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History lesson/spoiler alert: war is hell.  This is worth seeing for the direction (Mendes) and the cinematography (Deakins) alone.  And there is more.  I never really thought about trench warfare in any detail.  Now, I have experienced it.  For no particular reason, Benedict Cumberbatch has a good cameo near the end.  Your legs will be tired if you watch this closely.

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I've run around in (and between) some trenches on vacation in the Dolomites (where vicious fighting occurred).  It is impossible to believe people lived in and fought from them.  It's very eye-opening.  Gives you a real feel for how horrible that war was.

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There are make shift trenches and then there are gentrified trenches (built by the Germans) as depicted in the film.  Either way, it appears that a lot of time was spent in them dodging incoming, eating poor rations, looking at rats and smoking.

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Everything I've seen about this makes it look like a remake of Gallipoli.  Maybe different battlefield, but lots of running about.

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t appears that a lot of time was spent in them dodging incoming, eating poor rations, looking at rats and smoking.

 

Not unlike an early-morning basement "receiving" shift at the Park Slope Food Coop, till a truckload of one food gets sent down, or we get an order to send up several randomly accessible multiply shelved foods.

 

Except that we're not supposed to snack while working, and the cigarettes are hemp, and the rats are Tofuvermin.

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Went yesterday & wasn’t impressed. Very good acting and cinematography. However, I felt like I was watching a bad take on “Alice in Wonderland”. From impossibly dodging every bullet fired to meeting all the odd characters and then moving on to finding the exact waterfall that would take him to his destination (was this on the map to get there?), this kept my attention without involving me in any real plot. And really....16,000 troops would die if the attack went thru, but he was able to find the command tent & then the Red Cross area that his friend’s brother went to by pushing past maybe a cast of a hundred? Braveheart had a much bigger budget I guess. Dramatic license doesn’t excuse the weaknesses.

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I haven’t seen it, but I kind of imagined that nonsense.

 

What I didn’t expect was Dora the Explorer.

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I haven’t seen it, but I kind of imagined that nonsense.

 

What I didn’t expect was Dora the Explorer.

Maybe more Diego than Dora.

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I thought a lot of the individual scenes did a good job of playing with war movie tropes and the main “plot” was a parody of saving private ryan. I expected a well filmed bad story with some subversive elements, which is what you get, except the cinematography really delivers.

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Has Roger Deakins ever let us down?

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