Alexandra DuPont likes PEARL HARBOR, and she's smarter than all of us!
Hey folks, Harry here with Alexandra DuPont's review of PEARL HARBOR. Before I hand things over to her I want to answer some of the Talk Backers on my review... PEARL HARBOR isn't a cut and dried film. There will be no definitive opinion of the movie. There is enough bad for people to hate it, and enough great for people to love it... and still enough of both for people to be in the "It was ok" to "I liked it but wanted to love it" areas. Film is not a THUMBS UP, THUMBS DOWN world. There are gradients to this stuff... I liked it. I have problems with it... but the film could have been better. Now if ya don't trust me, trust a lady with a brain... here's Alexandra... swine, she said my review was EXCELLENT.... HEAD SWELLING!!!
Harry. Assorted gentles. Aware that AICN is at this
point bursting like a week-dead plague victim with
"Pearl Harbor" reviews, I'll try to keep this short
and easy-to-read and to the point:
ALEXANDRA DuPONT'S SUPPLEMENTAL, LAST-MINUTE "PEARL
I. First: Did you enjoy "Pearl Harbor"? Did the
Yes and yes. I personally was a bit surprised at how
much I enjoyed it -- given that online hacker movie
reviewers are supposed to hate everything, especially
when it's unironic and flag-waving, and given that
other, respected AICN contributors have been giving PH
mixed to negative marks. But then, I love America and
am highly suggestible when it comes to both jingoism
and well-choreographed explosions. Still, the entire
audience applauded with modest enthusiasm as the film
ended, so I am apparently not alone in these feelings.
II. What's the story?
Boy (Ben Affleck) meets girl (Kate Beckinsale). Boy
volunteers for Battle of Britain. Girl loses boy. Girl
meets boy's best friend (Josh Hartnett). First boy
turns out to not be lost. Japanese interrupt this
nonsense with astonishingly well-staged attack on
Pearl Harbor. Romance plot briefly flares up again.
America stages retaliatory Dolittle Raid on Tokyo.
Many explosions, casualties, perhaps too-tidy endings
III. Is this a searing indictment of the horrors of
war, a la "Saving Private Ryan"?
Not even close. The battle scenes -- while staged with
the same elan as Spielberg's (and utilizing many of
the same herky-jerky camera tricks, to great effect)
-- are surprisingly bloodless and un-horrific, despite
a body count in the thousands. Also, said battle
scenes move from terrible-carnage vibe to
thrilling-action vibe in an instant. A good example of
this is during the Pearl Harbor raid: Affleck and
Hartnett scramble on land through mortifying
tracer-fire that wipes out great swaths of men (albeit
bloodlessly), but then our heroes take to the sky and
the whole thing turns into "Top Gun"/"Star Wars" --
complete with our Affleck and Hartnett doing
action-movie-ish aerial tricks to confuse and decimate
IV. That sounds incredibly stupid and insulting !
I know, I know. I just ran the above example by a couple of elitist film-geek friends (who won't be paying to see "Pearl Harbor" anyway), and they practically howled and threw bricks at me. But while you're watching the film, it's not like that. Really. You're gripping your armrest.
For me, the Pearl Harbor attack and ensuing aerial
battle is one of the most singularly thrilling war
sequences I've ever seen. But it's THRILLING, not
INSTRUCTIVE. Despite what everyone expects, given the
instructive legacy of "Saving Private Ryan," this is
one of those WWII action films -- like "Von Ryan's
Express," say -- that entertains more than it edifies.
I found myself thrilled much more than mortified --
though, again, the repeated shots of Japanese tracer
fire cutting terrible swaths through men and women was
disturbing, retina-searing, incredible stuff.
V. But will Pearl Harbor survivors be insulted by this
jingoistic action-movie-fication of the most notorious
aerial attack in American history?
Not sure. The thing is, cinema's been giving warfare
this treatment since cinema was invented; people just
have less of a problem with it when it isn't a war
they actually LIVED through. I'll be interested to see
the media fallout. Personally, I was emotionally
primed to volunteer for WWII by film's end, which is
sort of scary.
VI. How historically accurate is "Pearl Harbor"?
I have absolutely no idea. Some supposedly "historic"
moments of the film -- President Roosevelt climbing
out of his wheelchair to emphasize a point, say --
seemed awfully cinematically convenient to me. I
wholeheartedly encourage knowledgeable folks who've
seen the film to weigh in on this subject in Talk
VI. And the special effects? Are they as good as
They are, by far, the best F/X I've ever seen. It was
one of those paradigm-shifting moments, like when you
first saw T2, where you realize a new gold standard
has been set.
VII. Okay, enough about the explodo-porn. How about
the love story? How about the characters?
I refer readers to Harry Knowles' excellent review of the film [CLICK HERE FOR THE "EXCELLENT" REVIEW OF SOOPER GENIUS KNOWLES!!!]: Harcourt the Red and I are in nearly complete accord on this issue. The love story is nowhere near as involving as the mayhem, and at least 20 minutes could have been trimmed out of the first hour. As Sr. Knowles indicates, the opening scene has all the subtlety of a Zyban commercial, and the movie really should begin on the train when Beckinsale relates how she came into Affleck's life. That said, the actors are all charming enough (I'm on record as an Affleck fan) to sell the many humorous moments. Still, the resolution was tidy in a way that love -- and war -- simply aren't. This didn't derail the movie for me, however. It may derail it for you.
As for the supplemental characters: Cuba Gooding Jr.
is righteous and probably kind of one-dimensional as a
(real-life) steward who mans the guns; the fellow who
plays Goose is dryly funny; Ewen "Red" Bremner has a
ridiculous stutter that's played for comic/suspense
effect during the Pearl Harbor raid, which is sort of
manipulative (He's can't warn the men! He's
stuttering, you see!); Jon Voight is nearly
unrecognizable as Roosevelt, which is in my mind a
good thing; Tom Sizemore seems to be playing a
character from a 1950s WWII film, the sort of gruff
fellow who'd say "Good gravy!" in times of duress; and
Dan Ackroyd, as an intelligence officer, proves once
again he should do more drama.
