As Seen on Netflix Maren Reviews: The Way Back, Patton, and Defiance

maren September 13, 2011 0
As Seen on Netflix Maren Reviews: The Way Back, Patton, and Defiance

I have a very soft spot for stories about WW II. I just find it so fascinating. I love learning about  different perspectives and experiences. Besides that,  I really like war movies. Let me break down the good and the bad of what I’ve found on Netflix about fighting those Nazis.

 Defiance is about 3 brothers that flea into the thick forests of Eastern Europe to survive the Nazi invasion. Daniel Craig plays Tuvia who becomes the reluctant leader of this group of Jews and Liev Schreiber plays his brother Zuv who joins the Russian resistance. I thought it was so interesting how things evolved and what they had to set up to make this group survive. I was also shocked at how this wasn’t just a few months of wilderness living, it was years! On top of that their group just kept growing as people became desperate to survive and more and more Jews fled into the forest, some coming because of the reputation their resistance had developed. They eventually ended up being a community of thousands all camping out. They started schools, divided responsibilities, and gave everything they had to the group. The story is amazing! The movie is, well, good. I mean they did the story and the people justice. The director Edward Zwick made it feel epic while trying to maintain the suspense of the danger they were all living in. Let’s just say it was WAY better than Legends of the Fall (which isn’t really hard because I basically hated that movie) but just as long! Overall, worth watching.

 So Patton, obviously is a completely different perspective on WW II. George C Scott played George S Patton, the polarizing Army general. Patton is notorious for being brash, brutal and very controversial. I thought this movie actually did a great job at balancing his menace with his genius. He perspective of the world was so different than most people. He saw war as a part of life and his role in that was all consuming. The movie shows him as a poet, a historian, and loyal (to his country) above all else. But it also shows him as selfish, defiant and often self destructive. His drive contributed to his greatest failures and also his greatest success. They did a good job at showcasing both. 
The Way Back is a truly amazing story of survival. Yet another perspective of the horrors of war it tells the story of 7 prisoners, all from different backgrounds that join together to escape from a Russian prison camp in the Siberia. What they went through to fight for freedom is just astounding. I kept wondering if I could do it. Would I fight that hard? Would I cross freezing Siberia, the Mongolian desert, and climb the Himalayas? It won’t spoil it to tell you that some don’t, either because it’s too hard or they die trying. My only complaint was that this movie didn’t have enough pay off. I understand why the filmmakers spent all their time on their journey, because it’s an amazing journey, but I felt wanting more at the end.  This movie does have a great cast and Jim Sturgess, who is my #2 British crush (which might be changing because he was in One Day which I haven’t seen but am judging pretty harshly from the previews) was solid, as was Collin Farrell playing a scary, violent criminal. This was a movie that should have done more and been a greater success. It deserved too.

Finally, if you want some real footage of Auschwitz this BBC documentary is a 4 part series of how the largest concentration camp became what it was and the process of it’s growth. With personal interviews telling first hand stories this documentary is just what you think it is and so much more at the same time. Sometimes the real thing is better than any recreation.

In the Showdown it is neck and neck but I think Defiance just beats out The Way Back.

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