The Finest Hours is Epic!

27 January 2016

Disney has done it again and created a masterpiece that will likely stand the test of time much like their past epics including Swiss Family Robinson and Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier where ordinary men demonstrate honor and heroism.  Opening in cinemas on Friday, 29 January 2016, Disney's The Finest Hours stars an ensemble of young actors at their best - Chris Pine, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, Michael Raymond-James and Eric Bana.

Casey Affleck as Ray Sybert. (c) Disney Studios.
Based on a true story, The Finest Hours details the rescue of SS Pendleton on 18 February 1952 off Cape Cod. There are no super heroes, no high ranking admirals or captains, just ordinary men such as Boatswain's Mate First Class Bernard C. Webber (perfectly portrayed as earnest and naive by Chris Pine), first assistant engineer Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck as the quiet-hero) and A.B. Seaman D.A. Brown (convincinly played by Michael Raymond-James). And against all odds, these men band together to survive one of the greatest Coast Guard rescue attempts of history. 

Director Craig Gillespie has done a fabulous job of helming this giant and epic motion picture through some of the craziest and jaw-dropping scenes I have ever seen. And make no mistake about it - this is a movie that REQUIRES you to view it in 3-D! You will truly feel like you are one with the men as wave after wave crashes with greater ferocity.  Carter Burwell's emotional and dramatic soundtrack perfectly compliments each crashing wave and conveys the epic proportions of the film. And there can't be enough said about Javier Aguirresarobe's spectacular cinematography!

Rachel Brosnahan and Holliday Granger. (c) Disney Studios.
There may not be any epic lines in Scott Silver, Eric Johnson and Paul Tamasy's screenplay based on Casey Sherman and Michael J. Tougias's 2009 book, The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard's Most Daring Sea Rescue, however it does a stand-up job of character development, including the naive and by-the-books Bernie Webber (Pine) who makes a transformation mid-storm to a risk-taking hero who earned the Gold Lifesaving Medal and his love interest (played by Granger) who exhibits a desire to push free of the 1950s housewife stereotype but doesn't know how without a key meeting with widow Bea Hansen (Rachel Brosnahan). And that is where the screenwriters do a superb job, in developing secondary characters such as Bea Hansen and her brother, Carl (Matthew Maher), who add color and layers to The Finest Hours.  Without giving spoilers, could someone please give Ms. Brosnahan an award?

Have I won you over yet? Get your tickets now and you'll be in for a true adventure of epic proportions perfect for the family. And join me in reading Casey Sherman and Michael J. Tougias's 2009 book, The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard's Most Daring Sea Rescue.

Rating: PG-13 (for intense sequences of peril)
xx
 

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