Ron Howard helms this adaptation of Nathaniel Philbrick's historical novel about the harrowing high-seas encounter that inspired Herman Melville's Moby Dick. In the winter of 1820, the crew of the New England whaling ship the Essex struggle to survive after an attack by a rogue sperm whale leaves them stranded at sea for 90 days. Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Ben Whishaw, and Brendan Gleeson co-star.~Jason Buchanan
Chris Hemsworth and Benjamin Walker Dive into Their Characters' Combative Rivalry
Deleted and Extended Scenes
Ron Howard Captain's Log - Follow the Director's Filmmaking Voyage Via Executive Production Photos and His Personal Twitter Feed
Uncover the True Stories of Courage and Obession that Inspired the Classic Novel Moby Dick
Not the best AV system, but pretty good, I think. Having had the same 46" Sharp Aquos TV, Old Blu-ray player, and 36 year old Kenwood receiver driving Mission 700 speakers, we decided to get modern. The new system has a Pioneer Elite receiver, Samsung 70" UHD TV, Sony UHD 4K player, Polk subwoofer and center channel speakers, Mission surround speakers, and Magnepan .7 front speakers.
So, this is the disk we decided to try out as a test of the 4K experience. We REALLY like it. :o)
Some tech stuff: There are many scenes with dark, moderate contrast, expanses of screen real estate. Having the lower end model UHD TV probably accounts for banding between the darker and lighter areas of any particular shot. I look forward to making a comparison with a higher model to see what another thousand bucks or so would have gotten us. But the overall impression in terms of video quality was fabulous. I had done some adjusting over the weeks and the picture looks pretty darned good on broadcast and streamed media. Regular Blu-ray DVDs look wonderful, and this disk looks really great. So, have I done an A/B comparison between the 4K and regular Blu-ray disks? Nope. But we have watched the UHD movie twice, and loved it each time.
Experimenting with audio settings could take up most of your day... This disk has great ambiance and channel steering. Foley mix was very good to great, some sounds being too forward for my taste, but the voice and environmental tracks sound as good as you will find for the most part. The music is good, to the point I don't remember it much. That's an indicator that there were not any of those, "What the heck is that about?" moments when the music just broke the scene and it stuck in your mind. So, music fits. Good.
Yeah... The Bass. Not the fish. The Bottom End. Plenty.
The history of the USA is peppered with high - seas drama and adventure. The foundation of one of the greatest and most famous tales of the sea, Moby Dick, is laid out right before your eyes. The characters seem familiar, development of each person done right, and the monster... he's impressive. Not a feel good movie, but an exhibit of human nature at its best and worse. Mr. Howard proves once more that he is a master of his craft.
The packaging was tight, the disc snapping in crisply and not flopping about. This is a movie about a book. The movie is around the eyewitness of the White Whale reluctantly telling the tragic story to an aspiring author (Meville). It was a well done spin on the classic story. If you like movies about "old school" seamanship / man vs nature, then this is for you. This was a great movie IMHO. My wife often falls asleep during movies when she's cuddled up on the couch and comfortable. She was riveted through this whole movie. Hemsworth did a great job. So did his supporting cast. The 4K UHD experience really brings the crew's perils to life. The CGI could have been a little better but as a package, I didn't dock the rating.
The tale of the Essex is a remarkable story. It offers the high adventure of a shipwreck and prolonged effort at rescue. It provides a window into the life of whalers at sea and an overview of a colorful, bygone industry that, as several of the characters note, provided light and fuel to the world in the era before gas and oil. There's even the possibility of a Captain Bligh/Mr. Christian conflict in the characters of Pollard and Chase (an option with which ItHotS flirts but doesn't develop). Above all, the story provides an opportunity to explore both the hubris of human illusions that nature can be mastered and the intimate drama of conflict and cooperation among individuals pushed to the edge—the same explosive mixture that James Cameron exploited so effectively in Titanic. Howard's film touches on all of these elements, then shortchanges them in an effort to invest the story with Melville's profundity. He would have been better off remaking Moby-Dick. A decent Blu-ray, especially for the audio, but not recommended as a film.
I would recommend this to a friend
Rating 4 out of 5 stars with 1 review
Owned for 1.5 years when reviewed.
Me and my wife really enjoyed this one. It has a pretty solid story and good special effects. The 3D presentation is good and ads depth to the picture.
Powerful voyage into 19th century whaling industry
Owned for 1 month when reviewed.
As the story behind the fictional "Moby Dick" is lived and documented, we are taken on a voyage around southern tip of South America into the Pacific where a great white whale stoves a whaling vessel and leaves them adrift in small boats; surely to perish on the seas which are devoid of wind, food and water. Along the way back to civilization, unthinkable acts occur in order for the few remaining crew to claw their way back.