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Craig Gillespie
Chris Pine, Holliday Grainger, Casey Affleck, Eric Bana, Ben Foster
Writing Credits:
Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson

The Coast Guard makes a daring rescue attempt off the coast of Cape Cod after a pair of oil tankers are destroyed during a blizzard in 1952.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$10,288,932 on 3,143 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG-13

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
English Descriptive Video 2.0
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 117 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 5/24/2016

• “Against All Odds: The Bernie Webber Story” Featurette
• “Brotherhood” Featurette
• “Two Crews” Featurette
• “What Is Your Finest Hour?” Featurette
• “The Finest Inspiration” Featurette
• Two Deleted Scenes
• Sneak Peeks


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


The Finest Hours [Blu-Ray] (2016)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 19, 2016)

Based on a true story, 2016’s The Finest Hours takes us to Cape Cod circa 1952, where a storm severely damages the oil tanker SS Pendleton. Led by engineer Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck), the crew works to run the Pendleton aground to give them more time to stay above water and await rescue.

Back at the nearest Coast Guard station, most of the Guardsmen leave to assist the similarly-afflicted SS Fort Mercer. This leaves a skeleton crew to rescue the Pendleton.

Though this seems like a probable suicide mission, Bernie Webber (Chris Pine) accepts the assignment and leads his men to try to save the Pendleton. We follow the various men at sea as well as the reactions of those back on the shore, with an emphasis on Bernie’s fiancée Miriam (Holliday Grainger).

After I saw Hours theatrically, I looked at the blurb on Rotten Tomatoes that indicated most critics thought the film was "too traditional" and needed to be more "adventurous". I'll be darned if I know what that means. Did the film need a jive-talking robot or zombies?

No, I can't claim that Finest Hours does anything one would call "new", but how many movies do? I think it provides a perfectly solid action-drama with a good emotional punch. It invests us in the characters enough that we care about their fate and gives us a nice dollop of harrowing action along the way.

Everything about the movie represents a professional production, one that serves the tale's needs well. One review complained that we spent too much time away from the boat - I guess that critic thought the glimpses of Miriam took away from the drama.

I feel the opposite, as I think the "on-shore" scenes let us invest in the characters more since we see what they mean to people. Also, we need some respite from the tension - two hours on-board the boats would get tiresome.

All the actors seem perfectly solid in their parts. Actually, I feel impressed by Chris Pine, as he pulls off Bernie's modesty well. I'm used to him as cocky characters - primarily Captain Kirk - so I appreciate the understated determination he brings to the role.

I won't claim that I loved Hours, but I enjoyed it, and I even got a little misty-eyed at the end - that's rare for a cold-hearted bastard like me. There's nothing wrong with "traditional" movies, and I think this one gives its genre enough punch to be productive.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture A-/ Audio A/ Bonus C-

The Finest Hours appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie came with a terrific presentation.

At all times, sharpness seemed solid. Nary a smidgen of softness interfered, as the film remained tight and well-defined. I saw no shimmering or jaggies, and the image lacked edge haloes or print flaws.

Despite the period setting, Hours went with the teal and orange typical of many modern movies. I wasn’t wild about this choice, but the execution seemed good, as the tones looked well-rendered. Blacks appeared deep and dense, and shadows were smooth and clear. Given all the low-light shots on the sea, that last factor became especially important. Ultimately, the image worked very well.

Similar praise greeted the excellent DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack of Hours. With all the storms and mayhem at sea, the mix boasted many opportunities to shine, and it took great advantage of them. These moments used all the channels in a vivid, dynamic manner that engulfed the viewer in the action.

Even quieter scenes still delivered a nice sense of place. These created a good impression of atmosphere and managed to form locations with nice nuance.

Audio quality consistently succeeded. Speech was natural and concise, while music seemed full and rich. Effects became the most impressive factor, as those elements appeared accurate and powerful, with terrific low-end. This turned into a really satisfying mix that added a lot to the experience.

As we shift to extras, we start with Against All Odds: The Bernie Webber Story. In this 14-minute, 10-second show, we hear from co-authors Casey Sherman and Michael Tougias, producers Dorothy Aufiero and James Whiteaker, director Craig Gillespie, 36500 lifeboat coxswains Richard Ryder and Donald St. Pierre, and Chatman MA residents Robert Ryder, Roger Williams, Mike and Phyllis Nickerson-Power, Webber’s daughter Pattie Hamilton, Frances, Suzanna and Steve Nickerson, Jane Nickerson-West, Edith Hardy and Benjamin Goodspeed. “Story” gives basics about the facts behind the movie’s tale. The show seems too brief to offer a lot of detail, but it works fine, and it’s nice to hear from some of the people connected to the events.

Four more brief featurettes follow. We see Brotherhood (1:49), Two Crews (2:02), What Is Your Finest Hour? (1:02) The Finest Inspiration (1:42). Across these, we find comments from Gillespie, US Coast Guard’s Jennifer Williams, Jamie Kim, Zach Diulio, John Pruitt, and Gina Miele, and actors Chris Pine, Casey Affleck, John Magaro, Kyle Gallner, and Ben Foster. These look at story/characters, cast and performances, and some real-life Coast Guard tales. All four remain superficial.

Two deleted scenes appear: “A Desperate Idea” (2:34) and “The Story of How They Met” (1:53). “Idea” focuses on the Pendleton crew’s efforts to survive, while “Story” gives a little more background about the Bernie/Miriam relationship. Both seem interesting but not crucial.

The disc opens with ads for Finding Dory and Zootopia. No trailer for Hours appears here.

An adventure with a classic feel, The Finest Hours doesn’t try to reinvent wheels. Instead, it sticks with a sturdy framework to provide an effective and emotional tale. The Blu-ray offers excellent picture and audio but skimps on supplements. Hours winds up as a solid dramatic experience.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 1
1 3:
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