Tagged: Josh Stewart

The Finest Hours

Summary: It should be one of the happiest days of Bernie Webber’s (Chris Pine) life. Becoming engaged to his girlfriend, the beautiful Miriam (Holliday Grainger), Bernie’s aim is to go to work at the Coast Guard station where he is stationed and go through the ritual of asking his boss, Daniel Cluff (Eric Bana), if he can get married.

As fate would have it though one of the worst storms to ever hit the United States strikes on that very day. Offshore two oil tankers split in half and while the Coast Guard rushes to save the crew of one they have no idea that another is in difficultly until the alarm is raised much later. As Ray Sybert (Casey  Affleck) battles to keep his crew alive Bernie finds himself being sent on a mission to rescue them, with a crew of his own –a crew that doesn’t trust him as his last rescue ended in the loss of life.

Year: 2016

Australian Cinema Release Date: 3rd March 2016

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Craig Gillespie

Screenwriter: Eric Johnson, Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, Casey Sherman (book), Michael J. Tougias (book)

Cast: Casey Affleck (Ray Sybert), Savannah Rae Allen (Eliza), Eric Bana (Daniel Cluff),Abraham Benrubi (George ‘Tiny’ Myers),  Rachel Brosnahan (Bea Hansen), Danny Connelly (Dave Ryder), Alexander Cook (John Stello), Ben Foster (Richard Livesey), Jesse Gabbard (Domingo Garcia), Kyle Gallner (Andy Fitzgerald), Holliday Grainger (Miriam Webber), Beau Knapp (Mel Gouthro), Benjamin Koldyke (Donald Bangs), Keiynan Lonsdale (Eldon Hanan), John Magaro (Ervin Maske), Matthew Maher (Carl Nickerson), Graham McTavish (Frank Fauteux), John Ortiz (Wallace Quiery), Chris Pine (Bernie Webber), Michael Raymond-James (D.A. Brown), Angela Hope Smith (Catherine Paine), Josh Stewart (Tchuda Southerland)

Runtime: 117 mins

Classification: PG

 

OUR THE FINEST HOURS REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

David Griffiths:

Sometimes when a film is released you just have to shake your head at what the distributors think they are doing with the film. Disney’s choice to release The Finest Hours in Australia with no media screenings and only in limited cinemas is a baffling one. Traditionally, disaster films always do well in Australia and not only that The Finest Hours is certainly not the kind of film that should be kept away from the film loving public as it is a film that has a lot going for it.

So often when a director and screenwriter team together to make a disaster film they fall into a familiar trap of trying to make the audience like the characters so much they pile a heap of back story into the film and the result is the disaster itself starting way too late into the film. That certainly isn’t a trap that Craig Gillespie and his team of screenwriters fall in to. Gillespie as a director is someone that certainly can’t be peg holed into a style of filmmaking. From the thought provoking Lars & The Real Girl through to the horror frights of Fright Night Gillespie seems to just make whatever film he damn well feels like and here with The Finest Hours he shows why he is a director that should be added to your list of ‘exciting directors in modern day filmmaking.’ He doesn’t muck around with tons of back story with The Finest Hours, instead the storm itself hits within the first half hour of the film, which means that Affleck and co and in peril before the ice in your Coke has even started to melt.

Surprisingly The Finest Hours also manages to raise the stakes on a number of levels. Not only are the crew of the oil tanker in great peril but Gillespie also makes in known in no uncertain terms that Bernie is being sent on a mission that he has badly unprepared for with a boss that has no clue what he is doing… he is being sent to certain death. Just to raise the stakes even more Gillespie then has the events happen not only through the eyes of Bernie and Ray but also from the perspective of Miriam, an innocent bystander who is forced to watch as the man she loves is being sent on an impossible mission.

It’s for that reason that The Finest Hours is a must see for those people that love good cinema. The suspense never lets up and Gillsepie masterfully directs intense scenes which sees Bernie’s small Coast Guard boat become a submarine as it plunges through the waves in front of it and the even more suspenseful scene during which Ray’s crew have to face the hard decision of whether or not to jump into the wild sea that has just claimed their tanker.

The team of screenwriters also have done enough with the screenplay to make the key characters here likable. You instantly care what happens to the likes of Bernie and Ray, while they even steer well clear of making Mirian a whiny character, something that you feel a lesser team may have accidentally found themselves doing. The screenplay and Gillespie’s directional style also allows the cast to have a little bit of free reign as well. A look between Chris Pine and Ben Foster as their characters race towards the wild sea says more than one ten pages of script ever could. Likewise watching Casey Affleck sit in the corner and calmly think while the rest of his ‘crew’ panic says more about his character than any back story ever could. While both of done some great work in films over the years The Finest Hour is the one film that really shows that Affleck and Pine are so much more than what we have seen from them in the past.

Through no fault of its own The Finest Hours is one of those films that is going to be overlooked by a lot of film goers simply because of the fact that it hasn’t been promoted properly. That’s sad when you realise that in a lot of ways this is a far superior film to something like The Perfect Storm… yes Craig Gillespie has somehow managed to create a classy disaster flick that demands a viewing by serious film lovers.

