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Movies based on true stories.

  1. #1114262017-07-11 16:45:02Kirn said:

    The Lost City of Z (2016)

    To be honest, at first I thought this is just a pseudo-historical adventure movie. But holy fuck, apparently, it's not just that. So, this is about British member of Royal Geographic Society, who mapped Amazon Jungle and got a notion of ancient civilization being hidden in that jungle. That became his obsession and, eventually, the cause for him never seen again.
    So, this is pretty big movie, so the usual place has an article on it. And, looking at this, I can see that... this is really hard to judge. Movie tells you the notion of the story, which is mostly true. Some things we, obviously, cannot know, like how true the characters represent the real people. And the semi-hopeful ending is just a conjecture. And a lot of stuff isn't really explored, like the true number of expeditions, and the guy being in secret service and even friends for famous write and inspiration for Indiana Jones...
    Now at the same time, truth is there. The guy's father fucked away the family name and fortune, the guy himself became obsessed, eventually, with something that was at a time ridiculed by almost everyone else. And he went there again and again. eventually taking his son with him, to never be seen again. His last letter was dated may 29, which is my birthday btw, so hey, that's fun.
    And after all that - his claims got proven many years later. So this is a good story about a man ahead of time. Not perfectly to the truth of the events, but close enough.

  2. #1116882017-08-09 11:44:17 *Kirn said:

    Saving Mr. Banks (2013)

    Alright, so this one isn't new. However, I recently re-watched the old Disney classic Mary Poppins... and I decided to top it by re-watching this one too. This film is based on the story of making the book into the movie, and goddamn, that is one heck of a story.
    So, the author made the book, and they Disney decided to get his hands on it. The guy promised his children, but he never expected that it would take 20 goddamn years to convince the author. Ms. Travers was one tough cookie. And a horrible nitpicker. And you know, watching this... I personally maintain the outlook that movies should try to be more like books... but damn, I felt really sorry for the movie people.
    So alright, let's go to the usual site. And immediately, what I want to point out is 2 not true points of the movie. First of all - the driver, played by Paul Giamatti, who is always an enjoyable actor. He is, at most, a mix of several people driving Ms. Travers, and he is just there to add some humanity to the story, nothing more. Second thing is half-true. It wasn't the 'Let's go Fly a Kite' song that won Travers over, in fact she didn't care for that one mostly, it was the 'Feed the Birds' song, and you can see why - it is much more different in style from the most songs in the movie, and is quite melancholic even.
    The rest? Well, damn, most of it is true. Movie deals with 2 timelines - one being Ms. Travers' childhood, and key points there are correct - tragic family story, attempted suicide, strict nanny, which became inspiration for Mary Poppins in the books. Second timeline is the script approval for the movie itself, and that apparently was as horrible as it is shown, thanks to the involvement of one of the Sherman brothers in the movie (and that guy obviously had a lot of pent-up burns since that time), and the incredible fact that they really DID record all the sessions, and it was EXACTLY as bad, hours of those tapes...
    I would also say, that Disney here is shown much nicer than he really should have been shown, and they omitted the fact that Ms. Travers was fooled on assumption she had editing rights to the movie, which she didn't. But we all know that Disney is secretly devil, so no big new there.
    In the end, if you are a fan of the old Mary Poppins movie - you really should watch this one to see, what kind of a battle it was to get it to screen.

  3. #1124762017-11-25 14:42:41Kirn said:

    Jungle (2017)

    So a Jewish got tired of society and went to wild countries to escape, where he met other such travelers and a guy named Karl, who offered to give them a tour in a real jungle, where white people don't dare to go. And turns out, for good reason, cause these guys got incredibly lost. And that's what the movie is about.
    So okay, spoiler alert - movie is based on the book by this Yossi guy, so hey, fucker survived in the end. And he participated in creation of the movie. And this kinda makes me wonder about it all, cause... On one hand, he did face horrible challenges there... on the other... half of the time he was hallucinating, so how real was his experience in the first place? And also, in this whole story the real mystery was what happened to the other guys. I mean, really, we never even know.
    And one more thing. For all the personal drama, the story itself is not that interesting. Just few guys getting lost in a jungle. Happens all the time. So it is well-made picture, but you really won't get much content out of it.

