The 10 Greatest War Movies Ever Made. Where Does 'Dunkirk' Rank?

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Now that "Dunkirk" has all but cemented its place, with critics at least, as one of the greatest war movies ever made you're starting to see a lot of "Greatest War Movies of All-Time" lists showing up online. It's too early to know the impact that "Dunkirk" will have and the lasting impression it will make on the next generation of moviegoers, but there's no doubt in my mind that we will likely see it on such a list in the near future. It's just too early for me to put it anywhere near these classics.

I'd say these are, more or less, the essentials of the genre:

Saving Private Ryan (Steven Spielberg)
Full Metal Jacket (Stanley Kubrick)
Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola)
Platoon (Oliver Stone)
The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow)
The Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo)
La Grande Illusion (Jean Renoir)
The Great Escape (John Sturges)
The Thin Red Line (Terrence Malick)
Downfall (Olivier Hirschbiegel)
Patton (Franklin J. Schaffner)
The Deer Hunter (Michael Cimino)
Paths of Glory (Stanley Kubrick)

Am I missing anything? Post your own list in the comments section and let us know if "Dunkirk" is worthy of the essential "War Movie" cannon.

Mark Rufallo says HULK 3 "Will never happen"

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One of the more intriguing trailers to debut at SDCC was for Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok, which showcased Mark Ruffalo’s, much anticipated, return as Hulk. It seems like that and "Infinity War," are the closest we'll have to a Hulk movie as Ruffalo  sadly stated this week that absolutely no plans are in effect for Hulk 3 due to rights owner Universal's frank and uninterested pursuit of the franchise:  “I want to just make one thing perfectly clear today: A standalone ‘Hulk’ [AKA Hulk 3] movie will never happen… … Universal has the rights, and for some reason, they don’t know how to play well with Marvel. And they don’t want to make money.

If that's the case then it's wasted potential since The Hulk remains one of the most entertaining heroes of the MCU. As far as I'm concerned, Ang Lee's "Hulk" was an artful blend of cinema and superhero lore, despite what the haters might say. More intriguingly, Edward Norton was also excellent as Dr. Banner in 2008's Louis Leterrier directed "The Incredible Hulk." The action was fast paced and in good quantity, with a surprising amount of it focusing around Banner rather than his green alter-ego. The battle scenes, in both films, were visually stunning and tok advantage of the Hulk's massiveness. Hell, just look at 2010's "The Avengers," The Hulk was the clear highlight of that film. Might as well start a campaign here, #BringBackHulk

James Bond will return to US cinemas on November 8, 2019, but who will be the director?

Ok, that's fine, but will it work? So far Daniel Craig has been in 2 classic Bonds ("Casino Royale," "Skyfall") and two mediocre ("Spectre," "Quantum of Solace"). Who's gonna be the next director? That's what I want to know. The odds-on favorites at the moment seem to be: Danny Boyle, Edgar Wright, Christopher Nolan and Paul McGuigan, but I wouldn't be surprised if somebody else sneaks in and takes the job. Nolan has been clear about his enthusiasm for Bond, but would he actually do it? The films have always followed a clear cut narrative path with no room for creative freedom, something Nolan has been adamant of for a decade now. He calls the shots, with Bond he might not be able to.

‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Might Be The Longest Marvel Movie Ever

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The Russo's have been a real godsend for Marvel, they've found a unique voice in making their MCU movies, same with James Gunn, so much so that they were tasked with making the final "Avengers" films: "Infinity War," and "Infinity Gauntlet."
Collider spoke with "Captain American: The Winter Soldier," Captain America: Civil War" and the upcoming "Avengers: Infinity War" co-director Joe Russo at San Diego Comic Con, and he revealed the latter might just be the longest Marvel movie ever.
The current cut is over two and a half [hours]… Most of it’s a movie you could show, but there’s still a lot of work left to be done, I still have a couple of scenes that we haven’t finished from ‘Avengers 3‘ that I’m shooting in the next few months with my brother, and it’s certainly gonna be a film that lives in the two and a half hour, two and a half hour-plus range.” 
The Russo's “Captain America: Civil War” is currently the longest Marvel movie at 147 minutes, but Ruso says there's a lot more to pack in "Infinity War."

We have to, I mean it’s a culmination event. We’ve gotta take 10 years of storytelling in this Marvel narrative experiment that’s been going on since ‘Iron Man,’ and we have to take all these disparate tones, disparate themes, motivations, and we have to pull them together in a unified narrative and write the final chapters of the book,” he explained. “There’s no way you could do that with all these characters in under that running length.

