Dunkirk

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

MaxQ

Tripoli 2747
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
4,453
Reaction score
84
Location
Central Viginia - USA
Anyone see Chris Nolan/Hans Zimmer's latest ?
Unique way to tell the story, and I thought for once they did the aircombat/dogfight scenes realistically - instead of that ridiculous Star Wars like way they did it in that "Pearl Harbor" movie.


[video=youtube;T7O7BtBnsG4]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7O7BtBnsG4[/video]


https://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi3012802841/
 
Last edited:

JoeG

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2009
Messages
773
Reaction score
37
My wife and I went the day it opened. She is not a "war movie" fan but we both really liked it. I would recommend it for the aircraft scenes and the acting. Well done.
 

MaxQ

Tripoli 2747
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
4,453
Reaction score
84
Location
Central Viginia - USA
My wife and I went the day it opened. She is not a "war movie" fan but we both really liked it. I would recommend it for the aircraft scenes and the acting. Well done.
Hollywood takes artistic liberties with facts but reviews indicated it stays close to the facts, except for one scene.

As with his other films Chris Nolan likes to play with time and the chronology of events in storytelling, and I heard that in IMAX it is loud (again).
I saw it in a regular theater.
 
Last edited:

Bobfly

Lifetime Supporter
TRF Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jul 3, 2017
Messages
225
Reaction score
68
I am a general aviation pilot. It is a pleasure to see real airplanes being filmed instead of CGI computer graphics. Pearl Harbor was terrible with all of computer graphic flying. You cannot beat the sound of those Spitfire Merlin motors.

Top Gun had some great flying cinematography. Let's hope that if they ever make the sequel, that it won't use computer graphics for the flying.
 

vcp

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 28, 2009
Messages
1,216
Reaction score
269
Location
Meridian, ID
I found it interesting to read that there are only about 100 words of dialog in the whole movie. The action was so engrossing that I didn't even notice.
 

Winston

Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
9,438
Reaction score
1,572
Haven't seen it myself and I'm sure I'll like it regardless, but here's some critique from a guy who also liked it overall:

Rogoway's Reviews: Christopher Nolan's War Epic Dunkirk
The race against time thriller is no doubt entertaining, but strange creative choices make it a lesser film than it could have easily been.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/12954/rogoways-reviews-christopher-nolans-war-epic-dunkirk

Excerpts:

But the historical accuracy of the movie as well as some of its rickety set pieces were disappointing, and not just for this defense writer who has heard the story many times before, but also for friends who had a much looser handle of the source material.

My biggest gripe with Nolan's Dunkirk was that it stumbled when it came to depicting the sheer scale of the event. This sounds preposterous considering the director's ability to turn huge concepts into readily consumable cinema. And maybe the high hopes that go along with his talent being attached to a film are part of this disappointment. It also sounds ironic considering the movie was shot on the largest mainstream "film" format around—70mm. With Dunkirk it almost seems as if everything was grand in scale but the depiction of the evacuation itself. This served to undermine the impact of the film's complex finale and maybe the point of the movie as a whole.

Nolan relied heavily on practical effects when making Dunkirk instead of gobs of CGI or green screen wizardly. I applaud that, and greatly enjoyed seeing real Spitfires buzzing around over the English Channel, and real actors pulling off real stunts in choppy water. But there is a time and place for CGI, and when the movie needed it most, and still in a very sparingly manner—for the widest of shots—it failed to produce. Instead we were left with the impression that the evacuation of Dunkirk involved dozens of ships and thousands of men, not hundreds of ships—close to a thousands—and hundreds of thousands of men—nearly half a million.

More simply put, the vacant feel of the sandy beaches and bodies of water depicted in the film removed me from the world Nolan was trying to create. It was a contradictory distraction, and a totally puzzling one.

In some ways, it felt like you were watching a film from the 1960s shot on some magically high quality film for the era. It all seemed like a relatively small affair considering its source material, which created an odd tension between dialogue describing the scale of what we should be seeing and what we see with our own eyes.

Once again, this discrepancy could have been overlooked 30 years ago, but today, when television shows can afford believable CGI enhanced wide shots of great battles, it's inexcusable. There were also small areas where CGI could have cleaned up or enhanced production mistakes and the limitations of superficial set dressings over modern buildings, and out of timeframe objects left in frame. Other issues, like the use of more modern naval ships as set pieces, seemed beneath this level of filmmaking too, but that type of thing could have been overlooked if the other issues were cleaned up in post production.

One particular setting choice was the most puzzling, and really jolted me out of the moment at the worst possible time. The main characters are seen in a train car at the end of the film. The train car was clearly from decades after the war, like the late 1970s or 1980s. It was a bizarre and undermining moment in the film. I have no clue how this was overlooked, but it underlined to the larger issues I mentioned earlier.

Then there was the orderly and overtly sanitary depiction of the event itself. Yes the British and allied forces showed stoic restraint during their seemingly futile wait for transport across the channel, but it wasn't nearly as orderly or as sterile as what is depicted in the film. In fact, most of the soldiers looked like they just stepped out of the costuming trailers in fresh uniforms, a far cry from what the allied forces would have looked like after being on the run for days or even weeks prior to entering a siege-like state along Dunkirk's shores.

The Royal Air Force was the real star of the movie, almost to a strange degree. The depiction of aerial engagements were pretty much standard movie affair—relatively undynamic close formation flying at low altitude. But the 70mm format the movie was shot in does capture the Spitfires beautifully at times, and the in-cockpit shots and sound didn't glamorize the "nuts and bolts" reality of piston engined fighters of the era, which was nice.

Still, the Spitfire's almost laughably endless ammunition magazine that only Hollywood can provide hurt the movie's hardcore cred. A Spitfire had about a dozen or so seconds of firing time if I remember correctly, but these Spitfires might as well have been X-Wings considering their seemingly endless ammunition reserves.
 

LW Bercini

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jun 15, 2011
Messages
2,611
Reaction score
130
Location
Macon GA
My biggest complaints about this movie were:
1. The nearly ear-splitting soundtrack.
2. The absence of dialogue among the soldiers. Given the grave situation these men were in, the bombs exploding all around them, there should have been far more yelling to each other. The lack of these natural responses gave this movie a strange surrealism that grated on my nerves. During the movie, I noticed that nearly all those "British" soldiers had black hair. Now, Nolan has passed off the lack of dialogue as an artistic device. I rather suspect he hired a bunch of Italian or Greek extras, who spoke no English, to be the soldiers.
 

Daddyisabar

Oddrocs Rule!
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 23, 2009
Messages
4,865
Reaction score
475
Location
Littleton Colorado
It is a good movie and worth paying the ticket fee. Yes there are some nit picking set inaccuracies you have to overlook and some time/distance issues typical of the director, but that can be forgiven. The total lack of CGI did give it a bit of a Tora-Tora-Tora feeling, but still well worth watching. Someday they might be able to integrate in acceptable CGI JU-87's, but for now it is still big RC and pyrotechnics.
 

Winston

Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
9,438
Reaction score
1,572
It is a good movie and worth paying the ticket fee. Yes there are some nit picking set inaccuracies you have to overlook and some time/distance issues typical of the director, but that can be forgiven. The total lack of CGI did give it a bit of a Tora-Tora-Tora feeling, but still well worth watching. Someday they might be able to integrate in acceptable CGI JU-87's, but for now it is still big RC and pyrotechnics.
I suspect the claimed lack of proper portrayal of the magnitude of the event via CGI and, apparently, the use of ships and trains that were far outside the proper era was due to major budget limitations due to concern about how much appeal a major UK retreat in WWII, heroically snatched from catastrophe, but still a retreat, would have anywhere but in the UK. As the reviewer I linked to above said, "The evacuation of Dunkirk, and the battles that preceded it, are a major source of national pride in Great Britain—something akin to their Apollo 13 moment, albeit with much grander stakes."
 

Daddyisabar

Oddrocs Rule!
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 23, 2009
Messages
4,865
Reaction score
475
Location
Littleton Colorado
They did paint the destroyer and took off a lot of the modern radar equipment. The train seat scene did upset the train buff I saw the movie with. He insisted it would not have been that difficult to get a period train car with some decent hardwood and mohair seats. More brushed aluminum on that train seat than in a BF 109! They did have over a thousand card board cut outs for the beach scenes but the scale of the shot was so large it just needed a little video game CGI.

The movie also made the other older guy I went with motion sick. The old Navy guy has lost his sea legs and was not prepared for the modern filming techniques of this new video game age.

