Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Jason_Williams

Dunkirk Movie - Thoughts?

Recommended Posts

"Come and see" is a legendary masterpiece. Less than that will do, but there has to be characters to care for which can raise the stakes. That is absolutely essential to any war movie. 

Through out my years of hanging around flight sim forums, I've heard the comments about aviation or war films being ruined by "love stories" being tossed into the story. When plot lines are clumsily handled, they do. But too many people posting comments like that only want to see airplanes zooming around. I like that too but it makes for a damn boring film. Two of the best aviation war films I've watched, Twelve O'clock High and Command Decision, have very little in regards to actual flying scenes. I doubt both would add up to an hour's worth between them. What they do have is character development and intelligent story telling. You walk away from both films after watching them, knowing who the characters were and what they were about. To me, that's what separates great films from overblown, large budget disappointments like Dunkirk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Battle of Sevastopol movie has it all. Historical narrative,love story, characters of different kind...And attack on convoy evacuating Sevastopol,all done in CGI but I liked that scene very much. What can go wrong with Emil's (not buchons) fighting ishaks :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I so want to see that movie! But I haven't yet found a decent version with English subs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My all time favourite war movie is heavily focused on romance, but it's because it fits.

 

The main problem with most war movies is, they try to create something extraordinary artificially and that misses the point entirely. This war wasn't a bunch of rag tag Rambos running around, or forbidden love stories, or special super duper secret missions all the time. Most of it was common folk doing what they felt was right, to help their countries. It could have and would have been people like us at the front, but directors forget that and think heroes weren't average people, creating these screwed up Pearl Harbouresque disasters.

 

For those interested on the movie by the way, with English subtitles, based on true stories.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Remember that the entire film is told through the eyes and ears of the victors

 

Fix'd but your point is well taken, there were plenty of victims. ;)

Edited by Ace_Pilto

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hint: It's the one thing worth fighting a war for.

 

Ironic, nicht war?

 

Ha ha ha ha ha!

 

Anyway, I'll leave you Clampetts to your banjo lessons.

Edited by Ace_Pilto

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was excited because of the excellent media reviews. I was not so excited after I saw it in IMAX.

I give it a 6/10 rating. "meh".

watch it again? - yes.

liked it: yes.

after theater feeling: "why am I feeling sort of underwhelmed?"

.

CONS:

  1. I don't understand the desire to make a realistic war movie, but avoid any blood, especially considering modern SFX methods. this was a haunting realization throughout the whole movie. it actually dissuaded much of the fear and immersion that was apparently trying to be conveyed. for instance, the opening scene when the soldier gets shot in the back right in front of the fence, but no blood spatter on the fence. next we see the star jump the fence and shells ripping the wood to pieces. I immediately began to feel like I was watching an original B&W lone ranger episode. this continued. even after watching the bombs hit the beach and pier. no blood, no body parts. and the body getting lifted by the explosion on the beach seemed to have a hauntingly unrealistic delay. while Quentin Tarantino mode may not be necessary, bloodless war scenes are unrealistic. the pianist, Gibson, eastwood could have had some valuable input to this movie.
  2. after it was all done, I felt like I didn't see much. the same scenario with different POV's was interesting somewhat, but it was done so much that I began to "know" what was going to happen. instead of seeing "more", I began to feel like I was seeing a lot of "less".
  3. the germans were ghosts, except for the planes. and there were only a few planes. only at the end, when the pilot is captured, do we see an actual german soldier. despite the 'action' scenes, I still began to feel like the enemy wasn't really there. I should have been made to feel overwhelmed by his presence and the desperate urgency. maybe this was a realistic POV? may be, but a soldier on that beach had different experiences than I did sitting in my comfy theater seat.
  4. I found the center of attention to be interesting, but only for a time. too much time was given to sitting on the stars' shoulders. imho, the same effect could've been accomplished with less time. and some of that time could've been given to more diversity of intense action scenes.

PROS:

  1. loved the spitfire scenes. wished there were more scenes and more spitfires. the 111 was nice to watch, too. but just 1? the 109's, being buchons, didn't look realistic to me. overall I wanted to see more of this action.
  2. no romance. im SO sick of watching war movies that are nothing more than a romance cloaked in a war setting.
  3. good camera work.
  4. good props.
Edited by Gump

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 2 "109s" were flying aircover in formation with the He 111. Level flight. That's even more stupid than the sand landing with gear or ditching with a closed canopy and flying with a dead engine with full flaps. Well done, Nolan.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dunkirk proves that a movie doesn't have to be entertaining to be good. Dunkirk proves that a movie doesn't have to be realistic to be good. Dunkirk proves that a movie doesn't even have to be good to be good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dunkirk proves that a movie doesn't have to be entertaining to be good. Dunkirk proves that a movie doesn't have to be realistic to be good. Dunkirk proves that a movie doesn't even have to be good to be good.

