Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Finest Hours features a truly honorable hero

Movie Title:     The Finest Hours

Grade:   B

Rating:   PG-13, 1 hour 57 minutes

In a Nutshell:  
This movie honors the heroes who participated in the greatest small-boat rescue in Coast Guard history.  

Based on the book by the same name, the film seems almost old-fashioned, as if it were made in 1952 when the rescue took place.

Uplifting theme: 
  • When life gets hard, we have to have hope and take action.  Casey Affleck’s character, Ray Sybert, says at one point, “I’m scared too.  I got a life just as you.  I just don’t see any point standing around talking about it.”
  • Chris Pine’s character, Bernie Webber, states “We all live.  We all die.”  True. We’re all in this thing we call life together, so we might as well help each other.
  • The unwavering courage demonstrated in this true story is extremely inspiring.  All of the characters were afraid.  I love the quote attributed to Ambrose Redmoon, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather, the judgement that something is more important than fear.”

Things I liked: 
  • Ahhh, Chris Pine.  He gives a solid performance and nails the New England accent. Thankfully, his baby blues were sephia-toned down a bit in this film so that I wouldn’t be so distracted by gawking at them the entire time.
  • It's fun to love a bad-boy who kicks butt in an action film, but it’s so refreshing to have a protagonist in a movie who is kind, obedient, and respectful.  Bernie Webber was an incredible man.   
  • I love it when a movie includes photographs of the real people in history at the end of the film.  I love it even more when the actors actually look like the people they are portraying, which is the case in this film.
  • The sound effects were chilling.
  • The special effects are effective and believable.
  • Can you imagine how unpleasant the filming conditions must have been for the actors and crew? 
  • Actress Holliday Grainger was perfectly cast.  She looked like she really stepped out of the 1950’s.

Things I didn’t like:
  • You might get a little bit sea sick.  I had to close my eyes a few times so I wouldn't feel nauseated.
  • Sometimes it’s hard to hear what everyone is saying with all of the waves and other things crashing around in the background.
  • Bring a jacket to the theater.  Seeing all that snow and icy water might make you cold.
  • Although I didn’t know the details of the rescue before I watched the movie, everything was pretty predictable and straight-forward.  There were no surprises.
  • It could have used a little bit more of humor.  
  • The land scenes are a bit dull, but the ocean scenes are extremely engaging.

Interesting lines:
  • “In the Coast Guard they say you go out.  They don’t say you gotta come back.” – Bernie Webber
  • “Just relax and be patient.” – Bernie, teaching Miriam how to dance.  That was kind of his philosophy throughout the entire ordeal.

Tips for parents:   

  •  This is a serious film.  Although it’s a Disney movie, it definitely does not have a light-hearted “happily-ever-after” tone to it.
  • There are some deaths and tense moments that might frighten very young children.
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