The Battlefield V: movies to get you ready for WW11
Battlefield V is going all guns blazing this year; a single player campaign (take that BLOPS), continuous free updates (without a season pass – yay!) and a Battle Royale mode (sadly, not till March). It promises to be the biggest and best Battlefield yet, so what can you do to prepare? Here’s five movies to watch – consider them part of your boot camp – which will whet your appetite for some hardcore WW11 action.
1) Saving Private Ryan
A Spielberg masterpiece set during the invasion of Normandy, the film tracks the progress of a group of U.S soldiers as they go behind enemy lines. Ostensibly, their mission is to save the titular Private Ryan who is the last survivor of three brothers fighting for the Allies, but they quickly become embroiled in the theatre of war. A barn-storming set piece on the beachhead starts the movie and it builds beautifully to a finale that will stay with you forever. In between, there are stellar performances from Tom Hanks, Tom Sizemore, Matt Damon and Vin Diesel (blink and you’ll miss him). Typically of Spielberg, there’s barely a wasted moment of screen time, and in between the gripping, massive battles there’s a knife fight containing perhaps the greatest piece of psychological horror ever to grace the screen. The gentle ‘sssshhhhh’ will haunt your dreams….. Don’t expect that kind of approach from your Battlefield V opponents.
2) Band of Brothers
OK, it’s not technically a movie, but this joint production from HBO and the BBC has a cinematic feel. Following the adventures of Easy Company and based on the best-selling book by Stephen E. Ambrose, on release the $125,000,000 budget made this the most expensive TV miniseries of all time. It shows. A huge ensemble cast, many of whom are now household names (Damian Lewis, Colin Hanks, Simon Pegg), and some terrific writing made this a smash hit. Surviving members of Easy Company tell their stories briefly at the beginning of each episode, which then largely follows one character to bring their story to life. If you have 10 hours to invest, you won’t feel as if you’ve wasted a minute watching this. Look out for David Schwimmer from Friends acting his ass off (seriously) and learn why it’s never a good idea to eat spaghetti then work out. Seriously, don’t eat spaghetti while playing Battlefield. It’ll get all over your controller.
3) Enemy at the Gates
For the snipers among you (I can’t see you, but you know who you are), this one tells the story of a deadly game of cat and mouse between a Russian & German sniper during the siege of Stalingrad. Call of Duty has borrowed heavily from this story in the past, particularly from a harrowing scene where Russian soldiers are told to charge down machine gun nests unarmed (this really happened – rifles were in short supply, men weren’t). Watch it to pick up some sniping tips, and marvel at the fact that Jude Law still finds time to seduce Rachel Weisz during the most brutal siege of WW11.
4) Inglorious Basterds
Tarantino’s foray into Nazi occupied France is less concerned with historical accuracy than the others on our list, but it’s still a wonderful movie. A young Jewish woman bears witness to the murder of her family by an SS Officer, and plots her revenge in style. Her plans dovetail with the goal of Brad Pitt’s ‘basterds’ who are behind enemy lines to kill Nazis and create chaos. As you’d expect from a Tarantino movie, the dialogue is a treat and every thread comes together in the end as it builds to a bloody, memorable conclusion. Watch it for a compelling vision of occupied Paris, and then go blow up some buildings in Battlefield.
5) Memphis Belle
One for the flyboys and girls among you, Memphis Belle is a nostalgic, bittersweet tale of a bombing crew who become a PR sensation because they won’t die. Tasked with successfully completing their 25th mission and getting a pass home in return, you just know the last flight will be a doozy. A great cast containing the likes of Lord of the Rings’ Sean Astin and the always excellent Jon Lithgow is supplemented by Harry Connick Jr. who is, you’ve guessed it, reluctantly convinced to sing. That said, he delivers a mellifluous version of Danny Boy which would bring a tear to a glass eye, so it’s all good. Watch it to get some dogfighting tips and learn how to take out a B-17 (or not, no spoilers here!).
If these don’t get you in the mood to strap on your boots and take to the Battlefield, maybe consider Stalingrad, Das Boot, The Dirty Dozen or The Great Escape (it’s not just for Christmas you know).
Battlefield V releases on November 20th with new maps, new gear and new soldiers. EA has promised this title will be supported for months to come and the Battle Royale mode, due in March, should breathe new life into the franchise. Until then, content yourself with an abundance of multiplayer modes, a new single player campaign based on various ‘war stories’ and watch out for our review!