First up is an introduction to the film by Clint Eastwood where he describes the plot of the film, his inspiration and ethos for making it. It runs too short for any real depth beyond that of the general tone of film making, filled with actual WWII photographs and some behind the scenes shots it is exactly what is says an introduction.
Next up is a series of featurettes that are, really, all part of one big documentary covering the making of the film, sadly lacking a play all function these remain independent chapters.
First up is Words on the Page, which focuses on and is told by James Bradley where he gives a very frank and personal talk on his fathers own unspoken history and his discovering the information that lead to the writing of his book and ultimately this film. It is as touching and as moving as it is informative.
Next up is Six Brave Men which chronicles the story of the six soldiers that hoisted the flag in that picture as told by archive footage, photographs, film footage and the actors themselves. It is quite poignant and informative, and all speak with a great deal of respect for the project and the real people they portray. As a companion piece to the film itself this extra is very moving.
The Making of an Epic is a making of featurette, combines interviews with cast and crew along with behind the scenes photographs and film along with actual war time pictures. Nothing too revolutionary here, but the information comes fairly thick and fast telling the making of the film from pre production to editing; it is streaks above the self congratulatory ‘entertainment’ channel self promotional making of features that seem to pollute discs nowadays.
Raising the Flag is a very brief look at the films rendition of the monumental moment that defines the film and Americas involvement in the war and how to make it as authentic as possible.
Following this is Visual Effects and looks at all the various elements added to a frame to bring the battle scenes to life. Comparisons between empty plates and finished film are astonishing and it goes to show just how much detail was used.
Looking into the Past is a historical look at the events depicted in the film made up of original stock footage and the narration that went with it. This is fascinating viewing and tops off a terrific extras package.
Finally the Theatrical Trailer rounds out this disc.
Flags of Our Fathers is a glorious film that not only thrills and moves the audience, it leaves one thinking too. Its impact is not diminished by its overall tone, one of truth; how war affects a nation right down to the individuals that fight it. As a Blu-ray package the outstanding picture and sound are backed up by an equally informative extras package.
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