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7/24/2017 8:49 pm  #1

My review

Dunkirk (2017), directed by Christopher Nolan, is unlike any other movie you will see this summer, or probably this year.  It is Nolan's take on the 1940 evacuation of British troops from the eponymous French beach town in the opening days of WWII, an evacuation that ultimately required hundreds of civilian boats of every type and size, crewed in many cases by everyday folks, often referred to as "the miracle at Dunkirk".  The style, here, is closer to a suspense thriller than a traditional war movie, light on the bloody meat grinder of death and maiming, heavy on the tension and dramatic action, but it is still a war flick at its core.  Dialogue is sparse, establishing little-to-no background of either historical events or the characters within.  The focus is on telling a story of survival, and the individuals caught up in that story could pretty much be anybody - any soldier, any civilian sailor - and the struggle is defined mostly by events rather than by the actions of the characters.  Mostly.

Dunkirk is done in a style that plays with timelines, continuing a Nolan tradition from previous films.  There are three stories that transpire on completely different time scales:  "The Mole" (which apparently is a word for a pier, but basically means the beach) takes place over a week, "The Sea" takes place in the course of one day, and "The Air" follows the action of a single flight of RAF Spitfires over an hour.  These timelines interlace as the film progresses.

The technical aspects are beyond impressive.  Every shot is a stirring canvas.  The soundscape puts you in the thick of the action in ways you (at least I) never experienced before.  If you want to know what can be done without CGI in the 21st Century, this is your new standard.  Hans Zimmer's score is a driving force for the entire 1:46 run time.

Make no mistake, Dunkirk is not a character-driven drama and isn't meant to be.  We develop a certain engagement in the struggles of these men (yep, all men save for some background nurses)  much as they get drawn into the fight to survive and the fight to save their countrymen,but there is little down time for finding out about their hopes and dreams and the girl back home.  The performances are uniformly serviceable and good, no standouts or surprises (lest it be that pop star Harry Styles is fully competent as an actor.)

I liked this film a great deal.  It is substantial and real; it has meat on its bones, but it won't force feed any of it to you.  If you want to sit back an watch a couple of hours of gripping entertainment, this should work.  If you are a seeker, there is more here for you to chew than popcorn and scenery.

I find it interesting how utterly morally neutral Dunkirk is, how non-judgmental is its narrative.  There is just as much to compel us to root for the reptilian-brain survivalists as for the ones who are selflessly throwing themselves (and others in their charge) into greater and greater danger in order to aid the stricken.  Seriously, we watch soldiers who leave their fallen squadmates in the street without a glance behind, who search for inventive ways to line-jump ahead of their fellow soldiers onto the next ship, who discuss which bitch they are going to throw overboard to lighten the load of a grounded tugboat that needs to be lifted by the rising tide, and all of this leaves them on a level emotional playing field for the viewer with the gent taking his yacht and teenage son on a rescue mission into a war zone where ships are being sunk left and right, or the fighter pilots who keep pressing on in the face of losses and critical fuel in order to provide a bit more air cover for the evacuation.

Watch this in 75mm IMAX (like I wish I could).  If you can't, see it on the biggest screen and best sound system available.  Don't even mess with the idea of catching it on Amazon Prime in 6 months on your home system.  If there is any reason to go big on theater delivery systems, this is it!

Last edited by Harold_of_Whoa (7/24/2017 9:20 pm)

Team Taylor  -  Taylor's Starbucks Lovers

7/26/2017 12:34 am  #2

Re: My review

Was Harry Styles super hot in it?

I'm cactus....

7/26/2017 8:59 am  #3

Re: My review

Maybe wrote:

Was Harry Styles super hot in it?

I'm not a good judge of "super hot" for people with an XY chromosome.  I'm sure he would be more than adequate to imagine yourself making out with and doing some sexless grinding, Cactus style. 

(Those two emoji underneath are the blue balls...get it??!!)

As far as eye candy, Harry is about it except for the guys who are wearing oxygen masks and goggles for most of the movie.

I have created a Harry Styles thread for such discussions, so off you go!

Team Taylor  -  Taylor's Starbucks Lovers
     Thread Starter

7/26/2017 1:24 pm  #4

Re: My review

It's a story I've been somewhat familiar with for a long time. It seems that the Brits were sitting ducks and Hitler blundered by trusting Goering to take care of them and he failed, giving the Brits time to evacuate.  

One of Hitler's many blunders.

​You could say Hitler saved humanity from himself.


8/19/2017 10:28 am  #5

Re: My review

Aiming to go see it tomorrow.



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