Started off slow but ended with a bang! (by steph04161991)
Though this story may not be true, it uses true events as its basis. Do not take this film as a historically accurate portrayal of what happened because its is obviously a farce of a tale. But Spike Lee definitely strikes emotion with what I will call a master piece. I went into the movie reading very much mixed reviews about this movie and it seems it is very much so that you loved it or very much so that you hated it, and few in between. For me, I loved it. You could not help but feel for the 4 soldiers and there problems which they faced, between personal struggle and mistreatment by their <more>
own country. I say the movie started out slow because I was not entirely sure where the story was going. The movie split into many segways obviously put there to emphasis points. At first the relevance to the beginning and what was happening in the movie was not clear, but I assure you, it is nicely put together at the end. This is not a movie you want to walk out on before the movie is over.
It pains me a strong film such as this only receives Three Million in it's first weekend. The top grossing film is some horse crap lilly white romance with Gere and Lane. GOD knows we haven't seen that before! Black and Hispanics should have come out in droves given the talent and subject matter. But i guess when Mr. Perry comes out with another Negro who ate the chicken, why me GOD, i gots to go to chuch yes it has no "R" in it relationship movie St.Anna wont prevail. I get it. White people are turned off by spike cause they let the media think for them and since he <more>
has been titled as a pro black angry Negro! they will pass on his work. And black people just wanna laugh at the buffoonery. And the Puerto Ricans need J-LO... we need J-LO! especially if she falls in love with a white man!!!! This film has history, Humor and most important... Heart. Spike, unfortunately there not ready for you. i just hope this does not detour the "gate keepers" from hooking you up on the next one. but come to think of it they didn't step in until the end anyway. i was in stitches when Peter Hammond and the Mayor showed up.
Rent it. Buy it. Watch it every year. (by danceability-1)
Rent it. Buy it. Watch it every year.AMAZING MOVIE!!!! I can't understand the negative reviews. It's an amazing movie. This is a prime example of why not to listen to critics. A complex and touching film. Don't read the reviews, be your own judge.I am trying to build a tradition around Memorial Day that involves watching a movie that carefully portrays the sacrifice made by those we are supposed to remember on this holiday. I just watched Miracle at St. Anna and have decided to add it to the list alongside Band of Brothers, Saving Private Ryan, We Were Soldiers, etc. The story of <more>
those four soldiers and the people they encountered is powerful. Fighting for your country when your country doesn't have your back is something I can't imagine and yet it happens. So many have been in this position, faced it and died. It brings tears to my eyes. Everyone should see this movie. Everyone should answer the question, "how can I put an end to racism?" and then act on that answer.danceability-1 Amsterdam, Holland
Seems everyone is overlooking one important fact (by ladycook99)
In all the cries of racism, you are overlooking the fact that Spike Lee simply turned a BOOK called "Miracle at St. Anna" by JAMES MCBRIDE into a screenplay. Have you read the book? Perhaps you should before you vilify Spike any further.In the author's note McBride states "This book is a work of fiction inspired by real events and real people..." He clearly states it is a work of fiction but based on real things. There is nothing wrong with him deciding to bring to life in words a brief glimpse into one of the battles of the Buffalo Soldiers. Nor is there anything <more>
wrong with Spike deciding to bring that same story to the big screen.Read the book with an open mind then see the movie with an open mind. You might actually learn something.
Problems midst those supposedly on the "SAME" side in a War (by jimchudnow-1)
I had an uncle LAURIE who'd been an American PILOT fighting the Axis in Italy in World War II. He'd once commented to me that, tho a number of his fellow pilots were fairly racist & disliked working with the all-black American TUSKEGEE AIRMEN,he'd found them to be EXCELLENT pilots & was always PLEASED to have them helping out on missions. That same basic WWII racism is at the heart of Spike Lee's new movie about a company of black SOLDIERS fighting and getting caught behind enemy lines in northern Italy. DEREK Luke plays Staff Sgt Stamps; MICHAEL EALY is Sgt Cummings; <more>
LAZ ALONZO is Cpl Negron; & OMAR BENSON MILLER also in the soon-to-open "THE EXPRESS" is Pvt Train around whom the story sort of revolves . The movie has some unnecessary scenes & length to some -- but it's a very EFFECTIVE, hard-hitting and thought-provoking story of some of the difficulties faced in the way people of different nations and attitudes fight for their own country and its then-current supposed political goals.
