1917 review: War in one take

1917 cartoon Best of 2019 AndersonVision Matt Garretson

1917 is the World War I movie equivalent of The Phantom Menace. I tried to start a line of shirts that phrase, but all you kids do is wax nostalgic for Seinfeld and Blockbuster Video. So, what do we do now?


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As I revisit 1917 for a third time, something broke in my brain. Sam Mendes is a personal favorite director. It’s just that I never saw him dive this hard into the technical before. While I don’t agree with the film’s Best Special Effects win, it undercuts the nature of the film. This movie feels way more like a technical exercise than a narrative.

When discussing War movies, their modern failings seem to become super apparent in World War I tales. Why is that? Well, a lot of it has to do with the lack of major technological process. It was the last major global conflict to include heavy use of horseback soldiers. Plus, the big innovation of the conflict was mustard gas and trenches.

1917 Blu-ray

Rudimentary chemistry and young boys playing grabass in dirt tunnels doesn’t exactly say saving the entirety of Western Civilization. But, the film leans hard into a singular focus. Two men tasked with keeping an operation from going tits up. There are no major tanks, limited aviation involved and no killer weaponry. It’s just rifles and low-key jaunts through destroyed towns.

Roger Deakins shot the hell out of the entirety of 1917. While it’s funny that the Academy can now start rewarding Deakins, you can’t say that his recent work hasn’t deserved it. What’s crazy is how subtle most of Deakins stages the film’s look. Whether it’s in the mud or the flame soaked night sky, 1917 has his visual signature all over the film. Simply stunning and I’m going to include a ton of screenshots for you to eyeball.

1917 Blu-ray

The 1917 Blu-ray comes with a wide variety of featurettes. The A/V Quality is rather spectacular, although I hear the 4K transfer ranks among the best of the format. Still, it’s quite the experience to enjoy at home during these difficult times. I’d recommend a purchase.

Some 1917 ar fun!

Step Into the Trenches and Experience The Making of Golden Globe winner  1917 in 360° and Augmented Reality from your phone or mobile device at  IntoTheTrenches.1917.Movie

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Explore an immersive user experience that utilizes the latest AR technology allowing you to ‘step inside’ and experience the trenches in real scale.   Discover exclusive Behind the Scenes content including storyboards and interviews with Sam Mendes, Roger Deakins, cast and crew.   The environments you are exploring on the site are the exact ones used in the movie.  

The filmmakers built over one mile of trenches for 1917, which were then captured with drone photography to create detailed 3D scans. The site took these pixel-perfect HD scans and converted them for mobile download on the web.    Cutting edge of WebAR, using new features in Android and iOS that enable the high-end AR features of those platforms for the mobile web.    To use the WebAR feature, tap the ‘AR’ button while you are exploring a trench section on the site.

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