Dearest Blog: Yesterday it was off to Marquee Cinemas for the action-thriller The Finest Hours. Spoiler level here will be mild, nothing you wouldn't know from that lone trailer you've been seeing every week since last May.
When a T2 oil tanker splits in half during a brutal Nor'easter, it's up to a small, brave Coast Guard crew to mount an unlikely rescue. Ahhh...the bleak midwinter...that No Man's Land between the awards hopefuls tuckering themselves out and the Lenten glut of Bible stories, where Hollywood dumps all the movies it's given up on or has no idea what to do with. These are movies with no ulterior motive.
They don't expect to win anything, and they certainly don't expect to save your soul; they just want to entertain you. These movies are my friends. The Finest Hours is an old-school adventure, perhaps too old-school for today's audiences.
The heroes are traditional, Ken-doll types, the elements big and threatening, the romance sweet and chaste. There's not much chemistry between Chris Pine and the always-delightful Holliday Grainger, but both are likeable enough to get by. The movie's real star (outside of some nice water and disaster effects) is Casey Affleck, as the de facto captain of the disabled tanker. Ben Foster, perpetually one great performance away from knocking Russell Crowe out of my Holy Trinity, is fantastic in a smaller role, and West Virginia boy Josh Stewart is great as well, though also with not too much to do.
The rescue itself is hold-your-breath tense, and plays out so Hollywood-perfect that I'd call it hokey if not for the fact they've stuck pretty close to true events. Though it may be an unremarkable picture in the grand scheme of things, The Finest Hours a perfectly enjoyable afternoon at the movies for anyone who isn't expecting an Oscar coulda-shoulda-woulda.
The Finest Hours clocks in at 117 minutes and is rated PG13 for "intense sequences of peril." It may not win any awards, but The Finest Hours kept me well and propertly entertained for the duration.
Of a possible nine Weasleys, The Finest Hours gets seven.
Until next time...