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4.6 out of 5 stars
The Beast (Bilingual)
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on August 20, 2015
As far as the product itself goes, I received everything in working order. There was some hard flakey stuff stuck to the top of the front side of the case but I was able to scrape it off easily.

The movie itself is absolutely grand. If you've watched the movie Fury featuring Brad Pitt and you had the impression (or knew) that the tank scenes were a bit Hollywoodian (truncated, dumbed down) then you'll love to know this movie takes tank operation pretty seriously. There are a few errors here and there but easy to overlook or explain internally.
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on June 15, 2015
my hubby loves this one.says its the ultimate tank movie out there!10 out of 10.
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on June 26, 2014
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. Anyone interested in good war films should purchase this.
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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 Rudyard Kipling's `The Young British Soldier';

"When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An' go to your Gawd like a soldier."

That was of course written for the British Second War in that country. This then sets us up for what is going to be pretty brutal. The opening sequences are centred on a small village that is attacked and razed ruthlessly by a detachment of `Russian' tanks. They are callous and depart after reeking havoc. In the aftermath we meet the surviving Afghans and they discover that one of the tanks has lost the main column and has strayed into a nearby valley. This valley is a dead end and will make the tank easy prey.

The tank is the proverbial `beast', but it could also refer to the tank commander who is a caricature of evil, bordering on the psychotic. The tensions that are thrown up under his command are constant and escalating. He is driven by hate and rules with an iron will.

The cinematography is excellent and the landscape, bleak but strangely beautiful, the Afghans do speak Pashto and the sub titles are very good.

The Afghans have their riffs too, and they are also played out, not least the problem of keeping their women out of the fighting. There is a lot of tension, and action throughout, this film races along whilst building momentum through out and I really did enjoy it. The one point that got me was the fact that the `Russians' are clearly all American with their own accents. We know the Americans can do accents, at least since `Star Trek', so even some cod Rusky accents would have helped the believability, but they can be forgiven for that as what we are left with is actually a very good example of how to make a good war film, which deals with more than just the fighting. One of the lines that struck me in this was when one of the soldiers says 'You always have a choice!' With that in mind I would advise choosing to see this rather good film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 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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on June 16, 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. All his lines are delivered in Pashto. Fantastic acting! This film actually serves as a very important propaganda piece by the current Karzai government in Afghanistan and is now shown throughout the country.
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on February 8, 2004
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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on October 23, 2003
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 get the upper hand in certain environments: nowhere is this truer than in Afghanistan. The rugged mountainous and desert terrain is mostly inhospitable and full of hiding places for guerrilla fighters such as the Mujahadeen.
I found Jason Patric to be the least believable character in this story. I find it hard to believe that a Soviet tank driver, even if he were to disagree with his superiors or the war, would suddenly join the Afghans in fighting his compatriots; an act tatamount to desertion and treason. The best performance was that of George Dzundza who played the hard and tempered tank commander. The movie follows the tank as it wanders lost through the desert like a wounded animal being stalked by hunters. Altogether an enjoyable action movie that is well paced with good acting.
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on March 20, 2003
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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on November 21, 2002
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. now i can retire the tape. great movie if you dont have it get one while you can.
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