A.J.'s DVD Rating: 3 Stars
Review published
March 24, 2001
The Not-So-Cool Stuff  A.K.A. The Complaints Department:

For such a great movie and relatively recent DVD release, the overall design of this DVD is very plain.  No animated menus, music, cast info, or production notes.

Final Thought:

Unimaginative presentation aside, this is a pretty good DVD.  The features it does have are well done, and enhance the experience of watching the film.  I guess sometimes less is more!
The Technical Stuff
Region 1 encoding (US and Canada) Single Sided Disc
Theatrical Widescreen Presentation; Enhanced for 16x9
Dolby Surround - English / French
Dolby Digital 5.1 - English
Language Tracks - English / French

The Really Cool Stuff
Best Feature:
The best feature here is a very good 'Making of' documentary, which includes interviews, behind the scenes footage, and much more.
Commentary Track:
Feature Commentary with Mel Gibson:

I must say that I'm forced to re-evaluate my criteria for what makes a good director's commentary track after hearing this one.  Mel Gibson takes a minimalist approach to his and, to my surprise, that works quite nicely for this film.  Unlike some other directors, Mel only cuts in with a comment when he actually has something to say.  As a result, it's possible to watch this movie with the commentary track turned on and still not miss any important dialogue! 

"Mel Gibson's Braveheart:  A Filmmaker's Passion"

This is a 28 minute documentary about the making of Braveheart. Includes interviews with the cast and crew, good background history on William Wallace, and great behind-the-scenes footage featuring the special effects and stuntwork of Braveheart's spectacular battle sequences.  Mel Gibson also shares his thoughts on directing his first feature film.

The Usual Stuff
Menu Screen Presentation:
Like Mel Gibson's feature commentary, the menu screens for Braveheart are decidedly minimalist in design.  The Main Menu features a still image much like the DVD cover art, and includes options for Play, Set-up, Special Features, and Scene Selection.  Sub-Menus feature still images of similar design.  Scene Access features stills from appropriate scenes.  There is no musical accompaniment to any menu screen.  A simple overall design.

Sound and Image Quality:
Very good sound and image quality.        
Two trailers for Braveheart are included.  The first is a 90 second teaser trailer which is actually quite bad.  The second is the official 3 minute trailer which is about a million times better than the first one.  The first trailer helps explain why almost no one saw this movie when it was first released in May of 1995.  Originally a critical hit, but a box-office flop, Braveheart disappeared from theatres quickly.  It was given a second chance with a re-release that fall, and went on to win 5 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.
English captions are provided for the hearing impaired.

Language Tracks:
Language tracks are provided in English and French.
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