My better half bought these two movies yesterday. She always controls the remote, she’s always right, so we watched them.

I’d heard great things about Dunkirk. Christopher Nolan has done some interesting work. Memento is a classic. Brilliant and hard to wrap one’s mind around.

Dunkirk had some Nolan elements. The key one was to pay attention to the time hacks at the beginning. Because we’re following several stories here inside the larger story and going back and forth in time and each story has a different time length. And the stories interweave, of course, because they all cover the same topic: the great rescue at Dunkirk.

He didn’t spend much time setting things up; which is fine. Although I’m not sure how many people actually know the history. It truly was a miracle.

There’s very little dialogue, which is actually good. The action is well filmed. You get an idea of the both the courage and desperation. At one point I said to my wife: “This is a big dilemma for a soldier. Is it more important to survive to fight another day, or to fight now?”

And how far to go to survive? Should you cheat? Lie? And are you doing it for selfish reasons?

Overall it was a good movie, but not quite what all the reviews had led me to believe.

I hadn’t heard much about Lucky other than it was one of Harry Dean Stanton’s last movies and came out a few weeks after he died.

All I can say to summarize it is: WOW!

It is one of the best, understated, powerful movies I’ve ever seen. There’s not much drama (if the most exciting scene is a non-fight outside a bar or an old man singing at a birthday party, you’re not exactly in CGI battle zone). Actually, nothing much happens. But a lot happens.

And a lot happens which you still don’t even know by the end of the movie. It is one the best examples of show don’t tell and less is better, two of the rules of writing I try to abide by, but this movie was bowing to the master. The red phone? Who is on the other end? I won’t say much more to avoid spoilers, but it’s a slow movie and well worth the ride. Researching it, apparently about 75% of it is who Stanton was; what he believed. The role was explicitly written for him. Tom Skerrit’s brief appearance was critical.

RIP in Harry Dean Stanton and thank you for this poignant Goodbye!