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NEWBIES: If this is your first trip here (welcome!), here’s the QT on what these reviews are.
THIS WEEK: Captain Kirk sails the stormy seas to rescue a crew! The based-on-a-true-story of the 1952 greatest rescue in the history of the US Coast Guard: Bernie Webber (Chris Pine) and his crew of three sail a 36-foot boat which holds “20, max” to pick up a crew of 33 stranded on half a tanker in 60mph winter winds—without a compass. All while his new fiancé tries to keep hope alive.
- Holy monkey crap! If you see this in IMAX or even the average big screen, you will feel like you’re one of the crew—either of the tanker or the tiny rescue boat.
- Pine shows his range as this captain is nothing like Kirk. He’s humble, insecure, racked with guilt, and scared out of his mind. And cold as an Eskimo’s wiener; he really sells the weather.
- The rest of the cast turn in good work too. Casey “I’m not Batman” Affleck is great as chief engineer Sybert, Ben Foster, Kyle Gallner and John Magaro as Webber’s crew, and Holliday Grainger as the strongwilledbutloving girlfriend. The tanker crew were great. And Bruce Banner himself, Eric Bana, sells it as the dickhead “notbromaroundhere” commander who’s obviously in over his head (pun intended of course).
- You will want to wear a parka and a raincoat when you watch this because it’s one of the wettest land movies ever! You’ll also feel like finding a space heater afterwards.
- Amazing visuals, from the ultra-violent seas to the giant oil tanker ripped in half to guys on the boat/ship to the cool old cars and town covered in snow. The little boat trying several times to get over the massive bar between the harbor and sea was insane!
- I never would have believed half of it if I didn’t find out it was true (see Wikipedia and the Coast Guard’s site (spoiler alert!)). Who knew half a tanker could sail, let alone stay afloat?
- Good relationship/character stuff. You get to know the kind of person Pine and his gal-pal are before and during the ordeal. And the guys on the ship, too; there’s your usual over-reactive jerk to the loyal big lug seaman to the frightened greenhorn to the jovial fat cook to the level-headed logical engineer who tries to keep them all together.
- Some pretty nice music of the era, if you appreciate that kind of stuff. Not exactly classic rock, but it’s a thing that’s got that swing!
- Not all the great rescues happened during war, and not all the heroes are in the four popular military branches. The Coast Guard has some of the most bad-ass bravery of anyone, anywhere. These guys make the Deadliest Catch look like Wicked Tuna.
- Definitely a slow build. Starts out like molasses with all romance/character stuff (some of which I could’ve done without); but once the storm gets going, it goes into suspense mode.
- I find it hard to believe that after being stranded at sea for so long, no one yells anything out when they see shore. (Those are some tired dudes!)
- Continuity: Chris Pine’s nose and ears are red as tomatoes from all the cold and wind, but miraculously turn light pink when he meets his goil. (That is one hot babe!) And his Bostonian accent doesn’t sound too convincing to this west coaster’s ears.
- When people are trapped under extreme conditions, they don’t always work together; someone’s always a dick.
- Making your own steering mechanism for a 10,000 ton tanker and trying to get it to work.
- There’s a dramatic scene that was anti-climactic because of the scene before it (no spoilers). I’ll just say I thought people were doing something cool, but they weren’t, then a minute later they did just what I thought they were doing anyway, thanks to the poor editing/shot choices.
- Winters off the Massachusetts coast: cold as balls! I’d never live there, even if I could tolerate the annoying accents.
This is one of those that would lose a lot on the home screen. The bigger you can get to, the better. But what really sold it for me was the Dolby Atmos sound system. The two together really put you right there as part of the experience, which to me is what movies are all about! Definitely a mustsee, not just for the above reason but to also see the kind of heroism that some guys are capable of. (Me, I woulda waited until spring.) Bravo!
P.S. Wanna be a hero? Buy some ORIGINAL ART! Get a commission from Pascale fer a friend or your Valentine (hey, how about proposing through art? She’ll love it and you’ll always have it to remember.) Just tell Craig here!