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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer Brilliance
As far as the film goes, Letters from Iwo Jima is a classic. It's a truly heart-wrenching story, and a testament to both the Japanese army's struggle to protect their homeland and Clint Eastwoods' directing ability. Enough about the story, let's talk about the High Definition aspects.

Visual: Letters from Iwo Jima is a film that's done entirely in a...
Published on 26 Sep 2007 by L. Otto

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars badly informed
I wished to purchase Letters From Iwo Jima (the DVD/FILM) but instead you sent me a documentary that looks nothing like the picture and the reviews I read about this product stated that it was a film. So I am not sure if you sent me the wrong item.

Overall I am not pleased with this product as it is not what I ordered.
Published 12 months ago by SnowWhite


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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer Brilliance, 26 Sep 2007
By 
L. Otto (Surrey, England) - See all my reviews
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As far as the film goes, Letters from Iwo Jima is a classic. It's a truly heart-wrenching story, and a testament to both the Japanese army's struggle to protect their homeland and Clint Eastwoods' directing ability. Enough about the story, let's talk about the High Definition aspects.

Visual: Letters from Iwo Jima is a film that's done entirely in a semi-desaturated way. Draining colour in the same way the film drains hope from the Japanese armys' situation. All in all, the effect is marvelous and I think it adds so much atmosphere to the film. There's virtually zero grain, blacks are deep and detail is sharp throughout. Visually, this film deserves a 5/5; the transfer is so clear and sharp that the picture is always breathtaking.

Audio: Dolby TrueHD really does the job here. Explosions are deep and resounding, and speech is clear and perfectly audible. The films' audio is well-levelled throughout so whether you're in the middle of an action sequence, or a quiet speech, there's no need to keep changing the volume around.

Extras: Sadly no directors commentary, but you do get the standard behind-the-scenes footage, on-the-set photos and so on..There's also a cool featurette where the cast talk about their characters, which is an interesting addition.

Overall, Letters from Iwo Jima is a great example of a blu-ray disc. Pristine quality matched with a great story. I would have liked to see more extras, but all in all this is definitely a film to add to the collection, war-film fan or not. Hope this helps.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do not expect to return home alive, 21 Aug 2007
By 
Nolene-Patricia Dougan "Dougs" (Ravara, Ireland) - See all my reviews
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General Kuribayashi is sent to Iwo Jima to lead Japanese troops against an American invasion. The General soon realizes that this is a futile task, but he wants to ensure that his men do their utmost to defend the island without a needless waste of life.

Recently, I experience a certain amount of trepidation when watching a Clint Eastwood film. I admit that Eastwood has made some great movies; however, I get really annoyed when movies like his Million Dollar Baby are mistaken for great cinema. Movies whose sole purpose is to show how cruel life can be and that let their characters wallow in self- pity from one devastating event to the next are depressing, mediocre cinema... and, I might add, blatant Oscar hunting! But now I will get down off my soap box and consider his latest effort, Letters from Iwo Jima, without prejudice.

Letters from Iwo Jima is great cinema: it provides an unflinching depiction of war, does not glorify one side or the other, and implies there are no heroes, just soldiers. In fact, at times it portrays the Americans as cruel invaders with no regard for the rules of war. This movie also hammers home what an unnecessary waste of life war actually is, and how absurd it seems that, after thousands of years of human evolution, governments are still settling their differences with violence.

Apart from its moral message, there is much more to be admired in this film. The images of Iwo Jima are stark and colourless, which helps depict the bleak atmosphere that surrounds the soldiers. The use of colour does not stop there: when the soldiers are remembering happier times in their lives, the colours are vibrant and enriching. This technique has been used many times before, but not always with such great affect. The performances are also tremendous. Ken Watanabe is outstanding as the tormented and forward-thinking General, and Kazunari Ninomiya is sublime as the baker whom fate and circumstance made a soldier.

Letters from Iwo Jima will no doubt come to be considered a classic war film, and deservedly so.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Letters from Iwo Jima, 19 Jun 2008
The main obstacle to engaging with Clint Eastwood's admirable `Letters From Iwo Jima` is the saturation of battle imagery in modern cinema. This is a front-line war film which, while dealing with notions of memory, compassion, cowardice and honour, takes place largely on the battlefield. From the misguidedly mawkish 'Saving Private Ryan' to the exploitative "War Porn" of `Black Hawk Down', recent cinema has not been left wanting for well-simulated, sometimes sensationalised scenes of battle. The filmmakers will always tell you that they are trying to show the audience how war is really fought, but there is a gorey voyeurism that also leaves a bad taste in the mouth. `Letters From Iwo Jima` definitely does not fit into that category in spirit, for Eastwood is such a careful director - sometimes too careful - and his interests lie honourably in ruminations on humanity. Save a few unflinching, CGI-enhanced scenes of bloody denouement - for instance, a mass suicide of Japanese soldiers by hand grenade, where something less overt might have sufficed - Eastwood's intentions are clear. But it is regrettably easy to become disengaged with images of war, and this is no fault of the director. From 24 hour news channels to streamed video content and increasingly ferocious cinema, there is no shortage of horror to numb the senses.

A more personal objection I have to Eastwood's filmmaking is that he is a little too on-message, too soft-centred, to deliver the emotional impact his subjects invite. `Million Dollar Baby' was, for me, the epitomie of Academy Approved Serious Cinema - safe, trite and sentimental. His greatest work as director remains `Unforgiven', a film that subverted our expectations and transformed the Western genre permanently. While that film played subtle games with the audience by putting them in awkward positions as spectators of violence, Eastwood's recent films lack a similar edge. Although the themes of `Letters From Iwo Jima` are thoughtful and noble, they are nothing new. And although it is true to say Eastwood should be commended for making a film from the Japanese perspective, the questions of honour, bravery and cowardice are those explored by the majority of war films. Maybe this is exactly Eastwood's point - that armies on either side of the divides that shape major conflict comprise ordinary men with ordinary fears, loves and regrets. However, it doesn't stop `Letters From Iwo Jima` seeming too politely familiar at times.

