The Finest Hours

2016

Action / Drama / History / Thriller

217
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 63%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 70%
IMDb Rating 6.8 10 48559

Synopsis


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Cast

Chris Pine as Bernie Webber
Ben Foster as Richard Livesey
Eric Bana as Daniel Cluff
Holliday Grainger as Miriam Webber
3D 720p 1080p
1.79 GB
1920*1080
English
PG-13
23.976 fps
1hr 57 min
P/S 3 / 22
875.75 MB
1280*720
English
PG-13
23.976 fps
1hr 57 min
P/S 15 / 144
1.8 GB
1920*1080
English
PG-13
23.976 fps
1hr 57 min
P/S 21 / 96

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by David Ferguson ([email protected]) 6 / 10

real life Disney heroes

Greetings again from the darkness. The U.S. Coast Guard has played a role in many movies over the years, but only a few have placed this service branch directly in the heart of the story … most recently The Guardian (2006), which was little more than a cheesy, too-talkative water-based rip-off of Top Gun. Director Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl, 2007) takes a much different approach as he presents a look at one of the most legendary and heroic real-life rescues in Coast Guard history.

The Oscar-nominated writing team behind The Fighter (2010): Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, and Eric Johnson have collaborated on the screenplay based on the book from Casey Sherman and Michael J Touglas. It's a worthy tribute (and clearly Disney-influenced) to what is described as the greatest Coast Guard small-boat rescue. It combines a boat-load (sorry) of tension-filled ocean-based sequences with some pretty interesting character-based sub-plots within a Massachusetts community that has become all too familiar with storm-based catastrophes.

Chris Pine stars as Bernie Webber, an awkwardly shy and obsessive rule-follower, who has lived under a cloud of doubt ever since a previous rescue mission failed, resulting in the death of a local fisherman/husband/father. We first meet Bernie as he bungles through a first date with Miriam (Holliday Grainger, a young Gretchen Mol lookalike). The film then jumps ahead to 1952 when they become engaged and Bernie is ordered into a questionable mission by his "not-from-around-here" commanding officer Daniel Cluff (Eric Bana). See, a huge storm has literally ripped apart not one, but two giant tankers, leaving crew members battling for survival. It should be noted that Bana the Australian, tosses out a laughable southern accent that is a joke within the movie and within the theatre (for different reasons).

Bernie and his crew: Richard Livesay (Ben Foster), Andy Fitzgerald (Kyle Gallner), and Ervin Maske (John Magaro), take off against all odds in a too-small boat against too-big waves in a desperate attempt to rescue the tanker crew that includes brilliant engineer Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck) and characters played by John Ortiz and Graham McTavish. Affleck excels as what can be termed a quiet leader. Of course, we know how the story ends, but the heroic efforts against a very powerful Mother Nature show-of-force make for compelling movie watching.

The special effects are stout, though not be as spectacular as The Perfect Storm (2010) or In the Heart of the Sea (2015), and it's the human-factor that provides more than enough thrills, excitement, and tension. In fact, the biggest issue I had was that I saw a 3-D version which is an absolute disservice to the film. Most of the story takes place at night and at sea, so the 3-D consequence of dimmed light and muted colors results in a far too dark and dull look to the film. I spent much of the movie sliding the 3-D glasses down my nose in a simple attempt to enjoy a bit more brightness. The recommendation would be to skip the higher-priced (money grabbing) 3-D version and take in the more pleasing "standard" version.

Disney makes feel-good movies. Their target market is not cynics or the overly critical among us. The romance pushes the "corny" meter, but keeps with tradition of other Disney movies based on true stories like The Rookie (2002) and Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story (2005). Keep this in mind you'll likely find this one pretty entertaining. Stick around for the closing credits as a slew of real photographs from the actual 1952 event are displayed, as are photos of the real heroes from that night.

Reviewed by bankofmarquis 7 / 10

Edge of your seat action

The FINEST HOURS is a rip-roaring, edge of your seat action thriller that will keep you guessing all the way to the end.

There....that should get me on the poster.

That said, I will have to admit that I had low to middling expectations going into this film and it exceeded my expectation in almost every way.

Starting with the Cast. Chris Pine (good ol' Cap't Kirk) stars as Bernie Webber a mid-level Coast Guard officer who is flung into the forefront when an oil barge splits in half in very rough sees during a storm. Pine presents Webber not as a square-jawed hero, but a real person with doubts and insecurities but a strict code of ethics and when his Capt. (the always capable Eric Bana) sends him out for what could be a suicide mission, he goes out.

While Pine holds down half of this movie, Casey Affleck holds down the other half as the leader of the group of survivors on the oil tanker. Normally, I am not a big fan of Affleck's work, but in this movie, I sure am. He is a man of few words and tells much with his expression. If there is a "squared jawed hero" in this movie, it is Affleck.