VIII. So what's good?
Bay has toned down his visual style, and narrative
coherence emerges as a result. Humor is balanced with
tragedy. Everyone and everything looks beautiful.
IX. What's not so good?
Bay has a habit of taking the most obvious possible
visual cliche (geisha girls with umbrellas in Japan,
women reading letters at sunset) -- only he stages
them with enough visual sophistication that you ALMOST
don't notice. Also, more than once, certain lines of
dialogue were guessed by this author just before they
were actually said -- never a good sign. Then there's
that weird juxtaposition of mayhem for thrills and
mayhem for tragic effect.
X. How did your dear sister Shelley DuPont-Livesley
describe the trailer when she saw it with you last
"This looks like it's going to be 'Starship Troopers' without the irony." Many of you may decide that she has a point.
I suppose that's all. You people have read enough about this movie, for pity's sake.
Readers Talkbackcomments powered by Disqus
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May 24, 2001, 1 p.m. CST
You'll see. The movie should have ended after Pearl Harbor was attacked.
May 24, 2001, 1:02 p.m. CST
And let your head swell.Maybe that way it will match the size of your body.
May 24, 2001, 1:05 p.m. CST
by Clockwork Taxi
"There's a reason she likes it, because she's a chick?" What are you, 12?
May 24, 2001, 1:08 p.m. CST
Your = possessive. You're = You are. (Me = anal-retentive geek! But the head-swelling comment was mean without even being clever.)
May 24, 2001, 1:14 p.m. CST
I look at this site every day and i haven't heard a word on this amazing film.To anyone who bothers reading other peoples talkback,WATCH THIS FUCKING FILM!!!!its the nuts.
May 24, 2001, 1:22 p.m. CST
i have just one word to say here. juxtaposition. I guess i'll say more than one word after all. Juxtasposition is just an example where people like me (to whom english is not a mother tongue) have to consult a dictionary to fully understand everything said in miss dupont's reviews. Sure, you can say it's my (our) problem but i am willing to bet there are more people who don't know the meaning of that word that those who do. When writing things for others to read shouldn't one make it as accessible as possible? Leave your rich vocabulary for private talks with your equaly eloquent friends. That is all. :)
May 24, 2001, 1:22 p.m. CST
by Don Simpson
That was the best review I've ever read in my life. And yes folks she is smarter than all of us (except Michael Bay). After you shell out your hard earned bucks at the theater, come home and make plans to pre-order "Pearl Harbor on DVD". If you all pre-order quickly, Bay might add in Aerosmith songs to the explosion scenes. Oh and also give "Days of Thunder" a try on DVD. After the horror of "Driven" you can see that "Days of Thunder" was the most well made (especially produced) car racing movie ever made. Thanks.
May 24, 2001, 1:24 p.m. CST
I am not mean and by any means clever.I love this fucking site and Harry is a genious.IT WAS A FUCKING JOKE YOU C*%t.
May 24, 2001, 1:30 p.m. CST
First of all, maybe you should expand YOUR vocabulary. There's something like 616,500 words in the english language, it's true...but to slag someone for using a fairly common one while writing? Secondly, how much more common is the word "eloquent" than the word "juxtaposition"? And for God's sake, for someone named geekie, you must never have read ANYTHING by Piers Anthony...
May 24, 2001, 1:30 p.m. CST
Is it any good? Hello? Anyone?
May 24, 2001, 1:33 p.m. CST
by Ben Affleck
Always nice to see a great review from a fan. If you liked PH just wait until "Sum of all fears". I will win another oscar :-)
May 24, 2001, 1:37 p.m. CST
Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that someone would ask AICN to dumb down the writing here. Did you also have trouble following the labyrinthine plot of Gone In 60 Seconds? Wishing The Mummy Returns had more F/X? Ideas in the wrong heads can be a very dangerous thing, please watch your words.
May 24, 2001, 1:46 p.m. CST
Labyrinthine: Pertaining to or resembling a labyrinth. Labyrinth: An intricate (complicated) combination of paths or passages in which it is difficult (hard) to find one's way.
May 24, 2001, 1:50 p.m. CST
by Mr. Biege
As glossy, surface level, shlock romance and last summer's The Patriot make me gag and want to throw things at the screen, it might be best if I stayed home. I suppose I don't share Ms. DuPont's patriotic zeal... It compares to Top Gun? Are they kidding? What the fuck?
May 24, 2001, 1:54 p.m. CST
I knew this movie was going to be good. Let all the naysayers bow to Michael Bay and ask for forgiveness. This is going to be a great DVD. 2 disc special edition with anamorphic transfer is all it needs. Just imagine you'll be able to see all of the fight scenes in multiple angles because Bay's geniusness thought of this before hand for DVDers. This is going to be a killer DVD. Long live DVD and demand anamorphic transfers for all your DVDs.
May 24, 2001, 2:03 p.m. CST
by The Pardoner
... is, as usual, hyper-Wagnerian hoseshit. The man even ruined GLADIATOR for me, which was one of the few empty-headed action movies I could still enjoy. (For the record, there are SOME intelligent action movie: LOLA RENNT for one.) I can't even watch the opening battle scene without laughing until my throat constricts, to protect itself against the cubic metres of air my lungs are forcing through it every second. --- Anyone who gives their approval to this film, or any other production in which a head of the Bay/Bruckheimer/Zimmer monster was involved should be forced to read "The Case of Wagner" at gunpoint. I will offer a single quotation in evidence of this: the credo of the Wagnerian, and of B/B/Z: "It is easier to be gigantic than to be beautiful." --- That is your fall, you lovers of Pearls: you have been moved by the massive waves of pity, pushed by trickery and crushed by cinematic pressure, and now you cannot tell the beautiful from the gross. --- Radix malorum est cupiditas.
May 24, 2001, 2:07 p.m. CST
by Dark Clown
I can use big words when I write as well. I even use them when I speak. Plus I have a 4.0 GPA so that must mean I'm smart...right? Damn your intelligence Ms. DuPont, you must be destroyed!
May 24, 2001, 2:13 p.m. CST
That review was too sensible and level-headed for this site.
