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Would CGI Have Made Dunkirk the Movie Better?

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  • Would CGI Have Made Dunkirk the Movie Better?

    I've been watching and enjoying the History Buffs series on youtube. The series talks about the historical accuracy and inaccuracies (cue Braveheart) of various war flicks. Just finished the one on Dunkirk.

    Probably still can't embed youtubes but here's the link... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwdF...96SsM_QgaA7nR3

    The show presenter makes a good case for CGI instead of using just "practical effects' which means live action shots. There was what probably over 400,000 troops that filed across that tiny beach in a few days yet a lot of the beach scenes in the movie look like at the most in the hundreds. Think of photos from those days and it looked pretty packed. A couple of the movie's scenes I recall looked like a couple of soldiers marooned on the moon. Would it have hurt to have used some CGI to put in some background filler?

    I especially liked the use of 'practical effects' for inside the Spit as well as chasing a couple of the "Yellow nosed bastards" ** around but at the most you see is three. No vapour trails in the background, nothing. Just like what a few of those were saying during those days on the beach "Where's the RAF?".

    A great movie but the sense of enormity of the event may be missing. Does that matter?

    ** just thought of this, an inaccuracy not mentioned in the vid.

  • #2
    A plot would have helped the move more. Preferably one that didn't focus on deserters.
    Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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    • #3
      Shouldn't this be in the forum on films?
      Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
      Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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      • #4
        Well you could be right but the event that led to the making of the film, was a disaster that was more or less overcome by the bravery of many people, and hard to copy in a movie. Anyway as we are on the topic, I always liked the original with John Mills in it. But there I'm a silly old fart from that same Era. lcm1
        'By Horse by Tram'.


        I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
        " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

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        • #5
          Perhaps employing an historian who knew something about what really happened during Operation 'Dynamo' as historical adviser might have been useful. As best I recall, the film reduced the Royal Navy to a few small vessels bobbing around helplessly in the Channel, awaiting certain destruction unless a Spitfire arrived to rescue them. Likewise, it ludicrously suggested that the vast majority of troops were brought to Britain by civilian manned 'little ships.' It really wasn't a patch on the earlier film of the same name, probably because the people who made the John Mills one knew they would be showing it to audiences who had some knowledge of the facts.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Doveton Sturdee View Post
            It really wasn't a patch on the earlier film of the same name, probably because the people who made the John Mills one knew they would be showing it to audiences who had some knowledge of the facts.
            Not just the audience, most of the cast and crew would also have served. John Mills had been in the Royal Engineers, Bernard Lee the Royal Sussex, Dickie Attenborough, the RAF.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Canuckster View Post
              I've been watching and enjoying the History Buffs series on youtube. The series talks about the historical accuracy and inaccuracies (cue Braveheart) of various war flicks. Just finished the one on Dunkirk.

              Probably still can't embed youtubes but here's the link... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwdF...96SsM_QgaA7nR3

              The show presenter makes a good case for CGI instead of using just "practical effects' which means live action shots. There was what probably over 400,000 troops that filed across that tiny beach in a few days yet a lot of the beach scenes in the movie look like at the most in the hundreds. Think of photos from those days and it looked pretty packed. A couple of the movie's scenes I recall looked like a couple of soldiers marooned on the moon. Would it have hurt to have used some CGI to put in some background filler?

              I especially liked the use of 'practical effects' for inside the Spit as well as chasing a couple of the "Yellow nosed bastards" ** around but at the most you see is three. No vapour trails in the background, nothing. Just like what a few of those were saying during those days on the beach "Where's the RAF?".

              A great movie but the sense of enormity of the event may be missing. Does that matter?

              ** just thought of this, an inaccuracy not mentioned in the vid.
              It seems to me this video quotes the 3-episode Dunkirk series by BBC
              "Keep Calm. Use Less X's"

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Doveton Sturdee View Post
                Perhaps employing an historian who knew something about what really happened during Operation 'Dynamo' as historical adviser might have been useful. As best I recall, the film reduced the Royal Navy to a few small vessels bobbing around helplessly in the Channel, awaiting certain destruction unless a Spitfire arrived to rescue them. Likewise, it ludicrously suggested that the vast majority of troops were brought to Britain by civilian manned 'little ships.' It really wasn't a patch on the earlier film of the same name, probably because the people who made the John Mills one knew they would be showing it to audiences who had some knowledge of the facts.
                I had friends serving in the RN,on destroyers who told me that they picked up a hell of a lot of the ' Pongo's" and it was like a ferry service between the beaches and the UK. They were able to get in fairly close to the beach and use their lifeboats to pick up the guys and at the same time give them a bit of AA cover. lcm1






                pongoes'
                'By Horse by Tram'.


                I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
                " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

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                • #9
                  CGI should have been mandatory for this film. Instead, it came out as a small. somewhat boring, drama instead of the huge naval and ground even that it was. Kind of like doing Longest Day with a couple of platoons.
                  Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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                  • #10
                    I am not a fan of the movie, but I admire the desire to avoid CGI since most modern movies go immediately there. It makes sense to me to compromise and use CGI to fill in (literally with the beach scenes) where needed. Christopher Nolan can proudly wear his "No CGI" badge, but the audience only cares about the movie, not how it was made.

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