Attack on Leningrad (BLU- RAY)

Attack On Leningrad

On Blu-Ray: 
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Running Time: 
110 minutes
Bonus Features

Director Interview, Heroes Under Siege

During the winter of 1941 while World War II engulfs everyone around the world, the Nazi troops invade the city ofLeningrad. It’s already been devastated by the war, the people are suffering, and the Germans make matters worse by cutting off the food supplies into the city as they invade the city. During the siege on the city, journalist Kate Davies (played by Mira Sorvino) is declared dead after an air raid on the bus that was transporting the journalists to their plane. Being left behind, Kate is found by police officer Nina Tsvetkova (played by Olga Sutulova) where Kate gets to learn how deadly the war is on everyone.

This movie is about survival in a time when being able to stay alive was near impossible. With each passing day the situation gets worse for the people of Leningrad as the Nazis cut off their food rations from getting 300 grams worth of bread to nearly nothing at all. People are starving to death, being killed by air raids, and even from each other as they just try to stay alive. When journalist Kate Davies goes to get her stories she finds herself trapped in the city with a family that is slowly dieing each day in front of her. Regardless of this, the family and the police officer Nina Tsvetkova take a huge risk that could mean their deaths by taking Kate in to protect her and help her.

At first I thought this movie was going to be one that I would like. With such a horrible voice over track being used as well as the subtitles appearing, it looked like it was going to be a foreign film with a cheap conversion of the English language. Not only that but Attack on Leningrad had a slow start to it that didn’t really catch my attention. What I got from the first 10 minutes of this film was that it was going to be one that I just couldn’t get into watching even when it’s a topic about World War II.

After those first 10 minutes past something happened that I didn’t notice until the end of the movie, that was it had caught my attention so much that I didn’t realize that nearly an hour and half had passed and the movie was almost over. I was surprised at how well this story progressed that I forgot completely about the bad voice over track, well at least while watching it. This film went from just being something I was watching to being a film I had become invested in watching. It’s a very emotional film that made me become invested in the characters and feeling very sad for what was happening to them. World War II has never been said to be a happy topic and Attack On Leningrad has shown just a small portion of what made this one sad film.

Though the topic is one that catches the attention with having to survive as well as having the children knowing that they are slowly dieing and can’t do anything about it. What makes this film and topic work out so well where it is such a sad movie are the actors. Mira Sorvino and Olga Sutulova give a really good performance with both their characters. Both of these women had 2 characters that were polar opposites to each other but by the end of the movie they were kindred spirits as well as being alike. Mira Sorvino took her character Kate from being this journalist that had this view of the war that hadn’t been exposed to the reality of the war until she was left behind. By the end the war had taken away that view and her character had become more than just a casuality but a survivor herself. As for Olga Sutulova, her character was of a police officer jaded by the war who did as ordered, even if it meant killing, but she finds herself saving someone that she should have turned over and then ends up becoming friends with her. Attack On Leningrad might have had a slow start but by the end it was a movie that took me on a very emotional ride that made me like the film but hate what had happened.

Even more impressive about this was the quality of the Blu Ray. There are a lot of dark scenes, shadows, and moments in this film that would be opportune times to have noise and grain in the picture. Didn’t happen, at least not that I saw while watching, Attack On Leningrad stayed clear throughout the whole film. It has a beautiful look to the picture quality that gives a new level of experience to watching this and allowing it make a bigger impact on the scenes that induce emotion. Even the audio levels are very well adjusted to allow for an even level of sound during the attacks and when the characters where trying to be quiet. If the audio levels where at an even level, like a lot of movies are given, all the times that had the attacks would have been way too loud to even listen to and the times when the characters are just whispering would have been too low to hear. But the levels are all adjusted well to give the loud moments a same level as the quiet moments. The only disappointing part to this Blu Ray, not enough special features for my taste. This would have been a opportune time to include information, facts, and other moments from the actual attack. It could have also had some more featurettes, maybe some deleted scenes, or a numerous other features that would have been interesting to have had to watch.

Lee Roberts
Review by Lee Roberts
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