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|Index||182 reviews in total|
This movie is one of the best I've recently seen. When I first sat down and the movie started, I thought "this is no Saving Private Ryan". And it isn't. But, it is not far from it. The action is very good, the acting believable, and the sense of truth is definitely there. Unfortunately (at least here in Boca Raton, Fl), the movie theatres downplayed it, the critics barely reviewed it and gave it not-so-good reviews and it was barely in the theater. If you saw it you were one of the lucky ones. My wife who doesn't really like this kind of film, came out of the theater and stated,"That was a wonderful movie". Boy, was I shocked. To hell with these over-paid "professional" critics and do yourself a favor. Judge a film by your standards. GO see this film. You won't be sorry. I can't wait to see it on DVD.
I like a good war story but this is not one. The film has a Disney look and the characters all look like they're acting. It feels like it has all been done before and a lot better, especially by David Lean. With a feel of a Hollywood set,combined with a make-shift love story, I never became involved, except when the shooting starts in the last 20 minutes. Up until then, I had my finger on the fast forward button a great deal. The actual war footage, and the fact that the raid was based on a true story is all that keeps this film from being ignored. Such an event deserves to have been given a better director. I did enjoy the bonus materials much more as they had interesting interviews with the real POW's, and the time-line of the pacific war was a good synopsis of what occurred. Too bad the film was not as captivating.
Just returned from an early screening.
I read "Ghost Soldiers", and I think that the producers of this movie did a very good job of keeping the film as close to the actual story as is possible under the limitations of cinematic limitations.
As a New Mexican with family and friends who were at Batann and in the Death March (some survived, some didn't), and a former NM National Guardsman, I have always had a keen interest in this and any WWII Pacific Theater story.
There were many New Mexicans at Bataan, and they still honor them to this day there. I drove down Bataan Blvd. outside of Santa Fe to drill for years.
The father of my mother's best childhood friend was a Colonel in the NM National Guard (200th Coastal Artillery) who died in a camp there, and the father of my own best friend, who had never had a cavity in his life, lost all his teeth in a Japanese camp, and my uncle escaped capture and fought with the Filipino guerrillas for years.
In today's poly-cultural, politically correct world, Hollywood types don't usually like these kinds of stories, because they shine the light on another culture's brutality, so bravo to Ben Bratt. He does an admirable job of portraying Ltc. Mucci. I'm not familiar with the other actors, but they all did a great job. I'm surprised this movie was ever even made, let alone released (even if it was released late).
All in all, I think it's a great movie. I'm going to buy it as soon as possible and make my 19-year old daughter watch it. If kids her age could fight, she can certainly watch a movie about it.
The main strength of this movie is being based on real events and
names. The plot, however, is uneven, with a few intertwined story-lines
with unequal weight and smoothness: preparation for liberation, life in
POW camp, resistance activities, liberation itself. Following all this,
we see many similarities with approaches from e.g. The Bridge on the
River Kwai, The Thin Red Line, Pearl Harbor - and without upgrade or
distinctive twists... There are some protracted and arid scenes,
tensions tend to decrease at times. The cast is even, both no
prevailing performances; Marton Csokas as Capt. Redding and Connie
Nielsen as Margaret Utinsky seemed most interesting to me.
All in all, an okay war movie, but no great experience. I would recommend the ones named above instead.
In addition to the movie, the extra material on the DVD is excellent.
The "timeline" should be mandatory viewing as most folks are NOT aware
of the chain of events going back to the 1930's. Those details are not
taught in High School or college. They are NOT complimentary to FDR by
the way. The boot camp section is enlightening too. It is amazing that
the whole crew of actors including Mr Franco went through it. Now that
is method acting!
My only complaint about the film is that the deleted scenes were deleted. They add much to the story and the information does not otherwise appear in the movie. Be sure to plan to spend at least 3.5 hours to see both the movie and the special items on the DVD.
