Archive for the ‘Craig Gillespie’ Category

Cape Cod Sea Rescue

The Finest Hours

finest_hours_ver2

Director: Craig Gillespie

Cast: Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, Chris Pine, Eric Bana, Holliday Grainger, John Magaro, Kyle Gallner, John Ortiz, Michael Raymond-James

Million Dollar Arm director Craig Gillespie brings to cinematic life the true story of one of the greatest small boat rescue operations ever attempted by the US Coast Guard in his new film, The Finest Hours featuring a cast of rising Hollywood actors including Chris Pine, Ben Foster and Casey Affleck.

Chris Pine stars as the shy yet brave coast guard officer Bernie Webbers who on the day of asking his commanding officer for permission to marry the gorgeous Miriam Pentinen played by Holliday Grainger (Great Expectations) is sent on a tough mission to save the crew of an oil tanker SS Pendleton which broke in half during a monstrous storm in the Atlantic ocean off the coast of Chatham, Massachusetts.

The Finest Hours is based on the The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Most Daring Sea Rescue by Michael J. Tougias and Casey Sherman and developed into a screenplay by Eric Johnson, Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy. Aboard the SS Pendleton is seaman Ray Sybert, who realizes that after the tanker has been ripped in to two by a massive storm the only way for his crew to survive is if they run the ship aground as using lifeboats during such awful weather would only result in serious loss of life.

Sybert expertly played by Oscar nominee Casey Affleck (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) reassures the crew that they have to sit tight on the remaining section of the tanker in the hope that a rescue mission is being sent out for them.

That rescue mission is headed by Webbers with the assistance of seamen Richard Livensey played by Ben Foster last seen in The Program, Andy Fitzgerald played by Kyle Gallner and Ervin Maske played by John Magaro last seen in Carol.

As The Finest Hours is set in February 1952, and the maritime rescue technology then was not quite advanced as it in the 21st century, the feat of this rescue mission is truly inspirational. Viewers could also be forgiven for wondering how such a small rescue boat CG36500 is able to save over twenty men aboard a stranded oil tanker out in the roaring and unforgiving North Atlantic Ocean during a horrendous winter storm.

The Finest Hours is captivating as a historical drama although the palette for the film is a bit dark and indistinguishable, but director Craig Gillespie did this intentionally so to visually submerge the audience in a real life sea rescue mission off the coast of Cape Cod during a winter blizzard.

The visual effects are amazing and those that enjoy historical dramas should definitely see The Finest Hours. The cast is superb given the material they work with and despite a lack of dialogue, the drama of a sea rescue mission is conveyed accurately although not as good as the excellent film Captain Philips.

 

Slumdog Moneyball

Million Dollar Arm

million_dollar_arm

Director: Craig Gillespie

Cast: Jon Hamm, Alan Arkin, Suraj Sharma, Bill Paxton, Lake Bell, Aashif Mandvi, Maddhur Mittal

Disney’s take on baseball meets Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire comes in the form of the charming sports film, Million Dollar Arm featuring Mad Men’s Jon Hamm teaming up with Life of Pi’s Suraj Sharma and Alan Arkin from Argo.

Set in India and Los Angeles, director Craig Gillespie’s Million Dollar Arm premiering at the Durban International Film Festival 2014 – http://www.durbanfilmfest.co.za/ tells the true story of a down on his luck sports agents J. Bernstein, played by Hamm who while channel surfing flicking between Britain’s Got Talent and cricket in India on late night TV, comes up with an epiphany to travel to India to find the next big baseball player.

The only problem is that in India, once the jewel of the British colonial empire, the main sport is cricket as it in the rest of the Commonwealth and the general male population there do not play baseball. With the help of a shady Chinese business investor Chang played by Tzi Ma, J. B. Bernstein travels to chaotic Mumbai to discover a world so alien and different to his lavish and ordered Californian lifestyle, one in which he was a once successful sports agent.

million_dollar_arm_ver4

Spurred on by his tenant, Brenda played by Lake Bell, J. B. Bernstein travels the length and breadth of India in search of a cricket player with a million dollar arm. He is helped by a retired baseball talent spotter Ray wonderfully underplayed by Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine) who discover two young men Rinky and Dinesh, played by Suraj Sharma and Maddhur Mittal respectively who each possess a million dollar arm, or an above average ball throwing speed.

