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Jason_Williams

Dunkirk Movie - Thoughts?

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Hey guys,

 

I saw Nolan's Dunkirk last night. As with most Nolan movies I come away not sure if I like it or hate it.

 

Anyone else see it? 

 

My personal opinion is that the flying and dogfight scenes were a bit underwhelming even if they tried to be realistic in their portrayal. (Yes I feel like critiquing something for a change instead of being critiqued. Nolan makes more than me, he'll survive)

 

Thoughts? 

 

Jason

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I think interest for WW2 aviation make you know a little to much about the planes used and their markings, to fully enjoy the movie. Not seen it yet, but I read a lot about how details in "normal" peoples view have ruined the overall experience of the film for people like us

Edited by 216th_LuseKofte

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Not seen it yet, but as with any war movie, what concerns me most are the characters. In my book a war movie succeeds or fails depending on whether I actually care if the people I see on screen live or die.

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I thought it was great, especially the Spit MkV fights!

 

watch out you might get PTSD. 

 

also the time events where shot well.

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On another aviation game board a person made a comment about the Mosquito. :rolleyes:

 

I think interest for WW2 aviation make you know a little to much about the planes used and their markings, to fully enjoy the movie.

 

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Personally i want my 2 hours back. It's a good survival film, but i kept getting ripped out of the movie by stupid things that made me constantly think "why?"

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I'm talking as a movie fan and not a sim maker. I have other hobbies ya know.

 

Jason

 

As am I. There were just too many scenes that ground my gears.

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I'm going tomorrow - trying to keep my expectations reasonable.

 

So far the most realistic rendition of WWII aerial combat I've seen is in Unbroken - however brief.

I'm cautiously hopeful that thus movie will surpass it.

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Fantastic IMO. Remember this isnt 1960 something with Buchons and Spits all over the place for aerial cinematography. Its probably as dyanmic as the BoB Britain flight and the other aircraft's insurance would allow. Def beats the garbage from Red Tails. It puts combat aviation at the forefront in a big name big budget film. Good for IL2.

Edited by Banzaii

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I won't see it until Monday - 70 mm, Imax, reserved seating whoo hoo!

 

I think Fink will be disappointed, though, all of the reviews say character development takes a backseat to the overall portrayal of desperation. I'm excited nonetheless.

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Saw it tonight with the Misses, and we both enjoyed it a lot. I thought the air combat scenes (which do take up a good chunk of the movie) were pretty good.

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I saw it on Thursday night on IMAX.  I knew what to expect because I'd watched Stuckman's non spoiler review and I was not disappointed.  I absolutely loved the film, from every aspect except two:

 

a) I would have liked to see more of a depiction of the proximity of the overwhelming German forces to the beach front and the desperation of the French holding them off to allow the British to escape,

b) The last airkill had me thinking, "Why'd ya have to all glorified Hollywood on us???"

 

With regards to the air fighting (smaller details aside), I walked away thinking, "That's as real as it's ever going to get in cinema".  I have always felt that as sim pilots we are used to taking liberties both in pursuit and escape that real pilots at the time may likely not have taken, given similar situations, especially that low to the deck... but maybe that's just me.  And for that belief, for me personally, it just felt so very right.

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If you like air combat and WW2 this movie has it in spades!!  I really enjoyed the pacing and the tension.  Saw it on IMAX 70mm so the visuals were awesome and the sound was very effective and visceral. :salute:

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I saw it a couple of hours ago and on balance I like it. It didn't blow me away but I certainly don't regret buying my ticket either, there were some quite tense survival scenes and bugger all talking which I liked as it's not something that needs much dialogue and also lessens the chance of any cheesy/gung-ho b.s. lines spoiling the feel of it.
I'd like to critique it (especially the air combat scenes) some more but I don't want to put out any spoilers either so I'll say this: my first sentence pretty much sums up my experience as a movie goer... and as a WW2 aviation fan I'd say I approve in general terms of the air-to-air scenes. Needless to say that there are some details in the script that aren't right but on the whole the attention to detail is quite good and using real aircraft (and some pretty damn good art direction) means we get some great scenes, not like the crap in Red Tails or Fly Boys where the aircraft fly about like they're space ships from a Star Wars space fight!
One thing I can say that won't spoil anyone's first viewing, I'm glad to say that the excessive use of Jericho Trumpets in the trailers isn't in the film. One only hears them when there're diving Stukas :)
 


b) The last airkill had me thinking, "Why'd ya have to all glorified Hollywood on us???"

