WWII from Space (TV Movie 2012) Poster

(2012 TV Movie)

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Clumsy, dumbed-down and doesn't go anywhere new
grantss7 November 2019
The strategy and battles of World War 2, as seen from space.

The basic premise of this documentary appealed to me: the battles of WW2 as seen from the air, reducing WW2 to a map. That should help to see the strategic and tactical side, right? Wrong. The 'from space' really means bad quality CGI ships and planes, largely seen from above. It's not original, nor done well.

Nothing about this film is done well, in fact. It is quite clumsy in its delivery, jumping around the WW2 timeline, jumping randomly between subjects and not going anywhere new. Very dumbed down: it's really only for people who know nothing about WW2, and even then it isn't too edifying.

We have the usual bunch of experts who seem more like cheerleaders than objective historians: every is the biggest or the greatest and every situation is the most crucial and dangerous.

Really nothing going for it. Avoid.
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Nothing new, alas
iantrader20 May 2018
It sounds like a B Movie title but it's not. At least it's not supposed to be. It's a new way of looking at the events of WW II, offering a global perspective of land, territories and battles.

It's very USA-centric - guess who made it - and starts with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour which brings America into the war. Ok, let's go with that.

However, it skips backwards and forwards in time to look at various events of the war. This is annoying at best and is confusing. How much better if it had simply followed a linear path and let us see how the war developed as it played out.

Given the limitations of a movie's length, however, it is very much a potted history so there's nothing radically new or in depth here.

The view from space is a nice idea to help visualise the global scale of the conflict. However, often when dots flash up on a swiftly-rotating globe of the world to highlight cities and countries, far from illumination, they're simply blobs in a fog because some landmasses are obscured by cloud! As it's CGI-generated this is folly beyond redemption. Someone obviously thought it added a sense of realism but it simply detracts from the movie's admirable goal. Not all scenes are like this, just enough to spoil some of the movie's intent.

Essentially, it's just another WW II documentary. It has nothing new to add, it's very USA-dominated and it doesn't achieve what it sets out to do particularly well.
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One of the most interesting overall documentaries on WW2
tkchess24 August 2014
Absolutely amazing piece of work. I have watched this documentary twice, and I still think about it every so often. It gives a whole new perspective to the war as a whole. My second viewing was with my dad, who is a World War 2 buff, especially in Pacific knowledge, and he loved it. Now, admittedly, the documentary brushes over some finer details of certain battles (as I learned from my father), but it does not detract from the overall picture. For example, at the Battle of Midway the documentary glosses over the tactical details of how the Americans easily defeated the Japanese carriers (as my dad mentioned to me while watching). If you are a serious WW2 buff, you would know that and probably be upset. As guy from the Millennial generation getting a scope of the battle, it is not a big deal. You just have to remember that they are trying to fit in a 6 year war in 90 minutes.

I never really studied the war as a whole, with regards to how it affected global politics after the war was over, or why certain decisions were made with regards to geography, or how it affected politics locally in America. For example, before watching this I would have said "America dropped the atomic bomb on Japan solely because the Japanese were relentless and refused to surrender". Now? After watching this with some global geographic politics shown to the viewer? My answer is "America dropped the atomic bomb on Japan for two reasons, Japan was relentless and refused to surrender, and because they needed to prevent the Russians from defeating the Japanese". I realize my answer is quite overly simplified, and I can guarantee that there were 100 other reasons as well, but this global space map production really shows events in a whole new light that is hard to grasp from a high school text book.

Thanks to the power of technology, they really paint the global picture and educate the viewer very well. If I had to say, it was like watching Total Annihilation (PC Game), WW2 style. They use such cool sounds and graphics which really makes you feel like you are in a PC RTS game, no joke. For example, they use virtual maps with digital shading and digital lines to show movement and route plans and force positions, something that you certainly can't get from a textbook.

If you watch only one World War 2 documentary, I would suggest this one. The 90 minutes goes quick, they really take their time detailing the global scope of the war, and they cover things that include not only the battles themselves but the ancillary events that occurred to make the battle (or victory, or loss, or whatever it may have been) possible.
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A Unique and Interesting Explanation of WWII
thruppence18 July 2015
WWII was nearly over when I was born, and among friends and family I grew up around veterans who had done the fighting, had killed, and who mostly did not talk about their experiences. During those years and the years after, I was exposed to a lot of material about the war. But I realized how fragmented my understanding was as I watched this unique presentation. When it was over, not only had it filled-in all the blanks, it also gave me an understanding of the incredible effects WWII had on this country when it ended. For me, it was an interesting and educational film that was not one minute too long. (This and Band-of-Brothers may be all you need.) BTW, the film goes along nicely, then at some points the screen will go black for a couple of seconds, and when the picture returns you might feel like it jumped ahead (it had me rewinding to see what was skipped). But it is just a story-telling device that I began to recognize and not worry about, as the movie comes back together nicely. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
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Trash with CGI, but trash!
Revinionist attempt to rewrite history from the Americans' point of view, with many special effects. Trash!
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Understand the criticism- but still very worthwhile
nojunk-892-74313729 July 2020
Like most who are likely to be interested in something like this I have read countless books and watched countless documentaries. Yes this is beyond US centric, it is very much a simplified view of the major events involving the US. But both graphically and the interesting viewpoint from "space" (really could have called it zoomed out or something, just not as catchy) are both excellent and interesting. This is not and should not be considered a comprehensive look at WW2. But it is a good overview for those who are unlikely to deep dive and it is interesting to a person like me who knows the majority of the deeper story and enjoys the zoom out-in graphics and the perspective that adds.
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A butchering of History
Srwp20 May 2019
Glad to see that a few other reviewers have commented this is not WWII but USA's part of WWII.

I was so hoping to see the politcal plays that started the war on a 'from space' viewpoint. It literally starts at the bombing of Pearl Harbour.

It is a shoddy mix of interviews, poor CGI and just a mess of visuals with the all too annoying 'American Hero' voice over.

If you are American, you will probably enjoy it. If you are interested in WWII avoid it like the plague.

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WWII a New Perspective
rylo-290-24201830 November 2019
WWII a New Perspective. One of my favorites to rewatch and watch again. An interesting take on WWII from a perspective that didn't exist during that period of time... SPACE! Full of interesting statistics and interesting facts on the things that made up the war , people, manufacturing, resources, and tactics. With beautiful graphics and music and infographics this documentary brings a new perspective to war that is very enlightening and creates a hunger for knowledge and reflection. Thank You
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Important Information.
Liamphelan918 July 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Just a heads up for the makers of this little "documentary". The Second World War began in 1939 after a couple years shadow boxing in various different theatres across the globe. It DID NOT begin all of a sudden in 1941.
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A US centric so called documentary
rodbrauner28 July 2015
This movie would have you believe that WWII started at Pearl Harbor! Nothing of what happened before seems to matter, the USA were not in it! So forget about WWII, this movie should be called: the USA in WWII, with an overview of what the lesser players did too.

Of course explaining WWII in that short duration would be a challenge, but in this case it seems to go for a lot of over simplification, the imagery is very gimmicky too and doesn't really add anything.

The "from space"perspective, is no more than a marketing trick, there isn't anything new there and it doesn't add to the comprehension more than moving maps etc... that we've had for decades.

Painful to watch if you know anything about the subject.
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