It was the early 1990s and Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) was finally able to take a footstep as a free man. South Africa began to turn violent because of the prejudice and segregation between blacks and whites. Then, Nelson Mandela becomes the president of a torn South Africa that is still trying to adapt into a new era, to a new life, but most of all a new way of life. The national rugby team, the Springboks, is undergoing training in preparation for the upcoming Rugby World Cup hosted by their country of South Africa. Nelson Mandela sees the opportunity to bring the country together for one cause. He summons François Pienaar (Matt Damon), captain of the Springboks, and after a conversation, Pienaar realizes that Mandela wants the team to win the World Cup. Mandela doesn’t just see the sport as another activity but a way to bring all people together and only the Springboks can help to make this happen.
I was one of those persons who waited on the sidelines until someone else mentioned something about Invictus. I didn’t pass rush judgment nor thought anything negative about the film since I had not seen it. Now, I must tell you that I am deeply happy to have watched this film. It’s a great inspirational film, but yet it doesn’t involve tears, it doesn’t invoke sadness or moments that will bring your emotions down in order to build them back up. No, it doesn’t do any of that but what it does do is deliver an impressive plot with a great screenplay. Clint Eastwood’s directional touch is impressive, the way he led the entire story left me satisfied at the end. Invictus, like a few of Eastwood’s films, take a look at the racial issue that occurs in society, but unlike many director Clint Eastwood doesn’t attempt to make it a bigger issue instead he concentrates on what compassion and forgiveness can bring to a fellow man, women, child regardless of the color of their skin. Invictus message of acceptance is introduced whenever possible yet it’s not screaming blatantly in your faces, but rather following a well written script.
The film is centered on Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon who turn in magnificent personal performances. They are the spotlight and manage to do a marvelous job. There are other things that make Invictus a good film to watch. It doesn’t intend to be anything other than an inspirational film. It never strays away from that path. The film remains on a good pace to avoid falling on long narrative sequences. The atmosphere of the time is fully captured and displayed throughout the film. This atmosphere is very evident and the viewers will definitely catch it when viewing the film. Overall, the entire production is incredible; Clint Eastwood as usual is a master at directing and actors Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon deliver an excellent performance. I was pleasantly surprised with this film and I will probably watch it again soon.
Invictus arrives on Blu-ray with a 1080p VC-1 encode framed at 2.39:1. Right off the bad I got to tell you that Invictus looks good, very good. While transfer is not meant to be jaw-dropping, it serves its purpose well. Colors aren’t too bright, but they are well reproduced and they fit nicely to the sunny look that the majority of the film shows. Black colors aren’t the deepest or the inkiest I’ve seen, but it fits the overall look of the film and at the end they end up looking good. Fine details are strikingly good especially close up shots. Sharpness is spot on throughout the entire movie. The film also features a film layer of grain to give it that film like feel to it. Overall Invictus looks good on Blu-ray.
Invictus arrives on Blu-ray with a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio lossless track. This track proves to be very effective and fitting for the type of film Invictus is. The dialogue is clean and clear at all times even in the middle of a rugby game. The dialogue never gets overwhelmed by the actions around it. The rears are constantly at use creating a more believable soundfield. The bass provides a good support to the demanding scenes. Finally the score sounds magnificent. It is pleasantly delivered with incredible fidelity. Invictus is a great sounding Blu-ray.
Invictus features a nice assortment of supplements. While they are not a lot, the content found inside each supplement is very entertainment. If you like the film I highly recommend you to sit down and watch the supplements.
Vision, Courage and Honor – This Picture-in-Picture track features some very informative information, interviews, cast and crew commentary, and more. There is very interesting in depth look at the history behind the movie.
Behind The Story – This is a two piece featurette. First, Mandela Meets Morgan features a look at the many aspects surrounding the making of the film like the challenges, costumes, the filming location, and more. The second part is Matt Damon Plays Rugby and this just gives the viewer a look at the Matt Damon as he meets the real life players that the film was based on.
The Eastwood Factor – This is a recording by film critic Richard Schickel about Clint Eastwood and provides an overview about the different stages of the man as an artist.
Invictus Music Trailer – This is just an extended trailer.
Invictus is an incredible film that captures the impact that two men had on the rebirth of an entire nation and brought them together. Clint Eastwood has once again proven his magnificent skills in directing a film by assembling an impressive cast and knowing exactly how to get an excellent film done. Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon give the viewers excellent performances. The Blu-ray features great video and audio transfers. While it doesn’t include a long array of extras, everything included in this release is more than enough to leave viewers satisfied. Invictus comes highly recommended.
The screen captures are only a small representation of what the Blu-ray looks like and are not representative of Blu-ray’s true quality.