Dunkirk

Dunkirk (2017)

Genre: War, Drama, Action, History

I have never watched the original Dunkirk so I am unsure how close this version is to that movie and or real events. However, I found Christopher Nolan’s version to be fantastic 😀 ! I was captivated and enthralled from start to end 🙂 ! I loved the opening as it throws you straight into the drama and danger! There are big names in this movie such as Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, Cillian Murphy and of course Harry Styles. Harry Styles who played soldier Alex was actually pretty good and you forget who he is (being a singer and so on 😛 ) as the film continues. The big drama scenes such as being trapped in a sinking ship were all awesome and entertaining 🙂 . It keeps you on edge of your seat as you are unsure who will survive or how the situation will develop. There is a non-linear narrative because we are following more than one character. I personally loved this unique way of presenting the story of Dunkirk 😀 . I really liked how we saw the same scene multiple times from different perspectives, without it being predictable, cheesy or boring. It was subtle, flowed well and I quite enjoyed seeing where each “important” character was in relation to the drama. My favourite characters were Collins (Jack Lowden) and Tommy (Fionn Whitehead) 🙂 . There are some highly emotional moments and a sense of pride when the “ending” happens (when you watch you will know). This war film is certainly more of a survival suspenseful movie but it certainly worth the watch for anyone one who loves historical genres 🙂 . I even liked the sense of not everything finishing off well and that not everyone makes it home (I won’t say any more as I don’t want to spoil 😛 ). I certainly recommend this movie 😀 . Enjoy 😀

I give this film 5 Stars out of 5!

Panda Dunkirk
Hope is a weapon. Survival is victory.

Saving Private Ryan

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Genre: Drama, War

This is one of those classic war films that everybody needs to watch at least once in their lifetime 🙂 ! I really enjoyed this film but I have to say from the beginning, this film will suit those who love war films more than those who aren’t that much of a fan 😛 . The beginning is intense, action packed and for the first 10 minutes you are forced with the brutality of war. This I did liked as it is what you expect from a war movie and did keep me on the edge of my seat 🙂 . I was more interested when the “reason for film” and the rescue mission began. I even liked when we lost someone in the group (I won’t say names as I don’t want to spoil 😛 ) it was very strong as their acting skills made you feel and believe their pain. The story kept me intrigued and captivated until the end. The battle scenes are very action packed and impressive 🙂 . Plus I even liked the difference each character made when reacting to situations or the war in general. Tom Hanks is very impressive as Captain Miller who made a likable character we wanted to follow 😀 . His supporting cast were also good as the other soldiers and I even liked that I could not guess who would survive! However, as much I loved this film there are some parts that I did not like. Such as the ending itself, I understand and I will not judge it too much but I found Private Ryan (Matt Damon) rather selfish and not likable. I also found in the final battle, that a certain character (on the good side) was annoying because he did not get a comeuppance for his actions (won’t say who when you watch you will know 😛 ). Plus the edge of American patriotism in the ending was a tad cheesy. However, still a great film for war movie fans and worth a watch a least once 😀 . Enjoy 🙂

I give this film 4.5 Stars out of 5!

Panda Saving Private Ryan
The mission is a man.

Hacksaw Ridge

Hacksaw Ridge (2017)

Genre: Drama, History, War

Hacksaw Ridge is a about a WWII American Army Medic that did the extraordinary. The story and how the director Mel Gibson, decided to shoot this movie is done quite fantastically 🙂 . It is compelling, entertaining, action packed and heart wrenching from start to finish 😀 . The beginning is slower than people might expect from a war movie but I enjoyed it and thought it was needed 🙂 . It helps us understand Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield) and makes you hooked before the battle. The minute the “war” begins the action starts quickly. It is very intense and constant. It was an edge of your seat experience and the shocks were plentiful 🙂 . I was gutted when some characters died and the “gore” content was good. It was an acceptable amount. It showed what it was like without being too much for an audience to watch. I loved the lines “Please Lord, Help Me Get One More” and the awesome acting of Andrew Garfield 😀 . He performed Desmond wonderfully and you felt for him through his struggle before the war. The group of soldiers he was with were also good and I was laughing with them at the “introduction” near the beginning 🙂 . The angry moments that you may get for our main character is pushed aside by the time the movie ends. This will leave you awestruck and it has become one of my favourite war movies of all time 😀 . This movie you have to watch so therefore, I definitely recommend! Enjoy 😀 !

I give this film 5 Stars out of 5!

panda-hacksaw-ridge
Please Lord, Help Me Get One More.

The Monuments Men

The Monuments Men (2014)

Genre: Drama, War

This movie is based off the real life events of a group of men who hunted for the stolen art from the Nazi’s. The real story itself is sweet, what they went through and what they fought for was worth it and it has a fantastic cast 🙂 . You cannot deny their acting skills with a stellar cast such as George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Hugh Bonneville and Cate Blanchett. So therefore, this should have been a fantastic movie 🙂 . However, all I can say is it’s alright. That’s it, just alright. The story (the film’s narrative not the real life one) was watchable but too pleasant and slightly boring. I could have been doing other things and not have missed much at all 😛 . However, there are some gems in this. When the Nazis burned the art it was horrifying and the hint to what was happening to the Jews was a grim reminder of the war horrors. Also I appreciated the scene between Richard Campbell (Bill Murray), Preston Savitz (Bob Balaben) and the German soldier. I also found the death scenes of the “main” characters the best moments in this. The first was done great with the narration and the second was more impressive as I was unprepared for that one (I can’t say much more as I don’t want to spoil 😛 ).  However, these scenes were too short compared to others which were quite boring and I really did not care about the other characters’ problems. Though I was quite captivated after the first death and really wanted them to get that art back 😛 ! The ending was cheesy and not needed. An alright war movie that disappointed more than I can say. Enjoy 🙂

I give this film 2.5 Stars out of 5!

panda-monuments-men
It was the greatest art heist in history.

