Monday, 20th August 2018
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Although, it seems, to most British people Dunkirk was something of a victory to most others that looks like making a virtue of a necessity. Dunkirk was a disaster for the British in the Second World War and although there are a good few stories of heroism to be told Dunkirk was a perilous time for the men caught up in it.

How to tell that story while staying true to the historical record is not easy and it takes a director of some skill to tell the story of Dunkirk.

Christopher Nolan, best known for his Batman movies, is not your regular director and he takes the raw material of what happened at Dunkirk and fashions a movie that is both gripping and moving. There are three distinct parts to the film, the story of a group of young soldiers trying to get on any ship that will take them out of Dunkirk, a fighter pilot trying to keep the German bombers at bay and the story of a man and his son, as well as a young friend who are sailing across the channel to bring as many men to safety as their small vessel will allow. What is noticeable about the movie is that there is very little dialogue in it, it is there when it is necessary but there isn't a large amount and that makes the film different from your standard epic. Most of the story is told through action, whether it be the young soldiers trying to get on various ships or being shot at by advancing German troops. There is hardly any dialogue at all when the Spitfire pilot is on screen, as you might expect.

These sections play to the reality of the situation rather than follow any of the usual cinematic tropes usually seen in war movies. There is a definite mood to the piece which is captured through the cinematography as well as the music used throughout the film.

Overall it is an unusual take on the standard war movie and all the better for that.

TOMB RAIDER

The Tomb Raider films that starred Angelina Jolie have been shown so many times on television now that they seem to be almost wallpaper to the story. So how can you reinvent or reimagine the characters and the plots to grab a newer and younger audience while keeping the older and more committed fans happy?

First and foremost is the casting of the main character Lara Croft and by choosing Alicia Vikander the producers seem to have kept people satisfied. She looks like most people's imagined idea of the heroine but with enough acting chops behind her to be able to bring her own ideas to the table. What they did with the plot was something quite easy. They took all of Lara Croft's money away from her so that she would have to rely on herself alone instead of all the guns and gadgets that were abundantly used in the earlier films. This they did through a choice of Lara's herself. It appears that her father has gone missing presumed dead but Lara won't sign any of the paper work that would allow her to inherit any of her father's money as that would be admitting that he really was dead. Except that Lara one day gets the idea to investigate where her father had disappeared and this leads to a discovery of a secret basement in the mausoleum located in the grounds of her family's estate. Here she uncovers her father's last plans to track down the final resting place of a legendary Japanese Empress called Himeko.

Intrigued by the discovery Lara believes that she has to follow her father's lead and see where it will take her. She follows in her father's footsteps that lead her to an abandoned island in the Pacific. It is here that she learns that there are others, a secret shadowy organisation, who are also trying to find the location of the Empresses grave for their own nefarious ends. Needless to say there are some run ins and Lara gets to show off her physical prowess, but this time with no gadgets to back her up. What else is that she finds her father, still alive after all these years and hiding out on the island. He tells her what she needs to know about Himeko, the secret organisation and how to get off the island. But first they have to find the Empress' burial chamber which they do, but along with men from the secret organisation. Chaos insues and Lara's father dies but she lives to carry on his mission against the secret organisation. This is quite a standard movie, not great but watchable, hopefully next time out there will be more bells and whistles and a few more surprises you don't see coming.

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