1917 |OT| A war film directed by Sam Mendes (wide release on January 10th)

reKon

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,987
This was one of the most visceral and engaging experiences I’ve had at the cinema since Children of Men. This was simply an achievement like no other. What a special movie. Very excited to see this one again.
Oh fuck now I have to see this.

Last war kind of film I saw was Hacksaw Ridge and I loved that one.
 

PandaShake

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
975
I’m disappointed I didn’t like it as much as others. I love long single shot scenes, but this worked against the storytelling when it was nothing but. The camera is too close and usually in front of his face, so you don’t get to see what’s coming or barely the vistas and carnage, besides the occasional corpses, even though our character does, making it frustrating. Things walk into the scene and emotes like theatre play like a drunk coming out just to puke in front of you. Things the camera doesn’t show doesn’t make any sound at all until the camera finally rotates over even though it’s right there.

When the buddy dies, allies made it there. Oh wait, that’s a lot of guys pissing. Oh wait, a whole battalion is actually here and they’ve been trying to move a tree.

The suspense died after

the first time our character ran from gunshots. After that, I expected nothing but bad shots. The scene at night encountering the enemy next to burning building was the most embarrassing 1v1 match. The guy hip fires feet’s away.

But there were a lot of great moments and I appreciate what it tried to do. I absolutely loved everything in the beginning up to including

death of our buddy. Phenomenal acting by both. When there were two on scene, the camera was further away and elaborate to incorporate both. When single, it’s mostly closeup of dude.
 

Jtwo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
881
Technically a beautiful film and it was pretty damn good, my biggest gripe:

Every german that chased him had stormtrooper (pun intended) level aim, even at like 10-15 feet away. That nighttime scene in the town when he meets the french girl is the worst offender here, bothered the hell out of me at how many close-range shots were missed.
My take away was that it showed how ineffectual those weapons are. It was dark, foggy, and they were both running. I bet that’s closer to how it actually would have played out.
 

SunBroDave

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,287
Just saw it and thought it was great. It was like Dunkirk, if Dunkirk was good.

A simple story told extremely well from an audio/visual perspective. The biggest surprise for me was that they didn't really release the tension at the end of the film. When the credits rolled and we left the theater, I still felt very much in that intense, dark mental space.
 

Moonkid

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
2,978
Liked it but didn't fall in love. First change I'd make is by getting rid of most of the music. The absence of cuts let every shot breathe but the music got in the way of this. Plus imagine if the first song we heard was the one in the night-time flare scene. Maybe I'm a little biased from having freshly seen Portrait of Lady on Fire which featured minimal music but I really wished they let the different soundscapes each locale would have speak for itself.

Mackay's performance and Deakins were the highlights here. Much like how a different cinematographer *could* have filled the same shoes Deakin did at the cost of what would likely be a lesser product, I hesitate to claim that any ol actor could have played Schofeld.
 

krazen

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,772
Gentrified Brooklyn
Keep in mind y'all discusing the gun battles, the COD Kill vs death ratio doesn't translate to war. Unless you're in a specific controlled environment (aka, sniper) in wartime your shots are going to end up more like stormtroopers then you would expect.
 

Tavernade

Member
Sep 18, 2018
1,372
Was the movie supposed to be real time? I interpreted certain moments as being time lapses that allowed hours to tick by nonchalantly.

The scene where they walk through the barn house and we see everyone outside peeing, the scene with the villager and baby, everyone talking while he spaces out in the back of the truck.
 

Jtwo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
881
Was the movie supposed to be real time? I interpreted certain moments as being time lapses that allowed hours to tick by nonchalantly.

The scene where they walk through the barn house and we see everyone outside peeing, the scene with the villager and baby, everyone talking while he spaces out in the back of the truck.
nah. That’s spot on. It’s like 12-16hours? Condensed into two. There are a few points where it clearly demonstrates the passage of time.
 

Haelsly

Member
Oct 25, 2017
299
Really enjoyed this! I've been entertaining myself trying to imagine where the scenes would cut if this had been filmed in a more traditional manner, and it's making me appreciate the effort they went to even more.

