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1612 back to product details

Russia sells out
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written by MKaliher May 10, 2009 - 11:47 PM PDT
4 out of 4 members found this review helpful
I don't know what all these people on IMDb are crying about. This film wasn't so bad. In fact, it's probably better than 90% of the pap Hollywood turns out. If it's a propaganda piece put out by the Russian government, it's certainly no slicker than the armed forces promos put out by the United States. Imagine Johnny Depp and Meg Ryan doing an epic fantasy on U.S. history, and you've pretty much got the picture. I admit the story line was a bit hard to follow, and the editing was pretty bad. On the other hand, the cinematography and special effects were great. What alarmed me more than some of the cheesy long-distance fabrications was the director's stooping to incorporate some of the worst Hollywood clichés, like strategically placed thumbs-up glances and nods between characters. From Europe, I expect artful cinema, not the typically programmatic, manipulative motion pictures we're accustomed to in the United States.

Some European directors, like Claude Chabrol and Guillaume Canet, are able to take American techniques and incorporate them in great thriller-meets-arthouse films with a European feel, like The Flower of Evil and Tell No One. That ain't the puppy we got here; this is a different mutt altogether. But if you like costume dramas, and aren't terribly critical -- expecting, say, The Last Mistress or The Return of Martin Guerre and their level of historical authenticity -- this film is a hoot. All you need is a few cold ones and some hot popcorn.

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(Average 6.62)
8 Votes
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