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The Beast (Bilingual)

George Dzundza , Jason Patric , Kevin Reynolds    DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
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The Beast (Bilingual) + Cross of Iron (Widescreen Special Edition)
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Product Description

During the war in Afghanistan a Soviet tank crew commanded by a tyrannical officer find themselves lost and in a struggle against a band of Mujahadeen guerrillas in the mountains. A unique look at the Soviet 'Vietnam' experience sympathetically told for both sides.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very good; but fullscreen? Aug. 30 2006
I saw this movie as kid and remember loving it; I bought it 17 years later anbd still love it. But the product description says fullscreen/widescreen... aspect ratio 1.85:1. This is good, however the version I recieved was fullscreen. Only. No option to change. Clearly this is a mistake and I hope anybody planning on buying this movie realizes that they will probably recieve a fullscreen version and once you rip off the impenatrable plasic wraping, you can't return it.
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By chris
This a great film as those few who have seen it will testify - Really gritty stuff. They must have changed the name because I distinctly remember it used to be known as 'The Beast of War', a better title.
It is pretty graphic in areas, I saw it as a kid and the scene with the guy getting driven over by a tank certainly didn't help me get to sleep. War is hell, to say the least.
As people have pointed out, they used actual soviet T-62 tanks in the film and it really added to the realism and overall effect. Suffice to say it's not going to make you want to become a tank commander any time soon. The T-62 is dark and dingy inside and definitely didn't come with any cupholders.
Performances are great across the board. It's interesting to see Jason Patric in such an early role, but George Dzunda as the tank commander spearheads the cast.
Yes, some people have noted the helicopter isn't an actual Mi-8, but I don't know how they could have gotten their hands on one back in 1988 anyway, it's a minor quibble and I'm just glad they didn't respray an M-1 to make it the T-62!;)
The desert landscape is cruel and unrelenting, yet strangely beautiful.
All up, five stars, this is tight, solid film, that will hold your interest throughout and is superbly shot. Perhaps somewhat topical at the moment, it's well worth a view.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great flick; despite the tactical inaccuracies March 20 2003
By Ross
This movie is great! ... I have since watched it over and over. Some reviews I have read focus on the tactical mistakes and lack of a "real" Russian helicopter in the film. The interesting thing about this is, war is chaotic. Sometimes tactics go out the window when faced with flying bullets. Even if the Russians used Motorized Rifle units as escorts for their armor, there's no saying that armor NEVER ventured out on their own. Heck, maybe this armored unit was part of a larger force that was simply making a reconnaisance-in-force. Also, the helicopter used in the movie was NOT that much different than the Mi-8 which, as it turns out, looks exactly like the one in the movie. If you don't believe me, check it out. Anywho, being a veteran and knowing how the rules of war are almost always broken, the so-called tactical "mistakes" made in the movie are easily overlooked. The main point of this movie is to give the viewer a feeling of the brutality of war and how it changes ordinarily sane people, into first monsters, callous to their nature, then fearful refugees to the carnage they created. This movie is both entertaining and yet, emotionally invoking. You get the sense that the real "enemy" is not the Mujahadeen pursuers, but the maniacal tank commander, driving his men to the brink of destruction. The last thing I'd like to say about this movie is its WONDERFUL soundtrack. The music definitely sets the mood. Now, if only I could find the soundtack. Arista records doesn't seem to know where to find it. I wish I knew!
Buy this movie, you won't be disappointed!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Afghanistan? Alright!! Aug. 20 2002
Great War Movie!
And a rare one too because it is about the Soviet military prescence during 1981.
Most everything about this film is very well done.
However, I did notice a tactical blunder made by the Soviet tank patrol during the film's beginning sequence that never would have occured during the 10 year war in Afghanistan. After the three T-55 tanks enter the remote Afghan village, the crews then actually leave their tanks to finish the job of destroying the place. Hey, screenwriters, haven't you ever heard of mechanized infantry? I'm sure the Soviet Army had plenty of it during that year of the war too. But of course, Mr. Screenwriter, you needed a way for the leader of the village to destroy one of the opened, unprotected tanks with a malitov-cocktail so that the film's "revenge" plot could officially be set in motion.
Anyways, the rest of the plot does turn out to be a good one, with plenty of twists and turns. The acting is good for "B" standards, and the camera work is terrific.
The actors who portray the Afghan Muhajadeen (including Steven Bauer from "Scarface") do speak their lines in some version of the Afghan language, so there are plenty of subtitles that the viewer has to read through out the movie.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The best...so far ! Aug. 8 2002
By Vlad
The only one movie on the market , which gives you the Soviet side of the story on the war in Afghanistan . I was looking for a good movie about the conflict for DECADES ! How many did I found ? NON ! ZIP ! ZERRO ! NOTHING ! Then , in 1999 , I watched this one , and said : finaly ! About time ! Than , I was shocked - it was made in 1988 !!! When we was still there ! Usually , I don't tell you , what the movie or book is about . You can read it in other reviews . Usually , I tell you , how I felt about it . This is my way . And , if you read my other reviews , you know what I mean .
But this one is different . This one is too personal to me . THE most realistic movie about the conflict . So ?! A must se !!! I gave it only 4 stars , because I am steel waiting for better one ... new " Platoon " type . Also :
1. It is too simbolic !
2. The story itself - too fake . ( But I was there , I watched it differently ... way too personal ).
But at same time , I have to admit :
1. The last scene - a good hope ! It gives you a right point of view : most of the Afghanis just want everybody to leave them alone ! Russians , talibans , americans - everybody !
2. The only movie , witch showes two different kinds of Afghani fighters . The " Mujahaddins " ( The freadom fighters ). And the " Dushmans " ( Bandits , whitch been always there ).
To all people , who made the movie : THANK YOU !
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic forgotten war film
This film depicts the very brutal nature of war in Afganistan. The acting and script is fantastic. Too bad the film did not do better upon release. Read more
Published 3 months ago by George Rolland
4.0 out of 5 stars 'We are a Flea in the Tail of a Bear!'
This is an American made film set in 1981 during the Russo-Afghan war. It starts with a stark reminder of what awaits the fallen in Afghanistan with the oft quoted final verse from... Read more
Published on May 19 2011 by Tommy Dooley
4.0 out of 5 stars Important film in 2004.....
Cuban-American actor Steven Bauer (aka. Rocky Echevarria) who played Manolo in "Scarface" does a great job as a Mujahideen freedom fighter in this film. Read more
Published on June 16 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hunter Becomes the Hunted
Kevin Reynolds directed this film with a script by William Mastrosimone. Although stylized and a little exaggerated, the film is a great at showing how techonology doesn't always... Read more
Published on Oct. 23 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my fav war movies
I just love this movie and its great to see it made it to the dvd format i had a tape of it it's so old half the audio and graphics are gone do to time and age of tape. Read more
Published on Nov. 21 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars One if the best war movies
I've watched this movie dozens of times (recorded from cable) but could never find it on VHS; a friend of mine was actually able to find it on ebay for 20 bucks. Read more
Published on July 2 2002 by J. Carney
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent war pic
Predictable but well acted. Dzundza does fine work as does Patric. Dzundza's potrayal of the merciless tank commander is very well done. Check it out. Read more
Published on June 7 2002 by Phillip G. Cameron
5.0 out of 5 stars More than just a thinking man's war movie...
A very poignant and different war drama (the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan that started in 1979), that is actually based upon a stage play. Read more
Published on March 22 2002 by M. Winelid
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