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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clint's Finest Hour
Despite all the 'bad press' from so-called film critics, this is a true epic telling the real stoiry of what happened at Iwo Jima. It looks absolutely stunning on blu-ray, with pin sharp detail & rich contrasts. The graphic battle scenes are expertly done & really show the horrors of war violence. The story is well told, with clever flashbacks that never detract from the...
Published on 20 July 2007 by David Lawson

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Mixed Bag
I felt a bit let down by this film. Why? Well, here goes. The film is comprised of scenes from the battle at Iwo Jima and scenes from after the battle (where survivors from the Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima picture are travelling around America in an attempt to convince the public to buy war bonds to keep America in the war.). The Iwo Jima scenes are very well done (I...
Published on 9 April 2008 by T. Williams


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Mixed Bag, 9 April 2008
By 
T. Williams "Maranatha!" (North West, England) - See all my reviews
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I felt a bit let down by this film. Why? Well, here goes. The film is comprised of scenes from the battle at Iwo Jima and scenes from after the battle (where survivors from the Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima picture are travelling around America in an attempt to convince the public to buy war bonds to keep America in the war.). The Iwo Jima scenes are very well done (I tried my best not to keep comparing them to Private Ryan as I do not think it was Eastwood's aim) but strangely I found myself relieved whenever the movie went back there from the America scenes and that for me is the issue. The scenes in America are so downbeat that I actually prefer watching soldiers kill each other. I suppose the message about what makes a hero is made and I still think it as a good film but it is by no means a classic and below the level of Ryan and Band of Brothers (not hard).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clint's Finest Hour, 20 July 2007
By 
David Lawson (London) - See all my reviews
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Despite all the 'bad press' from so-called film critics, this is a true epic telling the real stoiry of what happened at Iwo Jima. It looks absolutely stunning on blu-ray, with pin sharp detail & rich contrasts. The graphic battle scenes are expertly done & really show the horrors of war violence. The story is well told, with clever flashbacks that never detract from the main theme, which is superbly directed by 73 years old Clint. It is profound & deeply moving...if you love great movie making, this for me surpasses 'Saving Private Ryan'...this has to be in your collection. Buy it now on blu-ray...you won't be disappointed!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Worthy and Brave film from Eastwood..., 7 April 2012
By 
Tim Kidner "Hucklebrook Hound" (Salisbury, UK) - See all my reviews
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That this subject raised so much patriotic feelings during WW2 makes the making of 'The Flags Of our Fathers' a worthy and somewhat brave one for director Clint Eastwood.

Mixing a straightforward war film with a human story as complex as this takes some skill and largely, Eastwood pulls it off, though some time-frame aspects aren't always completely clear. The battle scenes are very well done, with excellent sound - the film had two nominations for sound related Oscars - and generally looked convincing.

It's essentially a comparison between what boosted the morale of the great American public and the War Machine fundraising campaigns and what actually happened on that tiny wasteland of that strategic island of Iwo Jima in 1945. How U.S. troops suffered their heaviest losses of the Pacific conflict and by their very action of raising the Stars and Stripes over Mt Suribachi created an iconic landmark of symbolic imagery, that represented victory, freedom and overall, hope to the folks back home.

The photograph taken of that hoisting gets used to propagate fundraising via war bonds back home. Three of the six troops who were photographed undertaking the flag's erection are roped in to add testament to the heroic deed at posh dinners and events that are a very far cry from the theatre of war that they lost their comrades in. Unfortunately, the memory of those who fell at the scene get forgotten as the facts get blurred, to suit the propaganda. The three find handling this branding of being heroes and forever on public display difficult to varying degrees and we witness their changing behaviour.

The cast of largely unknowns (including Brit Jamie Bell) do a fine job and this lack of star power keeps the film's thrust of anti-heroism in check.

The film is pretty long though you start noticing that length before the end. It's a good, but not great film, that also has an important and universal message, that behind every hyped up story there's also a lot of human anguish and pain.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A thoughtful and worthwhile film, 26 Dec. 2008
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"Flags of our Fathers", and its companion piece "Letters from Iwo Jima" tell the story of the battle for Iwo Jima, which took place at the end of the Second World War on a Japanese Pacific island. "Flags..." is probably the weaker of the two pieces, but a worthwhile and compelling film no less.

The film centres around the raising of the US flag atop a hill on Iwo Jima after the US had taken their first significant piece of territory, and the effect on the six soldiers snapped by a war photographer raising the flag. The surviving soldiers (half of them had died within weeks) were brought home to serve as poster boys for American troop "bravery", and to attempt to encourage citizens to buy war bonds and continue enthusiastically supporting the war effort.

The film thoughtfully examines the human cost of war - the story of the Native American soldier who unravels under the pressure to appear as a hero is particularly poignant. The nature and significance of heroism in Western culture is an important theme - and acts as a counterpoint to the contrasting cultural values emphasised in "Letters...". The film's particular effectiveness comes from it's ability to allow the viewer to make up their own mind about what is going on. No character is portrayed as being devoid of humanity, not even the treasury official who is utterly focused on attracting funding to the war effort, and is happy to overlook the misreporting of the real identities of the six soldiers present during the flag-raising.

Other reviewers have pointed at some flaws - some I agree with, others I don't. One reviewer (of the single-disc edition) complains that the questions posed about the identity of the marines in the flag-raising photo will only be relevant to Americans of the stars-and-stripes-loving variety. This really misses the point of the film - the flag raising acts as a jumping-off point for the examination of the issues raised in the film - among which is the somewhat arbitrary nature of patriotism (this point particularly comes through when viewed alongside "Letters...").
Other critisisms include the confusion which arose when viewing the present day interviews with the (now elderly) characters portrayed as soldiers during the main thrust of the film. This is valid criticism - insufficient attempts were made to distinguish between the war veterans being interviewed by the films narator (a son of one of the veterans). These interviews were an ill-advised narrative device, still, they didn't really take away from the effectiveness of the film as a whole.

All in all, a thoroughly worthwhile film - one that made me think, and pointed to no easy answers, exposing some of the tragic and wasteful aspects of human nature.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not so much of a War Film...., 19 Nov. 2007
By 
A. Cresswell "Bubblefish777 - Born again Diver" (london, UK) - See all my reviews
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Not quiet the 'Saving Private Ryan' I had hoped for. A good movie and well made with some great special effects BUT the movie really revolves around the planting of the Stars and Stripes on Iwo Jima. It turns out there's a huge political agenda around getting the guys who planted the flag (3 out of the 6 are left alive) to come back to the USA and campaign for War Bonds. However it then transpired that because of a series of 'problems' that the original flag was taken down and then another flag put back up. The problem being is the men who are then paraded to the US nation as Hero's of Iwo Jima were in fact the people who put up the replacement flag and it was the photograph of the replacement flag that became the icon for the US Marines. Worse yet were the mothers of the men who died that put up the first flag were ignored and the men who put up the replacement flag were lauded as heroes. The whole thing was a surprise and shock to me and was an interesting development to the film. However as a war film...then No... it's not that action packed. In fact it seems pretty sedate.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flags of a cruel past, 22 Aug. 2011
By 
Flags Of Our Fathers [Blu-ray] [2006][Region Free]
All movie languages: 2.0 English Audiodescription, PCM 5.1 English, DD 5.1 English + Spanish
All movie subtitles: English + Spanish
Some bonus material have also subtitles in the different languages
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fairly Average, 3 May 2008
This film is well directed and the battle scenes in particular are vivid and real. Some of the acting is also very good making the film worth watching. However like with its partner, letters from Iwa Jima, the story carrying the action and overall commentory of the battle for Iwa Jima is slightly poor. Only one of the characters (the doctor played by Ryan Phillipe) is actually likeable and Indian character is such a mess I stopped having any sympathy with him quite early on.

Over all its worth a watch, but dont be expecting a war film anywhere near as good as Full Metal Jacket, Apocalypse Now or even Saving Private Ryan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flags of our fathers, 8 Jan. 2014
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Brilliant film I've told my daughter about it,said her Husband would like it as it was Directed by Clint Eastwood,he has many of his film.i liked it because it was a true story what those Guys went through,how they lost many of their best Friends and how wrong it was expecting them to Doc and the other two to lie. Yes they were true Hero's but not for putting up the flag,the one's that did that did not get a mention until the end.
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5.0 out of 5 stars what war is really about: money and politics, 15 July 2013
A typically Eastwood approach. He takes a highly unusual point of view to reveal the lesser known aspects of a very well known subject matter, in this case the flag raising photograph of the battle of Iwo Jima. Of the six men, three were killed in action a few days later. This is not a film meant to show bravery, though there is plenty of it. It is a cynical film to show how the American war propaganda machine manipulated the three survivors of the flag raising to ... raise money for war bonds. We learn how the flag itself was a coveted object of contention among politicians and military leaders. And how in the end those who were less interested in the iconic photograph were the people in it. They were there to do a job, and being in a photograph was not part of it.

Pretty amazing CGI. For example, technicians artificially reproduce the Pacific theather as a background for the rugged terrain in Iceland where the film was actually shot! You can see it's not real, but it's pretty close to look real.

Watch this film together with "Letters from Iwo Jima", also by Clint Eastwood, that tells the story of the battle from a Japanese point of view.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The harrowing truth, 21 Feb. 2009
By 
S J Buck (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
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I agree with some of the previous reviewers comments - particularly in relation to confusion over the main characters. However as with most of Clint Eastwoods films this has a depth to it that is missing from the majority of films. It is beautifully shot. Clint Eastwood has defintely watched John Ford films. There was one shot with a character framed in a doorway, which could have been straight out of the Searchers.

The battle scenes which are spread throughout the film are well done and the effect they have on the main characters is profound. I don't want to see 2 hours of continuous carnage, so the jump cuts to different time sequences were a welcome relief from the battles. The sequences where the 'heroes' are dragged round to raise money for the war effort seemed very authentic, but the book this film is based on does not place nearly as much emphasis on this. Nevertheless I could feel myself getting angrier as it went along. Having been traumatised by the war, when you return to the US it seems you don't get to be with your family, you are treated like a commodity to raise money.

Ultimately it is a rather depressing film, as it deals with not only the war, but also the long lasting after effects as well. See this and then watch Clint Eastwoods companian film 'Letters from Iwo Jima' which looks at the same battle from the Japanese point of view and is probably the better of the two films.
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