Movie Review: Dunkirk (2017)

As a self-proclaimed fan of this director, you’d have thought I’d gotten to this movie sooner. But sometimes life is a bit more unpredictable than that, Skipper.

Disclaimer: I know this thing is based on a true story, but I will not base my review on how perfectly accurate to the real situation it may or may not be, but I will instead judge it as a movie… which it is. Disclaimer over.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Dunkirk”.

1940, World War 2 is going on. British, French, and Belgian forces have been surrounded by the Germans, stuck on the beaches of Dunkirk. And we follow people on the various fronts as they try to sort this situation out or simply survive. Simple setup, good setup… but there’s something about the overall narrative that just didn’t fully click for me. I wasn’t ever bored, and I was invested in what was going on… so why didn’t it ever click fully for me? It’s so close to reaching the greatness status, and yet something feels like it’s missing. There are some fucking terrific moments of tension and drama throughout, and they are really effective. But there’s something about the connecting thread that just never crossed that final line for me. Again, the plot here is pretty good, if not quite on the level it could be.

This movie doesn’t exactly have the deepest characters ever, but I still knew enough about them that I could at least somewhat care about them as chaos happened around them. Sure, I couldn’t really tell you anything about them, but I could still see them, recognize them, and know who they were in relation to the narrative (the soldier boy, the boatman, the pilot, etc.). But what I can say is that all the actors are terrific in their respective roles. Fionn Whitehead, Aneurin Barnard, Tom Hardy, James Bloor, Mark Rylance, Barry Koeghan, Jack Lowden, Harry Styles, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, and many more, they all did a great job.

The score for the movie was composed by Hans Zimmer, and mother of god, this man can do no wrong. His score has a way of generating genuine suspense, blending ear-grinding strings, heavy brass, ominous synthesizers, and even a ticking clock. The score maintains a rising sense tension throughout, and it’s simply spectacular.

“Dunkirk” was written and directed by Christopher Nolan, one of my favorite directors. And he did a damn job with it all. While Zimmer’s score carried a lot of weight in terms of building suspense, Nolan of course brought a lot to that too, with a lot of clever camerawork that really made the soldier just feel small, like they’re just a minor cog in the machinery of war… like they could be taken out all of a sudden, which creates some really good tension. And when combined with Hoyte van Hoytema’s amazing cinematography, you get some truly breathtaking sequences.

This movie has been really well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 93% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 94/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,9/10. The movie won 3 Oscars in the categories of Best film editing, Best sound editing, and Best sound mixing. It was also nominated for an additional 5 Oscars in the categories of Best picture, Best director, Best cinematography, Best original score, and Best production design.

While I don’t really love it as much as a lot of people, I still think “Dunkirk” is a damn fine movie. It has a pretty good plot, okay characters, great performances, fantastic music, and fantastic directing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Dunkirk” is an 8,62/10. So while flawed, it’s still worth buying.

My review of “Dunkirk” is now completed.

Am I gonna get in trouble for not giving this movie a perfect score? Should I barricade my house?

Academy Awards 2018: Best Music Nominees

Hello there, ladies, gentlemen, and space aliens. The Oscars are not far away (as of writing it’s less than 24 hours to it), so to celebrate that I have teamed up with a bunch of other bloggers to talk about the various categories, and give our thoughts and predictions on them. When it was time for me to choose, I chose the music categories (which had been lumped into one), because of my undying love of music and occasional analysis of it. I also chose it because I haven’t seen all the movies yet, so this is one I can do from the comfort of my own room (thank you, spotify!). So without further ado, let’s get into it.

Best Original Score
The first category we’ll go through is best original score, the category celebrating the works of the composers who work so hard to help us get immersed. So here are the nominees.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi – John Williams.

First up we have the one and only John Williams and his music for the latest entry in the “Star Wars” franchise. And this really has everything that you’d expect from “Star Wars” music at this point. Big brass, tense strings, catchy melodies. And whereas the score for “Force Awakens” was damn good, it doesn’t really hold a candle to “The Last Jedi” (not comparing the movies, just the music). There are throwbacks to the previous movies in the series throughout this score, but none of it feels like forced (HA!) pandering, but rather fun inclusions to make it all feel a bit more connected. But as great as the music here is, I don’t think it has a chance in this Oscar race. Would I be made if it won? No. But we’ve heard these stylings before, and I feel like it doesn’t have the same chance at the gold due to that.

The Shape of Water – Alexandre Desplat.

Our second entry is the score for “The Shape of Water”, the latest weirdness from Guillermo Del Toro. As of writing this, I have not seen the movie, so I can’t comment on how well the music works within the movie. But I can comment on it as it’s own entity, and I can safely say that this score is fantastic. It takes a couple cues from old school John Williams, and even a bit from Wes Anderson’s movies (which is funny considering Anderson has worked with Desplat before). But it does a lot of unique things to give it a really odd, yet beautiful sound that works for this kind of odd love story. I’d say this has a very good chance of getting the Oscar.

Phantom Thread – Jonny Greenwood.

Here we have the score for “Phantom Thread”, the latest movie from Paul Thomas Anderson, and the final movie of actor Daniel Day Lewis. This score relies heavily on piano and various string instruments (violin being the most prominent). It creates an emotionally charged sound that evokes a lot of dramas from the 70s (I notive a little bit of “Godfather” in there). This score has a pretty good chance of taking the Oscar, though I’m not 100% sure if I want it to. I’m a little split on it.

Dunkirk – Hans Zimmer.

So here we have a score from one of my favorite composers, for a movie by one of my favorite directors. Yet I have somehow not seen “Dunkirk” as of writing. But what we have here is an intense and very unique score that makes use of not only your typical orchestral sounds, but also a ticking clock and a few other sounds that I can’t identify that easily. But I must say that this sounds fantastic, and it makes me tense up a bit, without the visuals of the movie. Zimmer catches the horrors of war incredibly well with his music, creating a haunting but also beautiful sound that drills itself into my bones and makes me feel like I’m in this horrible situation. So I’d say Zimmer has a good chance at getting the statue.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – Carter Burwell.

Hey, finally a movie I’ve actually seen! But yes, the final score nominated for an Oscar is Carter Burwell’s score for Martin McDonagh’s masterful “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”. At times sounding like a western, at times sounding like an emotional drama, Burwell’s score perfectly captures the tumultuous journey of Mildred as she tries to get justice for what happened to her daughter. The music follows her arc perfectly, from the badass and cool, to the intimate and emotional. But as much as I love the music of “Three Billboards”, I doubt that it will take the Oscar. Would I be happy if it did? Hell yeah. But nothing about it really says “I can and will grab that Oscar” like some of the other contenders did.

Biggest chance of winning: The Shape of Water.
My pick: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

So those were the original scores. Now moving on to the second half.

Best Original Song
Time for the category that celebrates specific tunes made for the movies we watch. It’s an interesting category that I don’t fully understand the point of, but I won’t say no to a bit of music. So let’s go.

Mystery of Love – Sufjan Stevens – Call Me By Your Name.

First song on the list is “Mystery of Love”, a song from “Call Me By Your Name”, a movie about sexual discovery rather than identity theft (missed an opportunity there, yo). Written and performed by Sufjan Stevens, it almost feels like something that you’d hear from José González, but with a slightly bigger lean towards the pop side of it all. And I must admit that this song is pretty damn good. As the title suggests, it talks about how weird and mysterious the concept of love actually is. It has an interesting and unique sound that I like listening to. Do I think it has a shot at the Oscar? Hard to say, really. Would I be okay with it winning? Sure. I’m just unsure how the Academy would vote on it. Some songs/movies are easier to pin the chances of than others, and this one’s a bit challenging to pin down.

Mighty River – Mary J. Blige – Mudbound.

