In Disney's 'The Finest Hours', it's the hours of work done behind the scenes that pay off most

Newstalk's resident film critic Philip Molloy also takes a look at 'Triple Nine' and 'How to be Single'

Movies, Philip Molloy, The Picture Show, The Right Hook, Triple Nine, The Finest Hours

Casey Affleck as an engineer on the SS Pendleton in 'The Finest Hours' [Disney]

It is another big week at the cinema. Disney is debuting The Finest Hours, which is out on Friday, telling the story of the greatest ‘small boat’ rescue in the history of the American Coastguard. On the night of February 18th, 1952, a massive storm split the 500-ft oil tanker the SS Pendleton in two, off the coast of Massachusetts, trapping 32 crewmen in the stern.

Craig Gillespie’s film tells their story from the point of view of the courageous ship’s engineer Raymond Sybert (Casey Affleck) who proposes to run the stricken tanker aground in the hope of saving his men while a coast guard lifeboat – with coxswain, Bernie Webber (Chris Pine), and three crew on board – races to the scene.

The Finest Hours cuts back and forth then between the lifeboat and its crew and Sybert and his argumentative men while also working an unlikely love story – between the coxswain and a spunky telephone operator (Holliday Grainger) – into the mix.

But it is the scenes of boats coping with that howling weather that are most convincing – they were filmed in an 80-ft by 110ft tank while the actors were pummelled by rain towers, dump tanks and 200-horsepower fans
creating ceaseless winds. The elements look rather impressive in 3D.

I spoke to actress Holliday Grainger recently on The Picture Show about her career. You can listen back to the podcast below:

In the gritty crime picture Triple Nine, a team of corrupt cops is blackmailed by the Russian Mafia into executing a virtually impossible bank heist by setting up a ‘triple nine’ (police shorthand code for ‘officer down’) that will distract police attention from all over the city, in this case the burgeoning film hub of Atlanta, Georgia.

As directed by John Hillcoat (Lawless, The Proposition), Triple Nine has several impressive major action set pieces and some crisp dialogue, but it is ultimately undermined by an accumulating series of coincidences and unconvincing relationships.

The cast includes Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kate Winslet, Aaron Paul, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson and Anthony Mackie.

Also out this weekend are Bone Tomahawk,  an impressive mix of western and horror story, the dislikeable rom-com How to be Single with Dakota Johnson and Rebel Wilson. There’s also another true story,Freeheld, which sees a decorated New Jersey police detective (Julianne Moore) campaigning to have her pension left to her domestic partner (Ellen Page) after she dies from cancer. 

Every Wednesday on The Right Hook, Philip joins George to talk movies and TV. Listen back to the podcast below:

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