Enemy at the Gates (2001) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Thriller / War
Paramount || R - 131 minutes - $29.99 || May 19, 2009
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2009-06-04


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud
Writer(s): Jean-Jacques Annaud & Alain Godard (written by)
Cast: Jude Law, Ed Harris, Rachel Weisz, Joseph Fiennes, Bob Hoskins, Ron Pearlman


Theatrical Release Date: March 16, 2001


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • 2 Featurettes
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Theatrical Trailer


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese

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.::THE FILM::.

Synopsis: The year is 1942 and the Nazis are cutting a deadly swath through Russia. Under the leadership of Kruschev (Bob Hoskins), the citizens of Stalingrad are mounting a brave resistance, spurred by the exploits of their local hero, Vassili Zaitsev (Jude Law). An expert sniper, Vassiliís deeds have become legendary, in thanks to propaganda produced by Vassiliís best friend, a political officer named Danilov (Joseph Fiennes). To stop Vassili, the Germans dispatch their best sniper, Major Konig (Ed Harris), to Stalingrad. When Vassili and Danilov both fall in love with a beautiful soldier (Rachel Weisz), Danilov deserts his friend, leaving Vassili to face his German counterpart alone. As the city burns, Vassili and Konig begin a cunning game of cat and mouse, waging a private war for courage, honor and country.

I loathed this movie. I had never seen it before so I set my expectations accordingly. I read on the front of the cover that ďThis is the most triumphant war movie since Saving Private Ryan.Ē Alright, to clarify, Saving Private Ryan is one of the best movies of all time, and this one didnít even come close. Enemy at the Gates is a slow trek through boredom that I nearly passed out in. The long run time made it seem like an eternity to me, as the story progressed slowly and even the battle scenes werenít that invigorating or entertaining in the slightest. The character development was also ho-hum, as I couldnít remember the characters names two minutes after they were on screen.

Thatís not to say though that all is bad, as the acting is superb. Jude Law and Joseph Fiennes are amazing in their respective roles, but Weisz is a snore when sheís on screen. Iíve never actually liked any of the roles sheís ever played, but this just reaffirms the fact that Iíve never liked her in any of the roles sheís ever played. Her character and acting is just too dry and boring for this type of movie. Harris is also somewhat mediocre, which was disappointing as I am a fan of his work.

Iím sure there will be people who say that this is a great war film, that the characters are great, and the story is riveting and exciting. But Iím not one of them.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Through the Crosshairs (20 minutes): The usual making of featurette that accompanies a decent amount of films these days, but this one drags on and on and honestly I didnít enjoy this one at all. Iíd recommend passing on this.

Inside Enemy at the Gates (15 minutes): The cast and crew talk about the movie and some of its background. Some of the cast including Fiennes is interesting, but the others are dry and not too exciting. War buffs will probably enjoy this, but all others will find it a snore.

Deleted Scenes (10 minutes): These donít really add anything to the film, and the production value of these is pretty sub-par. Iíd skip them unless you just have to watch every extra possible, as this movie is already long enough.

** BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVE **

The only exclusive we get is the theatrical trailer (HD).



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Dull, flat, and literally no detail is a great way to start off a review of the video. No, not really, but itís how Iím starting this one. Detail is almost non-existent, as the color scheme looks awful and outdated. This literally looks like a film from 1942, not one from only a few years ago. There isnít really any depth to this flick either, as the characters look awful. Contrast and black levels were also an issue, as there wasnít really a time I could think of where grain or distortion wasnít accompanying a scene in the movie. This is a truly a disastrous transfer.

Iím hoping that when other war movies in the future get released, they donít sound as bad as this one. The scenes that should be loud and engaging are (for lack of a better word) dull. My surround was barely used, and even when it was, there was little action coming out of them. In fact my front speakers were used primarily in the bombing and gun shooting scenes and it caused me to nearly fall asleep from a lack of activity. This sounded more like a mono or 2.0 mix than a 5.1 Dolby TrueHD mix. Just like the video, the audio is just as disappointing.



.::OVERALL::.

I canít in good conscience even recommend renting this one, as Iím sure itís on television on some channel everyday somewhere. The story is boring and the characters contrived, and take into account a two hour plus runtime, this is one I could just not get into. The special features are also slim and just as exciting as the story itself. Oh, and did I mention the video and audio quality are horrible? Taking all that into account, this is one gate to just walk around.