They couldn't agree on the colour of Shite.

A review by Mike Shea   Movie Rating: ( * * * * * )    DVD Rating: ( * * * * · )

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Historically based movies are often held like a license for the masses to feel like they are intellectuals. If you go so far to attack a movie's story or plot they shout back at you with "It is based on a true story, you simpleton!" when more likely it was based on what sells to the typical sheep-like audience. Given this fact, I cannot give any bonus points to a movie under the guise of it being historically accurate. I can only judge it on it's own. Braveheart stands on it's own. It has all the stuff that I like in movies. Revenge, treachery, simple love, fury and friendship. I am always taken by movies that have a hero asking the girl next door for a ride in the rain. I like the simple nature of their mating ritual when compared to all the complex modern day social games that are stuffed down our throat with media tools like "Friends" and MTV's "Real World" (nothing makes me want to reach for my axe like that one). Braveheart starts of with this nice simple mating ritual and quickly turns it into a nice compact plot motivator by having her throat cut by the evil lord with bad complexion. This leads to a long line of battles where we get to see pretty much every limb severed in quick takes. A couple of subplots make their slimy way in, though. One evil one involving the princess of whales and another not so evil one involving the favorite for the king of Scotland. The Scotland one works because it feeds into one of the best scenes of the movie later on, but the sappy princess one does nothing but turn our sword wielding hero into a slut. There are also one too many pretty boy shots of Mel, but they throw enough blood and nasty scars on him to make up for it overall. Still, given the license for it's historical value (which is most likely bullshit) and the pretty boy pics of Gibson, you shouldn't have trouble dragging the significant other into seeing it. The DVD which was a long time in the making really holds the standard set of high end features. A year ago I would have given it five stars, but now with releases like Fight Club, Magnolia and the future release of Gladiator, it is hard to give it anything but a four. It does have a nice 2.35 to 1 16x9 enhanced picture and a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack on top of a directors commentary with Gibson who directed it. Overall, one of the better action / dramas out there, but take away the crutch of historical significance when describing it to a friend. That shouldn't count anymore.