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Moby Dick [Blu-ray]

65 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Ishmael sees his dream of a whaling voyage come true when he joins the crew of the Pequod, a sailing vessel leaving port in Nantucket. Unbeknownst to Ishmael and the mates, the Pequod s monomaniacal Captain Ahab is taking them all on a mad and personal mission to slay the great whale Moby Dick, an obsession that will open their eyes to the wonder and spectacle of man, of beast, and the inescapable nature of both.


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Product Details

  • Actors: Ethan Hawke, Donald Sutherland, William Hurt, Gillian Anderson, Eddie Marsan
  • Directors: Mark Barker
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Vivendi Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 4, 2011
  • Run Time: 184 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005BYBZHM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,997 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Allen Hall on January 21, 2012
Format: DVD
No, no, no. Calm down. I know what you're about to say. Just hear me out.

For the movie-maker, Moby-Dick is, like any other brick-sized tome, very problematic. There is just too much stuff, and unless one has the luxury of filming a five-hour movie and releasing it in installments (see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows), material has to be cut, and the story amended accordingly so it will make sense with the cuts. This sort of boiling-down is fine for relatively simple books (such as, again, Harry Potter), but not with the likes of Moby-Dick. Not only is there a lot of stuff, but almost all of it is important! This is where the other movies fail. They try to be too literal and everything just ends up getting swamped by spectacle.

Consider the first three. The first, with John Barrymore (1930), misses the point with such a breathtaking completeness that it is only worth mentioning because it exists. The second, with Gregory Peck (1956), is ambitious, and does a few things well, but Ray Bradbury's lackluster screenplay, and his strained relationship to the director, bulldoze any chance of overall success. The third, with Patrick Stewart (1998), is a bizarre, half-assed, condescending, wishy-washy mess which isn't just a little boring.

So what did they do here? How did they juggle all the stuff in Moby-Dick? Simple. They didn't.

Instead, they stuck to the barest bones of the story, only those things absolutely essential--Elijah, the encounter with the Rachel, Ahab's first speech to the crew, and so on--and threw out everything else to focus on the characters. By doing this, Melville's fundamental themes, the very reasons Moby-Dick is as compelling as it is in the first place, are thrown into relief. Ahab becomes Jonah.
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Format: Blu-ray
In truth, I wasn't expecting very much from this latest incarnation of Herman Melville's classic "Moby Dick." The film premiered on the Encore network as a two part movie, and Encore is not an entity known for its original programming. However, I was quite pleasantly surprised. "Moby Dick" represents, for me, a novel almost impossible to adapt adequately. While you can attempt to convey the book's themes and catch its action, it is simply one of literature's most infuriatingly complex works. The screenplay of this version takes some fairly large liberties with the plot, and certainly the tone, but still manages to keep the general feeling intact. As a result, this is a solidly constructed work that succeeds for the most part. It may not satisfy the purists, but for those without preconceived notions--this is an entertaining and well made adventure.

Don't know the story? What's going on with the education system? Very concisely, the tale conveys a battle of wills between an obsessed sea captain and a great white whale. Captain Ahab is certainly one of fiction's most colorful characters, and here a gruff William Hurt sinks his teeth into the showy role. Having done battle with the whale previously (and losing his leg in the bargain), he sets off a new expedition expressly to track the beast. His crew and men become unwitting pawns and/or co-conspirators in this obsession. Told through the innocent eyes of newbie Ishmail (Charlie Cox), the voyage disintegrates until a final confrontation is inevitable. Most of the movie takes place on the water and I thought the sailing sequences were handled nicely from a technical standpoint. The effects are solid as are the sets, costume, and score. Really, it's quite well done.

The cast is impressive.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 3, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
'Call me Ishmael' are the first words of the sole survivor of a lost whaling ship as he relates the tale of his captain's self-destructive obsession to hunt the white whale, Moby Dick. They are words that have become often quoted by many authors and poets and for any number of reasons, yet they open the mysteries and beauties of one of the greatest American novels every written. There have been many cinematic productions of MOBY DICK, Herman Melville's 1851 supreme novel - 1956 with Gregory Peck as Ahab and 1998 with Patrick Stewart in the Ahab role - and each has its strong and weak points. There are many detractors of this current version who rightfully state that too few of Ahab's great speeches and lines have been omitted and that this version is too influenced by contemporary reasoning. But the tale is a great one and the splendid extended reveries and 'speeches' of Captain Ahab rest beautifully on the written page, a factor that allows mulling over the words and the meaning and the drama that may just fall a bit heavy when incorporated into a screenplay. Better the flavor of the story be conveyed by what cinema allows - imagery - that books can't mimic. This current version does just that - it finds the core of the obsession of a man driven by a struggle with his past, with nature, and with the personal vendetta against the great white whale, Moby Dick, who claimed Ahab's leg in the past. Nigel Williams is responsible for the screenplay, Mike Barker directs.

Ishmael (Charlie Cox) sees his dream of a whaling voyage come true when he and his Hapoonist friend Queequeeg (Raoul Trujillo) join the crew of the Pequod, a sailing vessel leaving port in Nantucket.
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Moby Dick [Blu-ray]
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