Casey's brother Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett,Kate Beckinsale,Ewen
Bremner, Alec Baldwin, James King, Catherine Kellner, Jennifer
Garner, Michael Shannon (V), Jon Voight and Cuba Gooding Jr
My blood is red white and blue to begin with, so I think you
know the kind of review you'll be reading here.
all know the plot before we even head to the theater. But, I
think they did a great job in bringing that day to life, for
those of us too young to remember what a shock this attack really
Pearl Harbor is a manfest extravaganza to the tenth power. As
one of the lovely starlets of the film explained, Pearl Harbor
has "four thousand, Navy, Marines and Army boys just looking
to dance..." Whew, she wasn't kidding.
of us remember, or were taught to remember Pearl Harbor. It's
always so far away from a reality though. Even the movie 1941,
with John Belushi, kept us happily oblivious to the suffering
our grandparents or friend's grandparents went through. 3000
men and women lost their lives, 1177 men on the ship the Arizona,
alone. Warning, you are going to go through about a half an
hour of non-stop war. Watching helplessly. Be ready.
Pearl Harbor is also a wartime love story. Rafe (an adorable
almost Gene Kelly-esque all-American hero looking Ben- humma
humma- Affleck) is ready to take on the Nazis but America is
not involved in the war over there. None the less he's
an army pilot hell-bent on being a hero for the flag. At his
physical he meets the girl of his dreams, Evelyn ( Kate Beckinsale).
But he follows his other dreams and agrees to a special assignment
with the Royal Air Force. Off he goes.
gal Eve, also in the service, is sent off to Hawaii, Pearl Harbor
along with his closest friend Danny (Josh " packs -sting"
Harnett) and some others from his squad.
the news of the feared and dreaded kind comes to his friends;
the poor gunner's a goner.
Ralph's friend and childhood pal, Danny consoles the grief stricken
Eve...and....well...These things happen. Yeah, didn't see this
love snaffu coming. But they had to have something besides the
bombings...What's this...a telegram has arrived on base...
watch the dates moving slowly toward December 7, as our hearts
ease up our throats. The date we now know that lives in infamy.
Harbor is bombed. Lives are changed forever. Some lives are
enough about the sadness. Let's talk about Ben's affect. Ben
Affleck is simply gorgeous. What is it that makes him so handsome
in this? What's the smitt-bug trying to tell me? Ah-ha! It's
the old-time clothes. Manly form fitting 100% man cloth. Not
big baggy icky jeans and tee shirts that bring even the cutest
of men down to a twelve-year-old level. No loud sneakers with
logos emblazoned across them. No. He was in manly knickers with
a belt to boot. For those of you too young to remember a belt
is an ancient device used by men of yesteryear to hold there
pants up, against the fear of their underwear being -heaven
forbid -exposed. Well, this look works for young chuck steak
Affleck in the strongest of ways. His acting was impressive
too. Not that they gave him much...But, he lost his signature
smirk and stayed concentrated on his character. How'd they get
the lad to do that?
other lamb chop, Josh Harnett (Danny) grew on you like those
fig newton things tend to... At first he was "okay"
but as the frames flowed into the next his smile got sexier,
his arms dreamier, until you were ready to nosh on the whole
damn man plate. Josh has certainly come along way in his career.
Let's keep an eye on him shall we...
thank you Hollywood for casting this gal Kate Beckinsale. She's
the daughter of British comic Richard, who
had quite a loyal following -over there. Kate did a wonderful
job and is simply lovely. She really looked the part of the
1940's American pinup beauty. LOVED her clothes too. Too bad
that style wouldn't come back. Somebody call Madonna, she can
make it so.
rest of the cast, too numerous to spotlight, are also well cast.
Cuba Gooding Jr. has almost a bit part, but it's an important
one. Jon Voight almost made me laugh outloud at his John Barrymore,
a' la Dr. Gillespie , President Roosevelt scenes.
is definitely an epic action blockbuster. It's trying to be
with out shame. Why is the buzz comparing it to Titanic?
Probably because they are both real-life tragedies that intertwine
those overly dramatic heart tugging scores and colossal special
effects along with a mix-a-blockbuster director that practically
puts us front row center for these the terrible events. Both,
also, had huge casualties that could have been avoided if not
for the infamous "missed message."
Hollywood could get a working script from Cameron Crowe, involving
the Hindenburgh Zeppelin in a love story between a British super
agent with a secret passion for pro-wrestling and an American
debutante run away from her arranged marriage to a wall street
meany, of course starring Russell Crowe and Julia Roberts, and
directed by Steven Soderbergh, they'd try that too! Okay, maybe
not. But they are different films.
don't worry if this is just a love story. The action is there.
Mr Testosterone himself, Jerry Bruckheimer, directs it. So,
even with it's heavy subject matter, there's almost a Madtv
mock movie flair to it at times...Like the extreme close-ups
of Affleck and Beckinsale's nose and mouth as they speak in
low hushed tones, passionately in love. All we see are six foot
flaring nostrils and pouty lips.Then you have that nonstop piping
of sad- story- "epic" music, which goes to work on
your emotional psyche from the very first frame. You'll want
to weep immediately at it's commencement, but won't be sure
why! Oh, and the patented Bruckheimer® slow motion action
scenes. Those all wrenching running scenes as the tough guy
banter and one liners bombard you as fast as the bazillion bullets
fly around picking off extra after extra.
film puts it in perspective for us. We were ambushed plain and
simple. It's a war thing. We've even done it. Also it was 1941,
not the high tech world we live in. A 300 plane air attack coming
in undetected? Not gonna happen now buckaroo.
Harbor, it seemed, tried to be honest. Especially in it's portrayal
of the leaders and their lack of information that ultimately
may have prevented the loss of so many people. They were honest
about some of the not so up-and-up tactics the Empire of Japan.
They skirt around the issue of life threatening oil blockades
a neutral America had set upon Japan which ultimately was the
reason for the attack. They mention it but, briefly. We are
the "good guys" after all. War is hate. People do
things unimaginable to each other. And remember, please, no
one is guilt free! That's the beauty of war, it's an equal opportunity
ass*%$ maker. Before you go storming into your favorite sushi
parlor proclaiming- 'you Jap' this, or 'you Jap' that,
remember it was war, a long time ago, and according to, not
only history, but the blurb in the film, we "left them
no choice but to attack."
Just try and remember the folks who did fight these wars on
both sides without judgment. Oh, and enjoy Ben and Josh's happening
Snack recommendation: Hamburger, French fries and a large
Harbor In Depth->