Sunday, June 25, 2017

Deepwater Horizon

Year 9, Day 176 - 6/25/17 - Movie #2,671

BEFORE: Remember the 2010 BP oil spill?  Someone did, because they figured it would make for a good action movie.  This is part 2 of director Peter Berg's "Mark Wahlberg faces disaster" trilogy, the first part being "Lone Survivor" and I'll watch Part 3 tomorrow.

Douglas M. Griffin, Joe Chrest and J.D. Evermore all carry over from "I Love You Phillip Morris", and I've unfortunately reached the breaking point for the year, the point where the number of films left on the watchlist (130, which hasn't changed in over a month at this point) is greater than the number of slots left in the year.  So even if I stopped adding films RIGHT NOW, which is unlikely, I still couldn't clear the list in 2017.  So anything added beyond this point pretty much assures that I'll need to do Movie Year 10 if I want to watch everything that is on it, or will be added to it.

THE PLOT: A dramatization of the April 2010 disaster, when the offshore drilling rig Deepwater Horizon exploded and created the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

AFTER: This film itself really plays out in two parts, the first half being the day-to-day lives and interactions of the crew of an oil rig (along with a technical manual's worth of information about how to NOT properly maintain a rig) and the second half, of course, as that crew attempts to shut down and/or escape from, said rig as it explodes.

Blame is quite handily placed on B.P. executives who don't allow the crews time for proper downtime to repair the equipment and who also won't pay for the necessary pressure tests, or the proper amount of cement to keep the well stable, or something.  There's barely enough gas in the helicopter for it to reach the off-shore rig - it's a bad sign when an oil company doesn't have enough spare fuel lying around, right?

The positives here are that there's plenty of action, at least in the second half, that John Malkovich does one heck of an authentic Louisiana accent, and that I learned that an oil rig is really a giant (semi-submersible) boat, in that it floats and can be moved into position.

The negatives are that the film has two different speeds - standing still in the first half and 90 miles and hour in the second, so that I felt exhausted by the end.  And little attention is paid to the resulting oil spill and the impact on wildlife - of course that wouldn't be as cinematic.

NITPICK POINT: This bunch of smart people, like technicians and electrical engineers, still believes that petroleum is made up of decomposed dinosaurs.  One even teaches this myth to his daughter, for chrissakes.  Can we get past this bunch of hooey, already?  This comes from an ad campaign way back in the 1950's where Sinclair Oil had a dinosaur in its logo and used cartoon dinos in its commercials.  For one thing, there's WAY more oil underground that could possibly have come from dinosaurs, even if they covered the surface of the planet.  Secondly, how did their bodies get so far underground, for the pressure to turn them into oil, when we're still finding their skeletons relatively close to the surface?  It doesn't make sense.  The best theory now says that oil comes from billions of smaller ancient organisms, like plankton and algae, which died in prehistoric seas and then got buried under layers and layers of sediment.  There's your high-school science project, kids.

Also starring Mark Wahlberg (last seen in "Lone Survivor"), Kurt Russell (last seen in "The Art of the Steal"), John Malkovich (last heard in "Penguins of Madagascar"), Gina Rodriguez, Dylan O'Brien (last seen in "The Internship"), Kate Hudson (last seen in "Mother's Day"), Ethan Suplee (last seen in "True Story"), Brad Leland, James Dumont (last seen in "Midnight Special"), David Maldonado, Juston Street, with cameos from Trace Adkins, Peter Berg (also last seen in "Lone Survivor").

RATING: 5 out of 10 life-jackets

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