I watched Openheimer in a IMAX movie theater today, it was not bad I liked it, especially the cinemography.

But somehow - probably because I didn’t do enough research before going - I was expecting a lot of nerdy physics science like in the Martian, but it was mostly politics.

    • button_masher@lemmy.ml
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      10 months ago

      It was a such a guilty pleasure for me. A wet dream of project management where he got all the resources he was looking for and made effective decisions with new knowledge. With colleagues who actually took some initiative and collaborated effectively.

      Wouldn’t that be nice…

  • asteroidnova@lemmy.ml
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    11 months ago

    I’ve had it described as such to me and it stuck: the movie is called Oppenheimer not The Manhattan Project.

    • donslaught@unilem.org
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      10 months ago

      It’s really funny to me how people who didn’t like Oppenheimer and people who didn’t like Barbie all said the same thing: it wasn’t what I was expecting. Maybe they would have rather watched a movie about an atomic bomb destroying millions of dolls.

    • Microw@lemm.ee
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      10 months ago

      Yeah, if one would do a movie on the Manhattan Project they wouldnt omit important figures to that project like the Oppenheimer film did

  • simple@lemm.ee
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    11 months ago

    The last hour was definitely hit or miss depending on the person. Most of the movie was pretty much what I expected but after the bomb it mostly turns into just courtroom politics. I really think they could’ve shaved a lot of time there.

    • zoostation@lemmy.world
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      10 months ago

      Oppenheimer went through his life naively and confidently making certain choices. Juxtaposing him facing consequences for a lifetime’s worth of small actions while being the one to punish himself for the big one was brilliant and crushing.

      Any director could have made a movie where the climax was the explosion, or a debate about the morality of it featuring a lot of footage of dead civilians.

      • ours@lemmy.film
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        10 months ago

        People seem to be missing the point it was a character study. Not a Manhattan Project movie nor a war movie. I wasn’t expecting the courtroom as I was only familiar with the Manhattan Project stuff and the movie wouldn’t be the same without those parts for the reasons you see well described.

  • drudoo@lemmy.world
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    10 months ago

    Saw it (70mm though) and was surprised how great it was, but I saw a lot of people complaining after and during intermission that it wasn’t what they expected.

    I’m currently reading American Prometheus, which is the book it’s based on, and it is very much like the movie.

    If you don’t understand American politics, which many (where I live) doesn’t, it is very hard to follow and understand.

    Looking forward to finishing the book and rewatching it when it’s released digitally.

    I definitely understand why it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and not a traditional Nolan film.

      • drudoo@lemmy.world
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        10 months ago

        When showing in 70mm there’s an intermission to change film reel. It’s old school when it isn’t digital.

  • HobbitFoot @thelemmy.club
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    11 months ago

    Nolan picked politics because that seemed to be the more compelling story with the more compelling subject.

    If you wanted a movie specifically about making the bomb, it probably would have been better to choose Leslie Groves as the POV character because he would be in the rooms where the logistical hurdles of the program were being solved. However, the movie would have had a fat different tone.

  • wewbull@feddit.uk
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    10 months ago

    The aspect of the Manhattan project that’s still relevent and worthy of comment is “Should we (humanity, and more specifically scientist & engineers) created it?”. Then “Having created it, should it have been used?”

  • maegul@lemmy.ml
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    10 months ago

    Mostly with you (and others so far in this thread). There’s a good core of a movie in there, but some mistakes and fumbles and confused purpose IMO.

    It felt like Nolan wanted to be faithful to the biography and hadn’t himself reached some personal artistic insight about Oppenheimer the person or story himself on his own. And so, as well made as the film is, it’s basically an biography put to film with great acting and Nolan’s “trademark” non-linearity. Though, I wouldn’t be surprised if on closer analysis (I’ve only seen it once) one could conclude that the non-linearity actually masks how empty most of the film is. As an illustration, having seen it a while ago now, I can’t get past the fact that Nolan put the “destroyer of worlds” line in an awkward sex scene. It betrays, IMO, that there was a lack of a complete grasp from Nolan on what he was trying to do. If he didn’t want the line to be dramatic etc, don’t put it in the film. The sex scene was obviously contrived and made no sense.

    For me the middle is where it shines, where you see Oppenheimer in action on the edge between guilt and ambitious vision, and Nolan does very well here with his naturalistic and dramatic choices. But the opening and closing acts of the film … really not sure why exactly they are there and stand out as awkward fumbling to me (on which I honestly hope I’m missing something as to how essential the closing trail thingy had to be there).

    Ultimately, the ambition of the film is to focus on Oppenheimer the person, but, however impossible a task it is illuminate his character and story, I don’t think Nolan really had much to contribute on that front and so I’m not sure the film can justify itself against the alternative of making a film more focused on the broader project and context of the Manhatten project etc, where, against a broader context, Oppenheimer’s inscrutable nature but also huge importance may have been more clear and interesting. For instance, my understanding is that part of his value as the lead of the project was that he was uniquely capable of understanding any of the science as quickly as anyone else as well has understanding people well enough to get what he needed out of them. This is hinted at in the film, but not made clear at all.

