Pearl Harbor [Blu-ray]
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br/> 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
Top Customer Reviews
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?
Critics have been hard on the love story that takes up the opening section. This part of the film is really necessary as it puts a human face on the horrible attack and the subsequent bomber raid on Japan. Yes, it is a typical "lovers seperated by war, brought together by tragedy" script, but it is very well done. Ben Affleck, Kate Beckinsale and Josh Hartnett are excellent and moving as the three caught in a situation they never wanted. Their story is much more involving and believable than the romance that James Cameron forced on "Titanic".
A number of actors who usually star in other films are used to advantage in smaller roles. Alec Baldwin is an excellent "Jimmy Doolittle". It is amazing that on a recent talk show, the host, in her late 30s, did not know who Doolittle was (an example of why this film is important in bringing history to the younger audiences). Jon Voight is a wonderful President Roosevelt. Cuba Gooding, Jr. in a very small, but important role, is a standout.Read more ›
As for the rest of the movie, the makers thought they could use the love-triangle formula from Titanic, and in that respect they fail miserably. The moment that first bomb landed in Pearl Harbor, everything else was rendered meaningless. All of a sudden, the problems of three people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world, yet I'm supposed to still care about these people and their pitiful concerns.
I could more than tolerate Kate Beckinsale. She did an admirable job, and the horror and disbelief he displayed when the victims started rolling in after the attack began was probably not too far off from what the real-life nurses demonstrated that day. She was very much in the moment. While I thought that Ben Affleck was excellent in Argo, he brought nothing here. I think he's come a long way since this mess. In what was supposed to be his big "breakout" role, Josh Hartnett exhibited a range similar to that of wallpaper.
Aside from the attack, the other reason I don't despise this film with every fiber of my being is that I saw this for $6.50 at a matinee. For some reason, that made the whole experience less painful.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is one star too many: Bad writing. Bad acting. Historical inaccuracies. Computer graphics that look like cartoons stuck into a live-action movie, but without the charm of Ben... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Gary E. Mayk
There may be much to be said about the quality of the film, the historical accuracy, etc. For me it is important that the new generation learn something about WWII. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Neem
Romantic love story loosely (VERY LOOSELY) based on the historic attack on Pearl Harbor that started the US involvement in WWII. Read morePublished 12 days ago by aspiringdoc
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