HTL MotMC - February 2017 - Deepwater Horizon

Discussion in 'Movies' started by CJ, Jan 23, 2017.

  1. CJ

    CJ Bronze Member Admin Top Poster

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    61Tyg4f-ptL.jpg

    This film tells the story of the 2010 explosion of a deepwater oil drilling rig by the same name. It is also the January Blu-Ray give away here on the forum. Click the banner to enter to win.

    The film was really good as a disaster film, with pacing that was tight and good acting. The only thing that prevented me from enjoying the film more was knowing that it really happened. Deepwater Horizon could also be called Assholes: The Movie. I don't know how true to life the portrayal of the decision making was that led up to the deaths of 11 people and serious injury of more than a dozen others but the movie made me want to punch my screen repeatedly. I guess that is a testament to Peter Berg as I have to imagine that was partly his goal.

    The movie opens with audio testimony playing under the studio logos. The film then starts by building some backstory of our main character Mike Williams, played by Mark Wahlberg. We meet Mike's family and there is a great scene where the eventual disaster is foreshadowed as his daughter demonstrates drilling a well by stabbing a metal tube into the top of a can of Coke. Naturally, only after the family is distracted in conversation does the 12 ounce can violently explode 3 gallons of Coke all over their kitchen. This foreshadowing might have appeared more ham-fisted if the entire audience didn't already know what was going to happen, but here I thought it worked.

    I personally think Wahlberg is a legitimately good actor and coupled with Kurt Russell and John Malkovich, I'd call this film well cast and well acted. The way the story is told, depending on how true to life it is, is a touch formulaic with the Transocean employees played Wahlberg and Russell demanding the appropriate safety protocols be followed and a BP pencil pusher played by John Malkovich overruling them, forcing them to push ahead as they are already 43 days behind schedule. Whether the Transocean employees were partially or even equally complicit in these decisions matters little here. The film never claims to be a documentary.

    When the shit hits the fan the cinematography does a great job of making you feel disoriented and helpless without the vomit inducing shenanigans sometimes employed. Wahlberg is a natural to play a disaster movie hero and Malkovich is just fantastic playing the weaselly bureaucrat. He even cuts in line for the lifeboats. Russell does a great job with the "my rig is my family" trope. Sound effects were appropriately bombastic so if you watch this one, turn it up, man.

    As with many "based on a true story" films, there was a brief epilogue naming and showing photos of the deceased and mentioning that the two BP executives that were charged with manslaughter were never convicted. The epilogue mainly focused on the Transocean and BP employees portrayed in the film and I wish it had provided a recap and update on the environmental toll this disaster caused. I imagine there are thousands of gulf coast residents who were never truly made whole and may suffer further with health issues down the road. Ultimately it was a bitter reminder how short our attention spans are.

    If you are up for the emotional toll this movie may take on you (I admit to actually choking up a few times) I highly recommend it.
     
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  2. Barry_NJ

    Barry_NJ Well-Known Member

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    Nice review CJ. If I don't win the drawing, I'll look for it.
     
  3. CJ

    CJ Bronze Member Admin Top Poster

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    Updated thread to MotMC status.
     
  4. JoeM

    JoeM Well-Known Member

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    Finally got a chance to sit down and watch this with my wife over the weekend.
    This did turn out to be a movie that my wife thought I would want to watch. So this worked out quite nicely since we never did get the chance to see it in the theaters.

    CJ, Fortunately the 190lb sub remained planted where it was placed.... but this movie did have the kind of bass that was literally vibrating the couch as though it has butt shakers. Any my sub sits about 10 feet away from the couch. The dual 18s in the V3600 handled all of the bass quite comfortably with no signs of breaking a sweat. I'd say there was more of the sustained very deep bass and less of the high impact punch you in the gut type of bass. At least that is what I seem to remember the most.

    Overall I enjoyed the movie. I didn't find a ton of suspense since you go into it already having an idea of what to expect from the story. But having not really followed the details of the actual event it was still interesting. There are the positive heroic moments in the film which I don't know if they portray what actually happened or not. Once the sh*t hits the fan, it is pretty much non-stop mayhem until the main characters are rescued. My only real disappointment was that the film sort of ended quickly after the rescue without too much coverage of what happened later. The movie opened up with audio of a court proceeding about the accident and then jumps back to before the incident and the movie really begins there. But the movie never really came back to the question of what happened afterwards except in text captions at the end.
     
  5. CJ

    CJ Bronze Member Admin Top Poster

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    Nice write up Joe. Thanks! I see what you're saying about how they handled the epilogue. It could have gone either way. It was billed as more of an action / disaster flick so a prolonged epilogue could have felt out of place too.
     

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