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New movie Dunkirk

Discussion in 'Veterans' started by mdj696, Jul 15, 2017.

  1. mdj696

    mdj696 G&G Evangelist

    Hacksaw Ridge comes on tonight on HBO.
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  2. Cyrano

    Cyrano Resident Curmudgeon Forum Contributor

    New York
    I must disagree with the naysayers. Here is my review, copied from another post.

    Well, Uncle Paul and I went to see Dunkirk this afternoon in IMAX. If you are going to watch it, see it in IMAX if at all possible. It's worth it.

    I had reservations because Christopher Nolan, notorious in my mind for the movie Memento, which some call "brilliant" and I call "a piece of crap that urgently needs to be taken back into the cutting room and re-edited into something coherent." Nolan is notorious for bouncing back and forth along his movie's timeline, and to a traditionalist like me that can deal with a movie told in flashback but not one that bounces all over its timeline like Billy Pilgrim from Slaughterhouse-Five, I expected a nightmare. Instead, Nolan managed to keep things more or less sequential, with most of his bouncing being between the point of view of a Tommy who just wanted to get off the beach and back to Blighty; the Royal Navy commander (played by Kenneth Branaugh) who was the beachmaster trying to get the troops off as expeditiously as possible, and as many as possible; a Royal Air Force Spitfire pilot attempting to keep the Stukas, Heinkels, and ME-109s off the Royal Navy's back; and a civilian yachtsman who took his yacht Moonstone across the Channel to rescue the BEF with a crew consisting of his son and a neighbor kid.

    Nolan departs from the historic record by making it appear that the Germans had control of the air over the evacuation beaches, and that any time the RN brought a ship into evacuation range, it was sunk by bombing. (In fact, the Brits lost six destroyers, 1 hospital ship, 1 corvette, and 5 minesweepers out of 39 destroyers, 8 hospital ships, 9 corvettes, and 36 minesweepers that were committed to Operation Dynamo.) He barely touched on the improvised jetties made of Army trucks and walkways made of scavenged wood over them that at high water enabled the "little ships" to get in close and board the Tommies. He also implied that the British were concerned almost entirely with evacuating their own nationals and to hell with the French. In fact of the 338,000 soldiers taken off at Dunkirk, 100,000 of them were French poilus and the rearguard was made up of equal numbers of British and French soldiers, mostly from the 51st Highland Division, the 2nd French Light Mechanized Division, and the French 68th Infantry Division; 35,000 soldiers in all. Joe and Jane Citizen believe that the evacuation from Dunkirk was entirely a British affair to evacuate British troops, when in reality enough Frenchmen to form an entire army of five infantry divisions were taken over to England.

    The aircraft that were used were not 100% CGI. Nolan had access to about three Spitfires, one Heinkel 111, a couple of ME-109s, and at least two Percival "Protukas" that had earlier appeared in the 1969 movie Battle of Britain. He employed them judiciously to make it appear he had more of them than he really did. No fighter planes behaving like X-wings here! The air combat sequences were very realistic. One fighter leader, heard only as a voice on the radio, was Michael Caine, who in Battle of Britain had played a squadron commander. A nice bit of continuity, that.

    But what made me tear up was that somehow Christopher Nolan persuaded a number of the members of the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships, the owners of small craft that are proven to have taken part in the evacuation and are entitled to fly the Dunkirk Jack, a signal honor, to bring their vessels across the Channel one more time to the evacuation beaches. About a dozen of them appear in the film, re-enacting the loading and ferrying troops out to Royal Navy ships that could not approach the beaches, and going back across the Channel with loads of soldiers. Knowing what those little ships mean to English history and the history of the Second World War, I'm not ashamed to admit the IMAX screen got blurry for a minute there.

    The movie has a curious unfinished quality to it, which seems appropriate. As Churchill pointed out in his speech to the House of Commons when it was over, "Wars are not won by evacuations." This is from the same June 4, 1940 speech known as the "We shall fight on the beaches" speech, one of his most famous and best. We leave two of the Tommies we had been following on the train taking them away from the coast reading this speech as the screen fades to black and the credits roll.

    Dunkirk would make one heck of a double bill with Battle of Britain, to show how dark the immediate future looked to Great Britain, and how they bounced back from this disaster to start down the road to victory. But I reckon I'm going to have to wait for this to come out on Blu-Ray before I can play that double bill.

    Go see it. Your time will not be wasted.
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  3. Thought you all might be interested in this...

    The True Story of Dunkirk, As Told Through the Heroism of the “Medway Queen”

    The crew of the Medway Queen was taking on an unusually large load of supplies for their next mission. The cook’s assistant remarked, “Enough grub has been put aboard us to feed a ruddy army,” writes Walter Lord in The Miracle of Dunkirk. As it turned out, that was precisely the idea. Little did the crew know, but the Medway Queen was about to be sent across the English Channel on one of the most daring rescue missions of World War II: Operation Dynamo, better known as the evacuation of Dunkirk.

    In the late spring of 1940, European powers were still engaged in what had been dubbed the “Phoney War.” Despite Germany’s invasion of Poland the previous September, France and Britain had done little more than assemble troops on their side of the defensive lines and glower at Adolf Hitler’s troops. But on May 10, the Germans launched a blitzkrieg attack on the Netherlands and Belgium; by May 15, they’d broken through French defenses and turned towards the English Channel. Within a week, around 400,000 Allied soldiers—comprising the bulk of the British Expeditionary Forces, three French armies and the remnants of the Belgian troops—were surrounded on the northern coast of France, concentrated near the coastal city of Dunkirk.

    Read more:
  4. mdj696

    mdj696 G&G Evangelist

    Got to see Dunkirk for first time night before last on pay per view. Cyrano is right about movie bouncing back and forth. I noticed right away in beginning Brit soldier after jumping fence had problems chambering a round. I know exactly why he couldn't chamber a round being a No1 MkIII , .303. Anybody else notice that? Could even happen on a No4 Mk1.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017
    Cyrano likes this.
  5. mauser9

    mauser9 G&G Evangelist

    No but I do recall wishing I had the price of admission back in my wallet. Disappointed to say the least. No Saving Private Ryan or Fury in my opinion.
    Jaison likes this.
  6. mdj696

    mdj696 G&G Evangelist

    Thats why I wait for them to come out on pay per view or on HBO.
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  7. I liked the movie, definitely not a classic but well done... Amazing screw up by Chamberlain, saved by the much derided Churchill... what they accomplished was absolutely a miracle of man and machine.
    Jaison likes this.
  8. Jaison

    Jaison G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    Watched it last night. Probably a one and done. Seemed like several short films cobbled together in an attempt to be clever.

    It pains me to see that sort of cinema where the real history is over shadowed by directorial experimentalism. Without offering any spoilers, the jump from daytime to night time and back was distracting. It almost seemed like a long running disjointed French perfume commercial.
    mauser9 likes this.
  9. mauser9

    mauser9 G&G Evangelist

    Stink, Stank, Stunk
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  10. Watched it last night, was not real impressed
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