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U-571 (DVD)

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      07.10.2009 00:31
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      Action, adventure and great special effects.

      Review of U-571, an action/adventure DVD.
      About The DVD


      Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton, Harvey Keitel, Jon Bon Jovi and Jake Weber.
      Director: Jonathon Mostow.
      Writers: Jonathan Mostow, David Ayer, Sam Montgomery
      Producers: Dino De Laurentiis, Hal Lieberman, Lucio Trentini, Martha De Laurentiis
      ASIN: B0000505IM

      The DVD has a run time of 116 minutes. It carries a 12 rating which I feel is justified given the strong language and scenes of war. The movie was feted as a No1 US Box office smash when it was first released in 2000.

      The DVD cover shows a picture of the Submarine emerging from a fiery red ocean. To be honest, it was the cover that attracted me to this DVD as it is very eye catching and dramatic in appearance, the DVD 'blurb' read well, so into the shopping trolley it went!
      This DVD comes with 155 minutes of extras which include the story of U-571, The Directors commentary and the Capture of U-110. A veritable feast of special features!


      U-571 has some superb special effects and the photography is truly remarkable, the sort of movie that has you jumping at the explosions and so on!

      As you would expect, given the subject matter, much of the movie is set inside both the US submarine and the German U boat. Careful editing and camera angles give a good impression of the cramped quarters submariners live in and the cheek by jowl crowded atmosphere has been caught extremely well indeed.


      I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the acting ability of musician, Jon Bon Jovi in his role as Lieutenant Pete Emmett in this DVD, he gave a very credible performance.
      The Plot


      Set in the Spring 1942, during the Second World War, U-571 follows the story of the crew of a US submarine. The submarine crew are on a much needed 48 hour leave, when they are suddenly called together and given their orders for a mission.

      The crew are tasked with the job of seeking out a German Nazi U boat and capturing a top secret German Enigma encrypting device and it's code book from the boat. The German vessel is sunk and to be totally destroyed, the US submariners are warned that none of their number must be captured by the Germans for fear of them revealing the details of their mission, should they be taken prisoner and tortured.


      The crew's mission is secret and very dangerous, the outcome of the war may depend on their success or failure. The crew are mainly young, they are scared and unsure of their ability to make a success of the mission.

      The burden of their task is one that hangs heavily with some of the crew. The team is headed by Lieutenant Andrew Tyler (Matthew McConaughey), who is supportive and earnest as he leads his crew and he personally has to come to grips with the reality and consequences of being officer in command of the mission.


      The pace of the plot is fast and gripping, as for the outcome, sorry, I am not giving that away, no spoilers here!
      Price and Availability

      My copy came from Tesco and was priced at £3.99, a very reasonable cost in my opinion. The DVD is available from various online stores such as www.priceminister.co.uk from £2.99 or www.amazon.com from £4.98.


      My Thoughts and Conclusion

      I enjoyed this DVD for what it is, a piece of fiction. From an historical aspect this is movie has some glaringly obvious errors. The facts are that America had not even entered the Second World War when the events contained in the film took place and it was British servicemen from HMS Bulldog, who captured the Enigma machine from the German U boat 'U110' in May 1941.

      I accept that his DVD is a piece of 'Hollywood' , a film which I personally enjoyed, however I can appreciate that some people may be offended by the impression of fictitious US submariners claiming British war successes as their own.


      If you can overlook the inaccuracies, U-571 is a DVD that I feel I can recommend to others.

      Thank you for reading.


      ©brittle1906 October 2009

      NB My reviews may be found on other review sites under the same user name, brittle1906.

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      12.01.2009 01:12
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      you will enjoy this movie

      U-571
      =====
      A superb popcorn blockbuster of a film. Full of intrigue suspense and action.

      The film is basically about a race.
      A race to capture the elusive enigma decoder. But this must be done without the Germans realising the allies have obtain it. To do this will need all of the allies cunning and daring, and it must be done at sea right under the noses of the Germans. All of the German missions and instruction etc can than be 'cracked' and the war won.

      In its self that may not seem a blockbuster type movie but the way its done here is superb. It involves initially 2 submarines which after a battle become one and then it is chased all over the ocean by both sides!

      The special effects really are quite special and the filming is done incredibly well. The acting from the likes of Mathew McConaughey, Bill Paxton and Harvey Keitel is just marvellous to see.
      This really is a film to watch more than once.

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        15.07.2008 15:10
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        Its a general blockbuster.

        U 571

        Have only just watched this and although grossly inaccurate it was quite enjoyable.

        Synopsis:
        ~~~~~~~
        The movie starts with U571 torpedoing ships but then it gets spotted by a destroyer which proceeds to drop depth charges on it.
        The German U boat gets damaged by the depth charges and with all of the engineers killed they send for help.

