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Iron & Blood: The Legend of Taras Bulba [DVD]


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Iron & Blood: The Legend of Taras Bulba [DVD] + Alexander: The Warrior Saint [DVD] [2008] + Iron Lord [DVD]
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Product details

  • Directors: Vladimir Bortko
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Russian, Ukrainian, Polish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Metrodome Group
  • DVD Release Date: 22 Aug. 2011
  • Run Time: 129 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00505W8SW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,667 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Set in the 16th century, this is a story about the Cossack warriors and their campaign to defend their lands from the advancing armies.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Tommy Dooley TOP 50 REVIEWER on 18 Sept. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This film is based on the book by Nikolai Gogol, and as such has stuck to the patriotic theme that he adopted for reasons of conformity at the time. That being said I decided to judge it as a film in its' own right. It tells the story of the legendary Taras Bulba who, in the 16th Century took on the enemies of the Cossacks with his two sons.

They, his sons, were first sent to be trained by the monks and returned as men, but not Cossacks so he takes them off to the Cossack `finishing school', where he discovers that a shameful truce has been signed by the `ataman' a spiritual and de facto leader, with the Sultan (his enemy). Taras then orchestrates an embarrassing show down to get him removed and replaced by someone with more war like tendencies. Just as he has the mob whipped up into a frenzy of Islamophobia, some of his comrades turn up with news that all of his men, livestock and family have been murdered by the invading Poles, who are in collusion with the Tartars, Roman Catholics and worst of all Jews. So we have a smorgasbord of hatred and retribution brewing up. First thing is a Jewish pogrom, but Taras intervenes, and then takes them all to fight the Poles.

His youngest son has also fallen for the daughter Elizabeta, of the Tartars -she looks a bit like Britney Spears (with hair that is). She is with her father who is sheltering with the Polish garrison. What follows is a tale of Shakespearian tragedy. Taras faces one battle after another. Speaking of which, there are lots of battles and the siege scenes are excellent, with little or no CGI as far as I could tell. There is masses of gore and proper hand to hand fighting. Bogdan Stupka as Bulba is a tour de force, but director Vladimir Bortko manages to illicit strong performances from all those concernd.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By iron man on 14 Jun. 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I really Enjoyed Yul Bynner as Taras Bulba in the 1962 film, it was an interesting story and entertaining - Hollywood though with the usual inaccuracies and lack of Russian actors etc etc. When i found out Russia was producing a Taras Bulba film i was delighted and obviously had high expectations - I was primarily looking for a film that revealed and incorporated aspects of Cossack culture and mentality - for the Cossacks are of great interest to me. Now the costumes, sets etc were fantastic and the film did have it's moments but on the whole it was an utter let down - the story was dis-jointed, ad-hock and a little confusing, it was also filled to the brim with Russian nationalism - unrealistic given the Zaporozhian Cossacks were fiercely independent but also naff. I felt they left out certain and very important events in favour of fitting in longer battle scenes and a fairly gruesome torture scene. None of the characters "developed" or built any familiarity to the viewer etc,what i mean is when a character died i felt it was no loss to the story because all the characters felt ancillary - even Taras Bulba had a relatively unimportant role and a very unimportant feel about his character - like an old man counting down the days to retirement. Yul Brynner ruled the screen when he was Taras Bulba - and he still does! to be honest i would not recommend this film.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Mick1950 on 10 Dec. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
What the sleeve designer was on, heaven knows, and whoever wrote the blurb appears neither to have seen the movie nor read the Gogol novella upon which it was based. Don't let either put you off.

If you're Ukrainian (or at least, a Ukrainian who believes in the country's independence and separateness from Russia) or Polish you are very likely to be offended by the film's blatantly pro-Russian message. It's based very faithfully on Gogol's 1842, pro-Russian revision of his original 1835 work, sometimes too much so; the flowery eulogies for Cossack captains who get theirs in the final battle appear quaint on the printed page and are downright silly in the movie. Thankfully, the anti-Semitism of the original is toned down, although the cringing comedy Jew Yankel is only a marginally more positive portrayal than Fagin or Shylock.

All that aside (and for the rest of the world the politics won't matter any more than they did for 'Braveheart') this is a highly enjoyable movie, vastly superior to the ludicrous early-60s Brynner and Curtis travesty. (OK, it doesn't have the 'Ride to Dubno' sequence and the wonderful Franz Waxman score, but that's it). The battle scenes are ferocious, and thankfully free of CGI. The superb Bogdan Stupka totally dominates in the title role; his Taras is a complex, heroic yet seriously flawed character that goes way beyond Gogol's creation into Shakespearean levels of depth. How I would love to see this man play Lear! Veteran Polish actor Daniel Olbrychski does gravitas as the voyevod of Dubno, and everyone else is at least competent.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Eddy64 on 10 Oct. 2012
Format: DVD
I was badly disappointed by the movie as I found it more related to some nowadays political issues than to the historical background it was supposed to be depicting. It is possible to feel that a lot of money were poured into the making of this film and after the repetitious praising of the greatness of Russia by the cossack leader you start feeling yourself a bit uncomfortable. Especially if to believe the description of the movie that the story is taking place in the XVIth century. The Republic of Both Nations (that was the official name of the federation between the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania after the Lublin Union was signed in 1569) was heavily involved into the Livonian war with the Moscow Grand Duchy and the Swedish Kingdom, and was acting very occasionally at the southern frontiers. There with a serious help by cossacs the RoBN repulsed occasional invasions by the Crymean tartars. However in the XVIIth century the story turned around. Former guardians of the southern borders of the RoBN, cossacs went against the Poles for economic (bad opression of peasantry), political (demands for a greater autonomy of the Russins' (Ruthenians) lands within the RoBN or even for a transformation of the RoBN into the Republic of Three Nations) and religious (since three Ukrainian regions were joined to the Kingdom of Poland instead of being a part of the GDL, the orthodoxy rights seriously deteriorated in these teritories). Only then Russia (being recognised as such in the middle of the XVIIth century - please look at the contemporary maps of the XVI-XVIIth centuries)stepped into play and supported cossack uppraisals and gained the Eastern Ukraine as its territory in 1654 by signing the Pereyaslavl agreement with the cossack leaders.Read more ›
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