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Action - Stalingrad (2014)

Stalingrad (2014)

Stalingrad
Directed by Fedor Bondarchuk
Russian
Dubbed in English
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 2014
201 minutes

Though a good war movie, Stalingrad suffers from an overuse of computer generated imagery which, makes it look like a first person shooter video game, especially in the first twenty minutes. This feeling is less so through the rest of the movie but there is still way too much obvious CGI. The blue gray palette director Fedor Bondarchuk chose for this movie also adds to the feeling its a computer game. Still, it tells a pretty interesting story and does so rather well.

Oddly, Stalingrad opens at the site of the Japanese tsunami. Here, a German rescue worker tells a young woman trapped under a building how he came to have five fathers. This flashes back to Stalingrad and a woman named Katya who lives in a bombed out building the Russians have retaken and are holding. The five fathers are some of the men who are defending it.

The movie is told in parallels. One one side there are the Russians and the dark haired Katya, on the other are Kapitan Kan and a blonde haired woman named Masha who everyone believes is a whore and is raped by Kan (after which he bemoans that Russians have no honor and values). This is interspersed with some fighting sequences that are often rendered in slow-motion because that is how fight scenes are shown these days.

The movie's great weakness is the dubbing. It is not Japanese monster movie awful but it comes close at times. There are quite a few moments where the fact lips and words do not match make you very aware it is just a movie. Also, the subtitles and words often do not match. The most disturbing is every time a soldier says “coward” the subtitles read “sissy”.

This 2014 version of the story is as good as the 1993 Joseph Wismaier version but different.

 

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