What's so bad about Pearl Harbour movie?

Neil Joseph

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I have not seen it yet but I am curious and certainly want to see it. I would like to know why so many people hate it. Is it because the acting is poor, certainly it could not be the script (could it?) about this important time in US history. Or is it because the whole affair strikes a bad accord for most people and the movie did not do it enough justice somehow.
Enlighten me.
orangeman
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Patrick Sun

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IIRC most of the criticism centers around director Bay's heavy handed direction for tugging at emotional heartstrings of the audience with dishonest motivations. The love story is a little on the cheesy side, and . The actual bombing of Pearl Harbor was watered down to get a PG-13 rating (though the DVD will have additional footage that pushed it into R-rating territory).
I thought it was okay, not terrible, just not a great film (though the 40 minutes bombing sequence was put together pretty well.).
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Michael Reuben

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IIRC most of the criticism centers around director Bay's heavy handed direction for tugging at emotional heartstrings of the audience with dishonest motivations.
I agree that's where most of the criticisms were directed, but I think they were misplaced. The problem is in the script itself. The characters, the situations and the dialogue all have a synthetic, paint-by-numbers feel. For all the criticisms leveled at Titanic, the story always felt like it was being told by someone with a passion for the telling. Pearl Harbor never feels like anything but a potboiler.
Bay has a history of trying to overcome weak scripts with directorial flash (the commentary and documentary on the special edition of Bad Boys talk about this dynamic). If anything, I think he reined in those tendencies on Pearl Harbor and tried more to make his direction serve the story. The trouble is, except for the attack itself, the story wasn't engaging.
M.
 

John Spencer

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The reasons I disliked the movie:
1. The dialogue was pulp-movie bad. Lines like "That smarted awful fierce."
2. Badly-carried-out accents. Watch as Ben Affleck shifts from Tennessee country-boy to big-city pilot.
3. Needlessly ineffective emotion-pulling.
4. Questionable historical accuracy. Ok, I understand this is historical fiction, but, come on. Really.
5. Ok, that's enough. I just didn't like it. I agree that the raid was well-produced, but by that point I was so taken out of the film by the poor lead-up that I just wasn't into it.
 

Brett_B

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It was the love story that ruined it for me. Pearl Harbor tried to be everything that made Titanic successful (love story being told around a major catastrophe). The only difference now, is that we are dealing with a Spoiler:love triangle between the, you guessed, three main characters.
 

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[Edited last by Jason_Whyte on September 17, 2001 at 11:22 AM]
 

Jason Whyte

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Pearl Harbor is a mess. It's a fake, arid, desperate attempt for Hollywood to cash in on human history by writing shallow, one note characters in a lousy love triangle story. The battle scenes are filmed like bottled adreanaline, complete with a rockin' digital surround soundtrack that's surely going to be the demo DVD of the year.
Scott Weinberg's review of this film (Full review: http://scott29.epinions.com/content_24453877380)
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Darren H

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Love him or hate him, Roger Ebert expressed my disgust with films like Pearl Harbor better than I could have.
http://www.suntimes.com/ebert/ebert_...05/052501.html
This is just a great opening paragraph:
"Pearl Harbor" is a two-hour movie squeezed into three hours, about how on Dec. 7, 1941, the Japanese staged a surprise attack on an American love triangle. Its centerpiece is 40 minutes of redundant special effects, surrounded by a love story of stunning banality. The film has been directed without grace, vision, or originality, and although you may walk out quoting lines of dialog, it will not be because you admire them.
 

Tino

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In short, I liked the film and IMO, is nowhere near as bad as many are saying it is. I gave it Three Stars

I regard to the above quote from Scott Weinberg's review, I believe that is more indicative of insensitive viewers rather than disservice to the men portrayed in that scene. I thought the attack sequence was very harrowing and pretty accurate as to what occured, according to a veteran that I spoke with.
IMO, It's just not that bad of a film. You want really bad, try sitting through American Pie 2. Now THAT is a truly horrible film.

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[Edited last by Tino on September 17, 2001 at 11:48 AM]
 

Simon Massey

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The battle scenes are impressive, but fail to engage any emotional response, due to the crap preceding hour of ultimate cheese and awful dialogue.
If Titanic has never been made, I imagine this film would have done better, but it just felt like a money grabbing attempt to remake the same elements of that film, rather than any noble attempt to honour those who died.
By the way, the music for the trailer for Pearl Harbour is different from that in the film. Can anyone tell me where this music is from ? (its the trailer with the voiceover of the president's speech followed by the approaching planes, and then shots of the battle itself)
 

Darren H

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Simon, if you and I are thinking of the same trailer, the music is by Peter Gabriel. (I remember because I'm a Gabriel fanatic, and I was quite disappointed to hear his music associated with that film.) If I recall correctly, they used a selection from Passion, Gabriel's soundtrack to The Last Temptation of Christ, which also happens to be my all time favorite CD.
 

Tino

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I thought it was from The Thin Red Line, also by Hans Zimmer.
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Hubert

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I agree with Tino. I liked the movie. Go see for yourself and don't base your decisions on other's opinions of the movie. I personally think a lot of people didn't give it a chance and decided to hate it because Bruckheimer and Bay made it. There were people saying it sucked before it even came out. So make your own decision, after having seen the movie.
 

Nate Anderson

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Personally, I liked the film. Maybe it's because I'm a hige Ben Affleck fan, and granted the love story was pretty lame, but I got into the movie and enjoyed it.
It must be because I'm a big Ben Affleck fan. You should see the slack I gave Reindeer Games.
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Joe D

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The movie tries to make the Pearl Harbour incident entertaining. There's nothing entertaining about the event that happened that day.
The only problem is the movie was not entertaining.
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[Edited last by Joe D on September 17, 2001 at 03:43 PM]
 

Mark E J

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The thing that most people find so bad about PH is the fact Michael Bay directed it. I'm pretty sure some people would hate Citizen Kane or The Godfather if Bay's name was attached.

Now I don't mean to say that PH is a great film, it is not. The PG-13 version of this film has many flaws, but at the same time it is not the worst film ever made either. It should be pointed out the Bay himself has largely disowned this cut of the film and is working on a more graphic cut. And from what has been said this cut will not just be a few gory scenes added in here and there but rather a complete re-editing of the film that REMOVES entire scenes from the current version and replaces them with R-rated material. As well as shortening the whole love story aspect. (David Prior, the man producing the DVD's has said on this forum that the DC will have dozens of changes and additions, each "improving the film".) I think this makes the accusations Bay delibrately trivialized the tragedy of others to make some money both ridicules and unfair. Those who say this should remember that this film has been embraced and endorsed by the veterans who actually witnessed and experienced the attack first hand.
That said, this movie does have flaws, and if you want to see it you should know that going in.
Neil,
To answer your specific question, the overall problem with this film is the insane control Disney put on this film. While technically Bay had final cut they put so many regulations on the film it is a wonder it got made at all. (Bay actually quit in protest at least 4 times). The film had to be made under strict political guidelines, no adult content above a PG-13 rating, and the whole love triangle plot was mandatory. So it appears that Michael Bay decided to make this film in the style of the old Hollywood war epics from 40's and 50's. You know the kind that probably would've stared Clark Gable or John Wayne. Considering the fact that this film was made under almost the same rules as the old Hollywood system, this decision actually makes sense.
If you go in expecting a graphic war drama you will probably be disapointed. (at least until the DC comes out) However if you accept this film for what it is: a tribute to the men and women who lived and died at Pearl Harbor and the generation who fought in WWII, using a vintage filmmaking style. You will probably like it.
 

Jason Whyte

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So make your own decision, after having seen the movie.
Isn't that what we're all doing? I don't see a single post on this entire thread that suggests otherwise (as opposed to the offical review thread that you no doubt remember).
Regards,
Jason
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Without reading any of the above, I can tell you that I didn't mind the romance, but I thought the special effects paled in comparrison to the real flying and explosions of Tora Tora Tora. CGI doesn't impress me at all.
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I thought the CGI in Pearl Harbor was some of the best I've ever seen, and far more dramatic than Tora! Tora! Tora! Although, TTT was one of my favorite war movies.
 

Tino

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Jason
"Hooting and Hollering"?
What kind of people are you seeing this film with?
Perhaps their reaction added to your hatred of the scene? I saw this sequence three times in a relatively packed house and no one was 'hooting and hollering'. And this was a metro NYC crowd.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to change your opinion of the film, merely offering an observation that crowd reactions sometimes taint a persons view of a film, (not you of course, Jason
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