I watched this film because I have an interest in the region that it was set and some of the wartime stories are intruging and unbelievable. I also thought that the premise of following a Buffalo platoon was original and interesting. However, the film itself was a mess, with just random stories linked together by a rather dull, overlong journey that the soldiers take (the film is needlessly over 2 hours). The characters were cliched and boring and Spikes Lee's usual message about racism was too preachy and overtly obvious. However, what I disliked most about the film was although he is trying to beat racism, he then shoots himself in the foot by being sterotypical against the Italians and sexist - the lead Italian woman is gorgous and takes her top off in every scene for no particular reason - give me a break!!!
There is very little that is good about this film and I would advise everyone to avoid it. Maybe the end is excellent, but I wouldn't know because I didn't get that far.
First of all, in reply to other reviewers, if you buy a Spike Lee film you know what you are going to get - some preaching, some history and some hard hitting scenes. The Miracle certainly manages all three of these, with the addition of a good plot and spectacular action scenes. Personally I thought the way he linked the central story from the start to the end of the film was ingenious, without wishing to give anything away. The Italian partisan scenes were especially believable in this film and the central message - that all humans are capable of inflicting misery onto others and that, conversely, each are also capable of compassion - is rammed home with a vengeance; in this film, you have good Germans, bad Germans and downright Nazi Germans. If you like WW2 films with a touch of class then this is for you.
1984----A post office clerk shoots a customer using a 'German' pistol. 'Hector Negron' winner of a 'Purple Heart' from the 'Italian' Campaign in 1944 now faces a life sentence. Whilst in custody,when interviewed by a newspaper reporter 'Hector' tells his story of his time in a tuscan villiage behind enemy lines with three comrades......'Aubrey Stamps' 'Bishop Cummings' and gentle giant 'Sam Train' ( who has taken a frightened orphan into his care ) And how he becomes the guardian of an ancient artifact. With some superb battle and fire-fight sequences. A genuine heart wrenching and often touching story-line. This is 'Hector's' journey . The film will not dissapoint.
Spike Lee has done a fantastic job in re'creating what is still called in Italy 'The Massacre at Stazzema'. I know the real story as I am from the area ans was pleasantly suprised that Spike Lee showed both the human and evil aspects of what happened at St Anna's. This is a very important story for many in Tuscany and I am grateful to Spike Lee for allowing others to know about it. Yet another masterpiece on his part. If you arte interested in knowwing the 'truths' of WW2, the humanity, bravery and sacrifice of those involved you will be encaptured by this film. The Buffalo soldiers involved were heroes in this part of Tuscany.
Be aware that the ‘US Disney’ BLU RAY of "Miracle At St. Anna" is REGION-A LOCKED - so it WILL NOT PLAY on most UK Blu Ray players unless they're chipped to play 'all' regions (which the vast majority aren't). Don’t confuse BLU RAY players that have multi-region capability on the 'DVD' front – that won’t help.
Buy the standard UK issue instead - it's dirt cheap - and a looker on BLU RAY...
I still don't know what to make of Spike Lee's Miracle At St Anna, the story of a squad of black soldiers stuck behind enemy lines in Italy. It was good in places, and I liked the basis of the story, but some of the execution was woeful in my opinion.
Firstly, the concrete head. The attention to detail is appalling, such that it all feels so fake. A concrete head not weighing (even a big guy) down? Bouncing when someone walks? It's so obviously plaster of paris and as this is a key symbol running throughout the movie, I thought it was poorly done.
Some of the characters I simply found annoying. Cliched, lacking dimension and with ill-placed attempts at humour, it just didn't work for me, and added to the completely mis-judged accompanying score and some horrific scenes of violence, you have a great idea that simply fails.
Picture quality was a real mixed bag, with some softness in many shots and a lack of absolute clean lines and detail which mark the best BluRay transfers, punctuated by moments of strong detail and resolution. Audio was ok, but nothing spectacular.
Worth watching? I'd pass given the opportunity again...