October 03, 2007


The husband and I have been hesitant to see Flags of our Fathers and Letters From Iwo Jima. If Lileks' reaction is any indication, then we were right to be leery.

But I seem to be in the minority in my reaction. Iím sure Eastwood intended the movie to be respectful, but sometimes it seems like the second half of his career has been spent apologizing for the first half.

Posted by Sarah at October 3, 2007 10:02 AM | TrackBack

The two movies are both good, but about as different as can be.

Letters from Iwo Jima was incredible. I wouldn't call it a "biased" movie; it shows good and bad people on both sides, although you don't see much of the Americans here. My wife (who is Korean) totally hates the Japanese, yet even she was impressed with it.

I guess one reason why I loved it was that I've seen about 1000+ of American war movies, but so few that showed how the US looked through the enemy's eyes; it's an interesting change of pace.

Posted by: John Rohan at October 3, 2007 10:41 AM

My husband and I watched Flags of Our Fathers, and though it was an interesting premise (talking to vets to get the story behind the story) and made people aware of what happened on that hilltop and thereafter, the movie itself was terminally depressing. Even my husband, who loved Band of Brothers, was not entirely happy with this movie. Unfortunately, I'm not well-versed enough with history and military politics, etc., to make a judgment, but something about it was . . . unsettling. As if there was a veiled agenda. Or maybe I wanted there to be one, because it seems anything coming out of Hollywood should have one.

And yet, it did show how the media and general public did not understand PTSD and the need for slow, sensitive reintegration, despite the need to worship their heroes. That was very interesting, and sad.

I don't know. It's worth it to see it for yourself, but don't buy it until you've watched and made a judgment. I'd have to ask my husband for his opinion again, honestly. At this time, I have no desire to see Letters from Iwo Jima, but I might give it a try later, out of curiosity.

Posted by: deltasierra at October 3, 2007 02:13 PM

Do yourselves a favor, DONíT watch the movie, youíll regret it if you do. To give you an idea they could have easily titled the movie ďIra Hayes was a DrunkĒ or ďLetís Understand How the Japanese FeltĒ WTF ever. In hindsight walking out was a better option.

However DO read the book, itís excellent and unlike the movie itís actually about the men/battle of Iwo Jima. (Now thereís a thought Mr. Eastwood).

Posted by: tim at October 3, 2007 04:03 PM

I bought Flags of our Fathers for my husband but he didn't make it through the whole thing. He said that it made him really angry and that I shouldn't watch it because it would just make me an emmotional wreak about him deploying. So here it sits on my shelf, sad, because no one will watch it.

Posted by: Kasey at October 3, 2007 06:08 PM

I should add here that if anyone has watched all the movies already and is still in desperate need of some WW2 nostalgia, here is one incredible website you can easily spend hours with. It has an enormous amounts of beautiful color WWII photos, and other media:


Posted by: John Rohan at October 4, 2007 06:03 AM

Sarah - Have you watched any of Ken Burns' The War that's been on PBS?

Posted by: Keri at October 4, 2007 09:27 AM

Letters gives a very strong impression that very few Japanese were captured because Marines just shot them...didn't want to be bothered guarding them when they could be out killing more Japanese. That angered me the most about both movies...

Posted by: lcb at October 5, 2007 04:39 PM

Both movies are huge disappointments. Eastwood has become so incredibly negative in his old age. His last 4 movies are utter downers.

Flags seems to have the subtext that the pacific war was a pointless exercise. And white people are racist. How profound. It was very cynical and negative.

Letters gives a laughably one sided view of the Japanese. he should have bothered watching some Japanese films about WWII. The government of Japan back then was evil. They weren't the good guys. Although he vague touches on this, it still completely ignores the monumental atrocities committed by the Japanese in the war and instead was all about Japanese GIs pining for home and then dying "needlessly." It does show the human side of the soldiers and both movies are well made with excellent cinematography and acting. But they are relentlessly negative stories with no real point, IMO. They both basically say war is pointless and people die in them for no good reason. Well, wars are pointless in that stupid leaders on one side or the other get their people into these situations and needless destruction ensues as a result. But we know what would happen of the evil people got their way all the time. Wars prevent them from winning. For someone of Eastwood's generation to question WWII is pretty shocking.

I know he is closer to the end than the beginning of his life, but he should find something positive to say or no one will watch his movies anymore. I am getting turned off and I'm a long time fan.

Posted by: James Hudnall at October 7, 2007 01:24 AM