Dunkirk

[3.0 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

[That's not a movie image. Amazon doesn't have one, as I type. I'll fix it someday.]

So anyway: Pun Son and I went down to Newington to check out this critical favorite. I was … not that impressed.

The story (as you've probably heard) is Christopher Nolan's take on the miraculous extraction of hundreds of thousands of Allied troops from the French beaches off Dunkirk. His method is to follow three stories: a not-particularly-brave British soldier trying to get off the beach; a very brave British civilian taking his boat across the channel; an equally brave RAF fighter pilot doing his best to shoot down German planes bombing and strafing the good guys.

There is some timeline trickery: for example, we see scenes of a sinking boat in the channel before we see how its hapless passengers got on board. But other than that Nolanesque touch, it's a straightforward story of bravery and cowardice in the face of horror.

But… well maybe it was because we saw it in an RPX theater, but the bass was boosted up so high that I had difficulties at times hearing the dialog. (The thick Brit accents might have been a factor too.) And—not to sound racist or anything—all those British soldiers kind of look alike. Which ones are we supposed to keep track of, again?

And, all in all, there's not a lot of reason to get involved with any of these characters, with the exception of the determined civilian boat captain.

I kept looking at the actor playing one of the British officers—I've seen him before, where? Ah, IMDB has the answer: he played Jarvis in the late lamented TV show, Agent Carter. He's OK here too.


Last Modified 2017-08-07 9:29 AM EDT

URLs du Jour

2017-08-06

Quiz Whizz: Favor to the
Needy

Proverbs 22:22-23 encourages its audience to play nice, or else:

22 Do not exploit the poor because they are poor
    and do not crush the needy in court,
23 for the Lord will take up their case
    and will exact life for life.

I am not sure how that divine retribution worked out in practice. And how much needy-crushing could there have been in ancient Israel? I guess there was enough for the Proverbialist to demand it cease.

■ Because of course she does: Chelsea Clinton Wants Films to Be Rated on Whether or Not They 'Defy Gender Stereotypes'.

In June, the film rating non-profit Common Sense Media (CSM) announced it would develop a system to rate films on the basis of whether or not they "defy gender stereotypes" and offer "progressive depictions of gender roles."

… and Chelsea gave this effort a thumbs up. Silly Chelsea!

OK, I've looked at the Common Sense Media website and even a right-wing troglodyte like me is having a difficult time getting mad at it.

Yes, they analyze films according to their relentlessly Progressive creed. For example, Dunkirk, probably the most critic-praised movie in the current theatrical crop, gets a measly three stars out of five. Why? Because gender stereotypes were not sufficiently defied?

But they do like some good movies.

■ We noted yesterday about the stupid invocation of "blood and soil" by ostensible libertarians. Jay Nordlinger of NR works a similar theme, musing on recent appearances of "America First", "enemies of the people", and more: ‘Cosmopolitan’ and Other ‘Old-Person Slurs’.

Now we get to “cosmopolitan.” That one, too, has long been stigmatized: It was deployed in smelly, demeaning ways. “Rootless cosmopolitan” was a popular Stalinist phrase. Woe to you if you were tagged with it.

And now it's deployed by Trump advisor Stephen Miller, which leads to articles like this.

Or, hey, maybe he was talking about the womans' magazine?

■ Our Google LFOD alert has been ringing off the hook recently. (Now there's a phrase that young people will need to have explained to them.) Example One is a tedious New York Daily News: New Hampshire demands apology from Trump after President called the state a ‘drug-infested den’.

Trump sparked the ire of the “Live Free or Die” state after a transcript of a conversation he had with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto was published by The Washington Post.

Well, he "sparked the ire" of some Democrats; they're the only ones the NYDN sees fit to quote.

Fact Check: Trump was telling the undiplomatically-worded truth.

■ Example Two is from NH1 News. Oh-oh: NH residents concerned about inspection sticker changes.

The New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles announced on Tuesday that inspection stickers will be moving from just below the rearview mirror, to the lower driver's side of the windshield.

Yeah. Right next to the dump sticker. So what's the LFOD angle?

Some, in the 'Live Free or Die' spirit of New Hampshire, suggested that it was time for inspection stickers to stop being a requirement.

There are eleven states that don't require safety or emissions inspections. (NH requires both, annually.) I wonder if there's any correlation between safety inspections and actual safety, i.e., fatality rates? That would be a pretty easy thing to research.

Autoblog provides Example Three, with IIHS seat belt survey: We're bad about buckling up in the backseat. How can we remedy this dreadful situation? I bet you can see this coming:

Laws also were a popular suggestion, with 73 percent of people saying if the driver could be pulled over for a rear seat belt infraction, they would wear the belts more often. And 60 percent said if they knew there was a law, they would change their habits. For reference, there are front seat belt laws in Washington, D.C., and 49 of 50 states (New Hampshire doesn't require belts. We guess that wouldn't fit with the state's "Live Free or Die" motto). For rear seat belts, there are laws in only 29 states and D.C.

For all our law-free recklessness, NH isn't that dangerous a place to drive according to this list. (Safest is … Massachusetts?! Their methodology may be suspect.)

■ And Example Four from NH Business Review, which doesn't discuss dying via drug overdose or car accident: Independent spirit breeds co-ops in NH.

It’s a ‘live free or die’ state, a state that values independence and entrepreneurs,” said CCA Global President Howard Brodsky. “People are looking for scale and resources that they can’t get elsewhere, but don’t want to give up their identity.”

True Fact: True Value Hardware is a co-op. I didn't know that.