10+ Midway Reviews – The True World War II History Behind Midway

Today is the day in the United States that we honor veterans and we are very much a military family. Our second son is a veteran, who fought as Army Infantry in Afghanistan, my father an Army Ranger fought in the Korean War and my grandfather (“Papa” to all of us) an Air Force pilot who flew B-17 bombers in WWII.

Walter Wysaske – My grandfather and “Papa” to all of us

There is one story Papa told me that I’ve found amazing to retell. I wish he was still alive to tell it in his own words, but you’ll have to allow me to pass it down with reverence.

He would speak about the war if you asked him, never shying away from the history or what it was like back then flying those secret missions to bomb places like the ball bearing plants in Germany. How they had to keep the planes in formation, even when it seemed like enemy fire most certainly would take them out. The formation bombing was critical to increasing the likelihood of striking the intended target.

In his elder years Papa was able to tour inside an actual B-17 plane on an exhibition tour. I remember Papa being excited about it, because it had been so many years since he had been inside a B-17. Someone asked him if he thought he could still fly the plane and he instantly responded, “You bet.”

While walking through the plane, there was a piece of metal jutting out on the seat and Papa cut his hand. He was silent for a minute, remembering all those years ago flying into Germany during WWII, and then began to laugh.

He showed the cut to others and said wistfully, “In all the missions I flew with enemy flak shooting through the darkened skies and some coming up through the floor of the plane, this is the very first blood I’ve ever shed inside one of these planes.”

That was Papa. Always a good sense of humor.

It is difficult for me to watch war movies. Hard to separate the fiction and fantasy from the real world human losses — both deaths and disabilities — suffered in war.

Since none of our immediate family was in the Navy it was a little easier watching Midway ⭐️⭐️⭐️ last Friday, but it pains me to see any soldiers injured or killed. The dogfights, the dive bombing, every time a plane crashed or blew up I cringed. If that makes me sound like some gigantic pussy, guilty as charged, it’s true.

The other part of these war movies is how historically accurate are they? Both the Smithsonian and TIME have excellent, revealing articles about what truly happened at Midway:

“The Pacific campaign is long and complicated, and gets overshadowed, in our attention, by what was happening in with the Nazis in Europe,” says screenwriter Wes Tooke. “But it’s an amazing comeback story. I hope that the movie relaunches an interest in learning about Midway.”

The True World War II History Behind the Midway Movie | Time

Would strongly recommend reading both of these excellent articles, digging in and taking a moment of silence for remembering all the veterans. Civilians like me will never have a hard job compared to what any soldier must face.

Japan are our allies and friends today, but it was a much different relationship in the 1940s.

We liked the Midway and recommended. Hollywood unfortunately does not have the time in two hours to share everything that happened in the real encounter. They have to combine characters, simplify and in many cases remove subplots. Moviegoers are getting a dramatic license portrayal of what happened, almost never the complete true story.

It felt like Midway the movie kept at least tangentially related to the actual events, which I appreciated.

Other Blogger Reviews

Let’s see what other moviegoers think of Midway. Keep in mind that some/many of these reviews contain spoilers.

Recommended

  • Cinema Spotlight: “…in spite of it’s missteps, I would actually recommend “Midway”. It’s pretty forgettable and bland but the updated effects are convincing and while the writing might be simple it is neat to see a war movie that doesn’t just focus on the fighting.”
  • George Sylex: “Roland Emmerich’s ‘Midway’ isn’t engaging as “Pearl Harbor” and not emotional as “Flags of Our Fathers”. Possibly falls someplace in the center. Midway is a conscious tribute to the men who gave their lives during this unequivocal fight, denoting another feeling of development to the Emmerich’s work.”
  • bgarten: “Pretty much everything you could want out of a war film. The battle scenes were graphic, grand-scale, and captured the perfect balance of chaos and focus.”
  • Scott Holleran: “I enjoyed this week’s top movie at the box office “
  • Will You Magazine: ” Overall, Midway is a gripping, interesting film that both marvels and educates in equal measures, it’s just nothing too new or original.”
  • Author and Historian Blaine L. Pardoe: “Having bitched about the inaccuracies, I DID enjoy the movie.  It’s not up there with A Bridge Too Far, but it holds its own and doesn’t suck like Pearl Harbor.  I’ll be purchasing it for home viewing and will permanently shelve my copy of the 1970’s Midway.   That, on its own, is not a ringing endorsement. “

Not Recommended (or on the fence)

  • Starside Cafe: “…the more scattershot approach here makes many of the battles and emotional beats hit far less effectively than war films that maintain a higher level of focus on one event and a smaller cast of central characters.”
  • RockAtTheMovies: “Maybe the film needed a little cheese and relationship drama like that of Pearl Harbor because that film was infinitely more entertaining. This is a by the numbers, going through the motions film, with pretty action sequences.”
  • Vinay Krishna: “The plot and characters are wafer-thin and the lead character is kind of a superhero. The dialog is cheesier than a Nestle factory and the screenplay is way too choppy, even for Roland Emmerich standards.”
  • theidiosynchratist – “…this spare-no-expense production about the most vital naval battle of WWII merely plasters the latest in digital effects over the same war time movie tropes that Hollywood has been pedaling (sic) for decades.”

Thank you to all those brave men and women who serve in the armed forces all over the world.

21+ Harriet Reviews – A Real Superhero in a Horrible Time and Place in American History

150 years or so ago in American history, there was pure evil against humanity lurking in the south. My favorite movie last weekend,

Harriet⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

… reminded me just how despicable these white slave owners were and how miserably black people were treated.

And yet there were heroes like Harriet Tubman who escaped slavery herself and returned to free more of her family, friends and others. If there is a Heaven beyond, Harriet Tubman better be receiving the penthouse suite.

Just came across this article from a critic who pointed out some funny (to her) parts in the movie and how she felt laughing in a room when nobody else laughed.

What I am saying is is that if you’re not laughing at someone’s plight or struggle, you can laugh with them. And I have to acknowledge what is true: As one of the few people of color, and as far as I could see, the only Black woman in that screening room, it may have been easier to for me to find the humor in a movie about slavery than a non-Black person, simply because I have lived in this skin my entire life.

Harriet Tubman Movie Review: The Humorous Aspects of the Film

I simply could not laugh, much less smile, at the scene she’s mentioning. After all, thinking about an enslaved father so terrified that he would be whipped by his white slave owner if he “saw” his daughter doing something so he intentionally shrouded his eyes. This isn’t funny to me, an admittedly old white guy. I’ll forever be disturbed that human beings would ever do that to others. It touched me.

This is but one of many reasons why I love going to movies at the theater: for the additional social experience. Something I found very disturbing and sad another moviegoer found funny — and we’re both right for our emotions very, very different reasons.

This movie made me even more compassionate to the whole topic of slave reparations. I realize that all these years later nobody is alive that did this to people in history. In a sense, the guilty have already gone to meet their fate. Holding a future generation financially responsible for actions in the past is a difficult proposition. It’s a deep, sprawling topic that I don’t have enough education on the topic or energy to get into it in great depth at this blog, but I’m here to say after seeing this movie, I’m more open to the concept than I was before seeing it. I’m truly saddened that this time in history ever existed.

Oh, and definitely let’s put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill. If we can’t put a true superhero — forget the fictional MCU — like Harriet on a bill, we shouldn’t put any faces on there.

More Harriet Reviews

Let’s see what others are saying about Harriet. I normally separate negative and positive reviews, but in the spirit of equality, all are kept in one list. The numbering is there simply to identify the quantity of reviews, not in any specific order of importance or sorting.

There are some deeper discussions worth engaging in within the posts that are quoted. Enjoy!

  1. harveycritic: “Harriet Tubman must be grinning widely in her grave at Auburn, New York where she died in 1913, as this is a handsome movie that shows her in such a positive light that she appears to have not a single human flaw.”
  2. As a Matter of Fancy: “The reviews are so tepid because Tubman was a Christian; she prayed; God answered her prayers. America’s media mavens could hardly praise anything Christian, least of all a woman of color who took it seriously “
  3. Jeff Huston: “…. lays the melodrama on pretty thick, but the integrity of who she was – a gun wielding, God-guided slave emancipator – boldly remains.”
  4. lucidtheory: “The story is not as incomplete as it felt. It was only one part of her time line, the most famous and prominent one that we all learned about.”
  5. Jennifer P. Harris: “I saw Harriet Tubman not as just an ‘American legend’, but a damn superhero!”
  6. Lynn M’s Literary Corner: ” The plot was great.  The music was great. The scenery was great. And to that point, when it was over, the theatre audience applauded.  “
  7. Writergurlny: “This movie is brilliant and I believe, a must-see for anyone who believes in the freedoms that the United States is built on.”
  8. greatmartin: “…am glad I went to see “Harriet” because it made me more interested into getting her true story, if it is known, and the performance by Cynthia Erivo plus some very strong performances from supporting performers.”
  9. Jordan Woodson’s Reviews: “… an extremely powerful and inspirational film that is historically accurate and showcases an incredible lead actress that embodies the brave woman that risked her life for thousands “
  10. Movie Nation: “Tubman’s case to be on the $20 bill, as a heroine straight out of American myth, is made, a brave Christian woman sprinting down the path of the righteous. “Harriet” stumbles when it makes her more mythic than human, and less the woman of action than she was.”
  11. liammgaughan: “…while I can see it being a good educational tool it’s not really that substantial as a narrative. It’s a blandly shot film that seems to sanitize and simplify its issues, and despite Erivo’s great performance this does feel like a checklist of biopic cliches”
  12. Pan and Slam: “Harriet is worth seeing as an educational and thoroughly entertaining history lesson.”
  13. genelantz: “We think of the American Civil War not as a meaningless tragedy as it is usually portrayed, but as a giant leap forward for all of us. Those who agree are really going to like “Harriet.””
  14. steventhomas: “I think we can appreciate Harriet in the context of cinema history as so many young and amazing artists, writers, and directors, now more of them women of color than ever, are able to lend their artistic vision to how the past informs our movement into the future.”
  15. Jasonbleau: “It might not be Oscar worthy but it’s at least a decent at worst representation of Tubman and does enough to satisfy as a long-overdue cinematic tribute to one of the most iconic women in American history”
  16. Armrestrenegade: “Just go see it, would ya? White people, please try not to flog yourself for the egregious acts of slavery, ok? “
  17. B.A.W.N: “This big screen adaptation of the renowned icon, stands amongst the most celebrated freedom fighters of American history.”
  18. Anika’s Antics: “This is a dramatized (though not excessively) true to her own experience narrative about a woman that history should never, ever forget.”
  19. moviejolz: “For most of the time my eyes were glued to the screen; however, when the script went off into a religious fantasy mode it lost me a bit.”
  20. Brother Saye: “Overall, the cast did an excellent job of acting, and the costumes and geographical optics were excellent, but this is not a film we should turn to, when remembering the legacy of Harriet Tubman.”
  21. Jay / Assholes Watching Movies: “Harriet is not a slavery movie. Harriet is a freedom movie. It is a showcase for resilience, and hope. It’s also a reminder of the kind of impact one single person can have.”
  22. Feela Speaks: “It was something about the strength that was portrayed in [Harriet] that made me want to learn more ” (also, watch her embedded video, where she goes into controversy surrounding the actress who played Harriet — good stuff)