May 24, 2001, 2:13 p.m. CST
This is one of those movies that as your watching it, you're thinking, this could've been done better. BUT at the end, you say "hey it was a good movie". yeah, some of the the script is fucking lame, but the other half is truly great. Yeah, some stuff is cliched but what the fuck isn't cliched anymore? As moviergoers we've heard every fucking line and seen every situation that can be said and done almost. Go and enjoy it with your family unless your family is like some of the fucking idiots on this talkbalk. P.S. The attack sequence is worth the price of admission in my book.
May 24, 2001, 2:17 p.m. CST
Fun but not serious. A synopsis (oops, big word) of Ms. DuPont's review for those who couldn't follow it. <weg> Keep writing 'em and I'll keep reading 'em!
May 24, 2001, 2:32 p.m. CST
...really makes me want to see the film even less than I did before. After some of the more positive reviews I was thinking I'd go see it just for some of the action sequences and stuff, but now there's absolutely no way I'm paying for this. Every time Alexandra mentions anything specific about the movie, even if she's saying it's a good thing, it just sounds horrible. The stuttering guy not being able to say anything is a LITTLE manipulative? Jesus christ, that's the phoniest thing I've heard of since the Jackson wedding. What an awful, awful movie this is going to be.
May 24, 2001, 2:53 p.m. CST
by Mr Glass
This movie was the best ever! It is soooo much better than Batman & Robin, Godzilla, Phantom Menace, and Speed 2 combined! I don't care what you guys say, Ben Affleck makes Freddie Prinze Jr. look like shit with his mad cool acting skillz. ALec Baldwin is a hero in my eyes and his speech in the middle of the movie made me really wanna kill those Jap bastards! Alec is the man, rememeber him on Conan when he said to stone a man in front of his wife and kids? He is the ultimate good guy. Kate beckinsale is really cool cause her first name is kate just like Kate winslet from titanic. AWESOME! This movie is totally Bodacious.If you hear a man in the theater screaming "oh shit! this is da Bomb!" real loud, it's me. This movie is the best ever. it don't matter that Harry is on the payroll of major studios, I'm sure he gives his most heartfelt and honest opinions. Don't you pay those naysayers any mind Harry, YOU GO BOY (in the shape of lard turd)!
May 24, 2001, 3:04 p.m. CST
by Chris Waffle
Yet more proof that this movie will do better at the box office than LOTR. Chicks + Ben Affleck x square root of disaster and airplane crashes = $Millions; Chicks + Hobbits divided by fanboys standing in line dressed as Gandalf = Thousands....
May 24, 2001, 3:27 p.m. CST
I think this movie is going to suck
May 24, 2001, 3:53 p.m. CST
Nope. Sure doesn't.
May 24, 2001, 3:58 p.m. CST
I love subtle irony. You saved my day. Thanks. :)
May 24, 2001, 4:05 p.m. CST
I guess its hip to knock on Mr. Bay because he makes "commercial" flicks, right? Jesus, we got a whole sub-culture of Bay-bashing film snobs. I know the type; they hate what's popular because it's fashionable to anti-everything. At least Harry stands by his reviews. I may not agree with what he has to say but I still respect him. Oh, Ms. DuPont: thanks for that review, it's refreshing to find someone who can become "un-hip" for five minutes and give us their honest opinion. BAY ROCKS!
May 24, 2001, 4:13 p.m. CST
The only reason to go see PH is to catch the LoTR trailer before it. That is why I am going...but let us all admit that Kate woman is...uh...hot. LOTR is on Access Holywood tonight and the internet tomorrow. PH will make more $$ than THE MUMMY and it CANNOT be a worse film than that!
May 24, 2001, 4:15 p.m. CST
Just saw it - must say, looks out-f***ing-standing! Orcs look creepy - glowing green eyes. FINALLY heard Gollum: Myyy PReecioussss (again, creepy). Thing that I found most impressive: the hobbits in comparison to the men and elves - it looked REAL! Totally natural.
May 24, 2001, 4:18 p.m. CST
Since they have shown the new LOTR teaser on TV, did anyone tape it and are you able to make a quicktime out of it and put it to internet? We should remember that the version at lordoftherings.net is going to be in Real Video. This means that it will be very hard to download. With all the people downloading it, we can expect it to show about one frame per second. They are going to wait a full week before they show it in quicktime. I can't wait for that long before I see a proper version.
May 24, 2001, 5:26 p.m. CST
by Dark Clown
It's far too late to change the world's opinion of Americans. Is it an unfair generalization for millions of fuzzy little foreigners to point their fingers and snicker at the dumb Americans. Yeah probably. However, the majority of the population is hell-bent determined to uphold our reputations as fat, lazy, uneducated, red necks who will spend their mayonaise jar of pennies to indulge themselves in a manipulative cinematic experience about how we got our asses kicked, but rose to the challenge and rubbed everyones nose in our industrial might. They just don't know any better. They rest of us will just have to keep pretending we're Canadians when we travel abroad.
May 24, 2001, 5:38 p.m. CST
by Lenny Nero
That is one kick-ass imaginative movie. Unfortunately, it's way too short (just a bit over 90 minutes). I could've watched the marvelous actor Eric Bana for another 90 minutes and would have loved every minute of it. Good movie. Could've been great if only it were longer.
May 24, 2001, 6:04 p.m. CST
Surprisingly it is. Sure there
May 24, 2001, 6:16 p.m. CST
That is not to say it could not still be very good or better longer... But apparently there was no where else to go since this movie is structured on the "prison yarns" this Chopper guy has written in books with an unknown percentage of truth to them. The violence is done with great effect (heightened by allowance of those yarns, I think)and the film generally has a very thick tension to it. You never want Chopper to go nuts and kill people, as he is so brutal, and so you are always sort of on edge. He is child like in his rage then the inevitable apology afterwards from afraid to get in trouble or genuinely sorry to put a person in pain. One of the truly great things about the film is that it never sources why Chopper is the way he is. This movie reminds me of what American Psycho could have been had Haron not been "tasteful" about Bateman's brutality. You look at this film and see how much more American Psycho could have been... No great loss because now Chopper is here to show how its done (in film anyway). This movie is not an original. However, Chopper is a finely executed and effective example of the Henry like serial killer thriller.
