View Full Version : Initial "Pearl Harbor" reviews less than glowing

05-21-2001, 12:26 PM

Of course it wouldn't be the first time I disagreed with the critics but...

Not exactly the initial review I was hoping for.

05-21-2001, 12:47 PM
It appears that this review of Pearl Habor is written by a British critic. You must remember that a Brit will not have as much of a connection with the events of Pearl Habor as an American, especially veterans. The author of the article also openly admits that critics found little to criticize about the film. I think the love story aspect is what makes the tale true to life. Soldiers are not just mindless killing machines. They have personal lives and feelings as well. The author also seems overly obsessed with violence, death and destruction, raving about the attack scene but criticizing the rest of the movie. I for one am definitely going to see this movie at least once if not several times.

05-21-2001, 01:09 PM
Have not read the reviews yet, but..............

Here in St. Augustine, the local theater is ALREADY selling tickets for it, and ticket sale have reportedly been extremely brisk...................

With a $135 Million price tag, I certianly hope so...;) ;)

05-21-2001, 04:42 PM
There could be a lack of connection there for the writer. Though we're talking about WWII here so I'm not so sure the gap would be large enough that a fantastic movie wouldn't close it.

The line about lack of specific criticism doesn't actually refer to reviews of the movie from an entertainment perspective. It refers only to historians "finding little to criticise in Bruckenheimer and Bay's depiction of the events of December 7, 1941...". Meaning the plot is more less historicaly accurate with regards to the events of that fateful day. But doesn't say anything about the quality of ythe movie itself.

In fact I think the article's opening line is about as tough as any criticism I've seen. The film was screened at the big Disney party in Hawaii to I would guess a primarily US audience and pool of critics. And, according to the writter it was screened "...to mainly disappointed audiences and poor reviews."

A generalization of audience reaction? Yes. Inaccurate? Hopefully. I'm gonna see it either way so the reviews don't really mean much to me. As a Disney fan though, I'd like to see the thing do well

Advance sales will get it a strong opening. Where it goes after that though will depend on what those audiences tell thier friends about it. . Hopefully official opening reactions will be real positive.

05-21-2001, 04:55 PM
Even internal Disney sources have backed off on promotion of the film and are already planning on the movie not doing as well as they had hoped.

I personally think it's going to be terrible, but I thought Armageddon was terrible too, and it went on to make buckets of money, so who knows what will happen.

05-21-2001, 05:07 PM
I've always been bothered by marketing deciding that this or that film will be a 'Blockbuster,' and I was especially bothered by some of Eisner's comments in the Annual Report, saying that the film was nearly a "Sure thing." Disney's sure pushing the film: there was a cover story in last week's Newsweek, and there's a feature on ABC's Entertainment Tonight (5/21)... My feeling is they should let the public decide & rejoice if it succeeds.

On the other hand, I found the following article in AOL's news spool.

As promoters of the blockbuster "Pearl Harbor'' prepared for the film's Hawaii premiere on Monday, its Japanese distributor also expected a big hit - despite the potentially sensitive topic. The movie's content is not inflammatory to the Japanese because it's not trying to make a political or social statement, said Yoko Kishi, spokeswoman for the distributor Buenavista International Japan. "We're confident that the film can appeal to a wide audience, from the young to the old,'' Kishi said. "It's entertainment, a love story.''

Promotional brochures have been out and the trailer has appeared at Japanese movie theaters since last summer. Kishi said the result has been curiosity, but no controversy. The only Japanese element in the two-minute trailer is a flock of Japanese Zero fighters flying low above children playing baseball in the fields on Dec. 7, 1941.

The $135 million Disney movie, which opens in the United States on Friday, is scheduled to hit Japanese theaters on July 14. Young movie fans here are excited about the graphics of the film, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Michael Bay, who also collaborated on the blockbusters "Armageddon'' and "The Rock.''

But the film also has caught the attention of those who are examining Japan's wartime role.

"Maybe it's just the title that sounds sensational, but I want to find out how Japan is portrayed in the movie,'' said Hiromi Yamasaki, a member of a support group for former wartime sex slaves.

