Producer Steven Spielberg and director Clint Eastwood's take on the lives of the men who raised the flag at Iwo Jima. Not only their battle in Japan but there battle at home as unwanted heroes.
I would like to start of by comparing it to Saving Private Ryan. The battles had the same cinematography without so much gore. Actually the battles were much more epic and the crew showed off their abilities to paint a war from the wide angle instead of keeping everything down and gritty from the soldiers point of view.
On the home front the camera work and epic WWII New York bored me. The story in the states was weak and disjointed while on the sands of Iwo Jima it was a movie of heart and passion. Maybe it was the way the movie was cut together or maybe it was just that I wanted to stay in Japan, but home at the states was the movies weak points.
Even though this movie was only a little over two hours it felt like it was about 4. I was so tired and worn from battle by the end of the movie that I wanted to go see Jackass 2 again just to cleanse myself from the stress of watching REAL heroes. The acting was good. No qualms there. The characters were a little harder to connect to than Private Ryan but for obvious reasons. If Private Ryan was a two the point and through the heart film that would symbolize an armor piercing AK round then Flags of Our Fathers would be a shot gun that just scatters it's' story and characters across the screen leaving you holding the pieces. That in a nut shell is why it loses its effect.
I loved the effort Clint. I am glad you didn't stick to the down and dreary and moved to something so vast and epic. Shows you are a great director indeed. I am going to go out on a limb and say this is the most epic WWII movie made. The shots were so huge and sets so massive.
My favorite part is when Barry Pepper and his men have been ambushed and finally cleared from the attack. Pepper walks up to a dead comrade and jabs him gently with his rifle. In disbelief and sickness he backs off and looks out to the ocean and mumbles under his breath..."This is one hell of an experience." He slowly backs off his dead comrade and starts to call out to his men...BOOM. I wont tell you the rest but to me this put the whole movie in a nut shell. I didn't do the scene justice but in my world it was the deepest darkest moment.
Another was a crazy concept about Ryan Phillipe's character leaving his partner in a fox hole to go and help a wounded soldier. He comes back to find his partner gone. He searches and yells only to find trap doors in their fox holes where the Japs would come out of the ground grab you and take you to their torture lairs. The concept made my hair stand.
ANYWAY...I am glad to see Clint still making movies. It is hard to shadow such a ground breaking film as Saving Private Ryan in the art of filming war. I don't care who produced it. A valiant tired effort from a tired old director. Will always be remembered but not as a great war movie but for the great man behind it.