Author Topic: Captain Phillips  (Read 4004 times)

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MacGuffin

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Captain Phillips
« on: May 09, 2013, 11:55:46 AM »
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Release date: October 11, 2013

Starring: Tom Hanks, Catherine Keener, Max Martini, John Magaro

Directed by: Paul Greengrass

Premise: The true story of Captain Richard Phillips and the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates of the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama, the first American cargo ship to be hijacked in two hundred years.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2013, 02:44:58 PM by MacGuffin »
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Skeleton FilmWorks

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Re: Captain Phillips
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2013, 02:53:43 PM »
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woo alabama!
this looks pretty cool. tom hanks doesnt like the ocean anymore so he turned into carl hanratty.

MacGuffin

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Re: Captain Phillips
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2013, 02:41:49 PM »
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New Trailer


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Pubrick

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Re: Captain Phillips
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2013, 01:39:05 AM »
+1
Saving Captain Phillips

or

White Captain Down

or (after the second trailer)

Somali Syndrome
under the paving stones.

Alexandro

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Re: Captain Phillips
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2013, 10:11:00 AM »
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Very good, extremely intense thriller. That last half hour had me on the edge, thinking "how long sis THIS actually take"? Then there's a great purely emotional, basic primal payoff with Hank's acting which I'm sure will earn him a bunch of awards or nominations next few months. I would love if every action film operated like this.

jenkins

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Re: Captain Phillips
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2013, 10:57:10 AM »
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yesterday i had an odd moment: i passed a poster for saving mr. banks and it took me a second to realize this year tom hanks is in two movies with names in titles and missions of rescue. i thought like "oh this is a different captain phillips poster. wait. what the fuck?"

Punch

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Re: Captain Phillips
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2013, 04:48:29 PM »
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just saw captain Philips its basically like if Star Wars was told from the point of view of darth vador & the empire but i think paul grengrass is a good filmmaker
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Alexandro

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Re: Captain Phillips
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2013, 05:48:25 PM »
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just saw captain Philips its basically like if Star Wars was told from the point of view of darth vador & the empire but i think paul grengrass is a good filmmaker

SPOILERS

you know, there were two things about that subject that I specially liked about this film. one, that it plays the "let's humanize the bad guys" angle, but it doesn't overplays it. there's this need sometimes in this politically correct times to make a point of being absolutely fair to everyone in films like this. or as many films do nowadays, just portrait stuff and take no moral point of view in it. this film doesn't do that. it shows these pirates as what they (probably) are: desperate, hungry people barely making it through, completely naive in terms of the kind of mission they are accomplishing. but it doesn't forgive them either, this is not one of those films where the argument is "well, if the US didn't do this or that then we wouldn't do this". there's a hint to that, of course, this is explained a couple of times, their motivations. but there comes that great moment when hanks tells the guy he is not just a fisherman. they leave it at that, but they both know what it's being said.

two, once the film makes a point in showing these guys as completely out of their waters, it shows just how much effort and resources it takes for the fucking marines to take them down. state of the art technology, manpower, the whole advantage, and it's still hard as hell. this is in tune with greengrass's argument on United 93, that the more complex a system, the more technologically dependent, the more safe we feel, the easiest it is to be under attack and lose.

I think to judge this film in terms of how patriotic it might be is to lose sight of it's more interesting points.

Mel

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Re: Captain Phillips
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2014, 06:44:52 AM »
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I think to judge this film in terms of how patriotic it might be is to lose sight of it's more interesting points.

There are two types of films that try to channel post-crisis zeitgeist: on on hand we have productions like "Killing Them Softly" and "Out of Furnace", on other "Argo" and "Captain Phillips". Group of Americans in united effort outmaneuvers brown people - what message is behind that? I find it hard to ignore. It is very entertaining film, but beyond that I'll not spend time thinking about it, because of this elephant.

Still this is a wonderful thriller, energetic from beginning to the end. I don't like Tom Hanks, but this is perfect cast. I have hard time imagining anyone else playing Captain. This could be very well his finest performance.

SPOILERS ABOARD!

About humanizing bad guys - this works great on so many levels. By adding depth, you take out predictability from characters. This heightens the seriousness of the situation from the perspective of Captain. Things can change from bad to worse in a minute, because pirates are desperate and out of their territory. Both sides are trying to survive, which gives a nice contrast on how they handle situation (which is very different for each character).

SPOILERS OVERBOARD!

