Starring: Pyotr Fyodorov, Thomas Kretschmann, Mariya Smolnikova
Director: Fyodor Bondarchuk
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: May 13, 2014
Run Time: 131 minutes
Film: 3 out of 5 stars
3D: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1.5 out of 5 stars
“Stalingard” is directed by Fedor Bondarchuk, the son of legendary director Sergei Bondarchuk, who directed classics like “War and Peace” and “Waterloo”. This is an epic war film that was a huge box office hit in Russia last year and was recently released in select IMAX 3D theaters across the country. When I saw an ad for this film in IMAX, I had never heard back it before but I thought that if it was being released in IMAX I would give it a chance. Normally war films are not my cup of tea, especially foreign war films. “Stalingrad” was also Russia’s first ever 3D film. The movie itself dragged a little for me even though there were some powerful moments but what kept my attention was the quite spectacular special effects and combat scenes. If you are a war film buff you might enjoy this but I would highly recommend the 3D version if possible.
Official Premise: Stalingrad, Russia’s first ever 3D film, is a drama set in 1942, during one of the most important battles of World War II, which stopped the progress of Nazi forces and turned the tide of war in favor of the Allies. The Soviet army mounts a counter-attack on the Nazi forces that occupy half of Stalingrad on the other side of the Volga, but the operation to cross the river is unsuccessful. A few soldiers who managed to get to the other side take refuge in a house on the bank of Volga. Here they find a girl who didn’t escape when the Germans came. While the whole might of the German army descends onto them, the heroes of Stalingrad experience love, loss, joy and the sense of ultimate freedom that can only be felt by those about to die. They defend the house at all costs while the Red Army prepares for another attack.
Sony gave this WWII film an impressive release. They delivered this as a combo pack with a standard Blu-ray + UltraViolet and included the Blu-ray 3D as a bonus disc. Like I said if you were to watch this film, the “ohhh” and the ahhh” really comes from the added dimension, I thought. I did check out the film in 2D as well in key battle scenes and it was still a very solid 1080p transfer, I just enjoyed the added depth a little more. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track was a real powerhouse with the combat and action sequences. I literally had to keep turning down the surround sound to avoid waking my sleeping daughter. In terms of special features (not including the 3D Blu-ray), there is only one behind-the-scenes features on “The Making of Stalingrad”, which is a bit of a bummer.