Another Voice
05-21-2001, 07:22 PM
By the time you add the publicly announced production costs, add in the costs they’re not talking about, add in the marketing costs, add in the back-end deals, and add in the other baggage for the film – Disney’s investment in ‘Pearl Harbor’ is around $350 million. Eisner’s not one to spend that much money and the let the public decided if the movie’s any good or not. The film was a marketing vehicle from the beginning (they wanted to catch the ‘Titanic’ wave), it was simply developed by Wallace, Bruckheimer and Bay. A lot of studio movies are ‘created’ this way – does anyone but an accountant want ‘Jurassic Park 3’?

After being attacked by the raptor pack last year over an early review of ‘Mission to Mars’, I swore never to talk about a Disney movie before it was released. But there are a few comments about ‘Pearl Harbor’ I can clear up. For a movie like ‘PH’, about 65% of its revenue will come from overseas, and about half of the that will come from Japan. The makers of ‘PH’ are VERY aware of that fact and the film falls back on the Box-Office approved historical perspective – the Japanese were noble, courageous warriors who were honorably honor-bound to follow a few ignoble military officials who led them astray. The attack is shown from the Japanese side to be a stroke of genius planning and execution. The many, many, many, many shots of American flags can be edited out rather easily.

The historical accuracy comment was in reference to just the 40-minute attack sequence in the middle of the three hour film. They’ve borrowed James Cameron’s technique from ‘Titanic’ of surrounding the fictional characters with recreations of the actual events. There’s no way of telling that from the film, but it will make a great History Channel special. Beyond the attack and the Doolittle raid, the love story is complete hogwash – er – I mean, completely fictional. The character played by Cuba Gooding Jr. is historical (just don’t go get popcorn if you want to see him).

As for the British perspective, one of the main characters goes to fight in the Battle of Britain (Ben Affleck does a really good job of playing Ben Affleck with a southern accent). Besides, I think the British are far more attuned to the Second World War than the average American. I don’t think an English reporter would be put-off by any kind of your war/our war feelings. Lastly, advance sales are good and the U.S. Army has put up a recruitment kiosk at the local mega entertainment center here.

Anyway, most reviews are embargoed until Wednesday. We’ll all have a chance on Friday to judge for ourselves. Until the, I’m sure you can hear Faith Hill singing the ‘Pearl Harbor’ love ballad on an easy-listening station near you.

05-21-2001, 08:38 PM
Pearl Harbor looks like to be a classic of the making... i dont care what 1 person thinks about it..

05-21-2001, 10:33 PM
... the raptors are circling already!!

Thanks for the inside take on things. Great stuff, once again!!

:bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

(... and his voice could hardly be heard in the empty parking garage. "Follow the money", he whispered...) ;)

05-21-2001, 10:57 PM
<<(Ben Affleck does a really good job of playing Ben Affleck with a southern accent)>>>

So, you have seen the movie already??

05-22-2001, 09:57 AM

And here come's the first "cut" Another Voice...

Your take yesterday looks pretty accurate so far.

Another Voice
05-22-2001, 12:52 PM
The cell circuits were buzzing out here yesterday, and the airwaves between Hawaii and Hollywood were filled with only one question – “How bad is it?”

Several groups held a press conference out here yesterday to complain about the film. None of them had seen it, and I got the feeling even the spokespeople knew there were simply acting out the same one-act play that happens in Hollywood anytime a WWII movie is released. Unfortunately, the public disclosure of the specific cuts that are being made only makes Disney looks like they’re pandering. We’re expecting to hear from the other side today (veterans) about Disney trying to whitewash history to make a buck. By the way, the article is true when it says that the overseas marketing will play up the romance over the battle scenes.

There are rumors of numerous heated phone calls from Eisner, Schneider, and friends that roared through Team Disney Burbank yesterday. Damage control teams are furiously slamming together gift baskets for all of the critics who attended the Hawaii premier or those that may know anyone who attended the Hawaii party. When a studio shows a film to the critics, they usually keep the number of people in the room to a couple of dozen at a time. Since movie critics are herd animals, this limits the amount of note sharing and “group-think” that occurs. Sometimes, though, a studio can use the group psychology to their advantage. Disney’s Miramax unit does an outstanding job at this, using critics to convince the other critics that the film was better than they first thought.