What is more impressive is the greys and greens of cinematography, that mirror the desolation of Iwo Jima, a bleak volanic island of only strategic importance. This is underlined by the melancholic pacing of the non-battles scenes, which have an oddly calm sense of inevitability. Coupled with the sparse use incidental music, this bleak ambience draws comparison with Yasujiro Ozu's sad, empty formalism. In fact the score, co-written by Eastwood's son Kyle but largely absent after the opening sequences, is lead by the kind of mournful bugle that too readily conjures a mood of wartime rememberance. Again, this is a little too literal, too conventional to really stir the senses. After its retreat though, the general absence of music, with Eastwood's clever pacing, delivers an atmosphere of non-triumphalist futility: both meditative and melancholy in that unique way of Ozu's. Coupled with the fine performances, especially by Ken Watanabe, `Letters From Iwo Jima` is a moving, compassionate picture, but not a great one.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A potential classic, 14 July 2008
By 
Gogol (England) - See all my reviews
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This film apparently came out to accompany Flags of our Fathers also directed by Eastwood but here showing the Japanese side of the conflict.

Unlike Flags I felt that this film gave a greater examination of the individual soldier and the personal daemons he has to face both in preparation for battle and during it. The film gives us flash backs to some of the men's lives back in Japan, the families they left behind and the emotional turmoil they were suffering with both willing to serve the Emperor in the war effort and return to their loved ones.

The film also examines some of the reasons as to why the Japanese lost the war. Far from being highly disciplined men commanding officers are shown to disobey direct orders to retreat and regroup from seniors and lead their men into hopeless counter attacks. The lack of ammunition that the Japanese army had and also their lack of troops and supplies.

The film displays touching scenes of both camaraderie between soldiers (For example a soldier sent to their unit who initially they thought was sent to spy on them turns out to have been sent there because he refused to shoot a families dog) and also the camaraderie between opposing armies (The treatment of an injured American soldier by his Japanese captors)

Some may be put off by the film being in subtitles and not being a speaker of Japanese I cannot comment on the quality of translation. Still I found this a fascinating film and one I recommend.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Watch this and Flags of Our Fathers, 23 Aug 2013
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Get both sides of this battle. This shows the Japanese side and is wholly in Japanese, with subtitles. This, to my view, gives the film more authenticity and certainly makes it all the more believable. Most certainly worth watching but do watch Flags of Our fathers as well simply to get both sides of this conflict.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting., 17 July 2013
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It was not quite what I had expected. However it was pretty interesting, a view from a 'Japs eye' if you like. Te He.
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5.0 out of 5 stars ABSORBING AND INFORMATIVE, 17 April 2013
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ABSOLUTELY ABSORBING FILM WHICH GIVES A FASCINATING INSIGHT OF THE JAPANNEZE MIND SET, AND ALTHOUGH IT IS NOT QUITE TRUE THAT IT CREATED MY SYMPATHY, IT DID GIVE A DEGREE OF UNDERSTANDING TOWARDS THEIR ACTIONS
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5.0 out of 5 stars film, 7 April 2013
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this film was very good, as seen through the eyes of the japanese soldiers. i would recommend this to any lover of war films
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5.0 out of 5 stars dvd, 4 April 2013
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ty for the dvd and i hav got them a few days ago and just watched it and i enjoyed it ty again
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Defence of Iwo Jima, seen through Japanese eyes, 11 July 2008
By 
Mr. Stephen Kennedy "skenn1701a" (Doha, Qatar) - See all my reviews
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It was a brave move by Eastwood to make not one but two movies about Iwo Jima, and braver still to show the pivotal conflict from each sides point of view. Where Flags of Our Fathers was flawed in its approach, muting the impact, `Letters..' is more perfectly formed, and arguably more complex in nature - and it's a success.
Through sepia, almost colourless photography, we see the defence of Iwo Jima from the viewpoint of several Japanese soldiers. We see them, and we hear them in the forms of their letters they write home, letters that they know may never reach their intended recipients. From this simple framework, we see the build up of defences as the new commanding officer arrives (Ken Watanabe, brilliant) and also from the viewpoint of the soldiers filling sandbags, through to the invasion of the hordes of Americans, and through to the final death throes of the last vestiges of defence.
The range of characters (for example, working class disillusioned solider, aristocratic gentleman officer, honourable commanding officer sworn to his duty but grieved with it) is wider than we might expect, and makes the anti-war message very clear - we are all the same. Previous war movies have shown one man from the other side to be more complex or sympathetic to us, but here we see the whole Japanese cross section of society, and it presents us with a picture on one hand of a society different from ours, and yet so similar in the humanity of it. Even in one sub-section - the officers for example, a complex range of views, opinions and impact is observed. Rarely has an American movie shown such a sophisticated approach to a one-time enemy, and ultimately a sympathetic approach to the horror they endured, just as our soldiers did. One of the key moments comes in the capture of an American soldier, and how even if some of the soldiers can not separate the propaganda they have learned from what they see, the words of his mother in a letter are so universally maternal, that they can not help but see what is common between them is greater than that which is different.
It feels like quite a long movie, and the pace is stately in an almost Japanese style which may put some off, however this pushes the movie beyond some flash bang war movie to satisfy the bloodthirsty, and creates that difficult thing - a movie about the war, showing the war, yet a firm indictment of the effects of war.
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Letters From Iwo Jima HD DVD
Letters From Iwo Jima HD DVD by Clint Eastwood (HD DVD - 2007)
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