May 24, 2001, 6:25 p.m. CST
by Vance Castaway
Me test 5 times Stanford-Binet... range 184- 197. Me test Mensa 194. Dupont no smart me than. Tell truth me.... no foolin.
May 24, 2001, 6:33 p.m. CST
I agree with you regarding revisionist historians. I used to teach American History regularly, and was appalled when I read of efforts to tone down the display at the Smithsonian having to do with the Enola Gay and the bombing of Hiroshima (and told my classes that I was, and why). We cannot change the past, nor should we apologize for it. I am so grateful the producers of Pearl Harbor expended such effort to maintain historical accuracy in the film; that's surprising in Hollywood's liberal climate. I know now that I will enjoy this movie even more than I already assumed I would.
May 24, 2001, 6:36 p.m. CST
by jeff bailey
"Starship Troopers without the irony" HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! That is awesome! "HyperWagnerian Horseshit" Blade Deckard and Mr. Glass's TB's. If nothing else I love how these movies bring out the funniest reviews from people. Frankly, I don't know what people expected. It's a WW 2 movie from Bay and Bruckheimer. If you even have a mdicum of film knowledge you knew what it would be like when you heard about it as a blurb in the trade. It's a foregone conclusion. You either buy or you don't. I'll see it. But not for a good while when there is nothing else to do. Hopefully I'll enjoy it. But I'm really just sick of it. I think the marketing was TOO ubiqutous. Now it's gonna be cool to dis it in the general populus. But boy, bad move making it 3 hours. Anyway, whatever...I honestly don't care anymore.
May 24, 2001, 7:13 p.m. CST
If Ms. DuPont keeps ignoring my pleas for happiness, and to break from this lonely shell, I'm going to hit on her sister. That Starship Troopers crack tells me they come from the same sarcastic vein. Oh you devil temptresses!
May 24, 2001, 8:04 p.m. CST
by Tuck Kirby
...on that bloated piece of-but I digress-'cause I just bought me two, count 'em, two tickets to see not only "Ginger Snaps," but "Battle Royale" too! God bless the Seattle International Film Festival! Oh yeah, they're playing CHOPPER too.
May 24, 2001, 8:04 p.m. CST
I just can't fully accept the idea of Bay turning any event in which real people actually died into his slick MTV video bullshit without getting pissed off. DuPont, whose reviews I genuinely enjoy, whether or not I agree with them, seems to be coming at this from a point of view of, "alright, forget that there's any history to this story at all, is it an entertaining popcorn flick?" I suspect the answer is, barring the entire first 90 minutes of this movie, yes. Should an event such as Pearl Harbor be made into a popcorn flick? No. Japanese geisha girls, for fuck's sake. The more I hear of this turd, even from a positive review, the more I want to just shove a flagpole, complete with American flag attached, up Bay's ass.
May 24, 2001, 9:48 p.m. CST
by Dark Clown
Mama always told me...Star Wars is as Star Wars does.
May 24, 2001, 11:39 p.m. CST
actually, i have no idea whether or not he let it happen nor do i have any idea about the horrors of war. i'm a 19 year old aspiring writer who reads too much bukowski and books with titles like: "You Are Being Lied To." but, to throw something of interest into the debate, i've decided to present a source to you all. Robert B. Stinnet, a WWII naval veteran, wrote a book called 'Day of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor.' he claims that FDR and friends not only knew it would happen, but "provoked" it. the author researched this for 17 years and in his findings was "an eight-point memo, dated October 7, 1940, written by Lieutenant Commander Arthur H. McCollum, the head of the Far East Desk of the Office of Naval Intelligence. He outlined the eight steps the government needed to take in order to push Japan into making war on the US. He sent the memo to FDR's two closet advisors, and almost immediately the President began implementing the steps. Soon after the eighth, final step was taken (i.e., "Completely embargo all trade with Japan...") in November 1941, Japan attacked." the write-up goes on to say that Stinnet interviewed the cryptographers and found that Japan's military codes to its navy were broken in the fall of 1940. in addition, FDR was given updates on subsequent intercepted decoded information. also that japan's radio silence was a myth and that the plan was broadcast "several times." all the shit in quotes was taken from appendix b: more reading of "You Are Being Lied To." here's a direct quote they offer from the book itself: "'By provoking the attack, Roosevelt accepted the terrible truth that America's military forces-including the Pacific Fleet and the civilian population in the Pacific-would sit squarly in harm's way, exposed to enormous risks. the commanders in Hawaii, Admiral Husband Kimmel and Lieutenant General Walter Short, were deprived of intelligence that might have made them more alert to the risks entailed in Roosevelt's policy, but they obeyed his direct order: 'The United States desires that Japan commit the first overt act.' more than 200,000 documents and interviews have led me to these conclusions.' [p xiv]" so, there you have it. take from it what you will, but its an informed perspective. personally, it wouldn't suprise me if it were true. i believe that's what happened. not everything in life, especially war, is a pretty thing with pure golden motivations spurned by perfect hearts. but i don't have any more problems with the this country or that country or this government or that than i do with humanity in general. it really doesn't make a differance either way, no one can prove anything, so believe what you want to. and you will anyway. and a couple things...to the person who complained about words with lots of letters: think of it this way, you learned a new word. hurrah! to those who detest revisionist history: lighten up, those views are different from your views, disagree and relax. a lot of views differ from my own, my own from a lot of others, that's life and it makes it interesting. no sense getting angry and unleashing the vitriole. and to anyone who, after reading this, will point out the inevitable errors, i hope it makes you feel better...or...would you like to be my editor? ok, goodnight, i've had enough of this madness. oh, and i won't see pearl harbor, not because of any reason such as protest or whatnot, but because i've seen the preview, and i'm not all that interested. i've switched gears from movies to books and i hope that lasts as many years. the last movie i saw was memento and i'm not sure what the next will be. blah blah blah.
May 25, 2001, 12:50 a.m. CST
the only thing Pearl Harbour is going to prove is that explosions look good in slow motion.
