The Dallas Movie Screening Group

This is the homepage of the Dallas Movie Screening Group. To join our mailing list you must sign up at our group page on Yahoo. You will then be connected to receive notices on how to find passes to the local screenings in the DFW area. It's up to you to pickup or sign up for passes. You can also barter, trade or just giveaway passes you don't want, need or share with other members of the group. Please read the instructions on the Yahoo page very carefully before posting. This group is closely moderated so that your mail box is not full of spam or other unnecessary mail. We appreciate everyone's consideration and cooperation.

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Website and Group Contact: dalscreenings@gmail.com

Thursday, December 10, 2015

In the Heart of the Sea



Charles Leavitt's screen play for the legend of Moby Dick approaches the subject for a different perspective. The hundred foot white whale that could destroy ships was a story told to scare the whalers who lived off the sea. In this story, Herman Melville comes to Nantucket, MA to seek out the last surviving member of the ill fated whaling ship, Essex, with which he turns into a classic piece of fiction we have come to know and love. Director Ron Howard, takes the viewer up close and personal on the ship, and the daily drudgery and uncertainty that comes with the whalers of the early 1800's. Howard is usually expected to elevate a project as he has done with other historical movies, like A Beautiful Mind, Frost/Nixon, and Rush. As beautiful as the well dressed sets and costumes, and performances, the movie seems a bit lost at sea.

Chris Hemsworth is Owen Chase, a son of a farmer who has managed to become a first mate on a whaling ship. He's hoping to be made captain on the next ship, but green hand George Pollard (Benjamin Walker) is given the position only because his father is an officer. Pollard is a bit insulted having to learn the ropes from someone who is obviously not of his class standards. The two men have agreed to try and get along, get their whale oil quota and come home early. They manage to get their first whale, but months later they are still circumventing the Atlantic to the Pacific via Cape Horn, with no other whales in site. They meet another captain while restocking their stores, who is still traumatized by his encounter with the biggest whale he has ever seen that caused the loss of his ship and crew. Chase, Pollard and Second Mate Matthew Joy (Cillian Murphy) only hear that there are tons of whales to be found and ignore the warning of the big creature.

The story is being relayed by Thomas Nickerson (Tom Holland), the cabin boy who was on his first whaling adventure. The older Thomas (Brendan Gleeson) has kept the story of what happened to the Essex and it's crew hidden away, chipping at this soul, until Melville (Ben Whishaw) shows up and manages to get him to talk as a way of excising his demons. Young Thomas hero worships Mr. Chase, especially after the Captain almost drowns the ship during a storm due to his inexperience and his insistence of trying to be more macho that Chase. When they do find the hundreds of whales thousands of miles from land, they think they have hit pay dirt. But the whales are being protected by the biggest baddest while whale of myth. The devastation of the ship, most of the crew, and the survivor's shipwrecked at sea for over 90 days takes most of the remaining movie.

Little bits of dialogue hit at what the whaling industry did to giants of the sea, until alternative sources of energy were found underground with the discovery of oil. Also the class attitudes of Captain Pollard are given brief and rote acknowledgement as the sign of the times, but also eventually gives up because there is no discrimination when it comes to life and death situations. The whale is impressive, but the CGI is not. The horrors the survivors endure makes one feel washed up at the end.
(Review by reesa)


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