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During the 13th century, after many years of being ruled by the English, the people of Scotland had accepted that they were to live without freedom. That is until William Wallace (Mel Gibson), a commoner whose wife was murdered by the British, rose to the challenge of fighting for the freedom of the people of Scotland.

Framed at 2.35:1 and 16 x 9 enhanced, the image throughout is stunning with a high level of detail and vibrant colours . . . well, as vibrant as a wet and overcast Scotland can be. However, some scenes did suffer from a higher than expected level of film artefacts, a problem that can be quite irritating, especially when it occurs inconsistently, as it does in this case. The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track however gives nothing to complain about, and is best described as an extremely dynamic and aggressive soundtrack. Seldom is there a moment’s silence from any speaker; even in the quietest of scenes there are ambient sounds coming from all around you. This is surround sound at its best.

Labelled as a ‘Special Edition’, it could be considered a little light on extras for a DVD. Fox seem to use this label on any disc that has more than a theatrical trailer as an extra. The 28-minute documentary, presented on disc 2, gives plenty of insight into the production of the movie. Of particular note was how the filmmakers substituted real horses with mechanical ones for the scenes that involved dangerous stunts that couldn’t be done with live animals. Although a little on the quiet side, Mel Gibson acovers many other interesting facts in his commentary, like how he hadn’t planned to act in the film, but after pitching the idea to Paramount they insisted he be in it knowing that his presence would increase sales. He also admits how, without knowing it, he quite literally hung himself while shooting Wallace’s torture scene. "…It happens real fast, within like three seconds you’re gone and luckily there were people there to cut me down…" says Mel.

Braveheart is a movie of epic proportions, and is presented very well on DVD. However, I’m still left wondering how good Mel’s Scottish accent really was, a question only a true Scotsman could answer."
Ben Hooft

Published: December 21, 2000

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You can buy it HERE - next day delivery within Australia


CAST: Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Patrick McGoohan, and Catherine McCormack

DIRECTOR: Mel Gibson


RRP: $36.95

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: 20th Century Fox

DVD RELEASE: November 22, 2000

Anamorphic Widescreen
Dolby Digital 5.1
Commentary by Mel Gibson
Documentary: Mel Gibson’s Braveheart: A Filmmaker’s Passion

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