May 25, 2001, 1:58 a.m. CST
I don't have to eat shit to know shit is bad. Just look at who made this thing.
May 25, 2001, 2:06 a.m. CST
If in fact she is a woman.
May 25, 2001, 2:19 a.m. CST
The VAST majority of published reviews of Pearl Harbor have been negative. But on AICN it is treated as a good film with minor flaws. Somebody is attached to the perks from the studios...
May 25, 2001, 2:26 a.m. CST
by Art House
Fortunately, three other movies are opening this weekend and one movie has a great story for people of all ages. If you live in Los Angeles or New York City, you can go see a film called "The Road Home" starring Zhang Ziyi (Jen in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"). "The Road Home" has a MPAA rating of "G" so the whole family can enjoy the movie. If you are lucky enough to have a local theater showing "The Road Home," I recommend you go see this beautifully filmed love story and skip the "Pearl Harbor" hype. Here's hoping Sony will release "The Road Home" nationwide.
May 25, 2001, 5:07 a.m. CST
amen Art House. for all you fellow film geeks out there who DON'T want to be screwed up the *ss by Jerry F*ckheimer & Michael Gay save your $9 bucks from Pearl Harbour & go to see THE ROAD HOME. it is a wonderful & touching film starring that Crouching Tiger cutey Zhang Ziyi. this is the film debut of Zhang Ziyi 2 years ago. the story is bare & simple told in a very subtle way, i enjoyed it immensely. but a warning: there is NO explosions in slow motion, No Aerosmith rock music in the background, No mindless idotic flag waving & No Ben Affleck hahahaha...! it's exactly opposite of Pearl Harbour.
May 25, 2001, 5:38 a.m. CST
by Brooklyn Bred
May 25, 2001, 6:14 a.m. CST
by Mel Garga
You wrote that Bay is "toned down" and "narrative coherence" is the result. A few sentences before you told us that twenty minutes needed to be shaved from the love story. How does conservative editing relate to narrative coherence? Despite this, I respect opinions of people on this site. However, you sound like you have a classic case of "People-who-watched-and-enjoyed-Legends-of-the-Fall" i.e. pretty to look at but horrible to listen to. Is this true, and if so, please write it in as a disclaimer before I read your inconsistent reviews. Again, I don't take issue with your opinion of the movie; just the way in which you review it. Thanks.
May 25, 2001, 6:17 a.m. CST
Those of you who have attacked this young lady's review for the fact that she IS a lady need to grow past your "Girls are Icky!" phase. Those of you who crave historical accuracy should go find 'Tora! Tora! Tora!' on DVD. Named after the Japanese radio call that confirmed the success of the suprise element of the attack on Pearl Harbor, this film is a joint effort by American and Japanese film crews to capture the true and factual essence of a Japanese coup in the face of American unpreparedness. Those of you who like rollercoasters and fireworks (and really, who doesn't?) should go see Bruckheimer/Bay's wild ride. But anyone who goes to the effort to acquire a talkback password should know what to expect from these Hollywood kids. To dig in and criticize a movie like this is similar to writing a critique on the quality of cotton candy. Lighten up and enjoy the show, dorks.
May 25, 2001, 9:04 a.m. CST
"You wrote that Bay is 'toned down' and 'narrative coherence' is the result. A few sentences before you told us that twenty minutes needed to be shaved from the love story. How does conservative editing relate to narrative coherence?" In the future, you should worry less about the consistency of Ms. Du Pont's views, and more about your inability to construct an argument.
May 25, 2001, 9:23 a.m. CST
I don't get it anymore: are some of the talkbackers really clever guys/girls with beautifully sarcastic talkbacks, or are some really that moronic they mean shit like "I place Pearl Harbor above Schindler's List"? I just don't know what to think anymore... hopefully it's the first, coz what the hell are you doing here if you have such a retarded view on films?? If you fooled me, and they WERE supposed to be funny, than I applaud you. O yeah, and those of you claiming Pearl HArbor will make more money than LOTR... I pray to God you just say that to annoy people, coz that's the dumbest thing you can say BAR NOTHING! LOTR will DESTROY the competition, just like Gollum did the... OOH! Almost ruined it for you... In case I don't see ya; good afternoon, good evening and good night.
May 25, 2001, 5:57 p.m. CST
Having read this broads earlier reviews I can say in all honesty: If she's smarter than me I should just go ahead and kill myself now. I have yet to take her advice on a single film...and her lust of Ben Affleck isn't gonna change that now. Please do yourself a favor, stay in and rent Requiem for a Dream. You'll be disturbed by it for days and days. yet, PH will probably disturb as well...just not in a good way.
May 25, 2001, 7:48 p.m. CST
by user id indeed!
That's from "Leon", an action/drama that's quite a bit smarter and trimmer (too trim, actually) than "Harbor". It's one of my all time favorites, and it's love story is much more authentic and believable than "Harbor"'s, which, considering the two lovers in "Leon" are a middle-aged foreign hitman and a twelve-year-old girl, doesn't say too much for "Harbor". That "Mickey Mouse" quote seems to fit pretty well for this phony Disney hash. I saw this with my saintly grandmother, and I'm guessing she had problems keeping track of the action, judging from her constant nosebleed throughout. That's a joke. So is "Pearl Harbor". I think I'll read the Hitchhiker "Trilogy" again to regain some brain cells. "Ford, you're turning into a penguin! Stop it!" This has been a Moment with User ID Indeed. I'm too down to use exclamation points, dammit. You watch this door, it's gonna open any time now. You can tell by the smug atmosphere it suddenly creates. I'm not bringing you down, am I?
