Monday, December 14, 2015

Wknd Box Office: In the Heart of the Sea

Here is an interesting article from reviewing some of the movies that came out over the past weekend. This follows this post about some of the movies from last week and THIS POST about some movies that have been released over the past few years that you might have missed! This all follows this post about guidelines to choosing good movies to watch yourself!

Wknd Box Office: In the Heart of the Sea

By Debbie Schlussel
Every year, the movies get worse, and this year is Exhibit A. I don’t understand what the heck Hollywood is doing, giving us horribly dreadful movies like “In the Heart of the Sea,” in theaters today. This is supposed to be Christmastime, when the studios give us their best movies. But instead, they bring you this–“The Feel-Good Cannibalism, Animal-Rights/Save-the-Whales Movie of the Year.” Thanks, Ron Howard. (“MacBeth” also debuts today, but I saw so many new movies this week–more about that in a later post–that I didn’t have time to watch the MacBeth screener DVD until later this week, and I kept falling asleep because it was boring. Will try to finish it and post a review over the weekend or next week.) *** SPOILER ALERT: This review contains SPOILERS! for which you’ll thank me, as I am performing a public service.
Not only was this movie long, slow, and boring (what was just over two hours seemed like five), it is horrifying. The last thing I want to do when I go to the movies is watch starving, desperate grown men choose which one of them they will kill and eat, next. The second-to-last thing I want to see at the movies is a gaunt, anorexic, skull-and-bones Chris Hemsworth, who is so dangerously thin, you can literally see his skeleton through his facial skin. But this movie has both of these, um, “features.”
In the Heart of the Sea takes place mostly in 1820, when there was no electricity or natural gas usage, and people relied on whale oil to heat and light homes and businesses. The movie is supposed to be the true story of the Essex whaling ship and how it was haunted and attacked by a great white whale. The whale is the subject of Herman Melville’s classic novel, “Moby Dick,” and the movie depicts Melville hearing the story of what happened to the Essex from the ship’s youngest survivor, who is now old and gray. The man has never spoken of the horrors he saw and endured to survive, and he reticently tells them to Melville, pursuant to a contract he signed with the author (the author paid him for the story).
In 1820, a group of working-class men are hired as the crew of the Essex and set sail from their native New England to the sea off the coast of South America, in search of whales to hunt. The movie focuses on Chris Hemsworth, who is one of those men and has been hired to lead them, just under the command of the ship’s captain (a relative of the ship-owner). The men have a tough time finding and killing a whale, and when they finally do, there isn’t much oil. They’d hoped to return to Massachusetts with many more barrels of whale oil than they’ve got. It’s a tough life at sea on the ship, and the men are growing restless and constantly arguing.
During one stop on land, the men learn of a great white whale, which attacked another ship. One of the ship’s surviving crewmen tells the men of the Essex that the whale fought and haunted them, following them around waiting to attack. Eventually, after returning to sea, the Essex men spot the white whale and try to kill it for the oil. But the whale bests them, attacks the Essex, and causes the ship to sink. The crew escape on three small wooden boats, which look like little more than large canoes.
After many days on the sea and rationing small portions of biscuits (or crackers) and water, the men are literally starving to death. So, to survive, they draw straws to decide which of them they will murder next and eat. Humans . . . It’s What’s For Dinner (and Lunch and Breakfast). I couldn’t stand watching this. It made me think of the Nazis deciding who deserves to live and who deserves to go to the ovens. It was awful to watch. Just as awful to watch was the emaciated Hemsworth, whom director Ron Howard put on a 500-calorie-a-day diet. You can literally see his skeleton on his barely-there face.
And on top of this, the movie moves so slowly and is so boring that, when it finally gets moving and has any suspense, it’s half over (or more). I repeatedly fought the sleep demons while watching this.
A number of entertainment industry figures and movie critics are gushing over this because it is directed by Richie Cunningham from Happy Days (Ron Howard). But it’s not up to his usual standards. Not even close. In fact, it’s hard to believe he directed this garbage. But he did.
That doesn’t make it worth seeing. Nope.
The movie has an anti-business vibe: the “insensitive,” rich owners of the companies for which the whaling ships sailed, are the typical Hollywood stock “evil businessmen” characters to which we’re always treated. Plus, watching this depiction of how humans who hunted whales for necessity are forced to become cannibals–and many of them die–I couldn’t help but wonder if the people who made this movie were animal rights activists a la PUTAh (People for the Unethical Treatment of Animals and humans). The message of the movie is quite clear: if you hunt animals for human needs, it’ll come back to bite you, and you’ll forced to become a cannibal and do unspeakable things. This movie was less Moby Dick, more vegan bad musician (and animal rights nut) Moby (who is supposedly a descendant of Melville).
Twenty years from now, they’ll probably make a movie like that about people who eat meat and wear leather shoes.
G-d help us. And G-d help you, if you waste ten-bucks-plus and two hours of your life on this.
Despite the flick’s title, this movie has no heart. And it definitely doesn’t have a soul.
Watch the trailer . . .

You might also like:

No comments: