Pearl Harbor is finally here, what did ya think?
May 25, 2001 8:45 AM   Subscribe

Pearl Harbor is finally here, what did ya think? MeFi user beware! May contain spoilers. Click through with care.
Welcome back Matt!
posted by Brilliantcrank (36 comments total)
From the James Berardinelli review:
While Pearl Harbor doesn't have any big-name, A-list stars...
I thought Affleck was A-list?
posted by starvingartist at 9:14 AM on May 25, 2001

He only won an Oscar for his writing ability, not his acting ability. Armeggedon was his last major blockbuster. Bounce didn't go anywhere, and Forces of Nature wasn't grand in the Box Office. I think Damon might actually be doing better than he is.
posted by Cavatica at 9:45 AM on May 25, 2001

"Titanic 2: Pearl Harbor"
posted by Succa at 10:02 AM on May 25, 2001

Randomwalks says it best: Don't Let Disney Teach You About History!

And yes, you should follow that link and read it.
posted by lia at 10:09 AM on May 25, 2001 [1 favorite]

I saw a sneak preview of the film on Wednesday. As for this being "Titanic 2," I'd have to say that I thought the love story in "Pearl Harbor" was much better than the love story in "Titanic" (not that either of them is good, or even necessary, for that matter). This is also a much better film than Bay's last effort, the insipid "Armageddon." Still, this movie should have been a lot better than it is. It goes on WAY too long, for one thing. The battle scenes are truly spectacular, but everything after that is wretched. The film also relies on too many film cliches for me to list here (including dogs, the American flag, and the good guys walking towards the camera in slow-motion). On a scale from 1 to 10, I give it a generous 6.
posted by Reggie452 at 10:50 AM on May 25, 2001

MeFi user beware! May contain spoilers

Uh...pretty sure that we all know the outcome on this one, but thanks for the warning. And Succa: perfect movie review (Titanic II: Pearl Harbor). I totally don't understand why people would see this movie, unless it is solely for the "star power" (!) of Affleck, etc. And re: Affleck's status as "A-list?" No way. The reference to PH not having star power, I think, means that no *serious* stars over the age of, say, 35 are in this movie (think Redford, Streep, Heston, Hoffman, etc). This is a youth-marketed movie, much like Titanic. Let them have their fun - this is pretty harmless stuff. Sorry to keep rambling on this post - losing MeFi for that day and a half has warped my brain in some way.
posted by davidmsc at 10:54 AM on May 25, 2001

While I agreed with the link's headline, Don't Let Disney Teach You About History!, the rest of the article was a cut-and-paste job of old conspiratorial-theory garbage. I say DON'T bother reading the link. Save yourself some time:

"Pearl Harbor Was Not a Surprise Attack" - This crap has been pretty well refuted over the years, but I love how it still gets trotted out every December.

"The Attack Was Not Unprovoked" Granted, the U.S. was squeezing that Japanese on oil, but killing 2,400 servicemen is hardly justified because of an oil embargo.

"Why Would America Deliberately Sacrifice its Soldiers at Pearl Harbor?" It wouldn't you incredible moron. Nor would Roosevelt allow his precious Navy (he was former asst. navy sec. btw) to be scuttled either.

"Assessing the Damage ... 2,400 American soldiers died at Pearl Harbor. However over 100,000 innocent Japanese civilians died with the dropping of the first atomic bomb. As if this wasn't already frightening overkill, the US dropped a second bomb killing another 80,000 civilians." FYI, Hiroshima was the headquarters of the Japanese army on the main island. Given that fact, and the fact that thousands of Japanese civilians had trained to fight a U.S. invasion in a guerilla action, I wouldn't say everyone was innocent. I'd trade 180,000 lives for the more than 2 million U.S. and Japanese that would have died in a land invasion that would have dragged out the war until at least 1947.

