Sergio Leone Web Board

Other/Miscellaneous => Off-Topic Discussion => Topic started by: Novecento on May 06, 2017, 07:12:23 AM



Title: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: Novecento on May 06, 2017, 07:12:23 AM
Really looking forward to this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7O7BtBnsG4

I'm going to try to find somewhere showing the 70mm release.


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: Cusser on May 06, 2017, 07:42:24 AM
I will be seeing that as well. 

I saw Hateful Eight on roadshow/70mm full version, was worth it.


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: PowerRR on May 06, 2017, 10:20:44 AM
I'll see this opening weekend at the same theater in Boston I saw hateful 8 in 70mm. Love that Nolan is switching up genres


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: Novecento on May 06, 2017, 07:55:57 PM
I'm expecting the AFI Silver near me to show it. That's where I saw The Hateful Eight roadshow version too. I'm in no doubt that a hefty chunk of my enjoyment came simply from the 70mm experience itself.


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: dave jenkins on May 07, 2017, 09:42:37 AM
Joe Wright's Atonement wasn't enough, we've got to go through it all again? Fuck!


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: Cusser on May 07, 2017, 06:29:55 PM
Joe Wright's Atonement wasn't enough, we've got to go through it all again? Fuck!

THAT bugs you - then don't see it !!!

What bugs me is WW2 stuff where the actor portraying Adolf looks nothing like him ?  Apparently they feel any actor with a stupid little mustache would look just like Hitler.  In these days of plastic masks, noses, make-up, etc. - such an oversight. 

I think the Hitler in "Downfall" was pretty good.


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: Novecento on May 08, 2017, 10:00:30 PM
Joe Wright's Atonement wasn't enough, we've got to go through it all again? Fuck!

That famous 5 minute tracking shot is all I've ever seen of "Atonement". What's the rest of it like?


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: dave jenkins on July 22, 2017, 12:30:31 PM
https://mobile.twitter.com/antovolk/status/886626392842129409/photo/1


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 22, 2017, 07:46:02 PM
Op-ed in Friday's Wall Street Journal bashing the movie's omission of Churchill

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-dumbing-down-of-dunkirk-1500592065

The Dumbing Down of ‘Dunkirk’


The Wall Street Journal
By Dorothy Rabinowitz



On May 28, 1940, Winston Churchill held a meeting of his government’s ministers. “I described the course of events and showed them plainly where we were, and all that was in the balance,” Churchill later wrote. “Then I said quite casually . . .: ‘Of course, whatever happens at Dunkirk, we shall fight on.’ . . . I was sure that every Minister was ready to be killed quite soon, and have all his family and possessions destroyed, rather than give in. . . . There was a white glow, overpowering, sublime, which ran through our island from end to end.”

“Dunkirk,” opening in theaters Friday, is noteworthy in many respects. Not least for its creator’s decision—on the interesting ground that it would make things clearer for audiences—to avoid any appearance of Churchill. Of, that is, the newly appointed prime minister central to this story: the voice of that embattled Britain whose citizens, answering their government’s call, set out to rescue its army, stranded on the beaches of northern France in May of 1940.

Director Christopher Nolan, whose credits include “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight,” has said he wanted to avoid making a film “not relevant to today’s audiences” and that he didn’t want to get them bogged down in “politics.”

This says more than Mr. Nolan intended about his estimate of today’s moviegoers—whose capacities, he fears, would not be equal to a film involving images of a historic figure. There were other worries. Mr. Nolan didn’t want to make a film that could be seen as old-fashioned, he informed his interviewer. It appears further that the director wanted to avoid taxing today’s film audiences with any specifics about the foe that had the British Expeditionary Force fighting for its life on those beaches.

“We don’t have generals in rooms pushing things around on maps,” Mr. Nolan explained. “We don’t see Churchill. We barely glimpse the enemy.” All true. Though there are quite a number of enemy planes, bombers smashing the troops on the beach. The bare glimpse Mr. Nolan mentions is of the insignia identifying the nation to which those planes belong. Who could it be?

On the other hand, the markings on the British fighters engaging the enemy in dogfights loom large and clear. As do the reasons for all of the above. For, as Mr. Nolan has told us, he considers Dunkirk “a universal story . . . about communal heroism.” Which explains why this is—despite its impressive cinematography, its moving portrait of suffering troops and their rescuers—a Dunkirk flattened out, disconnected from the spirit of its time, from any sense even of the particular mighty enemy with which England was at war.

When an event in history has become, in the mind of a writer, “universal” it’s a tip-off—the warning bell that we’re about to lose most of the important facts of that history, and that the story-telling will be a special kind—a sort that obscures all specifics that run counter to the noble vision of the universalist.

No wonder those German Stukas and Heinkels bombarding the British can barely be identified as such. Then there is Mr. Nolan’s avoidance of Churchill lest audiences get bogged down in “politics”—a strange term for Churchill’s concerns during those dark days of May 1940. One so much less attractive, in its hint of the ignoble and the corrupt, than “communal” and “universal”—words throbbing with goodness. Nothing old-fashioned about them either, especially “universal”—a model of socio-babble for all occasions.

