A few hours later Patrick and Kyle bid farewell to the maidens. At first Patrick thought he would have to put on his glasses and explain the way of the world to them. Take on that mentor role he’s sure Stallone has always craved. But soon the tables were turned. They had not only cured Patrick’s crippling writer’s block, but also bought and sold Stallone’s extensive wine collection at an immense profit. They taught Kyle how to fly a kite, lambada, and steal cable. By the time they were finished they really didn’t feel like having steamy sex with a random movie star. “You’re actually kinda… lame,” one of them admits, “but in a nice way.” Patrick smiles. It’s funny how you can learn something new, even when it’s all already happened, Patrick thinks. Suddenly his wheels are turning. History… history repeats itself. “Kid,” he says to Kyle, “buckle up, cause we’re going historical.”
Kyle stands in front of his lecture hall, chalk covering his hands. He breathes heavily as he finishes the diagram. Turning back to Jamie he says in a slow, deliberate voice, “OK, so let’s imagine you are a bad guy, right?” Jamie nods. “And not one with big muscles, sweet dance moves, or… uh,” he squints closer at the list he’s written detailing every way Jamie might obtain the Obsidian Dongle, “‘Jorts for days’, whatever that is. Right?” Jamie nods again, seems pretty straightforward. “So,” Kyle says dramatically, “how might you get the Dongle?” A light suddenly goes off in Jamie’s head, “I would pretend I’m not a bad guy at all.” Kyle gets excited and encourages him to keep going. “And then I would… I would…” he dramatically pauses, “nope, no… it slipped away.” Kyle snaps his chalk in half.
That’s right! We are going historical and watching a little Pearl Harbor. I have somehow seen this film several times in my life, which is really making me reflect on a lot of choices I’ve made. But we’ve never watched it for BMT so… *sigh* here we go again. As for the fried, we’re pairing it like a fine wine with Slipstream starring none other than Mark Hamill. He looks real nuts on the poster and that’s enough for us. Let’s go!
Pearl Harbor (2001) – BMeTric: 27.9; Notability: 193
StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 24.0%; Notability: top 0.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 22.6%; Higher BMeT: Glitter, Jason X, Freddy Got Fingered, Driven, The Animal, Ghosts of Mars, Black Knight, Valentine, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles, Soul Survivors, Monkeybone, The Musketeer, Corky Romano, Scary Movie 2, The Wedding Planner, Bones, Summer Catch, The Order, Say It Isn’t So, The Wash, and 40 more; Lower RT: Nobody’s Baby, Texas Rangers, Soul Survivors, Glitter, All the Queen’s Men, Corky Romano, The Forsaken, Summer Catch, The Wash, Out Cold, Say It Isn’t So, Joe Dirt, Head Over Heels, Megiddo: The Omega Code 2, What’s the Worst That Could Happen?, Freddy Got Fingered, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles, Perfume, The Musketeer, Valentine, and 33 more; Notes: Jesus Christo. Nearly 200 notability. Watch the film though, there are legit famous people who appear out of nowhere to speak one line and you’re like “is that Mr. Darcy from Married with Children?!”
RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars – “Pearl Harbor” is a two-hour movie squeezed into three hours, about how on Dec. 7, 1941, the Japanese staged a surprise attack on an American love triangle. Its centerpiece is 40 minutes of redundant special effects, surrounded by a love story of stunning banality. The film has been directed without grace, vision, or originality, and although you may walk out quoting lines of dialog, it will not be because you admire them.
(Boom, roasted! But that is a complaint I feel like is warranted with a lot of, frankly, boring bad movies. That they had an hour long movie that was good, and then they needed to stretch it to feature length and it got boring or the third act fell apart. The difference here is they probably had a perfectly good (if intense) 2 hour film that is somewhat ruined by making it a 3 hour epic.)
(You could be forgiven for not realizing Harnett and Beckinsale are also in the military. Also, Voight’s bizarre FDR performance being so heavily featured in this trailing is a bit insane as well. Still … kind of gets you amped for it.)
Directors – Michael Bay – ( Known For: Ambulance; Transformers; 6 Underground; The Rock; 13 Hours; Bad Boys; Pain & Gain; Future BMT: The Island; Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen; Transformers: Dark of the Moon; Bad Boys II; BMT: Armageddon; Transformers: The Last Knight; Pearl Harbor; Transformers: Age of Extinction; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director in 2010 for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen; and in 2015 for Transformers: Age of Extinction; and Nominee for Worst Director in 1999 for Armageddon; in 2002 for Pearl Harbor; in 2012 for Transformers: Dark of the Moon; and in 2018 for Transformers: The Last Knight; Notes: Bay has kind of retired? It is hard to tell, he’s released two films in five years, both to streaming. He still works, but after the most recent iteration on Transformers it feels a bit like he’s lost the magic. He’s a huge producer though.)
