58 of 62 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2008
I feel like I saw a different movie than some of the reviewers here. I suppose there was a lot more that could have been done in this movie, but what I saw was a film about the crew of Yamato, how they lived and died in their final days. In this regard, I thought the movie did a fine job.
If I had to compare movies, I would choose Black Hawk Down. Geopolitical issues nothwithstanding, the movie was about the sailors. How they fought and died together as brothers.
I'm a simple man, and I cried watching Yamato. I saw the film at a festival and the packed crowd of fairly sophisticated movie goers barely had a dry eye in the theater. The festival was in Hawaii, and the crowd was made up of various ethnicities, so I don't think race was even a factor in how people reacted to the movie.
41 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2007
This DVD recounts the story of enlisted crewmen aboard the ill fated IJN Yamato, the largest battleship in history. The DVD is in Japanese, with English subtitles. When ordering, make sure that you order the version that is good for all regions, otherwise it will not play in American DVD players. Region 2 and Region 3 are no good for American DVD players. The Japanese title is Otoko Tachi No Yamato and is from 2005. I bought it from the seller nanakiwi on Amazon.com. This is a good quality DVD, with a clear picture and good sound. The bonus features are rather skimpy, and are text only.
There is combat in this story, but it is mainly a story of how men deal with a losing war and imminent death. Secondly, it gives a good recreation of the rather intense and physical discpline that was inherent in the Japanese navy in World War II.
This film is pretty accurate from a military perspective, as the Japanese film makers have gone to great pains to recreate authenticity, even down to how the food was cooked!
The story is told in flashback, as the adopted daughter of one of the few survivors wants to visit the wreck site of Yamato on the 60th anniversary of its sinking. Later we learn that she scatters his ashes over the site where Yamato was sunk. The man who drives her there in a small boat is also one of the few survivors of the ship. During the voyage we learn more about this man and in the end he finally comes to grips with his life and his role aboard the IJN Yamato.
This is definately not a "rah rah" pro-nationalist type movie, but a moving human drama about the waste of war, and the people who are devestated by it. The soundtrack is excellent and the acting is first rate. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the Yamato specifically or wartime drama generally. Viewers who do not know alot of Japan may find it to be instructive as well, since the Japanese view of war and sacrifice offers interesting contrasts to the standard American view.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2010
First, I lived in Japan for six years, was in the U.S. Navy, toured the Battleship Mikasa and two U.S. Battleships, and read Admiral Yamamato's biography.
I ordered this DVD with the PBS Nova DVD, "Sinking the Supership", which re-uses some of the footage from this film. I'd also read the Wikipedia entry on the Yamato a few times.
With that background and a little knowledge of Japanese, I was able to watch this movie; I thought the CGI was cheap; the whole ships shakes when a small shell hits, but the ship doesn't roll in the sea, or even list when the ship makes a fast turn.
The star of the show, at least for me, was the English subtitles: "By 1941, Japan controlled Hong Kong, Singapore, Formosa and the Filipino." About every two minutes, the words on the screen are the opposite of what's going on in the movie. I wondered if they'd sail to Okinawa by way of Denver.
The character "Uchida" (right-hand face on the cover displayed here) looks like a Japanese double for Sean Penn. When he barks one-syllable orders in combat, he sounds like Sean Penn, too!
If you liked the movie "Pearl Harbor", this is for you. If you preferred "Tora, Tora, Tora!", I'd suggest the Nova DVD "Sinking the Supership".
80 of 112 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2007
I am sure the film's two five star reviewers will quickly launch with a confused attack playing the race/culture card as they have on the other reviewer here who seemed to like this film far more than most Japanese did. They would be wrong to do so or to make any assumptions about 'not understanding Japanese culture' since they do not understand modern Japanese culture in their reviews.
This is a film that caused a great deal of anger in Japan. Not just because of the way it rewrites history that so angered the Chinese. The Yamato is for many in Japan the great "acceptable" tragedy of the war (Hiroshima and Nagasaki still carry a stigma to this day). Many Japanese think of it in the same way many Americans think of 9/11 as a moment that changed the way they saw the world. It was the moment the war was publicly lost even if the fighting was to go on. It was the moment the people realised they were expected to die with no hope of victory. Nothing would ever be the same. The survivors stories of the sinking of the ship are heartrending and known to everyone in Japan. This film does not do them justice. It turns a hugely important moment in Japan's history into an imitation American-style war movie. Not even a good war movie. Only two scenes show that this could have been the film the crew of the Yamato deserved. One is when the ship sets out on its final mission and the crew are given lessons in how to die with honour and to let go of their pain and sorrow. The other is when the men realise that their commanders at home who expect them to die will not die themselves. Everything else is a missed chance. Everything else is pure Hollywood. What the Yamato meant and what the Japanese people learned from its destruction are ignored for more cliches, each cliche taking the place of a real tragedy. I expect at least two "not helpful" votes for this review but that does not change the low quality of this film.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2010
This is a film that had the potential to tell an important story about the Pacific War. It failed on so many levels that it is almost difficult to know where to start. The most obvious flaw in the film are the absolutely risible English subtitles that are so off the mark as to render the film almost incomprehensible. The device to tie the present and past together just doesn't work, is often confusing and detracts from the narrative. The acting is wooden which matches the less than convincing model of the ship and the rather obvious use of CGI. It is hard to understand how such a powerful story could be rendered essentially meaningless. Credit (or blame) should start with the director and all his enablers. What this film needed was a coherent and compelling narrative and a director with the vision and sensitivity of a Kurosawa. In the hands of a Kurosawa this would have been a story for the ages. As it is, we learn little new about how the Japanese people viewed the Pacific War, the symbolic importance that they attached to the Yamato and why the ship was sent off on its doomed mission. The Yamato story needs to be told. Let us hope that we will see that film sometime in the future. It's too big a story to be ignored.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 7, 2009
