Beyond All Boundaries (2009)

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8.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 9/10

Great visuals, strong vocal actors, interesting 4D approach

Some 4D stuff was effective while others was not, glosses over major events

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  Beyond All Boundaries

Studio:  Hettema Group

Genre(s):  Documentary

Release Date(s):  November 9, 2009

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

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Get ready for bombs and explosions…that could really freak you out

War is breaking out all over the world.  Hitler is rising in Europe and Japanese forces are moving in the Pacific.  The U.S. is sandwiched between two fronts but isolated from the battle.  When the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the United States is quickly pulled into the massive battle…with danger surrounding them, soldiers move to the fronts and fight for the freedom of the world.

Directed by David Briggs, Beyond All Boundaries is a 4D film created for the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.  The short film airs daily in Solomon Victory Theater attached to the museum and is narrated by Tom Hanks.

I’m always a little hesitant going into something like Beyond All Boundaries.  The film is meant to highlight the struggle and fight of the soldiers.  There are two dangers in this.  One is taking away from the actual soldiers by altering events and downplaying the individual loss for the sake of the big picture and the other danger is sensationalizing the war as a means of modern propaganda.  Beyond All Boundaries does some of both of this, but overall is successful in preparing you for the museum.

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Things like the drop down cockpit seemed more gimmicky than effective in storytelling

The film is introduced by a looped video in an entry which actually has more standard facts than the movie.  It had some really good information about the lead up to the U.S.’s involvement in World War II and I wish that it had actually been incorporated more into the presentation.  The group then is moved into the plush giant wrap-around theater which shows the main presentation.

The main presentation is a slick movie.  The film uses clippings and modern footage to tell the story of the war.  This is combined with “4D” effects including multiple screens, “snow”, and vibrating seats.  This has a bit of an unnerving effect at times (which is the purpose), but I worry about some of the older audience because I wasn’t even prepared for how loud, flashing, and booming it was going to be.  Some of the 4D stuff (like the snow) was effective or at least interesting, but others like the dropdown bomber cockpit felt like they didn’t add anything.

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The movie’s heart is in the right place, but it doesn’t need to sensationalize a story that is already so hard to believe

The film itself felt a bit manipulative to tug at the heartstrings.  I felt it glossed over some important aspects of the war and left me wondering about tons of events in the war that were unable to be covered.  I realize that there are time issues but events in Africa, Italy, and Russia just got left behind and remained unexplained in sacrifice for Germany and Japan…I also wish there had been even more focus on the homefront since the movie was America-centric.

With a great vocal cast and soaring imagery (I actually got a bit of motion sickness when the movie kicked off), you do feel pulled into the story of the War.  The reality of the story can be questioned and the unnecessary need to sensationalize a story that is already sensational, but the major bases are hit.  Beyond All Boundaries is meant to usher visitors into the World War II Museum where they can dig deeper into some of the events, and it succeeds in doing this…as a standalone film however, it does leave some things to be desired.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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