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Monday, 4 June, 2001, 14:09 GMT 15:09 UK
Pearl Harbor: Your views
Pearl Harbor opened amid a blaze of publicity in the US this week with a première on board an aircraft carrier in Hawaii.Disclaimer: The BBC will put up as many of your comments as possible but we cannot guarantee that all e-mails will be published. The BBC reserves the right to edit comments that are published.
In tackling such a sensitive, historical subject, the producers have been keen to point out that the movie should be treated as purely entertainment and not historical drama.
"Frankly, this is one pearl that should have been left on the sea bed," wrote BBC News Online's Darren Waters.
But what do you think? Will this be the blockbuster of the summer? Is it right that movies should ignore the historical background for the sake of entertainment? Or is this an enjoyable love story to be judged on its own merit?
The longest three hours of my life!
I saw the film yesterday, and I have to agree with most of the people here. Things like Armageddon and Independence Day with their 'USA saving the world' themes are all very funny to watch, but this film had the potential to be so much better.
I came out moaning about how bad the acting was and how stupid the drama instead of coming out stuned by the sheer bloodiness and pointlessness of the events of Pearl Harbor. Unlike other bad Hollywood block busters this one is offensive because it's not about saving the world from invading asteroids and aliens, it is about a tragic event in history that will be forever tainted by this terrible and insensitive film.
The reason I disliked this movie was that there was no context. The attack on Pearl Harbor is completely unrelated to the rest of the film. What happened to America after this attack? Where's the rationing? Where's the martial law? Where's the black outs? How come they have this huge, major attack followed by a short scene with lots coffins and then skip ahead several months to the Doolittle raid? It just boggles the mind.
My grandfather came to Pearl Harbor Dec 2, 1941 and after the bomb my grandmother, who was still living in New York did not know if he was alive or dead for 6 months, no communication was allowed. That would make a better story, there's real tragedy and drama.
Only the Americans could cheapen their own history so successfully by diluting it with vast amounts of dull, fictional tripe
Am I the only person that actually enjoyed the film??? It's amazing - go see it now!
I think the romance took too much of a role in what could have been an excellent WWII film. The effects were okay - but this film is no comparison whatsoever to Private Ryan.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. What a comedy!! I couldn't stop laughing all the way through the film, and the only bits I cried at was when I got cramp. Next time I'll listen to all you guys before I watch another "Blockbuster".
I'm crying now! £20 down the drain!
I am indeed a member of the mass-market at whom this filmed is aimed, however, I enjoyed the film. The purists who rise up in arms at the historical inaccuracies forget that, in Hollywood, it's just a film.
"Captain Corelli's Mandolin" didn't match the book nor did "The Horse Whisperer". Forget the critics - just sit back (make sure you are comfortable - 3 hours) and judge for yourself.
A large percentage of the world's population gets its historical perspective from Hollywood movies. This is increasingly true as time goes on
and therefore Hollywood has a duty (despite their crass excuse that this is entertainment and therefore the facts don't matter) to be accurate.
The stupidity of these people is beyond reason!
For sure, the special effects were impressive. However, the over-emotional, intellectually vacant characters left far too much to be desired by anyone truly interested in an honorable account of the episode.
My grandfather was at Pearl Harbor during the attack. If he were alive today, I'm certain he would be ashamed of this Hollywood drivel. This film does not honor the dead or the veterans. It glorifies Ben Affleck.
What an insult!
When will people understand the difficult concept that this is a movie with no requirement or desire to be completely historically accurate? If complete historical accuracy is what you want, don't go see the movie!
Why do people constantly expect, some demand, that Hollywood spend it's time and money making documentaries instead of entertainment. They make what they think people go to see and they try to target their consumers much as any other business or industry does. If they miss their mark and the movie flops, they lose, if they're right they make money. What is so hard to understand about that? Sounds alot like other industries, i.e., fashion, food, computer software, technology, etc.
Look, it's a Hollywood film. Enjoy it for what it is - a lightweight love story based around a real event with amazing special effects.
It's not there to teach us, we should learn about the important things in school. It is simply there to entertain. Pay your money, buy your popcorn, sitdown and forget about the real world for 3 hours.
