Impact grenade, hot shrapnel, exploding black sand: MCN’s David Poland has just posted not one but two pans of Clint Eastwood’s Flags of Our Fathers and it’s fairly rough stuff. Not a disappointing film but a bad one, he says.
I was told after seeing Flags of Our Fathers last week that reviews most likely wouldn’t be “hitting the street” so to speak until next Monday, 10.16, so this took me aback. But the TV review that ran yesterday on Ebert and Roeper (Roeper gave it a thumbs-up, guest critic Zorianna Kitt was more mezzo-mezzo-neghead) blew that apart and suddenly the gates were down. Variety had been holding its review (said to be fairly positive) and will go out later today or tomorrow; ditto Hollywood Reporter.
“The good news is that even as I watched Flags of Our Fathers, I was craving Letters From Iwo Jima,” Poland writes at the end of one of his articles, referring to Eastwood’s Japanese Iwo Jima film that due in early February.
“My guess is that it will be a much, much better film because without the War Bond Tour as a focal point, it will have a clear focus,” he explains. “We, the Americans, are the villain. And death is the villain. And the villain will have a complete victory from their perspective. But the Eastwoodian element is that in that single focus, there will be honor and passion and faith√ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√Ǭ¶ things truly missing from all but the surface of Flags of Our Fathers.
“If I were Clint Eastwood, I would be pushing to qualify Letters From Iwo Jima because Flags of our Fathers is now a long-shot, at best, for a Best Picture [nomination]. It just isn’t the kind of work that speaks to Clint’s strengths.”
Emanuel Levy went with a rave review late last week. On the other hand, The Envelope‘s Tom O’Neil, obviously having called around, has run a piece asking if Flags of Our Fathers is this year’s Jarhead.