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Pandemonium erupts in Los Angeles after the WWII attack on Pearl Harbor in the wartime spoof, 1941, directed by Steven Spielberg. Starring Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, this epic comedy soufflé features lavish special effects and screwball characters in an all-star extravaganza set on the streets of Hollywood. As hysterical Californians prepare for an imagined Japanese invasion, a motley crew of defenders attempt to guard their beloved palm-tree-lined coast.
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Fristly and most importantly the movie looks like it was filmed with a piece of gauze over it to put a hazy mist on everything for the whole movie. That is not the DVD, as others have mentioned, it is how it was filmed. With the resolution we are used to now, this haze is annoying in the extreme for me. It actually ruins the film to watch.
Secondly, although it's fun to look at the time frame and the actors and the scenery this movie simply careens from one situation to the next. There is no reason to have John Belushi's character plot in the movie but there it is. The lead protagonist is sublimated by the secondary actors - chief among them Dan Ackroyd. The secondary characters completely take over the movie and I no longer cared about the main plot if there was one.
It's fun to look at in spots but really Spielberg is out of control as a director here. View at your own risk and have fun.
Image quality is vastly improved over terrible DVD but some scenes are still fuzzy, but most likely intentionally on the part of the film makers.
As an aside, many of the events portrayed in the movie are based on fact, although obviously not as shown. Following Pearl Harbor there was indeed a Battle of Los Angeles, in which war nerves led to an all out flak barrage over the city during a false alarm (I think some UFO nuts still try to claim flying saucers were responsible). There were indeed Zoot Suit Riots in L.A., at least partially ethnically-motivated.
There are a lot of characters in this film: Dan Ackroyd, John Candy, Christopher Lee, even Lenny and Squiggy as Air Defenders! It's like my generation's version of It's Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. If you've never seen it you owe it to yourself to watch.
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I love the extended version better
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