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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:59 pm 
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I found The Great Escape a bit lacking in character development. Another beef was of course it had to make the 'Murican soldiers be the really big heroes. In reality, NONE of the escaping prisoners were from the States, as the camp commander moved the U.S. prisoners to a separate barracks before the tunnel was completed.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:07 am 
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Saw WW with son and husband.
Husband came along for the ride and doesn't like super hero movies anyway, so his opinion doesn't count.

Son and I, who have been looking forward to this very much, were both disappointed in oh! so many ways! Even felt pissed off about some issues.

I won't go into them, because most everyone here liked the movie and I don't want to rain on your parade, but just saying.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:05 am 
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Speaking as someone else who was really disappointed in the movie I'd be interesting in hearing your impressions - it's always interesting to see if you like (or dislike) something for the same reasons as someone else.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:56 pm 
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I would be interested in hearing them, too, and I liked the movie--at least until the drawn-out battle at the end.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:47 pm 
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I enjoyed the movie but did think the movie had a lot of rather glaring flaws (several of which LM pointed out). Was rather surprised how enthusiastically liked it seemed to be.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:15 pm 
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Sunsilver wrote:
I found The Great Escape a bit lacking in character development. Another beef was of course it had to make the 'Murican soldiers be the really big heroes. In reality, NONE of the escaping prisoners were from the States, as the camp commander moved the U.S. prisoners to a separate barracks before the tunnel was completed.


I didn't know that. I wish they wouldn't play around with History! :(

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:16 pm 
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My sense is that the American cinema is so lacking in female leads that do not fit into a few molds*, that the audience welcomes even a flawed movie, which I thought WW was, as long as they are not the same old flaws.

* To be specific, that are not written to entertain a male viewer.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 11:38 am 
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Dunkirk.

Having been impressed by Christopher Nolan’s previous work, I was keen to see his take on this.

And it is impressive. At times, really impressive. But it won’t appeal to everyone. It’s very much a film-maker's film in that it has limited dialogue and tells its story through visuals, sound, and small details like the expressions on the faces of the characters. As such, I expect viewers who prefer more character interaction might find it a bit of a drag. But it has a compelling intensity to it that never lets up. I found it took a good fifteen minutes for my breathing to return to normal after I left the cinema.

Looking across Nolan’s work, I think world-building comes out as one of his strengths – The Dark Knight trilogy, Interstellar and now, Dunkirk, all have entirely plausible settings. Dunkirk is very realistic in pretty much every respect – for example, it has no sweeping battle scenes, and most soldiers never see the enemy except in the frequent air-raids. Nolan opted to film it in 70mm film rather than digitally, although I don’t know how much that contributes to this feeling of authenticity. It also uses very little CGI, and the special effects are mostly practical.

I remember a reviewer saying that one of the strengths of the Dark Knight was that it was more of a crime drama than a conventional superhero film, and it’s probably fair to say Dunkirk is more of a suspense thriller than a conventional war film. It’s claustrophobic, not least for all the lengthy scenes of people trapped on sinking ships and in the cockpits of sinking aircraft, and unrelenting in its pace. The ticking clock from the trailer appears in the film as well as a motif, and the score builds up steadily with intentionally-jarring mixes of strings and percussion.

I have a few criticisms, but they’re pretty small. On the whole it’s a great effort, and I’ll definitely be interested to see what Nolan turns out next.

Fun trivia: the woman sitting next to me in the theatre was English, and her father was one of the soldiers rescued from the beach at Dunkirk.



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:47 pm 
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Also Dunkirk. I left feeling very conflicted.

On the one hand:
On a moment to moment basis, it is astounding. Relentlessly intense from almost the first moment. Both the technical and artistic skill behind the camera put Nolan in near peerless territory. Just about every other shot or sequence feels like a masterpiece. So many, many scenes are breathtaking (often literally), beautiful, and harrowing.

On the other hand:
The movie strings together all these great moments into something that doesn't add up to much of anything. The movie ultimately seems to have very little to say, or much of a story to tell. When you step back and look at the big picture, it's oddly basic. Nolan fails to give much of this action and drama any context to make it meaningful, either on an intimate, personal level (there are no protagonists, and you barely know anyone's name) or on a larger historical/ political/cultural level. Perhaps this is my fault as I had not heard of Dunkirk before - is this incident well known overseas? - but I left the movie unsure why this particular war story was still worth telling.

Two smaller critiques - I found the use of different timelines mostly just added confusion, not any drama or tension; and why was so much of the dialogue so hard to make out?? I genuinely felt like I couldn't understand the majority of the dialogue. Very strange.

So, I don't know. It somehow manages to feel like both a monumental masterpiece and a bit of a pointless shrug of a movie.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:03 pm 
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yovargas wrote:
Perhaps this is my fault as I had not heard of Dunkirk before - is this incident well known overseas?


Yes.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:23 pm 
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Yes, it is the purple hippo's fault OR Yes, the incident is well known overseas?

=:)

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:16 pm 
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Both? I knew about it, or at least recognized from the trailer what the story was.

Saw the new Ghostbusters on cable. It was mildly amusing and ironically Hemsworth was my favorite part of it, as the ditzy blond secretary.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:49 pm 
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I'm no historian, but Dunkirk is about as iconic a placename as it gets from World War II, on a par with Pearl Harbour, Midway, Stalingrad, and a very few others.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:35 am 
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Hmmm. Okay, I'll have to take your word on that but the two people I saw it with, both pretty educated guys, hadn't heard of it either.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:34 am 
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I'll admit that when I heard the word I knew it had to do with war and/or a battle, and that's about it. I was honestly thinking it was possibly the site of a battle between the Scottish and the English.

:oops:

I'm not a big war buff, though.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 3:02 am 
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As a sidenote, I saw Nolan say somewhere that Battle of Algiers was a major inspiration for this film. That was the movie I recently gave an A+ to and said I think Túrin in particular might appreciate. So maybe take that as a second recommendation to see that movie. :)

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:49 am 
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yovargas wrote:
Two smaller critiques - I found the use of different timelines mostly just added confusion, not any drama or tension; and why was so much of the dialogue so hard to make out?? I genuinely felt like I couldn't understand the majority of the dialogue. Very strange.


The different timelines were one of my critiques as well. Given the film is basically a “race against the clock” scenario, mixing the timelines was a really odd choice and made it hard to keep up with what was happening when. I think this story would have worked much better with a straightforward “Day 1 – Day 2 – Day 3” structure.

A lot (most?) of the dialogue was accurate to early-20th century colloquial British regional dialects, so I understand that might be a challenge for American viewers, in the same way that a film with early 20th-century Southern American English might be a challenge for viewers outside the U.S.

yovargas wrote:
Hmmm. Okay, I'll have to take your word on that but the two people I saw it with, both pretty educated guys, hadn't heard of it either.


Dunkirk is an iconic event not so much for the Battle, but because the British managed to evacuate their Army when it seemed certain it would be wiped out. Shortly after the Allies were surrounded at Dunkirk, Churchill warned the House of Commons to “expect hard and heavy tidings” from the Continent. Had that happened, Britain would have been left defenceless and probably would have been forced to seek terms of peace from Hitler, and the Second World War would have ended with a German victory and Nazi domination of Europe.

The other thing that makes it really iconic is that many ordinary people took their little civilian boats across the Channel to help out, even at great personal risk (although many more were sailing with naval crews). IOW, Hitler was thwarted by people with fishing boats and yachts.

That, incidentally, leads onto another of my little criticisms. I understand that Nolan wanted to avoid big CGI scenes, but there were only about five small boats in his “Little Flotilla” rather than the few hundred there were in reality. I felt, at the end, we really deserved a sweeping shot showing dozens of boats taking tens of thousands of men off the beach.

ETA: It occurs to me the lack of context for unfamiliar viewers is probably because Nolan assiduously avoids any "as you know, Bob" dialogue, so there's not much for the audience to go by.

yovargas wrote:
As a sidenote, I saw Nolan say somewhere that Battle of Algiers was a major inspiration for this film. That was the movie I recently gave an A+ to and said I think Túrin in particular might appreciate. So maybe take that as a second recommendation to see that movie. :)


I’ve watched about half – I got sidetracked before I finished it. Will get onto it soon…


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:51 am 
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Túrin Turambar wrote:
Dunkirk is an iconic event not so much for the Battle, but because the British managed to evacuate their Army when it seemed certain it would be wiped out. Shortly after the Allies were surrounded at Dunkirk, Churchill warned the House of Commons to “expect hard and heavy tidings” from the Continent. Had that happened, Britain would have been left defenceless and probably would have been forced to seek terms of peace from Hitler, and the Second World War would have ended with a German victory and Nazi domination of Europe.


That should have been mentioned in the movie! (Though maybe it was and I just couldn't make out what they were saying....)

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:25 pm 
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yovargas wrote:
Túrin Turambar wrote:
Dunkirk is an iconic event not so much for the Battle, but because the British managed to evacuate their Army when it seemed certain it would be wiped out. Shortly after the Allies were surrounded at Dunkirk, Churchill warned the House of Commons to “expect hard and heavy tidings” from the Continent. Had that happened, Britain would have been left defenceless and probably would have been forced to seek terms of peace from Hitler, and the Second World War would have ended with a German victory and Nazi domination of Europe.


That should have been mentioned in the movie! (Though maybe it was and I just couldn't make out what they were saying....)


If it wasn't made clear, I see no point at all to the movie.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:51 pm 
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How important was Dunkirk and the little boats that helped with the evacuation?

Well, I remember having to memorize this poem in school!

Remember that France was overrun by German troops, and about to surrender, and that meant Britain would be standing alone at this time during the war.

The author of the poem was born in Northern Ireland, and emigrated to Canada. Interestingly, the book in which I found the poem is titled: The Artisan - This is Chap-Book Number Ninety-tufo.
Cover Design by J. E. H. Macdonald.

J. E. H. Macdonald was one of the Group of Seven artists. I'd like to be able to see the cover of the book!

Britain is having a full slate of activities to honour the little ships, and the 70th anniversary of the evacuation. http://bayourenaissanceman.blogspot.ca/ ... -70th.html More than 50 of the ships that helped in the evacuation are taking part in the events.

THE LITTLE BOATS OF BRITAIN

(A Ballad of Dunkirk.)

On many a lazy river, in many a sparkling bay,
The little boats of Britain were dancing, fresh and gay;
The little boats of Britain, by busy wharf and town,
A cheerful, battered company, were trading up and down.
A voice of terror through the land ran like a deadly frost:

“King Leopold has left the field, our men are trapped and lost.
No battle-ship can reach the shore, through shallows loud with
foam;
Then who will go to Dunkirk town, to bring our armies home?”

From bustling wharf and lonely bay, from river-side and coast.
On eager feet came hurrying a strange and motley host,
Young lads and grandsires, rich and poor, they breathed one
frantic prayer;
“0 send us with our little boats to save our armies there!”

Never did such a motley host put out upon the tide:
The jaunty little pleasure-boats in gaudy, painted pride,
The grimy tugs and fishing-smacks, the tarry hulks of trade,
With paddle, oar, and tattered sail, went forth on their Crusade.

And on that horror-haunted coast, through roaring bomb and
shell,
Our armies watched around them close the fiery fangs of hell,
Yet backward, backward to Dunkirk they grimly battled on,
And the brave hearts beat higher still, when hope itself was
gone.

And there beneath the bursting skies, amid the mad uproar,
The little boats of Britain were waiting by the shore;
While from the heavens, dark with death, a flaming torrent fell,
The little boats undaunted lay beside the wharves of hell.

Day after day, night after night, they hurried to and fro;
The screaming planes were loud above, the snarling seas below.
And haggard men fought hard with sleep, and when their strength
was gone,
Still the brave spirit held them up, and drove them on and on.

And many a grimy little tramp, and skiff of painted pride
Went down in thunder to a grave beneath the bloody tide,
But from the horror-haunted coast, across the snarling foam,
The little boats of Britain brought our men in safety home.

Full many a noble vessel sails the shining seas of fame.
And bears, to ages yet to be, an unforgotten name:
The ships that won Trafalgar’s fight, that broke the Armada’s
pride, —
And the little boats of Britain shall go sailing by their side!

Sara Carsley

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Last edited by Sunsilver on Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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