        However the Americans pick up the SOS and try to get their first. So with their sub disguised as a German sub they must get to the damaged German sub seize the sub and the enigma and get away before the real German rescue sub arrives.
        They get there first, but....

        Their own sub is destroyed by the incoming rescuing German sub the remaining 9 men must try to escape in the damaged Nazi sub along with the enigma machine
        And it's NOW the film really gets going!!!

        This is a cracker of a film worthy of the title Blockbuster.

        The acting is sublime whilst the pace of the film never slackens.
        The taking of the German U-boat is spectacular!

        On a Negative note the film is inaccurate in the fact that it was the co-operation of the Poles and the English that secured an Enigma Machine.

        Cast includes:
        ~~~~~~~~~
        Mathew McConaughey
        Bill Paxton
        Harvey Keitel

        Extras;
        ~~~~~
        The real story of U571.
        The Enigma.
        Directors' commentary.
        The capture of U110.
        All in all an extra 155 minutes.


        No of discs 1
        Running Time 109 minutes
        Chapters 16
        ISBN 5 017239 190698
        Certificate 12

        Greg.

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          24.06.2008 20:55
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          Another hollywood take on a major war event

          With the war effort hanging in the balance and the German navy controlling the Atlantic water ways the British and American armies need a breakthrough. So when a German Submarine is hit and left stranded on the American side of the Atlantic dividing line the opportunity to recover an enigma code machine is a must. The American's send a team in to recover the machine but they end up stuck on the German Sub in a race to friendly territory as the German Navy slowly but surely learn of their efforts and try to stop the American's and the stolen German submarine.

          I've always been a fan of Submarine movies and it was for that very reason that I sat down to watch U-571. I'd seen a lot of adverts for it prior to seeing it and the appeal of a Submarine movie was too much to put off seeing it. The resulting film, while disappointing for one reason I'll get into shortly was actually a pretty decent fictional piece of work. The movie was entertaining and for me that is certainly the most important aspect. It does have its negative points, but that doesn't stop it from being an enjoyable movie to waste a couple of hours on a rainy evening.

          The film is directed and written by Jonathan Mostow, who was also the man behind the camera for Terminator 3 and the new version of The Swiss Family Robinson. The special effects look very impressive with the explosions and the general look of the movie. The scenes inside the Submarine are very realistic and I think that really adds to the overall effect and enjoyment of the film. The cast, while a little unusual at the time, work incredibly well and I think that is largely down to Mostow's direction.

          My complaint though comes in the form of the actual story and the twist on history he has created to make this movie. He has totally rewritten the story behind the capture of the first enigma machine and I personally felt this would have been much better had he stuck to the original story. Had this actual been a totally fictional event then this would have made for a really good film, but as it is a key moment in one of the biggest events in History it seems a shame that it has been rewritten in such a way to portray it as an American achievement.

          The cast are made up of quite an unusual assortment of actors. In the lead role Matthew McConaughey was a surprising choice in the lead role. I wasn't particularly aware of his work back in 2000 but this was really the first film he'd started in that I'd taken notice of. His performance as the captain of the mission is quite assured and despite a slightly dodgy accent I think he pulled off the lead role very well. It was an astute performance that really made the film a lot better than it potentially could have been due to the story.

          While McConaughey was an odd choice at the time in the lead role, the supporting roles for Harvey Keitel and Bill Paxton were also impressive. Both actors have a good pedigree behind them and it's perhaps another reason why this movie was such a success. In fact Keitel's performance really stole the show from McConaughey as well and made him my favourite character in the movie. The most surprising role though was filled by singer Jon Bon Jovi who along with other supporting cast members made this a decent movie.

          Overall this is a decent film and despite the let down in the storyline due to the historical inaccuracies it is a decent film. It takes the key ingredients of a decent story and creates an enjoyable and entertaining movie. It's perhaps not one to watch with your significant other and it does involve you paying attention, but it's a small price to pay for a decent movie. If your stuck for 116 minutes of War based, fictional entertainment then I can certainly recommend U-571.