I really don't understand why this movie did not receive critical
acclaim. I am a big war movie person and have pretty much seen them all
from the 1040's to the present. the account of the heroism of these
rangers and Filipino freedom fighters is truly inspiring and makes me
shiver like when I hear the national anthem. I think it is as good if
not better than any war movie in the last twenty years. the subject
alone is awe inspiring and the presentation of the entire story is
unbelievable. the fact that it is a true story makes it all the more
invigorating to watch. it's a movie you can definitely watch multiple
times and get that patriotic feeling each time. in reading most of the
bad reviews it seems like they are:
Anti American and American policy, even saw one quoting Bush politics and Iraq. saying it was American Propaganda, flag waving. thought I was back in the 60's when us soldiers would get spit on.
the movie wasn't perfect enough for perfectionist movie makers
Anti violence showing how brutal the Japanese were and they were that bad and worse. when I was young a friend of mines father had pictures of Japanese brutality in china like beheadings, etc. what is shown in the movie is mild compared to what the Japanese actually did to Americans and other people in countries they conquered. one person claimed it was being racist against Japanese.
if you eliminate all these BS low ratings the movie would probably be rated a 10.
There are bunch of war movies , some of them are ordinary, few of them are worth mentioning, and very few are great movies. This one belongs to the last category. Why ? First is Story ; well almost all WW movies are based on true stories and this one also, point is how vivid how convincing that is portrayed. This movie gets a rare 9/10 in story telling. Acting is second; all performances are solidly founded. No over dialogue, no weak acting, excellent camera work, convincing sets of 1945 Manila and prison camp. I simply don't find any weak point about this movie. Besides it has a strong and rendering love story which never sideways the actual rescue operation. My recommendation will be to collect this movie in your private collection of war movies just besides "Saving Private Ryan" and "Bridge On The River Kwai".
Just the fact that this is based on a true story and is a great movie
makes me want to recommend this to teens, parents, and beyond. No,
there are no star actors in this one. This is a feel-good movie, and
eventually, as there are brutal scenes that are required to bring home
the reality that was experienced by these men (boys), it is not for the
It just did it for me. My Grandfather was there in the Phillippines at this time towards the end of the war.
Next time you are having a bad day, watch this one and thank these men for your having the chance to even have that bad day. Puts things into perspective.
The extras in this one are very good as they interview veterans of this campaign. There is included an interesting timeline of the events in the Pacific. Also, one of the books about this - "Ghost Soldiers" by Hampton Sides is even better.
The Great Raid is a unique film. It is set during a time of war, but the focus is not on some great battle (ficticious or real), but about a mission carried out by a group of marines that served the war effort in only a minimal capacity. Viewers see three different sides of the mission. The films takes the audience inside the prison camp to see the wretched conditions the POWs had to endure, also seen is the marines preparing to embark on the great raid, which is being embarked upon so that the POWs may be rescued. Finally, the film shows the Phillipino rebels who were involved with the mission. It is based on actual events and gives a side of the second world war that is usually not portrayed in film.
I helped bring this movie to a small town where the theater companies
didn't bother to send it out when it was released. With 2 FREE showings
on Veterans Day, nearly 400 people saw this movie and not 1 person
disliked it. Including one of the survivors of the Death March of
Mostly Vets and their families attended but the consensus was that the movie was exactly as it happened in WWII. Anyone that cant see past the minimal love connection parts, has blinders on. While there might have been a small romantic assumption, the reality was that those soldiers didn't have much else to hope for, other than their loved ones.
The recreation of the battle at the Camp was well directed and easy to follow as the commanders drew plans in the dirt with sticks. Even folks over 90 years old felt the movie portrayed everything they had recalled and heard from others that had served there.
Most viewers felt this movie should be mandatory for every high school senior to view to graduate as it tells the truth about the Bataan marchers. The DVD comes out on Dec. 20th and I will buy it.
Thanks to the studio for doing such a great job.
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