Good point. The film, not so much. :P

Edited by Rjel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a shame really, because Nolan actually largely succeeded with his ambitious narrative structure. It was just the wrong film for that.

Edited by Finkeren

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Took a buddy to see it. With the exception of tension level it was better on the second viewing. The character development was there but nuanced. I briefed him on the awkward timeline thing and he ended up enjoying the film quite a bit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 2 "109s" were flying aircover in formation with the He 111. Level flight. That's even more stupid than the sand landing with gear or ditching with a closed canopy and flying with a dead engine with full flaps. Well done, Nolan.

Eh, I blame Göring for that. He thought it was a good idea in real life, which is why there are still Jews in Europe.

 

Say what you want about them, but Hitler and Göring were the greatest assets the Allies had.

Edited by FFS_Cybermat47

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A bit late, but personally I loved Dunkirk. While I don't have a lot to add, an interesting POV of the movie which I believe should be known by any history buff before watching this movie: "It is aiming for authenticity, and not historical accuracy."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is more about the individua human than the abstract army of men. In the end each of the characters represents the "multitude of ants" we see in the war photos and read in stories.

 

Saw it on premiere IMAX version and was blown. Been years ( well over a dozen ) since I was in a large cinema room and the audience was 101% quiet the entire length.

 

I'm not a fan of CGI, so was a tremendous plus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally caught the flick, didn't like it.

 

The scope of the evacuation was missed. They seemed to be trying to catch a ferry home after a European holiday. A few Stukas, no sustained portrayal of the pressing threat, or how they ended up on the beach. 

 

The air to air was rather lame, minimal maneuvering, no saddling in a turning fight, a single He111. like there were three airplanes in the entire RAF, and two in the Luftwaffe.

 

Then the Spit pilot running out of gas at the end. He cranks the gear down to land on the beach, far riskier than bellying it in, for what? To save the aircraft for the Germans? He's got a beach full of armed allies to protect him, and a flotilla of boats to take him home, so what does he do? Glide miles down the beach so he can be captured by the Germans. Since he landed with the gear down, he has to blast the Spit with a flare gun to set off the fuel load so the Germans can't exploit the fighter. Except that the tanks were empty.

 

And it burns with the prop hanging off of a long pipe, something that I can't seem to find in Spitfire cutaways...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The biggest gripe for me was Dunkirk itself and how it was portrayed. I mean that city was almost entirely destroyed and in the film everything is just fine. People have said that they couldn't do that, however, that didn't stop Spielberg from creating an entire village mock-up for the end of Saving Private Ryan or Atonement's absolutely brilliant production design. 

 

IMHO, Nolan completely failed to visually capture setting and failed at depicting the human side of the event.

 

 

Edited by detcord12b

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought it was well done. My mother (surprisingly) liked it very much. And she knew the standard, as myself and dad didn‘t spare her any TV showing of Battle of Britain, Tora Torra Tora etc. My wife even liked it, as she didn‘t fall asleep while watching it. So I give Nolan credit for that.

 

Of course, the beach was not nearly as crowded with soldiers and material as back then, even the village looked rather inhabitable, much unlike it was during these days. But the way the plot was made, the way individual caracters were portrayed I thought was well done.

 

What I found stunning were the flying scenes. Of course seeing the Buchons again, made me smile. You see them in the old movies, or on the ground in Duxford over all those years. And now in flight again. But the clarity and the way it was shot was just beautiful. Yak or not. It made me wonder how Battle of Britain would look like had it been shot that way. And how beautifully restored thise Spits were. 

 

Just that „plot twist“ at the end, when Kenneth Branagh anounced he would stay behind „for the French“, I just thought: poor schmocks! First the Nazis and now THAT.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, ZachariasX said:

I thought it was well done. My mother (surprisingly) liked it very much. And she knew the standard, as myself and dad didn‘t spare her any TV showing of Battle of Britain, Tora Torra Tora etc. My wife even liked it, as she didn‘t fall asleep while watching it. So I give Nolan credit for that.

 

Of course, the beach was not nearly as crowded with soldiers and material as back then, even the village looked rather inhabitable, much unlike it was during these days. But the way the plot was made, the way individual caracters were portrayed I thought was well done.

 

What I found stunning were the flying scenes. Of course seeing the Buchons again, made me smile. You see them in the old movies, or on the ground in Duxford over all those years. And now in flight again. But the clarity and the way it was shot was just beautiful. Yak or not. It made me wonder how Battle of Britain would look like had it been shot that way. And how beautifully restored thise Spits were. 

 

Just that „plot twist“ at the end, when Kenneth Branagh anounced he would stay behind „for the French“, I just thought: poor schmocks! First the Nazis and now THAT.