          Amazon: £4.98
          Amazon Marketplace: £0.68

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            18.02.2002 04:42
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            A is for Anyone can tell that dave27 ain't exactly the world's biggest fan of War Movies. In fact, I can categorically claim that I have never, ever seen a War Movie which I would have been prepared to give house room to. Much the same as Cowboy Films, the fascination for War Movies has always passed me by. B is for But I'd almost forgotten exactly how bleeding tedious War Movies are. That is until I had the terrible misfortune of stumbling upon U-571, quite one of the dullest, most stereotypically dull despite the constant nearness of death things you're ever likely to experience. C is for Conscientious objectors certainly knew what they were doing when they logged their deep seated opposition to War and commitment to pacifism. They doubtless knew that the 'Thrill of Battle' would give rise to a thousand boring War Movies such as U-571, which, in case you're not managing to keep up, I can't think of anything positive to say about. D is for Derring do disasters such as this movie can be a real pain in the butt. The conflict of man against man, all imprisoned in a claustrophobic world of their own where they can only survive by pooling their resources and abilities, despite themselves. D is also for Deepest, Darkest Depression and Dangerously Dull Movies. E is for Everyone connected with this movie should immediately express their sincerest feelings of guilt at having been connected with such absolute bunkum, specifically designed to make me feel particularly nauseous and bored - an odd combination. F is For Heaven's Sake, surely the money and effort that was sunk into U-571 would have been better spent on something much more worthy and/or interesting, such as foodstuff for a guinea pig. G is for Get out of my house and do not darken my doorstep ever again, ye wasteful producers of PAP - why did you bother making such dross. H is for Harvey Keitel and one of the n
            affest ever of toothbrush moustaches, effectively making the said Keitel resemble nothing so much as an aged Adolf... Now, fear not gentle readers, I could keep this up all night, boring you to tears in a way very similar to this awful movie, but I couldn't do that to you, now could I. Alternatively, Q, X and Z would have been very problematic, now wouldn't they? Sky Premier billed this 2000 film as follows: "White knuckle stuff for submariners Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton and Harvey Keitel as they fight to break the U-boat stranglehold in a WWII action thriller - 111 minutes." It certainly feels like every one of those 111 minutes as well, because, while U-571 is VERY realistic and serious looking it somehow never rises up to be much more than the sum of its very scant parts and its stereotyped cast. I had looked forward more than somewhat to seeing this film, because I'd heard an awful lot of very good things about it from a number of sources. However, from about five minutes in when we see the US Navy at play before getting their leave cancelled for a TOP SECRET mission, I was dying for the end to come so I could bog off to bed. It probably is because of my deep seated contempt for the War Movie. It's a real shame because you would have thought these people could have come up with something superior to this deeply unimpressive fare. It's very earnest and sincere and self consciously important and might have been a great movie way back when such movies were all the vogue, except it's far too reasonable and objective a piece to have appealed to the gung ho delights of Tommy Little Englander, who likes his Jerries to be thoroughly EVIL. Oh well, at least they're all sporting pretty abysmal Bob Dylan wispy beards, to let us know that they're not to be trusted. In the interests of fair play, I'll just spend a bit of time listing this movie's good points now... Sorry, can't think of any ... well, there are a couple of bits of genuine tension while the crew of the submarine anticipates the arrival of the depth charges, but the Star Trek-like throwing themselves about antics soon put paid to any real drama and quickly gave way to torchlight, whispered warnings and smoky atmospheres as Matthew McConaughey comes over all big eyed and tensely dramatic as the salt of the earth leader of men who was wrongly passed over for promotion by his unpleasant boss but proves himself a born leader as things get really heavy. Look I'm almost as bored now as I was watching this dire film, so I'll just leave you with the following... Y is for You've gotta be kidding and Z is for ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ...... Nitey nite