“Avengers: Infinity War” will open on May 4, 2018

Arrested Rebellion: Star Wars Gets a Ron Howard Narration

'Justice League' spending $25 million, 2 months on reshoots. Henry Cavill isn't allowed to shave his Mission Impossible 6 mustache, so they're CGI-ing it off in post-production.

More "Justice League" news. Variety is reporting that the reshoots, which wanted to accommodate the success of "Wonder Woman," have cost WB upwards of $25M, with Joss Whedon, who took over Zack Snyder's leave of absence, overseeing that as well. 

"The studio is spending approximately $25 million on extensive reshoots that have dragged on for roughly two months in London and Los Angeles, according to multiple insiders. Like “The Avengers,” “Justice League” centers on a group of superheroes who band together to save the world. The ensemble nature of the comic book movie, and the fact that its cast includes several of the most in-demand actors working in Hollywood today, is creating scheduling headaches that has prolonged the shooting."

Also, Henry Cavill's mustache seems to be an issue:

"Cavill’s issues are even more thorny. “Justice League’s” Man of Steel had expected to be able to finish shooting the sixth “Mission: Impossible” film before needing to don Superman’s spandex again. That has not been the case, however, as the new scenes that are being shot have required him to jump back and forth from each production. Because of this, a mustache he grew for his character in the “Mission: Impossible” sequel will have to be digitally removed in post-production. Paramount, which is distributing the “Mission: Impossible” sequel, would not allow Cavill to shave the facial hair while production was taking place."

The very idea of them digitally removing Henry Cavill's mustache during post-production is funny. I'm imagining him in his Superman outfit with the moustache. Maybe they should leave it.

When Dustin Hoffman began acting, his aunt warned "You can't be an actor. You are not good-looking enough." When discussing 'The Graduate' (1967), his first starring role, 'Life' magazine joked that "if Dustin Hoffman's face were his fortune, he'd be committed to a life of poverty".

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According to official promotional Joss Whedon shares director's credit for Justice League with Zack Snyder

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UPDATE: Since the Screenrant article has been published, the WB has removed both Snyder and Whedon’s name from the logline for Justice League, so we are assuming that the final directing credits will most likely to be announced closer to the movie’s release in November.  I'm going out on a limb and say someone who works for WB screwed up or did, for some odd reason, did it on purpose. To the best of my knowledge, it'd be literally impossible for Whedon to reshoot enough of the movie to claim a credit under DGA rules. I believe you have to shoot more than half the film. 

Here's Screenrant:

"Back in May, director Zack Snyder stepped down from the film due to personal reasons, with Joss Whedon (who was then working on Batgirl) stepping in the oversee the already-planned reshoots and the rest of the in-process edit. The Avengers filmmaker has been rather forward about how he’s maintaining Snyder’s original vision, although it since emerged he had a hand in the re-scripting that led to the reshoots. Through all this there’s been the question of whether this involvement will be enough to warrant a directing credit. Now we have an answer."

"The Justice League Comic-Con Sneak Peek was posted to the official Warner Bros. UK YouTube account with an updated logline for the film that described it thusly: “A film by Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon starring Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Henry Cavill, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller and Ray Fisher.” That Snyder and Whedon are sharing ownership would seem to confirm that the latter will indeed be credited on the film."

Box Office Week: Dunkirk opens to a very strong $50.5M, Girls Trip surprises opening at #2 with $30.3M, Valerian bombs opening at #5 with $17M on a budget of $209M, and Wonder Woman ($389M) passes Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2's domestic gross ($387M) becoming the 2nd highest grossing film of 2017

1. “Dunkirk” — $50.5 million
2. “Girls Trip” — $30.3 million
3. “Spider-Man: Homecoming” — $22 million ($251.7 mil.)
4. “War For The Planet Of The Apes” — $20.4 million ($97.7 mil.)
5. “Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets” — $17 million
6. “Despicable Me 3” — $12.7 million ($213.3 mil.)
7. “Baby Driver” — $6 million ($84.2 mil.)
8. “The Big Sick” — $5 million ($24.5 mil.)
9. “Wonder Woman” — $4.6 million ($389 mil.)
10. “Wish Upon” — $2.4 million ($10.5 mil.)

Kathryn Bigelow's Maddening, Infuriating, But Gripping 'Detroit'

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Just came back from seeing Dunkirk again, this time in glorious 70mm. Much better than the bass-heavy, boomy IMAX experience I had yesterday. My wife and I couldn't decipher much of the dialogue the first time around.

