Saturday, November 11, 2006

Its been awhile since I have updated this but today is Nov. 11. Here in Korea its Peppero Day. To me its Veterans Day. In awhile I will poor some brew for the friends of mine who died while they served in the army, Those who went before me in the Army, those who did time with me in the Army and for those who serve on the US Army.

Last year I told you Matt's' story and I thought of him today, he is still 20-22 in my mind, and in my mind he will always be that age. In the review I talk about "Trip" and how he became a hero and how he wanted nothing of it.

I saw Flags Of our Fathers and I did the review for Socius. Please see it if you get the chance. Tonight, whereever you are in the world, buy a vet a drink and say thanks!

Movie Review: Flags Of Our Fathers

Written by SPC(p) Flynn Michael McStay

Tuesday, 07 November 2006

Flags of Our Fathers

Opens up In Korea: Unknown

How I saw it: VCD Screener

Opening Weekend in USA. $10,245,190 (22 October 2006) (1,876 Screens)

Plot: The life stories of the six men who raised the flag at The Battle of Iwo Jima, a turning point in WWII.

For Information on the 6 men who raised the flag and what became of them and a look at the battle please check out this website. Iwo Jima Battle

In the film “Flags of our Fathers” we are asked one question throughout the film, “What is a Hero?”

With the war in Iraq the US Army has attempted to give us 2 heroes who initial clams of super hero feats to inspire the US public. The stories we were told were of Pat Tillman and that of Jessica Lynch In both cases the initial US Army claims were no where close to what actually happened and recently Pat’s brother Kevin, so disgusted with his brothers death, recently wrote this article at the truthdig web site. Kevin's Tale

While I was watching this movie, I recalled a story from my past on how we had a hero in my unit and how it actually happened was no where close to the truth.

One day we had a murder, suicide on Ft Sill and because of a leader in charge, who should have never become one in the first place, the person in question ordered the search everywhere but the area where the witnesses said that the person went into and they heard a shot. The search lasted a few days and we were catching hell because the Military Police had not yet found the body, finally the command realized that we had never searched the area where the body might actually be. So they sent in a new soldier and by his not paying attention he tripped over what he thought was a tree and in actually, he tripped over the dead body.

The chain of command was so happy that they gave him a medal and praised him for being an excellent person to have on searches and what a great future he would have in the US Army. He actually tried to tell the truth that he tripped over the body but that was not the story that the chain of command wanted to be told. He got a real nice easy job after that and soon he met and fell in love with a real nice young lady. When asked how he met her, the unit reaction was that he must have tripped over her. For as long as he was in the unit, his nickname was “Trip” I recall when he left Ft Sill he was so happy to put that, trip, story behind him.

The movie tells about, how in 1945, 6 soldiers, were given an order to raise a second flag at Iwo Jima. The film tells you what happened to the 3 survivors in the following months after the battle and you are shown how the other 3 men died in the battle of Iwo Jima. Please watch how Ira Hayes life stars to spin out of control and see how he deals with being called a hero.

If you are thinking that this film is Pro-US Army or you don’t want to see the film because you think its anti-US Army. Then you need to check those ideas at the door and go into this film with an open mind. The film tells us a truth of how these 3 men became heroes and they never wanted any of the attention and when you see how it effects them all for the rest of there lives, you will ask the question, “If this is what a hero is all about, why in the hell would anyone want to be one? “

“Doc Bradley” (One of the 6 men who helped raise the flag, played by Ryan Phillippe) said this of his day in the sun, “People refer to us as heroes--I personally don't look at it that way. I just think that I happened to be at a certain place at a certain time and anybody on that island could have been in there--and we certainly weren't heroes--and I speak for the rest of them as well. That's the way they thought of themselves also."

Clint Eastwood directs this film and in Feb. 2007 Letters From Iwo Jima

Will be released and told from the perspective of the Japanese who fought it.

What I really enjoyed in the film was then actors’ reactions to the insanity all around them. The moment of the film is when Ira Hayes meets the mother of his friend, who died on Iwo Jima, and you see him just break down and cry. That happened in real life and it was well shown here in the film. What I also liked was that the film told the story of Harlon Block (played by Benjamin Walker) When his mother Belle saw the Flag Raising Photo in the Weslaco Newspaper on Feb. 25, she exclaimed, "That's Harlon" pointing to the figure on the far right. But the US Government mis-identified the figure as Harry Hansen (Played great by Paul Walker) of Boston. Belle never wavered in her belief that it was Harlon insisting, "I know my boy." No one--not her family, neighbors, the Government or the public--had any reason to believe her. But eighteen months later in a sensational front-page story, a Congressional investigation revealed that it was Harlon in the photo, proving that indeed, Belle did "know her boy."

There is also a small story of what haunted “Doc” the rest of his life, with his friend “Iggy”


The film does not show any of this taking place nor the aftermath, all you see is Doc’s look of horror when they find Iggy’s body, The next film (Letters..) may show this scene. Doc later said in life, he remember how his friends lived, not how they died. Please stay for all of the credits and you will see more, on one half of the screen is a montage of incredible photographs from the actual battle and it ends with the famous shot that the movie is all about.

Grade. A+ (While Bradley had a public image as a war hero, he was a very private person. He avoided discussion of his war record saying only that the real heroes were the men who gave their lives for their country. The Global Media reported the death of a World War II icon on January 11, 1994 at the age of 70. But his hometown newspaper best captured the essence of Bradley's life after the war: "John Bradley will be forever memorialized for a few moments action at the top of a remote Pacific mountain. We prefer to remember him for his life. If the famous flag-raising at Iwo Jima symbolized American patriotism and valor, Bradley's quiet, modest nature and philanthropic efforts shine as an example of the best of small town American values." ---Editorial, "The Antigo Daily Journal")

No comments: