Friday, July 21, 2017

Dunkirk












Writer/Producer/Director Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk is an amazing work of cinema on all levels. 
 
The British army’s attempt to evacuate 400,000 soldiers from the Belgium coast as the German army advances against them during World War II weaves concurrent stories of the beach, the sea and the air, each with its own main characters with brilliant performances by Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hardy, Fionn Whithead and Cillian Murphy.
 
The plot is escape and the action is relentless, blending heroism with cowardness, dastardly deeds, suffering and kindness. 

While this film shows the horror of war and presents the shocking truth, it does not attempt to be so gross as to limit its audience. 

We are swept along with the pace set by Editor Lee Smith and the superb music provided by Composer Hans Zimmer…all under the masterful direction of Christopher Nolan.

Its only flaw is that some of the lines are not audible enough to be understood.  But, even this does not deter from its power.

I give Dunkirk a 4.7 out of 5.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets










 I am a big fan of Writer/Producer/Director Luc Besson and was truly looking forward to seeing Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.  But, I must say, this hodge-podge of a sci-fi drama was pretty disappointing.
 
On the plus side, the characters and visuals are amazing.  Kudos to Production Designer Hugues Tissandier and everyone involved.  And, as for the performances, Cara Delevingne and Rihanna are both wonderful.

But, Dane DeHaan (Valerian) is about as interesting as a lump of coal and his lame asides, supposedly reminiscent of The Fifth Element, assures us he’s no Bruce Willis. 

Overall, however, it’s the disjointed story that is at fault and, for the most part, is uninteresting.  We’re not really sure as to what’s it all about until the last half hour.  And, by then, we don’t really care.
For all its fabulous images, I can only give Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets a 3.4 out of 5. 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

War for the Planet of the Apes









I’ve seen glaciers move faster than Writer/Director Matt Reeves misnamed War for the Planet of the Apes; misnamed because it’s actually more of a revenge gang fight than a war until the last few minutes of a movie that Editors William Hoy and Stan Salfas should have cut by at least an hour. 
I could not keep thinking…and there is a lot of time to think while watching this snail-paced adventure…that so much money went into creating truly amazing ape-characters and they were wasted on this tepid story, when they and their creators deserved something far more grand.

What’s more, Composer Michael Giacchino almost outdid himself with a sound track arguably worse than last week’s Spider-Man: Homecoming soundtrack.  Unbelievable.

It’s not that this is a bad film, it’s just a sad experience that should have been so much better.  I give War for the Planet of the Apes a 3.1 out of 5.