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PEARL HARBOR - VISTA SERIES (4 DISC DVD)
Sometimes bigger is actually better. Nearly matching the size of director Michael Bay's ego, this massive four-disc set is a veritable Pearl Harbor archive, and ironically, Bay's film remains the least interesting component. It's a purely conventional Hollywood take on the tragedy, using a clichéd love triangle between two ace pilots (Josh Hartnett, Ben Affleck) and a Pearl Harbor nurse (Kate Beckinsale) as an "intimate" means of spectacularly re-creating the attack that thrust America into World War II. The director's cut adds little to the previous DVD release, apart from authentic R-rated carnage during the Japanese raid, and minor expansion of the Hartnett-Beckinsale romance. Commentaries range from superfluous (Bay and film historian Jeanine Basinger) to highly entertaining (Ben Affleck and costars) and technically informative (primary production team), and a spirited examination of visual effects (with Bay and ILM supervisor Eric Brevig) is guaranteed to fascinate anyone interested in physical effects and CGI. A broad "making of" documentary is noteworthy for one-time viewing, while abundant historical records make this a valuable compilation of definitive materials.
The History Channel's "One Hour over Tokyo" and "Unsung Heroes of Pearl Harbor" provide depth that Bay's movie lacks, and Charles Kiselyak's interactive timeline is arguably the finest feature included, providing an in-depth historical perspective on U.S.-Japan relations. Even a brief reenactment of a Pearl Harbor nurse's journal is moving in a way that Bay's film can only try to be, while the "Interactive Attack Sequence" provides a multifaceted exploration of the entire production process (a highly educational feature for aspiring filmmakers). All in all, these four discs offer an admirable balance between Bay's technically impressive but ill-conceived epic and a thorough, fitting tribute to those who endured hell on that fateful Sunday in 1941. --Jeff ShannonSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I am glad the movie includes lesser known, real life characters and their exploits. Have to give the filmmakers credit for that. It also captures the real feel of the 40s, where travel and communications aren't like they are today. The scene where the nurses arrive at Pearl Harbor is great. They are wide-eyed in this place they had never seen or been to before. I thought that was a good touch.
Love story- lots of reviewers mention the cheesy love story. As a 36 yr old, I have no idea just how difficult relationships are in times of war. I thought PH actually did a good job portraying the conflict of feelings, and how one deals with the uncertainties of wartime romance. The phenomenal Battle of Britain scenes help keep the movie from bogging down until the immediate build up to the Pearl Harbor attack.
Glad it ends with the Doolittle Raid- that story deserves each and every opportunity to remind the world about those incredibly brave sailors and airmen. Also glad scenes of the Eagle Squadron at the Battle of Britain are included as a way to remember those brave american volunteer airmen that helped the British in their most desperate hour.
Remembering the film is entertainment...sit back and enjoy the aerial scenes and turn up the volume!
Despite the inevitable comparisons to Titanic, this historical drama -- more gritty than grand -- soars on its own. It features accomplished direction by Michael Bay, whose only miscalculation comes during the aftermath of the attack: the footage is blurred to accentuate the nurses' confusion, but good acting and editing would have sufficed. However, the attack scene alone is worth the price of admission, and it's an extraordinary feat to have outdone the impressive recreation depicted in the otherwise embarrassing Tora, Tora, Tora. The film also offers two riveting aerial battles, clever newsreel segments, stunning cinematography, and A+ sound. Hans Zimmer's score is both memorable and moving, but the theme song "There You'll Be" is no match for "My Heart Will Go On."
The script by Randall Wallace vividly captures an era of innocence and hope, and speaks of duty, determination, and courage. Though the Japanese are not portrayed as bloodthirsty villains, it leaves their motives to the history books. Unfortunately, there is an unnecessary and lengthy postscript that tries to prove America's superiority by detailing a retaliatory raid on Tokyo. Since we all know the U.S. triumphed in the end, the flag-waving should have been dispensed with -- indeed, it would have been more effective to end the film with the title assault.
Ben Affleck gets top billing, but he is clearly not ready for leading-man status; some of his facial expressions are laughably bad.Read more ›
As for the DVD itself, it has a seperate disc with extras that are pretty entertaining and informative. They have behind the scenes features, about how things were shot, and they also have some historical pieces about Pearl Harbor.
I'd say it's worth picking up. Just perhaps keep your expectations in check.
Somehow the writers of this movie must have been trying to convince us of the errors of war without letting the horror of the bombings in Pearl Harbor speak for itself. Instead they threw in a horribly sappy romance movie in the midst of such tragedy. While I have no doubt that many of the people involved in the real Pearl Harbor were in love and beautiful, I have my doubts on whether or not "love" was the first thing on their minds during the attack. I also have my doubts that one woman could fall in love with two men who are both drop dead gorgeous and extrodinarily brave at the same time. Reality proves time and again the impossibility of this sappy romantic notion. This portion of the film should have been written out and left for the "Lifetime" network to promote!
Now for the good part.....this film will have you on your seatbones during the battle scenes. It will rile your patriotism and inspire you to learn more about the actual event in history. The special effects are decent although some of the harbor scenes are obviously fake. But the horror of thousands of sleeping men being awakened to war is tragic. To even begin to fathom being buried in a sinking ship is horrendous. I wish the movie would have pulled a bit more at our heartstrings by focusing on true stories of what these brave men endured to survive such an event rather than just the magnitude of the bombings. This is where movies like "Saving Private Ryan" and "Black Hawk Down" reign supreme and this one fails.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Another favorite that we have owned for years on VHS. We really enjoyed the quality of this on our new blu-ray player. Read morePublished 8 hours ago by Ron La Rose
The movie was wonderful and great to watch again. It was a gift for Christmas and my husband liked it very much. An awesome surprise!!Published 19 days ago by Jeannette Dolding
I have both the standard DVD and the bluray version. I was hoping for significant improvement on the sound quality, I have a high end system, but I observed no discernible... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Lloyd Searcy
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