In the Heart of the Sea (Dec 24, 2015)
I really enjoyed this one. Period film set in the 1800s staring Chris Hemsworth, Brendan Gleeson and Ben Whishaw about the true story of the sinking of a New England whaling ship by a giant sperm whale and the men who survived which in turn inspired the novel Moby Dick by Herman Melville. There's something about being on the sea that speaks to me even if it's in a movie and ship scenes on the open sea were particularly stunning. The film should win a cinematography award (CGI whale not included of course). I learned something new here too - whale blubber from the head of sperm whales was used for lamp oil in early industrial society and a highly prized commodity. Thank the gods by 19th century other substitutes such as kerosene and vegetable oil became the norm. The most traumatic part of the film was the killing of the whales which I found profoundly difficult to even watch. Despite my closed eyes, tears kept rolled down my cheeks. Still the survival of the crew of the Essex although heartbreaking in what they had to endure & a triumph to the human spirit is also a great lesson in treating those creatures in which we inhabit this beautiful planet with equality and respect for they too have a right to be here as much as we do. Often the hunter becomes the hunted.
Mockingjay Part 2 (Dec 26, 2015)
I read the books so nothing happening surprised me in the least as one would expect when watching a film adaptation of a novel. The action certainly entertained and you wondered as the scenes unfolded how the director would interpret what was coming next especially with the heavy use of CGI in the movie. I did find I forgotten parts of the story. I didn't think the killing of Prim equaled that of the novel and was downplayed. In the book, Katniss was traumatized by her sister's death and reading it you knew that everything Katniss had done in the hunger games had been for nothing when her sister died. The devastating impact didn't come across as much emotionally as it did on the page which was a shame. Also Gale character was less relevant on screen than in the novel. Again reading it you were heartbroken along with Gale in that his love was unrequited and Katniss chose duty to Peeta who repeatedly saved her life to that of true love with Gale. In the film you felt that Katniss really didn't love either of them and caulked it up to PTSD. Either way Gale got shafted on page and on screen in more ways than one. Entertaining nevertheless for a YA action film.
Up next Star Wars 7 and Point Break hopefully sometime during the holiday season