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"The Finest Hours" (2016 release; 117 min.) brings the telling, "based
on a true story" we are reminded, of a daring rescue attempt at sea. As
the movie opens, it is "Wellfleet, MA, November 1951", and we get to
know two Coast Guarders who are out on a double date. Bernie (played by
Chris Pine) is immediately smitten by Miriam *played by Holiday
Grainger). The movie then shifts to February 17, 1952, where Bernie and
Miriam are attending a party, and they decide to get married in April.
Later that night, as a nor'easter is bearing down, the Pendleton tanker
is in serious trouble, and before we know it, Bernie is ordered to
assemble a crew and go out to find any survivors of the Pendleton. To
tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to
see for yourself how it all plays out.
Couple of comments: this is a big budget movie from Disney Studios,
directed by Craig Gillespie ("Lars and The Real Girl"; "Million Dollar
Arm"). If you have seen the movie's trailer (which as been inescapable
in the theaters in recent weeks), you know exactly what you are in for:
a bigger-than-life, against-all-odds rescue attempt of the crew of the
Pendleton tanker, which has split in two, by a four man crew of the
Coast Guard in Chatham, MA. Don't ask me how the Pendleton's remaining
half tanker doesn't sink! I think it has something to do with the
boat's balancing tanks, but in the end it doesn't matter, as we are
here to witness some of the wildest open sea disaster scenes you'll
ever see. In a sense, this reminds of "Titanic", except that the action
scenes are pumped up and on steroids. Chris Pine (as Bernie) and Casey
Affleck (as the Pendleton's main guy) are fine, but to be honest, they
and the rest of the gang are all second fiddle to the special effects.
I know that it's all CGI, yet it looks so darn realistic! The movie has
a great orchestral score, courtesy of veteran composer Carter Burwell
(his score for "Carol" received an Oscar nomination). Also make sure to
stay through the movie's end titles, as we then get a bunch of period
pictures from the Boston Globe and other news sources with the real
life people from the events (and likely the source of the costuming for
the film). Last but not least, this is released both in 2D and 3D, but
just know that the movie was shot in 2D and then converted into 3D (I
saw it in 2D). Bottom line: "The Finest Hours" is a good ol' fashioned
disaster-and-rescue drama that is much better than the "experts" would
have you believe.
"The Finest Hours" opened nationally this weekend, and the Friday
evening screening where I saw this at here in Cincinnati was attended
okay but not great. somewhat to my surprise. Regardless, if you are in
the mood for an effects-heavy but very realistic disaster-and-rescue
movie, I encourage you to check this out, be it in the theater, on
Amazon Instant Video or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray (although a movie of
this kind just begs to be seen on the big screen). "The Finest Hours"
is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Tags for The Finest Hours Full Movie
, Casey Affleck
, Chris Pine
, Eric Bana
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