Archive for War

Syncopy, Warner Bros., Dombey Street Productions,

Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Harry Styles, Aneurin Barnard, James D’Arcy, Barry Keoghan, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy

The Battle of Dunkirk, and the famous evacuation is one of the great stories of World War II. The Germans had been tearing through France and The Allied forces found themselves surrounded by the Germans on the beach in Dunkirk, France. A German army that outnumbered the Allies two to one had them pushed back to the sea. The English Channel was the only thing between the British and their homeland, and Churchill decided it was expedient to bring as many home as humanly possible. Knowing that the next stop for the Germans would be the British Isles, they decided not to risk all their ships on a cause that could have left them in big trouble should the German bombers sink all their ships, they called on civilian ships such as barges and ferryboats, down to fishing boats and private yachts to all head for Dunkirk to rescue as many as they could. Something that has never totally understood happened where the Germans stopped advancing and held their position for a number of days instead of wiping out the Allied forces on the beach. Instead they constantly attacked from the air with bombs and machine guns. But the halt of the advance, for whatever reason gave Britain the time to remove over 300,000 soldiers back to England. This historical wartime film by Christopher Nolan is a brand new telling of the events of that week and the evacuation that certainly changed the outcome of the war in the end.

This is an excellent blockbuster of a film. I got to see it in IMAX and it was certainly very much worth it for the huge screen and the amazing sound system. When the bombs explode and the ships shoot their big guns, it shakes you to the core, and it feels like you’re in the plane when they fire those machine guns. The big screen and sound effects were amazing. It has been such a long time since I saw a really, really good World War II movie. Pearl Harbor was a love story, but this is an unabashed War movie and it doesn’t have time for love interests. Historically, most of it seem pretty accurate although a few changes had to made to make it into a movie, and I can imagine that the characters in the story were representative of real people, although maybe not actual individuals. There are a couple of stories which are told simultaneously for the most part, and everything sort of ties up together nicely, probably not like real life where it was so very chaotic. The acting is excellent, but there isn’t a need for huge Hollywood stars, as this is such a powerful story, that the events are the real stars of the film. It’s very well paced, kept to about an hour and three quarters which is about perfect, and is about the best movie I’ve seen in a long time. It’s interesting how in war, it’s much easier to look back and analyze and make different choices after that fact. In the Civil War, the battle of Gettysburg was an accident, and the whole thing was about shoes. Both armies needed shoes, and Gettysburg was the place to get them. The North had fought for 3 days, and on the fourth day, both armies stayed in their camps and watched each other. The Southern Army was crushed, but General Meade decided not to attach General Lee and the Confederate Army while Lee was sitting wondering why they didn’t attack and put and end to them on that day, as they were finished. Meade’s thinking was that he had won the battle, and if he dared to attack on the 4th day, he might turn his victory into a defeat. His cowardly decision, some say, drove Lincoln crazy and added years to the war which could have been over that very day. In the case of the Battle of Dunkirk, what would have happened had the Germans driven forward and attacked them on the beach. They had double the men, and the Allies had left behind most of their heavy equipment, ammo, and supplies. There is much debate over why they stopped advancing with their tanks and decided to sit and wait and allow the British to evacuate 300,000 soldiers to live and fight another day. It was a great victory for the Germans, but did not wipe out the Allied forces at it could have. Many have argued different reasons for the decision, but it certainly had a huge effect on the success of getting all those men out of a suicide situation for sure. Perhaps it was like Meade, who was just afraid to turn a win into a loss, or perhaps there was much more to it. Had they been moving so fast that they outrun their supply train, and needed to catch up? Were there political reasons for letting the Allies escape? I guess we’ll never know, but this film tells us what happened, and that’s what really matters. This is such a beautiful and touching and moving film that it’s something you definitely should see, even if you’re anti-war. The good news, and the lift it gave to the British folks certainly was an important thing, perhaps even more important that the actual effect of getting those 300,000 men back. Had they lost them, it would have been a hard blow to morale in Britain. Go see this, and watch it on the biggest brightest screen you can find before you miss it. This is one film that is truly a MUST SEE!

