Movie Review – Dunkirk

Dunkirk_067Nolan did it again

Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire, Canada, and France are surrounded by the German army and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II.’ (IMDb) (106 min., by Christopher Nolan)

I got the opportunity to see this movie before it came out thanks to my work and Canvas Selects and I wanted to share my feelings of this movie right here as soon as possible. Needless to say I loved it. It was simply a masterpiece of cinema.

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The entire movie you’re enthralled by the images and the sounds that surround you and takes you to this particular moment in history. It was filmed in Imax and Nolan also wanted it to be seen like this and I do believe it gave an extra dimension to the movie. As with his other movies, this one is filled with little details that may be a bit overlooked if you see the movie at home. In Imax you can see the movie in its entire glory.

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Nolan takes us to one of the most well-known part of the second World War, where more than 400.000 men were trapped between the ocean and the incoming German forces. Basically, waiting like sitting ducks for transportation back home. For more than a week the soldiers were waiting, finding a way home and trying not to be killed by German airplanes in the meanwhile. With the forces at home not willing to put in a lot of effort, preferring to keep their boats and planes for the oncoming battles, the generals and soldiers were always looking for a way to get home, to get away from the planes. In the end, it came onto a few planes and a lot of fisher- and pleasure boats to get their soldiers back to Great-Britain. It was a massive undertaking, and the soldiers were helped by a lot of civilians. 

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The story is told from three perspectives with three different duration times. The Air on the one hand, where we follow a few planes during 1 hour. One of the fisher boats that we follow for 1 day. And off course we follow 3 soldiers finding themselves together on the beach. We follow them for 1 week. These stories are not told chronologically, but rather are mashed together, building up the tension and giving us a sense of urgency that the soldiers must have felt at the time.

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The way the story is told is not really standard, but it doesn’t take you away from the story at all. Rather it takes you and pulls you even more into the story, as you meet characters in one storyline further in time and then see them come back in another storyline but earlier in time. (Are you still following?) Knowing how he turns out and what this specific character goes through and then seeing him still hopeful at the beginning of the week in another storyline, shows us how impactful this specific event was to the mindset of a lot of soldiers and how gruesome this was.

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But the movie isn’t all about the story. There isn’t really one main character that you follow the entire movie. But rather a few characters we follow in each story line. You could argue that Tommy (played marvelously by Fionn Whitehead) is the main character because we follow him the most, but the story is carried by all the characters, giving us all different glimpses into this event. We have several characters all going through something different and all trying to survive. Because this is a story about survival, about getting away. There isn’t a lot of fighting. The entire movie is based upon these soldiers being stranded and finding a way of the beach, being bombarded, never knowing when the next boat will come and if they will be able to get on it. It’s a study of how far a person will go to survive and what it’ll take to get out there. It’s more of an emotional and movie piece, than an action or war movie. 

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What is most remarkable about this movie is that there isn’t that much dialogue at all. This being a war movie with a lot, and I repeat a lot of explosions, the emotions here are all in the little details on the faces of the actors, on their actions. Here we have to applaud everybody, all the actors because they are all so strong in their own way. They toned down their acting and it felt so much more real for it. Fionn Whitehead (Tommy) acts so subtly as one of the soldiers we follow on the ground. Trying to survive, but never forgetting who is and always trying to help others. Aneurin Barnard and Harry Styles (yes, the one and only) are remarkable as his companions. These three stick together to survive even though they are all from different battalions.

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Mark Rylance plays Mr. Dawson who takes matters and his boat in own hands, not wanting the Navy to take it away. He sets off with his son Peter (Tom Glynn-Carney) and George (Barry Keoghan), a boy from their village, to go to Dunkirk to pick up soldiers. This trio of men have such a good chemistry, never faltering even when they see the carnage ahead. But they keep it real. They are afraid and it is life changing, but they show it in such a way that is just remarkable and show the strength of the characters and the actors themselves.

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In the air we have Tom Hardy, one of Nolan’s favourite actors, putting up a great piece of acting. Here he plays Farrier, one of the pilots charged with going to Dunkirk to protect the soldiers from German planes coming to bombard them. We mostly only see his eyes, but they give so much of his emotions that you only need one flicker of his eyelashes to know how he feels. As he was restricted to his plane and could only act in a closed-of space, it’s just remarkable how much emotion he can bring over. The same thing can be said of Jack Lowden, playing Collins, his colleague in the air.

