Tuesday, October 29, 2013

"Captain Phillips" (2013) -- Initial Thoughts

I don't know quite what to say about this movie.  The acting was rather brilliant.  Some of the dialog was atrocious.  I spent half the movie wishing I wasn't watching it, and the other half forgetting that I was only watching a movie and not actually in grave danger.  Three-quarters of the way through it, a very minor character popped up and had me fervently wishing he would be in more and more and more scenes.  So I guess I can say it's an uneven movie, worth seeing if you're a devoted fan of Tom Hanks, dramas based on real-life situations, or very shaky camerawork.

Spoilage below.

Okay, by the end of the first ten minutes, I was almost ready to walk out.  And I have never walked out on a movie.  Ever.  I'm too much of a skinflint -- I'm going to get my $7 worth, blast it!  But the opening scenes contained some of the worst dialog I have ever heard in a major motion picture.  Captain Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks) and his wife Andrea (Catherine Keener) have a conversation in their minivan on the way to the airport that made me want to jump into the movie and put my hands over their mouths.  This conversation might not bother you at all, so don't stay away just because it drove me nuts.

Once Phillips got aboard his ship, things improved a lot.  The rest of the dialog was fine, if not inspired.  We got to know the pirates a little, we got to know the crew a little, the pirates attacked, and things got exciting.  All good.

The pirates

And then the Navy SEALS got called in to assist some Navy ships in rescuing Phillips, who wound up as a hostage, and things improved vastly.  Because the SEAL Commander is played by Max Martini, and as soon as he strode on screen, I remembered him from a couple eps of Castle, where he played a terrible bad guy that I found disturbingly fascinating.

I'm not sure if this is actually from Captain Phillips

And he kind of hijacked my brain, or half of it anyway.  And while half of me was paying attention to the movie, half of me was whirling around as a brand new character took shape before my inner eyes, Max Martini in a dark brown duster and cowboy hat, with a mean look and really nice boots.  By the time the credits finished, I had all kinds of ideas for a new western story, with four characters and the beginnings of a plot.

But anyway, I actually kind of hated the movie's ending.  They rescue Phillips at last, in a pretty gruesome and horrible way, and they take him aboard the Navy ship, and he's all in shock and breaking down in tears, and I wanted someone -- anyone! -- to put their arms around him and let him cry.  And no one did!  He so obviously needed the comfort of human touch, just a simple hug, and nope, he had to tough it out, sorry, buddy.  Grr.

That's probably a kind of incoherent review, but it's about all I've got for you, sorry.

EDIT:  Forgot to say if this was family-friendly.  There's some bad language, but not The Biggie, and a lot of danger and suspense.  The violence is mostly threatened, not enacted, though there's a scene of someone getting beaten up.  There's a good bit of blood here and there from non-life-threatening wounds.  And at the end, the "gruesome and horrible" rescue I just mentioned is mostly implied.  You don't see dead bodies.


  1. Ooh!! I remember that guy from Castle! He was great, very memorable. Just saw him in Person of Interest too. Now I want to see this movie a little more, but my interest has recently died away a bit. Can't really figure out why... Anyway, I enjoyed your review! You've made me curious now about the conversation at the beginning.

    1. I kind of wanted to start watching "Person of Interest" back when it started, but I was busy, and now I'm regretting that! Lol.

      I think this really would be okay to see on DVD. Yeah, the boat and the ocean are nice on the big screen, but the emotional ride will still be there on the small screen. And I had only kinda sorta wanted to see this too, was never truly excited about it -- but I needed a break last weekend, and it was the only thing out I had any interest in, and I love Tom Hanks, so... I'm glad I went, cuz I have this new story now!

      Also, I see Max Martini has a TV show coming out next year, called "Crisis." I might just make room in my schedule for that, lol. Of course, Josh Holloway has a show starting next year too (I think in January?), and that is absolutely going to take up a chunk of my limited viewing time. Too little time! Grr!

      Random aside: doesn't "Max Martini" sound like a made-up name? But it's not! Makes me giggle.

    2. It's a pretty good show!

      Yeah I don't think I'll go for the theater for this one, and I'll be fine with a wait I'm sure. That's good that you're glad you went though. Good thing you didn't walk out. :)

      I hadn't heard of those shows, but they look interesting! Especially the Holloway one! I'll have to keep my eye out for them.

      It does! It's a great name! I don't think I'll be able to forget it now. :)

  2. I am not particularly a fan of any of the things you mentioned, however I will probably rent Captain Phillips since I am interesting in seeing it and I remember seeing the real story on the news.


    1. Yeah, it's very cool to know that it actually happened.

  3. I find that these days I cannot watch movies like this. I heard it was good though.

    1. Yeah, I can't say I "enjoyed" this movie. But as a studier of people, it was fascinating.


Agree or disagree? That is the question...

Comments on old posts are always welcome!

(Rudeness and vulgar language will not be tolerated.)