I really wasn't expecting Blake to die, and definitely not as soon as he did. In fact, I was sure it was going to be Schofield that died. Maybe that's why Blake's death scene didn't move me as much - I honestly thought it would be a fake out. The scene at the end with his brother definitely got me, though.
 

Natiko

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,925
Saw this earlier. I liked it quite a bit, though it doesn't crack my top 5 of the year. Still though - some really great cinematography going on in this film, and the entire sequence following

waking back up after being knocked out

was just absolutely phenomenal.
 

More_Badass

Member
Oct 25, 2017
17,581
Top five of 2019 for me (between Lighthouse and Uncut Gems)

I had to rewatch Dunkirk after seeing this. I’d say Dunkirk maintains a better sense of intensity, if only because it’s able to cut between the three stories and thus something intense or foreboding is always happening. Also the way the three stories build to the in-sync finale feels like great payoff. A survival thriller in the midst of a war

By contrast, 1917 strips the war film to its essentials to deliver suffocating wartime survival. Where Dunkirk kept its characters at arms length to focus, 1917 is harrowingly intimate and human, as we’re unable to look away from these two men, their war-tested foibles, their fear and caution and affability among tension. It’s telling that these two soldiers are played by relatively unknowns while the big actors pop in for single scenes as higher-ups, feels like Schofield and Blake could have been any two soldiers seen in a trench bunk or truck bed. After remembering how engrossing yet hollow Dunkirk was, I was surprised by how the fates and human actions of 1917’s protagonist’s lingered in my mind after the credits. That 1917 is able to emphasize the personalities of the two within the film’s always-forward mission-driven pace makes those moments when the pressure eases really hit hard.

There were a few moments where I was starting to itch for a cut, but overall the one-shot approach made the film so oppressive. The camerawork makes 1917 a journey where every minute counts and progress is distinctly felt. When darkness or mud is blanketing the screen, the film feels claustrophobic; when the frame opens into light and space after being trapped for so long, the freedom for the camera to roam is sharply noticed. Trapped down in the muck, the decay and ruin, the flames and death, having to travel along inch-by-inch makes the trenches and war torn landscapes that much more suffocating
 

Agent 47

Member
Jun 24, 2018
1,764
A technically impressive movie and interesting to watch but I had a few problems with the story.

After Blake died all tension is lost as you know Schofield will make it and survive everything thrown at him. War films work best with a cast of characters that can be lost at any moment.
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
9,223
Had a great weekend and managed to catch 1917, Parasite, Jojo and Burning. Thought it was brilliant.
 
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sectionse7en

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
515
UK
Saw this on Friday in isense and loved it. What a beast of a film. Need to see it again.

The genius move was to cast super famous actors as high-ranking officers, and cast recognisable actors as lower-ranking officers, and then unknown actors as normal soldiers. It made the ranks of soldiers carry a recognisable authority. Genius.

The night scene with the flare lighting was gorgeous. Richard Deakins' finest hour.
 

Thorry

Member
Apr 24, 2018
69
Netherlands
There were a lot of shocking moments in this but honestly

when he cuts his hand on the barbed wire and after that gets that same hand pushed into the corpse me and my gf literally flinched and I knew it was gonna be a great movie.
 

turtle553

Member
Oct 25, 2017
524
A technically impressive movie and interesting to watch but I had a few problems with the story.

After Blake died all tension is lost as you know Schofield will make it and survive everything thrown at him. War films work best with a cast of characters that can be lost at any moment.
There was still tension whether he would make it in time or even if the colonel would listen
 

Agent 47

Member
Jun 24, 2018
1,764
There was still tension whether he would make it in time or even if the colonel would listen
There really wasn't. It'd be a super risky turn in the story for them to fail in the mission or for it to all be for nothing. Movies these days hardly take chances like that and tend to end with the main characters surviving / completing their mission.

