1917 is a 2019 war film directed, co-written, & produced by Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Road to Perdition, Skyfall, & Spectre). It was co-written by Krysty Wilson-Cairns (Penny Dreadful, Last Night in Soho, & The Good Nurse). It was produced by Pippa Harris (Jarhead, Revolutionary Road, Away We Go, & Blood), Callum McDougall (James Bond franchise, Wrath of the Titans, The Beach, & Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), & Brian Oliver (Hacksaw Ridge, Auto Focus, Black Swan, & Black Mass). It won three Oscars, one Golden Globe, & seven BAFA awards. It had a limited theatrical run in December to be eligible for awards. It opened up worldwide in January 2020. The budget was at an estimated $100 million & it grossed $368 million worldwide at the box office!!!!
On 6 April 1917, aerial reconnaissance has observed that the German army, which has pulled back from a sector of the Western Front in northern France. They are not in retreat but has made a strategic withdrawal to the new Hindenburg Line where they are waiting to overwhelm the British with artillery. In the British trenches with field telephone lines cut, two young British soldiers, Lance Corporals William Schofield (played by: George MacKay from Marrowbone, 11.22.63, Captain Fantastic, & Defiance) & Tom Blake (played by: Dean-Charles Chapman from Game of Thrones, Blinded by the Light, The Commuter, & Into the Badlands) are ordered by General Erinmore (played by: Colin Firth from the Kingsman franchise, The King’s Speech, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, & Valmont) to carry a message to Colonel Mackenzie (played by: Benedict Cumberbatch from Doctor Strange, The Avengers franchise, Star Trek Into Darkness, & The Imitation Game) of the Second Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment calling off a scheduled attack that would jeopardize the lives of 1,600 men including Blake’s brother Lieutenant Joseph Blake (played by: Richard Madden from Game of Thrones, The Take, & Rocketman). As they get close to their goal with their journey, they encounter so many challenging situations. They cross paths with several different people including a french woman with a baby & Captain Smith (played by: Mark Strong from Green Lantern, Kingsman 1/2, Kick-Ass, & Shazam!) with his crew on their way to the war. They go through a living hell to locate Colonel Mackenzie to carry out their dangerous mission. Can they make it in time to save everyone? or Will it be too late????
Technically,1917 is considered a film from 2019 since it had a small run in December so it could be nominated for awards but honestly I see it as a 2020 release because that’s when it actually got a worldwide release. So I currently consider this the best movie that I seen in theaters & anywhere for the year so far. The cinematography from Roger Deakins is amazing here which is no surprised considering who was behind the camera for it. Visually, it’s definitely the highest quality film that I’ve seen in awhile. The production design was top notch & the locations were spot on, The script had you glued to the screen for the entire running time. These two lead characters go through pure chaos to stop their fellow soldiers from an ambush into a brutal slaughter. George MacKay & Dean-Charles Chapman had fantastic chemistry in this. Both actors give powerful performances that carry this war epic into it’s journey filled with action. It has incredible action & battle scenes, it’s the best war fi;m that I’ve seen in a long time. That sub-genre is a rarity these days. You get invested into this, each step gets more dangerous with these roles. 1917 has a great supporting cast which includes Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Strong, & Richard Madden but most of them have very small roles in this. It’s one of those movies that you can’t look away from & it just stays with you for days after viewing it. If you are a fan of war films or just great cinema then you need to add this to your collection ASAP, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Universal! This 1080p (2.39:1) transfer looks stunning on blu ray, unfortunately I didn’t get sent the 4K for this because I think it might end up being one of the best UHD discs of the year. As I said above, the cinematography for 1917 is the visually is the highest quality that I’ve experienced with cinema in a long time. This is reference quality & this is one to put your TV to the test when it comes to that. It has a variety of audio options which includes English: Dolby Atmos, English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1, French: Dolby Digital Plus 7.1, & Spanish: Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 on this release. The sound is just as good as the picture here, The action & battle scenes roar through the speakers during the war. The dialogue is crystal clear & the music has a killer boost to it. It has English SDH, French, & Spanish subtitles. This is stunning technical release & it’s a must own for all movie fans!!!!
Let’s discuss the special features from Warner Bros! “Audio Commentary” # 1 with co-writer, producer, & director Sam Mendes. “Audio Commentary” # 2 with cinematographer Roger Deakins. Both tracks are very different from each other. Mendes is more personal & Deakins is very technical. Both are full of lots of information & stories about the production. “The Weight of the World: Sam Mendes” is a little over 4 minutes. It has interviews with director Sam Mendes, cinematographer Roger Deakins, co-writer Krysty Wilson-Cairns, actor Dean-Charles Chapman, & various members of the production. Sam Mendes said he struggled to find his next project after his last Bond film. He was encouraged to write his own, he was hesitate at first since he never did it before. His grandfather told him stories about the war so that inspired him to do this feature. They chat about working with him & their experience on the film. “Allied Forces: The Making of 1917” is a little over 12 minutes. It has interviews with the cast & crew. They chat about the innovative camera that they used for the film. They go into detail about the visual style & long scenes that look like one complete shot. They bring up feeling like their actual character after they wrapped because they were so caught up in everything for it. “The Score of 1917” is almost 4 minutes. It has interviews with the crew. They chat about creating score for this epic adventure. They talk about making the music while they were filming 1917. “In the Trenches” is almost 7 minutes. It has interviews with the cast & crew for the production. It mainly focuses on the two unknown actors that played the lead in this. They chat about the performers what they were known for at the time. They talk about their experience & roles for it. They go over the story. They mention the cameos from some of the bigger actors in the movie. “Recreating History” is a little over 10 minutes. It has interviews with the cast & crew for 1917. This goes into great detail about the production design for the feature. They bring up the locations for it. They chat recreating what it was like back then. They say it felt real rather than being a movie there. It also has a slipcover, a digital code, & a DVD copy of the release. It’s available everywhere next Tuesday, CHECK IT OUT!!!!