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Jason_Williams

Dunkirk Movie - Thoughts?

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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.

It can usually be considered a good thing not including "a strong female lead character" in historic movies. People of today are seldom aware of what it meant to be a "strong woman" back then and how she would act in a given situation. 70 years ago, the world was a lot different to a woman compared to now.

 

Just telling from the Zemeckis movie "Allied", it was rather weird to see what are basically todays characters as leading roles. They made a drama that was good enough to prevent Misses falling asleep while watching, and it has Lysanders and He-177, but people would sit in their London house on the first floor waiting out the baby Blitz, should they care at all interrupting their american house parties for such inconveniences.

As for female characters, I guess most women would frown at seeing how women had to play along should one include a real character from back then. A far cry from the strong and independent decision maker the audience wants them to see. Even if they were strong, I doubt people would recognize it as such.

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Marmite film (for those in the U.K.) i.e. you love or hate it or maybe you're so torn you cannot decide.

 

Me, I'm edging to dislike despite the good stuff. A wasted opportunity and less than the sum of its parts.

 

Von Tom

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Jokes aside, my in-law told me that a USA Today review (iirc) criticised that there was no ethnic or gender diversity in the movie (too many white dudes). :Facepalm:

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Jokes aside, my in-law told me that a USA Today review (iirc) criticised that there was no ethnic or gender diversity in the movie (too many white dudes). :Facepalm:

 

Jesus Christ.

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Jokes aside, my in-law told me that a USA Today review (iirc) criticised that there was no ethnic or gender diversity in the movie (too many white dudes). :Facepalm:

That's where our society is heading - scary.

Be ready for more and more of that.

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It's commented that Call of Duty WWII game will include African women in Wehrmacht... 

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To be fair, 4 companies of the BEF units trapped at Dunkirk were Indian.

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To be fair, 4 companies of the BEF units trapped at Dunkirk were Indian.

 

Interesting tidbit there Fink...had no idea.

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Interesting tidbit there Fink...had no idea.

For WW2 British Army actions above a certain size, you can pretty much count on a few units of the Indian Army being there at some point.

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That makes it approximately a quarter of a percent of all troops on the beaches at best or as little as 400'ish total personnel if they were understrength - likely at that point in time, considering. As an oversight it seems rather acceptable. Making a mountain out of a molehill there.

Edited by II/JG17_HerrMurf

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I'm not making anything out of anything. I'm just pointing out a fact.

 

I don't see it as an oversight to not include any POCs in the movie, but neither would I have considered it overly PC, if they had included a couple of Indian soldiers in one of the storylines.

 

Personally I've always cherished, when this kind of inclusion is done seemlessly and discreetly. Gives me something to look out for.

 

One of my favourite details of Saving Private Ryan are the two Czech soldiers that are gunned down by some of the protagonists as they are trying to surrender during the Normandy landing scene. Most moviegoers no doubt missed, that these guys weren't speaking German but Czech and were actually trying to explain, that they weren't German and were conscripted by force.

 

Completely historical and a very moving scene, when you get it, but nothing is waved in your face.

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Wasn't directed at anyone in particular. Just stating as an oversight it is rather minor. The British army on those beaches was rather homogenous in general. It was nice to see more than a passing nod to the sacrifice of the French as well.

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They had one or two black French soldiers which was a nice touch.

 

As a tidbit, many Soviet war movies used to approach that very seriously to depict the major contributions by all its countries.

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Indeed Lucas.

 

To show the French Army without Africans would have been an oversight.

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You have to feel for the French. Their army puts up all they have against Germany, thousands of servicemen escape and fight from abroad to free their land, other thousands mobilize one of the most impressive resistance networks at home. What they get in return? Retreat jokes and bad romances where the Cool British Spy does all the work while romancing The Cute Resistance Maiden. They deserve better.

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You have to feel for the French.

 

You have to feel for the French, the Italian, the Ukrainian, the Hungarian, the Romanian, for all the poor guys who were all told to defend their country, and who died doing so while not understanding anything. I was told about a Russian lieutenant who saluted his dead German adversary when they finally occupied the town where my father was born. He respected death, even the death of an enemy, and so should we do. 

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You have to feel for the French. Their army puts up all they have against Germany, thousands of servicemen escape and fight from abroad to free their land, other thousands mobilize one of the most impressive resistance networks at home. What they get in return? Retreat jokes and bad romances where the Cool British Spy does all the work while romancing The Cute Resistance Maiden. They deserve better.

