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Old 09-23-2017, 08:02 AM   #1
James Luckard James Luckard is offline
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Default HHhH / The Man with the Iron Heart (2017)

This is a strange situation. It's a French-produced English-language thriller that has no US release date.

It's the true story of the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, the Nazi ruler of Czechoslovakia, in 1942, by Czech soldiers parachuted in from England. If that sounds awfully familiar, it's because another film about the exact same story was made and released just last year. It was called ANTHROPOID, named for the military code name for the operation. I've read that this film, which has been finished for a while, was delayed so the two wouldn't be confused with each other. I have no idea why it now has no US release date at all. It has a cast filled with name actors, and it genuinely looks pretty good, based on the trailer:

It came out in French theaters over the summer, and comes out on BD there on Oct 10:
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Old 09-23-2017, 08:06 AM   #2
James Luckard James Luckard is offline
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By the way, if anyone is wondering, the bizarre title is the title of the book, and was retained in France because the novel was a huge award-winning bestseller there. HHhH refers to a joke that apparently circulated in Nazi Germany - "Himmlers Hirn heißt Heydrich" ("Himmler's brain is named Heydrich") - implying that Heydrich was the real brains of the Nazi police state, though he was only second in command. There's also a double meaning in it, because in German, the letter H is pronounced "ha", so the title reads as "ha ha ha ha", sounding like someone laughing. It's an incredibly esoteric title, so it's understandable that it's been changed outside France.

The movie has a
[Show spoiler]weird structure. The first hour is a straight biopic of Heydrich, and only the second half is about the assassination. This review gives a good idea of how it plays out:

The book also has an extremely unconventional structure. The majority of it is actually a journal written in the present by the novelist, dissecting his lifelong interest in WWII and pondering whether it's appropriate, or even moral, to write a historical novel about Heydrich and his assassination. Interspersed among the chapters, each only a page or so long, are chapters of this novel about the events. Obviously all the contemporary elements from the book have been abandoned, and the film is purely a period piece.

Last edited by James Luckard; 09-23-2017 at 08:15 AM.
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Old 10-16-2017, 07:33 PM   #3
Konrad Konrad is offline
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Default Forced subs!

Just watched it. The film is quite suspenseful, well acted and offers high production value. The era is very well recreated and attention to detail meticulous.

The 1080p/24 picture in 2.40:1 aspect ratio and the dts HD Masteraudio 5.1 track provide an immersive cinematic experience. I found nothing to complain about in this presentation.

The big drawback, however, is forced subtitles. When the English original version is selected French subs pop up and cannot be removed. I find this particularly distracting since I simply cannot force myself not to read even though I understand what's being said. I hope there will be a UK or US release. It is a Weinstein procuction after all and both Bob and Harvey are credited ... or maybe this leads to it being blacklisted...
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The whole principle of censorship is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak (Robert Heinlein).

Normal is not something to aspire to, it's something to get away from (Jodie Foster).

Plus tu baises, moins tu cogites et mieux tu dors (Virginie Despentes).
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James Luckard (10-17-2017)
Old 10-17-2017, 11:08 PM   #4
James Luckard James Luckard is offline
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Just an FYI to Americans, the disc won't play on US players. I think it has PAL logos at the beginning that players can't handle. I couldn't even get to the menu page and the STOP, TOP MENU, TOP MENU trick didn't work either. You'll need a region-free player, like I have at home, to watch this.
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