Movie Review: IN THE HEART OF THE SEA Blu-ray Combo Pack


 IN THE HEART OF THE SEA was directed by Ron Howard from a screenplay by Charles Leavitt, story by Charles Leavitt and Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver, based on the book In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick, winner of the 2000 National Book Award for Nonfiction. The film stars stars Chris Hemsworth as the vessel’s veteran first mate Owen Chase; Benjamin Walker as its inexperienced Captain, George Pollard; Cillian Murphy as second mate Matthew Joy; and Ben Whishaw as novelist Herman Melville, whose inquiries into the event 30 years later helped bring the story to light. Tom Holland also stars as young seaman Tom Nickerson, and Brendan Gleeson as the same man, 30 years later. Spanish actor Jordi Mollà is the captain of another ship, the Archimedes, who tries to warn the Essex of what may lie ahead.

In the Heart of the Sea begins in the winter of 1820 in New England and follows the whaling ship Essex that sets out on what was supposed to be a normal job but it turns into a fight for survival when the crew encounters a whale of mammoth size and will, and an almost human sense of vengeance. This story reveals the harrowing aftermath as the ship’s surviving crew is pushed to their limits and forced to do the unthinkable to stay alive. Braving storms, starvation, panic and despair, the men will call into question their deepest beliefs, from the value of their lives to the morality of their trade, as their captain searches for direction on the open sea and his first mate still seeks to bring the great whale down.

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I think the majority of us have either watched an adaptation of “Moby-Dick” and there’s plenty of them that have been made, or we have read the classic novel, or both. What this movie does is tell the untold story of the true events that inspired this classic tale. What this crew goes through is what makes this story so captivating and such an amazing tale. What this giant whale does to these men simply adds so much more to it all. Mankind has all the smarts or so they think but this giant whale seems to be just as smart and ends up showing them all the meaning of true vengeance and fear. The crew of the Essex messed with the wrong heard of whales and this ancient guardian just happened to be around on this one day and it took its revenge on these men.

Even though the movie stalls a few times and is a slow burn through the first half, I think Ron Howard still did an amazing job telling this classic tale of survival. The main standout here is easily the acting and these interesting characters that this talented cast brought to life on screen. You have heroes and cowards and their stories are told here in this movie. What these brave men go through after the whale does its damage is heartbreaking and even terrifying at times. The other standout in the movie is the amazing action scenes and special effects. There’s some amazing CGI used here that brought this mammoth whale to life and it all looks so amazing.

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The packaging comes with a slipcover. The front of the packaging features the artwork you see up top and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. Boths discs are flat black with no artwork, just the movie’s logo. Inserting each disc, the menu screens were simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for the high-definition disc were crisp and clear. The picture and sound quality for the standard-definition disc were really good.

Bottom line is, In the Heart of the Sea ended up being a really good watch. It’s a slow burn so it may not be for everyone but I enjoyed it and I’ll go as far to say that it’s probably the best movie ever made about this giant whale. In the Heart of the Sea is based on Nathaniel Philbrick’s best-selling book about the dramatic true journey of the crew of the Essex that ends up experiencing one of the greatest true stories ever told. This real-life maritime disaster would inspire Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick” that ended up being a classic tale of fiction. What this movie does is share the real-life events of this tragic tale and it’s all well done. It’s an exciting adventure and it does stall a few times but it’s still an enjoyable watch. This Blu-ray+DVD+Digital HD Combo Pack releases on March 8th and is worth checking out.

Distributor: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Run Time: 122 Minutes

Rated: PG-13

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition 16×9 Widescreen (1.85:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English Dolby Atmos / Dolby Digital 5.1 French and Spanish

DVD Video: Widescreen Presentation

DVD Audio: Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish

Special Features: Good Stuff! There’s all kinds of great extras here that include everything from Ron Howard’s daily vlog, to some amazing behind-the-scenes featurettes, to deleted and extended scenes from the movie.

  • Whale Tales: Melville’s Untold Story
  • The Hard Life of a Whaler
  • Chase & Pollard: A Man of Means and A Man of Courage
  • LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE: The Real-Life Sequel to Moby Dick
  • Commanding the Heart of the Sea
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • Ron Howard: Captain’s Log
  • Digital Copy
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