  4. #1127822017-12-19 06:14:01Kirn said:

    Dunkirk (2017)

    400000 soldiers, British and French, stranded on a beach of Dunkirk, surrounded by German forces, wanting only to get the fuck out of there. While being bombed by Nazi planes. Fun stuff.
    So, this is a big one. Made by Christopher Nolan, this is a war movie of this year, I would say, and rightly so. The Dunkirk evacuation started as absolutely hopeless thing, where they barely hoped to get back 10% of people, and in the end they did manage to return most of the soldiers home. The events historically show one of the biggest mistakes of Germany on western front.
    Now, the question of this all being the truth is not even a question at all. The usual site says, that while stage is a real historical event (obviously), and it was represented pretty damn realistically, and even was filmed on the actual location, with a few actual boats that were used in the real event (which is pretty cool, really), the characters and their struggles are completely fictional. Movie centers on 3 semi-separate stories - soldiers trying to find any chance to get home, private boat owner and his son, sailing across the channel to help with evacuation, and fighter pilot providing cover for British ships from German bombers.
    While all 3 stories are also based on actual events and behavior of different people at the time, specific details are very much made up. So it's a cinematic fiction, but the background for it is a very real event that was represented pretty accurately. All in all, good war movie, using historical event well for cinematic purposes.

  5. #1134522018-03-01 07:29:56EvoRulz said:

    saw this when it came out, pretty great movie yeah! Seemed very clean in terms of cinematography and aesthetic quality, and the sound system of a cinema magnifies the experience a great deal so if you have crappy speakers i suggest wearing earphone/headphones~!

  6. #1129942018-01-10 18:23:00Kirn said:

    Marshall (2017)

    So, this is one of them difficult movies to judge. And yes, that is a fucking pun. Anyways. Thurgood Marshall. Black attorney, who started at the time of segregation and won some damn fine victories for his people. But this movie is not about his most prominent cases, this movie decided to take one rather bizarre case, and tell about that.
    Now, this being the high ranking popular movie, the usual place got article on it. And from it you can see, that a lot of details of the case itself are correct. Real case was a bit more elaborate, with issues of ransom note and material evidence, but it's understandable why movie went with less details. But generally, it's correct, and it's a funny case, really, if you think about it. Both parties went full retard... and to court.
    Now, the main problem of the movie is that it is obviously a movie talking about achievement of black people. Which I got nothing against, but often these films are demeaning whites in the process, and it's not exception here. Attack by stupid rednecks? Never happened. But the main victim here is Marshall's colleague on the case - Sam Friedman. That guy is shown as more of a comedic character, and the whole movie is structured to show how meeting Marshall made Friedman into a better person and attorney. Which was really not the case. So, funny enough, the movie is raising the black guy at expense of a Jewish guy.
    Still, I would recommend watching it for the case details at least. It's pretty funny.

  7. #1132912018-02-08 05:32:38Kirn said:

    Only the Brave

    Firefighter movie, telling story of Granite Mountain Hotshots and Yarnell Fire.
    The movie here is told mostly from two perspectives. One is Eric Marsh, leading the crew, and he is a natural choice for a lead character. Another is Brendan McDonough, recovered junkie, for whom joining firemen was what turned his life around. And while second one looks like Hollywood way to treat the story, that part is actually true, and Brendan makes the obvious choice for perspective as he is the survivor of the later tragedy and the one who wrote the book about it.
    Now, the true story site tells that most of the events are pretty accurate. Some characters were changed around, some unneeded dramatization was added towards the end, and other minor Hollywood details. But other than that, this was a municipal-based crew, they did fight those fires, and the final fire story seems to be accurate enough. In fact, this movie doesn't look like fictional firemen movies I saw - in those every fire is like some dramatic event, in this one fire is mostly work. Dangerous, but work. So it is interesting in that regard, and has additional bonus of having true event behind it.

