Monthly Archives: July 2017

Dunkirk – A Movie Review


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dunkirk-poster

The true story behind Dunkirk is stunning: during World War II, 400,000 Allied soldiers were trapped on the beaches of Dunkirk, France awaiting some kind of rescue. The tactical decision to not send significant forces to their aid is surely not easily made, but, to do so could mean the crippling of the English army, navy and air force and could hand Germany the keys to overrunning Europe.

The men on the beaches of Dunkirk are essentially on their own.

Into this scenario, steps writer/director Christopher Nolan. Deservedly regarded as one of the best creators in film today, Nolan may have just directed his best movie to date. Without question, Dunkirk solidifies Nolan’s already sterling reputation. Sparse, spare and deeply affecting, Dunkirk unfolds with minimal dialogue and at a breakneck pace – a pace metered by the ticking of a stopwatch.

Time is an important element of the movie, perhaps the most important: how long will it take to get to a rescue boat, how long can the spitfires remain in the air, how long before the “little navy” is within range of the beach? Time is also an element that Nolan cleverly manipulates and, in that manipulation, lies the riveting excellence of the film.

Dunkirk is a really, really good movie.

And then, suddenly, it is a brilliant one.

It would not be fair to spoil how good Nolan here. Suffice it to say that this movie is as much about a writer/director’s prowess as any recent release of which I can think. A thinking person’s film about war, a summer blockbuster, a harrowing true story, Dunkirk wildly succeeds at being all 3.

The movie is short, which is something of a surprise for a Christopher Nolan film. Typically, Nolan’s movies are broadly scripted and involved and lengthy as well. Coming in at well under two hours, Dunkirk feels over before it starts and leaves one wanting to queue up for a repeat viewing.

From Tom Hardy’s (hey, can we ever see the guy’s entire face?) spitfire pilot, to Kenneth Branaugh’s Commander Bolton, to Mark Rylance’s Mr. Dawson, the actors are as good as their director. Each creates an indelible impression as do the young men (most notably a terrific Harry Styles) whose stories of trying to survive the beach tie the film together. As Dunkirk is very much a textbook on “show, don’t tell,” the cast has to make the most of the moments they are given. All of them do.

Dunkirk may well win Christopher Nolan his first Best Director Oscar and the movie is all-but certain to be nominated for Best Picture. Whatever accolades it receives, Dunkirk deserves.

There is not another movie like it in theaters now. They may not be another war movie like it, either.

Dunkirk showcases a master filmmaker at the top of his game.

 

DUNKIRK receives FIVE TICKING WATCHES out of a possible FIVE.

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Link’n’Blogs – 7.28.17 – Spurious Correlations


Related Content from And There Came A Day


I loved Lincoln Logs when I was a kid. Though I never entertained the idea that I would be a designer, engineer or architect, something about putting together these wooden and plastic pieces was simply simple fun. Connecting to ideas through the blogosphere seems similar to this pursuit, hence the title of this weekly post. Each Friday, I intend to post something interesting I’ve read out there on the internets. Hopefully others will find these posts as thought provoking as I have.

Sometimes I come across something too fun for much description! If you like the graphic below, click it to see more Spurious Correlations!

correlations

 

 

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: July 19 – July 25, 2017


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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.

Then I read them.

Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.

Comics I Read Last Week:

OneTwo

The best comic I read last week was Batman #27

Writers: Tom King

Artists: Clay Mann

There was an amazing run (pun intended) of issues of the The Flash wherein writer Geoff Johns re-told stories of the Flash’s Rogues Gallery to make the villains seem less cartoonish and more, well, villain-like. These were effective and provocative stories – instant classics.

Batman #27 not only reminded me of those stories, it exceeded them in at least two ways: first, it took place in the overall telling of a remarkable arc (“The War of Jokes and Riddles”) and, second, it took one of the most ridiculous villains of ALL TIME – Kite Man – and made him something… more. Something dangerous. Something sad. Something… wrong.

Well done, Tom King. Each month you surprise and delight. I cannot wait for your Mister Miracle title and I will follow you to any book you are on.

King is so good that his work here overcomes the loss of his key artist. Clay Mann fills in for Michael Janin and, while Mann’s work is competent if not inspiring, it is simply not at the same standard as Janin (or rotating artist David Finch for that matter).

