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55 of 60 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reaching for the sky
I normally prefer to review the disc release and not the movie but, obviously, this disc is not yet available and the movie is enough of an unknown quantity (evidenced by this being the first review) that it seemed an exception was due this time.

I came across FORTRESS by accident. I had not seen any publicity for it and I follow movie releases fairly closely...
Published on June 12, 2012 by Dan Thompson

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars low budget flick with a good story.
This is based on a true story. It's a low budget flick with newbie actors and it's worth your time if you like war movies. I think most of the people who criticize this movie have never seen older movies , which had models for effects. If they had they would stop whining about the decent cgi effects in this one. But we do have a whole generation of people whose minds are...
Published 18 months ago by Michael Dobey


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55 of 60 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reaching for the sky, June 12, 2012
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This review is from: Fortress [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I normally prefer to review the disc release and not the movie but, obviously, this disc is not yet available and the movie is enough of an unknown quantity (evidenced by this being the first review) that it seemed an exception was due this time.

I came across FORTRESS by accident. I had not seen any publicity for it and I follow movie releases fairly closely. It is apparently a low budget, independent production. It is pretty ambitious for such a film. To recreate the large bomber formations, fighter plane attacks and even the base camp it uses a lot of CGI.

So, I have seen FORTRESS and I very much enjoyed it. Sure, the visual effects are sometimes a bit crude, but most of the time they are pretty effective and certainly good enough to support the story. I'd say the visual effects are a bit better than those in the TV series DOGFIGHTS (which were pretty good) but not up to the standards of RED TAILS (a high bar, IMO). The movie was well written and I was impressed by the performances by the unknown (to me) cast. For a movie made on a tiny fraction of most big studio movie budgets it is quite an accomplishment.

Synopses of the story can be found on IMDb and if you haven't watched the trailer on YouTube, yet, do so. If you like WW II movies, especially about the air war in Europe, I think you will like FORTRESS.

I like this movie enough that I have pre-ordered the Blu-ray. Since Amazon does not mention whether or not it will have any extras, I emailed the production company and asked. They replied that it will have a timelapse of part of the plane being built and a short documentary.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars About as good as Memphis Belle, December 9, 2012
This review is from: Fortress (DVD)
I too saw this movie at the store so I picked it since I collect WWII movies. I'll try to break this review down into several things.

The actors did an okay job. Remember that most air crews, especially replacements, in WWII were very young. If you were 25 years old you were considered an "old man". The crews in this movie are a lot younger than say those in Memphis Belle which gives it some credability. Remember our grandfathers were just young kids barely out of high school who fought WWII. There were not 40 year old Hollywood A list actors like in Saving Private Ryan.

A few people have ccomplained about the drinking in the film. Again, having served myself in the Army in the GWOT, I think the drinking is right on. Everyone deals with things in their own way. For many they turn to alcohol.

As far as no threat or fear, obviously the other reviewer has not done any history research about the air crews in WWII. The threat of death that ground troops faced 24/7 did not impact the air crews. While they did go into danger during bombing runs and suffer heavy casualties, they were able to retreat to safety between the missions. You don't sit there worrying about getting killed, you block it out. In other words you ddon't want to think about it so you do anything not to. Ground troops didn't have this option.

As far as CGI and things looking fake, what "looks" real? Even Redtails that had a budget in the millions used CGI. Even Memphis Belle used toy models for many of the damage sequences. If you pay attention to the story line you can easily overlook the few CGI errors. In fact most of it looked pretty good considering the low budget.

The argument that one reviewer tried to make that the sounds were wrong is pointless. If ANY movie sounded like it realy did up there you would not b able to hear anything except engine noise. I have been around many warbirds and the sound is deafening. Remember the 1940s was a time before OSHA required earplugs. This is no different than any military movie where the soldiers are firing guns. My ears would ring firing an M16 let alone what air crews heard firing ten 50 cals per B17.

Overall this is a good movie with a nice story line. The lack of super big name A list actors makes it more believable. If you love B17s you will enjoy this movie. The fact that story takes place focusing on the Italy raids is a nice change from all the focus of raids on France and Germany. And a B17 base somewhere other than England is a nice change also. I highly recommend this movie.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FORTRESS - Beautiful movie, August 25, 2012
This review is from: Fortress (DVD)
I accept this movie for what it is, a film about the crew of the Lucky Lass, a B-17 bomber and it's crew. I am not a nitpicker for accuracy, I don't expect every movie to be Academy Award caliber, movies are for entertainment plain and simple, I was entertained. The CGI was very good, detail was good, and for being unknowns, I thought the actors did a pretty good job. What I liked most about the movie was the camaraderie displayed between the crew. It was 100% percent accurate. Having served in submarines for 20 years, I know what it means to be a crew. I went through the hazing, the drinking, the fear, practical jokes, sacrifice, just like in this movie. I was very pleased with the memories it brought back to me. I guarantee, the majority, if not all negative reviews are from people who never served in uniform, or ones who expect everything to be 100% perfect. This movie might not have been 100% perfect in every detail, but it was 100% perfectly entertaining. Good job.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fortress...a story needed telling!, August 31, 2012
By 
Bart Bussell (Bakersfield, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fortress (DVD)
I thoroughly enjoyed watching this movie. Thank you to all independent filmmakers who dare to put themselves out there in an effort to entertain and at the same time educate. This film may not have had a million dollar budget. It may not have had top-paid actors but a week later I am still thinking about it. I laughed, I cried, yes..the type of crying where I needed Kleenex, I held tight to a pillow during the fight scenes. It tapped into all my emotions. This movie was worth watching. So worth watching that my husband and I have plans on buying one for each of our 5 children.

There are so many untold stories of the men and women who sacrificed much during WW11. We should never forget! Thank you for telling this one. I hope you have plans on making more.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fortress Fan, August 2, 2012
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This review is from: Fortress [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
While this movie is a low budget independent film, it has true heart! The Director and Director of Photography did an excellent job!
The actors, while somewhat unknown (becoming more known, post the making this film) bring believability and passion to the screen!
BTW, the same CG company that worked on "Red Tails" did the CG work for "Fortress" and the original music was written by multiple award winner, Chris Ward!
What I know is that a band of young creative artists came together and brought their heart and soul and did what aspiring film makers only dream of doing....they made an overall entertaining nostalgic WWII movie! No easy feat!!
Congratulations!!!
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Effort for the Budget, July 11, 2012
This review is from: Fortress (DVD)
I rarely watch special features on DVD's or Blu-Rays, but was lucky enough to see one of the behind the scenes "featurettes" from this blu-ray. I highly recommend watching the feature on how they constructed the B-17 for this film before actually watching the movie. If it doesn't give you a deeper appreciation for independent films/filmmakers with fractions of the budgets of Hollywood tentpole titles, I don't know what will.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bugdet but Good, September 2, 2012
This review is from: Fortress (Amazon Instant Video)
A good story with budget feel. I am a fan of WW2 movies and Fortress does not disappoint. This story of WW2 air battles and the emotional struggles of the individuals who fought them is both exciting and compelling to watch.

Although, aside from Chris Owen (the Shermanator from American Pie goes airforce grunt), I did not recognize any of the actors in the film but I found their performances both strong and understated which helped me connect to the characters they portrayed.

If you are a fan of war dramas like I am Fortress will be a good addition to your library.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fortress Movie, July 11, 2012
This review is from: Fortress [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Speaking as someone with an (albeit limited) familiarity with the low budget movie industry, I was impressed by the overall quality of this film. Not just the quality of the story, which I found to be well-paced and emotionally moving, but also the quality of the film, itself. There were certainly a few points where I was pulled from the story by CGI shots that felt haphazardly thrown in, but these moments were few and far between.

All in all, I think this movie does what any movie should: It tells a convincing story, and it leaves its audience feeling thoroughly entertained. Really can't ask for more.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good all round movie, August 13, 2012
By 
Andrew P. St Laurent (San Juan Capistrano, California United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fortress (Amazon Instant Video)
Considering this wasn't a huge Hollywood production I was impressed with this movie. Good story (although a bit predictable), good characters, good action scenes.

The CGI was acceptable & the battle scenes were exciting & realistic. Sure you could probably find some mistakes in regards to the authenticity of the uniforms & equipment, but the filmmakers made a good effort at realism on their limited budget. I really enjoyed this movie.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars low budget flick with a good story., May 18, 2013
By 
Michael Dobey (colorado springs) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fortress (DVD)
This is based on a true story. It's a low budget flick with newbie actors and it's worth your time if you like war movies. I think most of the people who criticize this movie have never seen older movies , which had models for effects. If they had they would stop whining about the decent cgi effects in this one. But we do have a whole generation of people whose minds are rotted by video games (they expect that type of effects and constant action) so what else can you say? It's a good enough b movie but obviously they did not have the money to make it look more real. I don't care because it's a b movie and these effects would have been top notch in 1999 etc. it shows how far we have come. since that time that even a b movie can have cgi that looks pretty good these days. If you like war movies you should like this one. The blu ray looks great as you would expect too.
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Fortress
Fortress by Mike Phillips
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