The certainty of the Nazis’ threat is what preoccupied Churchill. His testament to the sterling attitude of his ministers, quoted above, kindly omits mention of the protracted arguments from those in his war cabinet who pressed for some respectable accommodation with Hitler, for some effort at least to open talks.

There was, for Churchill, no acceptable accommodation with Hitler. He knew the disastrous impact on British morale of any word of talks or arrangements with the Nazis. They would instead hear from their new prime minister only the iron determination to defeat the enemy, the confidence that it would be done—which had not a little to do with the strengthened spirit of the British public. They had been asked to fight for victory at all costs, and most knew why they must—among them those pilots of small boats braving German fire to rescue the army.

The film’s aim, as its director says, is to tell a universal story of individuals struggling for survival. A struggle for survival under terrifying assault is exactly what we see through most of the action. Left out of this saga is any other sense of the importance of Operation Dynamo, the unexpectedly successful rescue of 338,000 soldiers who could, instead of being marched off to captivity by that barely visible enemy—call it Nation X—return to an England desperate for manpower.

Continuing the fight was, to this England facing invasion, everything. To leave out of this story, in addition to Churchill, any sense of England’s peril or the might of its enemy is to drain much of the life out of history.

All this falls into the category of facts, irrelevant history, that Mr. Nolan would consider wrong for today’s audiences. To the very end no image of Churchill defiles the sanctity of this film’s safe space. One of the final scenes does present an exhausted evacuee returned from Dunkirk, reading aloud to himself from a newspaper of Churchill’s most famous address, of June 4, 1940. The “We shall never surrender” speech is spoken by a young soldier, making it all reassuringly relevant—no trace of the man himself.

It’s possible of course that a director less apprehensive about appearing old-fashioned might have risked an actual clip of the prime minister without undue harm to the audience.

In the bleak days of 1940, Churchill told his cabinet: “If this long island story of ours is to end at last, let it end only when each of us lies choking on his own blood on the ground.” If Batman ever said anything remotely as interesting, he’d have our devoted attention.
--

Ms. Rabinowitz is a member of The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board.



Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 23, 2017, 03:27:23 PM
And here is a movie review from WSJ:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/dunkirk-review-finding-humanity-in-calamity-1500487503


‘Dunkirk’ Review: Finding Humanity in Calamity
Joe Morgenstern




In “Dunkirk,” an astonishing evocation of a crucial event during the first year of World War II, Christopher Nolan has created something new in the annals of war films—an intimate epic. The scale is immense, and all the more so in the IMAX format that shows the action to best advantage. The density of detail is breathtaking; it’s as if the camera can barely keep up with what’s happening inside and outside the frame. Yet the central concern is steadfastly human. Whether we’re watching a huge Allied army encircled by Nazi forces on a beach in France or tracking the progress of their would-be rescuers, the drama turns on individuals and their feelings—of terror, excruciating vulnerability and fragile hope that they will make it back home, only 26 miles across the English Channel.

What the film excludes is historical context. It is not, and wasn’t meant to be, an explanation of the circumstances that led, in the spring of 1940, to the entrapment of some 400,000 British, French, Belgian and Canadian troops, including what Prime Minister Winston Churchill called “the whole root and core and brain of the British Army.” Instead, “Dunkirk,” which Mr. Nolan directed from his own screenplay, is a fictionalized, impressionistic account of a calamity that culminated in a near-miracle, although many lives were lost in the process—the rescue of 338,000 of those soldiers by shallow-draft naval vessels plus a large civilian flotilla of fishing boats and yachts.

With sparse dialogue, a minimum of digital simulations and an emphasis on spectacular images, the production follows, among others, a young British enlisted man, Fionn Whitehead’s Tommy, from the moment he emerges from the streets of Dunkirk to join vast throngs of other men, most of them young and all of them frightened, on the sands of what was formerly a vacation resort. They have no more idea than he does what’s in store for them. All they know is that they’re totally vulnerable to German tanks and planes, and unlikely to survive. (The cast includes Harry Styles, of One Direction, making his acting debut.)

“Dunkirk” is hardly the first film to depict the mad chaos of modern war. The champion in that category remains “Apocalypse Now,” with “Black Hawk Down” and “Saving Private Ryan” as strong contenders. Still, Mr. Nolan has spoken of his own list of influences being topped by “The Wages of Fear,” Henri-Georges Clouzot’s peerless thriller, made in 1953, about desperate men in South America driving nitroglycerin-laden trucks over primitive roads. What’s the common denominator? Existential terror, for sure, an awareness that one’s life may be snuffed out at any moment, but also classic suspense.

A superlative thriller in its own right, “Dunkirk” wields its power in equal measure through the general (in one memorable overhead shot, hundreds of troops standing defenseless on a breakwater look up to the sky as Nazi bombers scream in for the kill) and the particular (countless vignettes of soldiers in extreme peril and anguishing suspense). Who will live and who will die as bullets fly, bombs drop, water rises in the hull of a sinking ship? Those are familiar questions in war films. The difference here is that we care intensely even though no one on screen has been characterized through familiar speeches about hopes for the future or dreams of girls back home. Long dialogue-free stretches of “Dunkirk” could qualify as silent film if—a big if—it weren’t for the shattering sounds of war, and for Hans Zimmer’s brilliantly piercing, keening score, which often merges with those sounds of war. It’s the images that tell the essence of the story, and you should try to see the film in the largest format possible, either IMAX or a 70mm print. (The production was designed by Nathan Crowley and photographed by Hoyte Van Hoytema. )

Until now Mr. Nolan’s stories—in “Memento,” his Batman trilogy, “Inception” and “Interstellar”—have been notable for their intricacy (or, to my taste on occasion, notorious for their opacity). This time he has dared to keep things simple, except for manipulations of the timeline that heighten narrative urgency without diminishing structural clarity. The structure is tripartite, with more or less equal attention given to tumultuous events on and around the beach and breakwater ( Kenneth Branagh has a small but significant role as a naval commander); in the air, where RAF Spitfire fighters woefully short on fuel struggle to protect the soldiers; and on the Channel, where the little boats of the civilian flotilla make their painfully slow way from Dover to Dunkirk.

The aerial sequences, featuring Tom Hardy as one of the Spitfire pilots, are a marvel. Once again, the form could hardly be more familiar. Dogfights—enhanced by hand-tinted muzzle flashes and engine fires—were an impressive part of the 1927 “Wings,” which won the first best-film Oscar, and the first one for special effects. Here, though, the use of IMAX cameras is transformative. By turns the screen is filled by pilots’ faces, Kabuki-like behind goggles and oxygen masks, and skies so capacious that we understand, as never before, the near-impossibility of keeping guns trained on the tiny gyrating dots of enemy fighters.

Simplicity also reigns at sea. Instead of spending time on various boats in the flotilla, as an affecting 1958 feature about Dunkirk did, Mr. Nolan’s film, surprisingly short (especially for him) at 106 minutes, focuses on a single 40-foot wooden yacht, the Moonstone, and its crew of three: the owner, Mr. Dawson (Mark Rylance); his son, Peter (Tom Glynn-Carney); and George ( Barry Keoghan ), Peter’s 17-year-old friend. (They’re joined during the Channel crossing by Cillian Murphy as an unnamed survivor of a torpedoed ship.) It’s part of the film’s distinction that the taciturn Mr. Dawson is played by one of the world’s pre-eminent actors, but Mr. Rylance’s gifts aren’t wasted. When young George asks the yacht owner where they’re going, Mr. Dawson replies briskly, “Into war, George.” With three words he conveys the audacity of the voyage.

-----

Write to Joe Morgenstern at joe.morgenstern@wsj.com


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 23, 2017, 03:32:54 PM
And one more WSJ article, this one from today: Dunkirk triumphed at the box office this weekend

https://www.wsj.com/articles/world-war-ii-battle-film-dunkirk-claims-triumphs-at-box-office-1500831702
World War II Battle Film ‘Dunkirk’ Triumphs at Box Office

By Ben Fritz


Executives at Time Warner Inc.’s TWX 0.05% Warner Bros. breathed perhaps the biggest sigh heard in Hollywood this summer as a costly movie about a World War II battle little known outside Western Europe opened successfully.

“Dunkirk,” writer-director Christopher Nolan’s retelling of a dramatic escape by British troops from advancing Nazi forces in 1940, collected an estimated $50.5 million on its first weekend in theaters in the U.S. and Canada.

The comedy “Girls Trip” also had a healthy start, with $30.4 million.

But the science-fiction film “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” the most expensive independent movie ever made, flopped, debuting to just $17 million.

Though “Dunkirk’s” opening wasn’t massive, it beat some of this summer’s most-hyped sequels and reboots, including “Transformers: The Last Knight,” “Alien: Covenant” and “The Mummy.”

It was even bigger than Mr. Nolan’s last movie, 2014’s “Interstellar,” which had a major star in Matthew McConaughey and opened to $47.5 million. “Dunkirk” has no similarly popular stars and Warner, at Mr. Nolan’s request, didn’t highlight in advertising that music star Harry Styles, from the band One Direction, plays a supporting role.

The film’s healthy start demonstrates the growing power of good reviews, particularly as scores from review aggregation websites like Rotten Tomatoes spread on social media. “Dunkirk,” which cost close to $100 million to make, received overwhelmingly positive reviews.

Mr. Nolan is one of the handful of directors in Hollywood who is a popular brand himself, drawing fan attention just as franchises like Marvel and “Fast & Furious” do.

“We were able to position the movie as an epic action thriller that connected with audiences because of him,” said Warner’s president of domestic distribution, Jeff Goldstein.

Mr. Nolan shot about three-quarters of the movie using large-format cameras from IMAX Corp. and its theaters accounted for 23% of the domestic opening weekend, despite representing 11% of the total locations playing it.

“Dunkirk” also had a strong start overseas, where it grossed a total of $55.4 million in 46 markets. For obvious reasons it performed best in the United Kingdom, where its $12.4 million opening was bigger than even Mr. Nolan’s “Inception,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, which opened to $9 million there and $62.8 million in the U.S. in 2010.

“Dunkirk” also performed particularly well in South Korea, opening to $10.3 million. “Dunkirk” has yet to debut in a few major markets, including China, where it is set to open Sept. 1.

The well-reviewed “Girls Trip” had the biggest opening for any comedy this year, relieving Hollywood anxiety that a recent string of flops indicated audiences were losing interest in going to theaters to laugh.

