Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Captain Phillips

*Just an FYI, this is a critique of the movie Captain Phillips I was not there, so of course I have no comment on the actual events.*

Nominated for 6 Academy Awards including Best Picture.

Let's face it, Tom Hanks still has it!  But seriously, did he ever loose it?  I mean, yes there may have been some misfires here and there over the years, but he doesn't have near as many as some cinematic icons do.  He is only the second actor to win the Best Actor Academy Award 2 years (1993 and 1994) in a row (behind Spencer Tracy who did it in 1937 and 1938).  He starred in Castaway almost completely by himself and that went to earn $430 million worldwide. 

Captain Phillips was never really high on my movie radar this season.  We are getting deeper into the heavy hitter award contenders now and I read the buzz for this movie then saw the trailer at the theater.  The trailer itself looked pretty intense AND I had just watched Cloud Atlas the night before and was blown away by that entire movie, the incredible plot, and one of the best acting ensembles ever put together.  It was like my man crush for Tom Hanks was suddenly awakened again.  Then tonight, I just watched Forrest Gump and of course that goes without saying.  The movie is of course based on the book, A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea and it was written by Captain Richard Phillips, who is portrayed by Tom Hanks.

The movie flowed as easily and flawlessly as an unobstructed river on a beautiful summer day.  Even the scenes at the beginning, introducing all the characters, which as we know already are on both sides of the world, kept me intrigued and were not at all boring.  Normally in movies like this, the introductory parts at the beginning can be dull and my mind will start to drift if it doesn't hurry up and get going.  I am usually up and ready to give every movie a chance but nowadays, as I get older and busier, I find out I do not have time for all that nonsense and also do not have the patience I once had. There was no nonsense at all to worry about in Captain Phillips.

The movie follows Richard Phillips, captain of an American container ship, the Maersk Alabama, while on a trip to Mombasa.  The ship is hijacked by four Somali pirates led by a young man named Muse, who is eager for a big payday.  It is a race for survival for all who are on board.  The rest of the movie is intense, but not in a dark thriller kind of way, but in an emotional and compelling kind of way.  Barkhad Abdi is the actor who portrays Muse.  According to his IMDb page, he is from Somalia and his family settled in Minneapolis, Minnesota when he was 14.  Captain Phillips is his only acting credit.  I have a feeling his life is about to change though.  Abdi's performance showed years of film experience and is generating much award buzz.  This is one of Tom Hanks' most emotional roles, keeping me captivated up to that final tear-soaked scene (and yes, I had to wipe them away too).  If the entire movie does nothing for you, stay for that final scene at least.  You will definitely need to hijack some tissues, or your shirt sleeve.

Thank you and see you at the next blog.

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