Now With More Than 3000 Reviews! Go Nuts - Read 'Em All!!

WELCOME! Use the search engines on this site (or your own off-site engine of choice) to gain easy access to the complete MAKSQUIBS Archive; over 2500 posts and counting. (New posts added every day or so.)

You can check on all our titles by typing the Title, Director, Actor or 'Keyword' of your choice in the Search Engine of your choice (include the phrase MAKSQUIBS) or just use the BLOGGER Search Box at the top left corner of the page.

Feel free to place comments directly on any of the film posts and to test your film knowledge with the CONTESTS scattered here & there. (Hey! No Googling allowed. They're pretty easy.)

Send E-mails to MAKSQUIBS@yahoo.com . (Let us know if the TRANSLATE WIDGET works!) Or use the Profile Page or Comments link for contact.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

STALINGRAD (2013)

You’ve got to give techo-junkie megger Fedor Bondarchuk points for chutzpah; not just anyone could have re-imagined the Battle of Stalingrad as Snow White and the 7 Patriotic Eunuchs! And in IMAX 3D! Pointlessly bookended by a modern natural catastrophe, the tale is told in flashback by a son of the teenaged girl who was protected & impregnated (don’t ask) by a cross-section of Soviet stalwarts, all holding out in an apartment building as the Germans close in. No Wicked Stepmom, instead, a shrieking Nazi Commandant who sends in forces led by a noble huntsman besotted by a blonde willowy Ruskie gal who reminds him of his deceased Aryan wife. Bondarchuk pours on CGI and digital editing tricks like a chef trying to disguise spoiled meat, but you won’t believe in a single bullet, let alone the tanks, air strikes or naval fleets that clog up the visual texture. Logic & logistics are not a Bondarchuk priority. For that matter, does he really want to compare the Nazi invasion with a natural disaster? It's all slightly appalling.

SCREWY THOUGHT OF THE DAY: Fedor is the son of Sergey Bondarchuk, the Soviet-approved mediocrity who megged & starred in WAR AND PEACE/’67, almost certainly the most expensive film ever made. Then followed up with his English-language debut on Dino de Laurentiis’s WATERLOO/’70, a critical/commercial disaster for all concerned. How fitting that Fedor is now set to continue the tradition, following this film, and his Sci-Fi INHABITED ISLAND pics, all indifferently received outside of Russian, by prepping his English-language debut with Homer’s THE ODYSSEY! Will lightning not strike twice?

WATCH THIS, NOT THAT: Within its limited scope, Jean-Jacques Annaud’s ENEMY AT THE GATE/’01, w/ Jude Law & Joseph Fiennes is a pretty decent, pretty exciting film on the Siege of Stalingrad. Better yet, there's Tarkovsky’s remarkable IVAN’S CHILDHOOD/’62, though it’s not set in the city.

No comments: