Monday, 31 July 2017

Dunkirk

I just about gave up on cinemas years ago due to people, yakking, crisp bags, popcorn tubs, mobile phones and generally no thought for anyone else in the theatre, which was a shame as I still have that childish delight of watching something on the big screen in the dark.

I was quite prepared to wait for Dunkirk but all the bumf talked of the screaming sirens and the overwhelming sound of battle so it had to be the big screen, besides, the missus wanted to see it. So on Sunday afternoon off we toddled, despite my reputation I was really hoping to enjoy the movie.

Once our hero, or one of our heroes, managed to jump over the barricade I thought it all went a bit flat. Christopher Nolan does not like CGI seemingly but the film was crying out for it, not to overwhelm the experience but to bring the devastation of a defeated army to life. There was the odd truck and AA gun around and the whole thing was understated, I have seen busier beaches in Brighton when the sun comes out.


I was also puzzled why the RAF would be flying at 2,000ft across the channel when my memory recalls them fighting further inland and much higher, as you do in a fighter, trying to stop the Luftwaffe getting through. The only bit of the film I have to admit which engaged my interest was when 'Jock' couldn't get the canopy of his downed Spitfire open, I was happy Nolan didn't let him sink. As for the rest of the aerial action, well, have a look at this from The Eternal Zero.

I wasn't going to hold Nolan to ransom over historical accuracy because I know there are limitations and he has a much larger audience than a know it all wargamer to please and he may well have done that, but I am now going to search out the John Mills movie as even now it is presumed superior.

So overall I thought the movie uninteresting and flat, but that's just me, but so did the missus, the defence rests M'lud.

Oh, and the French were mentioned, several times, so they can keep schtum, and it is a British movie after all, and the other nonsense that the Imperial forces were ignored, considering there were, to the best of my knowledge, only two mule teams on the beach from the sub-continent, so what, perhaps they were way over in that last line heading into the sea and the racist reviewer just didn't see them. Dear me.

14 comments:

  1. I must admit that I gave up on 'modern' war movies when I saw the trash that was 'Fury'. There are great scenes of hardware but F All else to be honest. Your review of Dunkirk leads me to similar conclusions, without even having seen the thing.

    I think, our mobile hugging, video game playing society has embraced quick 'frills' that don't need too much attention or intelligence to grasp...and God help a movie that might have a story to tell, without some blood-curdling action.

    For some reason, as I get older, I find myself enjoying older movies. At this rate, I foresee myself embracing the 1920s silent era in about, ohhh, three years?

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    1. The fact there was no story to Dunkirk was the problem.

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  2. Frankly wargamers should never go to see war films, they cannot help but be disappointed by things the general viewer simply doesn't see! I thought it a decent picture, but certainly not great. I was rooting for the jock to sink though...

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    1. Prepare for the knock on the door at 2am and listen for the jackboots.

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    2. Jockboots should that read...?

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  3. The John Mills version is on offer at Sainsbury's and it's light years better than this current crap. I really couldn't see the point of the new film - it doesn't tell the story of the evacuation and the apparent reluctance to use CGI renders it laughable - I'm sure I saw a Blue Flag At one point because the beach was so pristine. At least the French get a mention - the Germans certainly don't.

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    1. I think most movie goers enjoyed it, despite such war movies being unpopular but thankfully we have all the old black and white classics to fall back on.

      It must be difficult to show the Germans as the baddies in our one big happy European family now.

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  4. Thanks for the review George. I was thinking of taking myself along to the local "clickies" but will now await its arrival on Netflix or whatever.

    Sounds like the GLBTQ community were under represented in Dunkirk too?

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    1. Best wait Matt. As for the other thing, the BLT brigade are getting enough coverage from the Beeb and Ch4 for the mo.

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    2. Oh they were undoubtedly there too, serving heroically as had Sassoon (CBE, MC) and Wilfred Owen (MC) in the earlier war.Must have been interesting for them, facing, on the on hand, death if caught by the Nazis, on the other, incarceration and "cure" if caught by the British. Hard to represent in a single D6 morale throw.

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  5. And another thing! Was there any logical reason why Mark Rylance took his "Little Boat" a couple of hundred miles back via the Dorset coast rather than the 55 miles back to Ramsgate on Route X like everyone else?

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    1. "Ice Cold In Alex" the first movie I can actually remember seeing and still enjoy.

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  6. "Ice Cold in Alex" is one of the greats. Harry Andrews makes a great NCO as he did as well in "A Hill in Korea". Pretty obvious that the hysterical nurse was doomed to an early demise as she was far too annoying. I read the Dunkirk thread on BGG and it starts with several muppets saying how great it is, tears rolling down cheeks at the performance of the little boats, proud to be British, great that no CGI used etc. Then the serious players weighed in calling it a load of rubbish, that Nolan distorted history, that his decision to go without CGI was pure nonsensical hubris and that he managed to use a cast of thousands to create an impression of hundreds. Life's too short for me even to bother watching this and I'm still confused as to why it was ever made.

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