This thing got poor reviews from critics and moviegoers alike, so I waited for it to show up on HBO. Really glad I didn’t pay for this clunker, and I’m really pissed that they took an excellent book (and chapter of history) by Nathaniel Philbrick and stuck a stupid scenery chewer like Chris Hemsworth in the lead role. How did this guy ever get hired as an actor? His pecs? The guy has all the nuance of an anvil. Anyway, I made it through about half of it before sending it to a watery grave alongside The Essex.
I saw it a few days ago on HBO.
Even more annoying to me than Hemsworth was the way they screwed with history – the whale that rammed the Essex wasn’t white (or off-white), didn’t pursue the crew in their longboats as a vendetta, and the captain didn’t maniacally want to chase him. I knew all that in advance. Later I learned that the guy Melville is interviewing wasn’t the last survivor – both the captain and the first mate lived until Melville’s Moby Dick was published. And Melville didn’t go interviewing any survivors. He read the published accounts, and got the details of life aboard a whaler from his own experience.
I mean, you can try and make it interesting, but turning the Essex event into a dry run for Moby Dick is going off the Deep End. I’ll bet Philbrick’s more than a little annoyed.
And Ron Howard did such a good job keeping close to reality in Apollo 13. Not perfect, but much better than most.
Loved the book, hated the movie. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie set on a boat that didn’t include a single convincing shot of the ocean! The CGI special effects were shockingly bad.