With an average audience grade of A+ according to market research firm CinemaScore, compared with an A- for “Dunkirk,” the raunchy R-rated “Girls Trip” should benefit from excellent word-of-mouth in the coming weeks. According to exit polls, 79% of the audience for the comedy, which stars four women, was female.

With a budget of $180 million, “Valerian” represented a big bet by France’s EuropaCorp that it could compete with the event movies coming out of Hollywood this summer. Based on a comic book series popular in France but not elsewhere, it failed to find a sizable audience in the U.S., where it was released by independent studio STX Films.

EuropaCorp , ECP -3.02% founded by “Valerian” director Luc Besson, sold much of the international rights to the film to limit its financial exposure. The U.S. represented the riskiest portions of its global release.

It has yet to open in most foreign markets, including France, where expectations are particularly high.

Write to Ben Fritz at ben.fritz@wsj.com


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: cigar joe on July 23, 2017, 04:20:26 PM
DRINKANDDESTROY did you go see this yet?

If not why all the hype?


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: Novecento on July 24, 2017, 07:46:52 AM
I saw it on Friday in 70mm (not IMAX 70mm).

I'm not sure I've ever seen a film directed by Christopher Nolan before so my comments have little comparative context in that regard:

- the 70mm experience was great (the IMAX 70mm one must be even better - personally I wouldn't watch any version but those two)
- the photography is absolutely stunning
- it has a very lean script and as such is reliant on the visual experience (as all good films should be)
- it is very restrained for a war film with a certain elegance at points (in spite of also being very harrowing at points)

Contrary to the first WSJ review posted, I liked the fact that the film did not choose to comment directly on the actual military/political context and bring Churchill in beyond a couple of mentions of his name. However, the only thing I did find jarring even in the trailer was another voice of a young person (not pretending to be an old man like Churchill - there is valid context for this provided in the film) saying those famous "We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the..... We shall never surrender" lines. Nolan should have had the actual recording of Churchill's voice chime in at the very end of the film for a far more poignant finish than the one we were given. That would have been enough without making any statement beyond one about the universal resilience of the human spirit when its back is truly up against the wall.

While Dunkirk never really gave me what I'd call a "Sergio Leone experience", which I reserve for exceptional films or exceptional moments in films that make me really feel like I have just experienced a true piece of art in front of my eyes, Dunkirk was nonetheless a very well crafted spectacle that certainly merits watching (I'm even tempting to seek out a 70mm IMAX showing now).


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 24, 2017, 08:48:22 AM
Thanks for the report, Novocento.

Do the visuals/action seem like CGI or are they real?


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: Novecento on July 24, 2017, 09:30:56 AM
All very real and very well crafted.


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: PowerRR on July 24, 2017, 06:53:37 PM
I agree with Novecentk. Very good film. Caught it in 70mm IMAX. I did find it very jarring when it switches between IMAX and regular 70mm though. There are very few scenes not in IMAX, I wonder why the whole thing isn't in that format.

8.5/10 finally a war film that avoids overdoing sentimentality


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 31, 2017, 08:48:49 PM
I hope to see the movie sometime this week.

I'm looking through the viewing options in New York. Please forgive my ignorance. Besides the standard options, I see a 70mm option and an IMAX 2D option. Which should I go for?


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: noodles_leone on August 01, 2017, 01:47:31 AM
I agree with Novecentk. Very good film. Caught it in 70mm IMAX. I did find it very jarring when it switches between IMAX and regular 70mm though. There are very few scenes not in IMAX, I wonder why the whole thing isn't in that format.

8.5/10 finally a war film that avoids overdoing sentimentality

The reason why they did 30% of the movie with regular 70mm cameras is dialogues. Imax cameras are too loud to record dialogues.

I hope to see the movie sometime this week.

I'm looking through the viewing options in New York. Please forgive my ignorance. Besides the standard options, I see a 70mm option and an IMAX 2D option. Which should I go for?

70mm IMAX should be your first choice. If you don't have this around you, take any 2D IMAX screening. IMAX is mandatory here: the film is more about immersion than being highly cinematographic (although it is both).

Your 3rd option would be to rent Weekend at Dunkirk, which is a better film anyway.


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: drinkanddestroy on August 01, 2017, 02:22:04 AM
The reason why they did 30% of the movie with regular 70mm cameras is dialogues. Imax cameras are too loud to record dialogues.

70mm IMAX should be your first choice. If you don't have this around you, take any 2D IMAX screening. IMAX is mandatory here: the film is more about immersion than being highly cinematographic (although it is both).

Your 3rd option would be to rent Weekend at Dunkirk, which is a better film anyway.

I thought all IMAX is 70 mm? https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/IMAX

Anyway, below is a link my viewing options. Which should I choose? (I am seeing the movie on Thursday evening, with Miss Hong Kong, who still hardly speaks any English [and still never heard of World War II]. I figure that a movie with lots of action and little dialogue is best.)


https://mobile.fandango.com/dunkirk-2017-197616/movie-times?date=2017-08-03



Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: Novecento on August 01, 2017, 09:06:10 AM
The link DJ shared above shows the differences.

