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Flags of Our Fathers [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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February 1945. Even as victory in Europe was finally within reach, the war in the Pacific raged on. One of the most crucial and bloodiest battles of the war was the struggle for the island of Iwo Jima, which culminated with what would become one of the most iconic images in history: five Marines and a Navy corpsman raising the American flag on Mount Suribachi. The inspiring photo capturing that moment became a symbol of victory to a nation that had grown weary of war and made instant heroes of the six American soldiers at the base of the flag, some of whom would die soon after, never knowing that they had been immortalized. But the surviving flag raisers had no interest in being held up as symbols and did not consider themselves heroes; they wanted only to stay on the front with their brothers in arms who were fighting and dying without fanfare or glory.
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Top Customer Reviews
The action chops and changes irritatingly between different times and the characters are not well-rooted enough for us to be quite sure who is who. When you put these two failings together, it is hard to keep track of who is dead and who is alive. And when we cut to the modern day, with aged vets telling the narrator about their days with his father, it is totally unclear who each one is. I suspect we are supposed to be in tears by this stage (the music would suggest as much) but I was merely drumming my fingers.
So the heart of the film is not the battle, but this question about the flag, which will probably only stir you if you are a) American (and tremendously proud of your flag) and b) easily led by the Forrest Gump school of film-making. The film actually seems to be asking us to care more about the veracity of the flag picture than about all the young men being turned into mincemeat by Japanese guns.
In the segments interspersed in between the Iwo Jima battle scenes, "Flags of our Fathers" follows the story of three of the combatants, yanked back to the States to do a War Bonds fund-raising tour, based on their status as flag-raising heroes. So the key conflict is not American vs Japanese, but the troubled self-reflections of these three men, who have to swallow the truth about the flag to do their duty on the home front.Read more ›
The performances by Ryan Phillippe, as Navy Corpsman John 'Doc' Bradley, Jesse Bradford, as Rene Gagnon (a good looking stiff who joined the Marines because he liked the uniform and who never actually got to fire his weapon) and Adam Beach, as the tormented Indian Ira Hayes, are restrained & subtle with Beach's anguished performance the standout. There are strong supporting roles from John Slattery as Bud Gerber, a hard talking Government spinmeister and Barry Pepper as Mike Strank, a charismatic Marine Sgt adored by his men. Also noteworthy are the small but forceful roles played by the mothers of the flag-raisers. The shattered expression of one as she learns the truth about her sons involvement, after having accepted the Media/Government version of events, cuts deeper and sadder than any amount of war-is-hell battle footage.
Beautifully crafted, Flags jumps back and forth in time whilst telling three stories. These include our introduction to the main characters - brief scenes of training & boot camp humour shot with Eastwood's trademark economy - the story of the bond tour & the truth behind the flag-raising, plus a framing story of Doc's son interviewing surviving veterans (as old men) about his Dad.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A little bit sentimental for me in places.
Overall though a good movie.
Super new condition. Great price and delivered within 48 hours.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
In Flags Of Our Fathers Clint Eastwood - in his mid-seventies when he made this! - does everyone involved* the best honour anyone could really do, by not whitewashing the story in... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Sebastian Palmer