As Letters From Iwo Jima barrels through awards season on a groundswell of rave reviews, Clint Eastwood’s earlier Iwo Jima movie, Flags of Our Fathers, hits DVD with a whimper — not a single extra — rather than a bang. That’s a disservice to a film that honorably but fatally tries to be all war movies to all audiences. Is Flags (A) a bullet-pocked battle re-creation à la Saving Private Ryan, (B) a meditation on what heroism means under fire and at home, (C) a Media Culture 101 essay on the ways in which the iconic flag-raising photo was used and abused, or (D) a study of post-traumatic stress among the Marines? (E) All of the above. Unfortunately, multitasking has never been Eastwood’s forte — straightforward eloquence is — and the lack of focus muddies a fine performance from Adam Beach as a Marine torn between honoring his country and his fallen fellows. Here’s one case where a director’s commentary, rising to the defense of an overshadowed work, would be most welcome. Consider this a stopgap release until the proper — and inevitable — special-edition pairing with Letters. B
(FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS: Merie W. Wallace)
Genre: Drama, War; Starring: Adam Beach, Jesse Bradford, Joseph Cross, Barry Pepper, Ryan Phillippe, Benjamin Walker, Paul Walker, Ken Watanabe; Director: Clint Eastwood; Author: William Broyles Jr., Paul Haggis; Release Date Wide: 10/20/2006; Runtime (in minutes): 132; MPAA Rating: R; Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Posted February 7 2007 — 12:00 AM EST
- Arthur Conan Doyle's estate is suing Miramax over 'Mr. Holmes'
- A$AP Rocky and Schoolboy Q shock with 'Electric Body'
- Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen aren't returning for Netflix's 'Fuller House'
- Two more (unofficial) Drake songs leak, including Tinashe collaboration
- Bask in '90s nostalgia with this a ca-mazing 'Boy Meets World' medley
- Eminem to executive produce 'Southpaw' soundtrack: Hear a sneak peek of his new song
- Michael B. Jordan: Why I'm Torching the color line in 'Fantastic Four'
- 'Fear the Walking Dead' First Look: 7 photos from the set
- Cannes 2015: What's buzzing in film and fashion (so far)
- 'Survivor': Meet 20 alums you picked for a 'Second Chance'
- Ellie Kemper, more faces of the 2015 Webby Awards
- Summer Music Preview 2015: 10 hottest tours
- George Clooney, Meghan Trainor, Pharrell & Zoë and More!