I'm afraid I haven't been able to watch a Hollywood war movie since the travesty that was U571. Doesn't look like I'm missing much...
Great chewing gum for IQ-underscored. Even analysis would be ridiculous. It is pleasant suprise for me to see that most comments are similar... Victims of Pearl-harbor deserve more.
Because this film was billed as a war romance, I wasn't really expecting a historical masterpiece. That said, it failed even as a love story. The characters were shallow, the dialogue was amusing in the sense that you could pre-empt it, but got tedious 10 minutes in. Furthermore because it was a love story, the lack of character development made it boring.
I didn't even see anything special in the effects. In comparison to Tora Tora Tora, the effects are too clean and sparkly, lacking the gritty realism achieved in the 1965 film. Moreover, they are shabby in parts. There is one point where a man is blown through the propeller of a capsized ship like a ghost.
Even for a romantic film the historical inaccuracy becomes offensive. From the 'evil bad guy' role given to the Japanese, to the cheapening of the Doolittle Raid by having us believe any fighter pilot could do it, when in actual fact only the best bomber crews were selected.
In sum, it was horrific and offensive.
OK, so Pearl Harbour is no Saving Private Ryan or even Titanic. If you go in with that in mind, it's entirely possible to enjoy the film. It's a piece of fluff, and as long as you don't take it seriously, then you'll have fun. I went to see this with a Japanese guy and an American girl, and while we all laughed at the stereotyping and historical inaccuracies, it didn't detract from the film's main aim - to entertain. At the end of the day, that's all it's supposed to do.
It's propaganda of the crudest kind, attempting to glorify America and largely ignore Japanese motivations. The romance had its moments, but should have been left to a different film. You can't produce a movie based upon a historic event and brand it pure "entertainment" without it also being termed propaganda.
I feel sorry for you Brits. According to Hollywood, Americans broke Enigma (U-571), saved Europe (Saving Private Ryan), and apparently Ben Affleck won the Battle of Britain singlehandedly (Pearl Harbor).
Thankfully we have movies like Braveheart and Patriot that set the British record straight. :-)
Considering it's a Hollywood movie written by Randall Wallace, I was surprised the Japanese didn't have British accents.
I had read so many bad reviews about this movie that I was put off, and indeed expected the worst. The US reviews seemed to say it was too long and historically innaccurate. The rabidly anti-US Brit press reviwers hated it because it was...well...American.
What can we say, yes it was long. Yes the dialogue was a bit like a 40s period movie. Yes it was eye candy as far as the special effects were concerned - but at least it wasn't as bad as some people (Independent included) made out. The Daily Express reviewer was the best though - he slagged it off even though he admitted he hadn't seen it!!!
I never realized Doolittle won the Pacific war (sarcasm). It's sad the film leaves one with he impression that the Doolittle raid did something equal or greater than the real turning points of the pacific war such as Coral Sea, Midway and Guadalcanal which aren't even mentioned.
The film cheapens the tragedy of the war and the sacrifices made by member of allied forces troughout the pacific by granting such importnace to a single man and action. The special effects were dissapointing as they flawlessley recreated some scenes and in others show US nuclear powered carriers substituting for Japanese aircraft carriers and Aegis class cruisers for WWII ships. If only they had gone all out and used their full talent to create stunning and accurate scenes throughout the whole film instead of in fragments of it. Maybe then I could have forgiven them for a second rate love story.
I thought the film was pathetic American drivel.
Really awful, don't waste your life seeing this film.
This was more a love story than a war film. It could easily have been titled "Battle of Britain" or "Doolittle's Raid". Ho Hum.
After comparing this movie to an Indian movie called "Sangam." I finally realised the influence Indian cinema has to Hollywood. This movie was a horrid remake of an Indian classic, however, the action was unbelievable; else i would have really fallen asleep.
