Stalingrad 3D (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 12 Old 05-13-2014, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
Blu-ray Reviewer
Moderator
 
Ralph Potts's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Middletown NY
Posts: 14,017
Mentioned: 87 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1677 Post(s)
Liked: 6096
700
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109941&d=1210373637

Audio/3D Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
86





Studio and Year: Sony Pictures - 2013
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 131 minutes
Genre: War/Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC/MVC
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English/French/Russian DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Mariya Smolnikova, Yanina Studilina, Peter Fedorov, Thomas Kretschmann, Sergey Bondarchuk, Dmitry Lisenkov
Directed by: Fedor Bondarchuk
Music by: Angelo Badalamenti
Written by: Ilya Tilkin & Sergey Snezhkin
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: May 13, 2014







"The epic battle that turned the tide of World War II"


Film Synopsis:

A band of determined Russian soldiers fight to hold a strategic building in their devastated city against a ruthless German army, and in the process become deeply connected to a Russian woman who has been living there. In Stalingrad, directed by Fedor Bondarchuk, the scale of the battle contrasts dramatically with the human drama of the Russian soldiers, the few remaining civilians and their invaders into Stalingrad.


My Take:

For those not familiar with its subject matter Stalingrad depicts The Battle of Stalingrad (August 23, 1942 – February 2, 1943), a major battle of World War II in which Nazi Germany and its allies fought the Soviet Union for control of the city of Stalingrad (now Volgograd) in the southwestern Soviet Union. Marked by constant close quarters combat and disregard for military and civilian casualties, it is among the bloodiest battles in the history of warfare. The heavy losses inflicted on the Wehrmacht make it arguably the most strategically decisive battle of the whole war. It was a turning point in the European theatre of World War II–the German forces never regained the initiative in the East and withdrew a vast military force from the West to reinforce their losses.

The plot is more human drama than war epic with the story set against the backdrop of battle. The narrative takes place in 1942 when the German troops occupied the bank of the Volga river. Having failed while attempting to cross the river in order to launch a counteroffensive on the German Army, the Soviets were forced to retreat. However, a few troops managed to get to the shore, finding their way to an apartment building where the only remaining occupant is a 19 year old girl. During the German occupation, she did not have time to leave the front lines. It turned out the building represented a necessary stronghold for the Soviet defense of the city. Their orders were to prevent the Germans from taking the building for as long as possible. Amidst the struggle a love story of sorts develops, and, from that moment, the soldiers band together, their plan is to protect this girl at any cost.

I found this to be an enjoyable and intimate war drama that eschews traditional wartime romance in favor of a telling portrait that speaks to the human condition. The storyline and characters aren’t deeply fleshed out but this seems intentional and works well within the framework of the narrative’s context. The film’s opening is really the only thing that I found to be out of place. It begins with the recent Japanese tsunami and the rescue effort that followed. While attempting to extract a woman buried in some rubble a Russian rescue worker begins telling her the story of his “five” fathers, based on a story told to him by his mother. This begins the events depicted in the story with him occasionally interjecting narration described certain moments along the way.

Once things begin in 1942 the film sets up the two primary plotlines, the one following the group of Russian soldiers who occupy the building and meet the young girl who they adopt and the other which follows a German officer who has fallen for a local Russian woman who reminds him of his deceased wife. In between is the bloody conflict that will leave many dead in its wake. The film is pretty narrow in scope and centers on these people trying to cope with what is essentially inevitable. They do so by finding something to hold on to, in the case of the five Russian soldiers it’s the young woman who seems to represent something different for each of them. In the case of the Russian Captain, it’s the woman who reminds him of his wife and perhaps his humanity. For the young woman it’s the variety of strengths she sees in each of them and the warmth of their devotion.

I found the performances of the ensemble cast to be quite good. Thomas Kretschmann is a standout in every film I have seen him in (U571, Valkyrie, Wanted, King Kong) and this film is no different. Stalingrad is a bit uneven but definitely gratifying in its depiction of the plight of its characters. It runs just a little long at 2 hours ten minutes however that doesn’t prevent it from being an engaging and worthwhile watching experience.

Parental Guide:

The rating is for sequences of war violence.



AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**



Audio: 92

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Low frequency effects: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • *Low frequency extension (non-rated element): attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692


3D Presentation: 80

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Depth (Onscreen): attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Dimension (Beyond the screen): attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

  • Realism: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692


Stalingrad 3D comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures HE featuring 1080p MVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.2 Mbps.

