Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Letters From Iwo Jima

Letters From Iwo Jima (2006)

As tens of thousands of Allied troops push further inland, the Japanese troops defending Iwo Jima during World War II prepare to meet their fate in this Clint Eastwood-directed Oscar nominee for Best Picture, a companion piece to his hit film Flags of Our Fathers. Japanese Gen. Tadamichi Kuribayashi (Ken Watanabe) knows his men are outnumbered and, with no hope of rescue, that most will eventually die in battle -- or end up killing themselves.
My Two Cents: Touches on cameraderie, honor, duty, and sacrifice... and shows the universal nature of patriotism; Eastwood outdoes himself... or at least his previous trip to Iwo Jima.

NetFlix Rank: Really Liked It
IMDB Rank: 8/10


Robert's Two Cents: I usually prefer big-picture flag waving above stories of moral equivalency between "men at war", but here a real pro does the latter in a subtle way that is just on the edge of greatness.

NetFlix Rank: Really Liked It

Further thoughts:

War is hell, right? It certainly is for the insignificant soldier in the midst of bloody carnage. Most reviews I've read agree that Eastwood hits the proverbial nail on the head in his depiction of Joe Nobody's batlefield horrors. I won't argue that. I will, however, take it a step further.

For the grunts war isn't always about good and evil. That exists in the macrocosm that the fighting men don't have time to ponder. It's about right and wrong, but in its most individual context.

Eastwood proves that a war movie can make a statement even when it lacks the aesthetics, emotion or grandeur of its peers. And for that I have to applaud.


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