You can basically skip the first hour of the movie. Seriously, go an hour late, and then you'll see the bombing of Pearl Harbor and miss the boring love triangle set-up. For the sequel they should get the Cuba Gooding, Jr. character to be the second guy in the triangle, but set later, in say the Korean War. Then yet another second guy in the triangle for the Vietnam War. Definitely a winning formula for war movies! (Not!) By the time of the Gulf War the Ben Affleck character will have about 13 kids and still be a virgin!
It's easy to attack the film, but to do so is to miss the point. Anyone who ever expected a gritty realistic masterpice from bay/Bruchiemer should be slapped. OK, the love triangle is contrived but the bombing is what this film is selling and boy, does it deliver.
Don't go expecting the greatest love story ever, but expect some of the best effects ever, and you wont be disapponted. As for worrying that this film will alter history in the minds of children and teens, if they were interested in the real events at all, they'd look it up in a library, not a movie theater.
It's wonderful to see Kate Beckinsale star in a big Hollywood film. Her father i'm sure would have been very proud of her.
Alec Baldwin said it made him want to go and bomb Tokyo..I thinks that says it all really! Crass and idiotic propaganda -to the embarassment of the US!
Typical American overkill, absolute trash!!
This movie was definantly geared towards americans. It had alot of historical inaccuracies. It was much too long and had many boring parts to it. The special effects were very good though. The main reason why I went to see this movie was to see the Fellowship of the Ring trailer.
How come the black and white U.S. serviceman get along so well in the film? By all accounts they were either segregated or the racial prejudices and tension of the times certainly made sure they were not the type buddies that are depicted in the film.
It is fine to make a film to entertain but it is a 'period' drama set on an historical event. Surely some sort of attention should have been made to the social climate. Instead it is cleaned up neatly so that race isn't an issue that needs to be dealt with. That is a travesty to all those black servicemen who gave so much for a country that hadn't exactly been fair to them. The problem is forgotten to make America look good.
The Muhammed Ali biopic with no nasty white people doing mean things to him?
Would that make America feel better?
Pure Cheese. Entertaining, yet pure cheese. Follows virtually every plot known to man. Something happens. The people win, man gets girl.
What a waste of time. If you really feel like wasting $7+ on this mundane, highly cliched, unnecessarily long, Bruckheimerisck version of American "History", well there is no need for me to even try to convince you NOT to watch this one! Run your errands for the day, grab only 40 minutes of worthwhile scenes of "Jap" (seemingly favourite word of the "heroes") attack and then go back to whatever you were doing before. Sadly this is going to create permanently wrong image of Pearl harbour attack. That is what happens when we eat fictional burger, Hollywood style!
Went and saw it last night. Get rid of the love story, take it down to about 1hr 40min and you've got a cracking war film showing how the US were caught out by Japan.
I can't remember the last film I watched where I repeatedly looked at the time; wishing it would be over. I agree with the comment about Titanic II; like waiting over 1 hr for the liner to sink. After 5 minutes you know what's going to happen. The plot and characters are all so predictable!
The love affairs could only seem real to twelve year-olds. Pathetic!
If you want to see a good movie about Pearl Harbor, get Tora!Tora!Tora! Wait for the current movie, "Pearl Harbor",to come out on video--then fast forward the first 90 minutes to the action sequences which are quite good--the so-called preamble/love story is dreck.
You'll save yourself the cost of movie admission that can better be spent on another film. Like Titanic, in which the only thing worth watching was the ship going down at the end, the computer-generated action scenes of Pearl Harbor are the only ones worth watching.
After wasting two hours and six dollars on Bruckheimer's earlier film 'Armageddon' it was clear to me that he has no respect for his audience or pehaps himself either. There's no way I'll waste my time and money on a Bruckheimer film again. The way I see it if more folks voted with thier wallets as I do Hollywood would start making some good films.
It's not historically accurate, the romantic angle is boring, it's too long (3 hours), it's gory, it's over-hyped, the dialogue is wooden, the plot is formulaic, and the good guys get their butts kicked. Other than that it's a good movie.
While it's true that the special effects/eye candy are fun to watch, there are so many other truly great films out this year that it would be a shame to waste your time on Pearl Harbor unless you've already seen Shrek, Blow, Bridget Jones's Diary, Knight's Tale, Mummy Returns and even the much-maligned Driven.
