Everyone's a critic: 'Flags of our Fathers'

Friday, October 27, 2006

Four stars (out of four)

"Flags of Our Fathers" is a great movie, directed by Clint Eastwood. It tells the story of the battle fought on the island of Iwo Jima. The island is 5 1/2 miles long and 2 1/2 miles wide, and it was here during World War II that the bloodiest battle between the United States and Japan was fought.

Eastwood tells the story of the men who fought here and who were responsible for raising the American flag on top of the island. A photograph of the raising became famous at that time and in American history. Of the men responsible for raising the flag, only three lived to tell about it.

Eastwood shows the horror of war and the effect it had physically and mentally on all who participated. He lets us know how a mother must feel to know her son won't be coming home. He tells us the tale of the Pima Indian, Ira Hayes and how he died after living a drunken, wasted life.

This movie won't leave you with a dry eye. The cast is great, and it is an amazing story that is being told.

-- Lindell Brennecke

Four stars (out of four)

"Flags of Our Fathers" is a forthright and graphic portrayal of an important cultural and historical event in our country's history. Most people know about the famous picture of the flag-raising on Iwo Jima during the latter days of World War II, but what isn't well-known is what happened to the men who survived the battle and went on the war bond drive back home in the United States.

Seen through the eyes of the three survivors, the movie goes back and forth between the tour and the battle, mostly seen as a series of flashbacks.

To me, this is one of those must-see important movies that ranks up there with "Saving Private Ryan." "Flags of Our Fathers" is one that will help those of us who weren't there develop a greater appreciation for what the veterans went through during the war. One quote from the movie helps sum it all up -- "They fought for their country but died for their buddies."

-- Hank Sessoms

Four stars (out of four)

"One picture can win or lose a war."

In "Flags of Our Fathers," the picture in question shows soldiers raising an American flag on the island of Iwo Jima. The photographs from that barren South Pacific Island had an effect on thousands of Americans, beginning with the men who fought to plant an improvised flagpole, to the families of the service men, members of the public and elected officials throughout the country.

This movie does not glamorize the effects of war. The battle scenes are realistic; the representations of exploitation, dishonesty and prejudice are just as accurate. There are stunning visual effects: computer generated battleships, tanks and scenery recreate views that were captured in black and white photos in the 1940s, but this film is not in black and white.

"Flags of Our Fathers" combines valuable history lessons and truth; both are usually lacking in popular media. Go see the movie. Take your friends and family. This one will win an Academy Award.

-- Marilou Shaner

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