Stars(4)

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(4)

 

IMDB Rating: The Finest Hours (2016) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment The Finest Hours reviews: You can listen to our full The Finest Hours  review on a The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #168.

Trailer:

Transcendence

Summary: A terminally ill scientist downloads his mind into a computer. This grants him power beyond his wildest dreams, and soon he becomes unstoppable.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 24th April, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: UK, China, USA

Director: Wally Pfister

Screenwriter: Jack Paglen

Cast: Johnny Bautista (Scott), Xander Berkeley (Dr Thomas Casey), Paul Bettany (Max Waters), Fernando Chien (Heng), Clifton Collins Jnr. (Martin), Johnny Depp (Dr. Will Caster), Morgan Freeman (Joseph Tagger), Lukas Haas (James Thomas), Rebecca Hall (Evelyn Caster), Corey Hardrict (Joel Edmund), Cole Hauser (Colonel Stevens), Falk Hentschel (Bob), Wallace Langham (Dr. Strauss), Steven Liu (Chiu), Kate Mara (Bree), Cillian Murphy (Agent Buchanan), Akshay Patel (James), Luce Rains (Roger), Josh Stewart (Paul)

Runtime: 119 mins

Classification: M

OUR TRANSCENDENCE REVIEWS & RATINGS:

Adam Ross: You can check out Adam’s Transcendence review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #77

Stars(1)

Greg King: You can check out Greg’s Transcendence review on www.filmreviews.net.au

Stars(2)

Nick Gardener: You can check out Nick’s Transcendence review on Southern FM

Stars(2.5)

David Griffiths:

Transendence is one of those films that a first time director can only dream about being at the helm at for their debut. Just think about it, it’s an intriguing very modern story and then you find out that the likes of Johnny Depp, Morgan Freeman and Paul Bettany are queuing up for roles. It is no secret that the true cinemaphiles have been waiting for the day that cinematographer Wally Pfister steps up to the director’s seat. After all this is a man who has worked on some of the most iconic films of the modern age – films like Memento, Insomnia, Inception and The Dark Knight trilogy. Pfister has more than done his time as the ‘apprentice’ and when his mentor Christopher Nolan decided to pass on the Transendence project he was the perfect man for the job, but sadly he is let down by a script that never really gave this film a fighting chance.

The film takes it audience deep into the world of artificial intelligence by following Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp – Lucky Them, The Lone Ranger), his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall – A Promise, Closed Circuit) and his co-worker Max Waters (Paul Bettany – Iron Man 3, Blood). The together the three of them have been taking the science world by storm as they come closer to closer in bridging the gap between computers and humans.

While there work has impressed rivals such as Joseph Tagger (Morgan Freeman – The Lego Movie, Last Vegas) it has also warranted the attention of a renegade group of vigilantes, which includes Bree (Kate Mara – Deadfall, TV’S House Of Cards), who believe that science is going too far. The result is that one of these group members guns down Will with a radioactive bullet. Evelyn and Max then work hard to bring Will online before he dies while Agent Buchanan (Cillian Murphy – Aloft, The Dark Knight Rises) tries to hunt down those responsible.

The second half of the film that takes a completely different tack. With Will online and working with Evelyn, Max has now teamed up with the vigilantes and believes the work is evil and needs to be stopped. Together with Agent Buchanan and Joseph Tagger they all work at a way to stop Will from taking over the world.

If that synopsis sounds ridiculous then it goes part of the way of explaining just how hard it is to watch Transcendence. The film starts well enough but by the time the lone gunman guns down Will with a radioactive bullet rather than just simply killing him you begin to realise that this is a film that jumps the shark at every possible chance.

At a glance Jack Paglen’s screenplay seems intelligent but after giving the film much thought you soon begin to realise that the plot makes no sense at all and that he has simply tried to use techno babble throughout, that actually makes no sense. Honestly at times it does seem like the actors have no idea what they are reading at all.

Then there is the plausibility of what actually happens. Nothing ever seems to be fully explained, not even simple things such as Max’s defection to ‘the other side.’ One moment he is kidnapped and the next moment he is working with the group, what was it that he was shown that made him change his mind, or was it just simply a case of Stockholm Syndrome… we don’t know because we are never told. Paglen can’t even work out whether he is for or against such technology at all, this is evident by the fact that the film just seems to skirt around the edges and never make a serious stance either way.

Even the top notch cast here cannot save Transcendence. Johnny Depp once again shows that when he is away from his Pirates Of The Caribbean his lack of acting ability is evident for all to see while the likes of Cillian Murphy, Paul Bettany and Morgan Freeman are simply wasted in their roles. In fact you can only wonder why the three of them even decided to sign on for the film in the first place. The only cast member who does get a chance to show anything at all is Rebecca Hall, but then even she isn’t really a standout.

Transcendence will go down as one of the biggest cinema failures of 2014, and rightfully so. The wishy-washy script makes for a dull watch that even seemed to bore its cast.

Stars(2)

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(2)

IMDB Rating: Transcendence (2014) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Transcendence′: Please check our full Transcendence review that aired on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #77

Trailer: