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The PEARL HARBOR Of Michael Bay ...


Palmerin
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... is one of the most popular movies on basic cable; hardly a month passes by without it being shown at least once.

I am reminded of Schaffner's NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA, and I wonder about why such a moving story turned into such a boring movie. Considering the other work of Schaffner--THE WAR LORD, PLANET OF THE APES, PATTON, PAPILLON--, I have come to the conclusion that FS did not like Masie's book, and therefore was not interested in making a movie as dynamic as the best of David Lean. Was LAWRENCE OF ARABIA simply Peter O'Toole, Claude Rains, Jack Hawkins, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quayle, Anthony Quinn and Omar Sharif babbling incessantly about events that were uninteresting because they were never shown on the screen? Of course not! DL was careful to balance scenes of the actors talking with action sequences, and the result was an action classic.

Bay obviously realized that a movie showing nothing but Jon Voight sitting on a wheelchair reacting to the news of the attack would antagonize even the most fervent admirers of Voight, so he made sure to show the entire story on the screen: the preparations of the Japanese, the Americans trying to anticipate the actions of the Japanese, the actual battle, and the Doolittle Raid! The result was a satisfied public that came out of the theatre happy with the realization that their ticket was a good investment of their money.  If Schaffner had used his budget responsibly and depicted the very exciting battles of Mukden, Tsushima, Tannenberg, Gorlice-Tarnow, and the Brusilov Offensive, NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA would have swept the Oscars the same way LAWRENCE OF ARABIA did!

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Well, it's clear Palmerin likes the latest film about the attack.  I didn't much care for it.  I'd put it on par with James Cameron's TITANIC.

 

A movie about an actual event, well, as far as it SINKING goes.  All the side story-love tale crap to me was of no consequence, in either film..

 

Both had great effects, however, and the Doolittle raid is a SEPERATE story on it's own.

 

For authenticity give me TORA! TORA! TORA! anyday.

 

But---+1,000 on the "Nurse Kate" !

 

 

Sepiatone

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... is one of the most popular movies on basic cable; hardly a month passes by without it being shown at least once.

I am reminded of Schaffner's NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA, and I wonder about why such a moving story turned into such a boring movie. Considering the other work of Schaffner--THE WAR LORD, PLANET OF THE APES, PATTON, PAPILLON--, I have come to the conclusion that FS did not like Masie's book, and therefore was not interested in making a movie as dynamic as the best of David Lean. Was LAWRENCE OF ARABIA simply Peter O'Toole, Claude Rains, Jack Hawkins, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quayle, Anthony Quinn and Omar Sharif babbling incessantly about events that were uninteresting because they were never shown on the screen? Of course not! DL was careful to balance scenes of the actors talking with action sequences, and the result was an action classic.

Bay obviously realized that a movie showing nothing but Jon Voight sitting on a wheelchair reacting to the news of the attack would antagonize even the most fervent admirers of Voight, so he made sure to show the entire story on the screen: the preparations of the Japanese, the Americans trying to anticipate the actions of the Japanese, the actual battle, and the Doolittle Raid! The result was a satisfied public that came out of the theatre happy with the realization that their ticket was a good investment of their money.  If Schaffner had used his budget responsibly and depicted the very exciting battles of Mukden, Tsushima, Tannenberg, Gorlice-Tarnow, and the Brusilov Offensive, NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA would have swept the Oscars the same way LAWRENCE OF ARABIA did!

 

First off, as I recall, it takes some time in what is fairly long film for there to be any actual action sequences in Lawrence of Arabia.  And that is actually a long march through a particularly exhausting stretch of desert.  Second, the reason Lawrence of Arabia is considered one of the greatest of movies isn't simply or even primarily because of the battle sequences.  If battle sequences were what counted then Tora, Tora, Tora or even Heaven's Gate would have done much better at the Oscars.  No, it is because it is an intelligent, visually stunning and brilliantly acted movie that takes a complex perspective of its protagonist.  By contrast, Nicholas and Alexandra simply isn't in the same class.  Its appeal is basically sentimental, we are sympathetic to the reactionary nitwits at its centre because they and their children were summarily executed by the Bolsheviks.  Had Wilhelm II and his family met the same fate there'd be the same sympathy for them, just as we'd feel less for the executed princesses if they had grown up and, like their German cousins, supported Hitler.  Third, there isn't much to say about Schaffner's directorial signature.  Planet of the Apes and Papillon are at best adequate movies, with the former best known for its twist ending.  And the most striking qualities of Patton are Scott's performance and Coppola's script.  Fourth, having five battles in Nicholas and Alexandra would have been insanely expensive.  Since they were all ultimately unsuccessful, they would not have encouraged sympathy for Nicholas, whose role in them was comparatively minor anyway.  

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The attack itself and the aftermath-Alec Baldwin's Doolittle is a fantastic piece of work-is worth the other stuff.  I felt like I was there.  The true stories weaved in with the story's fictional ones and the details of the attempted rescues as well as the failures kept me watching.  If Michael Bay die nothing else right-as many posters think-I have to thank him for this.

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