This film was shot natively in 3D and is the first Russian film to utilize IMAX 3D technology being shot using 3ality Technica's TS-5 and Stereoscopic Image Processor. Depth of field onscreen is appreciable as evidenced by separation of objects and/or people layered in the foreground/background. Dimensionality and apparent resolution is rarely questionable regardless of the cameras perspective. Low level sequences appear dynamic with excellent contrast and refined blacks. There is a distinct lack of 3D effects that reach out beyond the screen. While I think that this presentation could have made better use of the 3D platform I don’t think that its implementation especially detracted from it. I didn’t notice any overt instances of crosstalk or other video related anomalies.

The 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio surround mix which comes in Russian (which I used), English (dubbed) and French makes regular use of the entire system and delivers excellent sound quality. This is an active soundtrack that features room engaging bass response that reinforces the dynamic impact associated with the films action/war based elements. The seamless integration of the front and rear channels creates a stable and well-proportioned listening experience that is complimented by palpably rich and pervasive low frequency detail. Bass lovers are going to enjoy the tangible ultra-low punch found in this sound mix. Clarity and detail are first rate as I never had any trouble discerning subtle vocal inflections or the presence of low level sounds mixed into the background. I had a great time with this audio presentation and thought it complimented the source material quite well.


2D Video Quality:

Video: 90

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699


Stalingrad comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate 29 Mbps.

This 2.35:1 framed Blu-ray Disc presentation features a solid looking video encoding that boasts stable contrast, bright, detailed whites, and gradationally enhanced grays. This coupled along with punchy blacks and delineated shadow detail gives images both light and dark excellent depth. The video is crisp and definitively resolved as fidelity appears to be intact. Wide angle shots have appreciable dimension with clear rendering of objects within foregrounds and backgrounds. Close ups reveal lots of subtle refinement as the intricate textures within facial features, clothing, and objects is easily discernible. This isn’t an overly colorful film. Many sequences have a filtered and de-saturated appearance that seems to coincide with the director’s intention. Deep shades of blue and green stand out nicely against the muted chromatic range and look great. Skin tones rarely yield any truly defining complexional characteristics but all appear natural within the scope of the source material. On occasion sharpness wavers however it appears innate and isn’t distracting. Overall quality is excellent as the video has a pristine and dimensionally strong perspective that is visually pleasing.

** CIH users should note that the subtitles are contained within the picture area.



Bonus Features:

  • Includes both 2D and 3D versions (separate BD-50 Blu-ray Discs)

  • The making of Stalingrad – 11 minute featurette

  • Ultraviolet Digital Copy




Final Thoughts:

Stalingrad is an engaging, well executed and well enacted war drama set during one of the most bloody and pivotal battles of World War II. While not an especially well rounded film, it draws you in with compelling storytelling and stark visuals. It comes to Blu-ray Disc in this two disc edition that features solid high definition 2D/3D quality and a rewarding DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack that shakes things up nicely. Stalingrad on Blu-ray is worthwhile viewing and should be at the top of your rental queue.





attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:


JVC DLA-RS4910 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8801 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (With Darbee video processing)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SVS PB-13 Ultra Subwoofer (Rosenut finish)
SVS PC12-NSD (Cylinder) Subwoofer
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package

Ralph C. Potts
Blu-ray Reviewer
My Home Theater
Follow me on Twitter @RalphAVSreviews
Ralph Potts is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 12 Old 05-13-2014, 12:47 PM
Member
 
rustester's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 33
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 13
Looking forward to see this one. Russians claim this one is one of the best movies made in Russia in the past 25 years.
rustester is offline  
post #3 of 12 Old 05-13-2014, 01:25 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
JWhip's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Wayne, PA
Posts: 4,889
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 592 Post(s)
Liked: 745
That's for pointing this one out Ralph. I didn't know about it. I did study this battle in college and I look forward to the film. It will be interesting to see if the film does justice to the true horror that was this battle.

Louder is NOT better!
JWhip is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 12 Old 05-13-2014, 02:51 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
wxman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 9,328
Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5398 Post(s)
Liked: 3814
I'm going to get this one. It reminds me a bit of the movie Enemy at the Gates. The story of the famous Russian sniper Vasily Zaytsev at the Battle of Stalingrad.

LG 65E6P OLED - LG 65EF9500 OLED - OPPO 203 - OPPO 103D
wxman is offline  
post #5 of 12 Old 05-14-2014, 02:55 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Cal68's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,177
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 355 Post(s)
Liked: 352
Ralph, thanks for bringing this film to my attention. I've got to get it on my Netflix queue immediately. I'm a sucker for WW II movies and look forward to seeing this one.