 

Then they should make their own films - anyway this is, or was supposed to be, entertainment, not a documentary.   Which is the same reply that should be given to British complaints about how Americans hijack our history in movies.

Edited by unreasonable
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I want to see a two part movie, like Flags of our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima, about the 4th of July - Freedom for Our Sons by Steven Spielberg and Day of Treason by Christopher Nolan. 

Edited by II/JG17_HerrMurf

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I want to see a two part movie, like Flags of our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima, about the 4th of July - Freedom for Our Sons by Steven Spielberg and Day of Treason by Christopher Nolan.

Obviously not about the 4th of July itself (since it is afairly insignificant date - the declaration itself was signed on the 2nd IIRC) but about the war of Independence.

 

I think that's a pretty good idea. I'd trust Spielberg and Nolan to do a better job at it than Mel Gibson's abomination.

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I don't see it as an oversight to not include any POCs in the movie, but neither would I have considered it overly PC, if they had included a couple of Indian soldiers in one of the storylines.
It's overly PC, just like battlefield 1 including black german snipers in the game. Commonwealth troops in the British army performed outstandingly in many theatres (Forgotten 14th in Burma etc) but the British troops at Dunkirk were overwhelmingly young British men. This was portrayed accurately (way to go Nolan) as far too many modern “historical” films are just revisionist clap-trap. Many History departments in Schools and Universities are “revising” history to suit a PC narrative. I would be more than happy to see a WWII film say set in Burma that showed the contributions and sacrifice that India and Commonwealth troops made during WWII.  

 

 

 

I think that's a pretty good idea. I'd trust Spielberg and Nolan to do a better job at it than Mel Gibson's abomination.

 

I would like to see accurate film about the War of Independence showing just how much of a truly global conflict it was. Unfortunately, it would  probably cost far too much, as you would also have to include belligerents from the French empire the Spanish empire the Dutch republic and the Kingdom of Mysore.

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One day we will hopefully get to the point where we simply don't see differences of colour, just people. Then we wont have to discriminate either positively or negatively.

It should not be about the colour of someone’s skin, it should be about historical accuracy and not the revisionist history narrative. Unfortunately, identity politics within schools, media and the film industry are making just about everything about race or the colour of a person’s skin. That’s why you have ridiculous articles in the New York Times stating there are not enough black people or women in the film Dunkirk.

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I'll start my "review" with a couple of disclaimers. First, I've not read any other post in this thread to see what others thought nor have I read any movie reviews done by professionals. Secondly, I'm not an expert by any sense. I only know what I like in a film. Like most here, I've watched my share of historical based movies, aviation and otherwise. I've watched a lot of films of all genre. What I like most from a film is feeling like I've been told a story and that I can walk away from it feeling as if I've learned something about the characters and developed some connection to them.

 

As for "Dunkirk", it was beautifully filmed. And I thought the aviation combat scenes, though sparsely populated, were well done. But I think the sparseness of the dogfights spilled over to the rest of the film too. Beyond the opening scene where the young soldier stumbles out of the alley leading to the beach and saw lines of troops waiting, there didn't seem to be anything to about the film that gave me a feeling of the enormous effort involved in the rescue of the BEF. Even the final scene of the small boats coming toward the Dunkirk beach seemed small in comparison to the stories I've read. 

 

I didn't think there was much character development. Kenneth Branagh is one of my favorite actors but he wasn't given much to do in the film. The only character I really learned anything about was the old man determined to reach the beaches and why he was driven to get there. Everyone else seemed to just be place holders for the next action scene. But, that is more in line with modern movie making than films of the past that stressed story over action. That might be a result of how audiences watch films nowadays. It's so easy at home watching a DVD to hit pause or skip a slow scene to get to the next car chase or explosion.

 

I thought the over lapping, repeating scenes were oddly done. Not really flashbacks but almost a retelling of each scene from a different view point. The first couple of times I saw it, I found myself confused but once I figured that part out I could settle back and watch. All and all, I felt the movie was okay. It certainly isn't a four star movie to me. I wouldn't rank it with recent war movies like Saving Private Ryan or even Hacksaw Ridge. I guess in my mind, I'd rate Dunkirk a two star out of four film. I really haven't any desire to watch it again when it comes out on DVD. Sad because it is a story more should know.