At the ‘Pearl Harbor’ premier, apparently the exact opposite is happening. Luke warm reviews are turning into the negative reviews; negative reviews are turning into slams. Disney is doing what it can to change the group’s perception, so expect to see a lot of quick ‘behind the scenes’ stuff on the ‘Access to Hollywood Entertainment’ type shows and for your local TV station’s critic having live interviews with Ben Affleck and cast. There are also rumors that the story behind the aircraft carrier used for the premier is about to break in Congress. It seems that the carrier was ordered to sail from San Diego to Hawaii solely for the premier. Since that move cost several million tax payer dollars, and the Pentagon is claiming to be cash short, there may be a call for The Mouse to pay for the operation’s costs.

One last rumor. Yesterday, the whispers began to spread that internal staff at Disney was expecting ‘Pearl Harbor’ to gross $75 million its opening weekend. That’s an amazingly low number for this film over the three day Memorial Day weekend and from other projections that I had heard. Yesterday I thought that the number was simply playing the expectation game – lowball the estimates so when the film opens better than that, you can claim to be amazed at how wonderful things are going (kinda like the presidential debates). Now, however, indications are that this is the true internal number they’re expecting once all of the negative reviews hit. This could get scary.

P.S. In answer to the question, I have seen the film (besides the fame, glamour and fortune, it’s a perk of working in the entertainment industry), but I haven’t seen it with an audience. I’ve formed an opinion about ‘Pearl Harbor’ based on its filmmaking aspects, but it's impossible to know if it’s going to work as a “movie” until you see it with a full theater – a fact that most film critics forget. Even the first ‘Star Wars’ got negative reviews when it first opened…

05-22-2001, 10:51 PM
Another Voice, thanks for your inside perspective (at least it seems that you're inside!). I guess I'm just going to withhold judgment on Pearl Harbor until I see it myself. I remember that Titanic was called Cameron's Folly or something like that in a few quarters before it opened, then look what happened.
The love story in Titanic, though it was sappy, did draw the viewer in to the basically one - note story. Perhaps the romance angle will do the same for all of us great unwashed out here when it comes to PH.
Again, thanks for the informed, yet seemingly balanced perspective.

05-23-2001, 03:21 PM
Man, this movie can't catch a media break. In the last 3 or 4 days I've seen articles on the carrier flack, the changes in the script, the leaking of initial mixed/poor reviews, the groups protesting ... I mean c'mon. The selection of stories to print as this thing's about to be released is unbeliveable. No negative angle, no matter how big or small will go unreported. I'd imagine it's not helping any in the final hours.

The story linked to below reads like Affleck's comments may have been taken out of context. Maybe thrown out in a humorous TV exchange and then printed as serious?


Where are all the nice studio, press release fluff pieces?

Any insight on all this negativity Another Voice? Or am I off track and it's just the norm with these kinds of bigtime movie releases?

05-23-2001, 04:41 PM
Publicity, whether positive or negative, often brings more people to the event.

05-23-2001, 04:49 PM
You're absolutely right, OWTS. There is a saying that goes: "There's no such thing as bad PR."

I used to write and edit for a couple different computer magazines, and when we had a round-up review of products, every product would see a surge in sales related to the review -- even those we panned.

- Andy

Another Voice
05-23-2001, 09:24 PM
I don’t know if Robert Blake or Tom Cruise would agree with the “there’s no bad publicity” comments…

I think this is the first time on this board that I’ve been accused of being “balanced”, but I shall try to earn that compliment. I hold to movies to a far different standard than I do theme parks, so I’m a little more willing to hold my tongue. And it’s been really tough with ‘Pearl Harbor’ so far; I’ll try to last at least until Friday.

All of the “negativity” around the film is equal parts Disney’s fault, general media reaction to ‘The Buffo Hit’ hype, and Mr. Affleck being a ribbon-wearing member of the Hollywood Self Delusion Fraternity – “I’m Not Just Famous, I’m Important!” Chapter.

