Dunkirk (2017): Christopher Nolan Places The Audience At The Heart Of The Dunkirk Evacuation To Tedious Results (Review)

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[Credit: Warner Bros.]
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Dunkirk tells the true story of the evacuation of allied soldiers stranded on the beaches of Dunkirk, France during World War II. The film stars Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Harry Styles, Aneurin Barnard, James D’Arcy, Barry Keoghan, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy and is directed by Christopher Nolan (Insomnia, The Dark Knight, Inception).

My Thoughts On The Characters And Story

Let me share a personal tidbit about myself: one of my biggest fears is the prospect of being placed in the deep sea to which I will drown almost instantaneously because I can’t swim and large bodies of water freak me out. There are certain moments throughout Dunkirk where many characters are jumping ship or are faced with the task of attempting to stay afloat when nothing is under them and I truly felt a sense of unease during it. There are a handful of sequences director Christopher Nolan manages to execute extremely well where you’re placed squarely in the shoes of the soldiers as torpedoes are being shot at them and bullets are piercing through whatever form of refuge they’re in. Everything occurring prior to these sequences, unfortunately, are rather a slog to get through. By no means am I advocating for mindless action droning on or disgustingly brutal violence to get my goat going, however when you catch yourself wondering when the next set piece will occur rather than remaining enthralled with the characters on screen, this is somewhat of an issue.

As Dunkirk features as ensemble cast, there were only a few who I believe were the true standouts – Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy (the second husband in my dreams behind my everlasting love, Matt Damon). These three and their stories were the ones I was most intrigued with and I honestly would’ve been fine with watching a separate version of the film solely based on the experiences of their characters. Harry Styles certainly surprised me as the film progressed and his character was given much more to work with. Murphy and Rylance’s chemistry was immediate with the former giving an incredible portrayal of a soldier with clear signs of PTSD (Murphy heavily researched on the then-unnamed disease and it definitely shows on screen). And, of course, there’s Tom Hardy… Is there any role that man can’t do? What he manages to convey with a simple frustrated glance is a talent I will forever be dumbfounded by.

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Tom Hardy’s upper facial region is spectacular | Warner Bros.

The other members of the cast certainly gave serviceable performances. As we weren’t given much to learn about their characters, there simply wasn’t enough to grow an emotional attachment with which is obviously not to suggest that I didn’t care for their unimaginable plight. I actually found myself feeling more connected to the extras like the injured and poor doomed nurses! SPOILER When that one nurse was distributing blankets and referred to one of the soldiers as “love”, I felt a pang in my stomach that this woman will probably die. END SPOILER Those little personality subtleties can go a ridiculously long way and although I didn’t hate any of the main cast, unlike the aforementioned Big Three, their respective characterizations could’ve been handled much better.

| Check Out These 13 BTS Images From Your Favourite Movies |

Nolan has let it be known that he aimed for the PG-13 rating for Dunkirk as he strove to depict a “survival story” that focuses on the suspenseful components of the work rather than the “bloody aspects of combat.” While this is an admirable goal and one that someone of Nolan’s calibre should be able to accomplish, combining the lack of care for these characters and the sanitized violence makes the film feel rather lackluster.

I don’t need a hand-holding kumbaya to feel anything for Fionn Whitehead’s character, however if we’re going to be focused on these individuals for the duration of the run time, I want to see the appallingly horrendous conditions the real life soldiers experienced. I want to feel the grime on my hands and the sweat on my forehead. Nolan has also stated that he didn’t want the film to be “bogged down in the politics of the situation” which is all well and good, unfortunately any form of context was rarely given at all so we were left with higher-ups discussing various plans I could only decipher bits and pieces of. Don’t spoon feed me but damn it, don’t make me construct the spoon.

Imagine what could’ve been had Dunkirk tracked the nine psychologically grueling days these soldiers experienced through the vision of an R-rated Christopher Nolan. 

How Were The Other Aspects Of Dunkirk?

The technical components of Dunkirk are phenomenal. There is no two ways about it, from the opening sequence to the conclusion, the sound design and editing are at the top of their game – particularly the sound. You truly feel your stomach growing weary as the bomber jets are approaching and there is nowhere to hide. That opening was incredibly well done, the not knowing affected me the most as you’re aware of imminent danger yet you’re essentially handcuffed until you find some semblance of a sanctuary. 

Lest we forget that sound of Nolan’s ticking pocket watch mixed and synthesized via the genius mind of his frequent collaborator Hans Zimmer (The Dark Knight Trilogy, Inception, Interstellar) which ties the film beautifully together. 

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[Credit: Warner Bros.]

If you’re a fan of Christopher Nolan, you’ve probably watched this film already. If you’re looking for an impactful ride regardless of who is depicted on screen and interested in an event not nearly enough people know about, check out Dunkirk.

