10+ Midway Reviews – The True World War II History Behind Midway

Today is the day in the United States that we honor veterans and we are very much a military family. Our second son is a veteran, who fought as Army Infantry in Afghanistan, my father an Army Ranger fought in the Korean War and my grandfather (“Papa” to all of us) an Air Force pilot who flew B-17 bombers in WWII.

Walter Wysaske – My grandfather and “Papa” to all of us

There is one story Papa told me that I’ve found amazing to retell. I wish he was still alive to tell it in his own words, but you’ll have to allow me to pass it down with reverence.

He would speak about the war if you asked him, never shying away from the history or what it was like back then flying those secret missions to bomb places like the ball bearing plants in Germany. How they had to keep the planes in formation, even when it seemed like enemy fire most certainly would take them out. The formation bombing was critical to increasing the likelihood of striking the intended target.

In his elder years Papa was able to tour inside an actual B-17 plane on an exhibition tour. I remember Papa being excited about it, because it had been so many years since he had been inside a B-17. Someone asked him if he thought he could still fly the plane and he instantly responded, “You bet.”

While walking through the plane, there was a piece of metal jutting out on the seat and Papa cut his hand. He was silent for a minute, remembering all those years ago flying into Germany during WWII, and then began to laugh.

He showed the cut to others and said wistfully, “In all the missions I flew with enemy flak shooting through the darkened skies and some coming up through the floor of the plane, this is the very first blood I’ve ever shed inside one of these planes.”

That was Papa. Always a good sense of humor.

It is difficult for me to watch war movies. Hard to separate the fiction and fantasy from the real world human losses — both deaths and disabilities — suffered in war.

Since none of our immediate family was in the Navy it was a little easier watching Midway ⭐️⭐️⭐️ last Friday, but it pains me to see any soldiers injured or killed. The dogfights, the dive bombing, every time a plane crashed or blew up I cringed. If that makes me sound like some gigantic pussy, guilty as charged, it’s true.

The other part of these war movies is how historically accurate are they? Both the Smithsonian and TIME have excellent, revealing articles about what truly happened at Midway:

“The Pacific campaign is long and complicated, and gets overshadowed, in our attention, by what was happening in with the Nazis in Europe,” says screenwriter Wes Tooke. “But it’s an amazing comeback story. I hope that the movie relaunches an interest in learning about Midway.”

The True World War II History Behind the Midway Movie | Time

Would strongly recommend reading both of these excellent articles, digging in and taking a moment of silence for remembering all the veterans. Civilians like me will never have a hard job compared to what any soldier must face.

Japan are our allies and friends today, but it was a much different relationship in the 1940s.

We liked the Midway and recommended. Hollywood unfortunately does not have the time in two hours to share everything that happened in the real encounter. They have to combine characters, simplify and in many cases remove subplots. Moviegoers are getting a dramatic license portrayal of what happened, almost never the complete true story.

It felt like Midway the movie kept at least tangentially related to the actual events, which I appreciated.

Other Blogger Reviews

Let’s see what other moviegoers think of Midway. Keep in mind that some/many of these reviews contain spoilers.


  • Cinema Spotlight: “…in spite of it’s missteps, I would actually recommend “Midway”. It’s pretty forgettable and bland but the updated effects are convincing and while the writing might be simple it is neat to see a war movie that doesn’t just focus on the fighting.”
  • George Sylex: “Roland Emmerich’s ‘Midway’ isn’t engaging as “Pearl Harbor” and not emotional as “Flags of Our Fathers”. Possibly falls someplace in the center. Midway is a conscious tribute to the men who gave their lives during this unequivocal fight, denoting another feeling of development to the Emmerich’s work.”
  • bgarten: “Pretty much everything you could want out of a war film. The battle scenes were graphic, grand-scale, and captured the perfect balance of chaos and focus.”
  • Scott Holleran: “I enjoyed this week’s top movie at the box office “
  • Will You Magazine: ” Overall, Midway is a gripping, interesting film that both marvels and educates in equal measures, it’s just nothing too new or original.”
  • Author and Historian Blaine L. Pardoe: “Having bitched about the inaccuracies, I DID enjoy the movie.  It’s not up there with A Bridge Too Far, but it holds its own and doesn’t suck like Pearl Harbor.  I’ll be purchasing it for home viewing and will permanently shelve my copy of the 1970’s Midway.   That, on its own, is not a ringing endorsement. “