From the Mouse, what did they expect when they started to promote this film as a great achievement in art? So much of what Disney has done has tread close to the line of tacky for even Hollywood – the veterans “Millionaire” show, spending multi-millions on one party when thousands are being fired, giving several groups “script approval” rights, using a nuclear warship like it was the rental hall down at the Elk’s Lodge, and so on. Disney, through its massive marketing effort, deliberately changed ‘Pearl Harbor’ from a film into a news event. All of the hype just invites additional coverage well beyond the movie review column. And then to produce a film that’s less than universally well received, well that’s just throwing napalm on the whole mess.

On the media end, they know they’re being used – but it is a free week in Hawaii so what the hell. Rather than spending the effort to form an individual opinion, the media types generally wait until a group consensus is received and simply report that. This is were Disney’s gamble went tragically wrong – the “common wisdom” turned dramatically against this movie. It’s much easier to write a piece that simply follows the flows than it is to write something insightful. Watch all of the stories about ‘PH’ in the next few days and see how many just talk about what other reporters are talking about. By the way, the media frenzy can also turn inappropriately positive too – by show of hands, how many went to go see ‘The Blair Witch Project’?

From what I’ve seen, Mr. Affleck’s comments weren’t taken out of context. That’s just the way he is. I tend to have a very low opinion of actors as a species (never, ever marry an actress wannabe!) and Ben gives me immense comfort in my beliefs. During the last election the media learned that he was always good for a quote or a good story. It got even better when his own voting scandal blew up in his face. Sadly, he yet to realize that he’s being taken for a fool and not a sage. Actors like him are the reason so many people in Hollywood are really hoping that ‘Final Fantasy’ is a huge hit at the box office later this summer.

Anyway, the embargo has come off the reviews so they’ll start showing up tonight. If anyone’s interested, I’ll post links to the better ones (is that okay Sarangel?). The Friday ad is really going to be interesting to read. If Disney is forced to into a pull quote from “Movie Minute” – there’s going to be some REAL BIG explosions in the halls of Team Disney…

05-24-2001, 04:49 PM
Here they come... ;)

A pretty rough review...

And this one's no better...

They both leave the door open that it could still make some big $$$. I don't know though. Maybe not if all the reviews look like these 2. This thing needs a lot more than a strong opening weekend to make back all that $$$.

05-24-2001, 05:22 PM
Review links are always fine, Another Voice (and mattjs). We're all going to read things like this anyway.

I think Disney could have saved itself a lot of effort (and $$) if they'd just let the film come out & wait and see what people thought instead of turning it into a media circus. But I suppose that would be asking too much...

I'm holding my opinion on the film until I see it (which I would anyway, since my fiance is an Air Force vet), since I've found that the critics and I don't always agree... Actually, we hardly ever do (I happen to really like DCA, for instance). So I'm taking everything with a grain of salt.

Here's wishing film-makers would just craft individual works of art rather than having marketing decide what they want to do. (and for the record, no, I didn't go to see Blair Witch).


Another Voice
05-24-2001, 06:39 PM
Thanks Sarangel, I don’t want to stray too much from the ‘Rumors’ topic and I wanted to check if reviews should jump to another board. I did a quick search to find some positive reviews and it’s mighty slim out there. I haven’t found any from a place not ending in “.com”. I’m always very suspicious about those because they tend to either some fan with a website who will say nice things so they can keep their invite to the studio screenings, or some hacker with a website the says really negative things to get back at Hollywood for “having messed around with the ‘X-Men’!”, or the reviews are studio plants pretending to be a hacker with a website. The most complete review site that I’ve seen on the Internet is http://www.rottentomatoes.com - they always have a tremendous number of links to reviews for all films. The two reviews posted by mattjs are two of the better written, albeit negative reviews I’ve seen.

