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Dunkirk (Christopher Nolan)
#31
My thoughts have cooled on this film a bit. I'm not sure if this is something I'd ever want to watch on a small screen. It's like this year's Gravity or Avatar, except without the CG or 3D.

I think the plotline with the three infantrymen could be radically trimmed down. All of them are completely devoid of personality and really only serve to give you their perspective, and to literally shoe-horn in some drama so you forget how lacking the film is emotionally.

Which makes it all the more frustrating when fine English thespians Kenneth Brannagh and Mark Rylancce, providing absolutely stellar performances, are sidelined for these three boring kids. That facial expression the main actor is pulling in the posters is the most emotion we ever see him display when  faced with armageddon.

I hesitate to call this kid the main charater, he's barely even a character. When the kid that dropped out of One Direction is doing a better job than something you've been training to do, I think you need to reassess your career choices.
I'd be interested to see what scenes were cut from this, and if they serve to develop any of the characters. There was more character work done in a single frame of Mark Rylance's sequence than there is in the entire beach escape sequence featuring the lead.

Tom Hardy's character was another I wish they'd developed a bit more. You've got one of the finest actors of our time flying one of the finest warplanes ever built. USE HIM.

I also agree completely with Nick Hodges from History Buffs re: the neglecting of French soldiers in the film. I'd much rather have seen a plotline about a battalion of French soldiers defending Dunkirk, knowing full well they're probably going to die, than the three british infantrymen simply trying to make it off the beach. This film literally treats their sacrifice as an after thought. This movie almost ventures into revisionism given that it's continuing the "French are cowards" narrative in most every scene involving the French.

Overall, a very good spectacle. As a piece of visual cinema, it's pretty flawless. But from the character and emotional side of things, I think it's severely lacking. I think a streamlined chronological cut or a vastly extended cut would serve this best.

Spoilers:


  • I saw the "twist" coming from a mile off."Have you noticed he hasn't said anything?" Yes Harry, it was quite obvious.
  • That bit with the oil burning on top of the water and the kid trying to hold himself under... holy shit
  • Best dog fights I've seen on film since The Battle of Britain... still not better dogfights than The Battle of Britain....
  • The kid reading Churchill's speech at the end was pure flag-waving wankery and I loved every second of it... apart from the actor delivering one of the greatest speeches of all time with as much charisma as a sack of day-old turnips. 
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#32
(08-02-2017, 07:22 AM)Zamros Wrote: I'd be interested to see what scenes were cut from this, and if they serve to develop any of the characters.  

First off, great written up of this movie Zamros!  You summed up a lot of my feelings. 

Per your quote, I believe Nolan never releases deleted footage as what we are seeing is his final cut.  I could be wrong on that, but I'm pretty sure we never get deleted/extended scenes from his movies.
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#33
Dunkerque was a great time in theater.
I agree with Zamros when he compares it to Gravity; in the sens that it takes the audience in the middle of the action and never stops until the end.  I loved it as an experience and as a great piece of cinema. The directing and the editing are amazing.

I also agree that something is missing to make it a perfect movie, I rated it 8 on IMDB.

I liked the fact that we don't know much about the characters because it put the audience at the same level as them. They don't know about each other, they don't have the time nor the will to talk much, so it makes sens for the overall goal of the movie.
So that's not my problem.
I think it could be that even if I loved the immersive power of the movie, I needed more real emotional scenes (I mean other than suspens or quick scares, the movie is full of those), like the story with Cillian Murphy and the boy or when the civilians arrive. You don't need lots of talking to create emotion and Nolan does it well once or twice, but it was not enough for me to rate it a 9/10.

The best war movie I've seen recently is still Hawksaw Ridge. A movie that is at the same time very "by the numbers" but very brutal and emotional. Dunkerque is more immersive and more "smart" (in the sens that it tries, with success, to break some war movie rules) but it does not make it a better movie.
"Always in motion is the future"
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#34
I mostly liked the movie. (My old man despised it.) I do think that while Nolan might tell others, and perhaps even himself, there was a thematic point to the nonlinear storytelling as well as serving a means of constructing a maximum-tension ride, there really wasn't. As fraught as the Dunkirk evacuation was, it seems to me (and I'm no expert on it) that despite the odds, it went pretty smoothly over the course of nearly a week. This naturally lends itself to meditative tone, such as the bravura single-shot sequence of Atonement, but not so much one of Nolan's mind-screw puzzle-plots - so he cheats, somewhat, by throwing the whole thing in a blender.

Several parts did feel pretty phony. The opening scene guy's whole squad gets wasted, each cleanly and silently dying from a single hit, and he walks it off? And the PG-13 rating absolutely does stand out at times, with practically no screams of agony, multiple one-shot deaths, and aerial bombs that kill several soldiers completely dead, but leave absolutely no one wounded or (box office receipts forbid!) bloodied. And then we have Nolan's cherished eye-rollingly stupid dialogue once again: "You can almost see it from here." "See what?" He's looking straight towards Britain, dumbass; what the f*** else would he mean? Santa's f****** North Pole?!