It seems with IMAX you need to be very careful that it is the real IMAX 1.43:1 and not the fake IMAX 1.90:1. It seems if you can watch 70mm IMAX it will always be the real IMAX.

If you can't see 70mm IMAX which seems to be the ideal, I personally would go with regular 70mm since I love the chance to see any film as actual "film" nowadays. However, I do take N_L's point above regarding IMAX in which case just make sure it is 1.43:1 otherwise don't bother.


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: noodles_leone on August 01, 2017, 09:25:07 AM
There are both digital and 70mm IMAX cameras, and there are also digital and film IMAX projectors... as is explained in detail in the Wikipedia link you posted :)


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: drinkanddestroy on August 01, 2017, 11:52:11 AM
That AMC theater on 34th Street, one of the IMAX options you see, has some of the biggest screens in Manhattan IMO.
I called and asked if it was digital or film, and the person who answered the phone - as well as the supervisor - had no idea. Eventually, she said, "I think it's digital," I guess because that sounds more modern. Because she had no idea. I finally asked her if they have cans of film that they load through the projector, and she said, "Yes - that's what it is." I really doubt she knows any more than I do  ^-^


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: drinkanddestroy on August 01, 2017, 12:42:16 PM
So if I have  no way of really knowing whether the IMAX is 70 mm, you say I go for IMAX or go for 70 mm?


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: dave jenkins on August 01, 2017, 01:53:15 PM
Just stay home!


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: noodles_leone on August 01, 2017, 02:40:27 PM
IMAX !!!!!


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: Novecento on August 01, 2017, 03:15:59 PM
Like I said earlier, 70mm IMAX is going to be "real" IMAX. Digital IMAX might be "real" but it might be "fake".

Surely there are places here you can find this out on the internet. If not, play it safe and go watch a nice 70mm presentation. That's probably what Nolan would want you to choose given his insistence on 70mm anyway.


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: noodles_leone on August 01, 2017, 04:25:09 PM
I have to disagree here and advise for IMAX anyway... Except if you're 100% sure the non IMAX 70mm screening has a top notch sound installation. The sound design and the soundtrack are exactly as important -if not more- as the visuals in this instance.

In the end, it doesn't matter that much since it isn't that good. But still.


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: Cusser on August 01, 2017, 04:44:01 PM
I am seeing the movie on Thursday evening, with Miss Hong Kong, who still hardly speaks any English [and still never heard of World War II]. I figure that a movie with lots of action and little dialogue is best.

Well, even for those who DO speak English and are aware of WW2, I think Nolan did a terrible job on some aspects.  He should've at least had a slide/text at the beginning to explain how the British and French armies came to be encircled with the sea to their backs.  And calling the Germans "the enemy", and no one calling them the krauts, the huns, etc., is very unrealistic.  And there were over 800 boats that came to the rescue, the film doesn't show even 1/10 of that.

On the other hand, Nolan showcases individual heroism of some British citizens who risked their lives in their small boats that could approach in the shallow waters, and that the British felt they could not risk full-blown navy or air force bombardment as that could go bad and leave Britain open for an invasion.  Ans shows how desperate some were to try to get back to Britain at any cost.


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: drinkanddestroy on August 01, 2017, 05:25:28 PM
Just stay home!

First I take her to the movie. Then I take her home ...


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: dave jenkins on August 01, 2017, 05:52:40 PM
Have you heard of this wonderful invention called "home video"? You should try it.


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: drinkanddestroy on August 01, 2017, 07:36:51 PM
Have you heard of this wonderful invention called "home video"? You should try it.

There's no IMAX on home video.


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: drinkanddestroy on August 01, 2017, 07:48:31 PM
I just went on to buy the tickets, and I'm glad I waited until now: IMAX tickets just became available for the AMC Kips Bay, on 2nd Ave. at East 31st Street. They have recliner seats, and cheaper ($16.99 vs. $20.69) than the 34th Street AMC, which does not have recliner seats. And since I bought tickets a couple of days ahead of time (I'm going to a Thursday night showing) I was first to buy and got my choice of (reserved) seat  :)

Now let's hope the movie is good  :)


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: Novecento on August 02, 2017, 09:55:48 AM
There's no IMAX on home video.

More to the point, there's no 70mm on home video.


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: drinkanddestroy on August 13, 2017, 11:53:14 PM
so .... I saw Dunkirk the other night at AMC Loews Kips Bay. The theater (54 recliner seats) was sold out, but thanks to me having been the first one to book (two days in advance of the movie) and there being reserved seats, I was able to choose the best seat in the house and walk into the movie one minute before it began.

I went with Miss Hong Kong - as she barely speaks a word of English, I figured a movie heavy on visuals and action rather than dialogue would be good. Ten minutes in, she texts me (we can only communicate via text with translation app), "I don't like war."  ;D


Anyway ... the movie disappointed me. I give it a 6.5/10 My complaints have been mentioned by others as well.

Other than an opening text, the movie makes no attempt to give any context or have anything going on other than the soldiers and rescue. That's all - it can almost be a play. You have the story of the soldiers being pinned down, and the story of one civilian boat (representing many others) coming to rescue them. And the story of a few pilots in the air. That's all. As discussed, other than an opening text screen, there is no explanation of how the Brits got pinned at Dunkirk, and no scenes whatsoever of the politicians/generals discussing strategy back home. I think the movie would have been more interesting if it had covered a broader story than just the soldiers there waiting to be rescued.

