Dunkirk is a powerful war epic directed by the mega director Christopher Nolan. In this review I share the good and the bad in my opinion about this highly anticipated film.
PG-13 | 1h 46min | Action, Drama, History | 21 July 2017 (USA)
Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire and France are surrounded by the German army and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II.
Director: Christopher Nolan
Writer: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Fionn Whitehead, Damien Bonnard, Aneurin Barnard
runtime: 3m 23s
Keep doing those hobbies, topics, and pet projects that excite you, even if they bring in little or no money. If you’re a writer, write on that stuff you’re most passionate about, despite the popularity “ranking” of the subject matter. Even something as droll as chewing gum has produced rewards in due time.
I read about Wrigley, the famous gum mogul, tonight on a website. He started selling soap as his main source of income, but kept a secret hobby of making it in the chewing gum market began in his basement. He never thought chewing gum would bring in enough money to be a big business, so he poured himself into the soap as his career. After a time however, the soap didn’t sell as he had hoped. Before long, he would be in chewing gum orbit.
To better market the soap as a novelty, the family started adhering a small package of his tasty gum to each soapbox they sold. After a short time people were buying the soap just to get the gum. You know the rest of the story. Spearmint chewing gum and gum in general is synonymous with his name.
I think the energy in our jobs and in our writing, should not always be spent on what we think will sell, but rather on our pet projects we truly feel invigorated about. We may find, as Wrigley did, that other people like them as well and they may even end up paying us money to continue doing them! Thanks for the life lesson Mr. Wrigley and thank you for Wrigleys chewing gum.
Enter Hemingway, Melville, London … you will like what’s being served at this table. We’ve heard of nature being our indifferent enemy but what to do when that enemy is our own nature. We have not yet begun that process in film and literature, but it’s here in this film … along with a few others through the years.
Two Lovers and a Bear (2016)
R | 1h 36min | Drama, Romance | 16 December 2016 (USA)
Set in a small town near the North Pole where roads lead to nowhere, the story follows Roman (DeHaan) and Lucy (Maslany), two burning souls who come together to make a leap for life and inner peace.
Director: Kim Nguyen
Writer: Kim Nguyen
Stars: Dane DeHaan, Tatiana Maslany, Gordon Pinsent
I almost always love the film when the director also wrote the film. In this case it is Kim Nguyen doing both artistic roles. My hat goes off to him, and I assume he wears a hat also because like me, he is shaved bald. (Gotta love the brother!). I don’t know much about him other than he is known for this and two other films and he is a Canadian: War Witch (2012), Two Lovers and a Bear (2016) and The Marsh (2002). I would put stock in him because this film is something quite different than we are used to seeing. Human v Nature/Human v Self. It’s a gritty psychological drama and God forbid IMDB plot keywords would let us toil in ignorance of these features:
“Plot Keywords: sex on table | sex scene | topless female nudity | female nudity”
Yes, Orphan Black star, Tatiana Maslany, bares her breasts. That’s the easy part of nature no one is too worried about.
All these facts plus the plot basically is two lovers at the North Pole in a barely functioning town. Why they are there is not explicitly mentioned, at least not as much as the breasts are displayed. There is something about an abusive father in her past and he … likes the drink and he likes the hard drink. Sometimes you gotta just go “right now.” Other times maybe your demons are better dealt with by a heater. This couple is fraught with demons and they decide it’s time to go into the snow, into the storm but not without the help of a very helpful? bear. Dane DeHaan seems to like him. BTW DeHaan is there and does a good job as such. Not much more is needed from the, I wonder if he even likes the White Stripes.
This is no family movie. It’s also not a sweet romance, unless you think of Moby Dick as romantic. Having said that, there is a lot to think about romance here, maybe how “not” to support a lover with baggage. For a gritty tale of love? turmoil and t*** on a table, I do recommend.
Streaming on Amazon video for $3.99
At time of publishing, July 2017, this film is streaming on Netflix.
My text-based review above was published first on my blog Riley on Film
In Spider-Man movies there are constants and there are variables. This film is no different from any previous reboot or sequel that way. The variables are basically that, Peter Parker is a junior in high school. He’s in love with Liz, not Mary Jane. There a new villain named Falcon and the entire film revolves around the Avengers and Tony Stark. See, there are some difference even though it’s another Spidey flick.
Peter Parker, with the help of his mentor Tony Stark, tries to balance his life as an ordinary high school student in New York City while fighting crime as his superhero alter ego Spider-Man when a new threat emerges.
Director: Jon Watts
Writers: Jonathan Goldstein (screenplay), John Francis Daley (screenplay) | 10 more credits
Stars: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr.
I used to be put off by superhero movies because of the gargantuan budgets they burned up. I’ve recovered from that now. I go into them like a 16 year old kid just wanting to be entertained and you know what I am much much happier! Having said that, just like always, I am in shock about how much money was burned to make this film. No doubt they will make it back, so it’s ok. It is exciting and there is a lot to awe at. The effects alone are worth a ticket. The story is where I struggled. There are a few twists that you may find to be poor-writing as I did. I won’t get into spoilers but they revolve around a certain un-named-here family member of Liz.
The director is known for Cop Car (2015) and was born in 1981. Nothing wrong in being a young director.
The cast is a palette of thousands along with the 12 credited writers. The main three are Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, and Robert Downey Jr. Tom Holland reminded me so much of Lee Evans in Mouse Hunt:
You might also remember him from There’s Something About Mary
Holland was great: young, little, eager, wiry. I loved him alongside Naomi Watts’ as her oldest son in the Impossible.
He has come a long way! I don’t know what else to say. There won’t be an Oscar but hey this is Spider-Man, WHO CARES? He kicked ass. Go Holland.
Robert Downey Jr. and Michael Keaton were just themselves playing the roles we are used to from them. No changes or surprises. Notwithstanding, great!
For comic book fans and people just out to have a fun Summer day at the theaters, I recommend this to you. It’s not perfect but I know most will not mind that, I didn’t.
My written text of this episode appeared first at my text-based site Riley on Film.
Another rave for you on my podcast about a film streaming now on Netflix!
R | 1h 51min | Horror, Mystery | 20 December 1996 (USA)
A year after the murder of her mother, a teenage girl is terrorized by a new killer, who targets the girl and her friends by using horror films as part of a deadly game.
Director: Wes Craven
Writer: Kevin Williamson
Stars: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette
If this sounds like your thing, enjoy!!! I loved it.
Here’s a fun podcast I made with the help of my blog film critics cohorts. It sounds like we made a few new fans of ROM COMS!
Show Notes: What makes a good ROM COM? 4 blog film critics set out to discover the answer.
9AM – Pre show chatter. I will be aim to direct a running time of
50 mins or less.
*Segment One – Intro show and panel