WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Two childhood friends, Rafe (Affleck) and Danny (Hartnett) grow up together, join the army together and train to become fighter pilots. In the late fall of 1941, both are transferred to Hawaii, where they find fun, camaraderie, romance and sunny beaches. Evelyn (Beckinsdale) plays a beautiful, spunky nurse, who first meets our heroes when performing their physical examinations. She and her fellow nurses also enjoy a transfer to Hawaii. It’s paradise for everyone, but the Japanese have plans to change everything on the early morning of December 7, 1941…
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
This film suffers from two major flaws. At a little over 3 hours, this movie is too long – its first hour deals with the mediocre underlying love story plus some other unnecessary and gratuitous subplots, while the final hour is likewise padded and takes too much time to draw to its conclusion. The second flaw is the film’s cheesy dialogue and hammy performances. For hard-core action flicks, laying it on thick is acceptable, if not enjoyable. But for me, the melodramatic storytelling just didn’t feel right considering the subject matter – it lacked sympathy and sincerity. Compare this to SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, and you’ll know what I mean. However – the film’s hour long, historically accurate presentation of the attack on Pearl Harbor and its aftermath gets full points from me. One of the finest war sequences ever recreated for the screen – possibly the best – it succeeds in showing what a horrible morning, and event, it was.
"Journey to the Screen: The Making Of Pearl Harbor" documentary (46 mins): This is your typical behind-the-scenes documentary – but I found myself compelled to watch it. In fact, if you were as floored as I was by the film’s amazing attack and dogfight sequences, you will surely want to watch this documentary and see how they did it as well. The "Unsung Heroes" documentary (45 mins) includes actual war footage, interviews with Pearl Harbor vets and historians, plus a tour of Pearl Harbor as it stands today. It honors the heroes and victims. Fascinating and enjoyable, do not overlook this excellent supplemental feature. Faith Hill "There You'll Be” Music Video : Your typical movie soundtrack music video – if you have seen it already on MTV or VH-1, you can safely pass this feature by. Also, teaser and theatrical trailers.
Despite its faults, you get your money’s worth from this DVD – a spectacular picture, many options for sound and informative, fascinating extras. If you can stomach the film’s overlong running time and its cheddar-oozing dialogue and performances, you’re in for a good time. However, don’t be surprised if you find yourself moving ahead a few chapters directly to the film’s awesome attack sequence.