Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo won’t bore you with his usual Saturday post about mowing the lawn (which I need to get to in a while after the dew dries up a bit).

Instead, I’ll tell you that I got around to watching “1917” last evening.  Perhaps Ol’ Robbo is getting overly cranky and cynical, but my reaction was much the same as the one I had to “Dunkirk“.  The film was okay, I suppose, but I simply don’t understand all the ballyhoo and hype surrounding it.

The plot, when you get down to it, is kind of small.  (Tommy crosses a couple miles of No-Man’s Land to bring the message to call off a doomed attack.)  Without getting too much into spoiler territory, I thought the encounter with the German pilot a bit dubious.  I also though the sequence where Tommy was getting chased about the German-occupied town in the dark somewhat weak.  And frankly, the climax wasn’t really very….climactic.

But what really bugged me was the camera biznay of having a single, continuous shot of the hero as he makes his way hither and yon  (which was a source of much of the hype).  Technically impressive, yes, but in the end it was simply a stunt and a distraction and, in my humble opinion, wound up taking away from the quality of the film rather than enhancing it.  (This is what I disliked about “Dunkirk”, too.  There, I found the chopping around to three wildly different but converging timelines most annoying.)

So overall, while I’m glad I saw the film once, I don’t think I’d go much out of my way to see it again.

By the way, I was left with a couple historickal questions, too.  Having read Robert Graves’ Goodbye To All That numerous times as well as other sources, I know a thing or two about British trenches in WWI, and so far as I could tell the film was pretty accurate at recreating them.  But when the Tommies get into the abandoned Jerry trenches, they find a world of poured concrete, underground passages, and even formal barracks, an altogether superior infrastructure.  Is this right?  I ask not out of skepticism but out of ignorance.  And what would be good source material about this?  A second question is about the abandoned tank the Tommies pass in No-Man’s Land.  I’m somewhat out of my depth here, but that looked like a British Mark IV to me.  A little research suggests April, 1917 is a leetle early to expect to see one.  No? Yes? Maybe?

So there you have it.

Whelp, yard ain’t going to mow itself…..

UPDATE:  Was chatting with Eldest Gel.  She hasn’t seen the film but she keeps up with Hollywood matters and tells me that it won a boat-load of awards, including a near-miss for Best Picture at the Oscars.  Ol’ Robbo is routinely instructed by his Betters these days to have unswerving faith in Institutional Expertise and to disbelieve his own lying eyes, but I yams what I yams.

As far as the technical stuff goes, by the bye, I’m not trying to be one of “those” people, I was just curious.