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Tali-Ihantala 1944: A review of a movie

 
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Tali-Ihantala 1944: A review of a movie - 12/12/2007 3:07:02 PM   
Nemesis

 

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From: Järvenpää, Finland
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I went to see this movie last sunday with my father-in-law and my wifes grandfather (who kept reminding us that "I wasn't actually in Tali-Ihantala, I was in Suursaari fighting the Germans..."). We thought that the movie would be an interesting experience for him (the grandfather that is), and it seemed to have done the trick.

Looking at the "professional" reviews this movie has received in newspapers and the like, it seems that the movie has some flaws. The characters are shallow. Consider yourself lucky if you can remember the names of the people. And the reviews are 100% true in that regard. There's zero character-development. There's no real plot in the movie either. It just tells the story of a battle. The plot was written over 60 years ago by actual events. It's like the guys making the movie thought "why do we need to have a story about brothers in war, or love-triangles or some other crap like that? We have the biggest battle in Nordic history, that should be enough story for everyone".

Also, if you want to ogle at some pretty ladies, this movie is not for you. I don't think I saw ANY women in the movie. Not one. If you felt that the sex-scene in "Enemy at The Gates" was cheesy and tacked on, you can breath a sigh of relief: there's no sex here. Just warfare. This movie does not try to sell itself with sex.

So, so far we have no tits & ass, no plot, paper-thin characters etc. etc... And you know what? I don't care.

In many ways, this isn't a movie. It's a 2-hour documentary that's masquerading as a movie. I have read some literature on Tali-Ihantala, and many of the scenes in the movie are 1:1 accurate with what actually happened. A movie based on actual events that does NOT distort history? That seems to be quite rare these days.

I think that this movie is the most action-packed movie in the existence. There are few peaceful scenes that last for few minutes here and there, but other than that, it's warfare in different forms. Tanks vs. tanks, tanks. vs. infantry (was that an ISU-152 I saw in one scene? I believe it was!), infantry vs. infantry and artillery vs. everyone.

This movie has a budget of few million euros. Similar Hollywood-productions have budgets that are about 10-20 times bigger. And looking at the end-results, I can't help but wonder "what are they doing with all that money?". This movie can easily battle with the best of them. And what's more, there's LOTS of it. "Saving private Ryan" has great battle-scenes, but it spends lots of time building up the characters (which may or may not be a good thing, depending on your perspective), with handful of battle-scenes here and there. T-I 1944 does not. It focuses on combat. I could say that in "Private Ryan", Tom Hanks is the leading star, but in T-I 1944 the leading star is the battle itself.

My verdict: *****/*****. Just look at it as a semi-documentary, as opposed to traditional movie with characters and character-building.

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RE: Tali-Ihantala 1944: A review of a movie - 12/12/2007 4:29:22 PM   
Rainerle

 

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In what languages can I get it ?

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RE: Tali-Ihantala 1944: A review of a movie - 12/12/2007 4:40:12 PM   
Nemesis

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rainerle

In what languages can I get it ?


Well, it was just released in Finnish Cinemas, so the only way to get it at this point is to come to Finland and watch it in Finnish with no subtitles :). But the DVD should be released around spring/summer, and that should have subtitles.

In the meantime, youtube is your friend:

Trailer
On-set footage of T34/85
On-set footage of Stug-III's

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RE: Tali-Ihantala 1944: A review of a movie - 2/11/2013 8:23:45 PM   
zcharles

 

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Just watched the movie today; very nice indeed! :)
Great equipment, yeah.
And great shots.
Now I'm going to make some negative comment, so please be prepared and calm down: I', not flaming, there's no need of nationalistic armed defence of the movie. :)

The thing that I don't like much is that russian are pictured like sheeps in many scenes:
1: their tanks never hit the target like bad guys vs hero in Hollywood movies. At distances of 100 metres it was almost impossible for a stationary tank to miss the target, even if russian tanks were witout sight they cuold have not missed target... (well, in 1941 there were some witouth sight, yeah, but they aimed the gun with the coaxial DT28, and in 1944 they hit targets 50% of the time, and almost 100% at those distances; problems at 1Km and more where solved firing 2-3 HE, than AP, but this is from both sides and in open spaces). There are many russian tanks in ww2 that destroyed many german tanks each, some reaching the number of 50. I don't kwno if russians sent to finland their worse troops with worse equipment, but anyway the russian tank losses due to finnish tank fire are a bit too high in this movie, compared with the finnish losses. Scenes like that of finnish tanks advancing and being missed are wrong.
And there is a scene with a StuG taking T34 and infantry by surprise while resting again at 100 metres or something; well, the noise of a tank is heard even 10 minutes before seeing it, even in the forest. MAy this scene be possible? If yes, russian really really dumb! :)
2: finnish tank never explode, while rissuan tanks catch fire like Shermans (that could be right since ammo were stored unprotected); but finnish tanks never explode, or catch fire, or something, there is max 1 wound or killed... This is wrong, since russian used AP, not APCR against those tanks, and AP are explosives. Those scenes again seem a little like Hollywood-good-guy scenes: I hit the bad guy and he explode, he hits me but it's just a scratch. Again, a little unbalanced... :)
3: russian are cowards like sheeps; there is a scene where they abandoned a working T34 in the middle of the road; if this is still possible, it still does not seem realistic to me, knowing that russian have been maybe the bravest soldiers in WW2 (in terms of stuborn and almost stupid resistance). Episodes of extra russian resistence are countless, may it be that they abandoin their working tanks in this way? In another scene there is a man shooting pzfaust and taking out 2 T34; this is certanly more accurate than the tank duel scenes since I think that infantry AT weapons and german bombers made the best part in killing the 300 tanks that russian loose, but in this scene you see the T34 come along the road with infantry singing like if the war is already finished. Not at all a scene of a battle. And when the finnish corporal hits the tanks, the infantry disappears in the woods and is never seen again. Really, they seem like child with weapons, sheeps without dog.