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Chernin Entertainment, TSG Entertainment,

Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Amiah Miller, Terry Notary, Judy Greer, Karin Konoval, Ty Olsson, Alessandro Juliani, Michael Adamthwaite, Max Lloyd-Jones, Aleks Paunovic, Sara Canning, Gabriel Chavarria, Chad E. Rook

Caesar (Andy Serkis) is the leader of the Apes. They have fled to a hideaway deep into the forest. Caesar simply wants peace, but the Colonel (Woody Harrelson) is building a fortress at the old base and is relentlessly looking for the hideout of the apes in order to wipe them out once and for all. But when Caesar’s wife and son are killed, he sets out after The Colonel to seek his revenge, only to learn that there is an even greater danger just above the horizon for both sides.

These darn Planet of the Apes films just keep getting better and better. This has to be the best one of all. It is hard to watch the original Planet films now, with the special effects, CGI, and the wonderful scenery and sets make this a stunning thing to watch. Add to it the 3-D and a huge screen and recliner seats and it was really an experience. I enjoyed every second of this film. It was amazing entertainment. They really make the apes more expressive than the humans are, and the script has to be one of the best ever. This is a rather simple war story that will likely strike a chord with everyone. This is a very good story, and everything came together in every way. This is the must see film of the year, and one I would always expect this kind of film to kill at the box office. Kudos to everyone involved with this film, and if you haven’t gone out to see it, what the heck are you waiting for???

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Scion Films, Czech Anglo Productions, LD Entertainment,

Jessica Chastain, Daniel Brühl, Johan Heldenbergh, Michael McElhatton

Jan (Johan Heldenbergh) and his wife Antonina Zabinski (Jessica Chastain) and their son Ryszard (Val Maloku) are a happy family running the Warsaw Zoo, a popular attraction in the capitol of Poland. But when the Nazi’s came in, the zoo was nearly destroyed by the attack and the Jewish Poles are being rounded up and sent to the Warsaw slums until the Nazi’s can figure out what to do with them. Meanwhile, since the zoo is gone, the Zabinski’s develop a plan to turn the old zoo into a pig farm to provide food for the army, but only as a cover to the real plan of storing as many Jewish refugees, especially children, in the basement of their home. This is a true story of how the Zabinski Family was able to save over 300 Jewish people from certain death in the prison camps.

This is a touching and unique holocaust story, since it is centered in Poland where much of the hate and carnage took place throughout most of the war. It is a gray and dreary look at the place, and the beautiful party in the beginning is a stark contrast to the horrible conditions at the end. The sets are spectacularly done, and the horrors of the time is always in our faces as we can feel the real fear and terror in the faces of these kids who had to struggle to be alive. Everyone did a good job here, and I felt it was very well made and told the true story very well. In the first part of the film, there is a wide variety of animals in the zoo, and when the attack came and the destruction came to the zoo, many of the wild animals got away. Every animal in the movie is real. There was no CGI used at all. The director said that the original film was 3 1/2 hours long, and since they needed to cut it down to two hours, an hour and a half had to be cut. All in all, they put together a really good story, based on the diary that has never been published, it is a touching story that will help you understand how a single person can really make a difference.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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The Beguiled (2017) {R}

American Zoetrope, FR Productions,

Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning, Oona Laurence, Angourie Rice, Addison Riecke, Emma Howard, Wayne Pére

Corporal John McBurney is a Union soldier in the last stages of the Civil War who was injured, but lay dying in a forest from his wounds. He’s found by a little girl who brings him to where she lives, an all girl school run by Miss Martha (Nicole Kidman) and the teacher, Edwina (Kirsten Dunst). Miss Martha does her best to patch him up, but as he begins to make a recovery, whether to turn him over to the Confederates as a prisoner or to allow him to recover in the Virginia Mansion becomes a hard question, especially when he’s the only man in a house filled with females. Trouble is sure to follow.