Given British bravado Dunkirk was just a flesh wound, Singapore was just a bad day and Arnhem was just a bloody bridge too far! My 25% British back ground made me swell with pride and brought a tear to my eye when the Spit had to be burned on the beach. :cry: There will always be an England!

There was a scene with all original auxiliary vessels! The train guy loved the barges and the New Britanic stole the show!
 

MaxQ

Tripoli 2747
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
4,453
Reaction score
84
Location
Central Viginia - USA
I'm glad they didn't resort to CGI to a great extent, at least in action scenes.
If CGI meant showing ridiculous star wars like dogfighting at speeds that were simply absurd for WWII era aircraft, well, I'm fine with that.

The aircraft scenes were the best part of the movie IMHO.
I don't care too much for nit picks....like ME-109's didn't have yellow noses until after Dunkirk...having the yellow nose on the German planes helped ID who was who in the aerial ballet.
Yeah, maybe the ammo lasted longer than normally possible...but they did adhere to realistic short bursts......I didn't think they over did it.
The train car interior, well, I'm not a train guy so I didn't notice.
That burning Spitfire on the beach in the final scene...yeah, that will stay with me for awhile.
Heroic.

This is not your typical war film...it is not a Saving Private Ryan, nor a Longest Day.
I think a lot of people will not like it. Too artsy.
But it is not a Thin Red Line either.

A Bridge Too Far is still my favorite war film...but then I used to jump, and my father was artillery in WWII - so it has a special place in my film list.
 
Last edited:

vcp

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 28, 2009
Messages
1,216
Reaction score
269
Location
Meridian, ID
Aw, the burning Spit had the prop hanging down at an angle with no hint of a Merlin behind it.

+1 on BTF
 

Winston

Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
9,438
Reaction score
1,572
I'm glad they didn't resort to CGI to a great extent, at least in action scenes.
If CGI meant showing ridiculous star wars like dogfighting at speeds that were simply absurd for WWII era aircraft, well, I'm fine with that.
That wasn't what the reviewer I quoted was complaining about. He wanted some long-shot CGI to make the actual, historically accurate magnitude of the evacuation more evident. I haven't seen the film yet, but some of the beach scenes the reviewer had at the link above looked pretty sparsely populated with soldiers in uniforms that, as he said, looked brand new and like they'd just come back from the cleaners. He wasn't saying that the movie wasn't good, it's just that some of its faults that are obvious to war buffs could have been easily corrected at zero cost like, for instance, dirty/beat up uniforms.
 

Daddyisabar

Oddrocs Rule!
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 23, 2009
Messages
4,865
Reaction score
475
Location
Littleton Colorado
Aw, the burning Spit had the prop hanging down at an angle with no hint of a Merlin behind it.

+1 on BTF
The train expert I was with was questioning that shot too. He said "where was the engine" and that the "drive shaft" propping the spinner at that angle looked too long! OMG! Super nit picking but fun for the fella's! They were burning a mock up.

Good thing they did not show any Germans. If the collar piping on the SS Panzer uniforms had not been the exact right shade of PINK, I would have surely been TRIGGERED!
 

ballistic_trep

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2014
Messages
524
Reaction score
1
This is the only review that matters.
[video=youtube;uc4wBfh3lwk]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uc4wBfh3lwk[/video]
 

vcp

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 28, 2009
Messages
1,216
Reaction score
269
Location
Meridian, ID
A Bridge Too Far is still my favorite war film...
Watching it again right now, recorded from STARZ last night. I'd forgotten the book was by Cornelius Ryan (also 'The Longest Day'). I have most of his books here somewhere.
 

dave carver

....what hump?
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
4,973
Reaction score
5
Location
Idaho
You want some nitpicking? My beef (and what turned me off to the movie) was when they very first showed the beach, I couldn't believe what I saw. To the right of the actor, right on the edge of the beach, was a pre-cast concrete bench....they didn't try to disguise it at all...

I told you it was nitpicky but I'm that way about movies. Like Fortress. Didn't like it. WW2 movie with contemporary dialogue. The men swore like they didn't back in the '40's. It was rare to hear a "hell" or a "damn" then. All through the movie they were cussing a blue streak. Want another? "A Knight's Tale". I don't care if Keith Ledger is in it, it's terrible. Once again contemporary dialogue but the real kicker was the Rock music played at the ball....give me a break....
 