"Don't Let Disney Teach Our Children History" The one true statement on this stupid web page.
posted by darren at 11:18 AM on May 25, 2001

I still think setting a love story on a boat during a tragedy is in titanically poor taste. But what absolutely boggled my mind was that the premiere had them setting off fireworks over pearl harbor. With absolutely no sense of irony. They should have just had Zeros dropping confetti bombs over the crowd.
posted by anildash at 11:22 AM on May 25, 2001

I got shivers and freaked out and all emotionally manipulated over just the trailers for Pearl Harbor, but I have the sinking feeling (oo... no pun intended) that I've seen all I need to see of this Disneyfied historical-testosterone extravaganza.

However, I'll be forking over the bucks for this movie simply for the guilty pleasure of seeing on the big screen what I've been all moony-eyed over all day on my sad wee little computer screen: The latest Fellowship of the Ring trailer.
posted by kittyb at 12:26 PM on May 25, 2001

...and the good guys walking towards the camera in slow-motion

I was hoping that Michael Bay would have stepped away from this 'macho' filming techinque that is always present in all of his movies. Sheesh...

Thanks for saving me $10!
posted by Sal Amander at 1:45 PM on May 25, 2001

I'm glad to hear this movie is out - the sooner it dies, the sooner they'll stop running that damned trailer. It's overbearing, sappy, transparently manipulative, and way too loud. From the sounds of it, that makes the trailer much like the movie itself, so I suppose it's effective advertising.

posted by Mars Saxman at 2:06 PM on May 25, 2001

The Lord of the Rings trailer was great.

The movie itself...Starship Troopers - the Prequel said my friend. He was right.
posted by Mick at 3:27 PM on May 25, 2001

Who wins the War? America or Sony?
posted by Postroad at 4:18 PM on May 25, 2001

You know, instead of watching Pearl Harbor, go rent Tora! Tora! Tora!, instead. Please.
posted by Big Fat Tycoon at 4:23 PM on May 25, 2001

I heard "Starship Troopers without the irony"
posted by muta at 4:37 PM on May 25, 2001

Despite Darren's recommendation, I say do go read the page, as what Darren posted here is not what is posted there.

It goes without saying that I believe FDR would personally poke out the left eye of every newborn in the country to get us in that war. In fact I believe poking out eyes was the man's fondest wish. Still I have never seen anything that looked like real proof the old fucker knew anything about the attack.

Oh how I wish there was a hell.
posted by thirteen at 4:48 PM on May 25, 2001

Though I am not the author of the Disney piece, (dj says it is text from a flyer that's being distributed in front of movie theaters) I am responsible for that "stupid web page" and thus I will proudly wear the mantle of "incredible moron" if it means even one person will reconsider spending their money on that trash.

I am less of a historian than I am a rah-rah patriot (and I am not one of those) so I can't claim to have studied the matter, but I think we would all appreciate it if you Darren would refute, or at least link to a refutation of, the positions taken on that stupid web page.

(Forgive the gratuitous self-linking. I am hoping to draw readers who Google "stupid web page".)
posted by sudama at 7:57 PM on May 25, 2001

what Darren posted here is not what is posted there

Looks like he quoted it word-for-word to me.
posted by Potsy at 8:06 PM on May 25, 2001

my dads stories were better.
posted by clavdivs at 8:35 PM on May 25, 2001

Listened to a radio interview this morning with one of the navy nurses at Pearl Harbor who was flown to the premier in Hawaii. I almost went off the road I was laughing so hard as she kept repeating "well, that's not how it really happened, you know. We (the nurses) weren't really out there doing those things!"


posted by NsJen at 11:14 PM on May 25, 2001

Well Ebert certainly slammed the film:

"Its centerpiece is 40 minutes of redundant special effects, surrounded by a love story of stunning banality. The film has been directed without grace, vision or originality, and although you may walk out quoting lines of dialogue, it will not be because you admire them.

The filmmakers seem to have aimed the film at an audience that may not have heard of Pearl Harbor, or perhaps even of World War II. This is the Our Weekly Reader version."
In downtown Seattle this evening at 7:10pm, there were at least 300 people in line for the 7:45 showing. Hype will get you everywhere.
posted by gluechunk at 11:55 PM on May 25, 2001

The points were quoted word for word, but the supporting comments were not included here.
This was posted with reply:
"The Attack Was Not Unprovoked" Granted, the U.S. was squeezing that Japanese on oil, but killing 2,400 servicemen is hardly justified because of an oil embargo.

And this is what appeared:
2.The Attack Was Not Unprovoked. In October of 1940 Lieutenant Commander Arthur H. McCollum wrote a memo to FDR that began, "The United States desires that Japan commit the first overt act". The memo described an eight step plan for provoking Japan into attacking The United States. The steps mostly constituted the building of bases that would encroach on Japan's borders and making alliances with the Chinese to help fight Japanese expansion. Each step on the list was undertaken by FDR and in 1941 the last and most provocative of the eight steps was instituted. An embargo, cutting Japan off from all supplies of rubber, jute, tin, oil and iron was instituted. When FDR tried to pass this embargo Congress warned him that he would surely provoke an attack from Japan. A few weeks later they were proven right.

I think it was worth visiting to read the supporting material.
posted by thirteen at 6:55 AM on May 26, 2001

I hate it when jute gets cut off, i need that jute. Japan attacked with honor in my book. Oil is the key. japan solved a lot of material problems (created more) when she attacked the west...TORA TORA TORA rules and only a 35 minute wait for tickets in Seattle? My father remembers the "postal" like confusion amongst the shore patrol. The american-japanese hid out, fearing reprisals. the color barrier was broken to an extent and rank was almost secondary those first 6 hours or so. It is amazing that acts of revenge were not committed wholesale against these the japanese-americans. (why intern the Californians but not Hawaiian?)
posted by clavdivs at 7:56 AM on May 26, 2001

Jute, oil, hemp. You'd be surprised how valuable some commodities are. As I understand it, we're (USA) looking the other way as children are sold into slavery so as not to impede the flow of gum arabic into the States.
posted by sudama at 7:31 PM on May 26, 2001

Ford made a car door cover out of it yes? Damn sturdy stuff."hey buddy, youz gonna smoke that door"? I forget the author but the title is 'Oil and War' about how WWII was one big petrol race.
posted by clavdivs at 8:24 PM on May 26, 2001

I just saw Pearl Harbor - entertaining eye candy but the first 30 minutes was drawn out and boring.

And for the folks here who would like to change history to make it "politically correct", please read before you spew.
posted by owillis at 10:45 PM on May 26, 2001

Its a chick flick! Seriously. Theres about 20 mins of actual war and the rest is a love story.. a twisted love story with little redeming value right out of a harliquim book or a daytime soap-opera. I laughed when she saves all the men with her lipstick while perfectly dressed and maniqured. And the only woman in the movie with any redeming character, the one who marrys the nerd Red, gets killed. If they are going to kill her they should have also killed Ben Afflack. Maybe he gets it in the sequel.
posted by stbalbach at 5:07 AM on May 27, 2001

Oliver--who wants to change history? What are you talking about?
posted by rodii at 9:01 AM on May 27, 2001

Thank you thank you thank you Owillis! This whole conspiracy theory thing makes my blood boil, seriously. I'm getting my damn PhD in American military history, and I still can't convince stupid damn moronic conspiracy theorists who've never cracked open a book by a reputable historian that FDR, no matter how badly he wanted us to get into WWII, would never allow the U.S. Navy to be crippled in the way it was after Pearl Harbor. He wanted to be able to fight the war once we got in, damn it!

Sorry for the rant, but this makes me crazy. Anyone who hasn't followed the link owillis provided and still wants to beleive the crap spewed above, please follow that link at least be an informed moron. All the evidence needed to prove that Pearl Harbor was not planned, but was in fact more of an intelligence failure is in the investigation. And last, but not least, all four of FDR's sons served in the armed forces during the war, two of them in the Navy. I know I've read that one of those sons was AT PEARL HARBOR. Now, maybe FDR wanted us to get in the war. Maybe he was willing to sacrifice the whole goddamn fleet. Maybe he was willing to sacrifice the lives of countless service men and women. But he for DAMN SURE was not going to put his own son in danger. See Doris Kearns Goodwin, No Ordinary Time. Sorry, no web link.

