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ISSUE #110
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Features

ArrowThe 10 Most Ridiculous Things about the Midterm Elections
Allan Uthman

ArrowThe Worst Show on Television
An election night diary
Matt Taibbi

ArrowFEELINÊ HAGGARD
Forget the gay hooker; was Pastor Ted a tweaker?
Alexander Zaitchik

ArrowCrush, Kill, Destroy
Screw bipartisanship; it’s time for revenge.
Allan Uthman

Local BEAST

ArrowCult Classic
Pseudoscience and Psychedelics in the Church of Scientology
Ian Murphy

Departments

ArrowThe Beast Page 3
Terrorist Emboldener

ArrowKino Korner: Movies
Borat, Saw III, Flags of Our Fathers, The Santa Clause 3

ArrowBEAST-O-Scopes
As divined by your ethereal guide

Arrow[sic] - Letters
Tool Box, Another Einstein Weighs In, Army Ad's Still Got It, A Real American Hero and more

Kino Korner

 


Borat | Saw III | Flags of Our Fathers
The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause


Flags of Our Fathers

Flags of Our FathersWe’ve all seen it. We’ve all seen the very image which seems to have defined World War II if not the US army—the American flag being raised at Iwo Jima. You can tell from the picture itself that a lot of blood was spilled in order for those famous poses to happen. For the last 60 years it’s served as a reminder of the freedoms that most of us enjoy and take for granted. It’s such a powerful representation that it requires no explanation.

So why the hell make a movie about it!? I know we’re talking about Clint Eastwood here, but come on already! The problem here is when you explain something so mythic you tend to take away from its meaning. Let’s take a look at the last time Eastwood did this-- Unforgiven. With that film, as great as it is, Eastwood dared to answer the question what happens to the cowboy after he rides off into the sunset? We didn’t need to know! Granted, Gene Hackman was great in Unforgiven, but it was unnecessary.

I can only think of a couple of reasons why Eastwood made Flags of Our Fathers. It could be that he needed to show his audience what a real war was about. Some asshole drags you out of bed on a Sunday morning and sucker punches you, you gang up with some guys the prick’s buddies are hassling then you all show them how it’s done. Then you firebomb their houses. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. Maybe Eastwood’s trying to tell us you don’t start shit in the desert because you heard someone’s been making a pipe bomb in their garage or is planning to plop some lunch meat on the hood of your car in the middle of the night because they don’t like Christmas.

Or maybe Eastwood wanted to make a war movie about the Greatest War, just because he just won an Oscar and he can do whatever the hell he wants. Maybe he wants to cast a bunch of schmoes you never heard of because everyone who went to another continent to fight in the war were a bunch of schmoes you never heard of. Maybe he just wanted everyone to know that it doesn’t take six guys to put up a frigging flag. All I can ask is why?

I know that anyone who fought so much as a cold during World War II was a tough customer and could box my ears without a second thought and no one could ever take away what they went through. I know all this, but I also know that Spielberg did this already with Saving Private Ryan. He showed us that war is indeed hell and if you were able to speak immediately after seeing it you seriously deserved to get your ass kicked.

But this is not to say Flags of Our Fathers is bad. It’s got some great battle scenes that make up for the milquetoast character development. Another one for the plus column is that you’re not going to get a bunch of dipshit kids whose cell phones go off every few minutes. For the most part all you’re going to be looking at will be a slew of old people who’ll sit there quietly. Because quiet is nice. Oh sure, you’re going to run the risk of a hearing aid going out and having to hear WHA!? every few minutes. But if you go for a matinee and sit in the farthest possible back row you should be okay.

 

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