Pearl Harbor Cameron's Titanic goes Hawaiian

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Well folks, the old Captain and I just spent 3 hours and 20 minutes at the local cineplex watching the 200 million dollar "epic". As many of you may not yet have seen it-I won't give it all away. Just be prepared to see EVERY possible cliche in the book in it- sexy love triangle with equally nubile and attractive people, and oh, by the way-there was a war sort of... A reprise of Jack and Rose with something historical thrown in. Give me Tora Tora Tora or the TV War and Remembrance anyday. The ships were Spruance class(about 30 years too late- ) and mothballed fast frigates (1052 class)- the carriers all had angled decks and I could go on and on... did they think we would not notice? The best part was the underwater pan shots of the Arizona- I think they were for real- and the dogfights and planes were OK. Just as the end credits began, I turned to Himself and said-"Wait ,Celine will wail any minute- and it will be a hit at weddings and we will hear it ten times a day." Well- it wasn't Celine but nearly... very disappointing. This is a Navy town and the sailors must be laughing it up. You will predict EVERY plot turn correctly and every tearjerking device in the universe is used. 200 million- wow- what WE could do with that kind of dough!

I loved Titanic so I think I will love Pearl Harbor. I have already heard the song by Faith Hill (?) & think it's beautiful. I wonder why with your love for Somewhere in Time you never liked Titanic?

Sorry you and the Captain didn't like it. But I'm looking forward to seeing it.

A movie should be a movie - I mean all the old flicks we like are implausible with silly dialogue but we still love them, don't we?

I can't understand $200 million, though, for any film!

I (and appearently Shelley as well) liked Somewere in Time a lot, but found Titanic poorly made because of one major difference: Titanic is set in a historical setting. SIT was based in a luxurious hotel with all fictional people. Titanic is based on a real event, but with fictional characters. Had Titanic been set on, say, the Mauretania in 1910, we all would probably have loved it, since we wouldn't have been expecting it to be accurate. Similarly, had SIT been set in the Chicago Fire, we would have disliked it for the innaccuracy.
Just some thoughts,
Pearl Harbor the Movie -

I have enjoyed most of the Titanic related movies. Cameron's movie was artistic genius and Ken Marschall's art, simply extraordinary! Yes, there may have been technical errors, but the movie flowed and the plot was well thought out. I can not say the same for Pearl in places. But on the whole it was a good movie. And people who had lived it were there at the movie theatre and I could see that it was a very moving experience for them.

But I must say that the first 1 1/2 hours needed to have about 45 minutes edited from it. It came across to me like 12 individuals who didn't talk to each other wrote and did the filming of the movie and only while in editing the film did it really come together. That made the beginning awkward.

The last 1 1/2 hours with war and special stuff added, hmmmm, pretty good. And it moved quickly.

All in all, by the time you get to the end the movie, it has become a really awesome experience and you begin to forget about the slowness of the beginning and you leave the theatre in awe of all that you have just seen.

"The stuff" may not all be technically accurate and the boy meets girl stuff easily anticipated, but it certainly hits home to people how it really was that day. And that is my opinion for the Cameron movie as well. He brought 1912 back to people's minds and hearts and taught them a little about titanic and now people come here to ET to learn the truth about titanic. Maybe Pearl will pique people's interest lest we ever forget.


Mirriam Wood

Former Member
Hi, Everyone - Just spent two hours watching National Geographic's version of "Pearl Harbor". Two hours well spent, I dare say. Has anyone else seen it?
There's a National Geographic Encore next Sunday, for those of you who missed it.

Rolf Vonk

Former Member
Hey Mirriam,

I've seen it yesterday. And to come right to the point, actually I found those survivor stories horrific. My god, never thought it had been such an inferno! If they gona make a movie about Pearl Harbour, will they use the same kind of detailed shots and scenes as we've seen in 'Saving private Ryan'? I doubt...

Slightly off topic -- a former neighbor, a woman in her eighties, called yesterday with a rather bizarre question. Her son and his wife had just gone to see Pearl Harbour and they had asked her this question and she couldn't answer it, so she said to me "I said I'd call a teacher. A teacher should know."