Dunkirk receives 3/5 Matt Damon heads.

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The Revenant (2015)

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[Credit: 20th Century Fox]

Hugh Glass: I ain’t afraid to die anymore. I’d done it already.


Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio as Hugh Glass, Tom Hardy as John Fitzgerald, Domhnall Gleeson as Andrew Henry and Will Poulter as Jim Bridger, dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu.

| The Revenant (2015) Review |

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Cinematographer: Emmanuel Lubezki (Children Of Men, Gravity, Birdman)

 

cinemagraph source: orbo

Heartbroken Tom Hardy Posts A Lovely Tribute To His Late Dog Woody And We’re All Tearing Up

Nothing can compare to the unconditional love a pet has for its owner, a testament avid animal lover Tom Hardy can attest to. The talented actor wrote a touching tribute to his “best friend,” a Labrador named Woody, who recently passed away at the age of six due to an aggressive form of polymyositis, an inflammatory muscle disease.

Along with the heartfelt tribute, Hardy also included a 10-minute video of photos of the two, set to Candi Staton’s “Young Hearts Run Free,” which you can view below:

Stealing The Legendary Show

Fans were introduced to Woody, full name Woodstock Yamaduki Hardy, when behind-the-scenes photos emerged of Hardy playing around with an adorable 11-week-old Woody while on set of the 2015 film Legend.

https://twitter.com/hardyhoe/status/763330658756198402

Hardy brought Woody along to the Legend blue carpet premiere where the canine stole the show from the handsome actor and his co-stars, including (my forever Girl Crush) Emily Browning and Tara Fitzgerald.

https://twitter.com/hardyhoe/status/763332097331171328

“To The Bestest Friend Ever”

In the tribute, Hardy recalls his first encounter with the stray animal while shooting the crime drama, and reveals having no idea it was a dog at first — confusing it for a wolf, perhaps — because of the pitch blackness of the Georgian sky:

“I first saw Woodstock running across a turnpike we were turning onto late one dark night in Peachtree Georgia Atlanta. Whilst we were shooting Lawless. He was a stray. 11 weeks old. Oh No we thought. Quickly Go get that dog not even sure it was a dog. Actually. We stopped the car. It was pitch black literally. I used my phone to light the road in case a car came round the turnpike and couldn’t see me… I tried to cover some ground but he was fast. I watched this thing Running towards the highway in the pitch black making good speed towards the cars and lorries and I remember seeing what were its floppy ears bouncing towards the traffic.

“… I panicked a little because I couldn’t help it had no name to shout and now it was close to the freeway. I put my fingers to my mouth and I whistled. Loud as I could. The whistle pierced the black. And It stopped the dog dead in its tracks. Then it turned and set eyes on me in one swift movement the ears about faced and the dog decided to run straight at me in the darkness all flashes of teeth and snarling And shrieking. [F–k] this I thought that’s not a fkn dog.”

Hardy states the dog ran “straight at [him]” and mentions hearing the distress in its voice. He details the first moments shared between them:

“I… [expected] to feel teeth and grabbed a fist full of soft neck fur lifted what was actually an incredibly light weight up to my face and shone my phone at it. It was a very small bundle literally sagging from its neck fur with two big brown eyes staring straight into mine. Terrified and utterly quiet. When I got back to the car and sat in my seat he lay on my shoulder and fell asleep. And snored clearly he’d been through a lot. And now the ordeal was seemingly over enough for him to relax.”

After determining the dog was a male, following feeling his “Woodstock” (and so the name was born), Hardy continues his recollection of having him as the “onset dog.” He refers to Woody as being a “survivor” and affectionately stated that “he would never go hungry again” after noticing the various food issues Woody had.

Hardy shared some other fond memories with the pooch and gave a brief shout out to his wife, Charlotte Riley, who “worked tirelessly with him to get him through a rough case of separation anxiety.” Riley gave birth to their son in October 2015 and Hardy credits Woody for guarding her fiercely while she was pregnant.

Hardy reveals that he and his family are “devastated by [the] loss” and remain “ultimately grateful for his loyal companionship and love and it is of some great comfort that he is no longer suffering.” He concludes the heart-wrenching tribute by thanking his “bestest friend ever” and states that their souls are “intertwined forever”:

“He was special bro, a shining example of man’s best friend. He burnt very very bright and, those that burn very bright sometimes burn half as long.

“Thankyou Woody for choosing to find us. We will love you and be with you and you with us forever. Never ever ever forgotten. Your Boy tom xxx I love you beyond words. To the moon and back again and again to Infinity and beyond. Run with [Hardy’s other deceased pet] Max now and the Angels. I will see you when I get there.

