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Genre: War/Romance
Cast: Ben Affleck, Josh Harnett, Kate Beckinsale, Tom Sizemore, Jon Voight, Cuba Gooding Jr., Dan Akroyd, Colm Feore, Alec Baldwin
Director: Michael Bay
Rating: PG
Year Made: 2001



- Movie Showcase
- Journey to the Screen: The Making of Pearl Harbor
- The Japanese Perspective
- International Theatrical Trailer
- Music Video:"There You'II Be" By Faith Hill



Languages: English/Mandarin
Subtitles: English/Trad & Simple Chinese/Thai/Korean
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Sound: PCM 5.1/Dolby Digital 5.1
Running Time: 3 hrs 1 min
Region Code: A/C
Distributor: Scorpio East




When the innocence of a nation is shattered by a sudden and devasting act of war, the lives and loves of a generation are swept into the greatest conflict modern man has ever known: World War II.


There’s one thing that never changes over the years in Michael Bay’s movies, they are literally meant to be heard and seen. Despite being constantly slammed by critics, most of his movies raked in millions of dollars if not billions for the major studios in Hollywood making him one of the hottest directors in demand over the past decade.

In 2001, renowned producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Bay teamed up for the fourth time to bring the World War II epic "Pearl Harbor" to the big screen. Costing a staggering US$130 million to produce, it was the "Titanic" of 2001. Coincidentally, the script by Randall Wallace (Braveheart, We Are Soldiers) also took a cue from the James Cameron’s hit. Instead of a sinking ship, Wallace sets his version of a tragic love story in the middle of the Pearl Harbor attack. And instead of Jack and Rose, we have Rafe (the then in-demand Ben Affleck) and Danny (the breakthrough role for Josh Harnett) as two childhood friends who falls for the same woman, Evelyn (Kate Beckinsale before she turns to the Underworld) while at the same time juggles between their day job at the air force in the midst of the Japanese’s surprise invasion.

With an already bloated running time of 183 minutes, I shall not further elaborate on the wanting plot. Bay apparently has none of Cameron’s touch of tenderness and skillfulness in weaving his onscreen lovey-dovey characters when it comes to romance and drama. For most of the duration, we have prolong shots of the protagonists staring into long space or looking blankly at each other mouthing mushy dialogue while most of us might find it hard to distinguish between boredom and anguish. Many pinpoint the fault on Bay however I seriously think Wallace should shoulder at least half of the criticisms as his screenwriting duty is populated with so much clichés that it weakens the believability of the characters and historical events.

The only salvageable fact about "Pearl Harbor" is the massive 'pearl harbor' attack sequence which lasts approximately 40 minutes almost an hour after the movie started and the subsequent Doolittle raid. This is where Bay unleashes his 'bayhem' with amazing aerial chase sequences with torpedoes, guns firing at all angles and the capsized of the USS Arizona, all convincingly rendered using live-action effects and digital effects by ILM. The once award-winning commercials helmer and music video director is at his peak when choreographing massive scenes of carnage but stalls when it comes to dramatic moments.

Besides the three leads, veterans liked Alec Baldwin, Jon Voight, Academy-award winner Cuba Cooding Jr, the late Mako, Dan Akroyd, Tom Sizemore, the very young Jamie King and Jennifer Garner had their fair share of limited screentime. Despite emphasizing on the fact that most of the characters were based on actual real-life persons, "Pearl Harbor" was heavily criticized for all its historical inaccuracies.

"Pearl Harbor" received a rather lukewarm response at the domestic box office but recoup its costs after all the international receipts were taken in. Those going for Bay’s high paced action saturated stuff were disappointed. The soapy romance between the leads qualified more like a full-blown commercial (cosmetics would be a good one) but the CGI enhanced war sequences (digital smoke, warplanes, ships….) stand out to be the best since the opening beach attack on "Saving Private Ryan". Basically, you need to see to believe the luscious visual Bay had composed and listen to all the bombastic surround sound effects created. Well, to really feel for the onscreen characters is another story altogether.


