Number 1000!!! – Friday, October 28th - Larry H. publishes his one thousandth movie review 1997-2022
The Finest Hours
Released:  January 29, 2016
“CG 36-500 proceed to rescue…Copy that.” The setting of this true story is February 1952 off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. An unusually powerfully snowy storm has enveloped the area and wreaked havoc on vessels caught at sea.  The US Coast Guard is tasked with making rescues of ships in distress and in this case the high winds and surging waves have caused a large tanker to “split in two.” But what if it’s too dangerous to even mount a rescue attempt?
The film begins with a sweet love story between Bernie and Miriam played by Chris Pine and Holliday Grainger. We all remember Pine from his portrayal of Captain Kirk in the 2009 Star Trek movie, and some of you will recall Ms. Grainger as Lady Chatterley in a TV movie last year. With a 1950’s backdrop, the adoringly awkward couple had just become engaged when Bernie Webber is ordered to command a very small Coast Guard boat with a crew of three to challenge the treacherous waters off Cape Cod in blinding snow, wind and forty-feet waves. Their mentality is “…we’re the Coast Guard and that’s what we do.” Hmmmm, but is that a good idea.
The story develops from the perspective of our brave members of the Coast Guard and also from the eyes of the desperate crew of over 30 who are trying to manage a ship that is literally rudderless and near powerless while fighting the elements of a horribly ferocious and freezing storm with gale-force winds. Time is of the essence.
The tanker’s crew has already lost its captain so someone has to step up to lead the men to attempt to salvage the ship and buy enough time for somebody, somehow to rescue them at sea.
Casey Affleck, 40, as Ray is that leader to the crew of the ship and his performance was the shining light in a film full of cold darkness. Hopefully, this movie will separate him even further from his older brother, Ben.
Director Craig Gillespie spends a lot of time and money in creating spectacular sets worthy of the viciousness of the storm and the almost constant fear generated by the story, but his editing was disjointed and lacked the character empathy that was begging to be achieved in this disaster movie. He missed the boat. Oh no, I said it.
Gillespie’s last movie was “Million Dollar Arm” starring Jon Hamm and it was a lightweight, too, grossing $36 million on an estimated budget of $25 million.  Cutting it kind of close there, Craig. “Finest Hours” sales will probably not set any records either. This is the season for movies that are competing for Oscars and all the other chumps are fighting for scraps. This movie is not ready for prime time. Rock ‘n Roll.
Grade 79. Larry H.
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