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Needless to say that Christopher Nolan is a crack in picking the right actors for the right part and giving them enough direction, yet freedom as well, to give their best performance. By choosing to work with a lot of young (inexperienced) actors and more seasoned actors in the ‘supporting’ roles, Christopher Nolan is at his best.

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Reuniting with his favourite DOP, Hoyte Van Hoytema, he brings us a beautiful movie. Filmed in Imax, for the first time also in handheld, the movie is a pearl to be seen. Never have I seen so much detail, so much colour. Never have I had the feeling of really being in the action. It took my breath away. The story, the characters were supported by the images and here you see why Christopher Nolan and Hoyte always work together. Because they click. Because it works. The action scenes, at sea or in the air, are so craftily filmed that you feel like you’re right there with them. The way the use colour to give an aura of doom or relief is just so well done. I could go on and on about this and about the beauty of this film. 

Photographer: Anders Rosqvist, www.rosqvist.photo

And the music. Hans Zimmer is also at his best here. With a ticking clock every time something bad is going to happen. With the music drowning out, the sounds drowning out, you feel that something is coming up. This paired with a little flicker of emotion on the faces of one of the actor, and your stomach will be turning because you know it’s bad. Whatever is coming, it’s bad. The music, the images and the story are so well incorporated, so well tuned in on one another. It’s just an entire sensation from begin to end.

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This movie is a true spectacle and one you must watch in Imax if you can, just to be able to see all the details, all the little emotions, to truly feel the movie. Because it’s a sensation. From beginning to end, you sit on the front edge of your seat and Christopher Nolan takes you by the hand and leads you towards 1h40 min. of pure suspense, action and despair, 1h40 of pure emotion. While you might feel a bit lost in the story at the beginning, it soon all clicks in place and you will see a movie like none you ever saw before. If one can call a movie someone’s masterpiece, then this is definitely the case right here. Christopher Nolan has outdone himself.

9.5/10 stars.  Definitely go see it, you will be blown away!

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New Trailer Reviews (#8)

Thank You for Your Service

PTSD, War movie & Miles Teller

I’m not entirely sure about this trailer. On the hand I’m really excited, because we have Miles Teller in this movie, and if you have seen Whiplash you know how great an actor he is. He can handle difficult stories and characters like a pro. But the story to me is one I feel like I’ve already seen before. I’m not entirely sure where they want to go with the story and how they’re going to go about it. If they’re going to focus more on the story from the moment he’s back or if we’re going to see him first in the middle of war. I am going to see this one in cinemas, just because I think war movies come over better on a bigger screen and the story still sparks enough interest in me.

Game of Thrones Season 7

Winter is Here

This trailer looks amazing. It gives us a sense of what is going to happen and it seems as if we’re going to get a lot more battle and gruesome scenes. With the voiceover I also get the feeling that some of our favourite characters, who have always been apart, will maybe meet for the first time. I can’t wait to see how Daenarys will get to Westeros and how John Snow will try to rally everybody behind the cause to battle the White Walkers. So exciting! July 16th can’t be here soon enough.

To the Bone

Difficult gets movie on Netflix

It’s no secret that Lilly Collins herself battled with anorexia, so her telling this story is cathartic in a way for her, but gives it an entire extra dimension for us. From the trailer, I get the feeling that it will be a hard film to watch, but one that will try to show us a better way, a way to survive. To show us, who haven’t come into contact with this disease, that this a serious disease, but one that can be overcome, how difficult it may be. That with believing in each other and supporting each other, you can overcome everything. I can’t wait until it comes out on Netflix to watch it and see how it turned out.

Pitch Perfect 3

Pitchers Are Back

The Bellas are out of college and they’re trying to find their way into the world. The entire concept seems so great and this entire film seems funny. I especially like their outfits and the new songs they’re putting on. You can definitely see that they’re putting everything out there with this one. The entire production seems bigger and better than the last one, with stunts, and bigger stages, fireworks… Definitely one I’ll be checking out in cinemas.

Stronger

A story of strength

Get your tissues ready, because this movie will break your heart and put it all back together. I already got goosebumps just after watching this trailer. Jake Gyllenhaal has already shown us in so many films that he can easily carry a hard story and convince us of his strength. Tatiana Maslany is one of my favourite actresses out there, so I’m so excited to see what she’ll bring to this story. I just can’t wait to see the film and to see how his story evolves. I don’t really know much about it, so it’ll be nice to hear about it for the first time and to really see a story of true inner strength.

