Thursday, February 03, 2005

Midway (1976)

I'm sorry but anyone who has bombers flying out of his nipples is a superstar... Go Heston

Genre: Action War Drama

Starring: Charlton Heston (The Omega Man; Ben-Hur) Henry Fonda (The Wrong Man; The Grapes Of Wrath)

Directed By: Jack Smight (Damnation Alley)

Overview: The Battle of Midway was one of the most important battles of the Pacific. This film takes us through the planning, luck and error that made this day history.

Acting: The acting was fine by all, with a few cheesy moments, but I think the script and the direction were the problem. Can't say that any of the acting for the side-story was excellent. The Japanese actors are did a great job. Too bad they all spoke English...
Rating: 6

Cinematography: The intro credits let us know that real footage from the war in the Pacific will be used as often as possible, and they do. It's unfortunate that some of the footage is repeated (mostly the dogfight and aerial footage of the ships). The rest of the real footage is pretty dramatic though: planes crashing into the ocean, the Yorktown getting blown up, carrier accidents; these really adds a real dimension that the movie would have missed without them. The special effects of people getting shot in their planes and orange blood flying out of their mouths in front of a blue screen though, tres cheesy.
Rating: 7

Script: The War Room and strategy seemed very credible, all the stresses and second guessing seemed very very natural, excellent... But the side-story seemed almost ridiculous in it's clichés and predictability. It was quite obviously filler.
Rating: 6

Plot: The plot's a simple one. We watch the moment of the battle decisions as they are made. These moment by moment stories are always pretty intense. Films like The Longest Day, Bloody Sunday, Tora! Tora! Tora! all have that element of urgency to them. Midway decided to back up and give some more backstory which helped contextually, but that personal side-story plot was unnecessary.
Rating: 6

Mood: The mood, I would say was partly ruined by the mini-plot. Yes, it's one of those, "This is WHY we fought" kind of things, but I think we all know why there was a war in the Pacific and what the consequences would have been.
Rating: 6

What do you get when you put 12 Angry Men in the same room as a Damned Dirty Ape? There you go.

Overall Rating: 62% (Didn't Even Hit The Mid-Way Mark...)

Aftertaste: Maybe it's because I realized I had seen this before but after all is said and done, I don't care that the Japanese cast is the same as from Tora! Tora! Tora!, and might as well be considered the sequel. Midway is nowhere near as well done and I don't even know if the side story was true. I don't recall filler existing in Tora! Tora! Tora! The reason being, its story stood so well on it's own. This will fade quickly enough.