Anyone watch last year's "Midway"?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by E5RSY, Oct 10, 2020.

  1. telleutelleme

    telleutelleme Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Preferred the original. I liked In Harms Way more.
     
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  2. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I thought perhaps. But pretty close...

    20201010_162234.jpg 20201010_161048.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2020
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  3. jamesepowell

    jamesepowell Tele-Holic

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    l have not the kind of reading that alathIN & tomkatf have done, but I've read that special effort was made to show events accurately and I accept that this was done. Talking strictly as a movie for entertainment, I thought it was good not great.

    The 1976 Midway is so full of cheese & WWII movie cliches that the two films should really not be compared.

    My take is that movies are for entertainment.
     
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  4. E5RSY

    E5RSY Doctor of Teleocity

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    Yes, that was a strange mistake to make, given that they had the correct insignia on the fuselages.
     
  5. eclecticsynergy

    eclecticsynergy Friend of Leo's

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    I enjoyed it on the big screen but wouldn't have called it great. Watched it again on TV this year and enjoyed it less, but didn't turn it off.

    Liked the music score. Well done when up front and also when subtle.

    It is a long movie and it felt long. I think a fair amount of personal drama that should've wound up on the editing room floor was left in - perhaps more for the sake of the actors than for the big picture. Then again, maybe it would've been even less engaging without giving those extra few minutes to each character.

    It is also a "big" movie which I think would've benefited if it could've been tied together more cohesively. Almost seemed like several different films cut together. I think the intent for historical depth left it a bit cumbersome.

    CGI was pretty well done IMO. Was a little surprised when viewing it on the TV that the CGI didn't look obviously fake; usually it doesn't translate to the small screen very well. The technology's getting better all the time.

    Can't fault a combat film for having dizzying aerial sequences, lots of bullets flying and big explosions.

    IMO though the movie does suffer from modern-action-film disease: too many rapidfire cuts, and overall pacing aimed at audiences with a gamer's four-second attention span. Still, that's the norm in this day and age.

    Production values on the 1970s Midway were crummy and that one was indeed "full of cheese" as noted above. I agree the two films are so fundamentally different that further comparisons are pretty much meaningless.
     
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  6. E5RSY

    E5RSY Doctor of Teleocity

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    It occurs to me that when making a film like this today, they have to decide who they are going to make it for. You're either gonna make it for an audience that has, at least, a general grasp of the historical events being portrayed. Or, you have to give a lot of emphasis to basic storytelling and essentially teach the story to those ignorant of the events. Very hard to serve both of those masters simultaneously.
     
  7. Jim622

    Jim622 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I liked the first version better.
     
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  8. Bob Womack

    Bob Womack Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm a little surprised by the sentiments here. As a student of the Battle I considered the 1970s movie complete drama drivel. While this movie focuses too much on one character, its historicity is far superior to the 1970s version which wasted much of its capital on personal drama and issues.

    On another forum one such complainer made the statement that he couldn't believe that they'd created the plot line of a famous Hollywood director being present. Frank Ford was indeed on the island during the raid, was indeed injured in a bomb explosion, and indeed, when his crew tried to help him, said, "Forget me - keep filming, keep filming!!!"

    I think an interesting inaccuracy was showing the American flag flying at the start of the battle. What actually happened was that in the scramble to get ready for the 6:30am attack the Marines had forgotten to raise the flag over the command bunker. When the Japanese aircraft appeared everyone headed to the trenches and bunkers. When the bombs started falling a Marine Sargent jumped out his trench and ran towards the bunker. Someone asked what the *** he was doing and he said, "If I'm going to fight these SOBs I'm going to do it under the American flag." Another couple of marines joined him and they got it up, right in the middle of the bombing.

    [​IMG]

    Interestingly, the movie ignored the pilot who scored the most hits during the battle, Jack "Dusty" Kleiss. Kleiss scored hits on three ships, all of which sank, during the battle. The book about him, Never Call Me a Hero, by Kleiss, Timothy Orr, and Laura Orr, is a fantastic personal look into the business of dive bombing and period squadron life. Did you know there were several steps in a checklist required before you transitioned from level flight to the bombing dive, the last of which was taking a fast-acting shot of ephedrine to prevent the eardrums from rupturing?

    Dusty was getting ready for his carrier qualifications, the first carrier traps and takeoffs required before you could be certified as safe to operate from a carrier when he discovered Aviation Machinist Mate 3 Bruno Guido (featured in the movie) in the back seat of his Dauntless. Ordinarily the inexperienced pilot was required to do his CarQuals with sand bags in the back seat so he didn't risk another man's life. Dusty asked Bruno to climb out. Bruno said, You are a pilot, aincha? You know how to fly this thing, doncha? Let's go." His confidence took away Dusty's test jitters and he did great on the CarQuals. You know that dramatic scene with Guido using the machine guns in the back of the parked Dauntless? It really happened.

    Probably the best historical work on the Battle is Gordon Prange's Miracle at Midway. It is as dry as all get out but terrifically detailed and uses the first-hand testimony of those involved.

    Bob
     
  9. MrCairo46

    MrCairo46 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I only made it 1/3 the way thru. Didn’t they change the ending so the Japanese won? Bad bad movie
     
  10. MrCairo46

    MrCairo46 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Best WWII flick I’ve seen lately is 303 Squadron about Polish pilots who escape to England and fly for Britain.
     