What do you think? Are any of these films on your watchlist? And which ones will you be seeing in cinemas?

Movie Review – The Imitation Game

by Morten Tyldum

by Morten Tyldum

‘During World War II, mathematician Alan Turing tries to crack the enigma code with help from fellow mathematicians.’ (IMDb) (by Morten Tyldum, 114 min.)

This movie was amazing. I liked every second of it. The entire story was so well-build that you were on the edge of your seat the entire time. There isn’t that much action per se in this film, but you’re rooting for them to find the solution.

Every single little thing was just so well-thought off. Every detail from the film helped the story to be told and drew you in. Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley.. They were all just fantastic in this movie. I’m a huge fan of Benedict Cumberbatch, always has been and always will be, and this movie again showed me just how good of an actor he is. But it is Keira Knightley and the others who surprised me.

I’m nog a huge fan of Keira Knightley. I thought she was an ok actress, but not that great. But in this film she showed that she is a good actress if she gets an interesting role. She plays a smart girl, who was enlisted by Benedict Cumberbatch’s character to be a part of his team to break the code, as only woman on the team. And she holds her ground next to all these great actors.

I could go on and on about this movie… But the only thing I will say about this one: is go watch it… You won’t regret it.

5 out of 5 stars.

Movie Review – Unbroken

by Angelina Jolie

by Angelina Jolie

‘After a near-fatal plane crash in WWII, Olympian Louis Zamperini spends a harrowing 47 days in a raft with two fellow crewmen before he’s caught by the Japanese navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.’ (IMDb) (by Angelina Jolie, 137 min.)

I quite liked this movie. It has some flaws, but you could clearly sense the influence from the Coen brothers. This movie was quite entertaining, but their was just too much to tell for just one movie. It is an interesting story, one I’m glad I’ve learned about. But this man just went through so much, that you could make a few movies out of it.

Angelina Jolie decided to make just one movie out of this story. And with that much to tell, the movie sometimes felt overwhelming and there were just so much to tell and so much information that I feel that she could have narrowed the story down a bit.

Overall I liked it and I’ll definitely watch her next movie.

3 out of 5 stars

Movie Review – Fury

by David Ayer

by David Ayer

‘April, 1945. As the Allies make their final push in the European Theatre, a battle-hardened army sergeant named Wardaddy commands a Sherman tank and his five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Out-numbered, out-gunned, and with a rookie soldier thrust into their platoon, Wardaddy and his men face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany.’ (IMDb) (by David Ayer, 134 min.)

This movie was such a surprise to me. It was better than I expected. It wasn’t the best war-movie I ever saw. It was still idealized a bit and showing the Americans in a good light, always neglecting what others have done. But the characters were all really nice and so different from one another. And you keep rooting for them to succeed.

It is a war movie so these are never without casualties and some of my favorite characters of this movie died and it made my heart break. But it was done in such a way that you had enough time to get to know them better, before they died.

The images were also so great, but some of the special effects and the shooting from guns, seemed a bit more science-fiction than actual bullets zipping through the air. But it didn’t pull me out of the story as much as I expected. I will definitely watch this movie again.

out of 5 stars.

Zero Dark Thirty (Movie Review)

 

ImageA chronicle of the decade-long hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden after the September 2001 attacks, and his death at the hands of the Navy S.E.A.L. Team 6 in May 2011. (IMDB)

 

OMG, this movie was amazing. Is amazing. It literally blew my mind. Even though everybody’s knows the story and the ending… you’re just drawn into the story and you keep hoping it all ends right. 

 

The whole movie is so compelling, because of Jessica Chastain. She’s amazing as Maya. In the beginning she’s reluctant about the way the American soldiers torture their prisoners. But the entire movie she starts growing and becomes so obsessed by capturing Ben Laden that at the end we get the feeling that she doesn’t know if it was all worth it. Killing one specific man.

 

The story is based on true events. Kathryn Bigelow and her team researched their material. And the result is that we get a documentary-feel, but with kick-ass performances. She makes a 10 year chase into a two-hour movie, with only the most important parts of the chase and those events that had a big impact on Maya’s life.

 

 

 

Jessica Chastain, wasn’t the only one who left a big impact on the movie. Next to Kathryn Bigelow’s directing and the editing that left us breath-taking; Greig Fraser (DOP) gave us the impression that we were in the middle of the action. This is an amazing movie, made great by so many people. 

 

4,5 out of 5 stars.