An Enemy At the Gates

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In Soviet America, you sue MPAA!
Saw this Friday, little late on posting because I was up all night with friends. Overall it was good. It wasn't as good as the book, War of the Rats. My complaints are only of the differences between it and the book. If I hadn't read the book I might think it was alot better, my friends who hadn't thought it was pretty good.

Of the things about the movie only, here are some things that really pissed me off:
First, in the preview, they tell of the sniper, and you see him take shots at people in huge running crowds. And when the person is hit, the frame freezes on them, and they die, showing how percise he is and what snipers do etc. I thought that was a great way of doing the hits, a very clever idea. IT IS NOT IN THE MOVIE ONCE! It's just another one of those things they do only in the preview.

And again, the spiraling bullet that heads right at the camera, not in the movie. Tisk Tisk Tisk. I hate it when they do that in the previews, but not in the movie.

The acting was good, although I would of cast someone else instead of Jude Law. It's not the best war movie ever, far from it actually, but still it is a good movie to watch.

The destroyed city was weird looking, to me. I got the impression it didn't look to real, kinda blurry and stuff, but I think it may of just been my contacts acting up or something. I did like the giant Stalin statue though.

I'd give it a....7 or 8 out of 10. It had soo much more potential, but did have some great scenes.
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Sorry to hear of your dissapointments - I know you were really looking forward to this one - and yes, I hate that preview thing again. It's not usually a big deal, but it can be.

Would you believe it was bit out for the #1 spot by Exit Wounds, with $13 million compared to $19 million?



In Soviet America, you sue MPAA!
I can understand that, Enemy At the Gates wasn't to advertised, and the previews didn't make it look as appealing as Rush Hour 2...er I mean Exit Wounds.



Radioactive Spider Blood
I saw Enemy at the Gates this weekend, and I was impressed. I haven't read the book (didn't even know it was based on one, or a true story either). I was impressed with Jude Law and Ed Harris' acting. My favorite character, however, was that played by John Fiennes (sp). He did a really good job.

It seemed a little fake at a few points (like some of the battle scenes) but I liked it. Recommended to everyone.
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bigvalbowski's Avatar
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You Americans! Choosing to go see a Steven Segal film instead of a film starring Jude Law, Joseph Fiennes, Bob Hoskins, Rachel Weisz and the immortal Ed Harris. You're education system is most definitely flawed.

Onto the movie...

Oh it wasn't perfect. The accents were often distracting. If the Russians are going to speak with English accents then let everyone speak with an English accent. A couple of supporting players used a Russian accent and it hurt the picture. Consistency is all I ask.

Still, that's the only complaint really. The film itself was very much above average. It's rare that a war film will prefer memorable characters to memorable battles but this one does. Leaving the theatre, it is Law and Weisz's passionate romance; Ed Harris' cold, but not heartless snipering; and Joe Fiennes interestingly three dimensional character that linger, not any particularly choreographed action scenes. And that's the way I like it.

Stalingrad has always been a battle that interested me. It's where the war was won. Disappointingly, the film doesn't really concentrate on the Battle, apart from a wonderful opening twenty minutes. Comparisons with Private Ryan are justified. Jude Law's character survives the opening melee and shows off his shooting skills to Joe Fiennes. Fiennes builds up Law's ability through newspapers, he gives the Russians a hero to believe in. From here, the film concerns itself more with the propaganda war than the battle itself.

A love triangle occurs when Rachel Weisz arrives on the scene. It is obvious to everyone but Fiennes that Weisz has no interest in him. She only has eyes for the talented sniper. This plot though is subordinate to the enthralling cat and mouse game played between Law and Major Koenig, the German's top sniper, played by Harris.

Law handles the lead well. Law is an excellent actor. He is adept at both the expert shooter and the romantic interest. This isn't his best work, but it's a refreshing change of direction for him. Check out Gattaca or Talented Mr Ripley for more from this Briton. His fellow countryman, Fiennes, best remembered as Shakespeare, handles his role with aplomb. It seems that he is after Weisz but there is an undertone suggesting his character's attraction to Law. It's a complex relationship, subtly played by a wonderful performer. Weisz does little more than provide the love interest. She does partake in some battle scenes but her character is somewhat limited. This does not prevent Weisz from providing a solid turn though.

The two elder statesmen, Hoskins and Harris, contrast greatly in their performance. Harris is mesmerizing. He's not a stereotypical evil Nazi. No, his own son was killed in the war and this is why he fights on. He enjoys the competition provided by Law. He's obviously a genius in his field. Hoskins on the other hand gives a careless performance. As Krushchev, his screen time is limited. He is mainly comic relief. Sadly, he's never funny.