Part of the enticement for these two young players is the opportunity of traveling to the United States and play a game that they have never played before. Leaving the rural confines of Lucknow, India, they are suddenly transplanted in University of Southern California’s baseball fields where they are coached by the cautious yet optimistic coach Tom House played by Bill Paxton.

Naturally as a Disney film, director Gillespie in Million Dollar Arm aims for a general feel good sports film while making insightful observations about the massive cultural differences between India and America and highlighting each society’s similarities.

Jon Hamm is excellent as the exasperated JB Bernstein supported by a great cast especially Oscar winner Arkin and the always amiable Lake Bell, along with Aashif Mandvi as Aash while Suraj Sharma and Maddhur Mittal make the most of their roles as young Indian boys caught up in an essentially American sporting dilemma. Watch out for a superb musical score by A. R. Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire).

moneyball_ver2

Unlike the very specific baseball films Moneyball or Field of Dreams, Million Dollar Arm is enjoyable family viewing and will appeal to sporting enthusiasts both in America and the commonwealth highlighting Hollywood’s increasing desire to deliver more international fare. A thought provoking and fascinating film about the increasing globalization of sport and the desire for all people to achieve seemingly impossible dreams. Like Indian hockey players trying out for the American National Baseball league. Recommended viewing especially as it is a true story.

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
December 2018
M T W T F S S
« Nov    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  
  • TV News Roundup: Natasha Lyonne’s ‘Russian Doll’ Sets Netflix Premiere Date
    On Friday’s roundup, Netflix announces the premiere date for “Russian Doll” and Benedict Cumberbatch’s “Brexit” film has a premiere date on HBO FIRST LOOKS Showtime has released a new teaser for the upcoming comedy series, “Black Monday,” which will premiere Sunday, Jan. 20 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The series stars and is executive produced by Don […]
    Rachel Yang
  • Kenneth Branagh’s ‘All Is True’ Opening Palm Springs Film Festival
    The 30th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival will open on Jan. 3 with historical drama “All Is True,” starring Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, and Ian McKellen. Branagh, who will be in attendance at the opening night screening, directed from Ben Elton’s script about the little-known period in the final years of William Shakespeare. Branagh […]
    Dave McNary
  • DOJ: Gray TV-Raycom Media Merger Can Move Forward if Overlapping Stations Are Sold
    WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has given the go ahead to Gray Television’s $3.6 billion merger with Raycom Media on the condition that stations be sold in nine markets. The DOJ’s Antitrust Division said it had reached a settlement in which Gray would sell stations in the markets where they would otherwise own two or […]
    Ted Johnson
  • As Peter Björn & John Celebrates 20 Years, the Band Returns to its ‘Darker’ Roots
    A trifecta of pure energy hit the stage at the Teragram Ballroom in Downtown Los Angeles Saturday night as Peter Björn & John performed the second-to-last stop of a 2018 tour. Promoting their new album “Darker Days,” which dropped October 19, the band went back to basics as a three-piece for this outing (drummer John […]
    Margeaux Sippell
  • Actor and Activist Rodney Kageyama Dies at 77
    Actor, activist and influentials member of the Japanese American community, Rodney Kageyama, died in his sleep Dec. 9. He was 77. The SAG member was known for roles in “Karate Kid IV” with Hillary Swank, Ron Howard’s film “Gung Ho” and the spinoff sitcom, and the TV movie “Hiroshima: Out of the Ashes” with Max […]
    Margeaux Sippell
  • Article
    Over the past few years, several low-cost carriers have stepped up to offer competition and cheapest prices to customers looking to cut down their monthly bills. Tags: 2gmhass90