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Did They Have to Eat The Black Guy?: IN THE HEART OF THE SEA

Friday, December 11, 2015

 Moby Dick Inspired Survivalist Tale

with Director Ron Howard Live Twitter Interview Embeds

By Tinsel & Tine Editor, Le Anne Lindsay

"Thar she blows" now has a more visual meaning for me after seeing Ron Howard's Imagine Entertainment's IN THE HEART OF THE SEA. The movie is based not on Herman Melville's "Moby Dick" as much as it's based on Nathaniel Philbrick's, non fiction book of the same name. Philbrick is a leading authority on the history of Nantucket and the story of the sinking of the 19th century shipping vessel, The Essex, which is a big part of Nantucket's whaling history.
I am trained as a journalist, and instead of inventing anything, the way a fiction writer would, I was trying to figure out, as best I could, what really happened. Where information concerning the Essex and her crew was lacking, I turned to other whaling voyages for examples of what had occurred under similar circumstances. I was very much concerned with the personalities of the men, so I combed documents on Nantucket to help me identify what their backgrounds had been. I looked to modern-day scientific studies in an attempt to figure out what the crew was experiencing, not only in terms of their suffering at sea, but also in terms of the interpersonal dynamics of a survival situation. I resisted the temptation to create dialogue or presume to know what the men were thinking. On the other hand, I realized that this was an amazing story, and I didn’t want my research to interfere with the inherent drama of the tale... READ MORE  Nathan Philbrick

What I really love about most Ron Howard/Brian Grazer films with the exception of The Dilemma, is the characterizations and emotion you feel throughout the movie.  Like with Rush (click for T&T post) you really didn't have to like or care about race car driving to understand the motivations behind the two main characters or to feel personally invested in their love/hate relationship.
But where's the heart  In the Heart of the Sea ? it's not there for me. You have the Essex's Captain, George Pollard (Benjamin Walker) born into the shipping business, but a novice at captaining a ship. And his 1st mate (originally promised Captain) Owen Chase (Chris Hemsworth) son of a farmer, yet born to sail the high seas and naturally lead a crew. Pollard and Chase are at odds due to their reverse circumstances of the hierarchy, so the egos of two men are on the line, but their battle of wills doesn't really play out with as much drama and intensity as we saw between James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) Niki Luda (Daniel Brühl) in Rush.

The film is held together by a framing device using Melville as a character interviewing the cabin boy from the Essex, (Brendan Gleeson) who has aged quite a lot in like 20 some years, but I guess witnessing a whale with vengeance will do that to you. Some critics I noticed didn't care for the retelling of the story in this way, but I think it works, as it's rather a play on fisherman telling tall tales of the big one that got away, only in this case it's told with grave seriousness and consternation.

 Bottom line: I just love Chris Hemsworth because he's such a big strapping He-man. And I'd encourage people to see this movie on IMAX because you won't be disappointed with the scope; the ship being tossed around in the squall, the sperm whale footage, the fantastic mythic White Killer Whale CGI! However, I'm not that big on survivalist tales, although I like tales of adventure, but there's a difference. Tales of adventure are normally more fantastical and of the characters choosing. Survivalists stories are normally brutally realistic and a happenstance that the character couldn't avoid or had to embark on due to needing funds.  This one is less brutal than "The Revenant" (Look for A Revlock Review soon) but watching characters deal with harsh elements just makes me uncomfortable.

T &T's LAMB Score: 3 Outta 5

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About This Blog

is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.

Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?
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