A Playground for Authors Jason White and Michael Schutz-Ryan

Stalingrad (1993) Tank Scene

I love war movies. I do, however, have standards if I’m to take a war movie seriously. Nothing ruins a “serious” war movie to me than grenades and mortar fire that detonates with balls and walls of fire. That sort of thing really pisses me off when I sit down to watch a “serious” war movie – Nicolas Case, I’m looking at you and Windtalkers!

There are many other great examples of bad war movies, or war movies that piss me off, but it’s probably not a good thing to get action hero movies mixed up with the more serious, statement driven war movie. In one of the Rambo movies, for example, Sylvester Stallone has mortar shells that detonate right beside him. In real life this would rip his flesh from his bones. But in Rambo … well … Rambo cannot be killed, period. That’s the action movie hero, and so there you go.

Rambo movies are purely entertainment films. Not the serious ones. Windtalkers, in my mind, tries to be the more serious, anti-war message that most of the great war movies have. And yet, there’s fire in grenades, over the top acting, and terrible writing.

There’s also Christian Slater, but it’s hard to insult Windtalkers just for that. I mean, Nicolas Cage is the protagonist after all.

But that’s just my opinion.

I digress. The reason for this post is my recent education on movies involving the battle of Stalingrad that took place during World War II. There are three of them, as far as I know, two of which I did not know existed this time last week. One of those is a strange mixture of Matrix-like movie effects and realism, the other a complete surprise and possibly a new favourite of mine.

The possible new favourite is the great Stalingrad, released in 1993. Stalingrad is a German film that tackles the topic of this terrible battle from the German perspective. It’s directed by Joseph Vilsmaier and stars Thomas Kretschmann and Sylvester Groth.

I am going to write a profile on on all three Stalingrad movies that I’ve seen because I think that they are all good for different reasons. One of them, not so good. But for now, here is the tank scene from the 1993 Stalingrad. It’s pretty brutal.

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