Writers – Randall Wallace – ( Known For: Braveheart; We Were Soldiers; Heaven Is for Real; Future BMT: The Man in the Iron Mask; BMT: Pearl Harbor; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Pearl Harbor in 2002; Notes: Military writer. I would have expected him to have been in the military, but nope. Majored in religion at Duke. Has written seven books as well (although some are novelizations of his films). Nominated for an Oscar for Pearl Harbor.)
Actors – Ben Affleck – ( Known For: Gone Girl; Clerks III; Deep Water; Good Will Hunting; The Last Duel; Dazed and Confused; Zack Snyder’s Justice League; The Accountant; The Town; Argo; Dogma; He’s Just Not That Into You; Daredevil; Triple Frontier; The Tender Bar; Shakespeare in Love; The Sum of All Fears; Field of Dreams; State of Play; School Ties; Future BMT: Suicide Squad; Justice League; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Smokin’ Aces; Live by Night; 200 Cigarettes; Surviving Christmas; BMT: Armageddon; Pearl Harbor; Paycheck; Gigli; Reindeer Games; Runner Runner; Phantoms; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor in 2004 for Daredevil, Gigli, and Paycheck; Winner for Worst Screen Combo for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2017; Winner for Worst Screen Couple for Gigli in 2004; Nominee for Worst Actor in 2002 for Pearl Harbor; in 2005 for Jersey Girl, and Surviving Christmas; and in 2017 for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for The Last Duel in 2022; Nominee for Worst Actor of the Decade in 2010 for Daredevil, Gigli, Jersey Girl, Paycheck, Pearl Harbor, and Surviving Christmas; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple in 1999 for Armageddon; in 2002 for Pearl Harbor; and in 2005 for Jersey Girl; Notes: Won two Oscars, for writing Good Will Hunting, and for producing Argo. Famously dated J-Lo (as Bennifer), and more recently they got back together and married in July.)
Kate Beckinsale – ( Known For: The Aviator; Jolt; Serendipity; Much Ado About Nothing; Laurel Canyon; Vacancy; Love & Friendship; The Only Living Boy in New York; Contraband; Stonehearst Asylum; Absolutely Anything; The Last Days of Disco; Nothing But the Truth; Everybody’s Fine; Haunted; Royal Deceit; Farming; The Trials of Cate McCall; The Face of an Angel; Snow Angels; Future BMT: Van Helsing; Underworld; Click; Total Recall; Underworld: Blood Wars; Underworld: Evolution; Underworld: Rise of the Lycans; Underworld: Awakening; Brokedown Palace; The Disappointments Room; BMT: Pearl Harbor; Tiptoes; Whiteout; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for Pearl Harbor in 2002; Notes: British. Went to New College, Oxford majoring in French and Russian Literature before dropping out to pursue acting. Is the lead in the entire Underworld series, which we’ve never done for BMT somehow.)
Josh Hartnett – ( Known For: Wrath of Man; Operation Fortune: Ruse de guerre; Sin City; Black Hawk Down; Halloween H20: 20 Years Later; The Faculty; The Virgin Suicides; 30 Days of Night; Lucky Number Slevin; Wild Horses; The Ottoman Lieutenant; Ida Red; Most Wanted; O; Blow Dry; 6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain; Resurrecting the Champ; Bunraku; Valley of the Gods; She’s Missing; Future BMT: 40 Days and 40 Nights; The Black Dahlia; BMT: Pearl Harbor; Wicker Park; Hollywood Homicide; Here on Earth; Town & Country; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for Pearl Harbor in 2002; Notes: Multiple BMT Love Triangle Award Winner (for Here on Earth and now Pearl Harbor). In 2002 he moved back to Minnesota and semi-retired from acting, but has gone back to acting a bit in recent years.)
Budget/Gross – $140,000,000 / Domestic: $198,542,554 (Worldwide: $449,220,945)
(I mean, that’s just fine indeed. I guess they were maybe looking for Armageddon money, so they missed by a little ($100 million worldwide difference), but surely Pearl Harbor would have expected to be less well received internationally right?)
Rotten Tomatoes – 24% (46/194): Pearl Harbor tries to be the Titanic of war movies, but it’s just a tedious romance filled with laughably bad dialogue. The 40 minute action sequence is spectacular though.
(Yeah, this is pretty much right. The bits where you see actual Pearl Harbor action are amazing. The bit where you see intense Love Triangle action, not so much.)
Reviewer Highlight: The bombs explode brilliantly but the story is a bust in “Pearl Harbor.” – Todd McCarthy, Variety
Poster – Love Triangle: The Movie
(This seems very appropriate for a Michael Bay film about Pearl Harbor. We gonna get some planes and smoke and not know what the hell is happening probably. Hate the font and it just looks dark and dingy. C-.)