On the rumor side, it seems that this situation is going to get very nasty. “Rumors” say that the director, Michael Bay, is telling people that Eisner’s budget cuts doomed his film (personal comment to the director– it was the script, stupid). Planned appearances by the cast for next week on various talk shows are being cancelled. Another rumor says that other studios are going to the theaters to grab additional screens for their movies premiering in June, screens that the theaters had booked for a long run of ‘Pearl Harbor’. Disney may even be forced into changing some of the deals they had swung with theaters for ‘Atlantis’ to make up for ‘PH’. Someone made a comment: you know the phrase “enough rope to hang themselves”? Well, anyone with a gripe against Disney or against someone involved with ‘Pearl Harbor’ had better learn how to tie the knots because that rope just showed up.

On the positive side of the rumor stream, all of the signs are pointing to a very strong opening. This is based on the percentage of people who know the movie is coming out (the highest ever tracked) and who want to see the film. Most of the guessing around here is for a weekend take of about $100. That’s enough to top “Jurassic Park: The Lost World” and give ‘PH’ the largest opening in history. That kind of opening will tend to blunt the impact of critics and allow word-of-mouth to carry the movie. That’s what happened with ‘Titanic’, weak reviews were overwhelmed by people telling friends to go see the movie (and thousands of teenage girls wanting to watch Leonardo again and again and again).

Sarangel’s last comment is both immensely true about all movies in general, its also my biggest problem with ‘Pearl Harbor’. There isn’t a single line, a single shot, a single moment in the film that wasn’t crafted to please a focus group somewhere. Creativity in the service of money does not produce art.

05-25-2001, 09:03 AM
Every network, cable or otherwise, has something going on this week about Pearl Harbor or WWII. Surely these are not coordinated with Disney, so it seems that the compitition wants to be sure it gets a share of the Pearl Harbor pie and that they think it will be a large pie.

For my part, some of the Disney movies I've liked best and that have grossed a lot have gotten bad reviews. Do the people who would be attracted to this kind of movie really stay away from a film because of its reviews?

Peter Pirate
05-25-2001, 10:18 AM
You're right IMO Galahad. How many people actually listen to a critic before going to a movie? Like Sarangel, I seldom agree with the critics and although this isn't a movie type that I'd normally go to I may just go because of the buzz...

Last night on TV the local stations interviewed a lot Vetrans who saw the screening and were thrilled by the outcome. They did a post screening "on the spot" interview with 20-30 people in the lobby and not one said anything bad (in fact all were gushing), so I think AV's link to what happend with Titanic may be prophetic here.
:cool: :cool: :bounce: :cool: :cool:

05-25-2001, 10:54 AM
Last night on TV the local stations interviewed a lot Vetrans who saw the screening and were thrilled by the outcome.
It wouldn't happen to have been an ABC affiliate, would it?

Just wondering.;)

Peter Pirate
05-25-2001, 11:21 AM
I hadn't thought of that Landbaron, but no it was actually our very 'in your face' local Fox station...

:cool: :cool: :bounce: :cool: :cool:

Another Voice
05-25-2001, 01:17 PM
All of Southern California is in shock this morning. Sure, earthquakes, fires, floods, power black-outs – those are all just everyday occurrences around here. To get people to look up from their lattes, it’s got to be something truly amazing. Like a flat-out glowing, praise-filled review of ‘Pearl Harbor’ from The Los Angeles Times. Now the LA Times usually doesn’t say a whole lot negative about a film – they take in far too much money from Hollywood to offer real criticisms; but they seldom go all out for a film either. But when I read, “The film’s immense cast and crew…blend artistry and technology to create a blockbuster entertainment that has passion, valor and tremendous action”, I knew that a major realignment of the stars had taken place over Melrose Avenue.

Well, that’s not exactly true. My first thought was that I hadn’t heard that TWO movies titled ‘Pearl Harbor’ were coming out - the writer had obviously seen a different movie than I had. Then my second thought was to call a friend in Disney Accounts Payable to find out exactly how big the check was that Disney just mailed out. But those are just my cynical, negative, been-around-here-to-long sides of my personality peeking through. The LA Times article was by far the most favorable review of the movie that I’ve seen so far. If you’d like to read it for yourself, it’s at LA Times Link (http://www.calendarlive.com/top/1,1419,L-LATimes-Movies-X!ArticleDetail-34093,00.html). The paper also has a great article about last week’s premier party in Hawaii and the media circus around it.