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              01.02.2002 03:45
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              The Film U-571 caused a rather large sensation when it originally was released. It is based in the Second World War at sea, though there is nothing hugely out of place with that. The film has been totally Americanized, though only just a bit. I mean a simple mistake really getting two countries confused, especially when they are on the same side. Changing a story of heroics, stealth, cunning and bravery with British as the main people involved to the Americans. Anyone could make this really, though some find this offensive and so on, and the film is not living up to any thing at all beside the hype. Ok, maybe that was not exactly taken seriously but I am not too happy about Hollywood’s versions of events. Time for a little history lesson I think. It is the early stages of the Second World War, and the battle for the Atlantic Ocean. German U-boats, submarines are controlling the waters by shooting the ships that are supplying the British Isles and staring the home front. The subs are talking to their base using a top-secret code with an Enigma coding machine. With this top device the Allied forces are unable to work out what the communication is and the U-Boats are wreaking havoc on shipping. The Allies get news of a damaged U-Boat with one of the Enigma machines on board (no its not a typewriter) the chance is too good to pass up. One slight problem, the Germans must not get wind of the Allies getting the Enigma otherwise they would change the codes. This really happened with the British Navy sending out a force to rescue the machine and they did get it and as a result the Nazi messages were translated with the result that potentially changed the course of the war. Typical Americans turning up late for every war, saying they won it all and now that Hollywood have suddenly changed stories at will. The film does follow the same things and events that happened, just different people. I hope that I do not offend any Americans out there
              that could be reading this, nothing personal and I am not being too serious but in principal this is wrong. What makes it even worse is that some people will not even realize this and take it all at face value. Not the true, some blokes idea of what makes good ‘entertainment’. As I said the film plot follows the story of the Enigma, with some added parts. An American Submarine is set out to capture U-571 with Captain Mike Dahlgren (Bill Paxton) and Lieutenant Andrew Tyler (Matthew McConaughey) in charge of the crew. They find the stricken U-Boat ahead of the rescue ship sent from Germany to save the sub, all part of the plan to destroy the evidence to stop Germany knowing they have the Enigma. While aboard the German U-Boat another U-Boat sinks the Americas with all the crew on aboard, leaving just a few people left in the damaged German boat and the precious Enigma. With all this happening all they have to do is take the boat back to England. Simple really, even with all the German navy between them and safety in a sinking boat with all the things written in Germany. This is a very stereotypical film, the Germans are the bad guys and the Americans as the heroes, simple as that. The Germans are obviously made out to be the lowest scum possible, shooting survivors and trying to kill the American when they have been taken prisoner. The main disappointment was the acting, or lack of it. McConaughey character was turned down for a promotion just before the mission, and takes the disappointment through the film, despite being the hero. He never really gets going, as do many of the others. The other commander looked to be a good character until he dies. The rest of the crew are typically youthful, though as they dies there is little of the emotion or sadness that a really good film would make you feel. There are also some strange moments, great shot to cut communications between a destroyer and anyone else with one shell, same again to sin
              k it with just one torpedo. About four people work the sub in the end, and they manage to overcome the language barrier with only one person speaking German. One good thing to come out of the film is all the shots of the submarines, plus all the explosions and other effects. The subs look great, realistic and give the sense inside of the cramped and wet conditions that was. Das Boot was one of my favourite things on TV however many years ago that was, so I was keen on getting this just to see. When some of the boats and subs are sunk there are some nice shots with burning and crashes, while when the boats were trying to depth charge the sub out of the water the water explosions were great to watch. There are also a good pace throughout the film, there is some real excitement and tense moments as the crews are staying silent while the enemies above try to blow them out of the water, though the acting really lets it down. I got the DVD of this film, on the WHSmith special offer price of £7.99. Not a bad price, and there are some good shots for anyone’s DVD out there, especially when things start to get blown up. There are a lot of extras on the film, as the cover boasts there are over 155 minutes of extras. I have not watched them all as of yet, but they seem very interesting. There are some features with the history behind the real story of the Enigma machine, all the usual directors thoughts and comments, which are always worth looking into. There is little more to this film than a few cool submarine noises and some decent action shots for my DVD there is little to the film. The cast is unconvincing, what action there is comes in bursts and there is of course the mistaken identity.

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                07.01.2002 21:23

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                Another Hollywood insult to real hero's. DONT GIVE THEM YOUR MONEY - Advantages: Hardly anyone bothered to see it - Disadvantages: Inacurate, Insulting

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                28.10.2001 22:19
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                Once again it is up to the British public to overcome any prejudices they may have as to the way “history has been re-written” by Hollywood to make the Americans look as heroic as possible. This has been done somewhat at the expense of the “Tommies”, who made by far the most valuable contributions to cracking the Enigma code machine (the central focus of this submarine scenario). “U-571” is much like “The Patriot”, in that many people who end up going to see it actually enjoy it. This theory is strengthened by the fact that, at the time of writing this review, most of the top opinions in the “U-571” sub-category are positive. Indeed, I have heard by far the most scathing criticisms of this movie from those who have not even seen it. The bottom line is that “U-571” does not actually re-write history, as it is a work of pure historical fiction. It is unwarranted to expect American filmmakers to portray a British submarine crew as the heroes of a fictional war movie - even if, apart from the very end of the movie (when rolling text clarifies that the Royal Navy captured two Enigmas as opposed to the less-important one acquired by the Americans in 1944), the Brits do get precious little credit. The story opens as a German U-boat, the U-571, is critically damaged by a British destroyer in the Atlantic. Its distress signals are intercepted by the Americans, who send out the S-33 submarine, which has undergone an ad-hoc transformation to look like a rescue U-boat from the Kriegsmarine. The mission of the S-33 is to use this deception to successfully board the U-571, and capture the on-board Enigma machine. This is as much as I am going to reveal about the storyline; after this, the audience is treated to the classic elements that one would expect in a World War II submarine movie, with depth charge sequences, tense torpedo shootouts, and even surface firefights.
                The “stellar cast” - as is proudly proclaimed on the DVD cover - includes Matthew McConaughey, Harvey Keitel, and Jon Bon Jovi. McConaughey, as Lieutenant Tyler (soon to be promoted in the heat of the action), and Harvey Keitel, as the Chief, are especially strong performers. In the end, though, I would have to nominate the director and screenwriter, Jonathan Mostow, as the star of the picture. Mostow was not only the one responsible for the entire plot, but was also able to promote a sense of deep realism in the shots, especially when inside the submarine. “U-571” is, in my opinion, just short of a cinematic masterpiece. Aiding the sense of realism, of course, are the impressive special effects, and the fact that a nearly life-sized submarine model was actually used for some of the external shots, as opposed to the cheaper, but less realistic miniatures system. Mostow’s commentary on the DVD is among the most informative I have heard, and only confirms my impression of his having directed a memorable movie. One objective, he says, was to make a submarine movie in the mould of classics such as “Destination Tokyo”, but of course with the added benefit of CGI and other advanced special effects to enhance the overall experience. He certainly appears to have achieved that goal. Mostow has, in addition, managed to produce a picture that, like him, is honest and unpretentious. He freely admits in the DVD commentary, for instance, that some of his scenes are very “Hollywood”, and, as for the movie itself, it never tries to be anything other than a fun, action-packed, and realistic (if not entirely historically accurate) submarine movie. I highly recommend it, in particular the DVD version, which includes an impressive director’s commentary, and interviews with World War II submariners that only confirm the movie’s accuracy.

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                  17.10.2001 04:08
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                  A film that I did not really enjoy when in the cinema but when I had the opportunity of buying the DVD for £10 in Blockbusters once again I snapped at it. One of my favourite films is ?Das Boot? so I decided to give this one a chance again. The film is about Lt. Andrew Tyler ( Matthew McConaughery ) who has just been passed over for promotion in the Royal Navy and is out to prove himself. Whilst on a 48hr weekend leave with his company they are called back on a special mission. Basically a German Sub has been in a skirmish with an ally boat and is blasting out distress signals to the fatherland as it tries to limp home. A repair and rescue boat is on its way from Germany to save it but the Americans decide to try and beat it to the sub which they know is carrying an enigma encoder which is used to scramble messages. On board the US sub is Harvey Keitel as Chief of the watch who backs Tyler to the hilt and plays an excellent part. The Americans do manage to arrive at the struggling sub before the German rescue ship and board the sub amongst a blaze of gunfire. Whilst the small boarding crew try and grapple with the German crew the sub they originally came in gets blown up and they have minutes to fathom the controls of the German Sub and dive unless they wish to meet the same fate. Without spoiling the rest of the film they do manage to do this but head into a number of problems which keep you on the edge of your seat. The DVD has a number of more than normal interesting extras as follows :- · Spotlight on Feature ? 13 minutes of interviews and features with the cast and crewmembers. · Features on the Submarine set ? A behind the scene look that was educational and interesting. This feature also covers the ?Enigma? and how it was used by the Nazis to encode there radio messages. · Britain captures the U-110 ? A feature that takes a close look at the story that lead to this film being created. The truth!!
                  A film that I enjoyed much more the second time around and well worth having on a DVD. Marks ? 7 out of 10 for the DVD.

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                    13.07.2001 06:11
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                    I didn't expect to like this film much, primarily due to its rabid pro-Americanism. I'm not a great fan of naval films anyway, and I knew that the story was not only fiction but re-defined truth. Indeed many of our older generation, patriots or wartime heroes would be more than justified in describing U-571 as offensive. So it was with hesitation that I sat down to watch the film, but luckily I enjoyed it greatly - not as a history lesson, but as entertainment. U-571 is a surprisingly good film, an underwater submarine-based action adventure set in the battle of the Atlantic of the early 1940s. The story follows a crew of submarine officers on their mission to retrieve the Nazi Emigma encoding machine - a lowly typewriter/encryptor with the potential to turn the tide of the war. It didn't, of course, but it certainly had a large effect - and the real-life mission (executed by the British Royal Navy) has recently become one of the most famous events of the War. The film's crew of young men are not in the least bit British - they are American - but once the obstacle of realising that U-571 does not try to tell the Enigma story nor offend has passed, we can sit down to enjoy a very good action adventure. Think elements of Titanic, the setting of Das Boot or The Hunt For Red October, a splash of Saving Private Ryan and you're pretty much there. After an introduction to the crew (a bunch of teenagers and men in their early twenties led by a more experienced Bill Paxton) they sail off to locate the stranded German submarine that holds the Enigma machine. A somewhat disastrous capture ensues, and the end result is a group of panicked young sailors on a dying submarine, who have the task of taking her to freindly waters. U-571 contains some fantastic sea battles, as the submarine enounters various foes. Most tense is it's battle with a destroyer, as the submarine struggles to avoid hordes of depth cha
                    rges. The tension is held well, and there are a number of scenes of key drama and conflict - executed professionally, if rather Hollywood-style. Special effects decorate the picture very well, and only once did I see a noticable use of models - on the whole the effects are believable and greatly enhance the action and battle sequences. Close quarters battle, while limited in range and style, is also tense and exciting. The cast is not outstanding, but is more than believable and all do a solid job. The majority are young men, but even the teenagers offer excellent performances, while Harvey Keitel provides the experienced advisor character he pulls off so well. The music, while not the best in its field, is more than adequate, and enhances both action and drama very well. Overall U-571 is a very good action adventure film with splashes of drama. The setting is not too over-used in the past, even if not exactly original with the likes of Crimson Tide, Das Boot and The Hunt For Red October all better films, but the new storyline of the Enigma adds an interesting twist. It may be horrendously inaccurate in its telling of history, but watch U-571 as a piece of entertainment and chances are you'll forgive this.

