Movie Review: Captain Phillips ***

movie captain phillips

Captain Phillips is a true story about an ocean freighter assaulted by modern day pirates. Tom Hanks plays the lead role of a ship’s captain who is assigned a job to pilot a boat loaded with containers around the tip of Africa. The pirate infested waters make this a more dangerous job than normal. Security drills have become a necessary part of seamanship. Procedures are developed and rehearsed to ensure the safety of the vessel and its crew.

In Somalia, fishermen are recruited to assault, hijack, and take ransom on ships and their crew. The increased sea traffic has been accused of causing a disruption in the fishing business. Millions of dollars in ransom is the retribution that must be paid for the economic devastation to fishermen caused by the increased traffic in the shipping lanes. Lone ships are singled out of the herd. They are assaulted and boarded. Hostages are taken to land and held for ransom.

This very real scenario is depicted quite well in the movie. The captain and crew are just doing the jobs they were hired to do. The fishermen’s livelihood have been affected by the freighters. The only solution appears to be hijacking and ransom. The crew did not sign up to be combatants and are ill-trained to take on pirates. The pirates are motivated by pressure from their bosses to do whatever is necessary to take control of another ship. The hijacking is the easy part. Getting paid is the hard part. Captain Phillips must protect his crew using non-violence against armed ruthless pirates. Help is far away. So it is a race to the coast between the hijackers and the Navy rescue ships.

It is interesting to see the tactical maneuvers that are taken by a big boat to slow down the smaller and faster pirate boats. Cooperation mixed with trickery is used to slow down the progress of the assault. Negotiation, trust, and deceit are tools that are used to get to the final resolution. A good story with good acting. 3 out of 5 stars.

Published in: on November 20, 2013 at 10:56 am  Comments (1)  
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Movie Review: Gravity 3D ***

movie gravity

Gravity is a space movie starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. Astronauts are working on the International Space Station when a missile strike on a defunct satellite sends debris towards the space walkers with disastrous affects. The survivors must use their wits and use their unharmed equipment to  try to save themselves. Just when it looks like things couldn’t get any worse, they do. There is some relief before things get even worse. More relief brings even worse consequences, time after time, until the final scene. 

The movie is very informational about the perils of space. There are very real destructive scenarios regarding space garbage traveling at extreme speeds that need to be considered when traveling in space. There are also unintended consequences of explosions in orbit that could cause a chain reaction effecting everything in orbit. These concerns are constantly studied and monitored by international space programs for the sustained safety of all space travelers.

The 3D visuals in space gave me a feeling of disorientation and made me very dizzy at times. The story was believable and well conceived. The acting and visuals were very good. I give Gravity 3 out of 5 stars.

Published in: on November 12, 2013 at 8:43 am  Leave a Comment  
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Movie Review: Thor: The Dark World 3D ***

Movie  thor

Thor: The Dark World is a Marvel Comics movie about the hammer wielding super hero, Thor, based on the Norse Mythology God of Thunder. In this battle of good vs. evil, the evil attempt to destroy the 9 Realms of the good by invoking the power of the Aether–a long hidden substance that cannot be destroyed. The Aether is accidentally discovered and brought to Earth where the evil take control of it to use against the Realms. Thor needs the help of his evil brother, Loki, to battle the indestructible powers. Unfortunately, Loki has been locked in prison for some time, and may not be ready to support his brother. Together, they must set aside their difference to try to save the Realm.

I like super hero movies, but I am not very familiar with Thor. I know who he is but did not see his first movie. Still, I was able to follow and enjoy the movie. The story is well told. There is a lot of action enhanced by computer graphics. The 3D effects were good, but not great. I give this movie 3 out of 5 stars.

Be sure to watch until the very end. There is a teaser bonus scene following the cast of characters, and there is a hilarious scene following the last of the credits. It is definitely worth the extra few minutes.

Published in: on November 11, 2013 at 9:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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