The person who said "There are no dumb questions" should have been there.

Her question -- "Which came first, Pearl Harbor or Hiroshima?"

I explained it all as carefully as I could, but I'm still in shock. I'll be shaking my head for months over this one.
I saw the National Geographic special and was thrilled to see our own Robert Ballard in an integral role of searching for the Japanese midget sub that was sunk by the WARD an hour before the attack. Unfortunately the sub was not located in the alloted time, but still very dramatic. I also wept at some of the horrific first hand accounts, so graphic and poignant. Makes me proud to be an American with such gallant heroes as our fighting men were, and the unflappable spirit of our fathers and mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers to respond with patriotism, courage and fortitude. I highly recommend taping the encore presentation next Sunday.
Magnificent thread title!

Is it true that one of the cast says "This is the start of World War 2"?

$200 million and you get script like that!

I'm gonna give it a miss.


Yes Sam, a character DOES say that forgettable line. I knew the flack would fly over that posting but I will stick to my guns here. I had high expectations for this film, my Dad-a Vet of WWII, Vietnam and Korea was so looking forward to this movie- he died, as you know last Sept. You will recognize so many sequences in this film from other movies- the Simpson-Bruckmeier team who did TOP GUN ,now minus Simpson who died- was the director of Pearl so the dog fightsequences were thrilling but the dialogue between the 2 hunky male leads in planes in Pearl were nearly identical to TOP GUN'S Cruise and Anthony Edwards. I kept nudging the old grouch next to me saying "We seen this before- only different planes!" There was even the prerequsite crash, underwater scene (remember "Goose in Top Gun"). Then we have the Cameronesque shots of sinking ships, people dangling, sliding into the water, -I nudged the Grouch again and exclaimed" Look- it's Titanic all over again"- truly-you will see the usual touching wet dog paddling, underwater shots of floating bodies, weeping, screaming and gnashing scenes that could have been lifted right from Titanic's script. Sex and special effects sell this movie. I had NO affection for the female lead- an unknown named Kate (oh NO) Beckinsale. She was totally unlovable-and if I had to see ONE more shot of Ben Affleck's great jawline clenching I would have thrown my popcorn. Same shot used in Top Gun for Cruise's manly chin. Kate (Evelyn) played a navy nurse-with RED fingernail polish and long ,long pageboy down to her shoulders while in nurse's uniform (NOT done). We get ONE nice scene at a club with a 40's band and a jitterbug number which is the nod to setting the tone for the decade- I would have loved more period stuff. I loved Somewhere in Time because it was SUBTLE, uncontrived and the characters were real and original. This is Hollywood building a best-seller using all the tried and true formulas which have paid off big, larded with special effects, unlikely scenarios (hot lust in a parachute hanger amidst the parachutes-? aw come on- worse than Jack and Kate in that Renault on Titanic! ) I can't wait to talk to some old salts who were there to see what they have to say. I see a historical event of mammoth importance trivialized to a soap opera. Don't even ask me about Alec Baldwin who chews the scenery up shamelessly-some of his lines will have you gagging. Baldwin cannot deliver John Wayne- heck- even John Wayne could have had trouble with some of those sappy lines!

Mirriam Wood

Former Member
I suppose it could have been worse, Shelley: After all, they could have cast Leonardo Di Caprio in Ben Affleck's role! Now, try to imagine THAT!!
Thanks for the tip, Shelley, I had a gut feeling the movie would be that way. I took my kids to "Schreck" instead. I highly recommend that movie. Say, how much is medium bag of popcorn where you are? It's $4.10 here! Unbelievable.
I forgot to mention the Queen Mary. Who? Huh? Yep-I can just see the "suits" at a Hollywood power lunch saying" Now how can we get that big oceanliner thing working in here- we will make billions.." Ben Affleck takes his babe on a hot date (supposedly in New York of course although the Queen we know is in Long Beach and the movie is about Pearl Harbor-don't ask-). They steal a police boat, scoot out to the Queen Mary, hop over onto a deck platform which he hoists by electric winch. They climb up the side of the Queen Mary. See the rivets? Look folks- almost Titanic! Lots of kissing, heavy petting, etc. he leans on the lever, platform drops, they slide down the side of the ship-shades of TITANIC!!!She nearly goes into the drink- giggles, now back to the War. EGAD... what next? Actually Randy, I did applaud Cameron's attention to detail, nice sets, costumes, ambiance. I cannot understand WHY oh WHY must we have a contemporary theme song at the end of every historical flick. For PEARL HARBOR, Tony Bennett singing "I'll be seeing you in all the old familiar places" or something PERIOD would have been the thing. Faith HIll singing for a 1940's flick in a 1990's style does not work. MEMPHIS BELLE got it right- there are so many far lower-budget efforts that were right on target -nobody seemed to be "acting" and that's the way REAL life goes on.

We are really hating this flick, aren't we! I have yet to go so I can't understand what's so bad about it - yet.

But I must repeat what I've said about old movies being every bit as hokey and yet to me they are still great. One of my favorite old movies is All About Eve which came away with as many Oscars as Titanic I think. But listen carefully to the dialogue - its not realistic. No one talks like that and I doubt there was anyone in 1950 who talked that way in real life. It's all very contrived. At least actors in their dialogue today don't take on faintly theatrical accents and mannerisms as was common then and so do sound more like everyday people.

A movie is like a picture to me or any type of art -its beauty comes from the uninhibited imagination of the creator. For movies dealing with history, yes I think its great when they get the scenery and sets and dresses just right and create a convincing atmosphere but as to EVERY detail being correct it's not only impossible, its unnecessary. The point is the impact of the story in general.

If I want history I read, not watch movies.

A movie of 3 hours does seem like a long time (I thought the same about Titanic frankly)but I'm still looking forward to seeing it, flaws and all. I never thought it would be as good as Saving Private Ryan but few war films can ever come up to the emotion of that one.

I like the idea of a modern theme song at the close of a film. It helps ground the picture and makes the link beautifully between the past and today. We're watching modern special effects and modern lighting. Why not modern music? A good song - and Faith Hill's is very good - will always move and affect people, no matter what its vintage.

You go Faith! Go Celine! Sing it girls!

I love a Romantic- well Randy my heart's desire, .. guess we couldn't agree on everything in life. But wait until you have seen the movie-really keep your eyes peeled and tell me then if the hype about this being The Film that Takes You Back To The Day of Infamy lives up to its Press. It's great entertainment, special effects and SOUND (awesome)and will probably deservedly win Oscars for those catagories. Great novels, like great movies should, I think reflect life. If they are also engaging and entertaining, that's a plus. If they are well-written they will be entertaining. SOPHIE'S CHOICE, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, COMING HOME, SCHINDLER'S LIST, MEMPHIS BELLE, APOCOLYPSE NOW, all come to mind as great and true war-based films-universal themes, timeless and crossing all cultural and age barriers. Seems to me Hollywood is lacking in good screenwriters these days- it costs so much to make a film and pay the obscene amounts to the stars that the studios play it safe and go with sequels and tried and true moneymaking plots. TITANIC was no exception. I love fluff and light-stuff - but know when I go to the theatre to see it that it is entertainment. All About Eve- marvelous- a tour de force for Bette Davis- she gets to play herself! Fasten your seatbelts-it's gonna be a bumpy night! I think after the war, this country needed stuff like that to ease the horrors it had just witnessed. Movies are a great escape and we sure need it sometimes. I am just a purist when it comes to getting historical recounting right. TITANIC and PEARL HARBOR could have benefitted from the vast wealth of true stories. In PEARL, I could also have done without the anticlimax of the Tokeyo raid (Dolittle's Mission)- it kind of strayed from the Pearl Harbor story. Nothing was mentioned about the American Japanese on Pearl, their plight, so many other fascinating avenues left unexplored. Oh well- am going to go watch some mindless fluff now on the tube- THE LOST WORLD!
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