In The Heart Of The Sea (2015 USA)

Unfairly labelled a flop because it didn’t generate enough moolah at the box office, but in this day and age that’s probably a sign of quality. A dramatization of the true events that inspired Herman Melville’s classic novel “Moby Dick”. In 1820 the whaling ship Essex sets sail from Nantucket, Massachusetts. After a largely fruitless search in the Atlantic she heads for the west coast of South America. There she hears about rich whaling grounds several hundred miles west. After reaching the whaling grounds she is attacked and sunk by a massive white sperm whale. The crew take to the boats in what will be an epic struggle for survival.  [Read more…]

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Troy (2004 USA)

movieTroy is film-making as good as it gets when it comes to complex and difficult subject matter compressed into a movie less than 3 hours long. Wolfgang Petersen doesn’t have the sumptuous and warm visual aesthetic of Ridley Scott, but stages the fight scenes and battles beautifully and gives us locations and buildings and uniforms we’ve not seen before. Troy has a much more you-are-there feel about it than any other film about the Classical Age. [Read more…]

The Face Of Fu Manchu (1965 UK/West Germany)

films-1965-the-face-of-fu-manchuThis motion picture exists in a weird 1920s/1960s hybrid. The male fashions and the cars suggest the 20s, but the women are pure 60s. There is enough mystery and action to keep things from slowing down too much, though the film does drag in parts. Fu’s plot is evil enough to propel things, with murdered villagers and a drowned woman to add a bit of grisly horror. But this film didn’t have the budget to portray the horrors of the books. [Read more…]

Black Sails (USA) 2014/15/16

black-sails-season-2I’ve watched the first two seasons and have seen no drop off in terms of episode quality; if anything the script, character development, and pacing have gotten stronger with each show. There are thrills, spills and wenching (even a brothel) on display. This series has captured my eye and drawn me into its world. It must be commended for not trying to do too much in terms of the budget. The sets, costumes, and especially the ships transform the screen into a window of 18th century Caribbean life, and the realism is a big plus for the show. [Read more…]

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