    Now, since Dunkirk, Nolan has made Tenet and Oppenheimer which are IMO his two weakest adjacent films and career wise he’s probably fallen into a bit of a slump (with maybe Interstellar and Dunkirk going down as his career highpoint?). Going all the way back to Interstellar, I don’t think he’s been able to construct a good closing act in 3 of his last 4 films (Interstellar’s last act is probably polarising … but I also think the closing act of Inception was off in ways too).

    Beyond all of that … I happened to end up seeing Barbie as well (well after having seen Oppenheimer) and shouldn’t couldn’t shake the feeling that though Oppenheimer was more “high brow”, Barbie is probably the better and more important film of the two … which I did not expect at all as a Nolan fan.

  • stanka@lemmy.ml
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    10 months ago

    I was excited for Oppenheimer, having read The Making of the Atomic Bomb and Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb both by Richard Rhodes.

    The movie just followed him, which i did enjoy, but if you want the wider story, plenty of physics, and spycraft, those books are fantastic.

  • jo3shmoo@sh.itjust.works
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    10 months ago

    Wife and I had a similar experience. We kept thinking “oh, here’s the part where we’re going to talk about all the science and physics!” but then went off on another track. I liked it overall though and have generally been a Nolan fan.

  • The_Mike_Drop@lemmy.world
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    11 months ago

    I… didn’t enjoy this one. Two white dudes fussing over their reputation across three hours of meetings. In a non-linear style.

    The biggest issue I have with it is myself. I wanted a story about problem solving, in this case building, testing and deploying the first nuclear weapon before the nazis and I didn’t get it.

    I know I should review a film for what it is trying to be and not what I want it to be but I just couldn’t with Oppenheimer. It felt like it was trying too hard to subvert expectations and keep me engaged with a lame duck parlor trick, and it could have been so much better.

    No issues with the acting, cinematography though.

    • Jeena@jemmy.jeena.netOP
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      11 months ago

      Yeah, the problem solving part is what I meant by nerdy science like the Martian, exactly.

    • wewbull@feddit.uk
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      10 months ago

      Is this partially down to the way you personally view the event? If you’re comfortable with the use of the bomb, then your interest is in the “how?”.

      If you’re not that way, your interest is in the “why?”. Personally I found the film called into question the justification. I’d never really appreciated that the race was so explicitly against the Nazis, but by the time it was complete they were defeated.

      Truman’s decision to use it against Japan led to the world knowing (rather than just suspecting) it existed, and the Russians making sure they could do the same. Russia was always going to be enemy after the war, but now it was enemies with a country that showed it would use the bomb. That decision shaped the next 100 years, which we’re still living through.

      The film also showed that Oppenheimer himself was naive, thinking that “better I do this than evil men” assumes you can control what you build after you build it. The politics was the battle for control of the bomb, and the realisation that he lost that control as soon as it was complete.

      I think the film raises a lot of questions that engineers should think about more often. The ethics around these things is often overlooked in favour of “that’s an interesting problem” and we dive in head first.

      • The_Mike_Drop@lemmy.world
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        10 months ago

        Thank you for your comment it was thought provoking.

        I definitly agree with “The film also showed that Oppenheimer himself was naive, thinking that “better I do this than evil men” assumes you can control what you build after you build it. The politics was the battle for control of the bomb, and the realisation that he lost that control as soon as it was complete.”

        But as for how I personally view the event… I went to see a movie and in how I personally view a movie it failed to justify its length and its non-linear presentation.

        If I consider the event, I view it as a fixed point in time, something done that cannot be undone and arguing for or against it is tangential. There are lessons to be learned, like what you have pointed out that I agree make a compelling case study. But if that was the takeaway from Oppenheimer, then you just did a better job of telling it than the movie. Short, succinct, to the point.

        I did not need Florence Pugh to be riding his dick at a commitee hearing to get that the hearings were uncomfortable, y’know?

        • wewbull@feddit.uk
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          10 months ago

          I though Pugh was wasted honestly.

          I agree that that one event is done, but viral research might be another example of scientists asking themselves “can we do this” and not “should we do this”. The atomic bomb was one example, but we still need to evaluate and learn the lesson.

  • Chriszz@lemmy.world
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    11 months ago

    Yeah I was hoping for a less political movie but it was still nice overall

  • PatFusty@lemm.ee
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    10 months ago

    I just saw the movie last night and i kept telling myself I would prefer watching this as a documentary.

    I liked the movie for what it was but I did not like the story telling nor cinematography. It felt like it was made for people who were looking at their phones and threw in some effects and loud sounds so it can grab their attention. I felt like I could have left and missed 1/4 of the movie and I wouldnt have missed anything.

  • thantik@lemmy.world
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    11 months ago

    Most people who go to the theater to watch movies are dumb as a box of rocks. They can understand politics and drama moreso than they can understand science and engineering. Unfortunately that just means most Movies and TV are watered down heavily or transformed into something like…Oppenheimer.