For much better Pearl Harbor action, featuring vintage aircraft, big explosions and historical precision, rent Tora! Tora! Tora!
What more (or less) would you expect from the Bay/Bruckheimer team? Trite, patronising images of Americana, spliced into scenes where "we" (the US military) beat the tar out of "them" (the Japanese).
Flattened out with one-dimensional characters and plot line that rewrites history (Hollywood is good at that "cough, U571"). This is Armageddon - asteroid - 60 years + Japanese: it will be just like all the other movies they have made.
Michael Walker, USA
Having seen the film last night, I have to say that this is one to watch! It is true that there are many clichés, and also the love triangle that emerges between the 2 main actors and Kate Beckinsale is completely predicatable.
The action scene (90 minutes into the film) is spectacular to say the least! The special effects are great and make the movie a great action film. The let down is the drama, but then if you go to see this film with an open mind you will enjoy it. Ignore the critics and make up your own mind. I give it 4 1/2 out of 5, but then that is my opinion of a top movie.
Snorer, snorer, snorer...
It should have been called Titanic II.
I recently saw a wonderful film about two pilots in love with the same woman and that had great aerial special effects. It was Wings, the 1927 Oscar winner for best picture. Rent Wings and save your money for Shrek.
I haven't seen it yet, but it'll probably be a good watch. Although it will almost definitely have the old message of 'America winning the war for us'.
I wonder if they will get the date right, because they couldn't remember when they entered the war in U-571 could they?
I love military history so I will make the effort to see it. However, I'm not kidding myself that it will be hugely enlightening. After all, this is a Jerry Bruckheimer film and we all know the kind of schlock that he and the late Don Simpson are responsible for.
Most people see history as a boring subject. I personally love it - if something is going to entertain us and provid something historical as well, then its gotta be good!
Actually, I'm more interested in the Lord of the Rings trailer said to be shown beforehand.
I saw the trailer in the cinema and decided I had seen all the best bits already. Poor Kate Beckinsale - I hope her career isn't affected.
This is a pure popcorn movie and will be the blockbuster of the summer. The love story has a very thin premise that leads to spectacular action sequences, although technologically speaking, nothing new.
This will hopefully not be the film Kate Beckinsale is remembered for as she is a highly talented starlet with a flat script.
Ben Affleck does have the Momma's apple pie look about him and the cheeky innocence to cast him in his heroic role.
It is the same story as with Saving Private Ryan: none of the actors have the character or physical builds for the roles.
The basic flaw is I have no feelings of sympathy for any of the characters. They aren't identifiable as anyone from this planet.
Walt O'Brien, USA
If you want candy coated epics, go see Pearl Harbor. If you want the real deal, watch Hamburger Hill, Platoon, or Saving Private Ryan again. They should have learned from Enemy At The Gates, that love triangles don't work in war films.
What a boring film! Yawn...
Still to come: Waterloo in which the US Cavalry arrives in the nick of time; Trafalgar in which the USS Constitution arrives in the nick of time; and Falkland in which (just in the nick of time) US stealth fighters stealthily decimate the Argentine air force, thus once again saving Britain's sorry hide.
I find it pretty crass that the American producers of Pearl Harbour should choose the US Memorial Day weekend to bring this film on general release. I mean, should this really be the time to ponder the stupidity of war, and not glamorise it?
Surely the terrible days of World War Two, Korea and Viet Nam are not that far from memory. Then again, the Americans use this Memorial Weekend as an excuse to peddle mattresses, cars, and furniture, filling our TV screens with slippery looking characters who use this holiday to make a quick buck, so why not a movie?
It's film, entertainmant after all. It's really likely to be the Hollywood film. That's all.
Too much of a love story to be a war movie and too much of a war movie to be a love story. The first half is nothing but sap, and those oh-so-wonderful coincidences that no bad wartime romance story could be without.
While the action scenes are amazing (especially the USS West Virginia rolling over), the dialogue is stilted. The Japanese admiral who says "I fear all we have done is awaken a sleeping giant" speaks into the camera with all the conviction of someone performing a re-enactment for school kids. But then, that's the mentality of a Bruckheimer production.