Someone commented on the impact of reviews. While reviews generally don’t affect the opening weekend much, they can help or hurt the film’s run after that. People who really want to see a movie tend to see it during the first two weeks of its run. After that, it’s a matter of reviews and word of mouth. The studios try to use the reviews as word of mouth recommendations – that’s why you see all of the quotes in ads (everybody trusts Rodger Ebert, don’t they?). Poorly reviewed films also tend to get moved to smaller theaters and pulled earlier in a self fulfilling prophecy kinda way.

It’s been known for a long time that ‘Peal Harbor’ was going to be an event movie. And since it’s an historical event, it makes it easy for others to cash in. Television is all about the ratings and if there’s a chance that people might become interested in a subject because of a film, someone will exploit it whether they work for Disney or not. Gee, The Discovery Channel is still running at least one show on the ‘Titanic’ every week. Personally, I think Americans are far, far too ignorant of history and the sciences and anything that can help spark an interest is worthwhile.

As for my personal prediction, I think ‘Pearl Harbor’ will do well enough to keep it out the ‘Cleopatra’ and ‘Heaven’s Gate’ realm of disasters, but nowhere near what Eisner was demanding from the film. Mostly because I think the word of mouth will be just okay - not good, not bad – just okay. The film will certainly attract the teenage male audience, but it takes a looooong time before stuff blows up. The love story is very weak, and I can’t judge whether Josh Harnett removes his shirt even to capture the teenage female audience (this group made ‘Titanic’ the huge hit). For us adults, people who go to see only a couple of films in the theater every year are probably going to skip this one and wait for it on home video. I’ll report back on Tuesday with the results from the weekend.

One last item – several IMAX theaters in Southern California are showing a special 35mm print of ‘Pearl Harbor’ that’s been reformatted for the larger screen. I hadn’t heard about this and I’ll try to check this out over the weekend.

05-25-2001, 03:47 PM
If anyone cares, the Boston Globe gave it a mixed but overall good review (3 out of 4 stars) with the headline Rhapsody in Boom, Balance helps "Pearl" to shine.

Personally, I think I'll pass.

05-25-2001, 05:57 PM
Being from Chicago I'm a little prejudice in favor of a local boy makes good, Roger Ebert. And besides, I really like this guy. He's on local radio a lot and I've gotten to know him and like him over the years. And I find myself agreeing with him more often than not. Anyway, here's the link.

Roger Ebert - Sun Times Review (http://www.suntimes.com/output/ebert1/pearl25f.html)

Not too good, is it?

05-25-2001, 06:37 PM
Another Voice, I edited your LA Times link, since the auto reader had parsed the link incorrectly - I hope you don't mind.

Back in the rumors and speculation department, I think it'll be very interesting to see how this whole little Pearl Harbor melodrama plays out. Last week we were seeing a lot of hype + some pretty ugly reviews, now we're seeing some fairly positive reviews (the SF Chronicle also loved it). I think it'll all come down to the public, which goes back to Uncle Walt's philosophy of giving the people what they want - something he did better than anyone else has since.

It might also be interesting to see if the film gives any momentum to the movement for a WWII memeorial. Something is wrong with us as a country if we can create memorials for Vietnam & Korea without acknowledging the men and women who removed the spectre of Hitler from history.


05-25-2001, 06:54 PM
Richmond Times Dispatch- ** out of ***
-Too much love story
-Poorly heald together
-Exclent action sceans

RTD is usually VERY hard on movies.
I will have a report tomorrow night on the movie (kids at school were talking about it constantly, never saw anything like this before!)

Also, about 30 min is acutally about Pearl Harbor, the rest is a soapy love story.

Remeber that another big movie got bad press to, but it didn't "SINK" (try to guess which movie it is...)

05-25-2001, 07:09 PM
Well after sitting through 3 + hours of this "film" I can see why the critics panned it .The action sequences are good but suffer for TMD too much digital. As for the love triangle, a Valerie Bertinelli TV movie is better. Unlike Titantic these are completely forgettable characters, one sided and just thrown in to break up the bombing scenes. I spent $6.50 on this stinker, I should have gone to Blockbuster and rented Tora Tora Tora instead.
I feel this one will fade quickly and will not have the repeat viewing (some people went back 4 times) power of Titanic. Do yourself a favor and miss this one.