Okay, rant over. Back to trashing the movie, which I refuse to see because I'd be picking apart the historical inaccuracies and most likely annoying the crap out of whoever went to the movie with me.
posted by jennaratrix at 3:05 PM on May 27, 2001

I'll stick with "incredible moron"... sounds much cooler than "informed moron," don't you think? jennaratrix, why don't you tell us how you feel about stupid damn moronic conspiracy theorists who have cracked open a book by a reputable historian?

I think an important point that hasn't been discussed is that FDR apparently intended to provoke Japan to attack. This is more interesting to me than whether he knew about Pearl Harbor beforehand. If he was trying to provoke the Japanese then he has some explaining to do. Let's talk about points 2, 5 and 6 and the second half of point 4 why don't we? History is just a story after all. The way we tell it and to what end is as important as what is told.
posted by sudama at 11:27 PM on May 27, 2001

sudama, before jennaratrix rips you a new one, i will. Any action the U.S. imposed upon japan was fair and warranted. the expansionist policies of japan had been going since, what 1932? we warned them, they wanted all the oil, rubber and tin. No idiot would open themselves up that much, hell Nimitz would have whacked FDR and his whole fuckin family if a hint of conspiracy was true...this is the kind of movie that brings out the fake tears and blown up patriotism. Pearl was an embarrassment then a tragedy(I'll get hell for that statement) In a bombshelter my father overheard shorepatrol talking about orders they had received:Kill all women and children in the face of the enemy. The movie (probably not the books either) did not gave you that little tidbit. It took 50 years to forgive the Japanese. the old man had to bite his fuckin lip when a Japanese exchange student wanted to join the little league team for which he was coach. The kid did not join and my father had the sense not to interfere, which to me is the mark of proper behavior, to do (or not to do) inspite of a prejudice. So fuck this Hollywood-afflicked puss film. It wont deal with real issues, It is like a bad version of a Yeats poem.WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED.
posted by clavdivs at 8:06 AM on May 28, 2001

You know, there doesn't have to be a complete binary choice between US-as-innocent-victim and US-baits-Japan-into-war. There's a middle ground here. FDR was engaged in a long-term game of brinksmanship with Japan, not unlike Reagan was with the Soviets or we seem to be developing with China. There were a number of possible outcomes, ranging from the very unlikely (Japan retreats from expansionism, Japan attacks the US mainland) to the very likely (military confrontation in the Philippines). But something was very clearly going to happen. An embargo is traditionally an act of war. You don't have to be a conspiracy theorist to realize that confrontation, probably military confrontation, was inevitable.

They say you always prepare to fight the last war; a little re-run of the Russo-Japanese War would probably have suited FDR just fine (only with our side as the winner, of course). But I don't think FDR anticipated the audacity of the Pearl Harbor attack, and there was simply no precedent for the scope of the Pacific war, or its entanglement with the European war.
posted by rodii at 9:38 AM on May 28, 2001

Ever notice how mentioning the Russo-Japanese War always kills a thread?
posted by rodii at 12:37 PM on May 28, 2001

I thought that was Boer War that killed a link?
posted by clavdivs at 8:49 AM on May 29, 2001

This is a quality review by a qualtiy writer, Andrew O'Hagan. Well worth a look. I know this thread is very dead but just so it's in the records!
posted by nedrichards at 6:43 AM on June 1, 2001

I have some deep moral issues about stomaching any of the sugar coated love stroy they wrapped around on of the most important battles in histroy. I would say more, but I think my pal Nick did a much better job in the second half of his June 3rd post.
posted by fischler at 8:34 PM on June 4, 2001

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