wife, Chaz, and I were taken to the island early one morning by Ahmed Kathrada, one of Mandela's fellow prisoners, and yes, the movie shows his very cell, with the thin blankets on the floor. You regard that cell and you think, here a great man waited in faith for his rendezvous with history...Freeman does a splendid job of evoking the man Nelson Mandela, who is as much a secular saint as Gandhi (who led his first campaign in Durban, South Africa). He shows him as genial, confident, calming -- over what was clearly a core of tempered steel. The focus is on his early time in office. I believe there may be one scene with a woman representing Winnie Mandela, but the dialogue is vague. Damon is effective at playing the captain, Francois Pienaar, an Afrikaner, child of racist parents, transformed by his contact with "the greatest man I've ever met." Clint Eastwood, a master director, orchestrates all of these notes and has us loving Mandela, proud of Francois and cheering for the plucky Springboks. A great entertainment. Not, as I said, the Mandela biopic I would have expected.
ReviewDate
ReviewPage
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 8
Features
DVD
Product Attributes
Video Format Blu-Ray
Quotes
A.O. Scott, The New York Times It's an exciting sports movie, an inspiring tale of prejudice overcome and, above all, a fascinating study of political leadership.
Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal A win-win situation in which a mainstream feature works equally well as stirring entertainment and a history lesson...
Lou Lumenick, New York Post This movie depicts an unlikely intersection of sports and leadership in ways that manage to be inspiring and insightful without ever becoming schmaltzy or preachy

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