Would I recommend "Captain Phillips"? Sure, it is highly entertaining material. Will I defend it, when it comes to underpinning? No.
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Alexandro

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Re: Captain Phillips
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2014, 09:39:20 AM »
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I think to judge this film in terms of how patriotic it might be is to lose sight of it's more interesting points.

There are two types of films that try to channel post-crisis zeitgeist: on on hand we have productions like "Killing Them Softly" and "Out of Furnace", on other "Argo" and "Captain Phillips". Group of Americans in united effort outmaneuvers brown people - what message is behind that? I find it hard to ignore. It is very entertaining film, but beyond that I'll not spend time thinking about it, because of this elephant.



SOME SPOILERS

I like how you put it, but the film is not about that. And it goes to great lenghts to show it. People see that because that's the established narrative for these kinds of films, like Argo, which you compare it to I think unfairly. Greengrass is not Ben Affleck and his point is not united americans versus the brownies. You could misguidedly say that about United 93 also, which is closer in spirit and aesthetic to Captain Phillips, and the things is that Greengrass is aiming to comment on the bigger picture. The film establishes with clarity each side's motivations: the pirates are poor fisherman with no options and Phillips and his crew are all there because the companies they work for demand it. Hanks complaints in the beginning about how hard it is to make captain today and how dangerous it is with no real balance in risk versus reward, and his crew talking about low payments are reminders that humans are put in these situations by the economic imbalance of the world. But then, the film also turns the tables on you. When the pirates are about to attack, you wonder how in hell will they be able to even get onboard the ship. Once you see them in action, and you see the americans in action, you wonder how the crew will even survive. As I said before, the point is not that the americans make a team to defeat the browns (as in Argo) but the question of why a small enemy becomes such a threat, why a complex system is so easy to undermine.

Whatever the outcome, when the film ends is not with a triumphant feeling but with a disturbing one. The price to pay for both sides is trauma.

This is a different planet than Argo and a new world, different from the one that gave us Rambo and all those action thrillers of the past. Greengrass is a director that acts accordingly, and we as audiences should be alert too, because the narrative has changed. It's no longer so black & white.

Mel

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Re: Captain Phillips
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2014, 11:31:17 AM »
+1
SPOILERS!

question of why a small enemy becomes such a threat, why a complex system is so easy to undermine.

This is a bit off topic. As film is not a complete fiction, we can get answer to that. Arrogance and incompetence of people in charge, at least according to crew. I find a bit ironic that in the begging we hear that there is huge competition "50 men for every position", yet wrong people are running things. End of off topic.

Quote
Whatever the outcome, when the film ends is not with a triumphant feeling but with a disturbing one. The price to pay for both sides is trauma.

This is the place we differ in perception of the film. For me 3rd act was too heavy on cerebral, almost glamorous representation of Navy. Deaths of pirates are tragic, yet film enjoys it - I wanted to high five those snipers (I know, I'm a nasty person). We hear more than once that pirates have no options - Navy is prepared to sink boat if needed and this way order will be restored. In the end huge military machine works (and beyond that even bigger system), Captain is saved from impossible situation and young punks are brought to justice. This is where I see similarities with "Argo": message reassuring that our western way of doing things is still working. I don't know how to explain that clearer, for one I can say this is very unsettling vibe I got from "Captain Phillips".

For me "Captain Phillips" works as action thriller and I don't wanna search deeper.
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xerxes

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Re: Captain Phillips
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2014, 11:42:32 AM »
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Just saw this last night. Gotta side with Mel on this one. It may make some efforts to be something more than another white people outsmart the dark people movie, and Greengrass does inject some moral ambiguities in there and whatnot but ultimately the movie is called, "Captain Phillips" and is told mostly from his POV even though he's boring and Muse is a vastly more interesting character. It was pretty exciting though.


Alexandro

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Re: Captain Phillips
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2014, 06:30:29 PM »
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Ok. I do feel the point is being lost in favor of the most obvious interpretation of this film.
The story speaks for itself, and if the "huge military machine" works it's consistent with the true story, as far as I know. There's no way to debate that. But the real question still is if a huge military machine must be used in a situation like this. If that's necessary to defeat one small boat with hungry pirates with practically no energy and no resources, what will happen when something big really comes to pass? The emphasis is on the economic conditions that makes a story like this happen. If the situation stays the same, only more poverty and difficulties can plague poor countries, and more pirates and enemies of the sort can arise for the first world countries. But in first world countries there are individuals too that must do their part to keep the machine active. Who will do these jobs? And how many spectacular displays of military powers will be needed to control piracy if it grows as a phenomenon?