Here we have a song from a movie I’ve actually seen. “Mighty River” is part gospel, and part radio ballad. And it strikes a good balance between the two to make a song that is pleasing for the ears while still having an interesting and somewhat unique sound, at least for the current music industry. It also evokes those big, emotional songs you could hear in various movies from back in the day. Like “My Heart Will Go On” or that Faith Hill song from “Pearl Harbor”. So I’d be perfectly fine with “Mighty River” winning… shit, I’d say it’s chances are good.

This Is Me – Keala Settle – The Greatest Showman.

So here we have a pop song from a musical about P.T. Barnum, a man who wasn’t a very good person… but they still decided to make a colorful musical about him and his circus. False depiction of a historical figure aside, how is this song? Pretty good. It’s a very radio-friendly pop song that still manages to elevate that with the help of some solid crescendos and a slightly more old school approach. Do I want this to win? Not really. There’s nothing inherently wrong with it, but I don’t think it does anything that makes it worthy of that prize. It’s a little bit too… generic, in my opinion.

Stand Up For Something – Andra Day feat. Common – Marshall.

Here we have a song from the Thurgood Marshall biopic “Marshall”. This is a pop song with a good amount of soul thrown into it to create a sound that I really enjoyed listening to. Plus, the lyrics about standing up for a cause are somewhat inspiring, especially when delivered by Andra Day’s gorgeous voice. There’s also a short bit where Common raps, and it’s really good. Do I think this song has a chance? Maybe. It definitely has a foot in the door, but it’s hard to say how much that will help in terms of actually winning. Let’s say the chances are pretty good.

Remember Me – Benjamin Bratt/Kristen Anderson-Lopez/Robert Lopez – Coco.

The final song on the list is “Remember Me (Ernesto De La Cruz)”, a mostly upbeat and energetic song from Pixar’s latest film, “Coco”. The lyrics are good, the the instrumentals are good, it’s very personal to the writers… and it’s sung by the great Benjamin Bratt. Yeah, this is great. I haven’t seen “Coco”, but this song has made me want to check it out even more. The chances for this to win are pretty good, and I wouldn’t be mad if it did. ’tis a good song.

Biggest chance of winning: Mighty River.
My pick: Mighty River.

So those were the original song nominations.

And those were all of the music nominations from the Oscars, and my thoughts on them. But now I wanna hear from you guys, which score/song do you think should/will win? Please leave any and all answers in the comments, I really wanna hear from you guys.

The people I collaborated with on this:

Plain, Simple Tom.

Through the Silver Screen.

Angus McGregor Movies.

QuickFire Reviews.

Fivethreeninety.

Perks of being Nath.

Have a good one.

Movies I’m looking forward to in 2017

Hi there guys, and welcome to this little post of mine. New year, new movies! I know that we’re a bit over a week into the new year, but I can justify this post by saying that no movies I’m looking forward to have come out yet. So this list still works. Ha!

Rule #1: My list, not yours, so no bitching allowed. We’ve gone through this time and time again, so it should be burnt into your god damn heads by now. Cool? Cool.

Rule #2: This will not be a ranked list of my most anticipated movies of the year. There are so many movies I’m looking forward to this year that it will be impossible for me to rank them. I’m just listing the ones that I’m looking forward to, nothing else.

Rule #3: I am not including any of the movies that were limited in 2016 and got full releases in early 2017. I’m just not going to, including them would be cheating.

I only have one honorable mention for this, and that is “The Dark Tower”. I am a big fan of the book series, and I am cautiously optimistic about the film adaptation set to be released later this year. But we haven’t seen any footage yet, so it’s impossible for me to be genuinely excited about it.

With that out of the way, here are my most anticipated movies of 2017.

Justice League Dark.

