The Perfect Storm
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A group of fishermen (George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg and John C. Reilly) patrolling the Grand Banks are unaware of the fact that they are blindly travelling into a colossal storm system. Faced with unyielding tidal waves and torrential winds, they must navigate through the monster squall if they hope to survive.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Rarely do films effectively combine unbelievable special effects with heart wrenching drama but this one manages to succeed on every level. In scene after scene, weíre continually pounded by Mother Natureís unrelenting fury. Itís pure, unadulterated human emotion. What makes this movie so convincing is the sheer feeling of helplessness created by the storm. As terrified viewers, weíre the 7th member of the crew, watching the disastrous events unfold. Youíll be thrown around, tossed upside down and disoriented with every crashing wave. Like an ocean tide, the movieís suspense continually rises and falls, slowly building to a powerful climax. George Clooney really digs into his role as the grizzled captain and pulls off a convincing performance. The rest of the crew had me truly believing their undying heroism and willpower. Iíd also like to make it a point of commending the team from Industrial Light and Magic for creating some of the most spectacular FX shots Iíve ever witnessed. With each scene, weíre overwhelmed by the sheer beauty and potential danger of each forming swell. To say itís visually stunning would not do it justice. Itís a fun movie, with just the right hints of romance, suspense and excitement.
Included on the DVD is a "HBO First Look" short documentary that checks in at about 20 minutes. Itís a very solid featurette which includes great interviews with cast members, real life fishermen and family members of the heroes in the movie. They also show footage from the actual town of Gloucester, which the film was set in. Several FX snippets show how a huge indoor tank was used to film the boats and how animated robots were used to recreate the swordfish. "Witnesses to the Storm" (5 minutes) chronicles several residentsí accounts of the huge storm and actually uses home video footage shot in 1991. Itís a nice little extra. "Creating an Emotion" (4 minutes) details composer James Hornerís efforts in creating the movieís soundtrack. Itís cool to watch the symphony orchestra play in front of a huge screen thatís showing the movie, timing the sequences perfectly. "Conceptual Art" is a 10 minute slide show narrated by director Petersen who shows how very early artwork eventually came to life on film. "Yours Forever" is a 4 minute montage of photos from the movie set to John Mellencampís song of the same name. Extensive storyboards are also included. The theatrical trailer and a short soundtrack promo round things out. The bonuses are all excellent, although I wouldíve hope for a more in depth look at the special effects. The menus are partially animated and feature thunder, lightning and crashing waves.
A spectacular release from start to finish. The video and audio are exceptional and the commentary tracks are outstanding. The extras provide adequate accounts of the enormous amount of work that went into the movie as well as solid glimpses of the people who actually lived through the entire ordeal. If you like high suspense drama or special effects movies, be sure not to miss out on this fantastic DVD. Worth the money.