“With all of me I love you… Your love beautiful boy.”

The immense joy Woody brought Hardy and his family is pretty clear. Although Hardy is known for roles that perpetuate a tough guy persona, the actor truly has a heart of gold. The touching words he wrote illustrates the sheer adoration felt for Woody and we wish Hardy and his family all the best.

You can catch Tom Hardy next in the upcoming Christopher Nolan war drama Dunkirk starring Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Harry Styles, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy and Mark Rylance. Dunkirk releases in theaters on July 21st.

(Source: Tumblr)

featured image: PETA

What did you think of Hardy’s tribute? Let me know in the comments below!

Check Out These 5 Tom Hardy Movies You May Have Missed The First Time Around

When you think of the greatest working actors in Hollywood today, chances are the name Tom Hardy rightfully pops into your mind. The ridiculously-talented actor first appeared in the 2001 Ridley Scott-directed flick Black Hawk Down – among a myriad of other talented fellows – and has only grown in range and popularity since then.

Hardy’s role in 2008’s Bronson introduced his ability to lead a film entirely on his own and his range by portraying characters slowly going insane. He became a household name following Christopher Nolan‘s final installment of his Batman franchise, The Dark Knight Rises, in 2012 after appearing in Nolan’s modern masterpiece, Inception, two years prior.

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The Dark Knight Rises [Credit: Warner Bros.]

Since his portrayal of the Batman villain, Hardy has appeared in other prominent roles including Mad Max: Fury Road and earned an Academy Award nomination for The Revenant. Because of how insanely busy the actor has been, there may have been a few performances you missed out on. To help fix that oversight, here are 5 Tom Hardy movies every fan should see.

A Guide To 2017 Films That Aren’t Sequels, Reboots Or Superhero Flicks! |

5. The Drop (2014)

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[Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures]
  • Director: Michaël R. Roskam.
  • Starring: Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace and James Gandolfini.

Hardy appeared with the great James Gandolfini in what is his final performance in a film before his sudden death in 2013. Hardy stars as Bob Saginowski, a lowly Brooklyn bartender who ignores the various illegal dealings occurring in the bar. Hardy is a master at the strong & silent type and his portrayal of Bob illustrates a man who yearns for a simple life consisting of his job and an adorable pup. Rapace portrays his love interest and the chemistry between these two is fantastic, they bond over a mutual adoration for animals which will certainly pull the heartstrings of any breathing human being.

Check Out The Trailer Below:

4. Locke (2013)

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[Credit: A24]
  • Director: Steven Knight.
  • Starring: Tom Hardy and a BMW.

There are only a handful of actors who possess the capability of carrying a film entirely on their own. Hardy manages to enthrall the audience for 84 minutes as a man who must travel from Birmingham to London for the birth of a child conceived during a one night stand. During the course of the film, he makes calls to various individuals and that is all the synopsis I will give because it is worth watching as blind as possible. Hardy’s frustrations are illustrated brilliantly in this low-budget picture and you feel yourself grow more tense with each tick of the clock.

3. Warrior (2011)

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[Credit: Lionsgate]
  • Director: Gavin O’Connor.
  • Starring: Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton, Nick Nolte, Jennifer Morrison and Frank Grillo.

Hardy and Edgerton portray estranged brothers who are both heavily involved in the world of MMA. Every respective performance is portrayed wonderfully and Nolte even earned an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of their father. Hardy’s physical prowess is an obvious trait that highlights his devotion for the physicality of Tommy Riordan, however it is the emotional components of his performance that enhances every aspect of his character. The connection between Hardy and Edgerton is felt immediately and the internal struggles Tommy faces is executed flawlessly by Hardy.

2. Legend (2015)

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[Credit: Universal Pictures]
  • Director: Brian Helgeland.
  • Starring: Tom Hardy x2, Emily Browning, Christopher Eccleston and Chazz Palminteri.

There is nothing better than Tom Hardy on the big screen except maybe two Tom Hardys. Hardy portrays the real-life Kray twins who were the foremost perpetrators of organized crime in London during the 1950s/1960s. Hardy portrays both brothers flawlessly which is certainly no simple feat as there are certain traits that define them. Reggie Kray was a hotheaded former boxer and Ronnie Kray was a paranoid schizophrenic – Hardy manages to excel in both roles while executing those distinct traits each brother has. There are moments where you will find yourself loving them and others where you wish them intense harm. The stunning Emily Browning aka my LadyCrush for forever since appearing in the Lemony Snicket (2004) adaptation gives a terrific performance as Reggie’s wife, Frances and Reggie’s interactions with her are a main contributor to those aforementioned conflicted moments.
If you’re a fan of the gangster genre, ensure that Legend is featured in your upcoming watch list.