Tagline(s) – It takes a moment to change history. It takes love to change lives. (B-)
(I don’t see any tagline on the poster, but I’m sure this was used somewhere. It was the better of the two listed. Still somewhat laughable of a tagline for Pearl Harbor. Obviously this is a love story, but I feel like Pearl Harbor still overshadowed it a bit. Not like everyone’s looking around at the end being like “sure that was a big event, but gosh darn it those kids are gonna make it and that’s what’s really important.” No, the event was also quite important.)
Keyword(s) – past
Top 10: The Shawshank Redemption (1994), Forrest Gump (1994), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Django Unchained (2012), Gladiator (2000), Inglourious Basterds (2009), Saving Private Ryan (1998), Schindler’s List (1993), The Prestige (2006), Shutter Island (2010)
Future BMT: 88.7 BloodRayne (2005), 73.0 The Unborn (2009), 70.4 Texas Chainsaw (2013), 70.2 Black Christmas (2006), 69.9 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993), 65.9 The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death (2014), 64.6 The Final Destination (2009), 62.1 The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008), 59.8 Exorcist: The Beginning (2004), 56.8 Robin Hood (2018), 55.1 Annabelle (2014), 54.9 The Quiet Ones (2014), 54.5 Snow Dogs (2002), 53.8 Spy Hard (1996), 53.1 Porky’s Revenge (1985), 52.4 2016: Obama’s America (2012), 52.1 Radhe Shyam (2022), 51.6 Porky’s II: The Next Day (1983), 50.2 The Last Legion (2007), 50.1 Halloween Kills (2021) … (and many more)
BMT: Epic Movie (2007), Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987), The Fog (2005), Movie 43 (2013), Super Mario Bros. (1993), Glitter (2001), Holmes & Watson (2018), The Master of Disguise (2002), The Legend of Hercules (2014), Grease 2 (1982), The Bye Bye Man (2017), Jonah Hex (2010), Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), Wild Wild West (1999), Highlander: The Final Dimension (1994), The Ridiculous 6 (2015), Highlander: Endgame (2000), Black Knight (2001), Chernobyl Diaries (2012), A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989), Cool World (1992), The Musketeer (2001), An American Haunting (2005), Apollo 18 (2011), Ishtar (1987), The Curse of La Llorona (2019), The Nun (2018), Pinocchio (2002), Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996), Bolero (1984), Bones (2001), Shanghai Surprise (1986), Return to the Blue Lagoon (1991), House of Wax (2005), Season of the Witch (2011), The Tuxedo (2002), Mannequin: On the Move (1991), Pompeii (2014), Ghost Ship (2002), Assassin’s Creed (2016), The Scarlet Letter (1995), Dolittle (2020), Timeline (2003), The Quest (1996), X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019), Wagons East (1994), The Three Musketeers (2011), Diana (2013), Ben-Hur (2016), Rambo III (1988), Around the World in 80 Days (2004), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006), The Blue Lagoon (1980), Cutthroat Island (1995), Texas Rangers (2001), Sucker Punch (2011), Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (2001), Jobs (2013), Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004), Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), Original Sin (2001), Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013), American Outlaws (2001), Universal Soldier (1992), Winter’s Tale (2014), Harlem Nights (1989), I Dreamed of Africa (2000), Pearl Harbor (2001), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), The Identical (2014), The Chamber (1996), The Marrying Man (1991), Wild Bill (1995), In Love and War (1996), Sleepaway Camp (1983), Gods and Generals (2003), The Lone Ranger (2013), X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017), Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), Halloween II (1981), September Dawn (2007), Young Guns II (1990), Oscar (1991), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), Evening (2007), The 13th Warrior (1999), White Comanche (1968), Gangster Squad (2013), Now and Then (1995), A Dog’s Purpose (2017)
Best Options (senseless): 46.4 The Black Dahlia (2006), 42.4 Insidious: The Last Key (2018), 27.9 Pearl Harbor (2001), 27.7 Knowing (2009), 26.3 If Looks Could Kill (1991), 23.8 Welcome to Marwen (2018), 19.3 National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007), 2.0 The Five Heartbeats (1991)
(Basically you want to do Harnett is what it is saying. And we finally had to do Pearl Harbor … I mean, officially, I’ve seen this film three times now. Ten hours of my life has been spent watching Pearl Harbor. May god have mercy on my soul.)
Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 6) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Josh Hartnett is No. 3 billed in Pearl Harbor and No. 3 billed in Here on Earth, => (3 + 3) = 6. There is no shorter path at the moment.
Notes – When shooting the scene where Rafe (Ben Affleck) and Danny (Josh Hartnett) manage to get off the ground during the attack, and are chased by three Japanese Zeroes, one of the real planes clipped a palm tree and crashed. The pilot was dazed, and suffered only a broken finger.
