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Movie Review: ‘Dunkirk’ Is Nolan’s Most Unconventional and Unshakable Picture

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Dunkirk Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

[dropcap]C[/dropcap]hristopher Nolan’s Dunkirk makes a strong case for him being the thinking man’s Michael Bay. Last month, I had to endure Bay’s Transformers: The Last Knight where the volume was cranked so loud that I was wondering what would break first: the speakers or my eardrums. I now endured Nolan’s World War II epic that turns the volume up just as high, if not louder, yet I found myself more engaged and entertained with this film. The key difference is that Bay’s chaos wants us to have fun charging into the explosions, whereas Nolan wants us to run from the ear-blasting terror as much as the unlucky British soldiers.

Dunkirk Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

Jumping right into the grit.

The film follows three storylines that take place during the Dunkirk evacuation of 1940. By land, we watch a handful of English soldiers try to unsuccessfully escape the beaches that are pounded by German planes and bombers. By air, a small squadron of English fighter pilots do their best to defend the escaping boats. By sea, a civilian mariner takes it upon himself to steer his yacht towards Dunkirk to rescue whatever survivors he can find. Big names occupy the roles of these soldiers and civilians, but they’ll spend most of the movie doing their duty rather than chit-chatting, however, as there isn’t much time for drama during a crucial evacuation.

Nolan plays the ultimate editor of his calculated war film. He refuses to pad the picture out with character introductions or scene-stopping exposition or passages. All he gives us is a brief opening text of the current battle in Dunkirk, the length of each storyline and nothing more. Dialogue is sparse as the picture jumps directly into the conflict with a laser-focus on the various mission. From the very first frame, the film puts a chokehold on the audience and never lets go, refusing to let the war be an excuse for melodrama.

Dunkirk Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

Cillian Murphy once more teams up with Christopher Nolan.

Without proper character introductions, Dunkirk may seem to be an uninvolving tale with characters we really don’t care enough about to see them make it out of the situation alive. But do we really need such build-up? What more do we need to know about these soldiers to appreciate their story and hope they can avoid German gunfire and bombings?

Related: Movie Review: ‘Wish Upon’ Grants Horror Both Despicable and Laughable

Nolan fictionalized the characters and we can probably guess the backstories of a few of them. Some of them have some small traits revealed; a teenager speaks of always wanting to be in the paper while on his dead bed and a silent soldier hides his nationality by stealing an English soldier’s uniform. I only wish there were a few more nuggets of character if only to tell the ground soldiers apart in scenes where they all scurry for cover and abandon every sinking ship.

Read more for the rest of the Dunkirk movie review:

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Izzy

Movie Magic: The De-Aging Technique of The Irishman

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Have you read Izzy yet? If so, you know that Izzy makes the apples that give the Gods their youth and immortality. It also seems Robert De Niro discovered one of Izzy’s apples too… In Martin Scorsese’s upcoming biographical film, he stars as Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, a labor union leader and alleged hitman for the Bufalino crime family. The trailer for the movie, which will premieres NEXT WEEK (!), also features a “de-aged” De Niro. “We’re so used to watching them as the older faces,” Scorsese said in an interview on the A24 podcast. “Does it change the eyes at all? …If that’s the case, what was in the eyes that I liked? Was it intensity? Was it gravitas? Was it threat?…How do we get that? I don’t know.” Some might consider this magic and I for one can’t wait to see the impact of Izzy’s apples on screen for myself. 😉

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“Captain Marvel” Retains Top Slot at the Box Office

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It’s no surprise that in its second weekend, the first Marvel Cinematic Universe of 2019 is still riding high. Captain Marvel, the latest in the MCU with Brie Larson starring as the lead, generated another $69 million over the weekend, placing its domestic total at $266 million. Tallying up the international box office, the film’s global total to date is $760 million. Despite the online controversy, the film is looking to be another strong box office smash for Disney and Marvel.

As for the premieres for the weekend, and there were plenty, they were all over the map. Just below Captain Marvel was the animated adventure Wonder Park, bringing in $16 million, another film with controversy when the director’s name was removed from the picture after sexual harassment charges. Five Feet Apart, the dying teen drama about a romance amid cystic fibrosis, only came in at #3 with a weekend gross of $13 million. And debuting the lowest in the top 10 for debuts was Captive State, a sci-fi dystopian tale, only making $3 million. The film debuted so low the little film No Manches Frida 2 was able to sneak about it at #6 with a gross of $3.8 million.

Drops were fairly low all around for the returning films, mostly because Captain Marvel was dominating the previous weekend. The only milestone worth noting is that The LEGO Movie 2, after six weeks at the box office, finally cracked $100 million. And the sun is now setting on Green Book’s post-Oscar run by coming in at #10 for the final weekend of its top 10 run over the past few weeks.

View the full top ten weekend box office results below:

Captain Marvel ($69,318,000)

Wonder Park ($16,000,000)

Five Feet Apart ($13,150,000)

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($9,345,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($8,085,000)

No Manches Frida 2 ($3,894,000)

Captive State ($3,163,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($2,135,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($1,900,000)

Green Book ($1,277,000)

Next weekend, Captain Marvel may very well have some competition when Jordan Peele’s new horror film Us hits over 3,600 theaters.

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“Dragon” Continues To Soar, “Funeral” Close Behind, “Green Book” Back

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With little competition for the weekend, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, the third in the animated fantasy saga, was able to secure the box office once more. In its second weekend, the animated epic made $30 million to push its domestic total to $97 million. So far the film has done about the same as the previous film and is on track to stay in the top 10 for a few more weeks in March.

Debuts this weekend were small with one big exception. Tyler Perry’s latest Madea film, A Madea Family Funeral, naturally made a relatively big splash with its dedicated audience. Starting at #2, the film made $27 million for its first weekend. No word on the budget yet but it’s most likely on a budget as most Tyler Perry productions are, so it’s safe to call this a success, especially for debuting with a box office so close to Dragon.

The rest of the premieres were not as strong at all. Greta, the new thriller starring Chloe Moretz, debuted all the way down at #8 with $4.5 million box office. To be fair, however, the film was in a constant battle for its spot as three other films also reported earnings around $4 million for the weekend. Of note, Green Book, fresh off winning the Academy Award for Best Picture one weekend ago, splashed back into more theaters to arise even higher in the top 10 with its domestic total now sitting at $73 million. Don’t count on it remaining there long as bigger blockbusters will be swooping as we plow through the last remnants of winter movies.

Check out the full listing of the top 10 box office weekend results below:

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($30,046,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($27,050,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($7,000,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($6,615,000)

Green Book ($4,711,000)

Fighting With My Family ($4,691,284)

Isn’t it Romantic ($4,645,000)

Greta ($4,585,000)

What Men Want ($2,700,000)

Happy Death Day 2U ($2,516,000)

Next weekend is once again all about Marvel as their latest superhero solo film, Captain Marvel, will be appearing in 4,100 theaters.

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