Like, watching him sneak through the German occupied village had no suspense at all becuase you know he'll survive.
 

Liquidsnake

Member
Oct 27, 2017
8,249
Saw this on Friday in isense and loved it. What a beast of a film. Need to see it again.

The genius move was to cast super famous actors as high-ranking officers, and cast recognisable actors as lower-ranking officers, and then unknown actors as normal soldiers. It made the ranks of soldiers carry a recognisable authority. Genius.

The night scene with the flare lighting was gorgeous. Richard Deakins' finest hour.
Deakins is the very best ever at his craft.
 

More_Badass

Member
Oct 25, 2017
17,581
There really wasn't. It'd be a super risky turn in the story for them to fail in the mission or for it to all be for nothing. Movies these days hardly take chances like that and tend to end with the main characters surviving.

Like, watching him sneak through the German occupied village had no suspense at all becuase you know he'll survive.
People are already charging when he gets to the front. Like at that point, the best outcome seemed that at least he might save the second wave.

The ticking clock was the main source of suspense, not just survival
 
Oct 30, 2017
1,224
I saw this yesterday with my dad. He's a history nerd and got annoyed at the historical inaccuracies (incorrect helmets being worn by a few people, notably the major at the end, integrated units, regimental crests on helmets), but I enjoyed it. It reminded me a lot of Apocalypse Now, actually. You've got a small team scrounged together to travel through an almost surreal landscape to find a "mad" officer who is off doing his own thing. The scene at night with the flares especially reminded me of the bridge sequence in Apocalypse Now.
 

Agent 47

Member
Jun 24, 2018
1,764
People are already charging when he gets to the front. Like at that point, the best outcome seemed that at least he might save the second wave.

The ticking clock was the main source of suspense, not just survival
Guess it's just my own fault for watching the trailer as it shows the final scene so I knew he'd make it.

And I don't see a movie taking such a huge risk to have them fail the mission.
 

Rockodile

Member
Dec 7, 2018
88
I wanna see 1917 now, but i called my local movie theater and they said they might put it in the XD theater next week. Is it worth waiting in order to see this in the nicer theater?
 

Geoff

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,741
Just got back from this.

I fucking loved it. I'm a big fan of beautiful movies and yeah this was just as stunning as Blade Runner.

to address some of the points made in this thread:

I'm not sure I agree with the lack of depth issue. There isn't a lot of character development but this isn't a film about characters, it's about struggle and dedication and chaos and futility. It's a travelogue from hell. A rapid fire odyssey.

I don't agree with 'evil germans' complaint. There was that one guy who you hoped would reciprocate but he's a warrior, it's a war. I didn't see him as evil. As for the rest, they were just soldiers reacting according to their training. What would you expect them to do when encountering a Tommy in their lines? And as for 'stormtroopers' - this is war, they are tired, they have unreliable weapons, mostly it was dark, some of them were drunk...

And as for "no tension because of plot armour" - isn't that the case in the vast majority of films? Someone gets given a mission, you know they are going to get to the end of it.

Anyway, like I say, I thought it was great. Tense, pretty, visceral. I don't think I've seen another movie that throws you right in the middle of WW1 like this.
 

Randdalf

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,729
It's really worth seeing it in IMAX, if you can. Ups the immersion factor and the gun shots are even more terrifying.
 

More_Badass

Member
Oct 25, 2017
17,581
This movie was good but not great! Visual treat and some sequences were great but after thinking back on it, the movie has a lot of slower moments that don't character build or add much depth. It's a visual movie and has great moments and set pieces with a great score and that alone is worth seeing it!

two things that started to bug me were how somethings were super random like after his friend dies randomly a few platoon of soldiers pop up without making noise and help him out. Also the main character gets way to lucky! He gets shot so many times and not once wounded! The guy that charges after him is in close proximity that he doesnt hit him or when he's running away to the water and several German soldiers cant hit one guy.
I love how the movie opens and closes similar with the trench to evenually it begining and ending at a tree.
1) Wasn’t random. There was a trench/outpost nearby and they saw the smoke from the crash. And it makes totally sense that he wouldn’t hear anything while focused on consoling his friend and then in his zoned-out thousand-yard state.

