Eva Mattes

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In A Year With 13 Moons Review


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Often hailed as one of Fassbinder's best films, I find In a Year with 13 Moons one of his most obvious and least meaningful works. In this film, Fassbinder offers the (lengthy) story of a gay man who is abruptly dumped by his lover -- who decides he now likes women. So he does what anyone would do, right? He gets a sex change to become that woman. Naturally, it doesn't take. Far-fetched and ultimately small, Fassbinder ties to put a metaphysical and cosmological wrapper arond all of this, leading to a very muddy experience.

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Enemy At The Gates Review


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It's Stalingrad, late 1942. A young Russian sharpshooter is picking off Germans at will, bringing a much-needed lift to a demoralized Soviet army. The impatient Nazis send their top sniper to kill the man. A World War diminishes in scope to a battle of two. With such a promising plot, absolutely ripe for gutsy drama and emotion, why does Enemy at the Gates ultimately fail?

First, and foremost, because of its screenplay. Director Jean-Jacques Annaud (Seven Years in Tibet, The Bear) and partner Alain Godard take a horrific true tale and sap it of its energy, irony, and tension. It starts off impressively enough: Russian soliders are immediately gunned down as they arrive in Stalingrad -- if not by the enemy, then by their own officers, who kill the boys when they retreat in terror. Vassily Zaitsev (Jude Law) becomes an instant hero when he plays dead, and in sniper fashion, shoots a number of unsuspecting Nazis.

Continue reading: Enemy At The Gates Review

Enemy At The Gates Review


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The first half-hour of "Enemy at the Gates" is a cinematically stunning, hyper-realistic battlefield nightmare that transports the viewer right into the heart of the Nazis' yearlong siege of Stalingrad during World War II.

"Autumn, 1942," deplores the period-style voiceover as a shadow creeps across an illustrative map in an updated homage to old-timey war pictures. "Europe lies crushed under the Nazi jackboot..."

German planes dive-bomb troop transports in an incredible attack sequence. Sweeping shots the color of mud and blood take in the scale of the besieged city's cold, yet smoldering ruins while Red Army officers recite threatening propaganda to masses of soldiers who would rather flee.

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Eva Mattes Movies

Enemy At The Gates Movie Review

Enemy At The Gates Movie Review

It's Stalingrad, late 1942. A young Russian sharpshooter is picking off Germans at will,...

Enemy At The Gates Movie Review

Enemy At The Gates Movie Review

The first half-hour of "Enemy at the Gates" is a cinematically stunning, hyper-realistic battlefield nightmare...

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