I got to see an early screening of this film on July 4th, and my wife has been very anxious to see it after seeing the previews. I had no knowledge of the 1971 Clint Eastwood version of this film, and it looked like a really decent period romantic drama set in a southern plantation during the war. But as the movie started and the name Sofia Coppola, Director scroll across the screen as feeling of dread struck me in the gut. I turned to my wife (There were only about 5 of us all together in the theater) and whispered, “Oh no!” Dear Sofia has ruined a great many good stories, and this was wasn’t any different. What a terrible disappointment. With such an amazing cast, Colin Farrell, Nichole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning, there is tons of talent. The concept of a Union soldier recuperating in a southern mansion filled with women and girls is a great concept, but nothing much develops. I don’t know if there’s nothing in the script, or if it’s just really, really bad editing that makes this such a boring film, but it’s a major bore. The Confederate soldiers show up a couple times with a bunch of kids and a Union deserter hiding out and NOTHING happens. Then the end is extremely unsatisfying with a big dramatic setup for the finish that fizzles out like a dud. There is some hope that something major is going to occur in the ending, but it’s such a soft pedal that it’s completely unworthy of the story. This is a really sad missed opportunity and a real mess of a movie. I have a feeling that this movie, when it finally is released, is going to fizzle just like the ending of the film. all in all, from now on I’m going to stay far away from anything directed by this person. I was really disappointed. I’m going to try to find the 1971 film, to see what was done with the story on that attempt, and if I can find it, I will let you know if it suffers with the same problems that the remake has, but I can hardly think it could be any worse. . I recommend that you skip this one!

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Legendary East, Atlas Entertainment, China Film Group,

Matt Damon, Tian Jing, Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe, Andy Lau, Hanyu Zhang, Eddie Peng, Lu Han, Gengxin Lin, Kai Zheng, Xuan Huang

William (Matt Demon) is a European mercenary who will fight for whomever offers the most money. He’s on a mission, with some of his men, to find out the truth about the black powder that those in China supposedly have to protect The Great Wall from the Mongols. So they show up just as they Chinese under their commander, Lin Mae (Tian Jing) is about to go into a major battle. They are captured and put into the dungeon, but it turns out the battle is a lot more sinister than the Mongols invading. The Chinese have been hiding that they are actually defending their country from some nasty alien creatures who, if they overtake and conquer the soldiers, will spread over to the whole world. William decides to join the Chinese to fight, and uses his skills to help Lin Mae to destroy the Queen and hopefully win the battle.

This is a very intense action film with great action sequences. It’s an odd story. Some years ago I picked up a science fiction paperback from the 99 cent store and found it to be the story of a modern day man who had the unfortunate incident where he passed through a portal to an iron age, medieval like kingdom in need of a leader, but there was also a pathway to a futuristic society. When I finished the book, I found out it was a trilogy, and I searched a bookstore and found the second novel with ease. When it came time to read the third book in the trilogy though, I was hooked on the story, but quickly found that Tor Books, the publisher had discontinued the book which was out of print, and not available anywhere. I was devastated until my oldest son found a copy in a rare book shop and he bought it for me. That unusual story of three different realities, past, present, and future, reminded me a lot of this film. What appears to be a very decent period piece of life centuries and centuries ago, immediately turns into a futuristic science fiction movie and it blew my mind. The special effects, particularly the alien creatures themselves, are quite impressive, and the battle scenes defending the wall are quite entertaining. The action is fierce and vicious, and it’s certainly very lifelike. I didn’t expect a lot out of this movie, but I was very pleasantly surprised at how really good it was. I thoroughly enjoyed the film, and though the theaters had this one in and out in the blink of an eye, for a DVD rental (if anyone still does that anymore) or a streaming evening, it’s very well suited. If the you like Lords and Ladies, Asian customs, and outer space bugs, this one has it all. I promise an interesting evening.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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