 

 

Yeah, that was, for me, the one bit that was too b.s. to be ignored.

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Overall, it was just "OK", I'm glad I saw it but in the end it was another missed opportunity. I've commented elsewhere on the aerial combat scenes so I won't go into that more here.

 

The tone and feel of the movie began very well...the nod to the French soldiers ("bon-voyage") holding the perimeter had me thinking this might actually turn into a special movie. It didn't.

 

The perimeter of Dunkirk was absolutely harrowing...the movie should have focused more on this...instead it became a movie about one yacht and a spitfire, and the more the movie progressed to it's fizzling end, the less suspenseful it got.

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Saw it yesterday as well and really enjoyed it. A few thoughts:

 

  • Enjoyed the old school film vibe (very little dialogue, anonymous characters). Felt similar to great films in the 20s & 30s. Nolan cited "Greed" as an inspiration.
  • Enjoyed the air battles. I was impressed by the pace and patience - no one shot kills!
  • Really liked the portrayal of checking the fuel in the spit. Nice touch! 

 

And yea, @Finkeren - you may want to wait for DVD, as the characters are intentionally anonymous. I think the aim was to show that war dehumanizes. 

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I watched it Thursday in Temecula on Imax, the sound was what struck me at first, those shots made me jump lol. 

 

You can definitely tell if the aircraft was allied or enemy just from the sound, this is exactly what was told me to from people that lived through it and were old enough to remember, this was conveyed quite well during the yacht scene. I see all this as an amalgamation of emotions and events from a huge operation and made for a good movie. Not having Churchill in the movie, other than a soldier reading the speech? Was this a good move? I liked the end personally, instead of being treated as a losing army they were given a heroes welcome.

 

However, I would absolutely recommend finding and watching the BBC Dunkirk documentary from 2004 as it conveys far more than an 1.47hr movie can ever do. This is the review:

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/3602776/BBC-gets-the-historical-drama-of-Dunkirk-absolutely-right.html.

 

Here is a good review of Dunkirk:

 

https://www.world-at-war.co.uk/?p=423

 

Would you trust Nolan to make a D-Day movie for instance given the same constraints on resources?

Edited by TheBlackPenguin

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It was OK.

Nolan could have/should have played up the "let's go get our boys!" aspect a bit more...he pretty much missed the opportunity here by sticking with with one little yacht story.

The "Nolan feel" was oppressive in this movie...I didn't care for it most of the time.

 

Also the choppy story telling...it's night, now it's day, now it's night again...took me a minute to figure out how he was tying the different stories together there.

This annoyed me.

 

The air sequences were good, (not amazing) loved the keeping track of the fuel like someone said above...but HATED the external shots along the fuselage that clearly was not a Spitfire but some kind of radial engined trainer with fake stacks on the side.

Hell you could even see the real exhaust down under the cowl which they didn't bother to remove digitally. Poor choice there. I also kept mentally pulling the trigger on the 109's when proper lead was achieved, but this was never when Tom Hardy actually

took the shot. It was often late, and in reality those shots would have missed by a mile.

 

Still...loved the cockpit shots, loved it when he fire-walled the throttle.

 

So overall while I was hoping to have a 100% different take than Jason, I feel pretty much the same all things considered.

I didn't hate it, but didn't love it like I was hoping.

I figured out that I really don't care for Nolan's style.

Edited by Gambit21

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I thoroughly enjoyed that during the air combat sequences the Spitfire's machine guns didn't cause the targets they hit to instantaneously catch fire and then explodes seconds later.

 

Watched it with a few friends who scoff at the idea of playing combat flight simulators, the air combat sequences seemed to peak their interest. I got a few questions of "Was it really like that?" and it was an odd feeling to reply "yeah, pretty much" - especially after going to see Red Tails with the same group and they couldn't understand why I felt like I had completely wasted my money.

 

Hats off to Nolan :salute:

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Seen yesterday with my wife who liked it very much. I liked it as well, generally, and I think it's a really good movie, as a movie, but there was something which alienated me from the story after some ten minutes. Possibly it's only personal taste, but I felt the music was a bit too much for me. Without the music I would have felt what they felt, but with the music I felt I was expected and directed to feel what I should feel for them. My personal response was 'no, thanks', I clearly see what's going on, and I don't need being told about it in emotional melodies. Artificial immersion hurts your emotional health. Otherwise,

1) the very close Vee formation they flew made me tremble; I understand the British were using some suicide tactics in this early phase of the war, but I believe flying so close could only result in a crash and would have been avoided at any cost; notably, in inside view the neighboring aircraft was at least 100 yards apart, not 30, as from external view;

2) the lack of understanding deflection shooting might be even realistic for newbie pilots in 1940; my wife maliciously remarked that those were the scenes she was most familiar with after having watched my actions on the screen several times  :)

3) the Stuka-kill in the final scene was, yes, something like the last 15 minutes in 'Fury': may occasionally happen by chance, but should have never really happened except in the worst Hollywood movies.

Edited by sniperton

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Just watched on IMAX (2D) this evening.

 

I loved the movie. The air scenes were a bit underwhelming but I guess people in this forum would expect more than the average Joe.

 

They used two Spitfire MkI and one MkV (center of formation).

 

Is it just me or the He111 dorsal MG was a big 20mm cannon? It felt out of place but i'm not too familiar with those early day models.

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Just got back from seeing it with the wife and one son.  On balance, everybody seemed to like it, but there were a few principal complaints:

 

1. The fragmented story telling (seeing the same thing several times so you could get the perspectives of several of the participants) was overdone and confusing, even after you figured out what Nolan was going for - especially the flipping back and forth between night and day which even I was struggling with.  Maybe a little of  that would have been OK, but I think that it would have been a better movie if he'd just taken a more straightforward, linear approach and just judiciously cut from one part of the scene to another to convey the fact that the characters' story lines were intersecting at those points.

 

2.  I found the information presented about the historical situation to be pretty sparse, and I knew a lot about the battle/evacuation - for the other family members who were only vaguely familiar with the back story, they felt really lost at times.  And the opening set of titles (or whatever they're called) about the mole, sea and air were horribly cryptic, unexplained and never really tied into the story - if you're going to bother to take people out of the immersion of the film by throwing narrative words onto the screen, at least make them meaningful and understandable.

 

3.  In the opening scenes I thought that the French were actually going to get some love, but they didn't really and in the end if you didn't know the history you could easily walk away with the idea that the British deliberately prevented all the French from escaping and that the only Frenchman to get off the beach was the one who was hiding in a purloined British uniform (if indeed he even made it - I got so confused between all the unknown, generic actors/faces on the little boat that I lost track of who it was that drowned trying to get out of the boat).  All they got was some vague, cryptic remark from Kenneth Branagh at the end that he was "staying for the French", whatever that was supposed to mean (everybody and all the boats had already left, so I'm not sure exactly what he was expecting to accomplish by staying).  There was no hint that actually tens of thousands of those who were evacuated were French, and certainly not enough appreciation shown for the role the French played in defending the perimeter and buying time for the evacuation.  Pretty much wasted Branagh in this one, too - they could certainly have used him to provide some of the missing information about what was going on (through some dialogue with some of the other officers there, perhaps) that one might have used a narrator to provide, without actually having to have a narrator.

 

But on balance more good points than bad ones.

 

Yeah, it did seem weird that the Spitfire pilot(s) didn't seem to know how to lead or when to take their shots, and I thought it was a bit strange that he would have thought landing on sand with his wheels down was a good idea, but those were just minor quibbles. Overall, I thought that the air action was quite well handled throughout and really added to the enjoyment of the film.  And the biggest plus of all was that they resisted the urge to "HBO it up" with gratuitous sex scenes and/or dysfunctional love triangles or broken families, and just stayed focused on the actual point of the story.

