Iron Ivan (2014/VMI/Synergetic/MVD DVD)
C Sound: B- Extras: D Film: B
shot and produced, the 2014 Russian sports film Iron Ivan
(also known as Poddubnyy) is a biopic telling the story of a
wrestling champion named Ivan Poddubnyy (Mikhail Porechenkov).
Getting his start as a laborer and in a circus, wrestling
superstardom came for Ivan and soon he was picked as a representative
for the country in the world championships. Also a love story, the
film is a fun watch and has many fine performances to match its
film also stars Katerina Shpitsa, Yuri Kolokolnikov, and Vladimir
Ilyin. What's most interesting is the '20s time period in which the
film takes place and the great attention to costume and set design to
sell the feel of the period. This is definitely not an indie film
and is very cinematic (a shame it's not in an HD presentation).
in standard definition with a 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a
lossy Russian 2.1 Dolby Digital stereo track, the transfer is less
than impressive with compressed colors and blocky logos and text that
really look bad for some reason. Detail on subjects and background
is barely evident and scenes with lots of moving camerawork highly
affected. If you're watching this on an older tube television, I'm
sure it would look fine, but not so much on this reviewer's HD
display (and highly likely yours too). As mentioned, the
cinematography is very high budget and cinematic and I think could
really benefit from a nicer transfer.
extras. The only menu options are to play the film with or without
you're a sports fan and are looking for something a bit more offbeat
and period set, Iron Ivan may be up your alley.