Friday, July 28, 2017

A Daring Rescue.

I have been watching war themed films since I was nine years of age. Some my favorites usually were the WWII sub films like Run Silent, Run Deep or Destination Tokyo. Honestly, Dunkirk did not pass muster for me. The film is about the actual historical events surrounding the evacuation of the British Army from the coast of France as the German Army was encircling it to destroy it. Prime Minister Churchill galvanized his people together to go out and rescue as many of the British soldiers as they could with whatever they could use to transport them safely across the English channel. So, there wasn't really a star or set of stars really in this film; the story itself seemed like the lead actor in the narrative while the actual human actors were just there to follow it as it unfolded. The cast was mainly unknown, but there were a few recognizable individuals. Mark Rylance played a British man who took his boat to rescue the soldiers with his son, and a friend of his son's (I think). Well played, and done well, albeit the character was rather static and had little quality screen time. Tom Hardy played an RAF pilot who protected the ships from the air, although you couldn't really see his face, and he didn't really speak much besides pilot jibber-jabber; it was kind of a waste of his talent unfortunately. Kenneth Branagh played a British navy commander who appeared to be overseeing the evacuation, and he had perhaps the broadest range regarding time and performance; his last line and scene in the film was probably one of the best in the film. Cillian Murphy played some random soldier suffering from PTSD essentially, and it was a terrible waste of his talent. The cast in general performed admirably, but it wasn't an incredibly dialog heavy film at all, so it's very difficult to judge performances when all they do is really react to their environment without speaking much.
I've seen all but one of Christopher Nolan's films, and this regardless of what critics and people are saying current is not his best film to date. I would say that Inception is his finest with Memento coming in at a close second. With Dunkirk it's not that it was directed poorly, because it was shot exquisitely. Actually the cinematography by Hoyte Van Hoytema should win an award or be nominated for one at least. The opening sequence of this film was shot perfectly; capturing the mood and environment with such intense accurate the calm before the storm. As a matter of fact, it was the cinematography that I found was the best part of this entire film...perhaps the only good part. Christopher Nolan also wrote the screenplay for the film and needless to say it wasn't all that amazing. The film to me was very similar to The Revenant with how it was shot, written and produced; a big budget documentary film. This perspective is of course due to the very little dialog and major emphasis on cinematography and having the actors react to the environment more physically than verbally. Now there isn't anything wrong with this per se, but for one it isn't really my taste, and two kind of makes for a boring couple of hours. Hans Zimmer unfortunately didn't really come up with any astounding or compelling music aside from a few notes that played throughout the entire film. It sounded similar to Interstellar and Inception, but now that I think of it, I don't really recall that much music in the film, or it was so tertiary that it just came through as white noise. Dunkirk wasn't a horrible film, but it wasn't really all that interesting or compelling. Not to mention there were quite a few moments with chronology and verbiage that were incredibly confusing, so bad marks for editing. I would have gone an entirely different direction with the film, and if he would have focused the story more than I think he would have had something really incredible. As it is, as the years pass, this film will be mostly forgotten unlike Saving Private Ryan, Bridge over the River Kwai, Patton, A Bridge Too Far, and Tora! Tora! Tora!. Yes I found Dunkirk rather boring, and if you never see it, you will not be missing anything whatsoever, which is real shame because this actual historical story deserved a far better treatment than what Christopher Nolan gave it.

Christopher Nolan interview on Dunkirk

Star Trek Discovery trailer for series (looks interesting)

Dunkirk trailer

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