Paul McGuire Grimes (Paul’s Trip to the Movies) has two war movies that are a must see this summer, and a home release that you need to buckle up for.
DUNKIRK (theatrical release)
With Dunkirk, director Christopher Nolan turns to the harrowing World War II battle in France between the Allies and the Germans. The British and French armies have been driven to the shore, trapped on the beach hoping for some sort of miracle rescue mission. The Battle at Dunkirk lasted from May 26 to June 4, 1940. Along with directing the film, Nolan wrote the script and gives his film three different narratives as a way to approach the battle and rescue mission. He comes at it by air, sea, and by land with each having a varied timeframe on where they enter the overall scope of the rescue. We first meet Tommy, a British soldier awaiting rescue on the shore with a cavalry of other young soldiers. The air sequences show two Air Force pilots attempting to take down the German planes before they hit the men at sea and on the beach. It’s a race against time for them before one of them loses fuel. The third narrative involves Oscar winner Mark Rylance who takes his son and the son’s best friend out on a small yacht to rescue any soldiers out at sea. Nolan interweaves these storylines as the rescue mission intensifies. Due to each narrative lasting in a different time continuum, it may get a bit confusing keeping it straight.
-Starring: Fionn Whitehead, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Kenneth Branagh, Harry Styles
-No one character or actor sticks out, as it’s a true ensemble piece. I really felt the brotherhood and relationships at hand as the soldiers wished and prayed for survival.
-Written and directed by Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Trilogy, Inception, Interstellar)
-One of his shortest films to date as he doesn’t waste time with exposition or character buildup. Right from the opening, he keeps it running at a brisk pace keeping that “ticking clock” ever present.
-Nolan shot the movie mostly using massive IMAX cameras to capture that wide picture. It must be experienced on the biggest screen possible with the best sound system. It’s what going to the movies is all about. You feel the vast emptiness out at sea as well as the tight claustrophobic nature in the cockpits and packed in with the soldiers in the small rescue vessels.
-The whole movie feels extremely immersive, yet intimate at the same time. The dialogue is fairly minimal. You’ll notice how it’s not really necessary or appropriate in moments. The camera work, the score, and acting all play a part of telling this story when the dialogue isn’t needed.
-It’s an emotional gauntlet, as you’ll be glued to the edge of your seats with your eyes staring at the screening. There’s no time for checking your phone, getting popcorn, or going to the bathroom.
-The best war film since Saving Private Ryan. Nolan captures the harrowing and grueling nature at hand while keeping the emotional aspects of the story front and center.
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? Christopher Nolan has another masterpiece on his hands.
RATING: 5 out of 5 TICKET STUBS
WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES (theatrical release)
It’s been fifteen years since humans created a virus strong enough to kill off a majority of the human species, but in turn, give apes a super-intelligence and strength. Since then, a war has been brewing between the last remaining humans and the apes with some apes turning against their own kind by standing next to the humans in battle. Caesar has been the alpha male ape leading the pack along the way. He has since gone in hiding hoping to protect his family. Their location comes under siege when a man known only as the Colonel and a crew of soldiers come swooping down hoping for ape genocide. Caesar watches a majority of his family perish except for his young son. He makes it his mission to get his revenge on the Colonel to avenge the killing of his family.
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? Don’t discredit this Apes trilogy as a standard Hollywood remakes. The conclusion is epic, thought provoking, and proves its light years ahead of the old Heston films.
RATING: 4 out of 5 TICKET STUBS
THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS (home release)
Who would have thought that a street racing movie from 2001 starring Vin Diesel and Paul Walker would still be going strong and onto its eighth movie in the franchise. It picks up with Dom and Letty vacationing in Havana where his cousin lives. It only makes sense in a movie like this where his vacation comes to an abrupt stop when he attempts to help a stranded woman on the side of the road with her broken down jeep. The driver happens to be the elusive Cipher, one of the world’s most dangerous computer hackers. There’s bad blood between the two of them, but she propositions him with a job offer he can’t refuse. It comes with a catch as it means turning his back and working against his team of drivers and friends whom he considers family. Ex-security agent Luke Hobbs is now coaching his doctor’s soccer team but his called in by Mr. Nobody to gather Dom’s team for a covert mission. Just when the mission appears to be a success, Dom goes rogue by stealing the EMP device and abandoning his team for Cipher’s plan of attack. It’s up to Hobbs and the team to track down Cipher and Dom before she uses the device and other nuclear missiles and submarines to start a nuclear war.