3TV SPECIAL - Granite Mountain Hotshots: Heroes and Heartbreak

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(Source Black Label Media and Sony Pictures) (Source Black Label Media and Sony Pictures)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

With the release of the movie "Only the Brave," Hollywood's telling of the story of the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots killed in the Yarnell Hill Fire in June 2013, 3TV on Friday evening aired a special retrospective -- "Granite Mountain Hotshots: Heroes and Heartbreak."

"It was the day Arizona wept as the flames raged," host Scott Pasmore said. 

"It was a body blow to the entire state," veteran reporter Mike Watkiss agreed.

Tara Hitchcock spoke with not only to those who made the film but also those closest to the men who inspired it.

[WATCH: Granite Mountain Hotshots: Heroes and Heartbreak - Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3]

[SLIDESHOW: The Granite Mountain Hotshots]

Brandon Bunch, a former Granite Mountain Hotshot who played his best friend in the film, saw it ahead of the premiere in Tempe.

“They had like a private family viewing,” he said. “I wasn’t nervous. I just didn’t really know what to expect.”

He said the filmmakers did a nice job capturing the essence of his friends, but it wasn’t easy to sit through.

“The whole thing was kind of hard to watch,” he said. “I’m glad they made the movie and I feel like they did a pretty good job.”

"Only the Brave" is not just a tribute to the Granite Mountain Hotshots, it's a thank-you to the unsung heroes like them -- those who run toward danger when everyone else is running away.

Bilge Ebiri of the Village Voice loved the film.

“’Only the Brave’ is a visually splendid, spellbinding, and surreal movie that also happens to be an emotionally shattering, over-the-top ugly-cry for the ages.”

William Bibbiani of IGN described “Only the Brave” as “a straightforward celebration of these heroes’ lives ….”

Rated PG-13, “Only the Brave” opened Friday. It was directed by Joseph Kosinski, who is known for 2010’s “Tron: Legacy” and 2013’s “Oblivion,” and, according to IMBD, it’s rumored that he’ll direct “Top Gun: Maverick,” which is due out in 2019.


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