movies matter | criticism by maryann johanson
Mon May 20 2013, 12:26pm | 12 comments
Jesus. Really? Hoses and flares? That’s what modern ships have to protect themselves? Jesus.
Paul Greengrass + Tom Hanks = cinematic fabulousness, I have no doubt.
It was a freighter. You could add, though, drills, training, and ingenuity of the crew to the “hoses and flares” as far as defense. [Edited to add a link to an article in Marine Officer Mag about the attack: http://www.meba.us/MarineOfficer/Summer_2009/The_Real_Story_of_the_MAERSK_ALABAMA.pdf ] Now, actually as a direct result of what happened to the Alabama, there are usually embarked security crews with the (I’d like to point out) UNION sailors. As a matter of fact, the Alabama was attacked again that year and about 2 years later (and probably more times than that), but had a security crew aboard and repelled the pirates.
All of the Gulf is dangerous and so are much of the rest of the shipping lanes, especially in the Indian Ocean and the southern Pacific along South America. Freighters and smaller hey-we’re-retired-and-sailing-round-the-world boats are usually targeted ’cause they are not armed and have small crews but big “value” to their home countries. Here’s an interesting web page…Its title is “Live Piracy Report”.
A long time ago, I spent a lot of time on a boat. I still pay attention to the sea and sailors.
“Maybe it’s the lure of the sea…” (Paul Heaton)
I’ve never spent any meaningful time on a boat, but I did always enjoy watching boats just like the one in this movie go in and out of port when I was a child. Any seafaring movie is something I will automatically give more of a chance to than any other kind of movie, even if it turns out to be awful. (I recently watched Bitter Moon all the way through. Dedication!)
This and Elysium are the best trailers I’ve seen this summer. If it was any other director, I’d be worried about it tipping into Big Scary Black Guy territory (even though Somalian pirates are obviously both scary and black in real life, but you know how these things can come across on film), but Paul Greengrass has me feeling confident. I seem to be in the minority of people who think Green Zone was close to the Great Iraq War movie we’ve all been waiting for, and one day people will notice that.
…I never considered Bitter Moon a seafaring story. I did find it “awful” in the sense of repulsive or disturbing, but I thought it was a well-done movie.
This is clearly going to be brilliant. So happy with the way Greengrass’ career has been going post-Bourne.
I thought it was generally unintentionally funny, particularly when Hugh Grant was being painted as repressed for not wanting to hear any more of Peter Coyote’s story. (I mean, could it not have been just because he didn’t want to suffer through any more of his terrible, terrible prose?) Also one of those Polanski movies where it’s genuinely hard to overlook the fact that the director drugs and rapes children.
But it was on a boat, so I stuck with it for much longer than I otherwise would have.
Actually, I thought the humor was intentional. Hmmm…you’ve given me food for thought. I saw it a really long time ago. It was during its initial release. I did hear that it was Hugh Grant’s favorite role.
Ok, this is messed up. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1535109/fullcredits Where’s the actors who play the pirates? Or, what, it’s cool w/ imdb to ignore them ’cause they’re not white nor from the US and they’re playing the bad guys? The ‘new captain’ in the trailer was — in that brief moment — pretty compelling. I was wondering who played him; but, no luck on that page unless there’s something I’m missing.
Based on a true story doesn’t always mean it’s a good story. I mean, this could be Die Hard on a ship, but the real incident mostly came down to the crew locking themselves in the engine room and disabling the ship until the pirates fled with the captain. It’s really going to depend on the acting talent of Hanks and Unnamed Pirate Captain.
Not that that’s a bad thing!
(One might uncharitably wonder why this ship was 300 miles closer to the Somali coast than the NATO and USMA advisories suggested, since other ships were following them and not being attacked. All that avoidable violence and death…)
I know it was a freighter. But given the very real danger of piracy in some parts of the world, not even a few handguns?
IMDB is user-created. It’s likely that the non-Western cast don’t have agents and/or publicists, which is who would typically add that info. At some point, an obsessive movie geek, or maybe one of Greengrass’s people, will probably add that info.
Generally, it’s not an IMDb editor who adds the information you see on those pages.
You know, I don’t know the law. I do know that in my personal experience, any small arms on board are kept locked up unless distributed. On a boat, no matter how big, it feels really small. Not everyone gets along all the time and there are rules as to when/if people can drink alcohol or engage in anything that might disrupt the order of the ship. Everyone already has a knife on their belt (cut yourself out of tangled lines, for example). There is a lot of a certain kind of courtesy, though, that involves giving people privacy that goes a long way to preventing problems. Different Masters have different rules. I don’t know what Maersk’s rules are, nor what the laws of a freighter are except that my understanding from crewmembers I’ve known is that they are unarmed except if they have an embarked security crew. The freighter itself has no artillery.
There is, of course, always the possibility that there are containers with arms on board. If the crew knew the manifest, and the locations of the right container(s), and had a torch and time to open it IF it was in an accessible-without-a-crane location, then they could have been armed.
I think having the ability to shut down bridge controls is fantastic.
I would hope that Greengrass and ‘his people’ have enough respect for these actors that they make sure their names are known.
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