These two are supported by a veritable who's who of "that guy" actors. Ben Foster, John Ortiz, Michael Raymond James and good ol' Abraham Benrubi are just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak, of wonderful character actors filling the roles of other Coast Guard members and crewmen of the doomed ship.

Only Holliday Grainger as Pine's strong-willed fiancé fails for me, but I blame a weak written character more than her acting for that one.

But, make no mistake, it is the action that makes this movie exciting. From the opening where the oil ship splits in half through the attempt to get out to the ocean to find the doomed ship to the actual rescue itself, I was on pins and needles, literally vaulting myself up out of my seat to get over a wave at one point. Director Craig Gillespie, not known as an action director, does a nice job of leading us through these scenes, I am anxious to see what he takes on next. I hope it is another action flick.

Is it a great film? No. The opening (after the tanker accident) drags and the movie bounces around in tone trying to find out what kind of movie it wants to be, but once Pine and company goes out to sea to rescue, the movie zips along just fine.

7 (out of 10) stars and you can take that to the Bank (of Marquis)

Reviewed by Gino Cox 5 / 10

Three intersecting stories, of which one works very well

"The Finest Hours" presents three stories, or perhaps one story from three perspectives. The stories are perhaps better described as intersecting rather than interwoven as developments in each storyline have relatively little effect on the other story lines other than points of intersection.

The most successful story is one of survival aboard a doomed ship in a fierce storm. Casey Afflect delivers a brilliant performance, possibly the best of his career, as an engineer who must win the respect of the crew and devise a seeming impossible plan to ensure their survival.

But the putative hero of the story is played by Chris Pine as a disgraced seaman thrust into a leadership position who manages a heroic rescue by alternatively slavishly adhering to regulations and blatantly disregarding them, but steadfastly pressing on by sheer obstinacy and succeeding by dumb luck.

The least successful story is a romance between Pine's character and a local girl who somehow manages to afford a car on a switchboard operator's salary, walks through snowdrifts in high heels without slipping or marring her shine, defies convention and embarrasses her boyfriend by proposing marriage, and barges into the all-male preserve of the Coast Guard station to demand that the commander commit an unconscionable act of cowardice in an exchange that might have been ghostwritten by the screenwriter's five- year-old daughter.

Having never read the book, it's difficult to tell what parts were embellished for dramatic impact, but much of the story seems hopelessly contrived. Critical pieces of equipment (radar, compass, radio) malfunction and miraculously return to service as if on cue. At one point, a large group of bystanders race off in support of the rescue effort and one expects them to activate certain items, but strangely nobody does until the love interest does, almost as an afterthought, and everybody else decides to follow suit, leaving the audience wondering why they went there if they didn't intend to do it in the first place. At another somebody shouts out a number referring to a group of people he could not possibly have counted.

This is another film that the #OscarsSoWhite and advocates of gender pay parity would rather audiences not see. It's basically a story of real men in the 1950s male-dominated era doing manly things while the womenfolk stay at home being supportive, raising children and mourning those who sacrificed their lives supporting their families. It was only four years after Eisenhower ended segregation in the military and the Coast Guard and various maritime labor unions were probably about as integrated as the Ku Klux Klan.

But this would never do in the twenty-first century when studios feel pressured to compromise dramatic structure in favor of political correctness. Consequently, two subplots seem to have been added and/or expanded to provide more diversity for audiences who prefer diversity over drama. One involves a black seaman whose cowardice results in the death of a Caucasian who takes him under his wing. The second is the romantic subplot, which is given roughly equal weight and screen time with the two other through lines. The story is not particularly interesting. The girl is a typical chick flick heroine – pretty but not gorgeous, more cherubic than voluptuous, virtuous and steadfast to a fault, with an anachronistic feminist streak. Both subplots could have been easily eliminated. Perhaps the film would not have been quite the critical or commercial disappointment if they had been sharply trimmed or eliminated.

The theme and moral seem weak. A theme concerning luck and happenstance undermines some of the effect, as do several plot contrivances, such as the equipment malfunctions. The episode is supposedly one of the greatest sea rescues in history, but it's presented as the consequence of doggedly plodding along in blind subservience to duty rather than anything one would ordinarily equate with heroism.

Technically, the film is top shelf. The period props, costumes, settings and make-up all seem authentic. There is a refreshing lack of distracting jiggly-cam shots. The special effects seem realistic. It lays on the schmaltz fairly heavily at points, but what can one expect from Disney?

It might have been more compelling if it had concentrated on the survival story, eliminated the love story and trimmed the rescue story.

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