Monday, February 12, 2007

Flags of Our Fathers: Grade D


Flags of Our Fathers (2006)

Director Clint Eastwood. Unknown (to me) actors.

I thought we were done with WWII movies. Every story that could possibly be told about that war has surely been told by now and maybe that’s why this movie is only a long string of clich├ęs stitched crudely together. War is hell, okay, we got that. The angle in this movie focuses on the 6 Marines who raised the flag over Iwo Jima in that famous Rosenthal photograph. Three survivors of that event are shipped stateside to flog War Bonds in support of a bankrupt government and military. They are appalled at being cynically plugged into a public relations machine that paints them as heroes, but they do it anyway. The acting is cringingly bad and the characters are flat, uncreative stereotypes, right down to the drunken Indian. There is no dramatic tension. There are some photographic moments in the war scenes where the colors are just this side of b&w but that’s not good enough to sustain the first 40 minutes of this 2:12 snoozer. There are not even any redeeming DVD extras. The directing looks stagey, and the script, costumes and sets are 100% cliche. The sound engineering is abysmal, as if ear-damaging explosions will enhance your understanding of the movie. I give it a pass only for some grand photographic moments; that’s all there is to look at here.

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