  8. #1134422018-02-28 05:24:17Kirn said:

    Darkest Hour (2017)

    Holy hell, fat Gary Oldman! But not to worry, that's just a lot of makeup, he had to don for playing the role of Churchill.
    The movie deals with basically the first month of his rule as Prime Minister, during the seemingly unstoppable German march. It's all very dramatic, and, interestingly enough, Dunkirk events are also part of this, as this is the military operation they were concerned with the most at the time.
    Now, the usual site tells us, that while there are many relation with true events and general feeling of the time, a lot of over-dramatizations were made. Most of the movie, actually, as Churchill's secretary, given strong role in the movie, was not in his employ at the time, yet, they didn't, again, at that time, use the underground war rooms, and if the meeting with people ever took place, it was not like it depicted in the movie. Many things were over-dramatized, many were sped up for the narration purposes, so this movie cannot really be shown as true representation. They do say, that the man really did have a nasty personality at times, so there's that.
    Still, big movie, and interesting for what it is. Also, really, fat Gary Oldman, gotta watch it at least for that.

  9. #1134822018-03-08 09:03:27Kirn said:

    The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017)

    So, this one is about the making of the famous Christmas story. Or rather, it's about the author, Charles Dickens, trying to get his inspiration back after several bad runs. And all that, styled in a Christmas tale style of its own.
    The usual site reveals a lot of details to be actually true. Charles' father was horrible with money, which caused much trouble for a long time, several prior books were flops, he published book himself, wrote it in about 6 weeks, and had to work in a factory as a young child... Pretty grim harsh stuff, actually, and a lot of stress. And a lot of obsession over the story.
    The movie presents characters in the story, as it is being written, as almost real, which certainly can be true for really obsessive writer. And sometimes characters do what they want, not what you want them to do. And at the same time, many of the secondary characters in the movie seem to be references to other characters from his other books, which is logical as Charles did draw inspiration for his characters from real people.
    All in all, pretty entertaining story, and even though this story didn't exactly invent Christmas, more likely just helped it rise again faster (royal family was already celebrating it, I believe), it's worth to watch.

  10. #1136572018-04-06 10:59:36Kirn said:

    Greatest Showman (2017)

    Great musical movie with Hugh Jackman as a main actor... wait, that reminds me of something... Well, nevermind. This one is about Barnum - the showman that brought people the really weird and freaky stuff. And who also wasn't above some swindling.
    Now, this was to be expected from musical film, as really, it's all a fabulous show, but goddamn, the usual fact-checking source claims that almost all movie is quite untrue. Well, except for the main line - Barnum opened and operated a literal freak-show museum, which later burned down, so he moved to a proper circus.
    Other than that? Barnum financial situation and age are wrong, the whole scandal with opera singer is false, and he was probably not as likeable person as he was portrayed. Also, the whole story of his partner and his feeling for trapeze artist girl is entirely made up, as are both characters. Though, interestingly enough, several of the 'freaks' presented in the movie are references to the actual Barnum performers, including, of course, the famous bearded woman.
    So, like some of the Barnum acts, the movie is mostly not true, and does what it does just for show. Still, good show it is.

