22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on May 9, 2010
This is a review of the bluray version of the film. I will assume people know the story of this blockbuster hit about the ill-fated "Andrea Gail" during the infamous superstorm in 1991. Should you upgrade your copy of TPS to blu? OH, HELL YES! I bought this recently, having been depressed by the TERRIBLE standard definition transfer of the film. Warner Bros. tranfers on DVD had been routinely lousy (see Superman Returns) in SD. I am happy to report they redeemed themselves with this beautiful high defnition transfer that looks superbly film-like. The colors, textures, and visual effects are reproduced with astounding clarity. This is how I remember it looking in the theatre. It was a new movie experience to see it like this. The soundtrack sounds fabulous. Robust, aggressive, ambient, with terrific directionality. This is the version to own, and it's a steal at the current price (10-12 bucks). If you love the movie, you will love this transfer, and you can toss the crappy regular dvd version.
24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
The book version of *A Perfect Storm*, on which the movie is based, is a fascinating study of meteorology and oceanography, and people who have seen the film definitely should go back and read it if they have not already. As technically informative as the book may be, however, it would have translated into a "Nova"-type documentary film rather than a "movie" had the film producers stuck faithfully to the contents of Junger's text.
Instead, producer Gail Katz and director Wolfgang Peterson (who also directed such classics as *Das Boot*) have taken the hoary Gloucestermen-gamble-and-lose theme and turned it into a spectacular action film complete with some of the finest computer-generated special effects that have appeared on the big screen in many a year. Some of the dialog and thematic material is predictable, and yes, unabashedly "Hollywood," but so what? The end product is extremely well-crafted, technically breathtaking, and thoroughly absorbing. The film is worth seeing just for the computer-created storm effects, but on top of this, the acting, direction, and editing are all first-rate.
After all, don't most of us go to the movie theater with a willingness to surrender to a few cliches, as long as these are presented in a form that is powerful and entertaining? This film is definitely of the "Hollywood blockbuster" genre, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I think most other viewers will, too.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
THE PERFECT STORM is one of those unabashedly sentimental epics Hollywood has been doing for years...and this is one fine addition to that list. Director Wolfgang Petersen commandeers a wonderful cast, and the special effects are stupendous. What made this movie work so much for me wasn't the leading roles of George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg or John C. Reilly, although they were just fine. It's the people in secondary roles, particularly the women, who made such an impact on me. Diane Lane is perfect as Christina, Mark's woman who wants to start a new life with him; even if her accent isn't quite up to par, her immersion in the role is great. Rusty Schwimmer as Irene, the overweight single mother who finds herself intrigued with Bugsy (John Hawke, in an outstanding performance) doesn't have a lot of screen time, but she commands it when she does. So does Janet Wright as Mark's momma, Edith. Wright's performance was right on key in both her love for her son and the acceptance of Diane into her family. Likewise, Merle Kennedy's role as John Reilly's ex-wife requires little screen time or dialogue, but her presence is powerfully felt. William Frichtner's painful presence as Reilly's nemesis is especially powerful as he saves Reilly's life and becomes more of a friend. Christopher McDonald as the metereologist who practically explodes in excitement with the birth of the perfect storm adds a strange tint of irony and sadness. Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio's subtle sexuality ignites her scenes with Clooney and her eulogy is four or five hankies at least!
This is a movie movie and I enjoyed it immensely!
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2004
This movie, Perfect Storm was great movie in many meanings. The opportunity that I was interested to this movie at first was for that the main theme was weather phenomenon. I have known that incredible storms, their three storms touched each other, broke a few years ago, but I have not known about the detail things. I have the knowledge about weather to some extent because I am interested to weather phenomenon daily. For that, the movie that showed the rare phenomenon that theree storms including hurricane and cold front line etc contacted each other gave shock to me.
