Sunday, December 01, 2019

Midway (2019)

This is a is late review, considering I first saw the movie back in the middle of November.  And then saw it three more times.  With the whole family each time.  My brother-in-law hates going to the movie theater nowadays.  It's always too loud, too full of rude people... he's seen this one three times in the theater already.  My dad, too, almost never goes to see modern movies in the theater.  Not only did he go to see it, but he wanted to go see it a second time.  My mom's already seen it three times and is anxiously awaiting her next viewing.  My sister doesn't usually like war movies, and she's seen it four times.  My nephew, well he declared it his favorite movie, and he's been playing a couple different WWII flying games ever since.

It's just one of those movies.  It works for my entire family, on so many levels.

Modern movies about WWII can be problematic.  If there's one thing I cannot stand, it's filmmakers putting modern attitudes/messages/whatever into historical movies.  They play wrong when that happens.  This movie is amazingly free of modern BS.  In hindsight, this is actually obvious from the movie poster.  It's such a lovely throwback to old school movie poster styles.



What do I love?

The characters (and the actors who brought them alive).  This movie has a fine cast, and everyone works exceedingly well in their roles.  The straight-forward storytelling.  No added romances, no cooked up conflicts between characters simply for the sake of it. The beautiful crisp cinematography that lets you feel like you're in the cockpit of a dive bomber without ever confusing the viewer as to what we're seeing.  The middle of a pitched battle, and everything is still crystal clear and easy to follow.  The accurate history, for once.  The pacing.  The short summary info at the end of the movie on what happened to the characters.

Favorite parts:  Best and Dickinson's friendship throughout.  Best sitting on his daughter's bed.  All the dive bombing runs.  Every scene with Bruno.  Every scene with Doolittle.  The downed Hornet pilot cheering everybody on.  The fact that they show the crew policing the flight deck.  Layton and Rochefort's silent exchanges when Nimitz visits Hypo.  John Ford on Midway.  All the rest of the movie.  LOL

Okay, really, there isn't anything I dislike about this movie except the movie previews we've had to sit through in front of it, and that's nothing to do with the movie.

Midway has put me back in a WWII mood, and I had to re-watch A Wing and a Prayer and The Purple Heart, both Dana Andrews movies, both released in 1944.  The former is about the Battle of Midway, the second is a fictional account loosely based on the trial of some of the men captured from Doolittle's raid.  I also watched two WWII documentaries on Netflix, WWII in Colour and Five Came Back.  The latter is a documentary on five of the big name Hollywood directors of that time, (Frank Capra, William Wyler, John Ford, George Stevens, and John Houston) and their contributions to the war effort.  It's quite sobering and inspiring at the same time.  I learned a lot about these famous directors.  The neat thing is Netflix also has the documentaries they made during the war available to watch too.  I watched John Ford's Battle of Midway first, but I'm working through all the others as well.

I will probably see Midway a couple more times before it finally leaves the theater, because this is one that really needs to be seen big screen.

12 comments:

  1. I've been checking regularly for your review, Deb! Wow, that's quite some praise. I'm hopeful I'll be able to see it while it's still playing in theaters. Thanks for this!

    Best wishes,
    Laura

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    Replies
    1. I woke up at 3 am the other morning, had my whole review written in my head. Woke up and it was all gone, and then I couldn't figure out what to write. So lame. It's good, the characters feel like 1940s people, the effects bring the battle to life (I found it an excellent use of CGI, not in the way, just in service of telling the story), and it really works. I really do hope you get to see it in the theater soon!

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    2. Saw it today and very much enjoyed it. My review should be up later tonight! Thanks again for the encouragement to see it.

      Best wishes,
      Laura

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    3. Yay! So glad you did get to see it, and I loved your review.

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  2. Hey, I loved the fact that they were policing the deck too! I was like, "I remember from WWII documentaries that they did that, and I love this! It's a tiny piece of real life!"

    Have you seen the Ken Burns documentary about WWII?

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    Replies
    1. Nope, haven't seen his documentary, but it is on Netflix. Have you seen it? Is it worth watching?

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    2. Oh my goodness! I'm a terrible friend! Have I not raved to you about Ken Burns' documentaries before? I actually own some, and would love to own others. My history profs assigned us parts of his Civil War in classes, and I adore Jazz and Baseball too. We have his one on Jackie Robinson because it's so lovely. The one he did on WWII is called The War. It came out back when we lived in Danbury, and one of the places it focused on was nearby Waterbury and all the wartime plants that were there. They called in "Brass City." ANYWAY, ask D if he knows about Ken Burns cuz I bet he does.

      Um, I mean, yes, it's worth watching.

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    3. Hee. D said he loved the Civil War documentary by him, and he thought the baseball one was good, but he said the more recent ones, Ken Burns is going more political and so they didn't appeal to him. He had not seen the WWII one, though, so couldn't really comment on it. I'll just have to check it out myself at some point.

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    4. I haven't seen a lot of Burns' more recent ones, aside from the WWII one and the Jackie Robinson one, which was honestly like taking parts of Baseball and expanding them. So I can't really say if I think he's been getting more political or not. I know he's got one on Hemingway coming up, but I don't really know what else he's been doing lately.

      Oh, wait, we did watch the one he did on Vietnam a couple years ago. I didn't feel like it was overly political, I don't think. I should look up what else he's been doing recently, huh? Mostly I just spot his stuff on the shelf at the library and go, "OH, we haven't seen this one yet!" But that happens rarely anymore... we watched TONS of his stuff back before we had kids, heh.

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  3. My husband said months ago that he wanted to see this at the theatre when it came out. Alas, we still haven't gone, but I told him I had a blog friend (you) who raved about it. He said, "We gotta go!"

    So, I expect I will be seeing this at the theatre in the not-too-distant future.

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    1. Yay! I'm glad you two will get a chance to go. I hope you enjoy it. It really has an old-fashioned feel to it.

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