The first 30 min. of Saving Private Ryan is one of the great achievements ever caputred on film. Director Steven Speilberg shoots the storming of Omaha Beach on Normandy with a near-documentary type feel and intense realism that captures the ugly face of war, and the stunning courage our soldiers displayed in the face of certain death. And Clint Eastwood's Letters From Iwo Jima show's the battle of Iwo Jima from the view of the Japanese soldier, and forces the audience to see the similarities of which these me fought for: family, honor,and country.
Watching Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor, was like watching every other shit film he's done - clunky dialouge, limited character development, and mind-numing action pieces that remind one of a five year-old gathering the pots and pans from the kitchen and clanging them together with a big cooking spoon, creating one hell of a headache for mommy - only this time, the unfotunate victims were the 3,000 sould that died during the surprise attack at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. Bay and producer Jerry Bruckheimer took a horrific event in American history and turned it into a cliched, idiotic romantic drama with two best buds (Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett) fighting over one attractive nurse(Kate Beckinsale). As for the actual attack on the Navy base? Bay knows how to light shit up, but turned it into a videogame instead of a searing portrait into a day into Hell itself.
Bay said about Pearl Harbor: "Historians have to understand that we are making a movie here." Unfortunately, he and the rest of the crew didn't want to make a war drama that respects the sacrifice of those who died in the slaughter. They wanted to make a film that rivals James Cameron's Titanic at the box office.