I rank this movie to be as good as 'Midway,The Longest Day.'or any war movie that speaks about loyality,duty to country and comradeship.In all of those characteristics,it is absolutely stunning.Considering that the replacement crew members were as young as 15 years old,they knew the mission was a one way ticket,yet they never wavered.The personal interaction between the characters is real and intense and honest,if you're sensitive to the good in us,this story will make you cry.I can't speak on culture,movie making,sub-titles,all that was lost in the story.There was no vivid sex scenes or undue violence.It's 5 Stars.2007 Japanese Drama Movie - YAMATO - w/ English Subtitle
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2010
A really bad movie, over dramatized, with an incredible amount of gore, blood and guts simply terrible...little or nothing about the ship... They don't even explain where or when the ship is in action.....As a profession naval author and historian I rate this movie at 1/4 star
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2013
I'm not a naval historian, so any Inaccuracies in this film aren't apparent to me. Having served on two different aircraft carriers in four years, I appreciate that this film got the look and feel of serving aboard a ship down pat. It's nice to see the "human side" of the opposing Japanese forces in World War II. The "book ends" of the film, set in contemporary times, are extremely well done and add a poignancy to the characters that you meet in the story. I love that the characters we follow on board ship are enlisted men and petty officers-something you don't usually see in big budget naval epics. I love movies like MIDWAY, IN HARMS WAY and TORA! TORA!TORA!, but they always have Commanding officers and such as the main characters, and we seldom get to see what the "little guys" are doing. YAMATO does an excellent job of making you feel like you've just been "piped aboard" by the Officer of the Deck, enroute to your first tour of duty as a new recruit aboard this steel behemoth!
Warning: This film can be extremely brutal in scenes, and especially gory during the battle scenes, so it's not recommended for younger children.
I'll sum this up by saying this is the one of the best naval war movies that I have ever seen, and I can't recommend it highly enough.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 4, 2012
Excellent.This movie has got to be one of the best action packed war flicks out there.The fact that it is based on the Battleship Yamato is reason enough to view.I for one have never seen or heard of a war movie taking place on a ship such as the Yamato.The computer effects are dead on.From beginning to end,this movie grabs you.You get all aspects of the nature of war.Especially the horror and the sacrifices involved.This movie is too realistic.If action packed war movies are your thing, this has got to be the best out there.You will definitely enjoy this one.By the way,the acting is superb.
This movie disappointed me greatly, for many reasons:
1. It was clearly made with a little budget and it shows immediately in the two battle sequences (the battle of Leyte in October 1944 and the final "Yamato" sortie during Okinawa campaign). It is especially disappointing for the final fight, when "Yamato" and her screen (cruiser "Yahagi" and the eight destroyers) faced hundreds of American planes (Avengers armed with torpedoes, Helldivers carrying bombers and Hellcats and Corsairs using their guns and rockets to suppress anti-aircraft guns). Do not expect a fair reconstruction of this apocalyptic fight - all the "American" planes look exactly the same, they fly in the same way, they are always hit in the same place, etc. The way the fire of main battery of "Yamato" is shown is extremely disappointing - the biggest guns ever mounted on a warship are barely audible and the terrifying effect of their salves is missing in action. The few CGI effects are barely noticeable and it seems that their only reason to be is to figure on the back cover of DVD to encourage (deceive?) the buyers. Oh, and finally, "Yahagi" and the destroyers are not even shown during the battle - when in the real story they valiantly and stubbornly stayed with "Yamato" to the end, "Yahagi" and three destroyers being destroyed in the process. (a fourth destroyer, "Asashimo", which was earlier separated from the rest of the group because of engine troubles, met also her fate this day, sinking with all her crew of 326...).
2. The scenario is a subtle mixture of patriotic propaganda and Hallmark family drama, without absolutely any feeling of authenticity. You will not find there any elements of real life of Japanese soldiers and sailors during WWII: the brutality of relations between officers and rank and file (and even more between NCOs and rank and file) is totally absent, you will not find anything about Japanese occupation of conquered countries (even if sailors go out on land in occupied territories), the backbreaking effort of hard daily work on a warship is absent, conflicts between people are barely there, dialogs are incredibly empty of any interesting content, etc. All sailors are squeaky clean, in good health, well fed, well behaved, never having any doubts or even a bad mood, drinking with moderation, never going to a cathouse (and we talk here about 2300 sailors 3000 miles from home!), always volunteering for more work, daily writing letters to the family and aspiring only and exclusively to die for the Emperor.
3. The crucial moments when the operation "Ten-Go" (the last sortie against Okinawa) is announced are very poorly shown. In the real history, many high level officers of Imperial Japanese Navy strongly objected against this madness, arguing that "Yamato" "Yahagi" and the eight destroyers could be better used in the defense of mainland. When the orders were maintained, they requested at least the air cover - which was denied (all available planes were send the same day against the American invasion fleet near Okinawa). There were more protests even after that - but all this tense and tragic situation is barely shown in the movie!
Considering all this, I believe that this movie is UNWORTHY of the tragedy which was "Yamato" last battle and the - useless and avoidable - death of 3700 sailors from "Yamato", "Yahagi", "Asashimo", "Isokaze", "Kasumi" et "Hamakaze". I really hope that another movie, better and more realistic, will be made one day. And for that reason, I advise you against buying this film, except if you are a total history freak (like me) and do not mind wasting a couple of bucks and some shelf space on a little, not very good, exotic curiosity.