Friday, August 4, 2017

Movie Review: Dunkirk

I have trouble finding a good movie to watch these days. It seems that so much of what Hollywood is currently producing is pure fantasy. For example, here is the list of what is now playing at the theater (Cinemark) that Donna and I frequent. I've labeled each and sometimes provided a blurb from the movie:
  • The Emoji Movie (Animated)
  • Dunkirk
  • Atomic Blonde (Highly choreographed tale. "The crown jewel of Her Majesty's Secret Intelligence Service, Agent Lorraine Broughton (Theron) is equal parts spycraft, sensuality and savagery, willing to deploy any of her skills to stay alive on her impossible mission.")
  • Girls Trip (Raunchy. "there's enough dancing, drinking, brawling, and romancing to make the Big Easy blush.")
  • Spider Man: Homecoming (Fantasy)
  • Despicable Me 3 (Animated)
  • War for the Planet of the Apes. (Fantasy)
  • Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (Fantasy. "A dark force threatens Alpha, a vast metropolis and home to species from a thousand planets.")
  • Baby Driver (Action/Thriller. "After being coerced into working for a crime boss, a young getaway driver finds himself taking part in a heist doomed to fail.")
  • The Big Sick. (Romantic Comedy. "Bickering parents and a serious health scare threaten the budding relationship between a Pakistani stand-up comic (Kumail Nanjiani) and his American girlfriend (Zoe Kazan).")
  • Wonder Woman (Fantasy)
  • Wish Upon (Fantasy. "A teen girl discovers a magical box that will grant her seven wishes. As she uses her wishes for personal gain, bad things begin to happen to those around her. She discovers an evil entity lives inside the box and may be behind the gruesome deaths.")
  • 47 Meters Down (Thriller. Two thrill seeking sisters get more than they bargained for when the shark cage they are in breaks away and falls to the bottom of the sea in shark infested waters.)
  • The Angry Birds. (Animated)
That is a list of 14 movies currently playing in our theater. Of those, 3 are animated, 3 are about super heroes in highly choreographed (and unbelievable) action scenes, 3 are other types of fantasies, and 1 is simply raunchy and distasteful. That leaves only 4 movies that are anywhere near realistic and believable. Pretty slim pickings.

Now, I'll readily admit that some fantasies are worth watching. The original Star Trek TV series, I thought, put forth some very interesting plots that made you think "what if?". But today, most such fantasy shows dwell more on action than ideas.

It's rare to find a movie that is historically accurate and that portrays realistic human emotions. Dunkirk does that very well. There really is no central character in the movie; rather, the movie follows the actions of several people as 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. There are cowards as well as heroes, men in shock and men who rise to the challenge. The horrors of war are accurately depicted, and human growth is shown. It is a very sound movie that does a good job of recording this often overlooked episode in the early days of World War II, well before America's entry into that conflict.

Sadly, there simply aren't enough movies today that deal with subjects accurately and realistically. Such a movie is a rare gem, indeed.

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