 

I never said it was a bad movie, it's not. It's really quite good. I just feel that it failed to properly capture what was not only the visual experience that was Dunkirk at the time but the human element as well. The city of Dunkirk itself was basically flattened in reality and seeing it abandoned but intact was immersion breaking and was something that really detracted from the film as a whole. The human element is pretty far off as well. Commonwealth troops were in complete disarray. It was a grueling waiting game for them until they could be evacuated. Many of them were drunk, sitting around, they playing football, engaged in horse racing all kinds of things to pass the time and to try and deal/cope with what they'd been through. The Dunkirk scene in Atonement was praised by surviving veterans as highly accurate.

 

It wasn't nearly as orderly as Nolan would like viewers to believe. 

 

image.jpg

 

dunkirk_2.jpg

 

Dunkirk_and_the_Retreat_From_France_1940

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't really think Nolan really wanted to make an exact depiction of the whole scene. Might be wrong with that though. But the focus on some induviduals and the surroundings giving just this eerie athmosphere of being exposted, I find nicely done.

 

As for the visuals, I find they are mostly way too beautiful. And I don't even mind that. On the big screen, this clarity and those IMAX colors... Even though it was summer, you don't have a sea liitered with oil patches and debris, the burning ports and stores. The aerial shots with the aircraft give almost an impression the had a day off over the Bermudas.

 

But even with this, I think the movie as such works. Hardly anyone I've asked really knew about operation Dynamo. For such an audience i think the movie does a good job to transmit some of what it was about. And it did not try to be a movie along the lines of Battle of Britain, it doesn't try to be a history lesson as such. Just showing a few people in those dire moments to give an idea what it could have been about.

 

As plain history lesson I agree though, there is not too much substance to it. The setting is "as if" and "the enemy" is (apart from the two Buchons) absent. I wondered, even while watching the movie how one could possibly make THIS movie when you have really 400'000 men on that beach instead of the couple of orderly very british queues. If you use Nolans way of interleavng time lines, I guess it would have been too confusing to work out as a story.

 

The upside to it is mostly that the movie is good enough to remind poeple that there was such an event. The setting and athmosphere are rather unique. But if they care to know more what really went on, you have to look elsewhere, true.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, ZachariasX said:

I don't really think Nolan really wanted to make an exact depiction of the whole scene. Might be wrong with that though. But the focus on some induviduals and the surroundings giving just this eerie athmosphere of being exposted, I find nicely done.

 

As for the visuals, I find they are mostly way too beautiful. And I don't even mind that. On the big screen, this clarity and those IMAX colors... Even though it was summer, you don't have a sea liitered with oil patches and debris, the burning ports and stores. The aerial shots with the aircraft give almost an impression the had a day off over the Bermudas.

 

But even with this, I think the movie as such works. Hardly anyone I've asked really knew about operation Dynamo. For such an audience i think the movie does a good job to transmit some of what it was about. And it did not try to be a movie along the lines of Battle of Britain, it doesn't try to be a history lesson as such. Just showing a few people in those dire moments to give an idea what it could have been about.

 

As plain history lesson I agree though, there is not too much substance to it. The setting is "as if" and "the enemy" is (apart from the two Buchons) absent. I wondered, even while watching the movie how one could possibly make THIS movie when you have really 400'000 men on that beach instead of the couple of orderly very british queues. If you use Nolans way of interleavng time lines, I guess it would have been too confusing to work out as a story.

 

The upside to it is mostly that the movie is good enough to remind poeple that there was such an event. The setting and athmosphere are rather unique. But if they care to know more what really went on, you have to look elsewhere, true.

 

 

 

I hear comments like these time and again. Thing is, a 10 year old romance drama captured the essence of Dunkirk in 20 minutes what Nolan's film couldn't do in it's entire 106 minute run-time. Honestly mate, there really is no excuse for that, period. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sick and tired of seeing historic events like this put in the hands of directors that aren't up to the task.

 

Don't want to make an exact depiction of an historic event? Then go make a work of fiction, and don't call it Dunkirk.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

cinema died the day cgi was born, not even point in actors and actresses anymore

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, raaaid said:

cinema died the day cgi was born, not even point in actors and actresses anymore

 

Wouldn´t say that - depends on how CGI is used.

 

As for Dunkirk - there are so many different opinions.

Wasn´t sure before if I should even watch it but now I´ve decided to get it and see for myself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe the air scenes were a bit tame because of the fact that they were using real aircraft. I don't think they were allowed to, you know, "dogfight." 

Quote

Sick and tired of seeing historic events like this put in the hands of directors that aren't up to the task.

 

Don't want to make an exact depiction of an historic event? Then go make a work of fiction, and don't call it Dunkirk.

