Kenau (2014), about an apocryphal hero of the real siege of Haarlem in 1572-73. Excellent visuals, good actors but spotty screenplay which comes across as genuine some of the time and as a farce at intervals. Just a slight tinge of “Charlie’s Angels in Reformation Wars” made it less enjoyable than it would have been otherwise. Very well done visuals, with a pastel tone that really makes the footage look old and weathered. Some excellent compositions and good lighting. Mostly good character development. Good depiction of siege artillery. On the other hand, how did the city stand as long as it did with zero cannon of their own, at least as shown in the film.
City 44 (2014), also a historic drama about the 1944 Warsaw uprising against the German occupiers. Likewise, a beautifully filmed story marred by too many simultaneous story lines, too much pathos and an occasional departure into romantic surrealism that really broke the main narrative. Spectacular, if somewhat overdone pyrotechnics, excellent omission of most of Hollywood tropes, regrettably replaced with numerous Polish tropes. Some scenes give a great sense of immersion. Interesting cameo appearances by such unusual hardware as Goliath demolition vehicle.