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In the brutal World War II Battle of Saipan, Sergeant Joe Enders (Academy AwardÂ(r) winner*Nicolas Cage) guardsand ultimately befriendsBen Yahzee (Adam Beach), a young Navajo trained in the one wartime code never broken by the enemy, the Navajo Code. But if Yahzee should fall into Japanese hands, how far will Enders go to save the military's most powerful secret? John Woodirects this "exciting" (Premiere),
- Audio commentary with Director John Woo and Producer Terence Chang
- Audio commentary by Nicolas Cage and Christian Slater
- Audio commentary by Roger Willie and Navajo Code Talker Advisor Albert Smith
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Although it is not an true story it is a story it causes us to remember all the men and women who sacrificed so much to go to war for the freedom of our land. This movie makes you cry and proud of the bravery and sacrifice of these Navajo men, who answered the call. Let's never forget. Thank you for making this movie, if not for the movie many of us would not have known about these men.
OK, I, probably like many, missed the film in the theaters, and so when I found out that it was coming out on DVD so soon, I was both shocked and excited. Shocked that it was coming out so soon, excited because I missed it in the theaters. So gladfully I pre-ordered the DVD early on. I rccently received it and I gave it a spin. I do have a surround sound system, but it's out of commission getting my sub-woofers replaced, so therefore I was left watching it without full sound effects. But nevertheless, after several of the battle scenes, (and there were many), I felt like I was watching a conglomeration of about every Pacific Theater John Wayne movie ever made with today's production values and special effects of course.
Now then, I asked myself, is that bad? or is it good for a change? Especially coming off of films like SPR, Thin Red Line, and Band of Brothers, I feel a change would be welcome. The film is refreshing in one way, while extremely hoaky in another. It was refreshing in that for once our senses were treated to a more light-hearted war movie that didn't have all the emotional baggage with it like Thin Red Line did. On the otherhand, it was hoaky because the battle scenes just seemed so surreal due to that it appeared that no one bullet was fired that MISSED its target. I mean, when our heroes had run out of rifle or SMG ammo, they resorted to pistols. In on scene near the end, Cage pops off several rounds of his pistol and every bullet hits and kills a Japanese soldier at probably maximum range of the pistol. And if that was unbelievable, every round from a rifle or SMG seemd to hit their mark. I mean when you turn around and spray a hill with Thompson SMG fire and you kill the half dozen soldeirs running down that hill, something tells me that really couldn't happen that way.
But with that bit of hoakiness set aside, the battle scenes, of which there were many, were quite entertaining to watch and I assume to listen to as well. Lots of explosions from Japanese artillery and Hellcats dropping bombs. I noticed some of the sets used looked very similar to sets used in older Pacific Theater movies, which gave me the idea of the John Wayne connection.
But anyway, I give the film 3-stars. An average rating. Not the best, but surely not the worst either. It's fun to watch, you just gotta put aside any WWII knowledge you might have and enjoy yourself. Oh yeah, better pop some popcorn too.