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War As Video Game

In the whiz-bang Pearl Harbor, vintage history takes a back seat to a dated love triangle.

Bombs today! Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett star in Pearl Harbor.
Bombs today! Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett star in Pearl Harbor.

That neither its human emotions nor its grasp of events add up to much is clearly beside the point. Jerry Bruckheimer is a lot more interested in showing us Hollywood in 2001 than Hawaii on a Sunday morning in 1941, because spectacle has always sold more tickets than sorrow, and mere history has never been able to equal a pair of beautifully bee-stung lips beheld in closeup. Now open the doors, boys, and let the crowds rush in.

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