There will never, ever, be an exact depiction of a historical event. I don't know what is fiction about this movie as you see, but I see none. It is not depicting specific characters, it is showing the desperation of people in the situation. Guess what you have for your exact depiction? Documentaries!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, =RS=WarrenSkip said:

I believe the air scenes were a bit tame because of the fact that they were using real aircraft. I don't think they were allowed to, you know, "dogfight." 

There will never, ever, be an exact depiction of a historical event. I don't know what is fiction about this movie as you see, but I see none. It is not depicting specific characters, it is showing the desperation of people in the situation. Guess what you have for your exact depiction? Documentaries!

I agree with that. What I think is important is that Nolans storyline would have worked if everything in the setting was perfectly reproduced.

 

This in contrast to movies like „Red Tails“. Although they fly (CGI) red tail aircraft, nothing of the story could possibly work out like that in southern Italy at that time. They might as well have invaded a Wendy‘s on Mars. Having a strory that is not compatible with the actual world you‘re depicting, for me THAT is bad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 I have to be honest, I was truly underwhelmed by the entire film. I have to say I came away from it wishing I hadn't bothered weep.gif

Spoliers reconnoitre.gif

Not once did I get a sense of scale of the troops waiting on the beach. Where were the constant attacks on the men basically came down to a few Stuka attacks. No feeling of absolute despair at their situation, the Navy Officer standing on the Mole....shouted a few orders , watched as boats sunk, dealt with it all matter of factly, never seemed to be pissed off or angry. The continuous bad luck of the main characters going from ship to sinking ship. The rescue from the sinking boat as our main character opened the door. There was no sense of scale, the masses of trucks, armour and artillery abandoned on the beaches. Actually Scale was the issue. There really was no sense of scale. A few smoke pots burning in the background, where was the artillery bombardment from the Germans, where was the armada of small boats? I just felt this was such an over dramatic set of clips that never added up to the sum of their parts.

The of-course we have the Spitfire sequence weep.gif

Never in the field of aerial combat has so many bullets been fired without reloading from one Spitfire, for me though that wasn't the worst bit.

Engine out of fuel, glides at speed the length of the beach, turns back shoots down a Stuka, glides back again (in overcast weather), touches down at sunset...wheels down!!! on the beach. Reckon that was around 2-hours of gliding?


For me this was nothing like I was expecting from the reviews and a complete let down with no sense of tension, scale or jeopardy. 

Sadly I left feeling like I had wasted my time watching it.

Disappointed, MP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To me it clearly doesn't qualifies as one of those great historical movies that rarely happen, it seems to me this is just cheap entertainment perpetuating the myth of the "miracle" of Dunkirk by not showing or mentionning the French crucial contribution to their escape by holding the pocket while suffering enormous casualities and we are left without even a combat scene involving them. The expeditionary forces basically abandonned their positions and ran for the beaches after the first skirmishes when the evacuation was ordered and only the RAF really fought alongside the French in the final battle.

 

It also seems to me that the movie exaggerates the contribution of the little ships as I expected.

 

I just felt bored and underwhelmed, visually it was pretty good for the most part but that's about it for me but in the end it was deeply dissapointing and contributes to the old Myths surrounding Dunkirk.

 

Hopefully nobody thinks the Brits solely escaped because Hitler ordered that 3 days pause...could it be because the troops there were fighting non stop for like 2 weeks and needed what was left to regroup, rest and resupply while the Luftwaffe could go for it? 

 

They basically made a movie revolving on the least interesting part of the battle, the evacuation itself.

I mean I've seen a decent movie that's basically focusing on the same thing the evacuation but for some reason I found it much more compelling firstly because of the interesting characters it's called Weekend at Dunkirk (French: Week-end à Zuydcoote) check it out you might like it I found it to be a better drama than Nolan's Dunkirk.

 

 

Edited by =FEW=Hauggy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An old thread, but I finally saw the movie. Almost wish I did not.  The only thing that amazed me about it, was how that kind of crap was able to get so positive reviews.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a weird film.  It doesn't ever tell you who the enemy are, what war it is, or even what century it is. In the cinema, I heard a girl asking her boyfriend who they were running from.  Was it the Russians?

 

Overall I found the movie weak both in concept and execution.  The only thing that I really enjoyed was that brutal crack of the first few rifle shots at the beginning of the film. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I enjoyed it as a movie.

 

But it's not something that can be taken seriously.

 

Mike.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/7/2019 at 12:07 PM, II./JG77_Kemp said:

An old thread, but I finally saw the movie. Almost wish I did not.  The only thing that amazed me about it, was how that kind of crap was able to get so positive reviews.

 

Peope who don’t know anything about history, aviation etc and are basically ignorant about The Who thing liked the film.

That’s most people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i havent watched it nor will i

 

for me movies post 2000 are a load of bs and thats some compliment coming from me :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×