27 January 2009

Movie Review: Turetskiy Gambit (2005)

Nice movie with 6.9 rating from IMDB. The film takes place during 1877 Russo-Turkish war (remember Siege of Plevne and Gazi Osman Pasha)
The movie was a nice watch I can recommend this to everyone.
I did not know that there was a novel with the same name on which the movie is based. See the below links for more info
According to this list, the movie is the #2 movie of Russia-CIS in 2005 in terms of gross sales.

Movie Review: A Kiss - Not for the press (2008)

Potselui ne dlya pressy [A Kiss - Not for the press] deserves its 3.6/10.0 IMDB point. There is nothing special about this movie except that the main character impiles Putin.

Alexander Alexandrovich has a secret job, worked in Berlin for a while, speaks German very well, married to an air hostess, has two daughters, right arm of St. Petersburg's governor, becomes the president of Russia just like Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.

Here is a Daily Telegraph article pointing to the resemblence with Putin.

I believe the man in the poster is Putin himself, he looks like Putin more than the character in the movie.

25 January 2009

Book Review: Çevrenin İmparatorluğu Rusya ve Dünya Sistemi(2007)

This new book by Boris Kagarlitski is an economical history of Russia starting from 7th century. There is really nice analysis in this book, x happened and this had effect y and z which caused t in Russian economy. Every connection is nicely presented in but... i guess the audience is not the average reader but rather academical people since it becomes boring after some point and the volume is 600 pages.

18 January 2009

Movie Review: Brat (1997)

Another movie with awards but no-taste. According to IMDB the movie has 7 wins and 5 nominations but I did not see anything special with this movie.
An ex-soldier goes to St. Petersburg from Moscow to visit this brother and becomes a bloody murderer, nothing special...

Book Review: Bati'ya Direnen Devlet Rusya

This book published in 2007 is a very nice history of Russia.The author is an academician on this area. The book starts with the formation of Russian nation starting with 7th century and goes on till Putin era.
I liked this book because it is written in cause-reason manner, not only the causes were given but also the reasons. Affects of events in Europe to Russian economy or politics..etc. The book covers the tsarist era as well as soviet era and post-soviet era.
Worth reading for everyone interested in history of Russia.

14 January 2009

Book Review: Litvinenko Bir Muhalifin Olumu

Before I met this book I barely remember Litvinenko from the news, I remember that a former KGB agent fled to UK and there has was poisoned by KGB. I remember that the press followed this event for a while and he quickly died.
His book titled "Litvinenko Death of a dissident" is not about only Litvinenko case, it is a wonderful book depicting the events after the fall of USSR.
The book is written in a political thriller manner but it is in fact history of an era. The books starts with Yeltsin era, tells how the oligarks made their fortunes, how Berezovsky or Abramovich came to power,raise of Putin...etc
You can see that the political system is not different than the soviet era but just the name is changed, all the political corruption, KGB hidden operations...still continue.
This book was a good reading for me after Anna Politkovskaya books.

10 January 2009

Movie Review : The Beast (1988)

Wonderful! This is one of the best war movies I've seen. Thanks to Dinc Arslan for recommending this movie to me, otherwise i would definitely miss it since it is not a well known movie.
A soviet tank unit gets lost in Afgan deserts looking for the war to Kandahar, their commander is a maniac and they'll find themselves in trouble with Afgan mucaids.
IMDB rating is 7.3 and the movie can be downloaded here.

Movie Review : Kite Runner (2007)

I heard about this movie on Turkish Invasion's wonderful blog post on Afganistan, the movie is in Afgan language with English subtitles. Emir is a small kid when Afgan-Russo war is started and he fled to USA with his father, several years later he goes back and sees the effect of Taliban and his country ruined with wars. It is a nice drama if you like this genre but nothing much on Soviet-Afgan war. Here is the IMDB link.

05 January 2009

One more year with Russian Life Magazine

In this blog entry,I have told that I found an international english language magazine on Russia/Russians and subscribed.Russian life is a bimonthly magazine so published only 6 issues per year but unfortunately I did not receive few of the issues.

And on another blog entry I mentioned a new magazine found named Russia Profile. I was considering not renewing my subscribtion to Russian Life due to this missing issues problem but continue with this Russian Profile, unfortunately when I hit their site for subscribtion I saw their announcement that there will continue as a digital magazine and will not send print editions.

Since I like reading the magazines in print I decided to give Russian Life one more chance and extended my subscribtion for one more year, after all it is the only english language print magazine on Russia other then the academic ones intended for university audience.

04 January 2009

Moview Review: Transsiberian(2008)

An American couple uses Transsiberian rail road from China to Moscow but their bunk mates are trafficking drugs which will cause many problems for the couple with mafia and corrupted police.

An average movie, nothing special. If you have free time and nothing else to do, otherwise waste of time.

Below is the map of Transsiberian route and here is the download link.

03 January 2009

Movie Review: Come and See(1985)

I downloaded this movie as two separate CDs but after watching CD1 I was extremely bored and decided not to go on with CD2.Few days later I read somewhere about this movie and decided to look at IMDB page for it.

It was quite unbelievable, it had 8.1/10.0 points with lots of positive comments, some people even rate this as best war movie ever. It was even in top 250 sometime ago.I was shocked so decided to go on with CD2. And my opinion did not change much, the movie depicts the horrible actions my the SS in Belarus.

The movie has a screen having a text message that shocked me one more time.It says 628 villages in Belarus are burnt by the German soldiers including the people living in them!!!

If you wanna watch,the movie is on foriegnmoviesddl.com as always

Movie Review: Eastern Promisses (2007)

A fourteen year-old Russian girl who is forced into prostitution dies during giving birth to her baby. The nurse finds her diary in Russian which will put her and also her family to danger since a very dangerous Russian Mob is involved.

IMDB rating is 7.8/10. I liked it very much, It might even be seen only for lovely Niomi Watts.

01 January 2009

Book Review: Romanov Kehaneti -The Romanov Prophecy

This time I come up with a review of a novel. Of course it is a fiction but the characters and most of the events are based on truth.

The novel starts with Tsar Nicholas, reading a letter of Alexandra telling that Rasputin had a prophecy. And jumps to today,communism collapsed and people want the Tsarist regime back, even a referendum has been made and people voted for a Tsar back.
So a commission is established to evaluate Tsar candidates based on their Romanov-blood but bloody Russian maria want their man as the Tsar.
But a member of the commission find researching the achieves find that Alexie is not killed by the Bolsheviks so somewhere a real Romanov exists! and adventure starts.

I liked the story, the characters and the ending but I must say that there is very close resemblance to Dan Browns Da'Vinci code. (And the movie Archangel that I reviewed here before) .
An American man, a local woman[Russian] a secret-holy society to protect them who sweared for this cause for long years, betrayal of unexpected close friend and happy love in the end.

Still a nice read for those who are interested in historical novels or now, it is even a good thriller.

Let me state that this book by Steve Berry received 4.5 starts on amazon.com based on 129 reviews as of now.

Don't miss this gallery on author's site.