The following featurettes are presented in non-HD format:-

Kudos to the thoughtful Blu-ray producers who included a Movie Showcase feature that allows you to gain instant access of the movie’s cinematic moments on your theatre system without suffering through hours of mushy romance.

Journey to the Screen: The Making of Pearl Harbor lasts a whopping 47 minutes. Consisting of interviews with the principal cast and crew members as well as World War II veterans, most interestingly are the behind-the-scene shots of choreographing the attack sequence.  

The Japanese Perspective is a short 5 minutes feature consisting of interview with the Japanese cast members including the late Mako. Not surprising, it’s a typical PR segment that offers none of what the feature is supposed to be.

This Blu-ray disc rounds up with the original theatrical trailer and a music video, "There You’ll Be" by Faith Hill.


While the visual lacks the vibrancy of the current BD releases in the market and has minor noise, it’s still a triumph over the DVD version. Bay has proven to have an eye for visual sense and here it is, a beautiful to look at but pity hollow romance war epic.  

Jump straight to chapter 22 and awe your friends and neighbours with the English PCM 5.1 soundtrack. Featuring a hyper soundtrack with deep bass, the sound of machine guns and explosions going off at your surround will definitely blow your ear drums away. I should say this title belongs to the "Show Off Your Home Theatre System" category. Highly recommended in the audio/visual department.



Review by Linus Tee

Posted on 20 October 2009


Other titles from Scorpio East:

. Race to Witch Mountain [Blu-ray]

. Bolt [Blu-ray]

. Gran Torino

. The Meerkats

. Traitor

. The Burrowers

. Ripley Underground

. Hormones

. Elite Squad

. Boy A

. Bottle Shock

. The Promotion

. All The Boys Love Mandy Lane

. The Tripper

. Trailer Park Boys The Movie

. Jack & Jill Vs The World

. Disaster Movie

. Space Chimps

. The Haunting of Molly Hartley

. Stir of Echoes 2: The Homecoming

. Set Off

. Marigold

. Beast Stalker

. My Best Friend's Girl

. The Reef

. Connected

. Painted Skin

. 12 Lotus

. The Coffin

. The Luckiest Man

. Forget Me Not

. The Black Swindler

. Rule #1

. Dance of the Dragon

. Money No Enough 2

. Chaos

. Midnight Eagle

. The Leap Years

. Ancient Chinese Sports

. There Will Be Blood

. The Nanny Diaries

. The Magic Gourd

. Death Proof

. Dead Air

. A Tale of Mari and Her Puppies

. My Wife is a Gambling Maestro

. Fatal Move

. An Empress and the Warriors

. Ah Long Pte Ltd

. Talking Cock The Movie

. 2 Faces of My Girlfriend

. Lust Caution

. 881

. Brothers

. Ratatouille

. The Invisible

. The Lookout

. Alone

. Bar Paradise

. China Vampire

. Hooked On You

. Underdog

. Keeping Up With The Steins

. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

. High School Musical 2: Extended Edition

. Pixar Short Films Volume One

. Who Slept With Her?

. The Jungle Book

. Disney Princess Enchanted Tales

. Meet The Robinsons

. Goal II: Living the Dream

. Hanna Montana

. Meet The Robinsons

. Wild Hogs

. Breaking And Entering

. Jump In

. Primeval

. Forest of Death

. The Fox and the Hound 2

. The Fox and the Hound

. Dumbo

. One Last Dance

. Protege

. The Curse of the Golden Flower

. A Battle Of Wits

. Rain Dogs

. Heavenly Mission

. Exiled

. Operation Undercover

. Diary

. Fatal Contact

. Singapore Dreaming

. Rob-B-Hood

. On The Edge

. The World's Fastest Indian

. Dragon Tiger Gate

. Unarmed Combat

. Crazy Stone

. Election 2

. We Are Family

. I Not Stupid Too

. The Shoe Fairy

. 2 Becomes 1

. 49 Days


. Dragon Eye Congee

. A Chinese Tall Story

. Perhaps Love


. Election

. The Myth

. Wait 'Til You're Older

. The Maid


This review is made possible with the kind support from Scorpio East


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