Flags of Our Fathers 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…
DVD Review

Flags of Our Fathers (2007)

'FLAGS' DAY With the Oscar-nominated Iwo Jima on the front lines, Eastwood's worthy ode to the flag-raising Marines (Ryan Phillippe and Jesse Bradford, pictured) is…
Image credit: FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS: Merie W. Wallace
'FLAGS' DAY With the Oscar-nominated Iwo Jima on the front lines, Eastwood's worthy ode to the flag-raising Marines (Ryan Phillippe and Jesse Bradford, pictured) is confined to the barracks on DVD

Details Release Date: Feb 06, 2007; DVD Release Date: Feb 06, 2007; Movie Rated: R; Genres: Drama, War; With: Adam Beach, Jesse Bradford, Joseph Cross, Barry Pepper and Ryan Phillippe...; Distributor: Paramount Pictures

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

Originally posted Jan 31, 2007 Published in issue #920 Feb 09, 2007 Order article reprints
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