  11. #1137542018-04-17 04:20:33Kirn said:

    The Post (2018)

    This one is about Katharine Graham - woman owning The Washington Post newspaper - and her decision to go ahead with publishing of some closely held government secrets about Vietnam. The newspaper went to court for this, but managed to win the case. There, spoiled it for you.
    So, what is this all about? Now, my usual site for fact-checking says that most of the story is actually true. The Washington Post got their hands on government secret report, and there are a lot of true details thrown into the movie like organizing it all at Bradlee's house, flying papers on the second plane seat, and even Katharine receiving the call while making a party speech. And, of course, the main story is true to the facts - Post got into the game after Times, got to court over it and managed to survive the case while being in the process of becoming publicly traded company, which added some financial stress on the events.
    Specific thing that is pointed out as wrong in this movie is overly evil representation of Nixon, but I think pretty much everyone demonizes Nixon in movies. Also, while now exactly an error, movie concentrates at the Post while their involvement in actual scandal reveal was not all that major - Times were the first to break the story, after all. It is quite possible that the reason for movie's point of view is that Post had female owner at the time, and her struggle is in the center of the movie.
    All in all, not bad picture, detailing scandal during the Nixon administration, that happened even before Watergate, and something I didn't really know off.

  12. #1137872018-04-21 20:06:26Kirn said:

    All the Money in the World (2017)

    Wanted to watch this one for a while. This also have initially been Kevin Spacey movie, but he got involved into scandal, and got replaced with Christopher Plummer. Well, no matter the drama around it, let's look at the drama in the movie.
    Movie makes a point to write, right at the start, that it is inspired by true events. Which is the usual way to say that it's not exactly true to the events themselves. It also makes point to confirm that some events were changed for dramatization. It's a nice touch. Now, I didn't find my usual site article, but here is the Time article comparing the movie and real events. From what it says, we can make some assumptions. Old Getty really was a horrible miser, trying to save money everyone he could, including all legal technicalities he could, and he was prone to collecting a fuckton of art. He also only paid ransom after the ear was send. So we can believe that this character is pretty correct. Chase character is a real person, and he was involved in ransom exchange. And while the starting scene of the kidnapping is somewhat realistic, the rest doesn't seem to follow true events, from start and to conclusion, so I guess that's the part that is the most over-dramatized.
    All in all, the movie is somewhere in the middle in terms of truth - not exactly truthful, but not all that wrong either.

  13. #1142122018-06-21 17:31:11Kirn said:

    Haven't seen anything based on true events in a while, and.... my fucking god...

    Death Of Stalin (2017)

    Oh, fuck my life, where do I even begin... While watching this movie, I had really weird feelings. This movie is a caricature, of course, over-exaggerated and grim, both at the same time, of something most of the world have no real idea about. Not only there's a set of propaganda about all that in the west, but there's a whole domestic set of propaganda about it, originating right in Kremlin. So, how do we even know what is true?

    Well, frankly, we don't. Thankfully, the movie is NOT trying to be a true movie. As I said, it is a caricature, which shown characters as extremely over-exaggerated versions of themselves, playing on whatever was known of their personalities. Plus it represents the caricature view of Soviet Union at the time with literally half the country in gulags. This is the setting we are given, and everyone has their own idea of how true or not true that is.

    Now, the disarming thing movie does is throwing some very real events in there. Movie ones with event when the music concert was repeated, after they found out they didn't make a recording, and Stalin wanted one. That fucking happened. Incident with hockey team and a plane? That fucking happened. Note from the pianist? Different text, but kinda happened.
    And while the movie shows its characters plotting in a cartoonish way, events are actually somewhat true, with haphazard scramble for power, army involvement, hasty trial and so on.

    All in all? Grimm comedy of absurd, which, while being utterly ridiculous, throws more facts at you than you may realize. Honestly, this feels like the weirdest movie I seen so far, this year.

  14. #1142162018-06-21 22:00:21Taro_Tanako said:

    This was written by Armando Iannucci who is a well known satirist in the UK. He did Veep and a bunch of other stuff that savagely shows the absurdity of our political classes and powerful people being shits. I think his comedy is pretty awesome really as tedns to frame situations and characters in a ridiculous manner rather than overly exaggerating them.

    Heard a lot of good stuff about The Death of Stalin. Will deffo watch this, although I don't expect to lol so much as cringe a bit and appreciate the insanity and farce of it all.