Hell or high water is another summer flick that flew way under the radar. Hardly advertised, it has a semi-quasi cowboy taste to it. It could have been an exciting story but it is overcast by the oh so slow progression of events and flow to the bottom line. I, who am a very detailed person, got bored waiting and waiting and waiting…well, you get my point. The movie was too slow! Don’t get me wrong, it was still a good story and well acted.
Two brothers, Toby Howard (Chris Pine) and Tanner Howard (Ben Foster), stick it to the system by paying back the bank that holds their family mortgage with money they just obtained by robbing banks. Tanner is an x-con who had just gotten out of prison for killing their abusive father and was all too happy to assist his brother, who was not a criminal, achieve this goal. Additionally, Toby has two estranged sons he wants to leave the farm to. Lots of story here (I won’t spoil it for you). After pulling off a couple of bank robberies, two Texas Rangers, Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges) and Alberto Parker (Gil Birmingham) were sent to get to the bottom of the case and catch the two robbers. Toby and Tanner had worked out a clever way to exchange the stolen bank money for legitimate, untraceable bills that allowed them to move forward with their plans. They also planned to rob banks first thing in the mornings so that there would be no customers and less chance of getting caught. Since Tanner is a little wild, despite being considered the smart one, he impulsively went off course, leaving a big trail of clues for the rangers. Toby was constantly frustrated with his brother’s shenanigans but stuck with him anyway. This would be Marcus’ last case since he was due to retire shortly, so he wanted to go out successfully. There are nicely orchestrated car chases, humor, sex and of course, the gorgeous Chris Pine. It’s my opinion that waiting for the DVD release would not be a bad thing.
[HELL OR HIGH WATER is nominated for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Film Editing, and Original Screenplay]
The Finest Hours is the first movie released in 2016 that I’ve reviewed. It is also one of many new movies based on a true story, which I found to be pretty good. If you enjoyed “The Perfect Storm”, then chances are, you’ll also like “The Finest Hours”. Handsome Chris Pine plays Bernard “Bernie” Webber, who falls in love with Miriam Pentinen Webber (Holliday Grainger). Bernie is a crewman at the Coast Guard station in Chatham, MA on Cape Cod. The new Chief Warrant Officer, Daniel Cluff (Eric Bana) is new to the station and is making questionable decisions. After learning that an oil tanker was split in half somewhere off the Chatham coast, as a result of the current nor’ easter, Daniel sends Bernie and his crew out on a suicide mission to rescue the damaged oil tanker (SS Pendleton). After picking his crew, Engineman Third Class: Andrew Fitzgerald (Kyle Gallner), Seaman: Ervin Maske (John Magaro) and Seaman: Richard P. Livesey (Ben Foster), they head off into one of the worse storms they’ve encountered as a rescue team. Adding to an already bad situation, Bernie’s lifeboat (CG 36500) was not adequate to make it over the bar in the current storm or large enough to rescue the oil tanker.
The Finest Hours is an emotional thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat with tears rolling with the waves and a new respect for the coast guard. The year was 1952 and technology was not what it is today. On the way to the rescue, the CG 36500 lost it’s compass, making it almost impossible to find anything. I loved the way the movie was filmed, showing the problems on each side of the rescue, simultaneously. Many of the scenes focused on Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck) who was so devoted to the SS Pendleton, he was able to keep it afloat despite one half of the ship was missing. There are many lessons to be learned, both on land and at sea. Of course there were a lot more problems than mentioned in this review but as usual, I don’t want to spoil the movie by telling all. I recommend The Finest Hours and think you’ll enjoy it whether you elect to see it in 3D or 2D/standard format. BTW: The real Bernie Webber and his crew received the Gold Lifesaving Medal for their rescue efforts, which was a great honor.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged 1952, andrew fitzgerald, bar, ben foster, bernard "bernie" webber, cape cod, casey affleck, cg 36500, chatham, chris pine, coast guard, daniel cluff, engineman, eric bana, ervin maske, holliday grainger, john magaro, kyle gallner, lifeboat, lost compass, mass, miriam pentinen, Ray Sybert, richard p livesey, seaman, sspendleton, t2 oil tanker, the finest hours, third class