 

Finally, I was impressed with the glide ratio of the Spitfire at the end of the film. Very impressed. But, not very convinced by it flying for what seemed minutes unpowered, maneuvering, getting a kill and still flying at a high speed nice and level with a dead engine. Very odd. All that it represented to me was that it was the vision of someone who wasn't well versed in WWII aviation or maybe even A/C in general.

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The only character I really learned anything about was the old man determined to reach the beaches and why he was driven to get there. Everyone else seemed to just be place holders for the next action scene.

I partially agree, but the only person who's character is really 'developing' is his son, Peter. We are Peter. Peter learns to understand what's going on. He begins as an idealist and ends up as fully matured, lying that his schoolmate would recover.

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I partially agree, but the only person who's character is really 'developing' is his son, Peter. We are Peter. Peter learns to understand what's going on. He begins as an idealist and ends up as fully matured, lying that his schoolmate would recover.

Yeah I can agree with that point of view.

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Overall I give it an 7 out of 10. It was well filmed and acted and gave a good flavor for what people faced on that beach. Although there were some down sides (as in every movie) it was and is worth seeing.

 

The Good:

The aerial scenes were pretty. I liked the fact that not every time they fired was spot on. Maybe a little over the top in the Spit ammo capacity.

 

The feeling of exposure to being on THAT beach.  An excellent example was the Stuka attack filmed from ground level as the bombs went off.  It came across well that the people on the beach wanted only one thing, to get the hell off it.

 

The portrayal of the family with the boat that assisted in the evacuation.

 

What wasn’t in the movie. BS love scenes, over the top heroics, etc.

 

The Bad:

The ambush scene in the beginning was good but he ran what appeared to be a couple of blocks and was at the beach. It made it appear the entire German army was in Dunkirk already. 

 

The number of men on the beach seemed too small in number from my review of actual photographs. Also the “armada” of ships from England looked like any weekday at the local marina.

 

The beach was inconsistently too pristine. It looked like a beach after a picnic had ended. Where was all the abandoned equipment, craters and shipwrecks on the beach? Some scenes had it and others not. I only saw one ship of any size on the beach near the end (it is in an actual photo). It was so clean you could land a Spit on it.

 

The whole scene of the men in the refloated boat that was shot up by Germans. Too much time spent on this for any worth derived from it. The time could have been better spent covering some other aspect of the battle, e.g., holding the line.

 

General Comment:

A good chunk of the movie consisted of the one action regarding the He-111, the Spits, 109s and the mine sweeper from several perspectives. I lost count of how many times but I do know it was too many.  An opportunity lost to cover other aspects, if even just one.

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It was a pretty good film I reckon!

Sure, I could pick out things which appeared a little silly, but overall it was a good adventure.

 

$100 mill budget - Definitely worth 1/2 a Neymar.  :biggrin:

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Enjoyed it, more than I thought I would. My usual bug bear is people not behaving as I think they should for the period or even as soldiers behave.

 

However, it badly needs a digital make over. I got no sense of the scale or enormity of the Dunkirk evacuation, it all looked a bit anemic. I was a little surprised the old man, in the boat, was so confident about identifying Spitfires from the sound of the engine considering everyone was using Merlins (?), again another case of needing a little digital magic me thinks.

 

It could have done with, even a hint, of the soldiers holding the line rather than some notion that the Jerries had somehow got board and decided to put up some deck chairs to watch the spectacle from the sidelines. Where were the senior NCO's or for that matter junior officers ? Officers may run the army but SNCO!s are the backbone, I didn't spot a single RSM or CSM barking out orders and on the whole the soldiers were a sullen rabble with no voice.

 

I wasn't overly fussed by the lack of Indian troops, their numbers weren't significant, they weren't front line troops, and given that most of the rest of the BEF seemed absent, hardly surprising. Given that the BEF was overwhelmingly British, rather than "Empire" it would have been a bit of a sop to have one of them as a main character, in fact come to think of it, isn't there usually a token, gungho, Yank ( pretending to be Canadian) included for box office reasons ?

 

 

Over all though I would recommend it as a worth while watch and the flying scenes were great fun even if, as others have said, there are inaccuracies.

Edited by HagarTheHorrible

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Just saw it about an hour ago. I thought it was fairly good in general. It wasn't a travesty like most other recent war/aviation films, so that's certainly something in its favour.

 

I approve of political correctness for the most part, but I also like to call a spade a bloody shovel. In that respect it's hard to find reason in not daring to say Germany, Hitler or even Second World War. A girl behind me asked her boyfriend where was the enemy, were they Russians?

