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Pearl Harbor


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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

History comes alive in the unforgettable epic motion picture PEARL HARBOR, the spectacular blockbuster brought to the screen by Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay. Astounding visual and audio effects put you at the center of the event that changed the world -- that early Sunday morning in paradise when warplanes screamed across the peaceful skies of Pearl Harbor and jolted America into World War II. This real-life tale of catastrophic defeat, heroic victory, and personal courage focuses on the war's devastating impact on two daring young pilots, Ben Affleck (ARMAGEDDON) and Josh Hartnet (THE VIRGIN SUICIDES), and a beautiful, dedicated nurse, Kate Beckinsale (SERENDIPITY). PEARL HARBOR is extraordinary moviemaking -- a breathtaking reenactment of the "date which will live in infamy" and a heartfelt tribute to the men and women who lived it.

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To call Pearl Harbor a throwback to old-time war movies is something of an understatement. Director Michael Bay's epic take on the bombing that brought the United States into World War II hijacks every war movie situation and cliché (some affectionate, some stale) you've ever seen and gives them a shiny, glossy spin until the whole movie practically gleams. Planes glisten, water sparkles, trees beckon--and Bay's re-creation of the bombing itself, a 30-minute sequence that's tightly choreographed and amazingly photographed, sets the action movie bar up quite a few notches. And in updating the classic war film, Bay and screenwriter Randall Wallace (Braveheart) use that old plot standby, the love triangle--this time, it's between two pilots (Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett) and a nurse (Kate Beckinsale) who find themselves stationed at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, during what they thought would be a nice, sunny tour of duty. Then, of course, history intervened.

For the first 90 minutes of the movie, Affleck and Beckinsale find a nice, appealing chemistry that plays on his strengths as a movie star and hers as a serious actress--he gives her glamour, she gives him smarts. Their truncated romance--the beginning of which is told in flashback so we can get right to the point where he has to leave her to go to England--works, thanks to their charm. They're no Kate and Leo from Titanic (a strategy the film strives hard toward), but they're pretty darn adorable in their own right. Hartnett, as the not entirely unwelcome third wheel, squints bravely but makes only a slight dent in the film. Everyone else in Pearl Harbor--from Cuba Gooding Jr.'s brave navy seaman to Jon Voight's able impersonation of FDR--is pretty much a glorified walk-on, taking a backseat to the pyrotechnics and action sequences that keep the three-hour film in fairly constant motion. But when that action does take hold, Pearl Harbor is quite a thrilling ride. --Mark Englehart


Special Features

"Journey To The Screen: The Making Of PEARL HARBOR"

Product Details

  • Actors: Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett, Kate Beckinsale, Jon Voight, Ewen Bremner
  • Directors: Michael Bay
  • Writers: Randall Wallace
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Touchstone Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: December 4, 2001
  • Run Time: 183 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,398 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00003CXTG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #952 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Pearl Harbor" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

96 of 112 people found the following review helpful By Shane Bushman on January 30, 2007
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This movie was definitely one to show off the Blu-Ray format, but some corporate genius decided not to pay MS royalties for the use of VC-1, and they went with MPEG2 again on PH. Unless you have the sharpness dialed down on your set, or a 720p display blocking can be seen on this title pretty easily. If you're not sensitive to it then you're lucky. It comes through looking almost like a second layer of grain, but not the very fine grain of good film we're used to. I know some films are intentionally grainy, but rather than error diffusion (like real grain) this movie exhibits patterned grain. It is an artifact of MPEG2 block in motion.

Titles released on Blu-Ray in VC1 encoding have proven how much better they can look. Why won't they maximize the potential of the format already?
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48 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Paul Huang on November 6, 2007
Format: Blu-ray
This movie is very enjoyable in plot and special effects. But, unfortunately the video transfer was poorly done in Blu-ray. If you already have standard DVD version, save your money.
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54 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Steven Hancock on June 16, 2002
Format: DVD
The Vista Series has released the biggest and greatest DVD package ever assembled with "Pearl Harbor- The Director's Cut." The new 184 Minute cut is edited better. The attack sequence is more realistic and graphic, the reason for this cut's R-rating. And the four-disc set features hours of behind-the-scenes footage, two documentaries on the real attack and the Doolittle Raid, and commentary tracks from Michael Bay and Janine Basinger; Jerry Brucheimer, Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett and Alec Baldwin; The Director of Photography, Costume Designer, Visual Effects Supervisor and Composer. A great addition to the DVD collection. And if you think this is good, then get ready for the November release of "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring- The Director's Edition" four-disc set! Movie Grade: A+; DVD Grade: A+
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Robert Campbell on July 5, 2013
Format: Blu-ray
If I could give this bunch of garbage 0 stars I would have.

