Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Star Fish

OK, with the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it really isn't even fair to include another movie in this post, much less a "meh" sort of one, but them's the breaks. Ron Howard's In the Heart of the Sea (aka "Thor vs. the Giant Fish") wants to be so much more than it is and it's a shame. The actual story of the sinking of the whaling ship Essex and the horrific aftermath is compelling on its own; there was really no need to embellish. (And the actual facts are more gruesome that the film feels comfortable discussing.) Liam Hemsworth is a fine actor; I truly believe that, but in this film, neither he nor anyone else on Nantucket can settle on an accent. I'm willing to forgive a good bit due to Owen Chase being a seafaring man, but it got a bit silly at one point. Not at all a bad film, but it could have been so much better.

Now to the main attraction. I'm a Star Wars nut and have been since I was the tender age of nine. That said, the second trilogy saddened me and the revolving door of "new and improved" editions left me cold. (Confession - I still have the original trilogy on Laserdisc. And yes, I have the player. Think on that for a moment.) And J. J. Abrams still owes me for the wreck that was Into Darkness. So it was with great trepidation that I went to see a showing of SW: TFA at the unlikely hour of 10:30. That's A.M., by the way - usually too early for popcorn, but hey, it was a special occasion.

Is the poster too crowded? Yes. Is it a perfect movie? Nope. Do I care? Not a whit. This film makes me happy. Yes, there are plot holes and don't even get caught up in the non-science. This is myth, not science fiction. And it's got throwbacks to the things that made the original trilogy "Joseph Campbell in space," including heroes, redemption, father-figures, conflicted villains, wise elders, and more besides. (Like lightsabers.) Young unknowns are going to be huge stars - get ready for that, John Boyega, Adam Driver, and Daisy Ridley.

Go see this. Just - go. Now.


Mitchell Sepaugh said...

May the Force be with you!

Shimon said...

Spot on.
Star Wars is the first movie I remember going to with my parents, as a kid. I wasn't crazy about it at first, but it grew on me.
It was just so special to go to the new one with two of my kids. Their initial reaction seems to be similar to my own... Nevertheless, the lightsaber has been passed on!