"Three stars (R)

Ryan Phillippe, Jesse Bradford, Adam Beach, John Benjamin Hickey

Clint Eastwood’s cinematic companion to Letters from Iwo Jima is a study of heroism that jumps back and forth between battle scenes at Iwo Jima in World War II and a war bonds tour on the home front featuring three of the young soldiers that appeared in Joe Rosenthal’s iconic photo, “Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima.” The film is a noble, ambitious offering that doesn’t quite work. The most effective part is the portion dealing with the young men that become designated heroes. The problem with that storyline is that the point gets made about halfway through the film and starts to feel redundant as the war bonds tour keeps rolling on … and on … and on. 131 minutes. DVD INFO: Two separately packaged DVDs are available: One preserves the film in the anamorphic widescreen format, while the other hacks off nearly a third of the picture for the fullscreen (aka pan & scan) version. Shop carefully. Both versions include no extras whatsoever, which probably means that a special edition should arrive before the end of the year.

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