The Germans are virtually never mentioned by name. There is one scene in middle of the movie with a soldier using the word "jerry" and sauerkraut," and one scene at the very end where you see a couple of soldiers wearing what are recognizably German helmets, but that is all. The opening text simply calls them "the enemy." Was Nolan afraid that the movie wouldn't sell well in Germany if he referred to the enemy as THE FUCKING GERMANS instead of "the enemy"?
 Puhleez.

And of course, no scenes of Churchill or the generals back home. (Churchill's name is mentioned a [very] few times). I am no Churchill lover, it's not that I am trying to get Churchill's character in there for ideological purposes. It's that I think the movie would be more interesting shifting back and forth between the politics/generals, and the soldiers being pinned/rescued, rather than the movie focusing on one thing the entire time. My concern about showing context or political discussions, etc. has nothing to do with politics - it has to do with making an interesting movie!

One review (I believe in WSJ) says the movie is surprisingly short for Nolan. Perhaps. But considering the minimal material he used, it couldn't possibly be any longer.

And of course, as discussed, to top it off, they even have the soldier reading Churchill's most famous speech - as if to drive home the point that this is a Churchill-free movie, or a movie about the "little guy," however you want to put it. I just found it boring having the movie be essentially the same thing for the entire hour and 53 minutes.

And before you reply, "This is exactly what Nolan was trying to do, blah blah blah ..." I'll tell you that I know that's what he was trying to do, but he failed. The story of Dunkirk is one that could have been made into a very good movie; instead, it was made into a mediocre movie. if I hadn't seen it in IMAX with recliner seats, I may have even given it a lower rating.


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: noodles_leone on August 14, 2017, 02:04:39 AM
so .... I saw Dunkirk the other night at AMC Loews Kips Bay. The theater (54 recliner seats) was sold out, but thanks to me having been the first one to book (two days in advance of the movie) and there being reserved seats, I was able to choose the best seat in the house and walk into the movie one minute before it began.

I went with Miss Hong Kong - as she barely speaks a word English, I figured a movie heavy on visuals and action rather than dialogue would be good. Ten minutes in, she texts me (we can only communicate via text with translation app), "I don't like war."  ;D

Don't ever bring a chick to a war movie!

Other than an opening text, the movie makes no attempt to give any context or have anything going on other than the soldiers and rescue. That's all - it can almost be a play. You have the story of the soldiers being pinned down, and the story of one civilian boat (representing many others) coming to rescue them. And the story of a few pilots in the air. That's all. As discussed, other than an opening text screen, there is no explanation of how the Brits got pinned at Dunkirk, and no scenes whatsoever of the politicians/generals discussing strategy back home. I think the movie would have been more interesting if it had covered a broader story than just the soldiers there waiting to be rescued.

Maybe so, but it would have been a whole different movie. I personally think it would have been more interesting as a western movie with a soundtrack by Ennio Morricone and if stared Christopher Walken, but this is completely off topic.

The Germans are virtually never mentioned by name. There is one scene in middle of the movie with a soldier using the word "jerry" and sauerkraut," and one scene at the very end where you see a couple of soldiers wearing what are recognizably German helmets, but that is all. The opening text simply calls them "the enemy." Was Nolan afraid that the movie wouldn't sell well in Germany if he referred to the enemy as THE FUCKING GERMANS instead of "the enemy"?
 Puhleez.

Notice how you don't see any German in the film? Not even a silhouette? There is a purpose behind that.

And of course, no scenes of Churchill or the generals back home. (Churchill's name is mentioned a [very] few times). I am no Churchill lover, it's not that I am trying to get Churchill's character in there for ideological purposes. It's that I think the movie would be more interesting shifting back and forth between the politics/generals, and the soldiers being pinned/rescued, rather than the movie focusing on one thing the entire time. My concern about showing context or political discussions, etc. has nothing to do with politics - it has to do with making an interesting movie!

DUDE! Are you really suggesting "More cutaway scene in the control room"? Are you a self caricaturing studio executive?

And before you reply, "This is exactly what Nolan was trying to do, blah blah blah ..." I'll tell you that I know that's what he was trying to do, but he failed.

Maybe so, maybe not. But the film is exactly what it's advertised to be, so it's still kind of weird to hold it against it. Don't go see Dunkirk if you want anything else than experience Dunkirk as the little guy.
The thing is the movie has a lot of things to be applauded and criticized FOR WHAT IT TRIES TO BE AND IS, I don't get why people are talking about what it was never meant to be.

if I hadn't seen it in IMAX with recliner seats, I may have even given it a lower rating.

If you hadn't seen it in IMAX you wouldn't have seen the film.

