Friday, December 10, 2010

Pearl Harbor, part deux.

Pearl Harbor, 2001, directed by Michael Bay. Written by Randall Wallace.
starring: Ben Affleck, Kate Beckinsale, Josh Hartnett.

I hadn't ever seen the ending to this film as I think we left the theater about forty minutes in. I just finished the second disk and surprisingly, there were some positives.

1. Alec Baldwin. He stole every scene he was in. Thank God.

2. There was less talk and more action than the first disk, again, thank God.

3. A few assorted scenes of the preparations for the final mission, the guys screwing around, laughing, and later their loaded looks (at each other) when they realize they're pretty much doomed. This sort of sentiment is *crucial* in a war film, this Band of Brothers understanding. It's like the trash dump scene in Toy Story 3; we're dying and I'm scared, will you hold my hand? Humanity. It's a must. And while Michael Bay is no Spielberg, I still cried (a very tiny bit). Shut up, Matt.

So that there was the good. Some items that needed improvement?

Wasn't this Ted Striker's painting in Airplane?
SOUTHERN ACCENTS. Don't do this. Especially don't do this when your actors are young and, sorry, inexperienced. There are two actors who can do accents, Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro. If you absolutely must do the accents, hire MOSES SUPPOSES to go over lines with them, frequently.

LENGTHY DIALOGUE THAT GOES NO WHERE. The writer, Randall Wallace is no stranger to epic stories, he also wrote Braveheart and We Were Soldiers, and these were no where near this cheesy in dialogue. Script doctor. Look into it. The entire first disk could have been cut by at least half; everyone's lines were awful. Redo all that and this film could have actually been something.

RESPECT OUR SERVICEMEN AND WOMEN. If you are making a film about actual events, especially surrounding a war, then don't try to pull some Top Gun/Titanic/Crimson Tide rip off. People lost their lives for Christ's sake, it shouldn't be a music video or a lunch box, it should be tribute. Give these people the Goddamned common courtesy of some original, thoughtful ideas.

This film did not have to be this bad.

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