Monday, June 6, 2011

'Storming Juno' - Excellent.


To commemorate D-Day Sarah and I decided to watch 'Storming Juno' a docu-drama depicting the Canadian assault on Juno Beach on June 6th, 1944. To be frank I was pretty much expecting the usual Canadian documentary fare: very earnest and workmanlike but kinda boring and lacking that polish you get out of Hollywood. Well, I was pleasantly surprised as the production value is excellent, the storyline tight and the acting quite good. 

I won't be a spoiler as I would like others to enjoy it, but I will say that the combat scenes are gripping and the whole production has alot of heart.  Instead of trying to cover the entire event in broad brush-stokes 'Storming Juno' focuses in on three stories: an infantry assault company of the Regina Rifles, a parachute platoon from the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion and a single tank from the 1st Hussars. 


The film utilizes some digital effects but they are reasonably done and are integrated nicely with the rest of the film. It also makes use of archival film footage to good effect as well (I  never get tired of that often-used segment of the landing craft opening its doors in front of the beach).

At the end of the movie there is a short segment with interviews with veterans that is very powerful and touching as well. Their description of combat stress, as felt over the years, is particularly evocative.

Its certainly not 'Saving Private Ryan' but perhaps in some ways its a bit more. Anyway, I recommend checking it out.  Its available on iTunes and I've noticed copies of the DVD showing up in stores.

10 comments:

  1. I've not heard of this, I'll defiantly try and check it out, thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sounds good. I will keep an eye out for it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've been wanting to check this out for a long time, but just never seem to get around to it. I've heard pretty mixed reviews from "awesome" to "meh" to "sucks balls", but if you give it the thumbs up I'll definitely track it down soonest!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think if you watch it for what it is: a docu-drama, your expectations will adjust accordingly. It is a short, (sub 90 minute) fairly straightforward film depicting a portion of the Canadian participation at D-Day. Nothing more. I think the people that thought 'meh' or 'sucks balls' where expecting it to be something it is clearly not (i.e. Band of Brothers, Saving Private Ryan, Pacific, etc.). Personally I think it is something the creators can be quite proud of.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks, I will definitely look it up.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Seems interesting, and I'll check it out. I had always hoped that someone may do a British perspective Band of Brothers type thing from the British Beaches and onwards through Villers Bocage, and encouter Wittmann, or on through Caen... heres dreaming...

    ReplyDelete
  7. A great testament to the hard-charging, ass-kicking and always brave Canadians of WWII.

    Brian

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment, Weird WWII. Its interesting, we as Canadians usually don't think of ourselves as a 'warrior people' but it seems that every time our men and women have been asked to serve they do it with great spirit and vigour. They have done our nation great credit by their service and its nice to have a film about their experiences at Juno to give them a nod.

      Delete