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1) It should also be added that BBW avoided scapegoating. No one American is blamed for the humiliation that came that December, and the Japanese are presented as human beings. (Nicholas Sarantakes)

2) It was a terrible, terrible day. Three thousand died in all. This is not a movie about them. (Roger Ebert)

3) Japan's bold strike against Pearl can now be seen as a fine example of how a nation might win a battle and, in the act itself, lose a war. (Robert Sullivan)

4) It is possible to argue that Pearl Harbor's agenda is too ambitious for a single motion picture: tell a love story, represent the historical situation, and offer a concluding catharsis that does not come naturally to the tale of what transpired at Pearl Harbor. (James Berardinelli)

5) In keeping with the Disney tradition, Pearl Harbor's America glows with sunshine… War is more a computer-enhanced adventure than a personal, grim experience. (Chisun Lee)

6) But why this resurgence, and why now? Many point out that the "greatest generation" is in its waning years -- the nation is losing an average of 1,100 WWII vets each day - and there is a greater sense of urgency to hear their stories once again. (Harry Bruinius)

7) While it is true that Hollywood's business is to entertain, it is also true that many people now get their knowledge of war and history in general from the movies. (Just ask a classroom teacher!) (John Dower)

8) Indeed, you may wonder why the film – a love story about fly boys that spans from war in Europe to James Doolittle’s raid on Tokyo in 1942 – is even named Pearl Harbor. (Robert Marquand)

9) They’re insulting the guys who defended Pearl Harbor and died… They’re not giving them the recognition that they should receive – in fact, they’re detracting from it. But that’s the movie business. It’s about money. (Walsh and Thorpe)

10) The story is so muddled that anyone unfamiliar with the history will not have any real idea of what is happening in any intelligent context. (Wetta and Novelli)

11) As most American audiences of the 1940’s knew, Japan’s peace envoys were in Washington for a new round of talks which both sides hoped would avert war between the two nations. In light of the timing of the Pearl Harbor attack, Hollywood often reminded audiences just how treacherous this ploy appeared to be. (Ralph Donald)

12) The predicament facing the producers of the Disney film was how to make a money-making, big-screen entertainment movie that would somehow also serve as a testimonial to the memory of Pearl Harbor. (Geoffrey White)

13) Pearl Harbor’s best historical detail comes from what isn’t included in the movie. Mercifully absent is any reference to the widely held notion that President Franklin Roosevelt, desperate to enter the war against Hitler but facing an isolationist public and Congress, allowed the Japanese to bomb the Pacific Fleet after learning of the imminent attack from the intercepted Japanese cables, then left Kimmel hung out to dry. (Robert Waters)

14) As Peter Bradshaw wrote caustically in The Guardian, at times the film had "about as much relationship to the reality of wartime combat as a Gad ad for khakis." (McCrisken and Pepper)

15) The main lines of this narrative involve a dramatization of the violation of innocence, a portrait of U.S. victimhood and of Japanese perfidy. (Marcia Landy)

16) Contrary to what one would expect from a movie called “Pearl Harbor,” the action continues for almost another hour following the day of infamy. (Robert Waters)

17) It is said that art imitates life: although most of these wartime epics [before this Pearl Harbor] were unrealistic, propagandistic, and certainly ethnocentric, they nonetheless provide a reasonably accurate mirror of the immense hate and disgust of the American people for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. (Ralph Donald)

18) Many films are, and remain, preoccupied with constructing and securing some kind of imaginary consensus whereby everyone’s point of view is duly noted and assimilated into ultimately affirmative narratives of national and global reconciliation (that is, The Patriot, Amistad, Pearl Harbor). (McCrisken and Pepper)

19) Although the cooperation of the U.S. Navy provided location, equipment, and specialized expertise that added to the reality of the film, the involvement of official military sponsorship can also heighten suspicions that the film is doing the work of “propaganda” – telling the story that the Navy would like to tell about itself. (Geoffrey White)

20) Despite cliché’s belching forth like smoke from the doomed battleship Arizona, most of the actually history that manages to sneak into Pearl Harbor isn’t bad and the special effects are spectacular, heightening the bombing’s chaos and terror. (Robert Waters)

21) After Hiroshima, American war films changed, softening both in propagandistic tone and in their treatment of the Axis powers. Along with these changes came the eventual recognition that the incidents surrounding Pearl Harbor were more complex than these war-time propaganda films depicted. (Ralph Donald)