Kicking off this list is an upcoming DC animated, direct-to-video feature about Batman (Jason O’Mara) gathering up some mystic/supernatural heroes to stop an overwhelming supernatural threat. These animated movies can be very hit-or-miss for many, but I am always looking forward to them. It’ll be nice seeing the DC animation team tackel the more supernatural side of the DC universe. Also, Matt Ryan came back to voice John Constantine… and that makes me all kinds of happy.

Logan.

Here we have possibly my most anticipated movie of the year. The trailer is great, and we already know that Hugh Jackman is fantastic as Wolverine. And James Mangold has proven himself as a very capable director, so I am sure that this will be a great film. I just know that I will cry in the cinema when I go see this. If not for a well made/sad scene, then at least because I know that this will be the last time I’ll see Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart in their iconic “X-Men” roles.

War for the Planet of the Apes.

I am a big fan of the last two “Planet of the Apes” movies, I thought they both brought a lot to the franchise. “Rise” was great, and then “Dawn” came out and turned out to be even better. Matt Reeves did such a fantastic job with that movie that I have no real worries for this new one.

Justice League.

The DCEU hasn’t faired the best in terms of critical reception. As for my opinions: I thought “Man of Steel” was really good, I thought “Batman v Superman” was okay, and I haven’t seen “Suicide Squad” yet. Now, despite the mixed reception of these movies, I am still looking forward to this movie. I am a little bit reserved, but it still seems like it could be a somewhat entertaining action movie. Plus, you can’t deny the excitement of seeing all these characters come together on the big screen for the first time.

John Wick: Chapter 2.

The first “John Wick” was such a big surprise. It was a fantastic action movie that just came out of fucking nowhere. It also featured the best performance we’ve ever seen from Keanu Reeves. So I am super excited for the sequel, which we’re not gonna have to wait too long for. Also, I am really excited about seeing Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne reuniting… I just love “The Matrix”, okay.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

The first “Guardians of the Galaxy” was a pretty big surprise in terms of both quality and profits. Not only did it make a shit-ton of money, but it also became my favorite MCU movie. It had everything I needed: Action, humor, interesting characters… space. So I am of course incredibly excited about this sequel which looks prettty great.

Baby Driver.
This movie has no trailer yet, but I am still very excited about it. Why? Firstly, the cast is pretty great. And secondly, it’s written and directed by Edgar Wright. Yeah, this is some exciting stuff.

Star Wars Episode 8.
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No title, no trailer, no nothin’. But it’s motherfucking “Star Wars”, so of course I’m excited. “Star Wars”!

Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Spidey’s (Tom Holland) appearance in “Captain America: Civil War” was one of my favorite things in any movie of 2016. Which of course made interested in seeing this version of the character in his own movie. Then a whole bunch of months later the first trailer for “Spider-Man: Homecoming” drops and yeah, I’m on board. If anything, it looks fun. And Michael Keaton seems like he will make a pretty intimidating Vulture. Yeah, this is pretty exciting.

Wonder Woman.

Another DCEU movie coming to us this year, and it looks really interesting. Even though the character of Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) felt very shoehorned into “Batman v Superman”, she was very entertaining (her entrance into the final battle being a standout moment). So I am interested to see what she’ll do in ehr very own movie, set during World War 1, and getting acquainted with the only Chris that Marvel hadn’t already snagged yet. I’m at least hoping for some badass action scenes featuring this badass woman.

Kong: Skull Island.

I am a fan of monster movies. I am also one of the few people that legitimately liked 2014’s “Godzilla”. So I was already excited for another “King Kong” movie. Then this trailer came out and it was pretty cool. Also, Tom Hiddleston looks a lot like Leon Kennedy from “Resident Evil 4” in this trailer. Long story short, I want to see a giant gorilla wreck some shit!

The Fate of the Furious.

Wait, this stupid franchise actually became good!? Yeah, it kind of did. “Fast Five” was great, “Fast & Furious 6” was good, and “Furious 7” was really good. Yeah, I’m as surprised as you are. From “Point Break” with cars to really big, loud, and stupid action fests that actually entertained me and also somehow gave a touching send-off to one of it’s primary castmates… Yeah, this franchise is full of surprises. And this movie looks just as stupid and fun as the last few.