In addition to that, the movie expressed such unbelievable theme very well. I think that it is natural that the makers use the artficial technique like computer graphics and so on. But because the movie theme was nature, using the technique must have needed many care. But in such rimitation, the great expression was made, for instance wave is so. The makers made high wave that we can never see in our life. The wave was very natural. The thirilling case even that a fishing ship dived into wave wall was expressed with incredible excitment very well.
And except of their weather, there was climaxs in the movie. That was human drama. The main vhicle in the movie was a fishing ship. And the crew were wild and impoliteness in my first glance. But as the story went, my emotion for their changed little and little, that is to say, though they were a little crazy men who did the actions like diving to such storms, when I say in other view, they had bravery that they dared to go the storms without turning back, that was pure benefit that they derired to get back fishes to the hometown. Such bravery can be said to my daily life. As I am adult, tend to lose bravery and be timid, I felt that I should go to dangerouse scene even for achiving my goal in the movie.
Finally, they had been drunk by wave. I expected that the last would be happy end even if whether the movie was on non-fiction or not. But I felt in the other side that their bravery was testified by such ending again, before we think about the uneasy, anyway move to the goal.
Thank you for reading poor English.
31 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2000
Believe it or not, I scanned all 110 reviews to see if anybody who even lives in a coastal town put in their two cents about this movie, and found only two folks from Sitka, Alaska. My business is intimately related with the fishing industry and with this story, so when I saw it for the first time, for me it was like attending a memorial service, and I cried for hours afterwards. To know that six men drowned, even to know what happens to the body when one drowns (I am of course referring here to S. Junger's excellent book, The Perfect Storm) is one thing, to watch a depiction of that on film is something else entirely.
I was profoundly disappointed in the emotionally manipulative score and the absolutely awful dialogue, and hey you guys, all of our lighthouses have been automated for years--there is no lighthouse keeper's son on Ten Pound Island waving at the boats going out to sea! Honestly, the story is sad enough without that blatent heartstring pulling crap.
But holy cow....to watch Hollywood put together with special effects that storm--so impersonal and so devastating--that in itself almost balances out the negatives of this film. Really though, the pros and cons if the film have been explored ad naseum here--let me tell you what you don't know.
Wolfgang took extreme pains to "get it right" with the town and with the fishermen. He hired many of them to make sure that every single detail of the fishing scenes was right on. And it was--every fisherman that I've talked to has said that it was absolutely accurate. And the swordfish--one of my friends works for the fisheries, setting regs for swordfish catches, and he said he didn't know until deep in the credits that all of the swordfish used in the movie were fake. In fact, somebody called the department of health here concerned that a swordfish had been sitting out in the sun on the dock all day...one of the props for the movie.
How realistic were the characters? This has been the feedback I've gotten. Bugsy was right on--just like that. Sully was not anywhere near such an jerk. Mark Wahlberg captured something about Bobby Shatford that was almost intangible--the way he smiled, the way he laughed--just the energy around him. Billy Tyne, in spite of what his ex-wife is alleging (and trying to sue WB for) was not a suicidal tyrannical maniac (and I don't think he came off that way in the film either). The woman who played Ethel Shatford also managed to capture something of Ethel's energy.
And here's a blooper for you--check out the movie poster--major proportional screw up! The Andrea Gail was 100 ft long. So if you do the geometry, the wave depicted is over 200 feet high! It was out before they could catch and fix it.
If you even remotely liked this movie, I would strongly urge you to get the book. Sebastian Junger took great pains to not put words in the mouths of these men (something Hollywood unfortunately has no qualms doing), but instead built a strong, journalistically solid structure of buttressing information, interviews, details, research--all on every single detail of what the men on that boat probably experienced on their trip. Sounds dry, it's not--he even makes wave mechanics fascinating (how does a wave get to be 100 feet tall, anyway?) It also goes into much more detail about the Coast Guard rescue (wow, talk about heroes) and the other boats in distress.
The movie? Eh--I won't see it again--the dialogue would probably lead me to throw something heavy through the tv screen. It's a shame-not that anybody's expecting Shakespeare, but cliche after cliche? Blech.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2005
I guess the producers of "The Perfect Storm" felt that a semi-true story about six men dying in a fishing boat disaster during a storm in the Atlantic in the Fall of 1991 wasn't enough to hold the attention of audiences. Thus, they padded the movie out with 25 unneeded minutes about the Coast Guard and an amateur who sails himself and two women right into the middle of a hurricane. It wasn't needed. As is, this is a rather ponderous and distended 130-minute film, with a tightly told and fairly moving 105-minute film inside it just screaming to get out. Someone should go back with a cutting tool and free the poor thing.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
I don't bother with book report reviews of any film, its acting, accuracy or my judgement on anything other than the quality of the blu ray disc itself. I do have the Standard Def DVD of the Perfect Storm and have just finished watching my new copy of it on Blu Ray
The video transfer is really very good with strong depth and details in the shadow areas and no stairstepping, aliasing or artifacts that I could detect. The color correction in the original post production accented the greys so you shouldn't expect sparkling colors to pop out at you. However, when the characters are in town, in the bar, there is a real life effect to the cinematography that keeps the colors true. As video transfers go, this one is almost demo quality. Not quite but almost.
The audio is Dolby Digital True HD 5.1 EX which really comes into play when the boat and men are out to sea. Because the storm is all around, much of the audio is more encompassing of the 5.1 channels as opposed to discreet channel to channel. However, there is plenty that is directional and, as far as the audio is concerned, this is a fine DVD to show off your system with.
There were plenty of extras including interviews of people who lived through the storm on land. No interviews with relatives of those who did not survive and no deleted or extended scenes. I did have a few problems navigating the Extras menu, I think I went through 40 different languages before I could get to where I wanted. In the end, I popped the dvd out and put it back in to get to the extra I wanted to watch.
That's it, nothing long winded here, just a review of the BluRay's quality. All my movie reviews are of this nature and focus only on the quality of the transfer to BluRay so check them and see if they are of help as well.
Hopefully, this review has been of some help to you in determining your purchase, hope I am on the correct path with a review of the transfer quality as opposed to providing plot summaries.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Well, my love for disaster movies finally conquered my utter disdain for George Clooney, and I watched The Perfect Storm. The fact that the film is based on a true story in which several men did lose their lives makes it a little difficult to review, as I feel compelled to temper some of the comments I might have otherwise made. I'm sure the tragedy of the actual events made it hard to film, as well - and I think that explains the slow-moving, problematic opening 30-40 minutes. The obvious intent is for us to get to know the men of the Andrea Gail, to see what life is like in a New England fishing community, and to see why and how these men risked the hardships of sword fishing out on the open ocean. It's not an easy life - leaving loved ones behind for days or weeks on end, working like a dog to haul in giant fish without being injured or killed in any number of ways, never knowing if you were even going to catch enough to fish make the trip worthwhile. For some, it's about the money - not greed, just a desperate need for the money to take care of you and yours. Mostly, though, it's about the love - love for the sea, for fishing, etc. A lot of jobs don't really define the man (or woman) - but a sword fisherman is a sword fisherman. That's what Billy Tyne was, but he was also a man on a losing streak, and his effort to redeem himself and his men led the Andrea Gail straight into disaster.
Unfortunately, in terms of the movie itself, the first 30-40 minutes are insufferably long, failing to make me care about any of the characters - even Diane Lane grated on my nerves as the girlfriend who didn't want her man to go back out again. Then the boat finally sails, and the men go fishing. An hour's gone by, and you're wondering when this storm is ever going to show up. As for Tyne and his crew, things just aren't right from the start - they're not catching a significant number of fish, a couple of guys are almost killed, the crewmen are fighting amongst themselves, and no one is the least bit happy. Ignoring all these ominous signs, Tyne decides to head on east way over to the Flemish Cap, caring little for the weather at his back - until it's time to head home, of course. You would think a fisherman, more than any other person in the world, would have a healthy respect for the weather. Tyne knows there's extremely rough weather in between the Andrea Gale and home, but he and his men decide to plow on through rather than risk losing all of the fish they have finally caught. Unbeknownst for the most part to Tyne and his guys, weather conditions are now going to heck in a hand basket, as a huge hurricane, another burgeoning hurricane, and an area of dangerously low pressure smack together to form the 1991 Halloween Nor'easter ("the perfect storm") - and the Andrea Gale is heading right down its throat.
