The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, June 29, 2000, summer edition, Page 8, Image 8

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    ‘Storm’ flounders mightily in film adaptation
By Karen Brown
Staff writer
Directed By: Wolfgang
With: George Clooney,
Mark Wahlberg, Mary
Elizabeth Mastrantonio
Rated: R
Let me give you the hook,
line and sinker about the atrocity
that is “The Perfect Storm”
Sebastian Junger’s semi-fic
tion docudrama worked as a
book, but the story was not quite
complex enough to work as a
motion picture.
Perhaps the movie would
have been saved if it stopped fish
ing in die dark for subject matter.
What caused me such disappoint
ment was that there was subject
matter to be delved into if some
one had wanted to delve.
However, the adapted version
opted to keep out the most inter
esting part of the actual storm.
In case you’re confused, the
most interesting part of “The
Perfect Storm” is “What makes a
perfect storm?" and that this
storm took place near
Massachusetts’ Grand Banks in
October 1991.
When'Junger wrote “The
Perfect Storm” he used the word
“perfect” because, in the meteo
rological sense, it’s a storm that
could not possibly have been
There were a couple of three
minute segments of a meteorolo
gist saying a blip about a hurri
cane colliding with a cold front
off of the Massachusetts’ main
land. The meteorologist was
enraptured in bis computer
graphics of the white clouds
while die audience was given the
three- minute, overly simplified
version of what was happening.
But in America, we like
ACTION, not relative facts.
As far as directing goes, I had
this sinking feeling that the
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“Blair Witch”-style of jittery
camera techniques would drive
movie fans away - and I was
right. After getting seasick once
and barfing on the guy next to
me, the camera’s shaking paled in
comparison to my black eye as I
scrambled out of the theater for
my life.
Anyway, the film did excite
me at fust. 1 mean, here is the life
of sword-fishermen in
Massachusetts - a life completely
foreign to my own. The special
effects of the 100-foot “rogue”
waves were nice as was the ever
present gray shade of the ocean
and all it held. These items were
quite ominous and served their
looming, dooming purpose that
something fishy is in the air.
But 45 minutes of the same
thing is no fun. The movie simply
gets repetitive and silly.
The music was sappy when
the the hubbies say “Bye” to die
wifies but it foreshadowed dan
gerous events, so the audience
could be a hundred percent cer
tain that there was going to be
danger ahead. The director,
Wolfgang Peterson, obviously
did not want this movie to contain
At one point there was loud
music when the crew was spear
ing swordfish and I swear to
Allah that I could hear faint dol
phin cries mixed in with the tuba
I cried a river of tears for
those dead fish.
The thrill of the film is, of
course, waiting to see if die crew
of six lives or dies, but by the end,
no one cares.
My enthusiasm drifted to sea
after the 10,000th wave crashed
into their boat, the Andrea Gail,
after the crew, desperate for
money, takes the risky journey
with Billy (Clooney).
There was an odd chemistry
between Billy and Bobby
(Wahlberg) that the rest o’ the
boys on the boat didn’t share.
Everyone on board was doing
this for money, but Bobby
seemed to have a touch of faith
and love for the cap’n. He stands
by him through everything (even
the Chinese water torture) when
the crew has had enough.
In the end a voice over (VO)
infiltrated my senses and
Wahlberg muses how only love is
the answer.
The answer to what, we don’t
want to know.
Even though Clooney will
reel the fans in as the scruffy,
grufly swordfish cap’n he can’t
keep the movie patrons from up
chucking due to die horrible lines
that keep gushing forth like an
untamed river from Marky Mark
Wahlbetg’s unshaven lips.
Clooney’s sex appeal along
with Wahlberg’s patchy facial
hair may rock YOU like a hurri
cane, but I’ll stay at home drown
ing in my own sorrow.
Grade: 1
!Patriot ’ delivers historical war epic
By Bob Thomas
Associated Press Writer
Of all the major U.S. wars,
the Revolutionary War has been
die most overlooked by the movie
Over the years, Hollywood
studios have concluded that audi
ences cannot connect with char
acters in powdered wigs and
three-cornered hats who shoot
front-loading muskets. Now
Columbia Pictures is striving to
combat that notion with "The
Patriot,” a big-scale epic with
Mel Gibson for box-office star
power, playing a respected South
Carolina landowner and widower
with seven growing children.
Gibson’s Benjamin Martin is
unswayed by the call to arms
sparked by the Declaration of
Independence in Philadelphia.
The hidden reason: a hero in the
French and Indian War, he is
haunted by the atrocities of
which he was a party.
His teen-age son, played by
Heath Ledger, is eager to join the
Continental Army, but his father
forbids him.
The situation changes when
British troops, led by a sadistic
colonel played by Jason Isaacs,
invade Gibson'S plantation. After
helplessly watching his family
brutalized and his son carried off
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to be hanged, Gibson regains his
war fervor.
He organizes a ragtag militia
and starts a guerrilla campaign
that thwarts the Brits’plans for an
easy victory in die South.
The redcoats are commanded
by Gen. Cornwallis (the fine
English actor Tom Wilkinson),
who believes the colonists can be
subdued by time-worn British
army methods.
ine rignung sequences are
offset by Gibson’s returns to his
family, whose lives are threat
ened by the vindictive colonel.
There is a hint of romance with
his dead wife’s sister (Charlotte
Sehon), but most of die time she
is limited to casting fond looks.
Having fought the-British
centuries before in
"Braveheart,” Gibson brings the
same intensity to "The Patriot”
He aptly portrays the complex
nature of a warrior turned paci
fist who must take up arms again.
i-cugci is ciiccuvc as me
militiaman’s son, though his
character is sketchily defined.
Wilkinson’s Cornwallis dom
inates his scenes and would
almost be likable except for his
snobbish pigheadedness. And
Isaacs is allowed to play the
sadistic colonel way over die top.
Roland Emmerich
("Independence Day”) directed
"The Patriot” with his usual
flourish, assisted by digital magic
that can make die line of troops
Please see PATRIOT on 10