Movie Review: The Finest Hours (2016)

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Plot: The Coast Guard makes a daring rescue attempt off the coast of Cape Cod after a pair of oil tankers are destroyed during a blizzard in 1952

On the 18th of February 1952, Boatswain’s Mate First Class Bernard “Bernie” Webber, Andrew Fitzgerald, Ervin Maske, and Richard P. Livesey saved the lives of 32 men that were stranded on the SS Pendleton. They raced against unimaginable odds and time to reach the broken ship, and their heroics to this day stands as the greatest rescue in the US Coast Guard history.

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It’s an inspirational story that is bound to get your heart pumping and leave you in awe of the four men that set out on a tiny boat in a big storm to save the lives of desperately endangered men. But Disney got their hands on it, and a Disney film will never produce the horror and adrenaline that event surely had. It was a watered down, poorly directed film that made an actor like Casey Affleck look awkward and misplaced and uncomfortable as hell. I’ve seen him now in a few things, so that might just be his personality.

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Finest Hours contains a staggering number of cheesy phrases. There were constant yelling of things like “hold on boys” and “if I can do it so can you” and “we can do this” and “great job”. It was awkward, I felt awkward and the entire thing can be summed up in that one word – AWKWARD.

The beautiful Chris Pine continues to be everywhere. His beautiful mug is showing up in a lot of places these days, and you won’t hear me complaining. I just saw Wonder Woman, which places him pretty high on my list of Chrises (that list must happen), so this was obviously never going to end up as my favorite role of his. He’s not bad, however, and he is very convincing as Bernie Webber. Shy and sweet and loyal to his work, Bernie has some baggage. Pine does everything he can to make you like Webber. When Webber meets Miriam Pentinen (Holliday Grainger), their relationship is as sweet and stereotypical of the 1950’s as you can think it to be. Miriam chooses Bernie despite her fear of water – as she says “how do you know what lies underneath?” quite often. I share this sentiment with her, which is why I’d never date a coastguard. I can’t understand why she would choose that either. But anyway.

The disbelief in this film is too much for the real life events to seem authentic. It is poorly scripted and most of the time I really didn’t know what was going on. Miriam only seemed selfish and unsupportive of her fiancé, and that irritated me quite a bit. The cheesiness of the lines is bad enough that I’m sure the actors had a difficult time saying it out loud and not visibly cringing.

Sadly, The Finest Hours is not as fine as the title might suggest. Cheesy, silly and at places downright unbelievable, Disney did not do a good job honoring Bernie Webber.

Rating: 5/10

Marvelous Mondays: The Hulk by MovieRob

Ahoy folks! Rob was kind enough to review the Hulk for me for my Marvelous Mondays blogathon. If you are interested, see the list here and pops me a line, okay? Thanks!

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“We’re going to have to watch that temper of yours. ” – Dr. David Banner

Number of Times Seen – 2 (3 Nov 2003 and 20 Oct 2014)

Brief Synopsis – A scientist gets caught in a gamma ray accident which causes him to turn into an indestructible Green Monster when he gets angry

My Take on it – I have always been a big fan of superheroes, so when I heard that they were coming out with a film version of the Hulk, I was hopeful that they would do a great job with it.

What’s interesting is that when it originally was released in 2003, I probably enjoyed it more because of the lack of many more movies in the genre, but now, re-watching it in 2014, I can rightfully say that this is a disappointment because obviously it could have been done better.

Director Ang Lee tried to make a superhero movie that was more intellectual than action in order to give the viewer a  reason to think about the “why” and not just the “how” one becomes a superhuman.

I don’t think the world was ready for something like that at the time and it would take a few more years until Christopher Nolan was able to prove that it’s possible to achieve.

The storyline is weak because there isn’t much of a villain here and that’s kind of the point of a superhero movie.  When the Marvel juggernaut of movies took over this franchise in 2008, they did a better job of fleshing out the character and gave us a more enjoyable superhero movie like we all wanted.

All that being said, this movie still has it’s merits and the main one being that the special effects are very well done (for the time).

As much as I like Eric Bana, I’m not sure if he was the best choice for Bruce Banner, both Ed Norton and Mark Ruffalo do better jobs with the role in the subsequent movies.

Bottom Line – Not the best superhero movie ever made, but also not the worst.  Lee’s attempt to make an intellectual superhero movie just didn’t work out like he planned.  Very cool special effects but the storyline is weak.

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)

Thanks Rob!

PS: I took part in Rob’s monthly Genre Grandeur by reviewing Wolf of Wallstreet. Go looky see here