Wednesday, December 16, 2015

In the Heart of the Sea

Call me Ishmael.
J145119504
1819-1891
Movie reviews are supposed to help movie goers decide what to see.  Most of those who write these reviews seem to have forgotten why people go to see movies.

We go to escape.  To enjoy.  To be part of something bigger than ourselves.

We do not go to examine the plot line, seek to deride director errors, editing decisions, actor choices or screen writer inadequacies.

Right now in theaters is “In the Heart of the Sea” which is story about a story.  Herman Melville, author of “Moby Dick”, sought out the one of the survivors, Tom Holland who had been the youngest of the crew on the whaler ship, Essex.  It was a bloody, horrible story, and this survivor needed to wrench the images of memories from his tortured mind.

Nathaniel Philbrick.JPG
Nathaniel Philbrook
Author Nathaniel Philbrick researched Melville, the painful consequences of the Essex and the greed of the company who owned the ship. With this incredible history, Philbrook wrote "In the Heart of the Sea".

Interview and relating the story was therapeutic for both the story teller (Tom Holland) and the writer, Melville.  Even so, film reviewers turned their noses, criticizing it for lacking “stuff”.  At This Site  every amateur critic had not read "Moby Dick".  One such critic said this. 

"Nobody gives a crap about Moby Dick.  Just THINKING about the idea of a movie about the friggin' story that inspired the story of Moby Dick puts you to sleep.  How did he (Chris Hemsworth) get paid $80 million to make that?!"  


For us, the movie was riveting.  The actors were strong and skillful.  The director was Ron Howard.  The setting was true to the times.  The interaction between Melville and the survivor was emotional and bonding. Knowing the story of the Essex and its demise hung over the audience, hoping “No, not that!”

Engrossing, hope, loss and gain, greed, a dirty industry, eminent death, and finally redemption—all make for a movie that rises above “Krampus” or “Trumbo”.


Please see what the whaling industry became before its demise.  

More than that, see what the current intelligentsia reads or has not read. 




16 comments:

  1. Yep, movies critics are so full of crap now a days it isn't funny. They either want something true to life currently that is utterly depressing, which case life can be depressing enough so pfft to them, or the same old same old.

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    1. So very true, and sad. Thinking back on a period of time we stopped going to movies. There were considered cutting edge, raw, realistic...all the things I did not want to see.

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  2. Your recommendation makes me want to see it now. I'm off the last week of the year, so will put this on my movie going list. Thanks Susan!

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    1. I hope you can appreciate the filming and acting, as well as the capture of that time period.
      Let me know what you think!

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  3. I avoid reading reviews. Of books or movies. Both are such subjective things - and are too often presented as another tablet from the gospels.

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    1. My m-i-law never goes to a movie unless it has had good ratings. We have taken her (in spite of herself) and she is often surprised.

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  4. I too avoid reviews of movies or plays. I often find, when I do read them, that I end up disagreeing 100%. Sounds an interesting concept. Not sure it would be my cup of tea though. Didn't like Moby Dick much I'm afraid. Mind you it's many years since I read the book or saw the movie.

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    1. I read Moby Dick when my kids were little. I have to confess that there were pages I skipped--ones that went into details about the particulars of the rigging, other sea terms. Even so, the book was intense. Gregory Peck made an excellent Captain Ahab.

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  5. I guess I read the wrong papers. Because of the film I have read excellent critiques of Mellville and his interesting personality, far and above anything I encountered in high school, and thoughtful analysis of the movie. Had I read "one such critic" I'm sure I would have said "So, sonny, get your credentials from a cracker jack box?"

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    1. I fear that liberal universities employ professors who consider themselves above current media and beliefs. These ideologues lead students to become music critics.

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  6. The amateur critic that you cite writes a totally absurd opinion--not much credibility let alone educated judgement in these words.

    I do want to see this film but I'm sure it will be after it comes out on DVD. Ron Howard consistently turns out high quality work and I'm sure this will be as good if not better.

    I often read the pro critics' reviews, but those can be just as bad as the amateur hacks at times though usually they're at least written a bit more intelligently.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. True. I visited more educated critic sites where critics used higher quality language, understood the fine points of the books, and wrote intelligibly.

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  7. Some people just have to blather on even if they have no idea what they're talking about. I think the more you know about movie making and story construction, the more you criticize those things when you don't see them. But blathering about not having read Moby Dick? Seriously?

    (I haven't read it either, but I know it's a classic. And classics are classics for a reason. And I'm sure the story behind the story is worth telling.)

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  8. I'll probably go and see this when it arrives in my local cinema; it's probably the only way I'll get to "read" Moby Dick. It's in my kindle list, but seems too long-winded, I tried it a while ago, and gave up fairly quickly. The movie might suggest I should try it again.

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  9. Any movie done by Ron Howard, I see. He is a brilliant director (and, what seems to be, a good man). His movies are interesting, informative, and exciting and this is the first of his films that I can remember, that has been panned by the critics. No matter what they say, I look forward to seeing it. Thank you for your review; I will go by that.

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Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!