'Blood And Glory'
(Charlotte Salt, Josh Myers, Andre Jacobs, Greg Kriek, Nick Cornwall, et al / DVD / NR / (2016) 2018 / MVD Visual)
Overview: Set during the Anglo Boer War, 'Blood And Glory' tells the story of prisoners of war who take a stand against their captors.
DVD Verdict: In truth, 'Blood and Glory' is part revenge drama, part patriotic film, and yet at all times a striving propaganda piece; all wrapped up in the drama of the sports field.
Set in 1901, this rather wonderful period epic follows Willem Morkel - a Boer and family man whose wife and son are murdered during the Anglo-Boer War.
Captured as a prisoner of war, Willem must survive incarceration in the notorious St. Helena concentration camp and defeat the ruthless Colonel Swannell, at his own game ... Rugby.
Sure, with the plot revolving around a young Afrikaner man who leaves his wife and newborn son behind to fight in the Second Boer War (aka Anglo-Boer War) against the British Empire, I had no real idea that it would turn into another 'Longest Yard' or 'Victory' either!
But, that's what it does and so don't be lulled into thinking, whilst watching the opening hour, that this is anything less than a sports drama, now tinged with some epic 1901 period war dirt and bluster.
Anyway, back to the story and upon his return to find his home destroyed and family gone, and after an ill- fated attempt to rescue his family from a concentration camp, he is himself arrested and shipped of the the remote island of St Helena.
Here he grows from being suicidal to being hopeful once more, all thanks to the newly discovered game of Rugby.
Again, sure, it's a typical feel-good movie with lots of popular underdog tropes: Guy fights for freedom, guy loses everything, guy endures the torment of cruel villain, guy finds new hope, guy wins, happy ending; but it's also a rather watchable 80 minutes.
The acting is, for the most part, enjoyable and well done, although there are notable chunks of bored speeches, war time drama forlorn looks and despondency, etc. But there are also moments when I felt like cheering, and there are also moments when I seriously doubted the historical accuracy of the events portrayed (but I let those moments quickly slide on through). This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Bonus Features of:
Director's Audio Commentary