A blog about movies and filmmaking.

Not Every Man Lives…Until He’s Seen BRAVEHEART On The Big Screen

In action, classics, drama, media on March 15, 2010 at 10:56 pm

There’s an old saying – or maybe Roger Ebert came up with it, I don’t know – that you’ve never really seen a movie until you’ve seen it on the big screen. Well, tonight I finally saw BRAVEHEART. You all know the movie I’m talking about; the medieval epic directed by and starring Mel Gibson, back when he was still cool – and fairly young. The story of William Wallace, and how he fought for the freedom of his country just because the woman he loved was murdered by an English lord.

Yeah, that one.

Well, there’s definitely a difference between seeing it the way that I have all my life – granted it’s continually been on bigger and better televisions, and through better media; but it’s still always been on a television screen. Or, maybe being that the movie came out when I was 16, I actually did see it then, but have now forgotten. Either way, it’s amazing. From the top notch acting of everyone from Gibson to Angus Macfadyen, from Patrick McGoohan down to little, chubby-cheeked Brendan Gleeson (okay, so maybe he hasn’t changed that much). The battles are epic and bloody and *gasp* all done with real effects and people. (Well, for the most part anyway…And there’s definitely no CGI armies running around.) The cinematography by John Toll, beautiful; the musical score by James Horner, touching and rousing; hell, the costume and makeup departments managed to make people look beautiful covered in mangy hair and plaid kilts! They showed what a man will do for love; not just for a woman, but for all of his people (but it all really starts with love, doesn’t it?).

No, in the fifteen years since the movie’s release, there’s probably not much I can add to what has already been said; either good or bad. But, I will say – and this will be ironic considering who I’m talking about – it was near a cinematic holy experience, just watching it. How Gibson creates this environment (granted, I think he had some help from the “Almighty” in that) and has gone on to create other movies that are as immersive in their period settings; astounds me. Granted BRAVEHEART is the only one that I can watch without subtitles, mostly. But to know from here, he went on to make THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST – that for all it’s “message” and gore, is also a beautiful and powerful movie; and from there to APOCALYPTO, which might be the lighter of the three movies. But, the setting of the ancient Mayan civilization is stunning. PASSION is the only one of Gibson’s epic, historical dramas that I haven’t seen in the theater – and, I have to say that if that opportunity ever came up, I’d probably pass on it.

But, I would implore any of you reading this, that if ever given the chance to see this 3 hour-plus movie on a big screen; DO IT!!

(Wow, is that trailer cheesy…)

  1. I’ve never been to much for Braveheart. I mean, it’s undeniably a good movie. Yet, maybe it’s personal taste, for I just wasn’t to big on it. Then again, the ending is pretty powerful. Maybe it deserves a re-watch?

    • I’m definitely a middling fan. I don’t own it, and have only seen it probably a handful of times since it’s release. But, I think that it’s a pretty moving movie, and it’s definitely worth a rewatch–if you’re seeing it on the big screen. Not that I’d argue against watching it someplace else either.

      But, if I had to make a choice, I’d rather own Apocalypto (which I also currently don’t), but then again I don’t have a girlfriend and they tend to love that movie…I think it’s the violence. 😛

      • Or it could just be the very prospect of seeing Mel Gibson in a quilt.

        I think they might be dissapointed 🙂

      • you know the difference between a quilt and a kilt, right? 😛

      • Wait, what?

        Damn, why did I put Quilt? Celtic men don’t wear bedding across their theighs. Or do they? Hmmm…

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