2) The enemy not being sharpshooters felt pretty real and human. Close proximity doesn’t mean much when you’re running in the dark and firing without steady aim and drunk and shooting at a moving target.
 

More_Badass

Member
Oct 25, 2017
17,581
Just got back from this.

I fucking loved it. I'm a big fan of beautiful movies and yeah this was just as stunning as Blade Runner.

to address some of the points made in this thread:

I'm not sure I agree with the lack of depth issue. There isn't a lot of character development but this isn't a film about characters, it's about struggle and dedication and chaos and futility. It's a travelogue from hell. A rapid fire odyssey.

I don't agree with 'evil germans' complaint. There was that one guy who you hoped would reciprocate but he's a warrior, it's a war. I didn't see him as evil. As for the rest, they were just soldiers reacting according to their training. What would you expect them to do when encountering a Tommy in their lines? And as for 'stormtroopers' - this is war, they are tired, they have unreliable weapons, mostly it was dark, some of them were drunk...

And as for "no tension because of plot armour" - isn't that the case in the vast majority of films? Someone gets given a mission, you know they are going to get to the end of it.

Anyway, like I say, I thought it was great. Tense, pretty, visceral. I don't think I've seen another movie that throws you right in the middle of WW1 like this.
I found that the movie did a nice amount of on-the-move characterization that gave the emotional beats weight. Compared to Dunkirk, this movie felt intimate and human.
 

Geoff

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,741
I found that the movie did a nice amount of on-the-move characterization that gave the emotional beats weight. Compared to Dunkirk, this movie felt intimate and human.
I agree with that. We're not talking Link levels of blank avatars here. But it's not a character driver film. We get just enough to relate and that's all that was intended or needed imo.
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
9,223
I found that the movie did a nice amount of on-the-move characterization that gave the emotional beats weight. Compared to Dunkirk, this movie felt intimate and human.
Agreed. Intimate with the humanity of them more than their personal life or self. There for each nervous glance, laugh, concern on the journey. Shared or unshared.
 

More_Badass

Member
Oct 25, 2017
17,581
Agreed. Intimate with the humanity of them more than their personal life or self. There for each nervous glance, laugh, concern on the journey. Shared or unshared.
I felt that Blake’s death was more impactful and fucked up than many other death scenes I’ve seen in a lot of war movies. It just...happens, a kind of usually inconsequential wound we’ve seen character take in dozens of movies, and then the suffering and struggling to survive goes on for what felt like many long minutes. Him suddenly being so pale was really shocking. It happens so fast

I couldn’t believe he actually died too. That was a legitimately surprising turn
 

Sothen

Member
Dec 15, 2017
585
Saw it and loved it. We don't see nearly as much WW1 and its atrocities confronted in media as much as WW2 and this hit it out of the park in that regard.

I know "subversion" is a bit of a buzzword at this point but this movie really used its flipping of the "unwitting seemingly dopey sidekick dies" trope in service of its greater message about the horrific reality of war in that even the most responsible, enthusiastic and strong people can die suddenly with just one minor screwup. Blake trying to save an enemy combatant's life was so foolish to me I wanted to shout at the screen. It still sucked to see him pay for it with his life.

Most of my other nitpicks have been addressed in this thread's conversation already, but there's one still outlying to me.

How was the general's letter that Schofield gave to the colonel to call off the attack not an illegible mess after having been submerged in water for so long? Did he keep it in a tin or something?
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
9,223
I felt that Blake’s death was more impactful and fucked up than many other death scenes I’ve seen in a lot of war movies. It just...happens, a kind of usually inconsequential wound we’ve seen character take in dozens of movies, and then the suffering and struggling to survive goes on for what felt like many long minutes. Him suddenly being so pale was really shocking. It happens so fast

I couldn’t believe he actually died too. That was a legitimately surprising turn
Agree with every word.