Cal68

Cal68
Cal68 is offline  
post #6 of 12 Old 05-14-2014, 06:54 AM
Member
 
Benjitb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: U.K
Posts: 103
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 28

When I can find them I enjoy the Russian made films, probably won't be available in the UK for ages though.


Yamaha RX V-475 - Monitor Audio Bronze BX2 L/C/R - BRFX Rears
FAT PS3
Benjitb is offline  
post #7 of 12 Old 05-14-2014, 07:38 AM - Thread Starter
Blu-ray Reviewer
Moderator
 
Ralph Potts's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Middletown NY
Posts: 14,017
Mentioned: 87 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1677 Post(s)
Liked: 6096
Greetings,

You're more than welcome guys. I hope that you enjoy it and be sure to post back with your thoughts afterward.. smile.gif


Regards,

Ralph C. Potts
Blu-ray Reviewer
My Home Theater
Follow me on Twitter @RalphAVSreviews
Ralph Potts is online now  
post #8 of 12 Old 05-14-2014, 07:47 AM
Member
 
Benjitb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: U.K
Posts: 103
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,

You're more than welcome guys. I hope that you enjoy it and be sure to post back with your thoughts afterward.. smile.gif


Regards,


I most certainly will Ralph.

Thanks for the review. One of my favourite films (but cruelly hard to watch) is Elim Klinov's 1985 masterpiece of the true horror and hell of it all "Come and See".

It's not like any "Hollywood" staple of the glory/brotherhood of war, just the cruelty it inspires. Well worth a watch.

All the best, Ben.

 

edit: Can't see it getting a Blu-ray release though!

Ralph Potts likes this.

Yamaha RX V-475 - Monitor Audio Bronze BX2 L/C/R - BRFX Rears
FAT PS3
Benjitb is offline  
post #9 of 12 Old 05-14-2014, 01:54 PM
Advanced Member
 
dbailey75's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Marietta, Georgia
Posts: 748
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 62 Post(s)
Liked: 47
so is this Russia's version of the German film of the same name? I saw that one years ago, haven't heard of this one, definitely look forward to adding it to my collection. I'm sucker for WW2 films. Still need to get PatherFinders, even though the reviews sucked.

PSN: CAPTDANMAN
dbailey75 is offline  
post #10 of 12 Old 05-17-2014, 12:10 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Shift's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Where Sweet Tea is served cold!!
Posts: 1,539
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 95 Post(s)
Liked: 65
Awesome review Ralph. I cannot wait to get this one added to my collection!! cool.gif
Ralph Potts likes this.

Preponderance
1: a superiority in weight, power, importance, or strength
2a : a superiority or excess in number or quantity
2b : majority
Shift is offline  
post #11 of 12 Old 05-20-2014, 09:49 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
robnix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,219
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1016 Post(s)
Liked: 760
Visually stunning with some spectacular audio moments. I didn't care for the voiceover and the odd intro.

Things I noticed and enjoyed:
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Katya symbolizes "mother russia" and it's spirit, perseverance, and resourcefulness in WWII.
The interaction of the soldiers with katya symbolized the rescue and cleansing of "mother russia" from the germans.
Watch it again and it becomes obvious through not only the dialogue, but the editing as well.
My wife and I have different feelings about the role and symbolism of the Masha/Kapitan Kan characters

Not a spoiler:

The Fountian in the film is Baramaley Fountain, made famous from a series of photographs taken by a Russian photographer during the battle. Obligatory wikipedia page here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barmaley_Fountain

Ralph Potts likes this.

Looky here!
robnix is offline  
post #12 of 12 Old 05-23-2014, 07:12 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Deja Vu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: great white north
Posts: 5,529
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1001 Post(s)
Liked: 1048
"In the case of the Russian Captain, it’s the woman who reminds him of his wife and perhaps his humanity." I thought the Russian girl reminded the German officer of his deceased wife. I'm a little confused. Maybe I missed something.

I found the opening battle scene with the Russians rushing the Germans while engulfed in flames a little over the top but once that was over the movie seemed to settle down some and I could then get sucked into the story. I thought the 3D was very well done and helped me to connect and willingly suspend my disbelief.

It's nice to see this movie reviewed here. Good job.
Deja Vu is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply Official AVS Forum® Blu-ray Disc Reviews

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off