I also feel that both leads are interesting characters. I don't really understand the "boring" adjective towards the main character and certainly not towards Hank's performance. This is a guy who carefully follows procedure and then has to break it to save his crew. As if that was not interesting enough, after that point Hank's performance builds up towards a study of human behavior under shock situations. He really nails that last scene.

However, we don't agree, and that's fine.

Mel

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Re: Captain Phillips
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2014, 04:55:48 AM »
+1
The story speaks for itself, and if the "huge military machine" works it's consistent with the true story, as far as I know. There's no way to debate that. But the real question still is if a huge military machine must be used in a situation like this. If that's necessary to defeat one small boat with hungry pirates with practically no energy and no resources, what will happen when something big really comes to pass? The emphasis is on the economic conditions that makes a story like this happen. If the situation stays the same, only more poverty and difficulties can plague poor countries, and more pirates and enemies of the sort can arise for the first world countries. But in first world countries there are individuals too that must do their part to keep the machine active. Who will do these jobs? And how many spectacular displays of military powers will be needed to control piracy if it grows as a phenomenon?

It slowly deteriorates into even broader story. Should we continue? So far discussion feels friendly, so I don't mind.

Question is how economic incentives were created in first place. Somalia had at one point biggest army in Africa. Government of Somalia was allied with USA at the same time - this helps to conclude one of the main sources of weapons. Staying with films, "Black Hawk Down" portrays a little bit what did happen after regime collapsed. Fifteen years of civil war didn't help with economy. This is oversimplification, but gives enough context.

Second question, how initial piracy sparkled? When there is no stable government, who is guarding the coast? This is were corporate greed kicks in and unsanctioned commercial fishing by foreign trawlers starts. This is also one of the reasons why pirates initially gained huge local support. Another sign of corporate greed: no vessel was hijacked, when armed guards were on board.

The problem with films based on real events, especially stories like presented in "Captain Philips" is that you buy whole package, including political baggage. Military is defending corporate business from pirates, which they helped intentionally or not to create in first place. On the other hand Captain who according to crew ignored warnings and wanted save some time by staying close to coast, is hailed as hero. Is that enough to count as hypocrisy?

I also feel that both leads are interesting characters. I don't really understand the "boring" adjective towards the main character and certainly not towards Hank's performance. This is a guy who carefully follows procedure and then has to break it to save his crew. As if that was not interesting enough, after that point Hank's performance builds up towards a study of human behavior under shock situations. He really nails that last scene.

I wouldn't call main character boring either. They didn't try to make Captain more likeable or to antagonize pirates. That deserves a praise, because this allowed humanity of characters to pop up on its own. That made Tom Hanks performance in the end, even more powerful. 
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Alexandro

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Re: Captain Phillips
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2014, 02:06:41 PM »
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Yes, actually one of the things that stood out for me was that the Captain was shown mostly as joyless and not particularly liked by his crew. People were cordial enough, but it was obvious this wasn't coming from the "Saving Private Ryan" template where everyone says how the Tom Hanks is grumpy and all you see is the nicest guy int he world.

Greengrass has addressed those criticisms you mention, which I have to say do sound like lawsuit talk more than anything. I trust Greengrass on this one 'cause as we have mentioned there's never a moment overdone to crate sympathy for Phillips, and that clinical eye permeates the film. Here's part of his answer:

"In particular I am confident that Captain Phillips did not take an irresponsible route along the coast of Somalia and ignore a specific warning as alleged in the press. The route he took was similar to that taken by many ships of many nationalities at that time and since. The problem of piracy at that time was that pirate bands had begun using motherships, which enabled them to strike at ships throughout the Indian ocean, up to 800 miles plus out to sea, if not further. The film shows clearly Captain Phillips receiving warnings about pirate attacks, putting into place security measures onboard ship. The film also shows a vigorous debate with some members of the crew who wanted the ship to deviate from its route in order to prevent attack, and I show Captain Phillips (as I believe occurred) arguing that there was no point deviating the route, because pirate bands with motherships could attack them wherever they went. At the end of the day, it is easy to make anonymous accusations against a film. But the facts are clear. Captain Phillips' ship was attacked, and the ship and the crew and its cargo made it safely to port with no injuries or loss of life. Also, the fact is that Captain Phillips went into the lifeboat in order to ensure the safety of his crew, because thereby he insured the pirates left the ship. The fact is, Captain Phillips then endured a five day ordeal at the hands of his kidnappers that very nearly resulted in his being killed. That's the story we told, and it's an accurate one."

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