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  11. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    Sorry, but it was legendary director JOHN FORD! Frank Ford is the legendary repair/restoration expert at Gryphon in Palo Alto.
     
  12. tomkatf

    tomkatf Tele-Afflicted

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    You need to get Shattered Sword...
     
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  13. Archtop Bill

    Archtop Bill Tele-Holic

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    I saw it opening day in my favorite theater and purchased my own copy as soon as it was available. I own the DVD of of the 70’s version, too. The 2019 is not a remake, but retells the battle with much more history. While I have fond memories of the original, IMO the 2019 version is superior. I worked at a theater for the original and helped union stage hands install Sensurround subwoofers prior to the opening. The 70’s version was a melodrama with a pointless romance subplot with the Edward Albert’s character.

    The 2019 version includes a dozen or so historic vignettes to enhance the storytelling. Yeah, a guy really wrestled a runaway bomb and a gunner really did jump in his Dauntless and shot down a suicide bomber from the flight deck. Yes, the Japanese executed by drowning captured American fliers. The production was funded with Chinese money in large part to remind the world how China suffered under Japan particularly due to Chineses assistance to the Doolittle Raiders.

    Nice recap of the Doolittle Raid is an extra bonus. As a kid I always loved the Dauntless dive bomber. The Dauntless is the star of the film, not the Wildcat fighter as one would expect.
     
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  14. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    At that time USN carriers were designed for single engine planes. Mitchells as a medium land based bomber would seem like seagulls on a chihuahua. Some of that footage like in the 70s Charlton Heston/Henry Fonda/Glen Ford version was original. Some comes from '30 Seconds Over Tokyo' made 1944 using USN footage of the planes taking off.

    My opinion - as a damn furrigner, is at Coral Sea Halsey did the right things for the wrong reasons and the US was lucky the Lexington wasn't sunk - which would have put a different complexion on the battle. He was brave but impetuous and relied on intuition.

    Spruance and Nimitz' excellent planning based on intelligence; plus the Japanese being blindsided by the failure of their recon mission to see if the US carrier fleet was at Pearl, coupled with a degree of overconfidence thinking Halsey was in command, pursued a crazy like a fox strategy that undid them.

    At Pearl the Japanese had complete mastery of the air, and surprise. At Coral sea the appearance of Wildcats should have been a warning that the balance was changing. The Wildcat was the equal of the Zero in speed, better armoured, self-sealing fuel tanks with better guns and with better tactics made it competitive.

    Waldron's double-guessing of Nagumo's movements got him there first and cost his squadron except Ensign Gay their lives, but it was also the sort of chance that swings battles - pulled the Japanese fighter cover away when the Dauntless' from Enterprise arrived.

    The USN Dauntless was a superb divebomber with a good survivability rate due to unloaded speed and agility. In the hands of a good pilot it was lethal. Plus the Japanese carriers were vulnerable to divebombing.

    A lot of the US pilots were inexperienced and failed to co-ordinate which is why the torpedo bombers were slaughtered (plus the Vindicators were obsolete sitters) but all you needed was a few guys who knew what they were doing in a Dauntless.

    I thought the Emmerich film is good, but a bit rushed because his budget was cut late in production and it fits too much in. It's easily the equal of the earlier one. But the grand master is still the joint US/Japanese production - Tora Tora Tora.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2020
  15. Bob Womack

    Bob Womack Tele-Afflicted

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    Yep, sorry. Francis was related.

    Bob
     
  16. stormsedge

    stormsedge Friend of Leo's

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    I'd guess you get over to the National Museum of the Pacific War at Fredericksburg? We spent a day and half checking it out when we vacationed in Texas a couple of years ago. Excellent.

    Can't speak to the movie as I haven't seen it yet.
     
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  17. Tubicolous

    Tubicolous NEW MEMBER!

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    I saw it and I definitely recommend watching it.
     
  18. BFcaster

    BFcaster Tele-Meister

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    I'm into the early few chapters of Shattered Sword, and so far finding it very informative. Not into the actual battle yet, but where I'm at in the book he is talking about the Japanese doctrine. The author definitely knows his Order of Battle for the Japanese fleet, that's for sure! My wife would hate it, but after many years of Civil War books, and being firmly interested in the units, individual soldiers, officers and commanders and their own biographies, I find Shattered Sword quite interesting.
    I may just have to see this new Midway, but probably only when the wife isn't around. She does like a good Western though, from any film era, however.
    The mention of John Ford reminds me of the Netflix documentary called 'Five Came Back', about the five directors that joined the armed services and did what they do best- film, document and tell the story. That was good and educational.
     
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  19. SbS

    SbS Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Saw it in the theatre and these are always personal views, but I think for example Dunkirk was more impressive as a film.

    It wasn't bad at all, but plot, script, characters and cgi had a task to do and they walked / run it through. And everything was made very well.

    And good watch because of history.
     
  20. alathIN

    alathIN Tele-Afflicted

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    I think your train of thought jumped tracks. Halsey wasn't at the Coral Sea battle. Frank Jack Flether was the officer in command there. The original Lexington CV-2 was sunk at Coral Sea.

    The second fleet carrier named Lexington, CV-16, was with Halsey at Leyte gulf and was hit by a kamikaze. The island was severely damaged but the ship continued flight operations and was not in any danger of sinking.
     
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