January 25, 2007
Campbell CA — Camera 7
English / Japanese
141 Minutes

I’m not even sure it’s better than FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS. There are bumbling recruits in Japan. There are brave, handsome heroes in Japan. There are forward-thinking and creative generals in Japan. There are sadistic and stupid and cowardly generals in Japan. End of lesson. Oh yeah, and war is hell for Japanese soldiers as well.

The one place where it had some uniqueness is that Japanese soldiers believed their lives to be over the moment they were drafted. Part of the armed forces experience is that you will one day give your life for the Empire of Japan. You won’t heroically save your comrades and return home to fame and fortune. You will be killed and the best you can do is die honorably. The face of the pregnant young wife when the man hands her husband his assignment orders is heartbreaking. The older women scold her. “We’ve all sent our sons and husbands to war!”

We get to see what the Japanese were doing on Iwo Jima to prepare for the Americans’ arrival. That was interesting. We also see what we only heard in the distance in Eastwood’s earlier 2006 release.

Good, but not great.

2006 Oscar Nominations:
~~Best Picture
~~Best Director for Clint Eastwood
~~Best Original Screenplay

8.9 Metacritic
9.2 Rotten Tomatoes


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  1. [...] The Rookie; The Bridges Of Madison County; Mystic River; Million Dollar Baby; Flags Of Our Fathers; Letters From Iwo Jima; Changeling; Gran Torino; [...]

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Written by Michael W. Cummins