Ambitious WWII film about black soldiers is one of Spike Lee's best...It really its targets with great executed precision with a story that needs to be told. (by raysond)
In director Spike Lee's long and eclectic career, "Miracle at St. Anna" is easily his most technically ambitious film and also one of the year's best of 2008. After acclaimed character dramas "Do The Right Thing","Malcolm X","Jungle Fever","Mo Better Blues","Clockers", "Son Of Sam","School Daze","Inside Man","Get On The Bus" ,some ill-fated comedies like the socially conscious "Bamboozled", his childhood autobiography "Crooklyn",and his feature debut film <more>
"She's Gotta Have It" ,and hard-hitting documentaries "Four Little Girls",and "When The Levees Broke" ,not to mention the low points of his career that the audience didn't pay attention to "Girl 6",and "She Hate Me" . This time around,Spike Lee takes on a big old-fashioned war picture and the results are astounding to behold. It's about time Hollywood got it right and this tells the story of African-Americans soldiers who fought bravely and gallantly for this country at the height of World War II. At a running time of 161 minutes,based on the James McBride's novel,who also wrote the screenplay,tackles the subject manner with sheer presence and the results is one of Spike Lee's best work not to mention the finest of his career."Miracle" tells the story of the men of the 92nd Infantry Division,black troops who served in Italy during World War II and were known as Buffalo Soldiers. Lee has long been critical of films about war such as Clint Eastwood's "The Flags of Our Fathers",and "Letters From Iwo Jima",not to mention Steven Spielburg's "Saving Private Ryan" for depicting only the white U.S. soldiers were the ones who fought for this country. For that this is his response-voluminous and full of unmistakable anger. In point there were many black soldiers who fought and died for this country during World War II,and never got the full respect they richly deserve,and for years Hollywood has been turning an eye on this.....and its about time the story of these brave black men finally got told,and we thank Spike Lee for that. The story follows four soldiers trapped behind enemy lines in Tuscany,Italy at the height of WWII. His war violence is graphic,bloody and gritty and he holds nothing back. Not to mention some racial tension between the black soldiers and their white counterparts during some of the most intense battle scenes ever captured on film. Beginning in 1983 New York,but mostly told in flashback,"Miracle At St. Anna" follows the earnest leader Staff Sgt. Aubrey Stamps Derek Luke ,smooth-talking Sgt. Bishop Cummings Micheal Ealy ,translator Cpl. Hector Negron Laz Alonzo ,and the sweet lumbering Pvt. 1st Class Sam Train Omar Benson Miller . They're sent to cross the Serchio River and not expected to make it-they're meant to get blown up to ferret the enemy. But once they do survive,they take in an injured boy Matteo Sciabordi and hide out in a Tuscan village,where the locals are initially wary of those heavily armed Americans but slowly warm to them. Somewhere along the way,Train picked up a piece of a demolished bridge: a woman's head made of stone,which he totes everywhere because he swears its good luck. We've glimpsed at the head at the start of the film,hidden in a bag at the bottom of someone's closet,and part of the point of "Miracle" is uncovering the mystery of its meaning. The other mystery though,comes as the young boy whom they rescued while injured has a saintly quality about him. With his wide eyes and innocent disposition,he forges an unlikely bond with Train,whom he refers to as "the chocolate giant",even though he speaks no English and the big guy speaks no Italian. Their relationship,in theory,could have been painfully maudlin,but as it turns out the much needed source of warmth and one of the few elements Lee calibrates brilliantly. He coax some strong performances from his large cast,namely Luke as the stolic voice of reason,and performances from the earthy Valentina Cervi as a villager who befriends the soldiers and Pierfrancesco Favino as an Italian partisan leader,known as the Butterfly. There are some excellent moments here including through those characters and even at the film's climax-the horrific event that took place St. Anna and explains everything in detail-almost veer to the opposite extreme. The ending will shock you as it comes at full speed to one of the year's best films. A sure Best Picture/Best Director Oscar contender for 2008 with Spike Lee finally getting the recognition he truly deserves as a brilliant filmmaker.