 

Repeating the same scene from different perspectives is fine too, but it was frequently awkward in this. I also found the scale of the engagement tiny. The director really needed to try harder in that respect.

Edited by Feathered_IV
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 Where were the senior NCO's or for that matter junior officers ? 

 

 

 

Cillian Murphy - the chap rescued sitting alone on the capsized ship - was a 2nd Lieutenant.  Easy to miss on screen since his pip was usually obscured, but if you know modern film-makers you would also have known that inverse snobbery would have dictated that the one character displaying LMF would be an officer. 

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I thought the movie could have benefited from a bit more exposition as to how they arrived in that position in the first place.

I don't need to see an hour long battle sequence, but something, a few flashbacks maybe.

 

Yeah I know, the tension of the unseen enemy.

I didn't feel it though. If you want to see how that is done, watch "Thin Red Line"

 

Nolan was very much about his own "Nolanesque" feel, which served him at times, and other times no so much.

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My opinion on the movie without reading the whole thread:
They would have been better off spending some money on special effects instead of obviously riddiculous amounts of money on the cast.
The budget for the real spits in the air would probably have been enough for some actually good special effects.
The burning model of the spit... No engine in the model:P Cmon. Even someone with no affinity aircraft should have seen that.
Then the Spitfire that glides like forever over dunkirk beach AND manages to shoot down a diving  JU 87. Yeah. I know you english are proud of your spitfire. For a reason. But this? Laughable.
The Guys in the fisherboat. Trying to stick their fiongers in like 100 Bulletholes. LOL
In the beginning the movie the director remanaged to build some good mood. Thought it could become some good pice of art by then. But after that... it just crashes like an airplane without engine. Literally:P

The amount of patriotism. Cheesy.

I dont like it.

Edited by Irgendjemand

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Using real aircraft instead of special effects was one of the strengths of the movie...with caveats mentioned above...but you'd have to read the thread as I'm not going through it again here

nor quoting comments by others on the same subject.

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Repeating the same scene from different perspectives is fine too, but it was frequently awkward in this. I also found the scale of the engagement tiny. The director really needed to try harder in that respect.

Having gone back through this thread after posting my thoughts, I find many of us had similar feelings about this film. Rather interesting we came to similar conclusions.

 

Personally, I think the repeating of the scenes from different perspectives was where the film failed. At least for me. None of the characters was so compelling that I needed or wanted to know much more about them. Instead of showing the same scene repeatedly, the time could've been used to flesh out the story so that the audience who wasn't well versed in the history might have learned something about it. The scene where the He-111 was attacking the Navy ship was so drawn out that any suspense in the outcome was lost by the time it was the Spitfire pilot's turn came to play his part. How long did it take that bomber to get into position to attack after it was sighted by seemingly everyone? How long did it take for the British pilot to make up his mind to attack or head home with low fuel? It seemed like forever.

 

While I liked the use of real aircraft and ships in the film, given the state of the art in CGI, the scope of the Dunkirk rescue would've been better represented by it. We've not yet had a single modern film that has captured the immensity of WWII air combat and had a thoughtful, realistic script to go along with it. What I wouldn't give for a film like Twelve O'clock High with a great script, state of art CGI to create the scope of aerial combat, and actual actors playing roles that came across as real people. I'm afraid the further WWII recedes into history, the less likely it will be that we ever do see one.

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Funny you should mention Twelve O'clock High - just saw it again yesterday, and kept thinking how it was probably the last great WWII air-war movie we'd ever get without CGI and wishing Dunkirk could have been that good.

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Referring to the Germans as simply "the enemy" was a thematic choice. The movie isn't trying to be a documentary, it's trying to make you feel as though you're on the beaches.

 

If the opening text had said "The Germans have forced the British and French armies back", it would just be giving us the facts. By saying "the enemy", it puts us in the shoes of the British. Remember, Nolan didn't want to make a war movie about Dunkirk, he wanted to make a suspense movie about Dunkirk.

 

As for the relatively small scale shown in the film, how tense would it have been really? We already know what happens to the BEF, so there's not much tension there. By tightening the focus on a few characters, it raises the tension, because we don't know what's going to happen to them.

 

As for the use of real aircraft and RC models instead of CGI... good. I'd much rather have just a Spitfire and Buchon than Red Tails.

 

Ultimately, it's the best film I've seen all year.

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