Not Recommended (or on the fence)

  • Starside Cafe: “…the more scattershot approach here makes many of the battles and emotional beats hit far less effectively than war films that maintain a higher level of focus on one event and a smaller cast of central characters.”
  • RockAtTheMovies: “Maybe the film needed a little cheese and relationship drama like that of Pearl Harbor because that film was infinitely more entertaining. This is a by the numbers, going through the motions film, with pretty action sequences.”
  • Vinay Krishna: “The plot and characters are wafer-thin and the lead character is kind of a superhero. The dialog is cheesier than a Nestle factory and the screenplay is way too choppy, even for Roland Emmerich standards.”
  • theidiosynchratist – “…this spare-no-expense production about the most vital naval battle of WWII merely plasters the latest in digital effects over the same war time movie tropes that Hollywood has been pedaling (sic) for decades.”

Thank you to all those brave men and women who serve in the armed forces all over the world.

Cinebarre Issaquah, Washington First Experience seeing Last Christmas and Midway

On Friday we visited the Cinebarre in Issaquah. It is one of two located within 50 miles of us.

This was our third visit to a Regal Cinebarre with last month, October 2019, visiting Cinebarre Salem, Oregon and in September 2019 visiting Cinebarre Las Vegas Palace Station.

Cinebarre Issaquah is the smallest and oldest of the three we’ve been to so far. Salem, OR was the nicest and had the best layout. Issaquah seemed kinda sandwiched into the end of a strip mall.

We have been wanting to try out alcohol drinks, so checked into the drink menu.

The Soul Survivor was the drink of choice

Now here is what the real drink looked like:

No raspberry to be found inside the Soul Survivor

I tried asking the bartender a few questions about the drinks but he seemed very disinterested in providing any sort of information about them. Wasn’t like he was busy he just wasn’t friendly.

The food we ordered at our seats inside the theater was very good. That’s 3 for 3 with good movie. Our first movie seen was Last Christmas ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ which marked our first holiday-oriented movie in the theater. This was our 4th of 25+ holiday movie we’ve watched for our 2019 Holiday Movie Challenge so far.

The second movie of our double-feature at Cinebarre Issaquah was

These Regal Cinebarre theaters are great. Food and drinks while you watch movies in the theater is a fun experience. There is one more Cinebarre for us to visit and that’s Cinebarre Mount Lake Terrace.

Maybe we can get there in December.

Best as I can tell, there are currently 8 Cinebarre locations across the United States with 4 of them located in WA (2), OR (1) and Nevada (1). The other four are located in South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee and Colorado.

Have you been to a dinner and movie experience yet? If so, what was your experience like? Please share in the comments.

NOW PLAYING REVIEWS: Doctor Sleep, Last Christmas, Midway, Playing with Fire

Have you seen this yet? You should!

Want to know what we recommend seeing that opened this 11-08-2019 weekend #45 at the movies? All wide releases were seen, rated and reviewed with links on the movie titles below.

#1 is …

Doctor Sleep ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – just go see this already! It doesn’t even feel like a sequel. Director Mike Flanagan really knows how to tell Stephen King stories on the big screen.

There are some bad reviews out there (we’ll cover that in another post), and some posts that are mixed, but this film, in our opinion, is the most entertaining of the four films being released wide this weekend. It has the most immersive story, excellent acting from Rebecca Ferguson as Rose The Hat and young actress Kyleigh Curran as Abra (she is just fantastic, really!), the only based on a Stephen King story (so you just know the source material is going to have a certain kind of feel to it) and pays homage to Stanley Kubrick’s masterful horror creation.