 

Could it have been better?  Certainly, and it's a shame they wasted some opportunities, but it didn't stink and it wasn't another blasted superhero movie, so what the heck - thumbs up  :salute:

Edited by TG-55Panthercules
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My friend watched it and he did not recommend it,btw is that true that they never said that they fight against Germany​ only against enemy?

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I forgot to say in my previous post that the handful of people I spoke to who had already seen it before I saw it myself all really liked the film but none of them are, so far as I know, WW2 aviation fans like us.
As we're pointing out various flaws with the aerial scenes, I'm assuming there are Navy fans on assorted sites pointing out the flaws with the naval scenes? I don't know jack about ships but I assume they would have observations similar to ours.

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Having just seen it after giving the significant other the choice of "Dunkirk" or "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets", I am rather regretting that she chose "Dunkirk". 

 

I thought it was poor 2/5.     There were scenes that looked good, mostly on the beaches.  It did capture the terror of being under Stuka attack well.  The Spitfires look divine, as always.

 

Apart from that: disjointed editing, truly appalling and intrusive music, and most critically the lack of any real narrative thread made this film tiresome to watch.  By half way through I was hoping the Stukas would just get all the protagonists and put them - and me - out of our agony. 

Edited by unreasonable

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due to our lovely pharmaceutical industry having to stay 90 minutes locked in a place would be torture, its called anhedonia, the lack of dopamines, dopamines which cause insanity and hence its corrected

 

well i dont complain that should mean i cant get parkinson, acoording shrinks you cant be inasne and have parkinson because one means too much dopmanine and the other too little

 

ask hitler :)

 

goddamt it i hate the modern inquisitors i cant even watch a movie, last movie i watch was the last star wars trilogy

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...anyway.

 

 

 

I made the same choice Unreasonable and came to much the same conclusion.

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Watched it two days ago and I have to say I loved it.

 

A war movie about soldiers, about war, and fear. The lack of romance and little dialogue were a great touch, and the survival factor was gut wrenching. That scene where the Scottish pilot is stuck in the Spitfire filling up with water was pretty intense. It was an old school war movie and I hope it succeeds and encourages other filmmakers to look beyond the Pearl Harbour model, war movies of late have been proper rubbish.

 

I actually liked the editing a lot, and the non-linear passages, since there were three stories with different lengths being told (as the intro had it, soldiers spent a week on the beach, sailors a day on the sea, and pilots an hour in the air) and each of these three stories had a different pacing. I enjoyed the acting as well, everyone did a decent job.

 

Didn't really go for the aerial footage so whatever I got was good. The gunnery was nervy and I wanted to squeeze the trigger every time the correct lead was applied but that's such a minor detail.

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due to our lovely pharmaceutical industry having to stay 90 minutes locked in a place would be torture, its called anhedonia, the lack of dopamines, dopamines which cause insanity and hence its corrected

 

well i dont complain that should mean i cant get parkinson, acoording shrinks you cant be inasne and have parkinson because one means too much dopmanine and the other too little

 

ask hitler :)

 

goddamt it i hate the modern inquisitors i cant even watch a movie, last movie i watch was the last star wars trilogy

 

 

Watch it in chuncks once it's available to watch from home.

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Well, I’ve just walked out of the IMAX Theater with the missus. I'll try to do an overview rather than write a novel on the subject.

 

We both enjoyed it immensely. I haven’t watched a Nolan film that I’ve hated so I can live with his sequencing choices. They weren’t too distracting overall.

 

The sound design alone was worth the trip. There is a Blenheim flyover that even got my wifey, who is notably not an airplane aficionado, to go, “whoa,” when the engines reverberated throughout the theater. There are several moments of explosions or gunfire which jolted the entire audience out of their seats like it was a horror movie gotcha.

 

The aircraft sequences were well done and most of the digital stuff was meshed together with the live stuff well enough as to be nearly unnoticeable. The combat scenes were well done with the single exception of the aforementioned “Hollywood,” moment. Even that got the audience roused a bit, however, so it probably works if you are not a jaded WWII flight sim junkie. Should there have been more aircraft in the air or were both sides just puting onesy twosey's in the air? I know there were real life complaints about, "where's the airforce," but I have a hard time believing a single He 111 with two close escorts would attack the beachead.

