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Pearl Harbor in the Movies

Pearl Harbor in the Movies...What to see...
"From Here to Eternity" | "In Harms Way" | "Tora! Tora! Tora!"| "Pearl Harbor" | Other Pearl Harbor Movies
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“Pearl Harbor” Buena Vista, 2001

This movie was released with a lot of media-hype. Not only was the movie one of the most expensive ever made even the premier in Hawaii was one of the most costly that a movie could have. The premier was on board an aircraft carrier, movie-stars and Pearl Harbor survivors attended along with a whole army of people from the press covering the event. The movie in uses a lot of special effects to depict the attack, but was criticized for the love-story that took up a lot of time in the movie. A directors cut, on four DVD's, should be a little bit more war and less love, for the person who wants to watch a war movie.

Success or Not

Maybe this movie had the most media-hype of 2001, was it worth it? The critics was split, between those who thought this movie exploited the name Pearl Harbor in order to produce a movie that concentrated on a love-story, a ”Titanic”-goes-Pearl Harbor. Others hailed the movie for the special effects, but looking at the poll that the Online Film Critics Society filled out for this web-page then ”Pearl Harbor” was not a success, 19 votes, while ”From Here to Eternity” scored 67 votes.

Cast your own vote here.

Director Michael Bay
ScreenPlay Randall Wallace
Production Jerry Bruckheimer
Cast Ben Affleck, Cuba Gooding Jr., Jon Voigt, Josh Hartnett, Kate Beckinsale, Carey Hiroyuki Tagawa, Alec Baldwin, Dan Akroyd, Mako


Photos from "Pearl Harbor"


“Pearl Harbor”

Los Angeles Times, May 25, 2001

“The film’s immense cast and crew, headed by director Michael Bay, writer Randall Wallace and stars Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett and Kate Beckinsale, blend artistery and technology to create a blockbuster entertainment that has passion, valor and tremendous action. Its combination of authentic aircraft and ships, stunt work and special effects re-creates the bombing in all its precise ferocity and immense scale. And despite its scale, “Pearl Harbor” has a brisk pace that makes this three-hour war epic seem like half that time.

“With an immense cast and stunning effects, "Pearl Harbor" vividly evokes an era of American innocence and the explosive moment that abruptly ended it.”... “"Pearl Harbor" has a superb reenactment of Japan's Dec. 7, 1941, bombing of a sizable portion of the U.S. Pacific fleet in Honolulu, an engaging love story and a remarkable evocation of a time when Americans virtually overnight pulled together to begin the grueling process of turning a military catastrophe into eventual triumph.”

The New Times in LA wrote about Pearl Harbor:

Pearl Harbor has no interest in the hows and whys that led to the Japanese attack, only in the booms. Tora! Tora! Tora! -- told from the Japanese and American perspectives with all the passion of a three-hour classroom lecture -- was about the details, peace talks and betrayals. But Pearl Harbor can't be bothered with history. Figures such as President Roosevelt (Jon Voight) and Admiral Yamamoto (Mako) are bit players in a movie obsessed with scenes of destruction and sex in airplane hangars. It's war porn, a movie that revels in the carnage -- this might as well be the attack on the Death Star (the planes move with the agility of X-wing fighters and blow up like TIE fighters) or the sinking of the Titanic (as the Arizona sinks, crewmen dangle from its deck like helpless passengers clinging to deck chairs).(From NewTimesLA.com)

CNN wrote

“…to quote Bob Dylan, the fast bullets fly, and it's every bit as impressive as you expect it to be. The editing is razor-sharp, the sound swirls around you, and Bay handles the difficult spatial relations of aerial combat without losing the audience. The sinking of the battleship Arizona is especially spectacular…”

While the above critics had a set mind on their opinion then BBC was split in what they thought about the movie

“Is this the blockbuster to beat? With a budget of over $150 million - making it the most costly film ever financed by a single studio - Disney certainly hope so. Directed with zero subtlety by "Armageddon" 's Michael Bay, it's a great, bloated mess of a picture with a weak script and bland performances. But its saving grace is a recreation of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that, for sheer eye-popping spectacle, makes "Titanic" look like a kiddies' bath toy.”