View Full Version : Miracle at St. Anna

10-04-2008, 06:37 PM
This is a brilliant, sad, emotional and disappointing film. I cried. Alot. But perhaps that because I have a (many) military ties.

First the brilliant. The dialogue, especially with the reporter and the cop at the beginning and with the soldiers in the middle is well written and textured. The plot is not brilliant, but well done. The performances by Derek Luke and the other soliders are brilliant, esp. Luke and the guy who plays "Train." Brilliant.

Now, the sad. Honestly -- and pull my man card if you like -- I've never cried more during a film than I did this film. The close of the third act, while somewhat predictible, is heartwrenching. There is something about how thre actors performance and Mr. Lee's direction moved me. Really moved me. And it's especially prevelent at the end of that third act.

Emotional for the same reasons above. But also, it draws upon a period less than 60 years ago when African-Americans were treated, at least in the US, as less than human, even by the military. Just because thew military was the first to integrate didn't mean it went well. And the Buffalo Soliders weren't integrated. If you have a quarter of an open mind, you sit watching, knowing facts, and saying, "Why in the hell did we do this?" And in many ways, we can still ask ourselves those questions.

Now, disappointing. There are two scenes that needed reworking. The John Leguizamo scene makes no sense other than for its end result. And the ending scene, esp. when Hector asks, "Where am I?" To go from where he was a moment before to that left me with a HUGE "WTFO" feeling. If you saw it, you may know what I'm feeling. Perhaps on the DVD, this will make more sense. Finally, there's the role of the woman in the middle portion of the film. She's nothing more than a catalyst to cause fiction. There's this strange build up to what happens with her. That didn't wash with me, either.

Just some footnotes: the guy who played "Bishop" was also outstanding. John Turturro is razor sharp as the cop in the beginning. The music is wonderful. Spike Lee also proves himself a fantastic director and filmmaker once again.

Finally, a personal note. I'll just say again I have not been more touched by a film as an adult. We all realize that messages touch us all in different ways. 'Miracle at St. Anna' really reached me deep.

10-04-2008, 10:03 PM
Hmm...I'll have to check this one out!

10-04-2008, 10:05 PM
I liked this film a lot, but yeah, in some ways it's disappointing. Some of the POVs are way off and the flashbacks within flashbacks are distracting. Not Spike Lee's best but a really good movie.

10-04-2008, 10:06 PM
Argh! Flashbacks in flashbacks...my one weakness.

In all seriousness...haven't we done World War II enough? This might just be because of the 9 billion or so video games, movies, books and so on that I've read, seen and played...but can't we touch on something else in human history?

Like, its a running joke between my freinds that if we played every single World War II video game from start to finish, we'd have been "fighting" the war longer than the actual war!

10-04-2008, 10:30 PM
This has a different angle though (RE: WWII).

10-04-2008, 10:33 PM
They all say that...<grumble grumble>

Really, though, I am very interested in this movie. Despite my grumblings and moaning, I have a deep fascination with World War II...or, as my grandad called it, "That spot of trouble in the forties."

Though, I still wish they'd make a Harry Turtledove book into a movie. Or better yet, a miniseries. But enough of my winging. I'll see if I can badger someone into driving me there. Or better yet, I can bike myself there...


10-04-2008, 10:35 PM
Not a lot of WWII films talk about black soldiers, especially an all-black division.

10-04-2008, 10:39 PM
Exactly! Now, I'm gonna go rustle up some support for a moviegoing experience.

10-04-2008, 10:59 PM
Just some footnotes: the guy who played "Bishop" was also outstanding.

I would disagree on that one -- not that the actor wasn't good, but his performance was distracting to me. His performance is too modern, reminding me of someone living in 2008, instead of 1944. The other three seemed to more accurately play to the time period. The actor who played Train was especially outstanding.

10-05-2008, 09:14 AM
I really enjoyed the movie too. I thought it was brilliant. It's a shame that due to Spike Lee's notorious reputation and attitude this movie is getting back press and reviews. Hell, on imdb.com the movie is rated 5.4/10 mostly due to Spike Lee's criticism of Clint Eastwood, so of course people rate the movie 1/10 without seeing it.

I for one thought it was great. Granted it was a bit long -- which didn't really bother me -- and I can see how this would get on people's nerves. I agree with Maestro in the fact that Bishop did seem too modern. I believe "Nigga please" is a direct quote. The show-stealer of the film is the Italian boy who gives an amazing performance.

And I disagree with the OP who said that the music was great. There were a few moments where there was an annoying pizzicato strings section going on and on when there shouldn't have been any music at all. Not to mention the evil-sounding blare of horns and assorted brass when the nazis were shown. For a movie that tries to show the humanity of all sides in war, using cheesy "evil" music for the Germans was kind of out of place. Still, great movie.

10-05-2008, 08:12 PM
The Italian boy is amazing, and this was his first movie!

10-05-2008, 08:56 PM
But, evil horns and nazis go together like peanut butter and bees.

Also...uh...this might sound odd but...

Who's Spike Lee?

10-06-2008, 05:03 AM
Spike Lee is a black director who only makes movies about black people. I'm not exaggerating either. Then he criticizes Clint Eastwood for directing a film with few black people in it: Letters From Iwo Jima. Too bad he failed to realize Letters is a movie about Japanese soldiers in WWII. Because, you know, there were plenty of Black Japanese soldiers at Iwo Jima.

10-06-2008, 05:05 AM
Wait, he criticized Letters for not having black people in it?

Even though it was from the Japanese point of view?