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                      30.06.2001 21:37
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                      Ah the hot potatoe that is U-571, the english press getting whipped up into a frenzy other the historical detractions the film has. The film portrays american's capturing the enigma machine from the germans when in fact they didn't have anything to do with it. that's what annoyed some people but this is a film that british film industry could have made if they weren't plowing all the money into dull and un-original pap that nobody want's to see. As it happens U-571 is a decent film. As I've mentioned a US navy crew capture the enigma machine from the nazis but then find themselves in enemy waters , in a german submarine and in very hot water. The film manages to crete some good action scenes considering they are in a large tin can but the real highlights are when depth charges are being dropped all around the sub. There's also a great scene where an in-crew argument erupts on wether or not they should open fire on an oncoming plane. The acting is quite good although the script does a have a few dialogue clangers. But with someone like Harvey Keitel holding things together you can expect something decent, don't let the fact that Jon Bon Jovi is in the film put you off, non-fans will get pleasure from where his character ends up ! Once again in dvd land, the Region 1 dvd is better then the Region 2. Most of the extras are the same but there is one thing that sells the american version and that's the soundtrack. The film comes in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen on R1 and 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen on R2, the R2 does have more picture information at the top and bottom. The transfer is very solid considering there are a lot of scenes that take place in dark circumstances. Colour levels are solid throughout and there's very little sign of print blemishes. The region 1 and 2 both have Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes. When I saw this film in a digital theatre I was impressed by the soundtrack which
                      took the film experience to another level. In fact the sound work has been nominated for several awards and even took an Oscar. The standout scenes are whenever depth charges are involved as the bass really shakes. The Region 1 also has a DTS version of the soundtrack that is frankly awesome and would make anyone run out and but a home cinema set-up. The bass is shattering and the surround effects when the sub is attacked early on are to be enjoyed. As for the extras well first up is a 'making of' that features some good behind the scenes footage and interviews as well as highlighting some of the technical difficulties. Next is some old newsreel footage that shows the british capturing the U-110 and also some footage of the US capturing the U-505. At least something is here to highlight the real story. Next up is a brief featurette on creating and building the submarine used in the film, it's short but interesting. Director Jonathan Mostow then interviews a submariner about his World War 2 experiences, it's very interesting for people with interest in this type of history. Finally Mostow also provides an audio commentary that gives some good historical information as well as the trails and tribulations on making the film. Rounding out the dvd is the trailer. Ignore all the negative comments and just enjoy the film for what it is, a decent war movie in the tradition of all those old war movies you find on TV most Sunday afternoons.

