Iron Sky (2012) – 6/10 World War II science-fiction movie review

Cast / crew
Producer: Tero Kaukomaa
Director: Timo Vuorensola
Julia Dietze: Renate Richter
Götz Otto: Klaus Adler
Christopher Kirby: James Washington
Udo Kier: Wolfgang Kortzfleisch
Producer: Mark Overett
Producer: Cathy Overett
Producer: Oliver Damian
Producer: Samuli Torssonen
Writer (Original Concept): Jarmo Puskala
Writer (Original Story): Johanna Sinsisalo
Writer (Screenplay): Michael Kalesniko
Writer (Screenplay): Timo Vuorensola

Iron Sky (2012)

2018: The Liberty moon mission doesn’t go well. Intended as a publicity stunt for the current American President, apathy turns negative when the lander is destroyed shortly after landing on the moon and all contact is lost. What Earth doesn’t know is that it was destroyed by Nazi’s living on the moon, mining Helium 3, building the largest war machine ever constructed, waiting for their time to return to Earth and bring in their glorious reign.

6/10

This isn’t quite as much fun as it should be thanks to some low-quality work from some of the cast (Christopher Kirby, Stephanie Paul and an inconsistent Peta Sergeant) and an ostentatiously broken story (Nazi propaganda speeches delivered by the US President for no obvious reason). I also had a problem right at the beginning with our lead hero surviving a gigantic fall. Surviving without injury. There’s no possible reason such a scene exists except a lack of care and attention. It’s a shame as this is a wonderfully, convincingly ludicrous idea, Julia Dietze and Götz Otto (treated inconsistently by the script) are both good, the special effects are impressive and spectacular and Udo Kier is, well, Udo Kier.

This movie contains sexual swear words, brief strong adult dialogue and some graphic violence, gory and unpleasant scenes and sexuality.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.

Medal of Honor: Airborne (2007, WWII First-Person Shooter, 360) – 8/10 game review

Cast / crew
Creative Director: Jon Paquette
Producer: Christopher A. Busse
Producer: Tom Hess
Producer: Matt Marsala
Producer: Neville Spiteri
Producer: T.J. Stamm
Lead Designer: Rex Dickson

Medal of Honor: Airborne (2007)

World War II: Private Boyd Travers is a member of the US Army’s first airborne division and is about to see his first paratrooper action as part of Operation Husky.

8/10

This is nearly a very great game but the critical suspension of disbelief isn’t sustained thanks to poor enemy design and inadequate ammunition impact. It doesn’t matter how much body armour you’re wearing (in the case of this game, though, it’s none), being shot hurts and affects your ability to perform. Always. Even just being shot at affects your performance. Not if you’re a German soldier wearing black cloth and a gas mask, apparently. However, the levels available here are works of genius. They all look good with the Operation Varsity and Der Flakturm levels being unusual and spectacular. They are constructed in such a way that, generally, the entire level is accessible both as a start point and a waypoint. They feel like the best large multi-path, multi-level, multiplayer maps but work exceptionally well in every way as single-player areas. It makes Airborne unexpectedly unique amongst shooters and should be played by all genre fans.

This game contains war violence, unpleasant scenes.

 

Classified 16+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 16 or over..
Classified Violence by PEGI. Game contains depictions of violence.

Links

Valkyrie (2008, WWII Military Coup Movie) – 7/10 review

Director: Bryan Singer
Writer: Christopher McQuarrie
Writer: Nathan Alexander
Producer: Bryan Singer
Producer: Christopher McQuarrie
Producer: Gilbert Adler
Tom Cruise: Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg
Kenneth Branagh: Major-General Henning von Tresckow
Bill Nighy: General Friedrich Olbricht
Tom Wilkinson: General Friedrich Fromm
Carice Van Houten: Nina von Stauffenberg
Thomas Kretschmann: Major Otto Ernst Remer
Terence Stamp: Ludwig Beck
Co-Producer: Nathan Alexander

Valkyrie (2008)

1944: not all of Germany believes in Hitler as much as, well, Hitler does. Some realise drastic action must be taken to prevent continued damage to Germany and to bring an end to World War II. Key to this will be Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg and the assassination of the Führer himself.

7/10

Highlighting a new area of German history for me and dramatising the last attempt by Germans to assassinate Adolf Hitler and bring a premature end to World War II, this is a slightly unsatisfying movie which, however, works emotionally. The reason for this is clear and superficially simple: Tom Cruise. Elsewhere, Bryan Singer paces his movie without peaks and doesn’t assure consistent performances for some of the cast. This finds them occasionally screaming lines for no obvious reason (especially early on) or rendering the wrong emotion for a given scene (Stauffenberg’s executioner, for example). But Tom Cruise brings the quality he brings to all his movies: absolute commitment. He makes the movie work, just as Stauffenberg is attempting to make his coup work, through sheer force of will after making sure everything required for success is in place. While Valkyrie isn’t the award-winning masterpiece many were hoping for, it is yet another interesting, worthwhile and quality addition to Tom Cruise’s filmography.

This movie contains a single sexual swear word and mild unpleasant scenes, gun violence.