1. Lawless (2012)

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[Credit: The Weinstein Company]
  • Director: John Hillcoat.
  • Starring: Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Guy Pearce, Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Mia Wasikowska and Gary Oldman.

Lawless is my favorite Tom Hardy performance that asks a lot out of its actors and they all manage to excel immensely in their roles. Hardy, LaBeouf and Clarke portray the brothers Bondurant who run a moonshine business during the Prohibition era. Hardy is the eldest brother in this ensemble piece and is a prime example of where he excels in his strong & silent-type role. Forrest chooses to grumble than monologue and is a force of nature in everything he does. He manages to radiate chemistry with every secondary character he encounters and during the same year where we saw him face off with Chris Pine in This Means War and terrify as Bane, this film quietly released where Hardy truly illustrates the fantastic range he has… Plus oh my god, when is Jessica Chastain not amazing at everything she does??

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[Credit: The Weinstein Company]

What are some of your favorite underappreciated Tom Hardy performances? Let me know in the comments below!

The Revenant (2015) Movie Review

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The Revenant, or as I like to call it, WHY WON’T YOU DIE?: The Movie.


This movie is an experience and a half. From the moment I first heard about what this story was about (wait.. he’s left for dead in the forest after BEING MAULED BY A BEAR?!) to the second those credits roll, the story of Hugh Glass is something that blows the mind when realizing just how strong one’s devotion to survival can be.

Let’s get one thing straight: The Revenant is one gorgeous looking movie. The director/cinematographer pairing of Iñárritu and Lubezki is slowly becoming one of my favourites, following their collaboration on 2014’s Best Picture winner Birdman, and I think 0 people are surprised they have the nomination for this year’s Best Picture as well. It’s difficult to deny just how incredible some of these shots are and watching the movie for the cinematography alone would be a worth a watch.

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Now the acting… Is Leo going to get that little, coveted & revered golden bastard? That man has been on a whirlwind of press tours to promote this movie and, subsequently, promoting his performance. DiCap did a tremendous job portraying a man at the brink of death almost every other second… Leo will win this year. His portrayal of Glass is gritty, real, graphic, disturbing, basically any synonym of “batshit crazy”… Is this his greatest performance of his career? My personal opinion is this: It’s not his best and, not taking away from anything Leo did because he was fantastic, I truly believe Fassbender should win this year. Guys, you know who was insane? Tom.. Motherf’ing.. Hardy. God is there anything that man can’t do?? His portrayal of Fitzgerald is one of the best “villain” performances of recent memory and you know what the greatest sign of a terrific antagonist is? Someone who makes the viewer see his/her side… And let me tell you: I found myself agreeing with him multiple times after placing myself in his shoes and that’s simply bananas.

The Revenant clocks in at little over 2 and a half hours yet everyone in my theatre was enthralled throughout it. Honestly, to get the most enjoyment out of this film would be to watch it on the biggest of screens you can find. There are certain aspects to the movie that did make me go “huh?” a couple of times and man, there were times I struggled a bit on trying to decipher what some characters were saying because evidently enunciation wasn’t a thing in the 1800’s! I also needed a warm shower after watching it with a ton of nice, clean soap so if anything, the movie made me appreciate the little things.


If you’re looking for a movie with a stellar cast, absolutely gorgeous cinematography and have a few hours to really sit down and soak up the world of The Revenant, do yourself a favour and see why everyone is shipping the Bear + Leo.

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The Revenant receives 4/5 Matt Damon heads.

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Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) Movie Review

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I originally watched this film in an absolutely packed house with only a few moments from one of the trailers remaining in the ol’ noggin. Following my watch, I posted my review on Letterboxd and I would say my feelings.. Still pretty much the same.


Alright, alright. We’ve read all the comments of “OMG FURY ROAD WILL BLOW YOUR MIND!” & “OMG FURY ROAD IS THE MOST INCREDIBLE CREDIBLE FANTASICAL FILM TO EVER BEEN CREATED” and you want to know what I think of all this damn praise, friend? … It is completely well deserved.

I have no idea how half of these scenes were executed but bra-effing-vo to George Miller et al on this sheer magnetic force of a picture. Immortan Joe is a terrifying yet powerful creature and every secondary character managed to serve the story rather than hinder it. And that soundtrack.. That booming soundtrack managed to shake every morsel of my being.

If you are looking for an action movie with complex characters, insane stunts, pure adrenaline running through your beautiful little veins, and a semi-love interest angle that simply doesn’t suck.. Take whatever day you want off work and treat yourself to something that will be pure love making for your eyes.

Oh, what a film. What a lovely film. And it remains one of my favourites of the last decade.. Let alone this year!


Mad Max: Fury Road receives a coveted 5/5 Matt Damon heads.

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