Daddyisabar

Oddrocs Rule!
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 23, 2009
Messages
4,865
Reaction score
475
Location
Littleton Colorado
And what is with that Spitfire gliding for such long time and being able to down a lone JU 87Stuka while gliding! Never could have happened!

They should have blown up those modern apartment buildings on the beach instead of trying to cover them up!

And why did they not fly the planes to their maximum performance with tight turns, dives and evasive maneuvers? Like they were some sort of valuable antiques running on worn out spare parts. The ME 109 E's could have just dived away with their fancy fuel injected engines.
 

H_Rocket

Death by Powerpoint
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
3,949
Reaction score
299
Location
North Central Texas
"A Knight's Tale". I don't care if Keith Ledger is in it, it's terrible. Once again contemporary dialogue but the real kicker was the Rock music played at the ball....give me a break....
You took that one seriously? Absolutely no attempt at accuracy, however I found it to be a fun romp.
 

Flyfalcons

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2015
Messages
2,524
Reaction score
736
Yeah I'm not sure if that one was meant to be a documentary.......
 

dratliff

Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2017
Messages
21
Reaction score
3
You took that one seriously? Absolutely no attempt at accuracy, however I found it to be a fun romp.
Yeah, one of my all time favorite movies. The Billy Idol song/dance scene, along with the Queen song/joust intro are 2 of my favorite scenes. Great fun movie. By the way, I'm new to the forum. Mahalo y'all!:)
 

dave carver

....what hump?
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
4,973
Reaction score
5
Location
Idaho
Well, for sure it was no Black Shield of Falworth [video=youtube;r03uyT1ouIg]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r03uyT1ouIg[/video]
 

Winston

Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
9,438
Reaction score
1,572
Victor Davis Hanson 2017 - Dunkirk Film vs. Fact

Victor Davis Hanson, Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in classics and military history at Stanford University's Hoover Institution.

[video=youtube;IFhBgieV6XY]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFhBgieV6XY[/video]

The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won – October 17, 2017
by Victor Davis Hanson

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0465066984/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

Superb!

This is a remarkable book. Those of us who have been reading about the globe-spanning wars of the past century for decades may be skeptical as to whether yet another book on the subject of the greatest wars in history can add anything new. Well, Hanson does. This esteemed classical scholar has become, arguably, our leading military historian, displaying a command of the subject enlivened by innovative thought and adept writing. His latest book stands out among his best--which is a very high standard, indeed. Rather than revealing his richest insights--a nasty trait in reviews--I suggest that readers, no matter how busy or distracted by daily life, make time for this book: It's underlying themes are even bigger than the declared subject. In our age of willful ignorance and historical amnesia, Hanson's contributions to our society spread far beyond the campus. Fine work from a courageous leader in the field of military history.

A MASTERPIECE

According to Hansen,WW2 was a moral crusade to defeat an evil enemy with the Allies overwhelming material resources, which enemy was still able to kill more of us than we killed of them. This paradox is fully explored in this magnificent work, beautifully written and massively researched, it is bound to be a standard in the field of strategic studies of the war. Read it.

A sophisticated analysis from an author with the knowedge and background to write it convincingly. The author writes at a level which assumes the reader is knowledgeable of WW2 and has read at least some of the popular histories. This saves a great deal of time and text.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

burkefj

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 27, 2009
Messages
3,413
Reaction score
953
I found the movie cold, I got bored even though I thought I would love it, the dog fight scenes made no spacial sense nor did they have continuity, it seemed like the pilot glided forever at the end, the only character I wound up caring about was the kid who got knocked in the head. I saw the special features and know what they did and we're trying to do and I still found it completely forgettable. I much prefer battle of Brittain for a good story and characters.
 

Zeus-cat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2009
Messages
4,646
Reaction score
859
I thought Darkest Hour was much more interesting, but it had some serious flaws too. Dunkirk takes place right at the end of Darkest Hour and is mentioned both in the movie and in the text scrolls at the end of the movie.
 

Knuckledragger

TLAR Engineering hack
Joined
May 23, 2017
Messages
181
Reaction score
59
In order on a snowed in weekend, The King's Speech, Darkest Hour, then Dunkirk if you need a WWII lead up to Saving Private Ryan.
 
Top