Braveheart Special Edition - 1995 Movie Release ( Region 4 DVD release 2000 ) - Directed by Mel Gibson.

Running Time: 171 minutes (MA) 15+ rated ( violence )

Special Features:

Disk 1:

Disk 2:


Disk 1:
English with subtitiles for - Czech, Danish, English ( SDH ), Finnish, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Polish, Swedish.

Disk 2:
English with subtitles for - English ( SDH ), French, Italian, German ( SDH ), Spanish.

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Braveheart is a typical guy movie. Based on the legendary William Wallace, the story is of how a kid loses his brave soldier dad in battle against the English, grows up to become a strong man, then later leads a rebellion against the English and dies a hero's death. However historically inaccurate, the movie is extremely entertaining and well made.

The majority of the movie was shot in Ireland. The beginning scenes showing the Highlands and William as a wee lad were shot in Scotland. The movie used several extremely interesting techniques to film certain scenes that look very dangerous and realistic.

The battle scenes depicting the Battle of Stirling and the Battle of Falkirk show many horses being killed. This was shot using a combination of mechanical horses and real horses. This was quite expensive, as each mechanical horse cost nearly $100,000. When William is nearly killed by Robert the Bruce in the Falkirk battle scene, the organization PETA was strongly convinced that this was done using a real horse, and started an investigation. Luckily, the cast and crew were filming an unofficial behind the scenes segment for a personal friend's child in the hospital as a gift. Had it not been for this video to back up their story, Mel Gibson would have come under serious fire for animal abuse.

The battle scenes also show a huge number of soldiers. Actual soldiers from the Irish Army reserve corps were used to play both the Scottish and English soldiers. If one looks closely, you can see some of the same actors attacking from both the English side and the Scottish side.

The scene involving William killing Lord Mornay shows him smashing the man's skull while in bed. This seems like a very difficult special effect to pull off, but in the words of Mel Gibson, 'it was quite simply stupid.' This was done by using a simple cut and a dummy. If seen in slow motion, the ball comes down and misses Mornay's head. There is a sudden cut, and Mornay is replaced by a dummy wearing the same night clothes and filled with fake blood. A second ball comes down and smashes the head of the dummy. Seen at normal speed, it seems like Mornay is being brutally killed.

During the final scenes of William's torture and execution, Mel Gibson was hurt and nearly killed. At the beginning of the scene, Wallace is brought in to the execution and people pelt him with rotten food and other objects. Originaly, they were supposed to pelt him with fruit. However, only when they started shooting did Gibson realize how much it really hurt to have 50 or 60 people all hurling solid objects at you. He later had them throw soft and easily breakable items at him. While demonstrating how to shoot the scene where he is being hanged, Gibson accidently lost his footing, and was nearly actually hanged. He passed out, and was taken down immediately from the noose.

Despite certain blunders and near death experiences, the movie was shot and directed extremely well. Nobody, nor any animals, were badly hurt or killed in the shooting of the movie.

Scenes and shots the movie would have been better without.

1. When William wakes up as a little boy. The acting is quite poor but might give you a good laugh.

2. The two lovers (William & Murron) riding on a horse in slow motion. This scene gives the viewer a distorted impression that Braveheart is a cheesy romantic nonsense movie. Another scene that adds to this impression is when William is 'wheeling' on the horse, outside Murrons hut, for just a little too long time.

3. At the end of the Stirling Battle there is some quite lousy acting in the background to the upper-right. It looks like the soldier is petting his enemy with pole. The Stirling Battle contains another hilarious shot. If you look carefully at the horsemen when the archers walk past the horses, you´ll see a soldier who looks like he dressed in a real hurry.

The great standard of the rest of the scenes and shots and the overall impression this movie gives makes the blunders, mentioned above, very easy to forgive.

Braveheart is quite a good movie for a Christian to be inspired in his/her faith. Think about William Wallace as Jesus and Robert Bruce as Peter. Even without this comparision the movie contains some incredible symbolism that can be directly mirrored in Christian theology. Reflect theese words for example: "I want to believe, like he does", "Unite us, unite the clans", "the enemy will come back", "Men don´t follow titels, they follow courage", "My hate dies with you", "Freeeedom". By the way, I love this movie.

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