The director handled both action and romance capably. The suspense in the sniping sequences was especially thrilling. The screenplay was run-of-the-mill helped out of mediocrity by the performers. The sets were magnificent and the special effects, especially during the Blitzkriegs, were triumphant.

I'd give it *** (out of ****)
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In Soviet America, you sue MPAA!
Originally posted by bigvalbowski
You're education system is most definitely flawed.
Why don't you shut your trap!

I kept telling my friends that they were speaking with an English accent, but they all said I was making it up.



I guess Bigvalbowski is not an American? Very good review, nevertheless; I will see it soon. Jude Law has blown everyone away in practically every picture he's done (anyone around here seen WILDE?) and I am looking forward to the piquant arch of Ms. Weisz's rear.
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[red]TOTAL, COMPLETE SPOILERS BELOW[/red]

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The movie was good, the story was good, but parts of it did not make sense. For example: when Fiennes got all fussy after seeing Tanya and Jude Law (I can't spell his character's name, sorry...I'm an American) kissing each other, he dictated a nast letter that, I thought, was designed to get Law in trouble - what ever happened with that?

In addition: how could Ed Harris' character stupidly walk out in the open after ALL OF THAT? I guess you can say that he thought he had shot Law when he shot Fiennes, but did he really believe Law would have been that dumb? Doesn't make sense to me.



In Soviet America, you sue MPAA!
[red]SPOILERS BELOW(Mainly for the book version)[/red]

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I can see what you mean Chris, by how he just walks on out, which is why I like the books ending a WHOLE LOT better.

At the end of the book, Zaitsev and Kulikov are hiding on one side of an open field(not a train yard) behind a brick wall. The German(Thorvald in the book)is on the other side of the field, but they don't know where. Earlier on in the book, Thorvald shot Kulikov in the shoulder, thinking he had killed him because he never just wounds people, so Thorvald does not know Kulikov is there. Anyways, earlier on they had spoken of how Thorvald killed a high ranking official by hiding in a hollowed out motar shell and firing from there, which is where Zaitsev is now. Well, there is a dead stand still, between the three, no one ever movies, for several days. Eventually Danilov comes, and gets out a speaker and tries to psych out the German, but it doesn't work, and he stands up and gets shot in the chest.
A day goes by. It's at night time now, all the while, flares are landing on the field and illuminating the whole scene with green light. Well, Kulikov and Zaitsev come out with this plan. Kulikov puts bricks under his helmet and stands up, so that Zaitsev will see Thorvalds shot and be able to shoot him. Well he stands up, gets shot in the head, and Zaitsev still can not see his position. He scans the area again, and sees tons of places where he could be, he thinks hes above ground, when really his slighty underground under a piece of sheet metal, so you won't see his blast, or hear his sound. Thorvald is still hidden, but Zaitsev thinks he might no where he is, but all he can see is a black ditch.

Meanwhile, Thorvald realizes Zaitsev isn't dead, and he finds the mortar, and finds Zaitsev. Now Thorvald had a thing he did to every sniper he shot, he would shoot them through the scope, he had done it earlier to many of Zaitsev's fellow snipers(In the book there was a school of snipers). He targeted right on Zaitsev scope, right as he heard a shot. Zaitsev had decided to just fire blindly into the hole. Hours had then passed with no sign of Thorvald, so Zaitsev and Kulikov decided to go over to where they thought he was. They went over there, and found Thorvald dead with a head shot. Kulikov went to go pick up his sniper rifle(Thorvald had taken it earlier), but the scope had been shattered straight through.

I can't describe it has vividly and as intensely as David L. Robbins, but thats how it happened in War of the Rats. I like that ending a lot better, because throughout the book you know of how much better Thorvald is, how no one can shoot as accurately or as fast as him, but Zaitsev kills him because of a chance he takes, and because he pulls the trigger faster than Thorvald. It's hard to explain why, but you'll understand if you read the book.

I was strongly disappointed by the ending of the movie, because it had already been inforced in my mind that Thorvald would not make a stupid mistake like walk out into the open. Also, I noticed that during the preview, they give away the ending completely. The show the scene where you see Ed Harris standing there, and you see Law in the back with a gun. I guess you wouldn't notice Law though, unless you knew he should be there.

Not gonna apologize for how much I typed, because I could keep going on about scenes in this great book if anyone cared.



In Soviet America, you sue MPAA!
Well if there are any other scenes you thought were weird in the movie, I can tell you how it was done in the book.



Personally, I perceive a startling resemblance between the real Zaitsev and Jude Law ...

Clicketh here!
http://www.russian-mosin-nagant.com/.../zaitsevsn.jpg