Flags of Our Fathers

A Movie ReelFlags of Our Fathers: 6 out of 10.

I thought Flags of Our Fathers would be better. Directed by Clint Eastwood, it tells the life stories of the six men who raised the flag at The Battle of Iwo Jima. That sounds like it's going to be pretty awesome.

It's not bad at all, it's just not nearly as good as I hoped it would be. The recreation of the battle scenes reminded me of the superior Saving Private Ryan and the survivor guilt, which is really the meat of the story, unfolded at a rather slow pace.

It's good, but it should have been better. I hear Letters from Iwo Jima is just that.

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I found "Flags" to be a bit of a "Private Ryan" rip without the incredible intensity, brilliant direction, etc.

But "Letters" is just amazing. Reminded me of "Das Boot" where I'm completely involved and ultimately devastated that Nazi sailors were in peril.

It's that good.

July 4, 2008 @ 10:15 PM


No wonder you were disappointed if you were expecting another Private Ryan. Flags is nothing like SPR & for me that was A Very Good Thing. As much as I enjoy a good patriotic flag waver I don't want every WW2 film to tread the same path.

Flags illustrated some essential truths about myth & reality & in so doing reached deeper than anything in SPR. Eastwood's film has such a sad, melancholy tone (as does his companion piece), & the editing intentionally reflects the shell shocked mental states of the survivors to quite powerful effect, that it manages the tricky task of being non-judgmental about the politics of war while celebrating the incredible courage & bravery of the boys who fought. It's a much deeper, thoughtful movie than Saving Private Ryan even if its non-linear structure & themes frustrate those seeking a war movie in the mode of SPR or Black Hawk Down.

July 24, 2008 @ 10:22 AM

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