Pearl Harbor (2001) Film Review


Rafe (Ben Affleck) and Danny (Josh Hartnett) were best mates through childhood, and ended up fighter pilots together in the US military. Rafe met a nurse, Evelyn (Kate Beckinsale) and fell in love, but then went to Europe to fight for the allies. It seemed he was dead, then Evelyn fell in love with Danny. But, Rafe turns up and things get bit awkward. Luckily, before anyone has to deal with their feelings, the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor and everyone is a bit busy. At the end of the attack, heaps of people are dead, but not Danny, Rafe or Evelyn. So they still need to deal with their issues. But then there is more.

There are heaps of films I haven’t seen but intend to for a variety of reasons. For me, Pearl Harbor was one, purely because it has a reputation for being a terrible film. And oh, it is so terrible! There is a pretty fabulous cast, Alec Baldwin, Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett, Kate Beckinsale, Ewen Bremner, Jennifer Garner, Jon Voight, Michael Shannon, Dan Ackroyd, Tom Sizemore, Cuba Gooding Jnr… And there are some pretty fabulous special effects. But I guess, with all they spent on all of that, they should have spent a bit more on scripting. It goes from being extremely average to being just plain terrible.

Pearl Harbor won an Oscar for Best Sound Editing


Bunraku (2010) Film Review


Bunraku is a 400-year-old form of Japanese puppet theatre, and whilst this is a live-action film, it is very much in the style of puppet theatre. The set has a very theatrical style that reminds me of 1920s German expressionistic films like Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari. Meanwhile, the plot is typical of that of Bunraku theatre.

It is set in a world in the aftermath of a massive world war, guns have been outlawed, so battles are waged with the blade. There is a city which is run by the gangs of Nicola the Woodsman (Ron Pearlman), a character who is rarely, if ever, seen. A Drifter (Josh Hartnet) arrives in town and approaches the local bartender (Woody Harrelson) looking to kill Nicola. A second man also arrives in town, a Samuri warrior (Gackt) in search of a medallion that Nicola stole from his family. The three become and unlikely alliance in the fight against Nicola.

Stylistically, this is one of the most beautiful films I’ve ever seen. Plotwise, it’s got a few holes, but the awesome fight sequences make up for it. Definitely worth enjoying, and if it gets a run at the Astor or somewhere on a big screen, check it out.