Seriously, this is an insult to the men and women who served and/or lived through the Pearl Harbor attack. What? There wasn't enough drama in the REAL story so they had to make up this bunch of garbage? I think the producers knew it was garbage too, because even the theater trailer gave no hint to the garbage that this movie was. The trailer focused on the actual attack which, although visually done well, seemed to be an afterthought towards the end of the movie. So, I got tricked in to going to see the movie in the theater and walked out of the theater feeling like I was actually dumber for having seen this garbage. By the way, did I mention that this movie is garbage?

Do yourself a favor. Preserve your intelligence and avoid this movie.
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35 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Chillianis on January 6, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Where to begin?
OK.
Why in Heaven's name would the producers go through all the effort to digitally recreate "Battleship Row" and waves upon waves of attacking Japanese aircraft, only to show a US NAVY NIMITZ Class nuclear carrier in another scene, and try to palm it off as a Japanese carrier? And the footage of the TICONDEROGA Class Guided Missile Cruisers (First commissioned in 1980), interspersed with the WWII battleships getting blown up, was another anachronistically lovely touch as well.
Add to this a sophomoric love triangle to titillate the pre-pubescent girls (and some of their mothers) in the audience, and pitch it all as a tribute to the fighting men of WWII, and you have the recipe for a totally overhyped, "film that will live in infamy".
The most enjoyable part of the tape, for me, was the "History Channel" program that followed the movie, and showed actual footage from 1941, and told the story of some of the unsung heroes of that day. It's a shame that the producers couldn't spare a few minutes from their three hour long tribute to "Love Story", so rudely interrupted by a few obligatory battle scenes, to do justice to these brave men's story.
Do yourself a favor and get the Widescreen version of "Tora, Tora, Tora" instead. No digital "magic", but an infinitely better telling of the story of the "date that will live in infamy". Sorry girls, no Ben Affleck either.
By the way, the passenger car outside Ben Affleck's train window, "Silver Horizon" was built for the "California Zephyr" in 1948, 7 years after Pearl Harbor. But that's being real picky, I know.
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29 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Yarby on September 1, 2003
Format: DVD
The cinematography was beautiful and the sets were beautiful, catching the time period perfectly. What a pity that they had to be wasted on this pitiful excuse of a movie!
Much like "Titanic" which preceded it (for which the above paragraph could apply in its entirety), "Pearl Harbor", rather than being a great movie about a historic tragic event, offended the viewer by using the event merely as a backdrop for a "chick flick" plot...and a very POOR one at that.
I truly looked forward to this movie, believing the writers and producers would show this event the respect it deserved. So sad that the remaining WWII vets get THIS as a "tribute". What an insult! One can only envision the next step being a romance story called "9-11: The Twin Towers".
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Todd M. Rector on April 15, 2002
Format: DVD
I'd give it less if I could.
I can't believe I wasted 3 hours of my life on this. thankfully, I paid nothing to see this film. I kept waiting for it to get going. then, everything happens in one predictable flury of events and then it ends.

The following should be read in the cynical tone intended:

This is Hollywood predictability at it's Best. Lets start with The 2 main characters flying playing "chicken" getting confused and at the last minute pulling it through for an oh so thrilling near hit. THIS won't show up later in the film, no!
ok, then Ben Affleck Dies (hurray!) but, wait. he can't die he's the star and he's only been in the movie for about 20 minutes. Then His best friend, Josh Hartnett hits on his girl! Didn't see that coming either. Wow, and the sex scence in the dimly lit parachutes. how freakin' original. Then Ben comes back and shrugs his pal. how could he after all they've been through together?
(I'm using their real names not the charcters names for it doesn't really matter what they're called in the movie. You can never get past that you are watching Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett, for neither could act enough to make you believe they are someone else)
Then the 2 make up the night before the day on infamy. good thing too cause they are the ONLY TWO PIOLTS LEFT WHO CAN FLY AND SCARE AWAY THE ENTIRE JAPANESE FLEET!!!!!
After watching the movie I came to a conclusion that it must be in Ben Affleck's Contract that he can not die. He lived through Armagedon(I almost didn't) and here He crashes twice, is shot at numerous times and still out lives his best freind, Josh, who takes a bullet for him goes home and raises Josh's Son and marries the girl. Josh Hartnett needs a better manager to say he gets to live and gets the girl.
Read more ›
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Topic From this Discussion
Does anyone other than me think that this is a truely touching story...
Sorry Megan but your on your own. Love stories set during war aren't uncommon, as a matter of fact there are tons of the damn things.

However, and even though I'm not an American, to take a subject like Pearl Harbour and turn it into this rubbish, it really does a disservice to every one of the... Read More
Oct 30, 2006 by Amazon Customer |  See all 21 posts
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