Length is a factor for this film, and it's not the normal action driven war film. I was lucky enough to attend the premier in NY and from the perspective of a Cadet at West Point, I would say that I respected this film BECAUSE it "jumped around." It showed all perspectives and that there were people with good intentions on all sides. The bad intentions were included as well, and though it doesn't grab you the entire time, it tells an interesting tale. Sadly, most people don't go to see a war film for this reasons, they all want Saving Private Ryan these days. But <more>
that's not what war is always about, and this film shows the other aspects. The black soldiers are each equally representative of varying perspectives that these men had. With a lot of duality also represented, this film leaves a lot to think about if you watch it with the right eye. It seems most people I've talked to have a problem with length and action, but if you don't pay so much attention to that and just enjoy it, you'll find a nice film that takes a different approach.
Maybe not the best war film ever made but still worth watching. (by cacophony)
Biggest comment about this movie was that the tone was much darker than I anticipated based on the trailers I saw. However, it was still fascinating and well-done. People talk about it being long but I didn't realize it was almost 3 hours until I walked out and didn't feel like I'd been in the theater that long. I liked that it felt very authentic and was not dumbed-down to please American audiences, referring specifically to that fact that much of the dialogue was in Italian or German. There were a lot of subplots that didn't come together until near the end and that made the <more>
film intriguing and sometimes suspenseful. I thought it was interesting how religion seemed to connect strangers on both sides of the conflict. The one major problem was I didn't understand was why the Italian girl slept with Bishop when earlier she seemed really annoyed with him and enamored with Stamps. Moreover, this love triangle seemed to distract from the plot without adding substance. The scene at the soda shop was maybe a little superfluous too and I was expecting Gordon-Levitt to be a larger player. Overall, though, this is a powerful, fascinating film.
"Learn something about works of FICTION then rant..." (by senseidavide)
Hey guys. First's thing first. English isn't my mother language.I am just a regular Young-White-Italian-History Teacher living in Brazil.And I'm not a Spike Lee's films expert, not a Lee's fan boy either but I really like the director's work. And just for the record YES; I LOVE Clint Eastwood and I don't really picture "Dirty Harry" as fascist propaganda.About Lee I'm not going all the way to say "Boys, Santa Ana is his Magnum Opus!!! ", although I really loved this film. Italian actors "overacted" acting thing apart... But after <more>
reading a lot of criticism about the film, I think most people posting did not really "get it". Miracle at Santa Ana does account real events but it is a work of FICTION. Spike Lee's movies have a lot of symbolism in them even if very simple symbols, as for example, the Italian brothers with "white" and "black" shirts in "Do The Right Thing" .To ask "historical accuracy" for this kind of work is like asking for a Tarantino without violence.This is not your regular RUN-OF-THE-MILL WWII film. This is Lee's take on the whole WWII FILM GENRE. And still I prefer Santa Ana rather than Saving Private Ryan, which I enjoy only for the Day D troop landing scene Lee's work is deeply "bretchean". I really can't say if Spike Lee was in Bertolt Bretch's readings or not, but go and read something about this German playwright and theatre director, and you will see he and Lee have very tied ways of thinking.Axis Sally was indeed and for my bemusement an existing person, but the speech delivered at the Buffalo Soldiers at the beginning of the movie is really much more addressed to people watching the film to make them think a little about the role of black in the war than the characters in it.A sympathetic Nazi delivering a gun and words of advice to Negron in Deus Ex Machina fashion is really much more a kind of pun and an ironic provocation to the viewer than bad historical revisionism. It's like a reminder. "This is not real".The massacre of an entire population at Santa Anna was indeed a true and blood soaked chapter of human history, but the actions of partisans and Nazis is in the film is more of a reflection about the whole of their actions in the war than in that specific time-space set of Sant'Anna di Stazzema I'm not saying that as a work of art, fiction doesn't need to be coherent. If Hitler would show up in Santa Ana as a black man...OK, I can picture this minute a angry mob somewhere in the world shouting "NOW, THAT's really too much". But this is not the point.The one good thing in Lee's film-making is the illusion of realism. And his point of view of blacks in WWII was not meant all of the time to be more realistic than the view of white Americans in John Wayne's war movies After all, maybe someone of you will go "Sir, this is a lot of liberal fuzzy thinking". But that's OK. If you don't like Lee's movies that's OK too.But at least try to understand the very reasons behind its film-making.