Also sorely apparent: Nolan's fetish-level hate for CG. Apparently 30 or so boats evacuated those 300,000 troops, but it never looked like more than 3,000 to moi.

Some choice bits from David Cox, in the Guardian:

Quote:Nolan’s film chooses to ignore tales such as that of the Medway Queen, a paddle steamer that brought home 7,000 troops in seven round trips and shot down three German planes, or the Royal Daffodil, which returned 9,500 soldiers after blocking a hole below the waterline with a mattress. Instead, we encounter just one boat, skippered by a saintly Mark Rylance, comically attired in his Sunday best.

[...]

Another flaunted absence is CGI. Scale is the essence of the Dunkirk myth. There were more than 330,000 soldiers on the beach, and 933 British vessels, naval and private, plying the waves. It is for this kind of situation that computers were invented, but according to Nolan CGI counts as giving up

So, in spite of his film’s $150m budget, the Royal Air Force seems to consist of three Spitfires, although real-life pilots flew 3,500 sorties at Dunkirk. The Luftwaffe, which Hitler made solely responsible for wiping out the beached Brits, seems able to summon up little more than a couple of Messerschmitts, three Stukas and one bomber. The Royal Navy appears to comprise just two destroyers; in fact, it deployed 39 destroyers and 309 other craft.

Women are excluded from the action by being confined to stereotypical roles, such as providing tea for the homecoming menfolk. In real life, female Auxiliary Territorial Service telephonists – who received two-thirds of a male soldier’s pay – were some of the last military personnel to leave the beach. The evacuees also included female civilians, including girls, caught up in the turmoil.

Anyhow, the movie is too gripping and skillfully made for me to dismiss it, but I'd definitely like to see a more epic, comprehensive take on the matter (with fewer brain-dead morons that think a steel tugboat cares about one more or less human sitting in its hull), one that takes us from the strategy rooms to the groups of those gross, cootie-filled women that Nolan's evidently so repelled by. (Aaron Sorkin plus Ridley Scott, maybe?) And I, too, am interested as to how a chronological cut might play. Would it look comically small-scale?

B+
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#35
sooo..... who's gonna fanedit Dunkirk from PG-13 to R? Tongue
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#36
I thought this was even better on the second vanilla digital watch. The week/day/hour structure is intercut so well. The wide aspect ratio works nicely too (although I felt the opening and closing shots have much less impact) and the detail in the image still shines through.

The ending is so emotional for me and the final line of the film...


...quoting Churchill's speech is perfectly directed:

"...carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old"

It sums up the theme of the movie. Survival is victory. Stay alive long enough for the USA to join in the fight against the Nazis.  The low key way it was delivered underlined how important this event became in retrospect. If that army hadn't been taken off that beach, it's probable all of Europe would be living in the Reich now.
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#37
I noticed the back cover of the US 4K/BR pack was posted on blu-ray.com (ahead of the December release):

[Image: 38209537791_000ffc01bb_o.jpg]

So it's confirmed that the release (on both discs) will be in a mixed AR of 2.2:1/1.78:1. If I'm not mistaken, Dunkirk was never screened in this AR, so this yet another version for home video.

I was hoping we'd get a home release of the 4K-IMAX-digital version of 1.9:1/1.43:1 somehow but sadly not. They could have done vanilla on the blu-ray and IMAX on the 4K. That might have seriously tempted me to upgrade to 4K.
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#38
Ugh, shifting ARs are the worst. Dodgy

And the heck with you, WB; digital copies may absolutely be resold on eBay or elsewhere! You sell 'em, you don't own 'em! Tongue
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#39
(11-06-2017, 02:40 PM)Gaith Wrote: Ugh, shifting ARs are the worst. Dodgy

And the heck with you, WB; digital copies may absolutely be resold on eBay or elsewhere! You sell 'em, you don't own 'em! Tongue

^ Full agreement with both of these points. 

I tried selling some of my digital codes in the past, and eBay threatened to close my account. It's bullshit.
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#40
(11-06-2017, 05:06 AM)TM2YC Wrote: I noticed the back cover of the US 4K/BR pack was posted on blu-ray.com (ahead of the December release):

So it's confirmed that the release (on both discs) will be in a mixed AR of 2.2:1/1.78:1. If I'm not mistaken, Dunkirk was never screened in this AR, so this yet another version for home video.

I was hoping we'd get a home release of the 4K-IMAX-digital version of 1.9:1/1.43:1 somehow but sadly not. They could have done vanilla on the blu-ray and IMAX on the 4K. That might have seriously tempted me to upgrade to 4K.

It's a tricky thing. On the one hand it is essentially the digital IMAX presentation with more of the image. On the other hand it's less of the image than the 70mm IMAX which is frustrating, though I get why they always go with 1.78:1 as it's the closest recreation with a 16:9 monitor, filling up the entirety of the screen (rather that shifting to pillar boxing for IMAX shots). 

They really just need to include multiple versions-
1. Consistent AR throughout (2.20:1)
2. What they usually have (shifting 2.20/1.78:1)
3. And a legit IMAX version (1.43/2.20:1)
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