Alien: Covenant.

I love “Alien”. I think I love “Aliens”. Three and four we don’t talk about. We also don’t talk about the “AvP” movies. And I liked “Prometheus”. And this movie looks like it can get tesne and scary… like “Alien”. There’s not much else to say… I’m excited.

Resident Evil: Vendetta.

No, not the stupid fucking live action bullshit. This is the third part in the animated “Resident Evil” movie franchise. I actually reviewed the previous two movies if you wanna know my thoughts on them, you just have to search “Resident Evil” to find them (#ShamelessPlug). But long story short, they are enjoyable and I am really excited for this third installment which looks stupid and really fun.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle.
The first “Kingsman” was a giant surprise. It was a January movie that actually turned out to be great… yeah, who would have thought. It was a terrific action movie that also kind of parodied the spy genre without actually mocking it. And with the director and star of that movie returning for the sequel… yeah, I am really excited.

Mute.
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“What?”, I hear you asking. “Mute” is an upcoming Netflix original science fiction movie directed by Duncan Jones. You know, the very talented director that made “Moon”, “Source Code”, and “Warcraft” who also happens to be the son of David Bowie. The movie will star Alexander Skarsgård, Paul Rudd (pictured above with a glorious mustache), and Justin Theroux. I am a big fan of Jones’ previous movies, so this is a no-brainer for me to put on this list. Also, my love for science fiction is a factor in my excitement. Duncan Jones has stated that this is set in the same universe/timeline as “Moon”, so I am interested in seeing how the two movies tie together.

The Shape of Water.
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This, my friends, is an upcoming fantasy movie by Guillermo Del Toro… and that’s really all I need. I am always excited about new Guillermo Del Toro movies. Sure, “Crimson Peak” wasn’t the best, but it was still not bad. I’ve enjoyed every Del Toro movie I’ve seen, so I am excited for this movie, especially since it has such a great cast.

Blade Runner 2049.

I was incredibly skeptical about this movie for the longest time. Sure, it had a terrific cast and a fantastic director, but a sequel to “Blade Runner”, released over 30 years later? Come on… no. Then this trailer came out and I am on board. It shows just hte right amount of stuff. It sets up the tone, it sets up some mystery and intrigue… it’s perfect. Yeah, I’m on board.

The Commuter.
The only reason why this is on the list is because it’s another action-thriller from director Jaume Collet-Serra and actor Liam Neeson. That’s it. I am a fan of their previous three movies, so I am just excited for this. I don’t expect a mindblowing thriller, just an entertaining action-thriller.

Dunkirk.

It’s a war movie directed by Christopher Nolan… how the fuck could you not be excited?

So those were a whole bunch of movies I’m excited for this year. What are you guys excited for? Leave any and all answers in the comments!
Have a good one!

We got a trailer for “Dunkirk”!

Hi guys, how’s it going? First off, thanks for all the love on the announcement/milestone post yesterday, it really warms my heart! Secondly, we now have another trailer to talk about, so let’s do this shit!

So we now have an official announcement trailer for “Dunkirk”, a war movie directed by Christopher Nolan, about one of the most important battles of the second world war. Just that premise alone is enough to get me excited about it. Then you look at this trailer and it’s very minimalistic, but still very interesting and actually pretty intense. Then you also have a look at the list of cast members and see that this movie will star Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, and Kenneth Branagh. And for some reason we also get Harry Styles from One Direction, but whatever. But looking at all of these factors jsut makes the movie so intriguing and hypes it up quite a bit. “Dunkirk” is set for July 2017 release.

So what do you think? Are you excited about “Dunkirk”? And what’s your favorite Christopher Nolan movie that is not “The Dark Knight”? Leave any and all answers in the comments!
Have a good one and enjoy the trailer!