May 25, 2001, 9:57 p.m. CST
But, Hey, we got a movie...SO CHILL THE FUCK OUT...Think how many bad war movies were made during and after the war; Think how many memoirs were published by returning GI's that were never read. IT IS JUST A DAMN MOVIE...it is MEMORIAL DAY..Disney needs to make a lot of MONEY...If you want to see a GENERIC WAR movie with a likable lead and some fairly intense CGI, then do so. If you think it is all so much jingoistic, capitalist, revisionist, crypto-fascist propaganda..DO NOT SEE IT. Life is too short...Do not WASTE it consumed by angst over a stereotypical summer move. To paraprase Bob Dylan -- "It's a movie and a movie only.." I live for movies as much as the next guy...But when your dealing with stuff like Pearl Harbor--it becomes a larger than life pop-culture phenomenon; Sometimes, a movie which reflects that genre is good (Star Wars) - but most of the time it leaves a lot to be desired. So be it. For those AICN posters who seem to have an inherent belief that the US has been some malevolent force in world history - why not go and create a new history more to your liking; Don't FIGHT THE PAST and what you believe is a inaccurate representaion of it - CHANGE THE FUTURE***As for those great unwashed that you despise. those movie goers who are not living the life less ordinary - let them have a movie to forget their small lives; let them revel in the glory of a heroic past. They may not be millionares and rock stars, but they can proably recognize fairly decent celluoid entertainment when they see it.
May 26, 2001, 12:43 a.m. CST
by Pips Orcille
Well, one little point I think DuPoint needs, just so that everything is straightened out... It shouldn't be surprising that there's a lack of gore or much blood in this "Pearl Harbor" movie. Looking at back at the history of WWII, I don't ever recall veterans (and especially my grandfather) saying that the attack on Pearl Harbor was bloody or grotesque. Of course, like all wars, people die, bodies are bured, and what not. However, I never hear Pearl Harbor attack in 1941 being classified as one that you would throw up just from seeing all these severed bodies. You were shocked, but you weren't throwing up necessarily. If you are confused, look at D-Day. Now THAT was as bloody and as unpleasant as Gettysburg. THAT was a suicide mission, right THERE. So to say that Pearl Harbor is PG-13 just to get an audience, well, no, I don't think Michael Bay did that. In lots of interviews, Bay said that his goal was to make this Pearl Harbor movie as realistic as possible. To have an R rated gore fest would be going over the top in telling the story of the Pearl Harbor attack. Lots of kids and family know about Pearl Harbor and their parents and grandparents are always eager to talk about the event, but they will NOT talk about the D-Day invasion in Normandy. And that is why many veterans these days are more hesitant to discussing D-Day than Pearl Harbor.
May 26, 2001, 9:14 a.m. CST
Are you trying to be funny? First, what do you think Bay would say in interviews? "I was trying to make the battle unrealistic as all hell." Second, you don't think Pearl Harbor was gory?! What do you think bombs being dropped from airplanes do to a human body? What do you think metal shrapnel from the ships being hit by bombs do to a human body? Naval battles, involving usually very high impact projectiles and very high powered explosives, are gory, disturbing, bloody events. The reason that they are frequently thought of as relatively bloodless is that we tend to think of the number of ships sunk, while in infantry battles we think of the number of soldiers lost. I don't think you'd hold down your lunch very well if you saw the remnants of sailors who had been hit by a bomb. Bay made it bloodless to sell it, to avoid the horror of war, to not distract you from his pretty pretty explosions.
May 26, 2001, 9:25 a.m. CST
Just to toss one thing in, for all the hopping up an down about how we should avoid the movie to spare or in honor of the veterans; They mostly seem to have liked the movie. The ones interviewed after the premier seemed pleased, and I talked this morning with my uncle, who saw it with two Pearl survivors (one a midshipman, the other a secretary) and they enjoyed it as well. If you don't like Bay, that's fine, but don't cloak your dislike of the movie in some holy shroud of respect for the people who served, they don't need it nor want it. Try asking the people that you're supposedly protecting whether they want it. For what it's worth, I thought that the movie was okay, not great, not terrible, just worth seeing once. And I never got to see the house I lived in on Wheeler (602 Wright Ave), bummer. Matt
May 26, 2001, 7:58 p.m. CST
The reason to see Pearl Harbor is not to see the #@$! LOTR trailer (which the theater I saw it at did not show anyway)...it is to see an enjoyable film about what went down at Pearl Harbor (although the idea that pretty much one Japanese spy with some hidden cameras was the means to create the surprise attack is probably stretching things...a lot!!). After reading all the negative shit about this movie...I thought I would cringe at the love story, but I did not. As far as the critics who are proclaming, snora, snora, snora...and other dumb titles for thier reviews...what film did they see? The Pearl Harbor attack is intense...and I agree that the special effects in this film should be up for a handful of technical rewards come oscar time. Did anyone else enjoy the scene where Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett are in an aerial dogfight with the zeros...great and thrilling part of the film, so it may have borrowed from the dogfight from Top Gun...it was still well done!! I did NOT like Armegeddon, I really wanted too...c'mon, I thought what is not to like, lots of rocks from space smashing into buildings should entertain the crap out of an action movie fan like me...alas, I was actually bored more often than not by the film. I do not think Pearl Harbor was the greatest war film ever...but dam, people who are bored by this film have short attention spans (and I consider myself bored easily, this movie did not make me yawn once, and I woke up 2 hours earlier than usual this morning to see it). I noticed in print that a lot of PH survivors enjoyed the film for what it was, but all of the vitriol thrown at this film is misdirected, people are pre-disposed to hate this film just because Bay has dissapointed them in the past. I really am stunned by all the hate the critics have thrown at PH...what did they want a step by step rehash of Tora,Tora, Tora...including a very boring 2/3rds of the film. I saw Tora, Tora, Tora in a history class...and maybe I was bored because I was about 13-14 years younger than I am now (currently 29), but except for the ending I suspect I would still be bored. I had a grandfather invoved in PH (although I never got much out of him...our relationship was strained to say the least, and he died a few year ago), and my father was in the military...and I suspect that he is not going to feel like he wasted his money on the tickets he bought to see it at the El Captitan theatre next week. At least, I can honestly tell him I enjoyed it...and our taste are not THAT different in films. Give the movie a try...I suspect that when the furor dies down, people will pop out of their holes in the ground and venture forth to admit (some sheepishly, some unabashedly like myself) they enjoyed the film...love story and all. The movie is certainly worth the cost of a matinee, and I would never be foolish enough to part with my hard earned money just to see a 2 minute trailer...no matter how much I am dying to see it. Perhaps it is comparing apples and oranges...but I liked the film better than The Mummy Returns (with the exception of certain fight and chase schenes), and I thought that the sequal would at least be as good as the first film...but it was a film that really was only worth the cost of a matinee ticket...my crowd avoiding, always see a morning performance to avoid the madness and save some money self can honestly say that I would not regret seeing the film again at a full price showing with friends or family if the opportunity arises.