Alongside the life-and-death struggle that now plays out aboard the Andrea Gale, we also get the chance to observe the efforts of Coast Guard rescuers trying to save the lives of some stranded boaters. A yacht on its way to Bermuda proves its just plain dumb "all I need's a compass" captain a complete and utter fool, and a helicopter is dispatched to try and save the three individuals onboard. Unlike the footage of the Andrea Gale's struggle, the Coast Guard rescue effort is downright compelling - and gets even more compelling later on when the rescuers themselves need rescuing. The film is a great tribute to these real-life heroes (one of whom was lost during the events chronicled here); you just can't say enough about these brave guys. It's a pity the entire film wasn't about them.
It's actually rather surprising just how little I, as a viewer, emotionally invested in the story of the Andrea Gale. The crewmen weren't men I really liked, especially the headstrong captain who puts his own selfish needs over the welfare of his crew, and they did pretty much know what they were getting into when they decided to risk heading home through the storm. The special effects were impressive, but for me, the emotion of the whole tragedy just never manifested itself in this story - and that is the main weakness of the film.
43 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2000
The Perfect Storm is the best picture I have seen all year! Director Wolfgang Peterson shows us the emotion and depth of man's struggle against nature, and it's ultimate consequences as the fishing boat Andrea Gail heads through the worst storm in recorded history. The film does a terrific job of entering us into the world of fisherman. The storyline and characters are very wonderfully delved into. The actors do a fantastic job of showing us these are real people, and the film does great job showing us this emotional true story! The film includes stellar performances from George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, and Diane Lane(who provides extreme heart to the film and is a serious oscar contender!)who make us really care about the characters they are playing, plus a very strong supporting cast - John C. Rielly, William Fichtner, John Hawks, Mary Elizabeth Mostrantonio, and Allen Payne. The film is loaded with suspense, and will keep on the edge of your seat! As the Andrea Gail makes it's way through the storm, you will have sweaty palms and bite your nails. The film aslo includes a rescue attempt by the coast guard, to not only rescue the passengers of a doomed yacht but to rescue four of their own men, so terrific, that by the end of the action sequence you will be going wow! The massive Oceans are downright terrifying! The special effects are so good, that at no point in the film can you tell the ocean is computer generated! Not to mention this film has one of the best original scores in recent history(beautifully executed by James Horner). The film's climax is amazing! The end is very emotional aswell and will bring tears to your eyes. It is one of the most beautiful endings to a film ever( George Clooney's speech is wonderful and Mark Wahlbergs goodbye to Diane Lane is heartbraking!) In a summer of not so stellar films, "The Perfect Storm" shines on top. This film was absolutely amazing in theaters, the DVD has to be spetacular. Be sure to pick it up, a must have! Absolutely the best film, not only of the summer, but in recent history!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2005
Unfortunately, it doesn't stand up all that well on it's own and winds up being just a standard survival movie with some above-average CGI weather effects.
Personally I liked it, but then I was engrossed in Junger's novel. I realized that many of the things I enjoyed about the book just didn't translate that well into what ammounts to an action movie.
For example, I was fasinated at how accurately Junger was able to piece together what probably happened to the Andrea Gail in great detail, with very little physical evidence. He was also able to give a wealth of background information on the New England sword-fishing industry that was able to help you look into the minds of the Andrea Gail's crew. The novel helped you to understand why they would make the seemingly insane decision to plunge themselves into the middle of a hurricane. Unfortunately, fleshing out the motivation of the crew was something that the film failed at.
So three stars for those who hadn't read the book, but maybe three and a half stars if you had. It's a mildly entertaining movie, but I still say grab the paperback instead ...