War Movie Event – War Movie Watchalong – The Movie Choices

I think it was already pretty clear last week, that we will watch two movies, or let’s say, I will watch two and it’s up to you, for which one you would like to join me or if you would even like to watch them both as well. The poll shows, that Talvisota – The Winter War is the winner but I will also watch Master & Commander. The reason is simple, we have 5 votes on Talvisota, one from me, one from Guy but there are 3 others, so maybe people just want to watchalong but not say much. Fine by me. We will watch the 195min movie but if Netflix has only the 125min, maybe that would be fine as well. It’s up to you.

Master & Commander has 4 votes of which I know 3 people, that’s why we will include it too.

The problem is now the schedule. I don’t think it would be a good idea to have them on consecutive days, so lets space them out and move them. My proposal is as follows.

The questiosn for the movies – which you can answer on your blog or write a review, whichever works best – will be posted on

Friday 16 December for Master & Commander and

Saturday 17 December for The Winter War/Talvisota 

Should you want to contribute questions like Novroz, send them to me via allaboutwarmovies at gmail dot com.

The Watchalongs will take place on 

Tuesday 27 December for  Master and Commander and

Thursday  29 December for The Winter War/Talvisota.

Here is last weeks post including the poll.

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War Movie Event – Anyone In For a War Movie Watchalong?

We’ve been discussing this with my friend, The War Movie Buff, for a while now and the idea of doing what is done very often on book blogs, struck us as something that was worth trying on a movie blog as well.

The idea is to choose a movie and to post on the same day. December is upcoming and so are the holidays, I thought chances might be higher that we manage to find a few like-minded people who will join.

First step is to choose a movie. The second step will be posting questions. You can then either choose to answer the questions or go freestyle, meaning either just comment on our blogs or post an independent review.

I would propose to choose from the below list. I will post the choice on Saturday 3 December. The questions will be posted on Saturday 17 December Friday 16 and Saturday 17 and the Watchalong reviews/posts will be due on Watchalong Wednesday 28 December Tuesday 27 and Thursday 29. Please check newer post for details. Change is due to the fact that 2 movies have been chosen. 

Here are the IMDB links – Jarhead, Master & Commander, Waterloo, The Winter War, A Very Long Engagement.

Do I have a preference? Yes, I do. No 1 – 3 or 4. But it’s up to you as well.

I hope there will be some interest. If not, it was at least worth a try.

Peter Weir’s The Way Back (2010)

I wasn’t aware of this movie despite the fact that Peter Weir is one of my favourite film directors. I’m glad that The War Movie Buff told me about it.

Even though I like some of Weir’s older movies and also Master & Commander a lot, I didn’t expect anything before watching The Way Back. I’m glad I didn’t, I think I would have been very disappointed if I had.  I’m afraid it is Peter Weir’s weakest film ever. The story, based on true events, had a lot of potential, the actors were mostly well-chosen, the cinematography is stunning, the score is convincing and still…. There is something missing. I couldn’t help comparing it to another POW movie, also starring Colin Farrell, namely Hart’s War. While Hart’s War focuses on how the prisoners escape from the camp, The Way Back shows their long journey from the Siberian gulag to India.

The movie starts in Poland in 1941. Janusz has been captured. His wife denounced him under torture. He is a spy and sentenced to spend the next 20 years in a Siberian gulag. He’s a strong young man, optimistic, kind and resourceful. He makes friends in the camp, some tell him that it is possible to escape. He chooses a few who will follow him, they prepare their escape and one night they do it.

It’s a small group of seven people, headed by the spirited Janusz (Jim Sturgess). An American (Ed Harris), a Russian criminal (Colin Farrell), a Polish priest and others. One dies in the early days. The hardships of their journey are unimaginable. First they walk for weeks from the camp to Lake Baikal, then to Mongolia, the Chinese wall, across Tibet and into India. They cross the mountains and deserts, almost die from cold, hunger and thirst. After a few weeks, they are followed by a young girl who finally joins them. Some make it, some don’t.

On their way, each time they cross the border of a country, they see how far Communism has advanced. Since they escaped a gulag, they have to get to a country that is free of communism. The moment they enter Mongolia and then China, they know, they have to make it to India.

I’ve seen my share of POW movies. The Way Back is one of the weakest, it’s more a survival story that is told in a boring way. The fact that Colin Farrell was in Hart’s War (which I think was a bad movie here is my review) and in this one, made matters worse. One cannot help comparing those two movies and also see parallels between the choice of Ed Harris in this one and Bruce Willis in the other.

I guess you gathered that this movie left me pretty unfazed. It’s not bad it’s just lacking something.

If you want to watch a truly good newer POW movie watch Werner Herzog’s Rescue Dawn (here is my review). Of the older ones I like The Colditz Story best.

Movies on the Napoleonic Wars (1792-1815): A List

I watched the Hornblower series last year and enjoyed it very much. I re-watched Master & Commander and thought once again that it is really a good movie. Finally I discovered the Sharpe series with Sean Bean and I like it a great deal as well (at least those I have seen so far). Considering that they are all based on the Napoleonic Wars, I thought it might be high time to see what else there is. I found quite a few movies, some I have seen a long time ago, like Abel Gance’s Napoléon, and others that I still would like to watch. I also included movies on the man himself as I figured there will not be many biopics on Napoléon leaving out the wars. When I was a child I went through a bit of a Napoléon obsession and remember contemplating his wax figure at the Musée Grévin in Paris with awe. I should have been awed that even as a ten-year old child I wasn’t that much smaller. There are quite a lot of German and French productions of the topic. I did include them although not all of them have been subtitled.

The movies that I would like to watch soon are Waterloo with Rod Steiger, the mini-series Napoléon and Ridley Scott’s The Duellists.

As ususal any comments, additions or ratings are highly welcome. The Duellists is a movie I wouldn’t have known of, if it hadn’t been for Guy Savage‘s recommendation in a comment.