22) There is not a single well-rounded character in Pearl Harbor; indeed, they rarely exhibit more than a dent in their cardboard. Every named character is brave, stout, or prescient. (Robert Waters)

23) History itself testifies to the thunderous success of the slogan “Remember Pearl Harbor." (Ralph Donald)

24) Pearl Harbor is more than just a Top Gun rip-off though. It is also a Titanic rip-off that pays homage to Bruckheimer’s Armageddon. Like Titanic, the historical narrative is subsumed by a banal love story, and we see ships keeling over with sailors desperately fighting gravity to hang on. Like Armageddon, (in which we see another subtle Bruckheimer distinction -- this time Affleck plays a brash young oil rigger turned astronaut), Pearl Harbor features a love triangle in which only a heroic death can unite Affleck with his beloved. In Armageddon, it is the death of his beloved’s father, whose last act is apologizing for how he had treated Affleck, and giving him a father’s blessing to take his daughter’s hand; in Pearl Harbor, it is Danny who must die, and he devotes his last minutes to apologizing for impregnating Affleck’s beloved (too long and ridiculous to explain), and giving a father’s blessing to the union, Both endings are teeth-achingly manipulative. (Robert Waters)

25) Let's be honest with ourselves, people who were going to see Pearl Harbor knew that it wasn't going to be a history lesson, nor that it was going to document the action of that day to inform its worldwide audience of the ins and outs of trauma that occurred. No. Pearl Harbor was made for money, for every female from age 11-35 to drool and cry over. And personally, for me, as long as no major lies are told, the manipulation of a historical event for the sake of entertainment is okay. (James "Alec" Murphy)

26) Jerry Bruckheimer’s Pearl Harbor is a Mr. Creosote of a movie, stuffed so full of story lines and scenes from previous big budget features that it might explode. It’s also a celebration of Bruckheimer’s cinematic oeuvre. (Robert Waters)

27) Hollywood loves Pearl Harbor. The recent film Pearl Harbor is the fifth motion picture made using the Japanese attack on Hawaii as a back drop: From Here to Eternity (1953), In Harm’s Way (1965) Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970), and The Final Countdown (1980). There have also been three television mini-series: Pearl (1978), From Here to Eternity (1979), and The Winds of War (1983). This most recent production might very well be the worst from either an artistic or historical viewpoint. (Nicholas Sarantakes)

28) Although Pearl Harbor at the time symbolized national defeat and humiliation at the hands of the Japanese, the event has been celebrated in endless ceremonies, rituals, books, TV specials, monuments, and movies, emerging as a defining moment of the “good war” legacy. . . . At a time of intensifying public and elite antiwar sentiment, the attack brought the US into World War II against the Axis powers; in the words of Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, it “awoke a sleeping giant.” Pearl Harbor gave the US a fierce sense of dedication and wronged self-righteousness in its four-year pursuit of the war to its victorious conclusion. It no doubt fundamentally altered the way Americans came to view the global arena and the US place within it.
(Carl Boggs)

29) The team of BBW could have cut off half an hour from the movie, and maybe had more emotional impact, if they had the resolution take place on Dec. 7, but including the Doolittle section allows American audiences to leave the theater with a nice patriotic feeling. (Nicholas Sarantakes)

30) If only two of these films -- Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan (1998) and Michael Bay’s Pearl Harbor (2001) -- had appeared during this period, it would still be possible to speak of a World War II revival. Both pictures were expensive, widely viewed, and generally well-received blockbusters that, most significantly, injected a pervasive sense of the good war into American culture at a time when the superpower was fervently looking to legitimate its Pentagon system and global aspirations. (Carl Boggs)

31) The computer-generated special effects are one of the strongest parts of the film, but at times the illusion fails and you can tell you are looking at computer-generated images. Simply put, movie magic is not reason enough to watch this film. (Nicholas Sarantakes)

32) Despite a number of serious flaws, Tora! Tora! Tora! remains the best film ever made on the Pearl Harbor events. Produced at the height of the Vietnam failure, Fleischer’s picture (co-directed with two Japanese filmmakers) approaches historical accuracy, enhanced by its documentary style and genuine efforts to present the attack from both sides, with the Japanese language spoken where appropriate. (Carl Boggs)

33) In a two-hour period, 18 ships were sunk or badly damaged (including the Arizona, which split in two then went under; the West Virginia; and the Oklahoma, which rolled over), 188 planes were destroyed (with an additional 159 damaged), and more than 3500 Americans were killed or wounded. (James Berardinelli)