I watched 3 excellent movies on Tuesday night and the early hours of Wednesday morning.
The whole bunch of us watched 300 at Star. It was brilliant. The Frank Miller feel of the movie was very, very obvious. That's a good thing. Later we had dinner and discussed how many of the critics who panned the movie completely missed its point and looked for things that the movie did not show.
After dinner, I went and picked up a DVD containing rips of Letters from Iwo Jima and Flags of Our Fathers. Also brilliant. Both of them.
I was about to say that Letters was more impressive. Certainly, it's different from your usual war movie fare. The story revolves mainly around the commander of the Iwo Jima garrison and a somewhat hapless, soft spoken ex baker draftee.
Before watching this movie I read some posts on some movie forums about how this movie was controversial because it made Imperial Japanese soldiers more "humane" and "sympathetic" than they were supposedly.
I say these people either didn't watch this movie or weren't paying attention if they did.
Yes it did portray some Imperial soldiers as a more human creature than your usual Jap soldier stereotype, but the Imperial War machine and the fanaticism was right there as clear as day. This movie does not "glorify" the WW2 Imperial Japanese Army in any way, that much I can say. I remember one scene where during a briefing the men were instructed specifically to look out for and shoot medics. This is illegal in warfare, for those who didn't know.
Again, this movie didn't make the Japanese Army look any "softer" than they historically were.
Flags of Our Fathers was also brilliant. My first impression was that it wasn't as impressive as Letters, but when I thought about it, it was great also albeit in a different way.
The movie tells the tale of the six men who raised THAT flag on Mount Suribachi in Iwo Jima and what happened to them after the war.
I felt this movie was more "conventional" that Letters, but it was great all the same. While Letters had a kind of sad and touching ending, Flags ended in a more bittersweet manner.
In in all, a great series of films and a nice way to spend 8 hours of your day off from work.
In other news, I have a looong break coming up which is great. The last month had been quite trying at work, what with all the night shifts and the overtime. It's a relief to have some extra off time away from the office.
Just as well, since I have loose ends to tie up.