But even a sub-par effort on the art cannot detract from what is another special issue in what is a spectacular run.

Tom King should write all the comics.

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Filed under Batman, Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Uncategorized, Weekly Comic Book Review

Link’n’Blogs – 7.21.17 – Fighting the Dark Night


Related Content from And There Came A Day


I loved Lincoln Logs when I was a kid. Though I never entertained the idea that I would be a designer, engineer or architect, something about putting together these wooden and plastic pieces was simply simple fun. Connecting to ideas through the blogosphere seems similar to this pursuit, hence the title of this weekly post. Each Friday, I intend to post something interesting I’ve read out there on the internets. Hopefully others will find these posts as thought provoking as I have.

When the Aurora, CO theater shooting happened five years ago at a showing of The Dark Knight Rises, I received many calls and messages from friends who were checking that our family was not in the particular theater where the shooting took place. That we were not is a blessing, to be sure. And so is this story from Story Corps, a feature of National Public Radio. Yesterday was the anniversary of the shooting and two parents from Aurora remember their son who died and talk about what they do to never lose touch with him.

Heartbreaking and touching.

Row 12, Seat 12

 

Batman Ribbon

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: July 12 – July 18, 2017


Related Content from And There Came A Day:

I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.

Then I read them.

Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.

Comics I Read Last Week:

TwoOne

 

The best comic I read last week was Dark Days: The Casting.

Writers: Scott Snyder, James Tynion II

Artists: Jim Lee, Andy Kubert, John Romita, jr

DC Metal is setting up to be a very exciting, late summer event.

A few weeks back, I selected Dark Days: The Forge as my pick of the week so it did not surprise me at all that, after reading through my books this past seven days, the next chapter in the Dark Days prelude rose to the top of the stack. The same creative team is back: Scott Snyder and James Tynion II writing and Jim Lee, Andy Kubert and John Romita, jr pencilling.

The result is a rollicking good time that takes readers deeper into the mystery surrounding the metal in the DC Universe. This issue also lays out new questions (can the Joker really be on the side of the angels this time?) and a stunning cliffhanger. Snyder has said that he wants this book to be a celebration of all things good with DC in particular and comics in general.

He is off to a great start.

Though frequent Snyder collaborator (and major talent) Greg Capullo will take over the pencils when the Metal series debuts next month, there is something cool about Kubert and Romita, two long-time comic artists whose fathers helped create the industry, handling these early chapters. Not only are they at the tops of their respective games, they are legacy artists and it is special that their work is featured here.

Metal is shaping up to the a special event in-and-of-itself. These first preludes have only served to whet the appetite!

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Link’n’Blogs – 7.14.17 – Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds


Related Content from And There Came A Day


I loved Lincoln Logs when I was a kid. Though I never entertained the idea that I would be a designer, engineer or architect, something about putting together these wooden and plastic pieces was simply simple fun. Connecting to ideas through the blogosphere seems similar to this pursuit, hence the title of this weekly post. Each Friday, I intend to post something interesting I’ve read out there on the internets. Hopefully others will find these posts as thought provoking as I have.

In February, Elizabeth Kolbert published a brilliant – if chilling – highly detailed and well researched essay in The New Yorker entitled “Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds”. I’ve read it twice and it is a frightening story for us in these times of polarization and confirmation bias. It challenges me to check myself…

Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds

facts.jpg

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: July 5 – July 11, 2017


Related Content from And There Came A Day:

I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.

Then I read them.

Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.

Comics I Read Last Week:

 

OneTwoThree

The best comic I read last week was Batman #26.

Writer: Tom King

Artists: Michael Janin

Perhaps I simply should link to my review of two weeks ago when I selected Batman #25 as the best comic I read… all that I said in that review holds true for this issue.

This second chapter of “The War of Jokes and Riddles” is as compelling as the first. It is as well structured. It is as well drawn. Frankly, the first two issues of this arc are something of a master class in how to write well known characters in well known dynamics and keep surprise in play.

If anything, this second issue is better than the first. It propels the story forward. It shocks and it engages.

Janin and King know what they have in Batman: an immense responsibility to one of the most popular characters in all comics. They are not squandering it.

At all.

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Filed under Batman, Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Weekly Comic Book Review