Wednesday, May 25, 2016

K-19: The Widowmaker

Year 8, Day 146 - 5/25/16 - Movie #2,345

BEFORE: Liam Neeson carries over again from "Ruby Cairo", and I'm back on the Russian front.  Not literally, I just mean that I'm covering the topic of Russian war again, this time in the early 1960's, when people on both sides of the Cold War somehow thought it would be a good idea to take a bunch of nuclear missiles and put them on submarines.  No, I never understood it either.

THE PLOT:  When Russia's first nuclear submarine malfunctions on its maiden voyage, the crew must race to save the ship and prevent a nuclear disaster.

AFTER: Well, the good news is that, unlike "Enemy at the Gates", the actors here at least made an attempt to sound like Russians - but the bad news is that not all of them were successful.  By all means, hire an American and an Irishman to headline your film about Russian navy men...    And yes, for any of you "Star Wars" fans out there, like myself, this is the film where Han Solo takes control of a nuclear submarine away from Qui-Gon Jinn.  Well, duh, Han Solo's automatically a better pilot, over a Jedi who never even fought in the Clone Wars, it's no wonder he was given command of the sub.  

But as with "Enemy at the Gates", Hollywood saw the need to focus on Russians, possibly to counter all of the negative propaganda that the U.S. was responsible for during the Cold War.  It just seems to be in our nature to try and de-humanize our enemies, we did it with Germans and Japanese during World War II and we're doing it now with Muslims and Mexicans.  They're evil, godless Socialists who are incapable of human emotion and forming lasting relationships.  No wait, that's the propaganda targeted against hipsters and gay people, my mistake.  

The truth is that Russians were just regular people, just people with dour expressions who were apparently incapable of finding joy, unless it came in the form of drinking vodka and listening to balalaika music.  Or is that just one big Hollywood stereotype?   

And, naturally, something goes wrong on the submarine's first voyage - the crew had considered the ship cursed ever since the champagne bottle refused to break across its bow, but really, you should expect things to go wrong in a movie.  How interesting would the movie be if the ship left its dock, went out on its first patrol, and everything went according to plan?  Bo-ring!  So, make sure that no one ever makes a movie about your life, that would be one way to prevent disasters from happening to you.  

The irony of a reactor leak on a submarine is that the crew frantically needed a way to cool down the reactor, and found that the back-up cooling systems weren't working - meanwhile, the submarine was surrounded by millions of gallons of cold water, with no way to get that water to the reactor, at least not without sinking the sub.  And it might have come to that, if a few brave souls hadn't done what they did.  And going to sea in a nuclear submarine without proper radiation suits?   That seems like the case where the can opener was invented wasn't invented until 1858, at a time where people had been storing food in tin cans for nearly 50 years - you'd think that the two inventions would go hand-in-hand, and if so, you would be wrong. 

Also starring Harrison Ford (last seen in "The Expendables 3"), Peter Sarsgaard (last seen in "Jarhead"), Joss Ackland (last seen in Flawless"), John Shrapnel (last seen in "Notting Hill"), Donald Sumpter (last seen in "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"), Tim Woodward (last seen in "The Scarlet Letter"), Steve Nicolson, Ravil Isyanov, Christian Camargo (last seen in "The Hurt Locker"), George Anton, James Francis Ginty (last seen in "Surrogates"), Lex Shrapnel, Ingvar Eggert Sigurosson, Sam Spruell (last seen in "The Counselor"), Sam Redford (last seen in "The Slammin' Salmon"), Peter Stebbings, Shaun Benson, Kristen Holden-Ried, Dmitry Chpeovetsky, Tygh Runyan, Jacob Pitts, Michael Gladis, JJ Feild, Peter Oldring, Joshua Close, Jeremy Akerman, Christopher Redman, Peter Graham,

RATING: 5 out of 10 torpedo drills 

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