Cage Rage: Wind Talkers

Protect your radio, because Windtalkers is the Greatest Movie EVER!

Click on the picture above or the movie title to download our review of the film, featuring guest cohost Daryl Surat of Anime World Order.

Review in a Nutshell:  The picture above encapsulates the totality of Windtalkers, a melodramatic war drama directed by John Woo.  A throw-back to an earlier era, Windtalkers feels out-of-place and unrealistic by modern standards, but is not nearly as bad as many criticisms would lead you to believe.

And Now, Your Moment of Nicolas Cage Zen:

Addendum:  The Hayao Miyazaki article that we mention at the end of the review can be found here.

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12 Responses

  1. Wait, it’s not cool to like John Woo movies anymore? A Better Tomorrow, The Killer, Hard Boiled, and Bullet in the Head are all spectacular — and the finale of ABT2 is the single greatest scene in movie history.

  2. And is there no love for Mission Impossible 2?

  3. I don’t understand the non-love for Saving Private Ryan. Its an awesome war movie. Without it, we would have never had Band of Brothers

  4. I haven’t seen this movie yet but after your review I might check it. Thanks for continuing to bring these sorts of films to my attention.

  5. Saving Private Ryan’s faults to me lie more in the plot not so much the filming or actors.

    Just utterly illogical to send several men on a suicide mission just to save some dude who’s the only child in his family.

    But yeah SPR is all about the beach landing other then that it’s heavy handed fluff to me.

    Is there a Raising Arizona podcast in the near future or is it too good to be …THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER….?

  6. I can’t speak for Daryl, but what I meant was that although I respect the verisimilitude of the battle scenes in Saving Private Ryan, it’s not the kind of movie I would watch for pleasure.

  7. I don’t watch Private Ryan for pleasure either. I don’t even think you’re meant to watch it that way.

  8. I remember my mom and dad going to see Windtalkers when it was released. I have no idea why my mom would agree to go see it, because she can’t sit through violent/war movies (she recently walked out on Inglourious Basterds too… no idea why she keeps doing this).

    At any rate, my dad *loved* it. And something about my dad… he is probably the biggest John Wayne fan of all time. So hearing you two discuss this movie as a John Wayne-style film, it makes perfect sense now why my dad would be all about Windtalkers.

  9. “I don’t watch Private Ryan for pleasure either. I don’t even think you’re meant to watch it that way.” – Eduardo M.

    Saving Private Ryan is a anti-war film, so it not made to be enjoyably.

    Hey, you think Wind Talker will do better if it came out now? I this would have high reviews if it coming after Inglourious Basterds.

  10. AH BUH BUH BUH BUH! This is not the “let’s all talk about Saving Private Ryan instead” podcast. Though for the record, I’m not in agreement with Paul; I’m in agreement with Superdeformed. That movie’s no good after the opening scene, and its influence on other media since is possibly a net negative in my book.

    Two notable videogame franchises, Medal of Honor (directly resulting from SPR) and Call of Duty (from the original MoH developers) are first-person shooters that seek to recreate notable battle scenes from famous Hollywood movies and such. I think between the two of them, they’ve probably mined Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers, Enemy at the Gates etc for everything they’re worth. Both have managed to release sub-par editions set in the Pacific Theater of WW2, and interestingly enough both decided to not bother at all with trying to recreate notable battle scenes from Windtalkers. You’d think they’d lend themselves fairly easily to adaptation!

    Firest: Mission Impossible 2 had such a high amount of interference from the movie’s lead actor/producer Tom Cruise that I hesitate to even classify it as a John Woo movie at all. Even during the promotion of the movie, it was all Tom Cruise. You didn’t really see or hear much from Woo at all on that one. That said, the John Woo commentary track is worth listening to (just like all his commentary tracks) because it conveys just how blessedly nuts he is as far as how he makes the decisions he makes.

    I don’t think Windtalkers would do any better now in the wake of Inglourious Basterds (which I would have enjoyed much, MUCH more had the world not spoiled practically every detail for me, despite my best efforts to avoid that). That movie didn’t really focus on warfare or action; what little there occurred suddenly, ended very quickly, and was over-the-top to the point of intentional silliness. Inglourious Basterds dwelled on the buildup to the action; in that sense, and only in that sense, you could compare it to Sergio Leone or maybe even Beat Takeshi. None of those stylistic trappings is present in Windtalkers, and there’s nothing “hip” or “ironic” about its tone.

  11. Maybe people aren’t talking much about John Woo anymore (in America, at least) because he did Paycheck, which also carried the hatred for Ben Affleck on its back, then John Woo went off and did the Red Cliff movies, which aren’t mainstream, blockbuster fodder.

    Oh yeah, he also had a part to play in the Stranglehold video game, which was promising, then became a major disappointment.

    So how could people like, or even loathe, John Woo when he’s not really making waves now?

  12. Just to clarify something I seem to remember being mentioned on this episode: The upcoming Pacific miniseries IS, in fact, based on true stories from the war. Specifically, the stories told in Eugene Sledge’s With The Old Breed and Robert Leckie’s Helmet for My Pillow. Eugene Sledge will be portrayed by the kid who played Tim in Jurassic Park.

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