 

The overall feel of desperation is palpable. I think my wife’s empathy buttons were pushed six or seven times. There were a few moments of impending doom that worked really well. On the other hand, when the small boats fleet arrives the feeling of salvation is notable and the crowd responded favorably around us.

 

I would have liked to see a few more moments of French perspective as we are not well versed in that aspect on this side of the pond. It was a little odd there was no German perspective at all, outside of the aircraft interactions.

 

For Fink, our suspicions were confirmed. There is little in the way of deep character development but the movie still works well nonetheless.

 

I think Dunkirk is very well done, if not exceptional, and I'd put it in the 90% range just like Rotten Tomatoes does. 

Edited by II/JG17_HerrMurf
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Did they really use a 40 year old actor like Tom Hardy as Spitfire pilot? That one should be half that age... Unless he had the rank of General. But seriously...

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The film has been ridiculously over hyped in the media, but that was to be expected. While I thought it was a very well-crafted film, I wasn’t blown away by it. At least it didn’t fall into the trap of revisionist history nonsense that we are seeing in many modern “historical” films of late.

 

 It’s hard to argue that Nolan is not a fantastic director and that he portrayed the fear and tension very well on screen. This was helped by the fact that the German ground forces were the “unseen” enemy more or less throughout the whole film.  

 

The clever crafting of the films story from the perspective of land, sea and air was very well done.

 

A few of minor gripes, the use of 1970s rail carriages (why) and one or two shots of the coastline seemed to reveal some rather “modern” buildings. While the aerial combat was well filmed it certainly didn’t appear to be very accurate.

 

Overall, I thought it was a good but not great film. I particularly liked  the panoramic shots of the Spitfire, out of fuel, gliding along the Dunkirk shoreline towards the end of the film (a great bit of cinematography IMO). I’m sure it will win awards and will no doubt it will find a place in my 4K collection I just wish it hadn’t been so hyped up before I went to see it.  

 

Edit: I forgot to add it was nice to hear Michael Caine's voice over the Spitfire Coms! 

 

Edited by 6./ZG26_Custard

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This is interesting, a thread with good photos of the aircraft (including the camera ships) used in the movie. Once you see the size of the camera used for the exterior 'Spitfire' shots one can see why they didn't mount it on an actual Spit.

http://forums.airshows.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=74081

 

Edited by HBPencil
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I would have preferred it if they'd just done away with the exterior shots personally...it took me out of the movie every time.

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I enjoyed the film as I saw it 2 days ago.

The screenplay was exceptional.  I did find the film to have some drawn out aspects but still enjoyable.

The aerial fighting, IMO, was very well done.  I appreciated the fuel management coinciding with the "time" aspect of the movie.

 

Remember, the movie was made for entertainment with a historical story line and not meant to be a completely realistic historical account (a point I see a lot of flight sim guys missing when they discuss the movie).  There wasn't anything "over the top" regarding the aerial combat.  Again, some unrealistic things but nothing that made me roll my eyes.

Overall it's definitely worth a watch.

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Preface - I liked the movie a lot and I think the air combat is as good as we are gonna get out of Hollywood for the foreseeable future.

 

Bones to pick:

1. Spitfire bar - If Jason had Christopher Nolan's budget you bet your ass he would properly model refraction.

2. Ammo - Sort of like the cowboy movies where the magic 6 shooter is actually a 15 shooter, I thought Tommy Hardy sure had a lot of bullets to shoot down what? 2 109s, 2 111s, and one glorious ju 87 kill plus a lot of tense misses.

3. No strong female lead? Really? Common its 2017. Couldn't you make the general/navy man or someone a girl? And Harry Styles doesn't count (jokes aside solid job by the boy wonder. Hard to recognize at first without his trademark hair and stupid hat).

 

Almost a bone:

Power off flight. On one hand I am happy that they didn't have the spit drop like a rock as Hollywood tends to portray un-powered flight. On the other hand, I don't think he had the energy to maneuver as much as he did - glorious ju-87 kill aside (hey I've done it in both ROF and BOX so i can let it slide).

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On point 3, I don't think the situation warranted it. There were very few women in the front in 1940, let alone general officers.

 

Harry Styles did a great job indeed though.

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