Re: Movies!

Postby pb643 on Fri 29 Dec 2017, 1:23 pm

speedbird2639 wrote:
Am I the only one to completely misunderstand this film?

No Pb643 - I agree with virtually every point you make. Myself and the Mrs went to see it at the IMAX (she being a history graduate whose focus was WW2) and we both came out making all the same points you did. It had the potential to be such a great film and it failed on every single count in my opinion. Apparently Nolan hates CGI but if ever there was a film that needed to be made into a larger than life epic with 400k troops CGI-ed onto the screen this was it.

And what is the obsession these days with every film producer shooting the entire film as if it is the first/ last half hour of daylight on a particularly misty day? I first saw this used in 'Sleepy Hollow' which was a sort of spoof horror so it worked - but the evacuation was end of May/ beginning of June so why is everything shot as if its a grim November morning?

The IMDB goofs is a fun read - if Nolan included it in his film then he got it wrong is the shortened version!

But the box office seemed to like it (as they have with all of his previous efforts) so no doubt he won't have trouble finding work - not that he needs to work after receiving 20% of the gross as his fee.

It is reassuring that it wasn't just me Speedbird.

Re: Movies!

Postby Tommy on Sat 30 Dec 2017, 10:40 pm

pb643 wrote:Having watched it last night, I can honestly say that it was one of the biggest disappointments of a film that I recall.

The shifting timeline confused me, with little apparent purpose.

Ah, well that's a shame. I still thought it was a cinematic (I used the term "cinematic" for a reason) masterpiece.

The switching around and different timelines I loved, and I don't know how you can tell the stories each of a week, a day, and an hour in the same film without either awful writing, or doing a grave injustice to one of those components. That was its purpose.

pb643 wrote:Virtually all the naval vessels seemed to just sit around motionless either at sea or alongside , waiting to be attacked, whilst Kenneth Branagh stood on the end of the pier seeing to do little.
There was no sense of the scale of the thing, one fleeting glimpse of a destroyer and a few confusing shots of several others, or it may have been the same one several times, I am not sure? I looked it up, the Royal Navy deployed 39 destroyers and over 300 other vessels. The Dunkirk little ships numbered over 800. The beach with hundreds of thousands of troops on, looked more like a few hundred to me.

By the end of the battle, the beaches were clean and swept, rather than full of the detritus of battle.

I get the historical inaccuracies - I recently found out that the serials on the Spits used were never actually used on Spitfires, they were used on Ansons in WWII, and likewise the Sqn markings displayed were a dud - so if you're going to the effort to get three "Mk Is" why not go the whole hog in my mind. And I take your point about the lack of destroyers. But all of that doesn't make it any less of a "cinematic" masterpiece. I know the history of Dunkirk as much as I can in that I have read the history books about it. I didn't go to the cinema for a documentary, I went for a story. There's a difference.

Films can be, and frequently (always?) are, historically inaccurate to some degree or another. We go to the cinema to hear a story, and every story based on true events will miss something out, do an injustice, have inaccuracies, elaborations, embellishments, and/or whatever - but that doesn't have to get in the way of the story itself being told. You could point out historical inaccuracies or twisted portrayals in (I think) every single war film, drama or tv series. Some are more realistic than others. That doesn't make them any less good, though. As I say, cinema isn't documentary. It can be, but it doesn't have to be.

But if that's your bugbear(s), then fair play - I'm not going to be offended or upset that someone doesn't like something that I happen to like.

pb643 wrote:Spitfires withe seemingly endless ammunition and fuel?

Not sure how that's a criticism. One of the main plot-points of the film is (the last remaining) Spitfire running out of fuel. That timeline is only supposed to last an hour, so seems about right to me. Ammunition, fair enough that might be another matter, but it's been six months, and I wasn't bothered to count the seconds of firing during the movie.
User avatar
UKAR Staff

Re: Movies!

Postby pb643 on Sat 30 Dec 2017, 10:52 pm

Tommy wrote:
pb643 wrote: I'm not going to be offended or upset that someone doesn't like something that I happen to like..

Please don't be offended, that certainly wasn't my intention. It is fortunate that we all have our own opinions and you quite rightly correct some of my observations.


Re: Movies!

Postby speedbird2639 on Sat 30 Dec 2017, 11:28 pm

I don't see how you can make a film about one of the biggest events of WW2 (or indeed the 20th century) which is also one of best documented pieces of WW2 and not expect to get picked up about inaccuracies. Agreed its not a documentary but I still maintain that you as a film director/ producer have a duty of care to ensure things are checked where necessary. They have continuity people to make sure costumes and make up continue correctly from one scene to the next why not employ a 'period authenticity' person to sure avoidable gaffs are kept out and to improve the overall experience.

Heres a few from IMDB at random:

- "The railway carriages in the final scenes date from the 1950s and have seat patterns from the 1980s." - so no heritage railway(s) in the UK have any WW2 era pre British Rail coaching stock? Seems unlikely

- "During the scenes shot in Weymouth on a couple of occasions, the top of the Weymouth "Sealife Tower" is visible, which was built circa 2012." - lol - apparently Mr Nolan doesnt like using CGI but it would have been but a few minutes work in 'post' to erase such an obvious landmark

- "Modern road signs and road markings can be seen in Weymouth" - again either remove them for filming or if that is logistically/ politically difficult CGI it later

- "Modern container cranes in the background of Dunkirk shots" - more CGI laziness

- "The Spitfire pilots expend over 70 seconds of ammunition during the course of their one hour mission. In 1940, pilots would need to have been far more frugal: Spitfires would need to rearm after only 15-20 seconds."

There are hundreds more here; most of which are quite glaring errors not nit picking

I'm glad you enjoyed it Tommy but plenty of people think its a badly missed opportunity - its cinematically great but that simply isn't good enough here; the oh so obvious errors mar it beyond redemption and for a film of this magnitude relating to an event of this magnitude with a huge budget it is simply inexcusable. If he had chosen a much less well known element of WW2 then people might have been more tolerant of the errors/ artistic licence. I feel its such a waste - it had the potential to be in the same bracket as "Saving Private Ryan" or "Band of Brothers".

They had the old b&w version from 1958 on the telly the other day and, although I didn't watch all of it, given the limitations of filming at the time and the small production budget it seemed a much better well rounded film.

Still it was nice to be able to choose to see a film at the cinema which wasn't some rehash of a Marvel comics superhero.
User avatar

Re: Movies!

Postby Tommy on Sat 30 Dec 2017, 11:53 pm

speedbird2639 wrote:its cinematically great

Indeed, which is exactly and exclusively what I said when I brought it up. You said previously “it fails on every single count”. I think we agree more now than when you first posted about it.

speedbird2639 wrote:I feel its such a waste - it had the potential to be in the same bracket as "Saving Private Ryan" or "Band of Brothers".

On a point of fairness; the IMDB “Goofs” page lists 62 errors for Dunkirk. It lists 279 for Saving Private Ryan.

I get it, fastidious accuracy matters to you chaps and it’s not wrong for it to matter to you guys, but as I said it was, to me, a cinematic masterpiece, and I’m glad Nolan concerned himself more with the very tricky issue of capturing the exact emotion of the nation, rather than worry about the correct period upholstery of railway carriages.

But though I disagree that they impact upon the quality of the film, many fair points raised - I hadn’t noticed the inaccuracies when I watched it; perhaps I shan’t be able to “unsee” them on another watch.
User avatar
UKAR Staff

Re: Movies!

Postby tankbuster on Mon 15 Jan 2018, 6:23 pm

Just seen Darkest Hour with no great expectations and came away very happy I went. Gary Oldman is superb and not because he is a great Winston Churchill impersonator, which he isn't, but because he just gives an acting masterclass.
Trevor C
recent and not so recent pictures here


Return to Off Topic

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests