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Fortress of War [Blu-ray]
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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 ...Read more ›
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Read the reviews - no English subtitles, as a result I didn't purchasePublished 6 months ago by robertvp
Yes, this Russian WWII film is rather chest-beatingly propagandistic, but it remains excellent, nonetheless. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Sebastian Palmer