On Sunday 7 December 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy launched a surprise attack on the US Pacific fleet in its moorings at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. At the time, no state of war existed between the two nations. An ingenious pre-emptive strike, as the Japanese ‘hawks’ saw it, was condemned by the world as one of the greatest acts of treachery in modern history. ??
“Tora! Tora! Tora!” meticulously traces the build-up to Pearl Harbor by examining the diplomatic, military and intelligence events and developments on both sides. The film is unimpeachably even-handed, telling both sides’ stories simultaneously, and interleaving the Japanese and American versions with intelligence and an almost total absence of favoritism.
Tora! Tora! Tora! Has always had a mixed reputation. Film critics—at the time of its release and since—have typically viewed it as a large- scale snooze-inducer, a dramatically stilted bore that favors historical authenticity over a compelling story. There’s definitely some truth to this. The film lacks what you might call an emotional core, preferring to present the events in a detached, matter-of-fact, almost documentary-like way.
I really dig the films documentary feel. Unfortunately this alienates most viewers giving them nothing, character wise, to hang on to. This is a film that should be viewed in history classes. Tora! Tora! Tora!’s real treat is its view on the bureaucratic red tape and diplomatic double-speak, the planning and guesswork and covert maneuvering. Much of the film takes place indoors, where various mid-level officials hash out the details and second-guess the poor decisions of their superiors.
20th Century Fox has finally given Tora! Tora! Tora! the comprehensive frame-by-frame restoration that it deserves. The moment you lay eyes on the film’s 1080p/AVC-encoded Blu-ray transfer, you’ll notice an immediate difference from the DVD, which was chock-full of dirt, debris, and compression artifacts. Those are completely gone now. The remastered print is absolutely pristine—no hairs stuck in the gate, no white specks, no scratches, and no stains.
There are plenty of special features here including an informative commentary track and the “Day of Infamy” documentary, which looks at the historical impact of the Pearl Harbor attack. History vs. Hollywood, an hour-and-a-half special—narrated by Burt Reynolds.. But the best special feature is ten vintage Fox Movietone newsreels, showing front-line footage from Pearl Harbor and the war in the Pacific.
This is a classic film that should be viewed in any history lesson concern the attack on Pearl Harbor. It is highly recommended viewing and the blu-ray looks fantastic. Although the narrative does get a bit tedious if you are expecting Michael Bay’s Pearl Harbor.
Tora Tora Tora [Blu-ray] is now available to buy at DVD stores & department stores.
Ratings are based on a 5-star scale
Overall: 4 newsreels out of 5
Review by Bro “B” – Ben
We received product for our review. All opinions are our own.ailable jusst in time for holiday gift giving.
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