Sean Baranczyk, USA
What? No iceberg?
Another shocker from Tinseltown as Pearl Harbor is only one in a string of movies depicting American glory through biased history. The Japanese in this film did not play a very signifcant role as their dialogue was obviously limited and I think a 12-year-old could probably write that portion of the script with an old history textbook. The film was so cliched I think it induced vomiting - how many times can you talk about a love triangle?
Just like Enemy at the Gates, two guys more concerned about some dumb girl than the events around them. In the end, these "historical" movies are simply junked and burdened by the Hollywood need for romantic tangles by attractive actors spending most of the screen time staring into each others' eyes as history literally passes them by.....
I haven't seen the movie yet but I know this much: what the Japanese did on December 7, 1941, was definitely an act of infamy. Any movie that shows US pilots kicking the tar out of the attackers has got to be worth watching.
It's interesting to see so many opinions about the movie from people who readily admit they haven't even seen it. Then there are those who are patently wrong.
One world: Awful. It seems that Hollywood has yet again decided to take it upon themselves to rewrite history and in the process cast an unfairly bitter light on America by spewing out another wooden, flag-pushing movie; toss in a standard love plot and you have a war movie Spielberg would be happy to claim as his own.
Excuse me if I take offence at the blatant mishandling and misrepresentation of such a tragic subject to make a few million dollars. Absolutely shameful! It is as if they felt it necessary to create an ugly hybrid of "Titanic", "The Patriot", and a few thousand Steven Segal and Chuck Norris movies. I was quite shocked to not see John Wayne breaking Japanese necks with his bare hands!
Just watched this movie an hour ago....it is
Armegeddon and Titanic rolled into one.
But I love the movie although sitting through a film for 3 hours can be a real pain in the backside. I would rate it 8 out of 10.
I don't care if it's historically accurate as most history is rubbish and needs to be rewritten anyway. But FDR as a caring hero when de-classified documents clearly show he knew all along (in order that the US could be dragged into the war) would have been a better dramatic angle even though it's also the truth.
Imagine having actors showing the decoding of Japanese communications every hour on the hour with military men getting sacked by FDR for reporting what was about to happen. That would have been great drama! But air- head liberals Baldwin and Affleck in a pro-USA war movie? No wonder Affleck was unconvincing as a military hero!
Quite frankly, Pearl Harbor is the worst film I have seen in a long, long time. At times the script becomes downright offensive in its banality. To taint a major historical tragedy with this trite garbage is the biggest offence of them all. Absolutely awful - avoid.
While Mr Affleck proves conclusively he can't act in this, he does look mighty fine in uniform, you can't help thinking that is why he was cast though ...
Why? Oh Why? Are these two imbeciles allowed to make bad movies? I walked out half way through the film.
Bay/Bruckheimer films make Adam Sandler look like Orson Wells.
I saw the film last night. Engaging? Not at all. Did I cry. Surprisingly, no, and that's unfortunate. To think that thousands of young people will exit the theatre without being the slightest bit affected by the horror of what happened at Pearl Harbor is upsetting.
Filmgoing is probably the only way to reach out to the under-21s and teach them about the past, but I'm afraid Pearl Harbor wastes the opportunity. Clunky dialogue, odd casting choices (Dan Ackroyd?), and a "romance" to embarrass even the old ladies sitting next to me...all I could think is, is this how the veterans (of both sides)should be remembered?
Pearl Harbor, in my opinion, was the greatest film I have seen in ages. The storyline was without a doubt extraordinarily amazing, which left me jumping off my seat in disbelief. Quite frankly, I can't believe that you Americans find it an embarrassment. The history in the film is something to be proud of and if I were you I would be proud to call myself American. If your ancestors could hear you now they would be turning in there graves.
I enjoyed the spectacular attack on Pearl Harbor scenes. However, I'm not entirely sure why they spliced them into a love story movie. They would have been much better used in a movie about World War II. That being said, the love story wasn't that bad.
25 May 01 | Reviews
Pearl Harbor sinks fast
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