Jon Voight wore duplicates of the steel leg-braces that President Franklin D. Roosevelt had to wear. As a result, Voight suffered from bruising and chafing on his legs for weeks after finishing his work for the film.
The character portrayed by Cuba Gooding Jr., Doris “Dorie” Miller, was the first African-American to be awarded the Navy Cross. He was later assigned to the escort carrier Liscome Bay. He was reported missing in action in November 1943, when it was torpedoed during the Battle of Makin Island.
Ben Affleck’s grandfather declined to see the film, explaining that he wasn’t interested in reliving the war in any way, shape, or form.
The scene that shows the Japanese planes attacking the hospital caused a great uproar, both in Japan and among Pearl Harbor veterans, because it never happened. The Japanese pilots were under strict orders not to attack civilian targets. Survivors note that even when the Japanese had a straight line of attack, they never attacked the hospital itself. Director Michael Bay said he added the scene to make the attack seem more barbaric.
To simulate the U.S.S. Oklahoma capsizing, the crew constructed the world’s largest-ever gimbal. It took special effects supervisor John Frazier four months to design, and four more months for he and production designer Nigel Phelps to build. It was made of pure steel and weighed 700,000 pounds. It could rise 25 degrees into the air, and do a 180 degree barrel turn. In the film, as the Oklahoma rolls over, the back 450 feet is CGI, but the front portion is the real gimbal, with over 150 real stuntmen on it.
The shots of the series of six explosions in Battleship Row were filmed by 14 cameras, and were actually staged on real Navy ships. While on a location scout above Pearl Harbor, Michael Bay looked down and saw a line of ships doing nothing. He learned that the ships were part of the inactive fleet, and so he decided to use them for the explosions. The charges were put on the real ships on plywood for protection, with 700 sticks of dynamite, 2,000 feet of cord, and 4,000 gallons of gasoline used. The six 600-foot ship explosions took a month and a half to rig (with 500 individual bombs on each boat). During the scene, over 100 extras were in the harbor, and six real planes had to fly past the ships. In total, the shots took seven months of coordination among every department on the film, the state of Hawaii, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Navy to ensure everything went off without a hitch. In the end, the explosions themselves lasted only seven seconds, and comprised only 12 seconds of on-screen time.
For the scenes of the Japanese planes taking off, an American carrier was used. According to Michael Bay, this greatly offended some of the Pearl Harbor survivors, who felt it dishonored the dead. Bay, however, pointed out to them that they destroyed all of the Japanese carriers later in the war, so an American carrier had to be used. He says that when he pointed this out, they agreed to the use of the American carrier.
Earned a place in the “Guinness Book of World Records” for the movie with the most explosives used.
The film has four pure CGI shots: the bomb falling toward the U.S.S. Arizona, two shots of the Arizona exploding as it jumps up in the water, and the two Japanese Mitsubishi A6M Zeroes’ pitching down towards Battleship Row.
In the camera shots during the Doolittle Raid, where it appears the actors are actually flying the planes, they actually are. No CG was used. Alec Baldwin, Josh Hartnett, and Ben Affleck were all given basic flight training, so they could handle the planes. To get the various shots of the actors in the pilot’s seat, the “real” pilot would simply pilot the plane to the desired destination and then the actor would take over while the camera crew moved alongside to get the shot. After this the real pilot would take over.
The total amount of money spent on production and promotion roughly equaled the amount of damage caused in the actual attack.
Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay agreed to give up $4 million in salary, in return for a cut of the box-office, to get the budget down. The film’s stars also took a drop in salaries, in return for a cut of the box-office, for the same reason.
According to Michael Fassbender, this was the first film he ever auditioned for. He went for one of the leads.
The film’s premiere was held at Pearl Harbor, aboard the carrier U.S.S. John Stennis. Bleachers were set up on the flight deck, and the hangar bay was converted into a 1940s-style nightclub for the after party.
As of 2017, it’s the only film directed by Michael Bay to ever win an Oscar (for Best Sound Editing).
The production budget, $140 million, was, at the time, the largest ever given to a movie before filming started.
Awards – Winner for the Oscar for Best Sound Editing (Christopher Boyes, George Watters II, 2002)
Nominee for the Oscar for Best Music, Original Song (Diane Warren, 2002)
Nominee for the Oscar for Best Sound (Peter J. Devlin, Greg P. Russell, Kevin O’Connell, 2002)
Nominee for the Oscar for Best Effects, Visual Effects (Eric Brevig, John Frazier, Edward Hirsh, Ben Snow, 2002)
Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor of the Decade (Ben Affleck, 2010)
Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (2002)
Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Ben Affleck, 2002)
Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (Ben Affleck, Kate Beckinsale, Josh Hartnett, 2002)
Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Remake or Sequel (2002)
Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Michael Bay, 2002)
Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Randall Wallace, 2002)