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Watch Michael Bay’s Pearl Harbor For the Effects, Not the Love Story


The attack on Pearl Harbor, an earlier generation’s September 11, has made for a popular cinematic subject, contrasting as it does the lush Hawaiian landscape and the ferocious military assault that killed thousands of U.S. personnel. In Harms Way are two movies that tackled the subject, but of the bunch, From Here to Eternity (1953) and Pearl Harbor (2001) are remembered best for using the attack as a backdrop.

From Here to Eternity
won eight Oscars (and was nominated for
five more), including one for Frank Sinatra as best actor in a
supporting role, thus saving his career. It also included one of the
steamiest love scenes in movie history, with Burt Lancaster and Deborah
Kerr rolling around in the pounding surf. The love story in Eternity definitely has Pearl Harbor
beat: The chemistry between Lancaster’s First Sergeant Milton Warden
and Kerr’s Karen Holmes is as white-hot as that beach and more
believable than the Ben Affleck-Kate Beckinsale-Josh Hartnett love
triangle, which, to be fair, suffered from some corny writing. (In his
defense, Bay has said he received letters from many Pearl Harbor
survivors who felt the romance rang true and fit with the movie’s tone.)

But if you’re looking for a depiction of the actual attack, you’re
better off checking out Bay’s 40-minute CGI-enhanced creation. “The
attack itself is breathtaking. Michael Bay uses every CGI effect in the
book to bring the intensity, barbarity and terror of the bombardment to
the screen,” one review said. “We follow a bomb from the bay of the
attacking plane to the deck of the ship; gigantic warships crumble like
cardboard; hundreds of sailors are crushed as a ship rolls over.”

To check out the horrific attack for yourself, click here for a full schedule of Pearl Harbor on AMC.

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