Blu-ray Review: DUNKIRK

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Blu-ray Review: DUNKIRK
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Blu-ray review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 106 minutes, making-of featurettes, DVD, digital copy
VIDEO: 2.20:1/ 1.78:1 IMAX (Anamorphic Widescreen) 1080p High Definition
AUDIO: English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English 5.1 Descriptive Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

STUDIO: Warner Bros Pictures/ Syncopy
Theatrical RELEASE DATE: 7-21-2017
Blu-ray/ DVD RELEASE DATE: 12-19-2017

Director Christopher Nolan always seems to hit a home run with each of his movies (even the disjointed THE DARK KNIGHT RISES). He has decided to switch genre and do a World War 2 movie on the British evacuation from Dunkirk (in 1940) told on three different timelines (a one week storyline through a soldier’s eyes, a one day journey with a civilian boat captain who has been recruited to help rescue the British troops trapped in Dunkirk, and a one hour fight to survive in the air through the eyes of two British pilots). These three perspectives weave together in this tense World War 2 tale. Hans Zimmer score and the cinematography are like two important characters in telling this story as a British pilot risks all to protect British ships, an old civilian Captain is trying to just do his job in rescuing the trapped troops (with many other boats), and a British soldier trying to get off Dunkirk and get home. The Germans are slowly picking off the soldiers from the air and the tanks have withdrawn. They have dropped flyers to urge the British and French troops to surrender.

DUNKIRK is a well crafted WORLD WAR 2 movie as the story weaves back and forth between three perspectives on different time scales, but they do collide and overlap during the movie. Christopher Nolan has created another landmark movie in his career and probably is one of the best movies of the year. DUNKIRK is so full of details drawn from real history. It isn’t trying to tell the story for drama’s sake or manipulate your emotions. It makes you feel like you’re experiencing the war at times as the soldiers wait to get rescued with the Commander Bolton (Kenneth Branagh) knowing they won’t be able to evacuate everyone (that the British government is hoping to get 30,000 troops out of the 400,000 that are trapped on the shores of Dunkirk) and they have to leave the French soldiers behind due to the British government leaving their destroyers behind to the United Kingdom. I wonder what Christopher Nolan will be doing next as a director because he hasn’t let me down yet. He is able to switch the stories up from BATMAN to THE PRESTIGE to INCEPTION to INTERSTELLAR to DUNKIRK. If you want a good movie to watch, DUNKIRK is your surefire ticket and it is destined to be nominated for awards season.

On the second blu-ray disc is a 109 minute making-of documentary on the making of DUNKIRK which can played all together or as various featurettes. It is a very extensive look at the making of the movie with cast and crew interviews intertwined with behind-the-scenes footage, interviews, and movie clips
CREATION (22:19, HD):
REVISITING THE MIRACLE – quick look at the history of the Dunkirk rescue of British troops
DUNKERQUE – Using the real life beach of Dunkirk in the movie.
EXPANDING THE FRAME – the filmmakers discuss the challenges they faced in using 65mm and IMAX cameras, and what they did to help make it practical to do so
THE IN-CAMERA APPROACH – Concerning the emphasis on physical/practical effects over digital augmentations.

LAND (16:39, HD):
REBUILDING THE MOLE – the history of the Dunkirk pier and how they had to rebuild part of it for the movie (along with the challenges they faced in having to rebuild parts of the set during the movie)
THE ARMY ON THE BEACH – the casting of the extras and main actors for the movie
UNIFORM APPROACH – costume design on how they recreated the period uniforms with aging some of them to give wear and tear in addition to some far off tricks to cheaper uniforms along with the crew wearing some of the period uniforms so they could slip in and out of the frame without much of a problem

AIR (18:30, HD):
TAKING TO THE AIR – Nolan and the crew talk about the in-air photography, recreating/refurbishing the original planes using working aircraft, and how they strapped an IMAX camera on the planes
INSIDE THE COKPIT – A continuation of the previous featurette that looks at how they used modified planes so they could film the actors in the cockpit in addition to how they shoot against the ocean vs green screen to achieve a real look
SEA (36:57, HD):
ASSEMBLING THE FLEET – An introduction to the film’s various boats.
LAUNCHING THE MOONSTONE – a look at the hero boat they used in the movie
TAKING TO THE SEA – the challenges of filming on the sea in boats to achieve the realism of the sequences instead of using a tank, but they did use the tank at Warner Bros to achieve some of the flooding and sinking of ships
SINKING THE SHIPS – how they sank the ships out at sea and some trickery too in the tank
THE LITTLE SHIPS- a talk with the owners of the various small boats used in the movie

TURNING UP THE TENSION– A look at editing and music of DUNKIRK
THE DUNKIRK SPIRIT – Final thoughts from the cast & crew on the movie and what the Dunkirk Spirit means

Also there is a promo for the Coast Guard, but I would have rather had the theatrical trailers for DUNKIRK on the disc

Also in this combo pack is the movie in standard definition on DVD and a code to download/ stream a digital copy of DUNKIRK

FINAL ANALYSIS: DUNKIRK is an engaging World War 2 movie that will leave you breathless. The making-of documentary (mad of featurettes which you can play together) is a wonderful look at the making of the movie. I do wish they included the theatrical trailers as extras on the second disc.

This review is 12-23-2017 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com

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