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Author Topic: Dunkirk (2017) - Christopher Nolan  (Read 1569 times)
drinkanddestroy
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« Reply #30 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.

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« Reply #31 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  Smiley

Now let's hope the movie is good  Smiley

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« Reply #32 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.

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« Reply #33 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."  Grin


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.

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« Reply #34 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."  Grin

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?  Grin Grin Grin

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« Reply #35 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?  Grin Grin Grin

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  Wink


 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  Wink

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« Reply #36 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).

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« Reply #37 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  Wink

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« Reply #38 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."

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« Reply #39 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.


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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?"





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« Reply #40 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?  Shocked

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« Reply #41 on: August 14, 2017, 12:10:57 PM »

 Grin

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« Reply #42 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 Smiley ).

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 Smiley. 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 Smiley. No explanations for the popcorn viewers Smiley. 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 Smiley. 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.

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« Reply #43 on: August 14, 2017, 02:31:50 PM »

 Afro

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.

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« Reply #44 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."  Grin
Dump this broad and get back together with the one who served in the IDF.

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