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DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 132 minutes/ previews

STUDIO: Dreamworks Pictures/ Warner Bros Pictures/ malpaso/ Amblin Entertainment/ Paramount

RELEASE DATE: 2-6-2006

Director Clint Eastwood had a dream of making two pictures about the battle of Iwo Jima. FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS is the first one while LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA is the second (and enjoying Oscar buzz right now). FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS deals with three surviving men (of six) who raised the second flag on Iwo Jima. The movie flashes back and forth between Iwo Jima, the War Bond campaign with the flag raisers to sell bonds to raise money for the war effort, and two of the soldiers as old men. I think it would have been a better film if the scenes with the marine and sailor as old men was cut out. The rest of the film captures the story. The old men remembering bit has been done before (SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, BAND OF BROTEHRS). I rather had the film deal with the men at that time as they try to deal with the battle for Iwo Jima and their feelings that they weren't heroes at all. This film would have been a different beast if it was all linear as we only get bits of Iwo Jima against the bits of the War Bond tour. They all have nightmares. Ira (Adam Beach) wants to stay and fight in World War Two- instead he ends up getting drunk each day on the tour. Rene Gagnon (Jesse Bradford) lives it up and brings his girlfriend into the tour.

FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS has some great scenes when on Iwo Jima and during the tour. It gives a different spin on the war. America wanted heroes while the soldiers didn't they were heroes as the United States government needed money to continue the war. I can't wait to see LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA and see this film again after that. Will my opinion of FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS change once I see both films that Clint directed? I don't know. I need to find out.

VIDEO: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

Sometimes the transfer looks soft and detail isn't as great in some nightime scenes as blacks appear a little muddy.

AUDIO: English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 DD, English 2.0 DS

Subtitles: English, Spanish

EXTRAS: The only extras are trailers for LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA and BABEL. This barebones DVD doesn't even include teh trailer for FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS or a chapter index menu. Expect the LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA DVD to have many more extras and for Paramount to put out a Special Edition of FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS later on.

FINAL ANALYSIS: FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS is an interesting and yet flawed picture. If you're looking for extras, wait for a later edition.

this review is (c)1-26-2007 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link to the review). Look for additional content at http://enterlinemedia.livejournal.com and send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com