Yes, in this movie russian are completely cowards and incapable of understanding anything of the war. I understand that they could lose 100 men against a single MG, it could happend with some commanders (like the cossak regiment that charged 6 times german MGs out of moscow in 1941 due to direct Stalin order :)), but this seems to be the constant line of the movie. Sometime it's more like a movie of zombies rather than a WW2 movie.

Well I'm Italian and we made a really poor part in WW2 due to tragic command line :), tragic doctrine of war :), and tragic AT capabilities :), but from the stories of our survivors from russia, russian were not at all that dumb people as shown in this movie; and germans could probably say the same :)

And so, being an Italian I have a huge admiration for northern people like finnish, swedish etc; it's a commonplace here to look at those countries as paradise countries to copy and to follow, so if some finnish is goind to bombard me for this post, please consider my admiration for you; I'm not attacking you, really. But this movie sound poor in terms or realism. I've searched the net for comments about this movie and the battle in general, and I've found a very high level of finnish patriotic nationalism; this is normal since we're talking about war :), but I've the suspect that this nationalism may in some way have "touched" the movie too.

That said, I'ts sure that finnish troops were superior in terms of experience and combat capabilities, but from what I kwnow the best part of the resistance has been made by the fortifications, the artillery, the germand AT infantry weapons. HEad-to-head battles with russians were to be avoided following the german reports of the war, is it possible that for finnish troops it was not so? :) In effects, in this movie it seems that the russian advance has been stopped most by finnish personal bravery and russian personal deficence and stupidity rather than fortifications. :)

Thanks for reading, sorry for my bad english, and if you have something to say I'll be happy to read it and improve my knowledge of the facts.

:)

(in reply to Nemesis)
Post #: 4
RE: Tali-Ihantala 1944: A review of a movie - 2/11/2013 10:57:05 PM   
VPaulus

 

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Regarding the Winter War or Continuation War I prefer Talvisota and both versions of Tuntemation Sotilas to Tali-Ihantala.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQm_GHaw7E8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ELfMprEbrI

(in reply to zcharles)
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RE: Tali-Ihantala 1944: A review of a movie - 2/12/2013 1:46:04 AM   
parusski


Posts: 4725
Joined: 5/8/2000
From: Wyoming, Even Liberals Welcome
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quote:

ORIGINAL: VPaulus

Regarding the Winter War or Continuation War I prefer Talvisota and both versions of Tuntemation Sotilas to Tali-Ihantala.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQm_GHaw7E8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ELfMprEbrI


I enjoyed that movie through Netflix.

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RE: Tali-Ihantala 1944: A review of a movie - 2/15/2013 11:11:35 AM   
zcharles

 

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Dear VPaulus, is there any way I can get the first movie, in your opinion?

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RE: Tali-Ihantala 1944: A review of a movie - 2/15/2013 1:14:12 PM   
VPaulus

 

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Joined: 6/23/2011
From: Portugal
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I've ordered from a Finnish online shop, a box containing the three movies, Tuntemation Sotilas (1985), Tuntemation Sotilas (1955) and Talvisota.
They all have English subtitles.
http://www.boostep.fi/product_info.php?ref=9&products_id=82942&utm_source=hintaseuranta&utm_medium=prodlink&utm_campaign=hintaseuranta
Tuntemation Sotilas (1985), is unfortunately harder to find outside Finland.

(in reply to zcharles)
Post #: 8
RE: Tali-Ihantala 1944: A review of a movie - 2/15/2013 3:04:23 PM   
zcharles

 

Posts: 69
Joined: 9/13/2012
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Well, I'll order them too.
Thanks!
:)

(in reply to VPaulus)
Post #: 9
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