05-25-2001, 08:11 PM
I saw "Pearl Harbor", today and thought it wa very good. The theater was very busy, with the showing I wanted to go to being sold out.


Another Voice
05-25-2001, 08:34 PM
Thanks for the help Sarangel, I got rushed and forgot to check the link myself.

The early reviews for a film are always on the extreme, usually because they’re written by those with the strongest opinions or those that simply like to see themselves in print. The reviews from larger newspaper tend to be more middle of the road as the papers usually hire more experienced writers with more moderate opinions who understand that people’s taste in movies vary widely. There’s also a fair amount of group-thinking that happens as well, and that also tends to pull reviews to the center. That’s why I was so amazed by the LA Times review this morning. They are really flying in the face of conventional wisdom. Once all of the reviews are posted I’m going to do some research to see how well ‘Pearl Harbor’ was reviewed compared to ‘Titanic’. The two-page ad in for the movie in the Times this morning lacked any quotes from critics at all. That’s very unusual.

One other thing that I’ve found really interesting is that I haven’t heard Faith Hill’s song from ‘PH’ on the radio or on VH1 yet. This was supposed to be a major part of their marketing campaign (EVERYTHING about ‘PH’ is modeled on the ‘Titanic’ business plan). I know they spent a lot of money to shoot the music video. As a side note, I’ve decided to name a new genre of music – the “You’re dead, but that’s okay because I still love you” ballad.

Team Disney is a very, very nervous place today. Today’s rumor is that live action films may be facing the same kind of cuts that have basically shut down Feature Animation. They’ve been counting on this movie to make a year’s worth of revenue for the studio and that’s now very much in peril. In order for a film to be a giant hit (which ‘PH’ needs to be just to break even), you either have to repeat viewings or to pull in the “two movies a year crowd”. Early indications are the Disney won’t be getting either; we’ll know for sure in three weeks.

Shorty Boy
05-25-2001, 11:41 PM
I saw Pearl Harbor tonight, and I thought it was a very good movie, especially the special effects. I'm not sure why a lot of the critics made bad reviews of it, but that is there opinion, and this is mine.

05-31-2001, 09:50 PM
I haven't seen it (yet) but since no one else has posted the numbers. From the entertainment news section of an internet site - $76.1 million for the weekend. Not number 1 but number 2 and much bigger than numbers 3 and 4.

So let's see how this weekend goes to gauge staying power.

06-01-2001, 11:21 AM
Saw the movie on Monday. I was not impressed.

Went with fiance and a whole group of his history students (mostly fourteen year old girls). Before the movie, they were all more interested in Ben Affleck. After the movie, they ALL wanted him to drown on the Arizona.

In my opinion, the first hour and a half could have been eliminated from the whole movie. The love story was not needed. Look at "Saving Private Ryan." Was there a love story in that film? No. Did it still make money? Yes, not to mention all the awards and praise it received. Therefore, a love story is not always needed to make an historical film more appealing to certain members of our society. And did anyone else feel that the girl (Kate Beckinsale's part) was a little bit of a tramp, going back and forth between men? It didn't even feel like she was going through any momentous decisions. ("Oh, Ben died, let me fool around with his friend." "Oh, Ben's alive, let me go back to him.") I just thought that was horrendous and not teaching our kids the right way to behave (if there really IS one in that kind of situation).

I'm glad I only paid the matinee fee, but I wish I had waited til "Pearl Harbor" was the movie of the week on NBC.

06-01-2001, 11:35 AM
I realize the love story was more calculated then anything else, but I think it had historical relevence. In Saving Private Ryan. The soldiers knew the horrors of war. There was no time for love affairs (there weren't many women at D-day anyway.)

Before Pearl, War was a far off prospect. The Boys in the military's highest priority was hooking up with the nurses. So, it was accurate in that sense.

Of course that doesn't justify the time spent, nor the quality.