Last Christmas ⭐️⭐️⭐️½  – a romcom with a troubled woman playing an elf and a mystery man who helps get her life back on path. Has a Twilight Zone like vibe to the story. We liked this one and recommend. If you are not a fan at all of horror and suspense, then this is our secondary recommendation. It’s the first film in theaters this holiday 2019 season we’ve seen and it definitely has that holiday magic. Get the mistletoe and eggnog ready!

Midway ⭐️⭐️⭐️ – reminded me somewhat of Pearl Harbor, only this one takes place mostly at sea with the historic naval battle at Midway. Plenty of exciting aerial battle scenes, explosions, fire and some tense WWII action. Recommended.

If you don’t like horror and aren’t quite ready for any holiday-themed movies, then this war movie would be our final recommendation of the movies opening wide this weekend. It is timely with Veteran’s Day coming up on Monday, too.

Playing With Fire⭐️½  – cliche-ridden tale of kids in a smokejumper/fire-station getting through the weekend. John Cena can’t fight this misfire. Not recommended.

Even the trailer looked kind of cheesy for this one and there are much better options at the theater than this one.

Want to see what else we recommend NOW PLAYING at the theater?

Here are other movies we’ve seen at the theater that are recommended. Any movie we rate at least 3-stars is recommended. You should read any 3-star review (click the title), because sometimes we do qualify those recommendations, meaning we were entertained, but it doesn’t mean that it was necessarily that good.

  1. Harriet ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  2. Joker ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  3. The Lighthouse ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  4. Motherless Brooklyn ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  5. Black and Blue ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  6. Zombieland: Double Tap ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Haven’t seen Jo Jo Rabbit or Parasite as of this writing. Jo Jo Rabbit is going to be playing next weekend, so will catch up with it then most likely. Parasite is playing and will see that soon. It was previously limited screening. All other films now playing are not recommended to see in the theater. You can see all our movie reviews on Letterboxd, including those on streaming channels.

Opening 11-7-2019 in Theaters: Doctor Sleep, Midway, Playing With Fire, Last Christmas

Wide releases for Doctor Sleep, Midway, Playing With Fire, Last Christmas, on 11-6-2019

Wednesday, yay! Join us here each week every Wednesday as we look forward to the widely released new movies coming to theater. When we can look back and say it doesn’t matter cinematically what happened last weekend, good or bad, and enjoy what new is being made available. Good times!

This week is a bit unique in that I’ve already seen one of the new releases. The first up in fact …

Doctor Sleep ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Steam-powered horror bliss! I’m so excited for those of you who have not seen this movie yet getting to experience it for the first time. I’m hoping to catch it again.

Stephen King likes this so much that it has warmed his opinion on Kubrick’s version of The Shining

Anticipation: 10/10 (to see/experience/enjoy it a second time)


War movies are hit or miss for me. This one could be interesting. Probably will compare it to Pearl Harbor, which I liked.

Anticipation: 2/10

Playing With Fire

Kara is really excited about seeing this one. She doesn’t mention many movies she’s looking forward from the preview to seeing and this is on her radar. It seems like one of those goofy family films with a Home Alone type vibe. I’m usually into these for the fun one time viewing, at least.

Anticipation: 7/10 (Kara) 5/10 Me, 6/10 = both

Last Christmas

Looks like one of those fantasy Christmas elf romcoms. This time a year, I’m a sucker for these movies. Bet my wife is looking forward to seeing this too.

Anticipation: 5/10

ANTICIPATION for Week of 11/7/19 MOVIES

How much on scale of 1-10 anticipating the 11-7-2019 movies?

  1. Doctor Sleep – 10/10 (to see a second time)
  2. Playing with Fire – 6/10
  3. Last Christmas – 5/10
  4. Midway – 2/10

Are there screenings in our area to see these movies?

All four are wide screenings and available in our area, so the plan is to see all of them.