Flags of Our Fathers


Action / Drama / History / War


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November 10, 2012 at 08:22 AM



Scott Eastwood as Lundsford
Paul Walker as Hank Hansen
Tom McCarthy as James Bradley
Neal McDonough as Captain Severance
720p 1080p
900.49 MB
23.976 fps
2hr 15 min
P/S 5 / 46
1.80 GB
23.976 fps
2hr 15 min
P/S 4 / 21

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Douglas Young (the-movie-guy) 8 / 10

The story is realistic and very compelling by not glorifying war

(Synopsis) There were five Marines and one Navy Corpsman photographed raising the U.S. flag on Mt. Suribachi by Joe Rosenthal on February 23, 1945. "Flags of Our Fathers" is the story of three of the six surviving servicemen, John "Doc" Bradley (Ryan Phillippe), Pvt. Rene Gagnon (Jesse Bradford), and Pvt. Ira Hayes (Adam Beach), who fought in the battle to take Iwo Jima. The picture became one of the most famous images of the U.S. winning a battle during WWII. However, the battle for Iwo Jima raged on for another month with three of the marines being killed in action. The other three servicemen were taken out of battle and flown back to the states. The photo made these men heroes, and the government used these new heroes to promote the selling of war bonds on the War Bond Tour. The three men did not believe they were heroes, even though the American public did.

(My Comment) The film was based on the book written by Doc's son, James Bradley. It wasn't until his father's death that he found out that Doc was one of the Iwo Jima flag raisers. Soldiers with real combat experiences usually keep their war stories to themselves. Clint Eastwood directed the film, and he didn't pull any punches in the battle scenes, even though the battle for Iwo Jima was considered one of the bloodiest against the Japanese in the Pacific. The only problem I had with the movie was that Eastwood used too many flashbacks that jumped around and made the movie hard to follow. The movie would have been better if Eastwood had gone in chronicle order with some flashbacks. During the battle scenes, you actually see the chaos that soldiers encounter on the battlefield. Overall, I found the story to be realistic and very compelling by not glorifying war. It is a long movie, but the time passes very fast. This film will receive many Oscar nominations. Some of the movie is graphically violent and shows the dark side of war, and the effects war has on our returning soldiers. (Warner Brothers Pictures, Run time 2:12, Rated R) (8/10)

Reviewed by lavatch 5 / 10

A Comparison with "Citizen Kane"

As directed masterfully by Clint Eastwood, "Flags of Our Fathers" plays both as a war film and a sensitive human drama. It begs comparison with Orson Welles' screen masterpiece "Citizen Kane" in the film's scope and its structure.

The "rosebud" of "Flags of Our Fathers" is one of the greatest icons of American history: the photograph of the raising of the flag on the tiny island of Iwo Jima and the strategic importance of the bloody combat for the acquisition of a landing strip to nearby Japan for American planes. The questions that the film carefully traces are (1) Who were the Marines pictured in the famous photograph? and (2) Was this famous tableau a "staged" scene, as opposed to a real event?

To answer these questions, the film moves episodically among three time-frames--the horrifying battle for the hill at the western tip of Iwo Jima; the time in which three servicemen are identified as the heroes in the picture and paraded ceremonially around America to promote the sale of war bonds; and the time of the death of John "Doc" Bradley, one of the alleged Iwo Jima flag-raisers, as his son seeks to learn the hidden truth about his dad, much like the newspaper reporter on the trail of "rosebud" in "Citizen Kane."

The outstanding pacing of the film by Eastwood is matched by the creative cinematography and the work of designers who accomplish these extraordinary tasks: the recreation of the Iwo Jima theater of war with location filming; a spectacular amphibious landing; grisly scenes of combat....plus detailed period scenes on the home-front. As a minor spoiler alert: please be sure to stay through the film's closing credits for a thoughtful montage of still photographs of the Battle of Iwo Jima, as well as the three protagonists, Bradley, Gagnon, and Hayes.

Among the fine ensemble cast, it is impossible to forget Adam Beach's sensitive and heartbreaking performance as Ira Hayes, a Native American who is simultaneously made into a war hero and marginalized due to his race. Hayes never felt comfortable in claiming status as a hero for his involvement in the flag-raising. In an emotionally-wrenching scene in a hotel room before a military superior, Beach's character breaks down and poignantly expresses the camaraderie and love felt for the fallen members of his battalion. Indeed for all three of the purported flag-raisers, the true heroes were those veterans who sacrificed their lives so that the flag could be raised on Iwo Jima. For this moving and important message, "Flags of Our Fathers" deserves to be placed not only among the greatest war films of all time, but also alongside classics like "Citizen Kane."

Reviewed by Matt Rivenbark ([email protected]) 10 / 10

An amazing accomplishment

I've always felt that when you fictionalize a story about war, you dishonor the memory of so many people who have a compelling story to tell by choosing to make something up instead *cough*privateryan*cough*.

The problem with war movies about real people is that you have to deal with complexities of character and plot that the genre simply doesn't lend itself easily to.

So when the story at hand aims to pose questions like "what does it mean to do the wrong things for the right reasons" and tries to debunk the popular myth of herodom, there's very little margin for error.

Enter Clint Eastwood. Never one to shy away from challenging stories, this is a much bigger effort than his usual understated character dramas. On the one hand, it doesn't "feel" like a Clint Eastwood movie, but on the other, it feels at home in his themes of used-up heroes -- the person behind the larger than life persona. These are complex characters in very difficult situations, and he presents them in a way that's straightforward and non-judgmental, so we're left to decide the answers to the film's central conflicts ourselves.

To a person, the cast is up to the challenge. It's hard not to admire Ryan Phillippe for a restrained and thoughtful performance, but the real kudos go to Adam Beach. Almost every aspect of Beach's character is cliche, with one minor exception - that's really the way Ira Hayes was. So the challenge was to portray Hayes as a real person despite the cliche, and the result is one of the most heartbreaking and troubling performances in the film. Here's a guy who is portrayed as a hero, who really has no answers at all.

There's a lot not to like about the film. It's not "entertaining" per se, in the same way that any war memorial in DC is not entertaining. Nor is it a particularly approachable film. What it lacks in popcorn-munching entertainment value, it replaces with gravitas. This is an important film, about an important time. It's status as a valuable history lesson is secondary to it's reflections on human nature and our society. As such, it deserves to be seen, and contemplated, and appreciated.

I can't wait for Letters From Iwo Jima (the companion piece, also from Clint Eastwood, told from the Japanese point of view.) Taken together, the scope of this project is breathtaking.

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