View Full Version : Windtalkers
06-22-2002, 09:25 PM
I saw this today. It's an absolute masterpiece, just like all of John Woo's films (although M:I-2 was boring, the last half-hour was great.) The best WWII film ever made recently, second only to Saving Private Ryan. Very accurate historically, and some of the most loud and satisfyingly powerful battle scenes ever made.
However, I still think that Face/Off is Woo's best Hollywood film, and The Killer is his best Hong Kong film.
I liked it, and thought it was good overall. Nic Coppola managed to insert some of his overacting, but for the most part he was pretty cool.
I absolutely loved Adam Beach, that guy made the movie for me. :)
Hmm, I'm not certain as to the degree of historical accuracy, History Channel had an episode of History vs. Hollywood last week but I missed it . . . I'll be sure to catch it on a rerun. :D
It looked good, as it included interviews with surviving codetalkers as well as Woo.
06-23-2002, 08:07 AM
My dad's like the biggest expert on military history there is (he has about as many books as the Jedi Archives :D) and he said everything in the movie was plenty accurate: weapons, speech, battles, artillery, etc.
There were a few errors, though. I discovered these for myself:
-Enders and Ox used Thompson M1928A1s, which in 1944 had already been replaced by the M1A1 Thompsons, like the one Miller used in Saving Private Ryan.
-Enders was an even better shot than me! He ran, carrying a man over his shoulder, firing his Thompson one-handed (and that's an eleven-pound gun) and killed like 20 Japs right there. His pistol shooting was phenomenal. He did a little dive (or "shootdodge" as Max Payne would call it) and fired seven shots, killing seven Japs. Wow.
-There were overall the most precise gunshots i've ever seen. Ever single guy that was fired at was hit and killed.
But the Jedi Archives don't have books ;) Um, I mean, not in the movie (in the novelization they do :D ).
Okay, I see what you mean about historical accuracies in the films, what with the more technical aspects and all. What I was referring to was more of the plot issues, like the idea that most codetalkers weren't assigned bodyguards like in the film. But as I said, I'm not certain about some of these issues, so I would like to learn more. :)
Your use of the term "Japs" brings up an interesting point. I'm surprised at how many people I have heard use that slur even to the present. I know it was a common word used in reference to the Imperial Japanese (not to mention other, more distateful words) but I am sickened at how it was also applied by many Americans to their fellow Americans of Japanese descent. I don't doubt that the U.S. government's ever-churning propaganda machine (coupled with long rooted anti-Asian sentiments and resentments on the West Coast and elsewhere) lead partially to that problem.
It's astonishing to see how so many people were influenced by that . . . nowhere near as much as they were by anti-German sentiments during the same time. No doubt it existed, but given the fact that there were so many Americans of German descent already living as part of white America (and I use the term "white" politically), it was just impossible for such hostilities to stick.
Curious, I wonder how many German Americans themselves hated Japanese Americans because of the war . . . :(
Yes, lately, I have seen many racial slurs used flippantly on this site. I have found it very disturbing that people feel that way, and seem to not care what others feel in regards to those words. Every time I have brought it up, I get nothing but grief. :(
06-25-2002, 08:30 AM
I was dissapointed with this one. John Woo (who I usually enjoy) had one premise, the morality of protecting the code, and only twenty minutes of solid story telling in the film. The rest of the film is padded with never ending battle shots. It was a weak film in my opinion and the "tragic" end of the film left me with a "Feh." in my throat. The most dramatic part of the film were the scenes between Slater and Willie. They did more with their moments of screen time than Beach and Cage did through the whole film.
I agree with your assessment of Adam Beach. He is a charismatic young actor (Young? he's my age...:rolleyes: ) and I hope to see more from him.
06-25-2002, 08:44 AM
Sorry for saying "Japs."
But these were some of the best battle scenes I've ever seen...far better than the stupidly short ones in AOTC.
06-25-2002, 11:56 AM
I watched this on opening night with my dad, who hasn't been to a movie theater in over six years (ID4 and Jurassic Park have been the only movies he has watched in a theater in over 30 years!).
I liked it, while I usually don't like Nic Cage in anything (he's the master of overblown acting), he wasn't his usual annoying self in this one.
