Dunkirk

I went out to see “Dunkirk.”  Quite a few people were out to see it at 11:45 in the morning.  They must have read the reviews.  It had some links to previous Christopher Nolan films in the way it showed people attempting heroic acts.  The film dispensed with storytelling formulas and immersed the audience into the action.  It followed two soldiers doing all they could to escape the situation, a father and two sons heeding the call for help, and a pilot shooting down German planes.  There was some of the feeling of the beginning of “Saving Private Ryan” to this movie.  It didn’t signal to you how you should react to what was happening.  I don’t recall Hitler, Roosevelt, or Churchill being mentioned in the dialogue.  The only actors I recognized were Kenneth Branagh and Tom Hardy.  I wondered how difficult it was to film this movie, with so much of it taking place on or below the water.  I thought that it must be hard to shoot down a plane, but the pilot we see seemed like a real ace.  I thought the Germans would have been more cunning and skilled than what is shown here.  They didn’t use the clouds to make tricky maneuvers.  This certainly looked like an expensive movie, with the extras and the boats and planes, however they made everything look real.  I wouldn’t want to be on any location where explosions go off.  Kenneth Branagh reminded me of his role as Henry V all those years ago.  I don’t know how the father and son were able to save the people they did.  There was quite a bit of suspense to some of the scenes.  Landing a plane in the water looked so dangerous that it would be difficult to survive, unlike the passengers in “Sully.”  In fact, everything in this movie felt like it was difficult, including firing a rifle.  This world of 1940 seems very distant now.  A person who was 18 years old then would be 95 years old now.  I was hoping that the pilot who stuck it out in battle as he was running out of fuel would be rewarded.  Could he have taken some kind of circular path to land on the beach where he could leave safely?  Some of the World War II movies I remember from my youth were “The Longest Day,” “The Battle of the Bulge,” and “Patton.”  This movie attempts something different, which I appreciate.  It made me think of recent events in England.  I’m glad that I saw this movie.  It made me think about the state of the world today, and if people want to do good deeds in this world of social media and technology.  The movie didn’t run as long as I thought it would, based on what “Interstellar” was like, but it was long enough to wear down some people in the audience.  A few people applauded at the end, but the general reaction was rather subdued.  I thought the film was a good achievement, especially when compared to the mostly empty films that have been released this summer.  I think I might want to see it again on Tuesday.  As far as your 70mm films go, I thought this one was better than “The Hateful Eight.”  I took the bus into El Cerrito, where I bought a couple of items from Daiso, and a special edition of Rolling Stone magazine on Paul McCartney from Barnes and Noble.  I listened to most of the A’s game against the Mets.  Matt Chapman committed a big error, and Paul Blackburn gave up too many runs.  If the A’s split their remaining games evenly, they would finish with a record of 76-86.  Some of the people who died on July 22 include Florenz Ziegfeld (1932), John Dillinger (1934), Carl Sandburg (1967), Manuel Puig (1990), Estelle Getty (2008), Dennis Farina (2013), and Laszlo Kovacs (2014).  Today is a birthday for Willem Dafoe (62), S.E. Hinton (69), Albert Brooks (70), Don Henley (70), Danny Glover (71), Bobby Sherman (74), George Clinton (76), Alex Trebek (77), and Louise Fletcher (83).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for July 22, “King Kong Escapes” was released in Japan in 1967.  In 1977, “Orca”” was released.  In 1983, “Jaws 3-D” was released.  Also in 1983, “Mr. Mom” was released.

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