October 21, 2006

Flags of Our Fathers debuts

Flags of Our Fathers premiered Friday. I haven't seen it, but the preliminary reviews were apparently on the mark. Here's the consensus view:

'Flags of Our Fathers' Salutes The Men Behind The Moment"Flags of Our Fathers" stands with the best movies of this young century and the old one the preceded it: It's passionate, honest, unflinching, gripping, and it pays respects. The flag-raising on Iwo might have indeed become a pseudo-event as it was looted for maximum profit, but there was nothing pseudo about the courage of the men who did it.
But a few reviewers have noted imperfections:

Deconstructing myths in 'Flags of our Fathers'It is when the narrative shoots all the way forward to the present day, showing author James Bradley interviewing the old men who fought beside his father, that "Flags of our Fathers" starts to lose its footing. The horrible "old man flashback" framing device that Steven Speilberg used to bookend "Saving Private Ryan" should have been warning enough, but Eastwood plows ahead with several conversations between an actor we can barely see and don't care about and some elderly gentlemen who are not easily identified by their young counterparts in the island scenes. It brings the movie to a standstill every time.

1 comment:

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
Saw FLAGS this afternoon with my cousin Milton. Superb film, with a few flaws. The modern-day segments were confusing because you didn't know who the people were. And there's a hole in the middle of the movie where someone goes missing, and then you realize that the event will crossover into LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA and so you won't know what happened to that man until you see the other film. Adam Beach is sturdy and surprising, but Oscar-worthy? From my point of view, though he is all over the film, his scenes aren't long enough to really stand out. And once again, the actual circumstances of Ira Hayes' death are not portrayed in the film. Seen as a whole, FLAGS focuses on one battle in the Pacific war and then on the battles the three surviving Iwo Jima flagraisers wage within themselves and then with each other back in the United States. Very much a movie to seen twice, it is wrenching, smart, fraught with adventure, spectacle, and human conflict. When the movie ended, the entire audience stayed in their seats during the credit crawl as though they wished it were not over.
All Best
Russ Bates