1917

1917 ★★★★

I enjoyed this war movie directed by Sam Mendes more that either of those qualifiers led me to believe I would. A couple of truly incredible sequences courtesy of Roger Deakins' cinematography (there's a shot where the lighting involves big fires over a ruined town a little past the halfway point of the movie that literally brought me to tears, as his opening shots of Blade Runner 2049 did).

The unbroken camera makes it feel a little more like a ride or a video game than a film sometimes (this sensation is not helped by some middling character work) - it's definitely all about the spectacle here.

To me, Children Of Men did the modern long take movie the best it will ever be done, and all other movies like this just want to do what that movie already did. In fact, I found the real-time "one unbroken shot" approach to be fairly arbitrary and sometimes detrimental here, as the film is a little bogged down with long, static compositions of people just walking from one place to another, which you can, you know, just cut out of your movie if you allow yourself to use picture editing.

Anyway I like this movie but clearly prefer to dig into the issues I have with it rather than dwell on the good things it does. I feel a little about this the way Scorsese feels about Marvel movies, but I will say it's a gorgeous rollercoaster.