Excellent story, some of the best battle sequences I've ever seen in a war movie and two excellent actors portraying the code-talkers themselves made this one of the better war movies out there. It's too bad they decided to wait so long to release it after 9/11, now that patriotism is no longer fashionable this movie won't get the box office it deserves.
My current favorite war movie is still Black Hawk Down, but Windtalkers is easily in my top five along with Saving Private Ryan, Full Metal Jacket and The Longest Day.
You're right about Cage's markmanship skills, Deadeye. I don't think even the 40/40 people can be that accurate in combat. But anyone is a better markman than me with the M-16, as I usually only qualified Markman with 23-26/40. But give me an M-249 or an M-203 and I can tear some stuff up (I qualified Expert on both of those).:)
06-25-2002, 07:37 PM
I've qualified sharpshooter with an M4 carbine. Not bad, considering the one I used was a left-handed grip with a right-handed barrel. :D
06-26-2002, 12:33 AM
so to quote homer simpson, windtalkers was a "misdirected woo"? which according to homer is any john woo film.:)
06-26-2002, 08:06 AM
Oh, like everyone is saying, the battle scenes were really intense and great if that's what you are looking for, but it got kind of boring to me after awhile, since Woo had this great idea for a story about having to "protect the code" and missed many oppurtunities to explore that theme, instead sticking to the battle scenes or the heavy handed "racial" cliches. Lackluster overall.
I keep thinking about a friend of mine who did a great imitation of Woo after we saw Face/Off. He kept running around yelling in a thick Asian accent "More bullets! More explosions! More napalm!" and said that's how Woo directs his films. That's exactly what I saw here. using the violence of the war as a crutch for subpar storytelling. And I know Woo is capable of really good characterisation. I just didn't see any in this movie, mostly because of Cage's Ham...
06-26-2002, 08:30 AM
After reading these post. Iwant to see this movie more. Thanks guys.
06-26-2002, 09:33 AM
Originally posted by Eternal Padawan
the heavy handed "racial" cliches.
I don't agree with this comment at all, most people of our generation are imcapable of understanding just how bad the racism was back in the 1940s. Here in the southwest, much of that racism still exists (try getting a good job in New Mexico if you look hispanic and don't have a powerful family). So would a movie showing a KKK rally in the 1960s be heavy-handed? Would a movie made about the African-American kid who was dragged behind a truck until his body fell to pieces back in 1995 be heavy handed? This stuff really happened and as still happening now, just because we are uncomfortable watching it on a movie theater doesn't make it the fault of the movie maker. Of course, reality is pretty heavy-handed too. Just like the Hispanic girl who was raped, strangled and had her fingertips cut off with garden shears last year; but you don't want to hear about heavy-handed stuff like that.:rolleyes:
08-24-2006, 12:18 AM
I just watched Windtalkers as part of my World War II viewing spree. I'd seen it before, but not right after watching most of the other WWII films at the same time.
All I can say is wow! Windtalkers has some of the most intense battle scenes of any of the WWII movies out there. Yes, it relies heavily on special effects and so forth, but it does tell a story and explores history and racism themes.
I really like this picture and am tempted to watch it again immediately. I think Nick Cage actually did alright. I'm not really a fan of his, but this character (Enders) was the right role for him.
I agree that the Navajo (were they really Navajo in real life?) who played both Charlie and Ben Yahzee were excellent - especially Ben's character transformation through the course of the film into a real Marine.
Christian Slater who is often a one-note actor (his typical character-type is Arkansas Dave from Young Guns II and he never seems much different, even in a Starfleet uniform) - well he did alright as well.
This movie is about the Battle of Saipan which the Marine Corps had to take so that we'd be that much closer to actually being able to hit Japan. The year was 1944 and Hiroshima was in the late summer of 1945.
Great movie. I'm glad to hear a lot of it was historically accurate even if major plot points were fictionalized - so was Saving Private Ryan.
08-24-2006, 07:14 AM
I love the idea of this movie but I'd rather see more about the men and not the white officers imho.
08-24-2006, 09:26 AM
Ugh, Windtalkers was horrid.
And not just because of Nicolas Gage.
It has been a while since I've seen it and can't remember too much about it (thank goodness), but I do remember thinking it felt like a bad, by-the-numbers, made-for-tv Vietnam movie.
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