Classified 12A by BBFC. Persons under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Flags of our Fathers (2006, WWII Movie) – 7/10 review

Director: Clint Eastwood
Writer (Screenplay): William Broyles, Jr.
Writer (Screenplay): Paul Haggis
Producer: Clint Eastwood
Producer: Steven Spielberg
Producer: Robert Lorenz
Writer (Original Book): James Bradley
Writer (Original Book): Ron Powers
Ryan Phillippe: John "Doc" Bradley
Jesse Bradford: Rene Gagnon
Adam Beach: Ira Hayes
John Benjamin Hickey: Keyes Beech
John Slattery: Bud Gurber
Barry Pepper: Mike Strank
Jamie Bell: Ralph "Iggy" Ignatowski
Paul Walker: Henry "Hank" Hansen
Music: Clint Eastwood

Flags of our Fathers (2006)

A seemingly simple picture of an American flag being raised atop a mountain on Iwo Jima captures the public imagination and the heroes who raised it are wheeled out to promote the purchase of war bonds to finance the war effort.

7/10

While it’s never quite satisfying on a psychological level – it looks like it’s going to ask interesting questions but doesn’t and looks like it’s going to supply revealing insights but doesn’t – this is, nevertheless, a fine, interesting war film that balances the traditional horrors and thrills of the battlefield with the necessary and rarely-mentioned need to pay for it all. As expected of an Eastwood film, the performances are very good, the tone is just right and the pacing is delicate; it has the feeling of a carefully crafted work of art. It’s probably a little let down by a script which insists on a moderately complex structure for no obvious reason and leaves the audience continually wondering who is narrating now and who the old guy is – ie, technical questions – instead of simply connecting to the story.

This movie contains mild swear words and extremely unpleasant scenes, graphic knife violence, graphic gun violence.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.

Links

Turning Point: Fall of Liberty (2008, Alternative History WWII First-Person Shooter Game, 360) – 6/10 review

Turning Point: Fall of Liberty (2008)

Without the charismatic leadership of Winston Churchill (who died in a car accident several years before), the German invasion of Europe has gone in favour of the Nazi’s and they’ve set their sights on America. A New York construction worker finds himself putting down his hammer and picking up sub-machine guns and putting the forces of evil back in their place.

6/10

Desperately unpolished and technically deficient first-person alternative history shooter. There’s no accuracy to the shooting, not because that is just the nature of the weapons, but because the game has wads of invisible scenery that you can’t shoot through surrounding every object in the game. It’s a big shame as the premise has potential (you see off a 1950’s Nazi invasion in New York, Washington D.C., and London; locations not available to traditional World War II games), the bomb-wiring mini-game works well and there’s something endlessly satisfying about putting down evil dictators who want to rule the world. It also has a certain old-school PC shooter charm and, being shorter than average but long enough, doesn’t outstay it’s welcome. A generous six, then.

This game contains bloodless gun violence, melee violence, occasional strong melee violence.

Classified 16+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 16 or over..
Classified Violence by PEGI. Game contains depictions of violence.

Call of Duty: World at War (2008, 360, PS3) – 9/10 World War II first-person shooter game review

Cast / crew
Creative Director: Corky Lehmkuhl
Gary Oldman: Sgt. Reznov
Kiefer Sutherland: Sgt. Roebuck

Call of Duty 5 Call of Duty: World at War (2008)

World War II: Russian Pvt. Dimitri Petrenko is pushing back the Germans to Berlin and American Private Miller is pushing back the Japanese to Okinawa.

9/10

Beautifully polished World War II first-person shooter which is atmospheric, extremely playable, very smooth and controls, looks, animates and sounds brilliant. There’s only one real complaint (aside from a couple of dispiriting bugs which require level restarts) and it’s an old one: disagreeably obvious infinite spawning soldiers who direct 90% of their fire directly into any orifice they choose whether they are looking at you or not, whether they are holding a weapon or not, whether you knew you were going to pop out or not, whether they’re on fire or not, whether they’re dead or not, whether they’re being run over by a tank or not, whether they’re being riddled with your bullets or not, whether a grenade has just exploded in their face or not. Hardened is great fun as it is really tough and satisfying but, unlike Veteran, you don’t get punished for your lack of clairvoyance skills. What is always good about the Medal of Honor and Call of Duty World War II games is that you never forget that this was a real conflict in which real people died real horribly. The ease with which you die, even though it’s a game (you can take three or more bullets which is rather more generous than real-life) becomes, rightfully, a slightly sobering experience.

This Call of Duty game contains sexual swear words and extremely graphic gun violence, graphic blade, fire and melee violence, extremely unpleasant scenes.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.
Classified Violence by PEGI. Game contains depictions of violence.
Classified Bad Language by PEGI. Game contains bad language.
Classified 18+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for adults who have reached the age of 18 or over..

Links

Ministry of Fear (1943, Movie) – 6/10 review

Ray Milland: Stephen Neale
Marjorie Reynolds: Carla Hilfe
Writer (Screenplay): Seton I. Miller
Writer (Original Novel): Graham Greene
Associate Producer: Seton I. Miller
Director: Fritz Lang

Ministry of Fear (1943)

Stephen Neale is released from an asylum into World War II Britain but on his way to London he wins a cake he wasn’t supposed to win and uncovers a Nazi spy ring.

6/10

Starting brilliantly with an off fete, a blind man and some trouble with a cake, this gradually runs out of steam despite plenty of double-crossing and running around with Nazi spies and pretty ladies (Marjorie Reynolds and Hillary Brooke). The climax is pretty handy, though, with a baddie dialing a phone using a massive pair of scissors, some fisticuffs and a couple of gunfights in the dark all topped off with an insta-ending and good closing gag.

This movie contains gory and unpleasant scenes, violence.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.