My husband can’t stay awake through movies anymore. I pick on him about it but it’s not really his fault. Anyone who works as hard as he does is going to be exhausted at the end of the day, so I don’t mind it if he snoozes while I watch. He DIDN’T sleep through The Revenant though. No, he sat straight up and enthusiastically watched all 156 minutes of it. I asked what he thought afterwards and he said The Revenant was “really good.” My husband is an understated man, so that’s the equivalent of ME tearfully declaring my undying love for a film. Continue reading →
In the Heart of the Sea tells the story of a monstrous white whale, but it’s not the same whale story we’re familiar with. No, this one tells the REAL story of the doomed Essex, which Herman Melville based Moby Dick on. Chris Hemsworth plays the First Mate of a ship that is attacked by a whale and then lost at sea for months. We learn about the ordeal from Tom Nickerson (Brendan Gleeson), who is the only surviving crewmember of the Essex. He has been wracked with guilt for years and reveals big secrets to Melville as he recounts the whole, harrowing tale.
In the Heart of the Sea is directed by Ron Howard, who brought along his favorite crew members from the movie Rush (including Hemsworth, who can still pull off beefcake when he’s gaunt and scarred). Howard also uses his Rush cinematographer, Anthony Dod Mantle, which brings me to my biggest problem with In the Heart of the Sea. The camera is EVERYWHERE, constantly being thrown around to the point of losing focus and sometimes even sight of its subject. I think Mantle wanted a new and interesting way to convey the motion of a ship at sea, but the camera is shaky even when they’re docked. It’s distracting to the point of frustration and sometimes even dizzying. The commotion is exaggerated by the 3D effects (which is how I saw it) so I recommend seeing this movie in a traditional 2D format. Believe me, the 3D effects do not enhance the movie enough to justify barfing up your Junior Mints.
There’s also the issue of a big reveal later in the film. It’s a terrifying secret of the Essex crew but the audience will see it coming from miles away. Maybe we’ve seen too many lost-at-sea pics lately (Unbroken and Life of Pi come to mind immediately) but this has become familiar territory for us. In the Heart of the Sea feels anticlimactic and predictable, thanks to this, despite attempts to tell an old story a new way. I’m afraid that I can only recommend In the Heart of the Sea to those who love a good seafaring adventure, who are also not prone to motion sickness. – C-
Sometimes a movie doesn’t have to jump up and scream in your face to get your attention. There are rare occasions when a simple but well told story will reach in and grab your heart, without you even noticing it. This is the case for Brooklyn, which is based on the popular novel by Colm Toibin.
Saoirse Ronan stars as Ellis, a young Irish girl who moves to America when her hopes for a better life dry up at home. She ships off with the financial and emotional support of her sister but once at sea, Ellis realizes for the first time in her life, just how completely alone she is.
Brooklyn is proof that I’ve seen way too many movies because as I watched it, I kept waiting for something awful to happen. Continue reading →