The story of the first major battle of the American phase of the Vietnam War, and the soldiers on both sides that fought it, while their wives wait nervously and anxiously at home for the good news or the bad news.
Navy S.E.A.L. sniper Chris Kyle's pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and turns him into a legend. Back home to his wife and kids after four tours of duty, however, Chris finds that it is the war he can't leave behind.
Marcus Luttrell and his team set out on a mission to capture or kill notorious Taliban leader Ahmad Shah, in late June 2005. Marcus and his team are left to fight for their lives in one of the most valiant efforts of modern warfare.
Pearl Harbor is a classic tale of romance set during a war that complicates everything. It all starts when childhood friends Rafe and Danny become Army Air Corps pilots and meet Evelyn, a Navy nurse. Rafe falls head over heels and next thing you know Evelyn and Rafe are hooking up. Then Rafe volunteers to go fight in Britain and Evelyn and Danny get transferred to Pearl Harbor. While Rafe is off fighting everything gets completely whack and next thing you know everybody is in the middle of an air raid we now know as "Pearl Harbor."Written by
All of the ships shown in the attack sequence have their Naval (bow) registry numbers painted over with an off color hue on the hull. Also they have radar and antennas that do not belong on ships supposedly constructed prior to 1941. See more »
The Vista Series DVD release includes a Director's Cut of the movie with additional material/footage. The most notable differences from the theatrical version are as follows:
Some of the dialogue has been trimmed in the scene where Rafe (Ben Affleck) arrives in London.
The scene where Betty (Jaime King) talks about not liking church has some new dialogue, and some pre-existing dialogue appears to be from different takes.
The scene where Evelyn (Kate Beckinsale) and Danny ('Josh Hartnett' ) are swimming in the ocean has a couple of different camera angles and has been shortened, removing the conversation in Danny's convertible.
The "Spine-tingling feeling" scene with Capt. Thurman (Dan Aykroyd) has been expanded to contain some extra dialogue about the Navy's concern over the missing Japanese fleet.
There are some additional ethnic slurs during the Dorie Miller (Cuba Gooding Jr.) boxing match.
The main attack footage is more graphic. When people are blown out of sand bag barricades instead of whole bodies you see bloody limbs and torsos go flying. Also during the film's many strafing scenes we now see huge chunks of meat and body parts being blown off the falling people. If you look closely during the "nurse strafing" scene, when Evelyn (Kate Beckinsale) and Sandra (Jennifer Garner) are ducking down by the fountain, you can see a man get cut in half by the 20mm rounds coming from the strafing Zeros.
There are several new scenes on Battleship Row where we see sailors on fire, getting shot, and brutally dismembered by shrapnel. This includes a extremely graphic shot of a severed head.
The scene with Miller (Cuba Gooding Jr.) and Capt. Bennion (Peter Firth) now includes a brutal shot of Bennion moaning and crying as he holds his intestines in his hands. We also see Miller try to put them back in his stomach.
The hospital scenes now include graphic shots of battlefield surgery and amputations, as well as close-up shots of severed limbs laying on the floor.
New non-graphic shots throughout the attack basically making it longer and more complete.
Dialogue during the attack includes more profanity.
The scene around the campfire with Rafe and Danny before they start training for the Dolittle raid is completely removed.
A whole new scene with Dolittle (Alec Baldwin) addressing the troops on the ship the night before the mission has been added.
During the raid sequence some new dialogue and profanity has been added.
Pearl Harbor is Hollywood at its most ambitious. From glossy photography, beautiful wide-angle shots, eye-widening special effects and exceptionally good-looking people playing the lead characters, it offers a lot of eye candy to those who are willing to sit through the long movie. In fact, it reminds me of a big cake with a recipe in which the makers tried to include all the tried-and-true ingredients of a commercially successful movie: visual treats, humor, drama, action and a story involving love, passion, friendship, vengeance and a good dose of patriotism. It almost seems as if director Michael Bay wanted to challenge the audience with all these elements to be entertained by a movie twice the length of a typical feature without lapsing into boredom. If that was the challenge then he succeeded: it was entertaining, it really did not feel like three hours, and I, at least, did not feel bored at any time during the movie.
My impression is that most of the negative reviews are critical of the movie because they are looking for something that went beyond its intentions. Definitely, A Saving Private Ryan this movie ain't. But I believe that one should evaluate a movie, as one would any other work of art, for what it is and not for what it should be. Take the love story, for example. It has been criticized by many as being extraneous. It is true that a story about philosophical and ethical questions raised by war (and treated in Ryan) would have been more fitting in the context. As it stands, the life-changing attack could have been replaced by a natural disaster without losing much from the gist of the story. But what would a quintessential great Hollywood production be without a love story? Besides, the beauty of Kate Beckinsale adds to the visual aesthetics. Another possible charge against the movie might be that it tends to glamorize war. That may be true, but again, this movie is not meant to be a propaganda call for arms, but just a few hours of good entertainment. I must admit, though, that in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks against the WTC, the reply of William Baldwin's character to a question-that if he ran out of plane fuel, he would `find the sweetest military target and try to kill as many Japanese as possible'- sent chills down my spine because it illustrated how righteous the terrorists must have felt. I suppose the recent events highlight the movie's rudimentary treatment of the philosophical issues and conflicts associated with war, especially if one considers the obvious similarities.
In the end, if you eat this cake to be enlightened by some new insights, you will be disappointed. If you eat it, however, to enjoy it for its own sake, you will.
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