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Flying Leathernecks Blu-ray Review

“Flying Leathernecks” wastes a whole lot of talent.

Set in 1942, “Flying Leathernecks” revolves around the VMF 247 Wildcats squadron during the Battle of Guadalcanal in WWII. Along with the squad’s missions and battles, the story primarily focuses on the new gruff Major (Kirby) and Captain Griffin (and the drama between the 2), illnesses within the squad, and the tragic loss of life.

“Flying Leathernecks” had everything going for it. 1. It’s an epic Technicolor movie produced by Howard Hughes and directed by the underrated Nicholas Ray (best known for the masterpiece “Rebel Without A Cause”). 2. It stars cinema legends John Wayne and Robert Ryan 3. This film (which is dedicated to the U.S. Marine Corps) covers the Battle Of Guadalcanal which is seldom seen in film. Unfortunately, all of that talent and intrigue goes out the window.

From the start, “Flying Leathernecks” feels like a slapped together rush job. There’s a serious lack of emotional impact in dramatic moments, the inclusion of stock footage (which is always a risky move) is nothing short of clunky, the editing is woeful, and the script by James Edward Grant feels like a collection of missions and tedious dogfights. There’s no deep exploration of the historical Battle or the characters here. Not even the star power of Wayne and Ryan is enough to warrant interest.

The only saving grace here is the cinematography by William E. Snyder. The film is at least very visual even with the spliced in stock footage.


Presentation: 1.37:1 1080p. How does it look? The Technicolor film gets a nice crisp hi-def transfer.

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? A satisfactory track that really comes alive during the aerial battles.

The lone extra is a reissue trailer for “Flying Leathernecks.”

September 14, 2020 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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