The Finest Hours- Karl Sides “The Flick Fanatic”

The Finest Hours poster

Chris Pine and Casey Affleck bring a Coast Guard story of courage to the big screen in “The Finest Hours”

The story of one of the greatest rescues in the history of the US Coast Guard comes to the big screen in the new action flick, “The Finest Hours” from director Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl).  Finest Hours stars Chris Pine, his co-star from Star Trek Eric Bana, Holiday Grainger, Casey Affleck and Ben Foster in a tale of courage and heroism straight from the history of the Coast Guard.

It is February 1952, Cape Cod is getting hit with the worst winter storm in decades. Bernie Webber (Pine), a straight laced by the book sailor in the coast guard, just got engaged to his girl Miriam (Grainger) when he learns a tanker had been torn in half by the waves in the Atlantic. Commander Cluff (Bana) sends out a crew to rescue any survivors and has Bernie go secure the docks. A fisherman hears a tanker horn a mile or so off the shore.

6 miles south of the harbor, another tanker had ripped in half, yes 2 tankers were sinking of the coast of Cape Cod! The second tanker had more than 30 men stranded on the front of the boat. Mr. Sybert (Affleck), a crew member from the engine room, took charge of the survivors and came up with a plan to buy them some time to allow for the coast guard to find them. the rest of the crew decides to use the lifeboats to escape, even though Sybert told them the seas were to rough and they would die. This is one of my favorite scenes in the film as Sybert charges the crew with a hatchet and cuts the rope securing the lifeboat. The boat plunges to the sea and is demolished by a wave in less than 10 seconds! The crew asked “What did you do?!” and the ships cook told them “He just saved your life.”Sybert and the crew craft a man made rudder to steer the half tanker on to the near by shoal and keep them afloat until help can arrive.

Bernie returns to the station and learns another tanker is in distress. Cluff tells Bernie to get a crew and go get the survivors. The locals call it a suicide mission and he will never make it past the bar on the outer part of the cove. Webber and his 3 man crew set out in a boat 30 times smaller than the tanker he is looking for, into 60 mph winds and 40 foot waves to rescue any survivors left alive. Bernie makes it past the bar, but looses his compass as they head out to the Atlantic. So Bernie kills the search light in an attempt to spot the lights of the tanker.

Just as the water level hits the exhaust ports from the engines, the tankers power goes out and it is dark sitting on the shoal. Now Sybert tells the crew that they only have minutes until they are swept of the shoal and the tanker sinks. This is when Webber and his crew hear the waves crashing on the tanker and turn on the spotlight to reveal the damaged tanker. Is anyone left or is it a ghost ship? That is when Webber finds there are over 30 men aboard, but they only have room for 12 on the boat!

The Finest Hours is a Disney version of an historic rescue by the US Coast Guard. Pine, Foster, Bana and Grainger give fabulous performances. Casey Affleck steals the movie and should be talked about in a supporting role later this year! All the people portrayed are real and I encourage you to watch the credits and see the photos of the real sailors and find out what happened to Miriam and Bernie. The Finest Hours is the first really good movie of the year and should be seen on the big screen, but I will save you some cash. Do not see it in 3D, it is all at night and you lose the 3D effect in the dark. But the movie as a whole is really good and is impressive on the big screen.

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Grade 4/6

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