Flags of Our Fathers Reviews
Saw this on 1/8/16
Eastwood's own music gives this film a soul. It is not as good as Letters from Iwo Jima mostly becuase it is over patriotic and indulgent in war cliches. However, from time to time the film manages to connect emotionally.
Incredibly powerful movie-making by Clint Eastwood. Based on the book by James Bradley, son of the Navy Corpsman in the photo, this an accurate, gritty depiction of war at its most gruesome. Probably even more graphic than Saving Private Ryan in its depiction of the sheer brutality and wastefulness of life and limb of war.
On that note, Stephen Spielberg is an executive producer of this movie, and you can see his hand in the special effects scenes. Fantastic CGI, especially in rendering the huge armada of ships and vast amount of planes involved in the Battle of Iwo Jima.
Far more than just an action movie though. At its heart is the meaning of heroism, and how people who don't regard themselves as heroes react to being treated as heroes. Quite an emotional journey as we see the three individuals cope, or not, with the fame, fame some of them regard as undeserved. Also emotional in that they remember all their friends who died on Iwo Jima, friends who, to them, were the true heroes of the battle.
Ryan Phillippe, Jesse Bradford and Adam Beach put in solid performances in the three main roles. Good support from a host of actors: Barry Pepper, Jaime Bell, John Slattery, Paul Walker, Neal McDonough, among others. Cast also includes, in a minor role, Stark Sands, later to find fame in the Iraq War mini-series Generation Kill.