May 26, 2001, 8:15 p.m. CST
this movie was great! i guess im a sap and i loved ben and josh (how can one girl be so lucky???) but, also, it was a good film. and just so you all know, i loved memento, it was brillant, but pearl harbor is fun, good, and touching. of course, nothing like memento, but a fun movie to go see, and one that will stay with you! i liked the ending. i am happy (except..) about what happened. and bay is amazing at filming scences: the action, the sunset in the plane (beautiful!) and every other scence. all u bay/brockeheimer haters, i think you might try to hard to be film geeks. i am a film geeks, but i don't just hate a director just because he doesn't do the film geek movies! go see this! it's great! and ben and josh are soo hot. lol what can i say?
May 26, 2001, 10:53 p.m. CST
...And needs serious lessons in history, screenwriting and filmmaking. This film is an insult to the thousands of men and women who fought and died at Pear Harbor. There horror is turned into a fucking Star Wars-in-WII videogame. If there was any justice in the world Michael Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer would be drug into the street and shot and Disney's studio headquarters would be dive bombed by Mitsubishi Zeros! They are a disgrace to this nation!
May 26, 2001, 11:10 p.m. CST
The Veterans at the premiere where there as guests and so they where being polite. See THIER generation was brought up to be kind and courteous. The local chapter of Pear Harbor survivors here in Toledo went to view the film and all but two thought it sucked.. They said it was phony, unrealistic and didn't even come close to the real deal. One of them left during the bombing sequence and when asked if he was all right replied "I'm fine, I just need to use the bathroom." Any of you girls who like it just because "Ben and Josh" make me sick. If a girl told me she liked this movie I would get as far away from her as possible, I wouldn't care if she was the spitting image of Gillian Anderson! Anyone who knows ANYTHING about WWII will see this film as the piece of shit it is. Anyone who doesn't isn't going to learn a fucking thing from this lame action film masquerading as a war film. You'd be better off to go to the local video store and rent "From Here to Eternity", "Tora Tora Tora" and "30 Seconds over Tokyo". Then you might learn something and see some good films in the process. Back when Hollywood gave a damn and American audiences weren't a bunch of morons.
May 26, 2001, 11:37 p.m. CST
You people who say "It's just suppose to be a fun action packed popcorn flick"..... The bombing of Pear Harbor was a horrifying event that cost the lives of thousands of men and women. A movie about an important historical event should NEVER be "fun". Imagine if "Schindler's List" or "Saving Private Ryan" where "fun". Ugh. The success of this movie proves something I've suspected for a long time, the USA is turning into a nation of complete morons with no intelligence or respect or knowledge of history... If DuPont is smarter then the staff of AICN it's a miracle they can tie their shoelaces much less read and write. Personally I just think she has wet panties for Ben...
May 27, 2001, 12:02 a.m. CST
If anyone has a "MJ problem" it's you. I mean where the hell do you get the idea of GL being a pedophile just because he has little kids as Padawans? We all know kids with Force Potential are trained from a young age, what the hell is the crime in showing them? I suggest you seek help for that sick mind of yours.
May 27, 2001, 1:17 a.m. CST
I may just be an exception to the rule, I don't know, I don't care. But what I do know is that I really enjoyed Pearl Harbor. I personally think it could have been shortened greatly, and honestly the second half of the movie didn't need to be there, but I am a big fan of WWII airplanes, so I appreciated it. I also really enjoy Micheal Bay movies, so I am slightly biased towards the situation. Strange as it is, I am the kind of person who should imediately dislike anything Bay creates, because it's often predictable and he basically just makes summer hits, which I usually hate, but for some reason I like what he does. Maybe I am just a little kid, and I just enjoy explosions, who knows... All I know is I like Pearl Harbor.
May 27, 2001, 1:12 p.m. CST
Chopper is the best film Ive seen for ages, Mark Read is a folk hero (in a psychotic kind of way) and Im seriously considering chopping my ears off and getting some tatts!
May 27, 2001, 4:26 p.m. CST
"I love America and am highly suggestible when it comes to both jingoism and well-choreographed explosions." Yup, this sounds like a reviewer that's "smarter than the rest of us." And just because you note that your review "sounds stupid and insulting" *DOES NOT* make your review any less stupid and insulting. DuPont, you just lot of esteem in this TalkBacker's book.
May 27, 2001, 11:01 p.m. CST
by Blok Narpin
Just got back from Pearl Harbor and it SUCKED. It should have been called TITANIC 2 because thats what it was. a historically inaccurate three hour long love story that has a historical backdrop. This movie sucks SOOO bad. Remember that AWEFULL speach that Stalone gave in ROCKY IV? You know the one. "If you can change, and I can change, we ALL can change....". I always concidered that the worst speach in movie history until I heard Alec Baldwin's ridiculous speach in PEARL HARBOR. "I KNOW we're going to win this war, when I look at these men....yada yada, bullshit, bullshit". AFter the Mummy and this I'm VERY worried. So far SHREK has been the only one of the "big summer movies" to deliver the goods.I pray that Planet of the Apes, Jurassic Park III, and Evolution are better then THIS.