Anyway, the embargo for DETROIT has elapsed. Here are my thoughts:

The cushion of the film, when it really hits its stride, is the Algiers centerpiece, which takes up roughly, give or take, 90 minutes of the running time. That's when DETROIT is at its most gripping and unsettling. Almost everything clicked for me in those 90 minutes. If this film were directed by a lower-tier filmmaker I'd be even more impressed by the tightly shot, well directed mise-en-scene, but this is Kathryn Bigelow we're talking about here and we expect this kind of visceral experience from her,  but just not in the way it is delivered here: with a lack of subtlety.

I hate to say this, but some of the action almost veers towards torture Porn. At times, it felt like something out of Rob Zombie's The Devil's Rejects, a movie which I very much like by the way, but, again, no subtlety. 

Krauss, the main white cop who perpetrates all of this evil, as played by Will Poulter, really chews up the scenery and he does a good job for us to just completely HATE his guts, but I'm still not sure if I hated the Poulter's performance or the character. 

Bigelow definitely had me involved. His character is completely despicable, lacks any kind of morals, but he's also a thinly written caricature, almost cartoon-like. The boyish face doesn't help either. I just wanted to punch him.

Another problem is that they could have easily trimmed the film down by 25-30 minutes. The last third does in fact drag. 142 minutes is a little too much for a story that could have easily been told in less than two hours.

I wouldn't be complaining as much if it were directed by almost any other Hollywood filmmaker, but Bigelow has set a gold standard for us to judge her work by. This film does not belong next to landmarks such as THE HURT LOCKER and ZERO DARK THIRTY.

Final Avengers: Infinity War SDCC Poster Shows Nomad Cap & White-Haired Widow


Christopher Nolan's Favorite Films - Movie List

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Got this from IMDB's trivia section on his bio page. I added quotes from Nolan about the movies.

2001: A Space Odyssey
"From a storytelling point of view, from a directing point of view, there is one thing I associate with what [Kubrick] does, which is calm. There is such an inherent calm and inherent trust of the one powerful image, that he makes me embarrassed with my own work, in terms of how many different shots, how many different sound effects, how many different things we’ll throw at an audience to make an impression. But with Kubrick, there is such a great trust of the one correct image to calmly explain something to audience. There can be some slowness to the editing. There’s nothing frenetic about it. It’s very simple. There’s a trust in simple storytelling and simple image making that actually takes massive confidence to try and emulate."

The Black Hole
"Even to a nine-year-old Star Wars fanatic this seemed pretty uneven, but some of the special effects still impress, and it boasts one of the most unexpectedly weird climaxes in cinema history. I actually had to rent it as an adult just to check that I hadn't made up the whole ending." 

Blade Runner

"I have always been a huge fan of Ridley Scott and certainly when I was a kid. Alien, Blade Runner just blew me away because they created these extraordinary worlds that were just completely immersive. I was also an enormous Stanley Kubrick fan for similar reasons."

When Nolan made Batman Begins he reportedly showed Blade Runner to the cast and crew and told them, "This is how we're going to make Batman.". Also note that he included Rutger Hauer in the cast for Batman Begins.


"The beauty of a heist film (or a film noir, like “Chinatown” which is somewhere around 110 minutes of exposition) is in watching the pay-off (read: the fucking heist)."

The Hitcher
"As a teenager I never questioned the logic of this Eighties chiller, but now it seems mind-bendingly arbitrary plot-wise. However, it does feature the criminally underappreciated Rutger Hauer in his finest and most influential Euro-psycho performance this side of Blade Runner." 

Lawrence of Arabia

"Cinema is working at its absolute best is when it's a grand-scale film that really works and does something you haven't seen before. That for me is always the brass ring."

On Her Majesty's Secret Service

"George Lazenby is no one's favorite James Bond, but for me the anonymity at the center of this lavish production only serves to reveal the Bond machine firing on all cylinders: superb editing and photography, incredible score, great setpieces. The most romantic in the series, and it actually has, of all things, a tragic ending."

Star Wars

"Marvellous escapist entertainment on a grand scale."² 

The Man Who Would Be King

"When I look at the films that have really influenced me, most of them are box office failures: Blade Runner, The Man Who Would Be King—a terrific movie—but there's no correlation between my favorite films and box office success." ³ 


"I've no idea what the critical consensus is on this one, but as style-over-substance movies go, this is fabulously entertaining. I love it not just for its often imitated dangling-from-the-ceiling heist sequence but also for Peter Ustinov's incredible comic performance."

'Ready Player One' Official Trailer


Steven Spielberg's filmography is pretty incredible; "Jaws," "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "E.T." Schindler's List," "Saving Private Ryan" and those are all movies released before what I consider to be his peak phase between 2001 and 2005; "A.I." Minority Report," "Catch Me If You Can," "Munich," "War of the Worlds") that's when he really hit his stride as an artist and with special effects. Post-2005? I can't say I'm a fan, even though he's had a few above average statements ("Lincoln," and some of "War Horse") he's mostly delivered disappointments ("Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crystal Skull,"  "The Adventures of Tintin," "Bridge of Spies," "The BFG."). 