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                        29.06.2001 23:27
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                        This film caused somewhat of a furore when it was released last year mostly due to the Americans laying claim to British achievements.This didn't put me off as I felt people who got their history from Hollywood deserved all they got.I missed it at the cinema however but did pick up the DvD version for £9.99 in the HMV sale - far cheaper than the £2.99 pay for view charge!.It was however the first of my 18 DvD films which I hadn't seen before buying.Usually the test of buying a film on DvD is wether you'll watch it again,but here a promised 159 minutes of extras meant you could'nt miss.Or could you like so many torpedoes? The Film ========= Set in the Spring of 1941 the film is corcerned with the Atlantic war in which "We're gettin' our butts kicked".The German's Naval Enigma code is defying the code breakers and the only solution is to grab a machine and a code book from the sauseage eaters.The Yanks get wind of a disabled U-boat and a plot to steal it is hatched using a dressed up American sub as a lure.The crew are the usual gang of misfits with Jon Bon Jovi hitching a ride too.The 'X-O' played by Matthew McConaughy has just been passed over for promotion and is told the reason is that he couldn't send a man to his death - remember that for later!. Predictably things go pear shaped when they send inexperienced seamen to do this vital job and the American sub gets torpedoed leaving only the nine man boarding party alive on the eponimous u-boat.The rest of the film concerns their attempts to get home with the vital code machine whilst avoiding the Krauts and keeping the machine secret and dry. Opinion ======= This is quite an enjoyably round of 'spot the cliche'.In his commentary the director is unashamed to admit that he trotted out every submarine cliche known to man.Let's check a few off... 1)'PING' noise - CHECK 2)Submarine taken below &#
                        39;Danger Level' - CHECK 3)Nervous wait as depth charges drop - CHECK 4)"We cannae do it Cap'tin" - CHECK 5)Dials expolde and water gushes in - CHECK I could go on.All in all the film is a good old fashioned war yarn.It's no 'Das Boot' but the acting is pretty good apart from a strangly quiet Harvey Keitel and McConaughy who screams and looks google eyed alot. The politics are pretty poor with a token mess hall black man offering sage advice to the highly trained officers.There is also an unnecessary scene of the Germans machine gunning survivors which exists only to emphasise that they are the baddies to anyone forgetting who was on who's side. The special effects are pretty good although the explosions seem disproportionate to the weaponary used.That destroyer looks like it's been hit by a nuclear bomb rather than a single torpedo.The script is pretty hackneyed with lots of technical details piled in to add authenticity,although I doubt hardened submariners would still repeat every thing three times in exact language-"angle the plane flaps 20 degrees" - just say "bring her up" we'll understand!. Needless to say the U S of A saves the day,but not before our hero is put in a 'send a man to his death' situation.Will he make the decision?.Let's just say yes he will!. As the credits roll a caption appears dedicating the film to the real heroes of the piece.Two British seizures of Enigma machines and documents are mentioned along with an American one in 1944 - well after the Atlantic war had been won.Better late than never Uncle Sam,and Hollywood will redraw the balance for you anyway!. DvD Extras ========== The extras promised by the disc were many but most failed to deliver. Menus ===== I don't usually mention the menu as an extra but these are quite nice with the options taking the form of highlighted
                        depth charges falling onto the sub. Trailers ======== Two theatrical trailers both packed with all the action and serve to spoil all the few surprises there were.No change there then!. Director's Commentary ===================== I've only listened to bits of this and it's the usual "we had a great set dresser" type thing.He does seem genuinley interested in his subject and this shows when he interviews some old sea dogs. Featurettes =========== Three interviews with retired Navy men,the first of whom was the British chap who's glory this film tried to steal.He tells his tale well but strangely he fails to mention Trojan Horses,dressed up subs or Harvey Keitel!.The second interviewee is an Ameriacan who rattles on a lot about technical aspects of submarine life.Lastly we get a two minute Pathe style newsreel showing actual footage of a sub attack. Behind the Scenes ================== A twenty minute promotional piece showing behind the scene action and cast chat.Pretty standard stuff with the ensemble all agreeing the "you must see this film!" Final Thoughs ============= The features are many in number but little in content.A feature laden disc will always get my vote ahead of a 'subtitles included!' disc but few of the offerings here bear repeated viewing.All in all a pretty decent package for a decent film and worth £9.99 of your cash but no more.

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                          16.06.2001 01:14

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                          well hello i am trying to get thru to people the big competition in the film industry a waste of time ahhhhhhhhhhhhh but well there has been lots of competition going on between these two high status companies bollywood is based in bombay india while hollywood is based hollywood california in the united states bollywood play movies around the world while hollywood does it in hollywood bollywood is played in hindi while hollywood is played in english bollywood is watched by the most people round the world while hollywood makes the most money in the film industry well bollywood employs few actors and acresses and pays less to them because their films are played mostly in countries like india and pakistan the developing countries of the world and many people are crowding the streets of bombay for a job in the film industry hollywood is based in one of the most richest countries in the world with many people watching it worldwide including india

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                          13.06.2001 02:15
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                          I would like to do this by headings, notes I made when I was watching the film. NEVER MIND ABOUT WHO DID WHAT FIRST. My advice, do like we did in the old days, pull up your comfy chair and enjoy the film, don't worry that it's not historically correct, it isn't, but it didn't stop me enjoying it. SPECIAL AND ORDINARY EFFECTS The explosions were generally brilliant and the depth charges were not only accurate but sounded great in surround sound. but for one long distance explosion of the last destroyer, The effects were a little remeniscent of the Dambusters when the water slashed up the dam. Another brilliantly done effect was quite simply the rain, hell did it rain and it added great drama and depth to the scenes. REALISM I always said Das Boot was probably the realist submarine film that i had ever seen. I think i say that because they were down to earth reasonably unkown actors. Here we had the yanks doing it but they were good, no messing. The sub was very well made, take it from someone who has lived in them, the atmosphere at times was electric, which is more than they had in the sub. Finally, the tension that was generated sometimes for example when they were in the rafts craossing from one sub to the other, you could feel their trepedation, their anxiety. Overall this ia a very well made film that while not historically correct in the sequence of events, the models used and the way they did things was real enough for anyone. A good story that really kept you on your seat and wondering what happens next. I dont really care what a lot of other people say, i really enjoyed it as an action packed war movie. I hope you do the same. Happy viewing

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                            01.06.2001 19:54
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                            • "naff ending"

