Letters From Iwo Jima

Discussion in 'Movie Lounge' started by Hayes Preston, May 21, 2007.

  1. Hayes Preston

    Hayes Preston Member

    Anyone else catch this? Just watched the HD DVD and I am thinking that this may be in my top four or five war films! Great movie, great performances, great film!

    Too bad this one seemed to be overlooked by the public and the media.
  2. Allen

    Allen New Member War Zone Member

    Yes - feel the same way.

    Hang on a second, let me retrieve what I wrote elsewhere....ah, here it is:

    One of the best films of the year, IMO. Eastwood really knows how to take apart the conventional wisdom, and just about turn it on its ear - as he did in Unforgiven, and does again in LFIJ (and attempted as well in Flags of Our Fathers, but less successfully than the other two I've mentioned).

    Great acting by Watanabe (the only "name" actor in the film), and two or three other "main" Japanese characters. This really humanizes the enemy, and shows that they're concerned about the same things our soldiers were: primarily their families. It also shows some other differences and similarities in cultures, and really shows both the "gung ho" Japanese soldier, and very reluctant ones, as well (we're led to empathize with the reluctant ones more, through better exposition and backstory for much more character depth).

    Eastwood also is terrific using black & white (or almost so) here, as he did in Million Dollar Baby. The film is very artsy with its lack of color palette, but also has some very vivid and realistic and violent war scenes, so it's not purely an "art film" by any stretch.
  3. Dennis Pagoulatos

    Dennis Pagoulatos Active Member

    I haven't seen either of the films, and I'm going to have to at least rent both- are they both available now on HD-DVD?

  4. Shane

    Shane Active Member

    Starting tomorrow they will be on both HD and BR.

    I'm planning to buy them both(on BR). FOOF is currently embattled in a battle over PQ since they are using 2 different encodes. One is sharper(BR), one is softer(HD DVD). I'll be curious to compare them. LFIJ should look according to reviews exactly the same since Warner did identical audio(True HD) and video encodes.
  5. Dan S.

    Dan S. New Member

    I picked up both on BD this morning, hopefully will get to watch LFIJ tonight.
  6. Allen

    Allen New Member War Zone Member

    Anyone with a Wall Street Journal subscription should check out the front-page story today about a 19-year-old American sailor who found a package of letters on Iwo Jima (the Japanese soldier who wrote those letters died on Iwo Jima).

    The American kept them all these years - until he saw/read about LFIJ when it ws first released. He then contacted his local newspaper, who contacted Japanese media - and the surviving brother of the author of those letters was found.

    The online version of the WSJ has several of those letters translated and posted.
  7. Hayes Preston

    Hayes Preston Member

    that is a great story, very interesting indeed.
  8. hgroff

    hgroff New Member

    Just posted short recomendation for "flags" on HD-DVD (above). I just cant wait to get "letters" as well. truely riveting movie!
  9. hgroff

    hgroff New Member

    I was surprised by the Japanese view point. Seeing Flags first, I pictured the Japanese as cold and calculating. Hell bent on wiping the US out with sneak attacks, kidnappings and torture. I never imagined that they were in a desperate battle with limited amunition, food and water. Basically trying to hold out while comtemplating their defeat, wow very different!
  10. LarryB

    LarryB Active Member

    I saw Iwo Jima last night. Indeed, Eastwood has hit another one out of the park. Bravo.

  11. Pete Apruzzese

    Pete Apruzzese New Member

    My Netflix HD DVD of this should be at home tomorrow - looking forward to it as I really enjoyed Flags of Our Fathers.
  12. Shane

    Shane Active Member

    I intend to watch Letters this weekend. Flags I liked but I felt the story was a bit convoluted.
  13. Troy Seufert

    Troy Seufert New Member

    This movie came out on HD-DVD on 5-22-07. I put it at the top of my Blockbuster queue. I JUST got it this weekend. lol

    I'm so glad I finally got a chance to watch it though. This is a fantastic war film. Eastwood has done it again. He really is one of our best directors right now. Ken Watanabe is phenomenal. I swear I could watch that guy read the phone book and be impressed.

    I agree with the general consensus that it's a better film than Flags, but I think it was a great idea to do two films and show each side of the battle.

    Does anyone know if the Letters were real or not? I saw that it was based on a japanese novel, but I haven't had a chance to fully google for the info yet.
  14. brianca

    brianca New Member

    It would have been better IMO if both films had focused more on the battle and prep. Having Flags veer off into the aftermath so much made it less of a solid companion for me.

    I liked Letters quite a bit. Not one of my favorite war movies, but it was a good watch. I finally caught it on blu this weekend. It was also a good chance to work on my japanese. ;)

    I think a japanese director would have done a better job with it, but it was overall pretty good as it is.

    My grandfather landed on Iwo, and I'm going to watch both films with him later this year. I'm very curious to see what he has to say about them. I remember him talking long ago about how when the battle was over, it became a tradition of sorts of piss on the top of suribachi. He said that several people were killed by jeeps rolling off the road as soldiers tried to drive up as high as they could to do just that. As far as he knew, they were all listed as KIA.
  15. CJ

    CJ Bronze Member Admin War Zone Member

    Top Poster Of Month

    I watched both of these a few months ago. I liked them both for different reasons. I'm not sure I would have like it as well if they had focused on the same thing so much. I liked the "hero tour" aspect of Flags which was quite different from the "in the trenches" aspect of Letters.
  16. LarryB

    LarryB Active Member

    While I liked "Letters" a great deal, I was very dissapointed with "Flags."
  17. Shane

    Shane Active Member

    I saw Iwo Jima last night. I saw Flags months and months ago and was let down because of the hero aspects which seemed like politics to me. The coming home aspects just ruined Flags for me.

    Iwo Jima was a completely different story. This is one of the best war films yet. I was captivated by it. My wife would admit the soundtrack was quite active as well :)

    All and all, a wonderful experience and one I will re-experience again soon.

    The BR PQ looked outstanding as well.

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