May 27, 2001, 11:25 p.m. CST
First of all, they merged Admirals Yamamoto and Nagumo into a single man and then they didn't even get his line right -- he said "I fear we have awakened a sleeping TIGER," not a sleeping giant. Admiral Kimmel was a lazy moron who thought that the Japanese wouldn't bother to attack Pearl, instead focusing on the South Pacific, so he failed to institute reconnaissance flights around the islands, which was his responsibility as a result of the Nov. 27, 1941 "War Warning." He envisioned a "Pacific Trafalgar" in which he would lead his dreadnoughts to a capital ship battle with the Japanese fleet off the coast of China and he laughed off the use of carriers in the Navy. The Eagle Squadron was not open to U.S. Military servicemen -- U.S. active duty personnel were banned from combat. Furthermore, the Eagles didn't start flying Spitfire Mk II's until Sept. 1941 (they used Hurricanes prior) and none of the three squadron used the 'RF' squadron code, which was assigned to the 303rd. Navy nurses were not alotted ranks until July of 1942 -- therefore Evelyn couldn't have been a Lieutenant. Similarly, Dorie Miller could not have been a 'Petty Officer,' as the Steward's Branch was restricted from NCO status. Evelyn would have been thrown out of the Navy for getting pregnant out of wedlock (a rule that lasted until 1948) and she didn't deserve a Purple Heart -- she wasn't wounded. The Dolittle raid was not flown in formation (they each went their separate way) and the decision to launch the raid rested with Admiral Bill Halsey, not Col. Dolittle. The B-25s used in the movie were J models, whereas Dolittle used B models, which are distinctly different. The movie ignored the USS Utah and the Nevada, which were historically significant. Blowtorches were found to be insufficient to cut through the Oklahoma's hull -- they had to use impact hammers. As for the FDR Conspiracy Theorists -- a number of the JN25 (Japanese Naval Code 25 -- instituted in November 1941) messages preparing for the attack on Pearl were not decoded until January of 1942 or later, because of the complexity of the code. Furthermore, the Japanese Navy never once referred to Pearl in any recognizeable manner in communiques & flooded the comm channels with old traffic in new code for three weeks prior to the attack. FDR wanted a war against the Germans -- there was no guarantee that war against Japan would lead to war with Germany -- that was Hitler's doing. The Japanese Diplomats in DC had no idea that the attack was coming -- a month earlier, they had suggested that U.S. and Japanese high-level officials meet in Pearl on December 6 to discuss peace agreements. As there was no traffic indicating the attack until the 14th part of the 14 part message sent on the 6th and 7th, U.S. cryptoanalysts could not have determined anything via the Diplomatic Purple Code, which they had broken in July. The Nov. 27, 1941 "War Warning" message indicated the possibility of war with Japan at any time, possibly without further indications from Washington, however, it was Kimmel who ignored the possibility, believing that war in the Atlantic and Japanese attacks against Russia and Austrailia were far more likely than an attack against Pearl. If FDR wanted war, he would have asked Congress to declare war to save the brits, and would not have risked the entire U.S. presence in the Pacific on a hunch. Had the Japanese found the pacific fleet carriers, or, destroyed the shipyard, sub base and fuel depot in the canceled third wave, the United States would never have been able to win the Pacific war against a dug-in enemy. Aaaaahhhhh! Go away, losers.
May 27, 2001, 11:40 p.m. CST
Dorie Miller grabbed a .50 caliber water cooled Browning, not the British-mounted twin Oerlikon 20mm in the film. Furthermore, the Japanese calendar should have read "December 8," as it was the next day in Tokyo b/c of the International Date Line. Oh, and the fins on the torpedoes were supposed to break off. And, uh.. Dorie Miller received the Navy Cross for his actions, while every other Navy serviceman decorated for heroic action on the same and some lesser levels received the Congressional Medal of Honor, all of which were awarded by Nimitz, not Husband Kimmel, as the film depicted. And how many kids are playing baseball at 7:45am? And why do Japanese pilots buzz women hanging their laundry out to dry? And apparently Browning Automatic Rifles M1918A2s and Thompson M1928A1s (with the rare 50-round drums) grow on trees in Hawaii -- I don't think there were *that* many used on D-Day. Oh, and as a friend pointed out -- Japanese men think in English. Hmmmm.
May 28, 2001, 10:29 a.m. CST
This move needed Oliver Stone to tell the real story of The Day Of Conspiracy.
May 28, 2001, 1:50 p.m. CST
another point I've heard elsewhere is that in real life Dorie Miller didn't get his medal till he was already dead.
May 28, 2001, 5:55 p.m. CST
An Amazing man, I agree, THE THIN RED LINE score is great. His PH score is another heart felt collection of music. I just picked up the CD and it is rocking out of my Stereo. To all of you who think that all Americans are idiots for liking this movie, please go back to the register at the video store and play with your Star Wars figourines.
May 29, 2001, 1:10 a.m. CST
And I have to say... I was SHOCKED at how much I enjoyed this film. Pleasantly, surprisingly shocked, because I went in expecting to hate it, ready to heckle it. I was totally wrong. It really is an amazing movie, and not superficially thrown together like I expected. It didn't move me in the same way "Saving Private Ryan" did, but all in all... I think it is an amazing piece of filmmaking and definitely worth seeing. And thank God Bay altered his style to fit the period and genre which I thought would capsize this if he did... no insane dolly shots, no 3 second cuts during just normal character conversation scenes... The generation that lived through this period is something that this generation should aspire to be like. Oh boy I am sounding like an old man now. It shows a maturity in Bay's filmmaking and as much as yes, they were selling an idea, all of the other stuff they packaged with it worked, from the extremely likeable characters to the depiction of some of the horrors that the soldiers at Pearl Harbor faced. The generation that lived through this period is something that this generation should aspire to be like. Oh boy I am sounding like an old man now. Pearl Harbor: Four Stars NITESTAR
May 29, 2001, 8:41 a.m. CST
by Darth Pixel
I will make a note of it, Ms. DuPont. By the way, that is a nice horse you rode in on.
May 29, 2001, 9:05 a.m. CST
Miller was awarded the Navy Cross for distinguished service on 27 May, 1942, in a ceremony held on board USS Enterprise (CV-6). Adm. Nimitz presented the award to Miller while the ship was in port at Pearl. Miller was declared missing in action after a submarine attack on USS Lisombe Bay (CVE-56) on 27 November, 1943. Photos of the ceremony can be seen here: http://history.navy.mil/photos/pers-us/uspers-m/d-miller.htm After his death, the family lobbied for a Congressional Medal of Honor, which 15 other men received for heroic acts on 7 Dec. 1941. Miller's family argued, justifiably, that Miller was denied the nation's highest honor because he was black.
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