                            After the under rated and engaging thriller Breakdown, writer/director Jonathan Mostow’s latest film U-571 opens in the UK after huge success in the US. The plot, though totally fictional (it was the British that got hold of the Enigma machine), is right out of a classic war movie. It is 1941 and German U-Boats are wreaking havoc in the North Atlantic, sinking every Allied ship in their path and threatening to cut off the critical supply line from America to Britain that is saving the Allied War Effort. In a Special Operation Mission a US Submarine Crew, headed by Lt. Commander Dahlgren (Bill Paxton), are sent to capture the Enigma Code (the famous German Code that is allowing them to position there submarines without alerting the Allies) which will change the course of the war. The simple story works very well if you ignore the fact that it never happened and maintains the interest of the viewer throughout as the first 30 minutes sets the scene and atmosphere right out of Wolfgang Peterson’s Das Boot (a far superior effort) then in contrast picks up the characters of the US crew in particular the friction between Lt. Andrew Tyler (McConaughey) and Lt. Commander Mike Dahlgren (Paxton). Then the film really kicks in with non-stop action as the US Submarine crew board the German U-Boat. However, the film is sure to raise a lot of controversy, as I have mentioned it was us British and not the Americans who recovered the Enigma Machine in World War II – so there is no change their with the Americans making things up. However the film is full of surprises (no kidding – the US get hold of the Enigma machine?) and certainly a film that you have to concentrate on otherwise you'll miss a lot of vital information (like – wasn’t it the English that found the Enigma machine?) and technical details which Mostow has so obviously researched. The taut direction adds to the claustrophobic atmosphere and the intense, nail-biting tensio
                            n throughout – I don’t think my girlfriend had any fingers left by the end of the film. The direction is nothing different but very strong and keeps the viewer on the edge of their seats. One of the most impressive sequences occurs when a Nazi Destroyer is dropping depth charges to try and kill the US Navy Crew as they silently float downwards and explode cutting to within the U-Boat and the crew – you almost feel as though you are there with them and at what point the U-Boat will fold. While filming U-571 the actors were actually at sea in a working submarine which just adds to the realism of the movie and the superb performances from Paxton (never have I seen him so serious and engaging as the submarine Commander), McConaughey (his greatest performance yet since the superb Lone Star) and Kietel is effortless. Keep an eye out for Jon Bon Jovi and Lee Evans (just kidding). Mostow's film delivers exactly what it intends to; an action/thriller set during World War II with the Americans as the heroes. Us English complain when we see the likes of Saving Private Ryan and U-571 – and so we should, but we are still entertained b them. The Americans have always produced films to this effect and while the English sit back and complain as they release their ‘Maybe Babys’ and there ‘Four Weddings and a Funerals’ it makes you think why don’t they make more low budget war movies then? The only problem I had with the film was the soundtrack and the cheek of the typical American storyline, which was a little cheesy in places and the end could have been done better. All in all U-571 is one of those true surprises that you come out of the cinema from watching with a smile on your face – from embracement of liking.

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                            If you've never seen a submarine drama before, then U-571 will probably make a good impression as a tautly choreographed piece of entertainment. A strong cast led by Matthew McConaughey's sympathetic Lt. Tyler undertakes a perilous mission to seize a German Enigma machine, and encounter many dangers along the way. For anyone who has seen any other submarine movie, however, U-571 quickly turns into a succession of genre clichés: there's the depth-charge dropping scene, the diving so deep the reading goes off the scale scene, the near-mutinous tension among the crew, the sacrificial lamb who must save the day, the one torpedo left in the tube, assorted pipes bursting, and so on. The formula is set up by Bill Paxton's hard-nosed Captain, who tells Tyler what he must be prepared to do if he ever has his own command: a series of prophecies that, of course, all come true before long. From then on it's predictable action all the way. Where U-571 scores highly is in its wealth of period detail: every cog and lever that operates the U-boat is dwelt upon lovingly. It looks and feels completely authentic. The central historical inaccuracy, that the first naval Enigma machine was in fact captured by a British ship, is apologetically mentioned in the end credits. The movie makes no claim to be a true story, admittedly, but other fictional dramas have dealt with the same subject more effectively. Try the magnificent Das Boot, for example, then The Cruel Sea, after which U-571 will seem very unambitious indeed. --Mark Walker On the DVD: The director himself interviews two naval officers, one American and one British. The British officer is Lt. Commander David Balme, the very man who captured the first naval Enigma machine from U-110 in 1941; the American is the movie's technical adviser, Vice Admiral Patrick Hannifin. The Enigma machine itself is described briefly by an American cryptologist. There's also an old American documentary short about the 1944 capture of the U-505 in the Pacific and a "making of" featurette. The director provides a detailed commentary. --Mark Walker