Here comes the trailer for his next endeavor: Ernest Cline's pop culture masterpiece "Ready Player One." A book which was deemed by some to be unfilmable, but Spielberg will try and make some sense out of its dystopian future filled with virtual reality. 

A look at the trailer and the fear of overkill comes to mind. It's never a positive sign when you are overwhelmed by the sheer amount of visual effects on-screen, why? A lack of humanism does come to play, even though this is essentially a story set in virtual reality. I'm confident Spielberg will do something interesting with this, but his last few films have brought a losing streak that I hope can be vanquished with this film, or maybe even the upcoming December released "The Papers."

The official synopsis:

"When the creator of an MMO called the Oasis dies, he releases a video in which he challenges all Oasis users to find his Easter Egg, which will give the finder his fortune. Wade Watts finds the first clue and starts a race for the Egg."

“Ready Player One” will be released March 30, 2018.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Image Brings Finn, Rey & Rose Together

Lucasfilm posted a new image for The Last Jedi that brings together Finn, Rey, and Rose, who is said to be a major new character. Portrayed by actress Kelly Marie Tran “[She] has the biggest new part in the movie and ironically is played by the smallest actor,” according to director Rian Johnson. “She’s not a soldier. She’s not looking to be a hero, and she gets pulled a very big way into an adventure in this movie with Finn [John Boyega]. "She works in maintenance. I can’t wait for you to meet her,” says Tran, a comedian known for her digital shorts. 

"Affleck Probably Out As Batman" Claims The Hollywood Reporter

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THR says Warner Bros. will have Ben Affleck replaced as Batman, which to me seems like a mistake especially since "Justice League" is a couple of months away. But they do need to realize that he was the best thing in BvS. The report says that the WB is "working on plans to usher out Affleck's Batman," and that they plan to do it as an in-universe plot point in "some shape or form." They want it to be done  "gracefully," and perhaps even before "The Batman," the solo film that at one point he was writing, directing, and starring in.

The article does bring up a good point. Affleck will be in his late 40s when "The Batman" movie hits theaters and, with a new Batman trilogy in mind, Affleck will maybe be too old when that's all through and done with. Point taken. There's also the rumor that his screenplay for the film has been tossed and director Matt Reeves is hiring a new writer.

Affleck is also recovering from rehab for alcoholism and is in the midst of a very public divorce. He also recently left another project, J.C. Chandor's "Triple Frontier." The guy probably needs to take a breather. Hard to do that as the WB counts on you as being their Batman.

Peter Jackson tweets his love for Valerian. The "most magically enchanting movie I've seen in years"

I wrote this yesterday:

"Valerian" is a film that works, for the most part. It's one of the most frustrating and dazzling movies, but what works is quite spectacular. The visuals are astonishing, some of the best use of 3D in quite some time. The story is basically a hodge-podge reason to just make the most visually arresting movie in quite some time. Think "Avatar,"  to which this film bears many similarities. The actors are well cast, I can see its leads Cara Delevingne and Dane DeHaan, having a great future in the industry. This is really top notch casting just for the sheer fact that these actors don't look ridiculous at all spewing ridiculous dialogue. Director Luc Besson has had a mixed bag filmography, but his highs (Leon: The Professional, La Femme Nikita, Taken and, even, the ludicrously brilliant Lucy) have made him a formidable influential voice in cinema. "Valerian" is an ambitious attempt to create a new world like James Cameron did with "Avatar," the result is an ambitious mess, but we need more people like Besson that push the envelope and refuse to adhere to the current sequelitis infesting the industry.


The plot thickens: Venice titles are revealed

Some Venice titles have leaked:

Alexander Payne's "Downsizing"
George Clooney’s “Suburbicon”
Guillermo Del Toro’s “The Shape of Water”
Martin McDonaugh‘s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Andrew Haigh‘s “Lean On Pete”
Paul Schrader‘s “First Reformed”
Lucrecia Martel’s “Zama”
Abdellatif Kechiche's "Mektoub Is Mektoub"

Where's Darren Aronofsky's "Mother," Denis Villeneuve's "Blade Runner 2049," Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Farris' "The Battle of the Sexes," Tomas Alfredsson's "The Snowman," and Joe Wright's "The Darkest Hour"? Probably all TIFF and/or Telluride bound.

Next week TIFF and Venice are supposed to announce a slew of titles. We'll know more come Tuesday with Toronto and Wednesday with Venice.