Grave of the Fireflies

Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

Genre: Animation, Drama, War

This is a truly depressive film but you cannot help but admire its beauty. I have always been a fan of Studio Ghibli and they show off their excellence as animators in this film 😀 . The narrative is captivating and pulls at your heart strings for the two children Seita and Setsuko. The film shows the horrors of war through these two children’s eyes and parts are awful to watch (in a good way). A part of me didn’t like the fact that what happens to main characters is said straight away as it makes you a little detached from the start. I couldn’t involve myself in the tale as I knew what would happen (knowing beforehand that this tale would be depressive). However, though I have to admit the film worked by doing it this as it made the truth of war more real and created very emotional moments (Get tissues 😛 ). I hated the aunt (when you see her you will know what I mean!) though I do get why she is there. Loved the bitter sweet ending as it was beautiful and loved the scene with the fireflies in the “tent” 😀 . A great film that you will probably only see once but it is worth it 😛 . Enjoy 🙂

I give this film 4 Stars out of 5!

panda-grave-of-the-fireflies
Why must fireflies die so young?

Macbeth

Macbeth (2015)

Genre: Drama, War

This is a really good adaption of Shakespeare’s Macbeth! Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard were simply extraordinary 😀 . I liked that this adaption decided to make it seem more like the 11th century than trying to fit Shakespeare into a modern world (like many other adaptations I have seen previously 😛 ).  The scenery, costumes, the filming style and overall look of the film was quite impressive. The dagger scene, Lady Macbeth’s “clean hands” speech and what happens to the Macbeths in the end were brilliant and are my favourite scenes 🙂 . Unfortunately, it is a little long and if you are not a great Shakespeare fan then some of the lingo might get you slightly bored. However, I think the speeches ran smoothly, the acting was superb and some versions (their take on it) of the classic scenes were refreshing to  see. Also most importantly the madness is believable!! This is truly a good Macbeth 😀 ! Enjoy 🙂 !

I give this film 4 Stars out of 5!

All hail Macbeth that shall be king.
All hail Macbeth that shall be king.

Suite Francaise

Suite Française (2015)

Genre: War, Romance, Drama

I hadn’t read this book or seen any trailers when I went to see this film so I watched with no reservations. I loved this film 😀 ! It was very sweet yet captivating at the same time. I loved seeing a side of Second World War that I have not seen before. The action was not as wow as one might expect during a war film but I felt that it complemented the level Romance we were given. I did want to see more Romance between Lucile and Bruno but that might just be me 😛 . The chemistry between the two leading actors was very convincing. I personally liked the narration of the film which helped the overall atmosphere of the film and I like that actual French voices were used in the radios / papers and Germans spoke German! It made it seem like the film truly is set in France even if the actors are speaking in English for our benefit. The ending was not the best in the world but when learnt why…it made the film better in my opinion. A little gem that really needed to be watched! Enjoy 😀 !!!

I give the film 4.5 Stars out of 5!

When it comes to war you really find out what people are really like.
When it comes to war you really find out what people are really like.

Fury

Fury (2014)

Genre: Action, Drama, War

This film shows all about the horrors of war, gritty, lots and lots of action. Lots of explosions. Rain. Gunfire. That’s mostly what you get from this film. Quite honestly I finished this film still wondering what the film was actually about. The characters were cliché and I really didn’t like the rest of group (excluding Logan Lerman and Brad Pitt). They were crude, mean and quite honestly I felt nothing for them. I started the film with no expectations and expected some sort of narrative to develop but it never did. The battles were ok, deaths gruesome and sometimes shocking. My favourite section was in the German town with the two women but they ended quickly and just began the rest of non narrative film. If you want to watch something with a tank, action and explosions then this is for you. If you want to watch a brilliant war film, with amazing characters and a decent narrative then pick something like Saving Private Ryan.

I give this film 1 Stars out of 5!

War never ends quietly.
War never ends quietly.

The Book Thief

The Book Thief (2013)

Genre: Drama, War

I was not sure what to expect with this film about a young girl in Nazi Germany but once I watched it…I loved it 😀 . The narrative gave me enough of the war (to acknowledge what is happening), the fear the characters must be going through while being a part of these characters lives. I loved the fact we have Death as the narrator who gave us the suspense and dread of sensing bad things around the corner. The acting of all the actors were sublime and my favourite characters were Liesel and Rudy 🙂 . The deaths in this film has never failed to make me cry every time I watch this and it is a brilliant yet subtle war film (for me) so far! If you love war films but like to see the people suffering not just the explosions than this is the film for you! I seriously recommend this film! Enjoy! 😀

I give this film 5 Stars out of 5!

Courage beyond words!
Courage beyond words!