Rapid Review: In The Heart Of The Sea (2015)

in the heart of the sea poster

“We were headed for the edge of sanity… like we were aberrations, phantoms. Trust gave way to doubt. Hope to superstition.”
– Old Thomas Nickerson

SYNOPSIS: A recounting of a New England whaling ship’s sinking by a giant whale in 1820, an experience that later inspired the great novel Moby-Dick. – via IMDB

in the heart of the sea

GRADE 7Right off the bat, I must admit that I never read Moby Dick. Yes. There, I said it. I finally got around to seeing this, though. I was expecting a wasted, pointless film ultimately, because reviews came back less than favourable, although not scathing. Personally, I found the movie to be entertaining and engrossing, even though there were flaws. I think the biggest drawback to the film is that the cast is not utilised as well as it could be, so many of the cast members and their characters are grossly underused. I was, however, a fan of Melville getting the story from Nickerson, and creating Moby Dick from there. The film explores some of the darker, nastier things about surviving while shipwrecked that far out, and this is done really well. Just thinking about the lengths that these men had to go to to survive is just something else. Hemsworth delivers a solid performance, and Cillian Murphy is, as always, well worth watching. I’d watch him anywhere though. The cast works well together to spin the story of a whaling ship, desperate to get enough oil to return home, crazy enough to take on a monstrous whale and pay the cost. Not only that, the interpersonal relationships between them were also well done, fraught with politics, friendship, competition, and status. Visually, In The Heart of the Sea is stunning to look at, though this is something I did expect, if we are being honest. The costumes, the settings, everything looked good. I do feel, however, that the movie did play things very safe, but I was engrossed from the off, and my husband thoroughly enjoyed it, too, which I actually didn’t expect. It gets to emotional places that are sad, don’t get me wrong, but never pack the raw punch you are holding out for. Overall, In The Heart of the Sea is worth the watch, a film that I enjoyed watching and can recommend.

Review: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)

“History prefers legends to men.”

This was something that I had wanted to go and see in theatre but never got around to, and I am thinking it might have been for the best. Last night, after studying, I figured it would be nice to chill out and watch something. I am always on this mission after I see an awesome movie (my last being The Amazing Spider-Man), like the quest to see another great one is highly tangible. Very seldom, however, do you find that next elusive one.

So it began. It did not look like a particularly low or a high budget movie, but it was watchable. I found the acting to be particularly stiff. Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who played Mary Todd Lincoln, for instance, should have stuck to multicoloured hair and a blasé attitude. The role was very unbecoming for her, and her acting abilities certainly did not escalate in my eyes. It frustrated me that there was no real character growth, and the story was a little bit scattered, and the plot was just ridiculous. Nothing one could not follow, just not something you would like to. The amount of CGI in the movie was also insane.

The thing that got under my skin the most? The way all vampire lore and mythology was completely desecrated, but at least not yet to the point of glitz, glam and sparklies. I guess if you are not particularly clued up on it, it will be fine to watch. But it all got to me. Daywalkers, sunglasses and sunscreen, the inability to kill one another… oh my, the worst is how they are turned! No blood exchanged, nothing as intricate as that!

I felt that this could seriously have been executed better. I have yet to read Seth Grahame-Smith’s book (I decided to only read it after the movie, I wanted to see this as a first time viewer). The concept was interesting (to me, anyhow). I liked the idea of an excellent president by day, advocating for freedom, fighting war, yet turning into the slayer of evil by night. That they didn’t quite get to gel properly. They did, however, get Benjamin Walker to look quite Abe-like as he aged. I understand that this was supposed to be slightly comedic, but I missed that mostly due to other disastrous elements.

I loved how the action scenes were done, particularly the fight sequences. I thought it was excellent how they took Abraham Lincoln into battle, and captured the essence of the cloak billowing fiercely and axe shining and moving as though an extension of him. That was selectively done and it was done well. In those scenes you can distinctly see the input of Timur Bekmambetov (who directed Wanted). For instance, the fight scene between Lincoln and the undead when he went to save his oldest school friend, Will, was an impressive one to watch, although I would love to know how you do handbrake turns in a carriage!

I would score Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter 4.5/10. The movie was a bit of a let down, considering the poster’s speak of greatness, the artwork was well done, and the previews looked decent. The story was dreadful, the acting atrocious, there was no real chemistry between any of them… I don’t know, it just didn’t impress me, and was really not worth checking out at all. I really could have utilized this movie’s time on something far more productive.