How can you be so wrong in your review and YET still manage to give it the appropriate rating?  ;D ;D ;D


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: drinkanddestroy on August 14, 2017, 03:13:39 AM

How can you be so wrong in your review and YET still manage to give it the appropriate rating?  ;D ;D ;D

Because under my rating system, 6.5/10 = a mediocre movie.  Under your rating system, 6.5/10 = a very good movie that you'll see at least twice a year for the rest of your life  ;)


 Yes, I know what no one was trying to do and I'm saying that what he did turned out not to be a good movie. If he had made it the way I ( and many others) are suggesting, it could have been a better movie. Different, yes. And better  ;)


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: noodles_leone on August 14, 2017, 03:20:27 AM
By "different" I mean that it would really be another movie. You're not advocating for changing a couple of stuff, you're advocating for a "let's just keep the title" kind of change.

And yes, I also would like to see a movie that tells everything about the Dunkirk situation, but no, I wouldn't make these changes in this movie because an IMAX survival set in Dunkirk is much more interesting to me (and not to the mainstream audiences. I'm amazed so many of them turned in to see this experimental movie).


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: drinkanddestroy on August 14, 2017, 03:23:36 AM
 I am perfectly willing to, rather than suggesting what could have improved the movie, just judge it on the basis of what it is: The verdict is that it is a mediocre movie  ;)


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: drinkanddestroy on August 14, 2017, 03:25:52 AM
And please explain how the movie would have been worse if it had actually identified "the enemy."


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: noodles_leone on August 14, 2017, 08:37:38 AM
They wanted to remove the Germans totally from the movie. I guess the idea was to show them as some kind of natural force that you have to survive instead of actual human beings. This is -partly- what makes this movie a survival and not a war film.

I'm not sure I'd have gone this road but it's a good thing they tried to push that old idea as far as possible. At the very least, it's interesting.

All in all I think you and I agree on the fact the film is far from great. I'd just say it's mediocre+ while you say it's regular mediocre. But my main point is that I'd rather have 1 movie like this one that tries something different (even if Gravity did all of it much better several years ago) and fail on may aspects than the 100 regular high budget war movies we usually get.


______________________


Now, why is Dunkirk far less good than Gravity?

That's the real discussion that nobody is having and one I'd be really interested in instead of "Why didn't they do The Longest Day - Dunkirk Spinoff?"






Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: Novecento on August 14, 2017, 11:56:21 AM
I'm not sure I'd have gone this road but it's a good thing they tried to push that old idea as far as possible. At the very least, it's interesting.

Yes - I agree.

Many of Cusser's and D&D's points are valid, but I definitely enjoyed it in terms of pure cinematic spectacle.

If you hadn't seen it in IMAX you wouldn't have seen the film.

You mean in 70mm, right?  :o


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: noodles_leone on August 14, 2017, 12:10:57 PM
 ;D


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: mike siegel on August 14, 2017, 01:55:13 PM
I like it much better than I thought I would. As usual I didn't read (almost) anything about the film beforehand, to experience the film as I experienced film for the last 40 years, and it paid off again. Wonderful IMAX screening here in Karlsruhe (with 6 blockbuster trailers as welcomed antithesis to this film :) ).

I don't care for being true to genres (War-film / Survival-film / Anti-war film etc. etc.) or plot for that matter - as long as I get something special. Which I did, in fact 80-90% of the film he made specifically for me, I never expected that :). I'm a history nut and not many ""War films"" gave me that feeling of being there. I guess after half an hour I finally realized that this is not your regular summer-hit motion picture, but an experimental film that tries to convey rather a state of mind than some narrative story about a chapter in war history. Perfect for me. No (real) dialogue :). No explanations for the popcorn viewers :). I could go on. One of my first thoughts afterwards was "How in the hell did he get that one green-lighted??" A huge risk, I feel. I hope I'm wrong, but I can't imagine a lot of people care to pay 15.- to see a war experience, documentary style, on their holy saturday evening. Antonioni might have liked it a lot though. To me it also became quite emotional because I was partly raised by a (then retired) pilot who flew a Heinkel 111 back then. A wonderful soft man who was partly responsible I fought against being drafted 30 years ago :). Anyway, when I saw BATTLE OF BRITAIN for instance I never became emotional, but I did with this film. The staging, directing, editing, veery unusual, very good indeed. For the first time I saw, on a big scale, what his daily life was back then. A true experience. War knows no winners.

Of course the film has its flaws. I didn't care too much about Kenneth's lines (my buddy thought they were great, "Home!" for instance. A bit flat for my money.) The editing is wild - which is fine with me, but not when you cut from day to night and day all over the place. Distracting. At the end the film becomes poetic, which is out of place and hurts the film, no matter what Nolan's intentions were (a Spitfire gliding fooreever without the motor running, even shooting down a plane in-between! Pure fantasy. Would have been great - in another film.). The production design is wonderful, except for the fact that if you do it documentary-style, you should do it the way it was. I think. (I saw footage of Dunkerque dating back to the time when I was 10, and that beach was a mess. Jam-packed with canons, trucks, half-tracks, all destroyed so the Germans could not use it. Quite a nice clean beach in DUNKIRK.  The soundtrack was helping Nolan's intentions most of the time, but I remember at least twice I thought "a bit less would have done the job as well!".
Few more things, but in general I was a happy camper. A film for a guy who has seen it all before and finally got served something completely different.


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: noodles_leone on August 14, 2017, 02:31:50 PM
 O0

At last someone who gets it!
I think only somebody like Nolan who's been doing hits after hits could get this one greenlighted (and then actually promoted)... then again, Miller got his over the top Mad Max 4 so maybe Hollywood is more open to experiments than some say it is.


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: dave jenkins on August 14, 2017, 02:35:14 PM
so .... I saw Dunkirk the other night at AMC Loews Kips Bay. The theater (54 recliner seats) was sold out, but thanks to me having been the first one to book (two days in advance of the movie) and there being reserved seats, I was able to choose the best seat in the house and walk into the movie one minute before it began.

I went with Miss Hong Kong - as she barely speaks a word of English, I figured a movie heavy on visuals and action rather than dialogue would be good. Ten minutes in, she texts me (we can only communicate via text with translation app), "I don't like war."  ;D
Dump this broad and get back together with the one who served in the IDF.


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: drinkanddestroy on August 14, 2017, 04:52:11 PM
Dump this broad and get back together with the one who served in the IDF.

Good idea. I saw LONE SURVIVOR with IDF girl. We both liked it  :)


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: Novecento on August 14, 2017, 07:04:23 PM
Perfect for me. No (real) dialogue :).

Yes - that was great. Film for film's sake.

At the end the film becomes poetic, which is out of place and hurts the film, no matter what Nolan's intentions were (a Spitfire gliding fooreever without the motor running, even shooting down a plane in-between! Pure fantasy. Would have been great - in another film.).

I was in total agreement with pretty much everything you wrote up until this point. I actually loved the poetic ending. I get your point about it being fantasy, but I think Nolan's intention was for it to be metaphorical. It totally worked for me.

At last someone who gets it!

Who made you the arbiter of good taste?  :D

Plus you didn't even like it that much! It seems like Mike, RR Power and I are the only ones who really enjoyed it.


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: mike siegel on August 15, 2017, 02:09:51 AM
Oh I didn't mean to say I didn't like the ending. I just have a built-in filter, a silent bell that rings when something sticks out regarding continuity, mood or rhythm. I'm sort of an expert with pre 1945 airplanes so I couldn't help raising my eyebrows because everything that happened previously was believable, although ships don't sink in 20 seconds. The endiing could have been edited poetic yet still more realistic :). INTERSTELLAR had a problem with the ending as well. Anyway, he is a very interesting filmmaker. Interesting project, pretty close to home for me: Whenever my old school-mate Roland Emmerich  makes a new disaster movie, I am often asked what my "dream project" would be, if someone would hand me over 180 Million to make a film... Most of the time I thought of a totally realistic film about Rommel & Montgomery in Africa, including re-building vehicles etc. (in films the Germans always are equipped with US half-tracks. That only got better in recent years, in Band Of Brothers, or even in the interesting Brad Pitt - tank film, another film that had - a bigger - problem with the ending. Good endings in films are more difficult to achieve these days it seems). My grandpa served in Rommel's orderly for a while and had told me great stories in the 70s. Also NONE of the films about the war in Africa depicted realism. So I would have done DUNKIRK, set in Africa so to speak! Never thinking before anybody would really approach such a project, as mentioned above... Not everybody's cup of tea.


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: drinkanddestroy on August 15, 2017, 03:08:33 AM
A good movie about Rommel in Africa: Five Graves to Cairo  ;)


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: mike siegel on August 15, 2017, 04:02:49 AM
Sure, it is the best. But I was talking about something else...


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: noodles_leone on August 15, 2017, 05:19:03 AM
Quote from: Novecento link=topic=12964.msg191485#msg191485

Who made you the arbiter of good taste?  :D

Plus you didn't even like it that much! It seems like Mike, RR Power and I are the only ones who really enjoyed it.

Myself! Turns out I almost always agree with me.
More seriously, it's not so much about good taste as about getting what the film is. Which has nothing to do with taste or judgement. Then, you can like or dislike it. You can also do it before you "get" the film but I'm not very interested in your opinion at that point.

I would probably have loved the film, had it been done before Gravity, Fury road and The Revenant: despite their flaws, each of these films do what Dunkirk tries to do, only much better. But I really like the fact that Nolan tries that in a "realistic" war movie.

Ps: I liked the poetic ending too.
I just found weird that Nolan seemed to hesitate about the final shot of the movie (between the burning plane and the close up).


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: drinkanddestroy on August 15, 2017, 08:37:47 AM
n_l, you seem to be saying that you apprrciate experimentation even when a movie is not good. To me, experimentation for its own sake is stupid. I prefer a "classic Hollywood style" good movie to an experimental crappy movie.


Title: Re: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan
Post by: noodles_leone on August 15, 2017, 09:01:24 AM
Of course I do.

I think it's a filmmaker and film goer's duty to applaud at least the will to experiment. Without flawed - or even failed - experimentations, you would never have a "classic Hollywood style good movie" because nobody would have ever found out how to do them. We would still be watching this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9MoAQJFn_8. Experimentation has to be rewarded, and we shouldn't count on the studios (it isn't their job) or the mainstream audiences (why would they even care?) to do it... so it's all on you, buddy. Sorry.
But who am I to tell you what to do? You have the right to openly dislike cinema and work for its demise  >:D

Now does that mean I'm willing to pardon every flaw a movie has because it's experimenting?

Of course it doesn't.