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Fortress of War [Blu-ray]

4.2 out of 5 stars 122 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Andrey Merzlikin, Pavel Derevyanko, Veronika Nikonova, Anna Tsukanova, Aleksei Kopashov
  • Directors: Aleksandr Kott
  • Producers: Ruben Dishdishyan, Igor Ugolnikov, Vladimir Zametalin
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Koch Media
  • DVD Release Date: 5 Sept. 2011
  • Run Time: 138 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004YJZBWU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 77,488 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

Russian World War Two drama based on real events. When the Nazis invade the Soviet Union in June 1941, the Russian troops begin an epic struggle to hold onto the border stronghold of the Brest Fortress. The siege lasts for nine days, during which time both the soldiers and the ordinary townspeople are forced to face the bloody horrors of war.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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The 29-day siege of the Russian fortress at Brest is, at least outside the old Soviet Union, a largely forgotten piece of Second World War heroism against the odds. It has no easy heroes (fascists besieging communists) and had the additional misfortune of only being revealed by an investigative journalist after the Cold War was already firmly under way. Unlike the heroics in places such as Stalingrad, referred to in many a Hollywood film, the siege of Brest as a result has not achieved similar international cinematic fame.

However, the 2010 Russian film Fortress of War does it and its heroes justice. If you look online, you will find it has scored some bad reviews, but almost all are from people taking exception to it being a subtitled film. The packaging does not make this clear, though personally I'm quite happy to watch subtitled films so it doesn't matter much to me (save that the subtitle of the opening caption is in poor English and clearly missing some parts).

Aside from subtitles, and rather more importantly, the film features very impressive cinematography. Many of the scenes contain snippets of action which are familiar from other war films - plane being shot down and pilot bailing out, desperate soldiers making foolhardy charge and so on. Yet there is a freshness and originality about the way these scenes are framed and shot.

Generally the film seems to stick close to the actual historical account, avoiding some of the myths which have grown up and (praise be!) also avoiding some of the crass re-writing that sometimes goes on to make a film fit a formula. No dropping in of fictional US servicemen to steal the scenes here. (See
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Supposedly a true story of the Germans advance into Russia attacking a Barracks called BREST occupied by Russians and their families. Very Interesting but with the usual Horrors.
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Russian cinema is on the rise, well made films like 9th Company (Single Disc) [2008] [DVD], The Star (Region 2) [2002] [DVD] and The Admiral [DVD] [2008] have been entertaining, lavish but always left me a bit underwhelmed. It was like watching a 30 year old movie when it came to storyline and sometimes background music. A the same time sets and charactersation was most interesting.

Fortress of War come out as a fully mature film and everything comes brilliantly together. The movie is full of characters in strong emotional situations, usually slightly undertoned giving the imagination free rein. The battle scenes are brutal and well made with even clever twist thrown in here and there. The film is about resistance and heroism in the face of danger.

Historically it is very interesting, as Defence of Brest Fortress is important to the Russian and White Russian character. True to life the Brest (Brest in White Russia not France) Fortress was hit by full force when the Germans invaded the Soviet Union during Operation Barbarossa. Quickly surrounded the Germans had to fight to capture it 2 years before during the invasion of Poland and attempted to capture it by a Coup de main (A coup de main is a swift attack that relies on speed and surprise to accomplish its objectives in a single blow.) This failed and turned into a costly struggle. The Defence of Brest Fortrees became a symbol of Soviet resistance much like Tobruk for the British and Commonwealth.

For a war movie fan I give this film top marks and for others it is a good film as well for it is a story of human level as well.
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Special effects are bit basic and action leaves you wanting more....

Maybe expectations were too high but action just seemed incredibly forced and not entirely believable. Begginning of movie is extremely slow to get going too. A drag in some places.
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A FILM THAT SURELY SHOWS HOW THE GERMANS FELT NOT THE SLIGHTEST PITY FOR THE RUSSIAN PEOPLE, OR FOR ANY OTHER SLAV FOR THAT MATTER.
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This is a brute of a movie, full of blood, guts and gore. The first 20 minutes are scene setting, as we gain a snapshot of Russian life before the war. Then, after an awesome bombardment, the Germans arrive. The next two hours then see the viewer exposed to the horrible realities of war as the Germans slowly destroy the fortress. Many modern war films tend to concentrate on character development, with a nod towards romance, as they try to touch all bases. This is not one of them. You really will feel as if you are in the fortress yourself - especially if you turn the volume up on your DVD player - as the bombs, shells and bullets bounce around the screen. I have no idea how much this film cost but you can tell a lot of cash was spent on it. The Mark 3 Panzers generally look good and only the CGI Stukas 'let the side down' in this film. If you want to read up about the start of the German invasion of Russia I highly recommend The Robert Kershaw book War Without Garlands: Operation Barbarossa 1941-1942 as it works as a great companion piece to this film.
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Format: DVD
Fortress of War tells the story of the heroic defence of the Brest Fortress which was assaulted on the opening day of hostilities between Nazi Germany and Russia(Operation Barbarossa).The film opens as most war films do showing the relative peace before the carnage ensues.Russian soldiers and their families alike were enjoying a hot summers day watching the regimental band play,dancing and scenes of young love.The most excitement they seemed to get is from a delivery of a new film for the Saturday night screening.
All this changes on the morning of June 22nd when the Germans unleash their first artillery barrage on the fortress,which is best described really as a citadel(think of Hue City in Vietnam and that should give you an idea of the scale of the fortifications at Brest).What ensues during this initial barrage is utter confusion and disarray amongst the Russian soldiers,power supplies are cut,ammunition dumps explode,civilians are indiscriminately killed along with soldiers all of whom are running in different directions.
Eventually a handful of Russian officers regained some sort of order and formed pockets of resistance against the ever attacking mouse grey masses in front of them.The three main pockets were all lead by real characters that did exist during this siege.There is very little artistic license by the film makers as most of the names and events did happen as the film depicts(the Brest Fortress museum was involved in the making of this film throughout).
After the initial barrage the Germans advance on the fortress with well planned co-ordinated infantry attacks supported with tanks.From here on there is no let up in the action all of which is superbly filmed.
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