Most Frightening Marine Weather Forecast...
The Perfect Storm
(2000) Directed by Wolfgang Petersen; Stars George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Diane Lane
I have not yet owned a boat equipped with a marine weather fax, but if and when I do, I’ll make darn sure it does not run out of paper.
The pivotal scene in which the Gloucester, MA, swordfishing vessel, the Andrea Gail, misses one last chance to avoid its doom is not just high
drama of the Hollywood kind. It’s based on a true story,
as chronicled in Sebastian Junger’s bestseller, which adds
poignancy to this offshore fishing saga.
It’s easy to forget when we pop a Gorton’s frozen
fish into the microwave that a real offshore fisherman
ventured out to catch it. “The Perfect Storm” made TV hit
shows like the Discovery Channel’s “The Deadliest Catch”
possible as it opened our eyes to everyday people who
choose to go out on the most dangerous job in the U.S.
Sure, these fishermen ignored some basic warnings but
who among us hasn’t?
“The Perfect Storm” is as much about weather, and
how little we understand its dynamics, as it is about
working-class seafront towns all over the U.S. We could
nitpick some of the more implausible boating scenes,
but the Coast Guard air and sea rescue scenes are as
scary as the weather report.
“The Perfect Storm” memorialized, as much as a film
can, an extraordinary true event and was nominated for
two Academy Awards.
Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.
Celebrates an Obsession with Speedboats...
Photo courtesy of The Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum.
(2005) Directed by William Bindley; Stars Jim Caviezel,
Bruce Dern, Mary McCormack, Paul Dooley
Okay, this movie is not
exactly an awardwinner,
except in the hearts of small
town people who dream
big and happen to
adore high-speed race
boats. It could have
been a Disney release
or gone straight to
An unusual little movie, “Madison” is actually based on a true story of
one man’s dream to win the 1971 Madison, Indiana, Gold Cup hydroplane regatta. The clas-
sic David vs. Goliath story pits the small, failing mill town, and its backyard-built race boat,
Miss Madison, against the big-city syndicates, like Miss Budweiser, all but certain to win.
True, this film is totally formulaic and every cliché of moviedom comes forth
at some point — the stressed out but ultimately supportive wife who
wisely chooses not to destroy Dad’s dream, to the cranky
small-town mayor (Dooley), and the last-minute
mechanical disasters. But “Madison” shows how a
love of boats can bring father and son closer as the
hero, Jim Caviezel, of “The Passion of Christ” fame,
refuses to give up.
Fun Film Web Sites
Of note, “Madison” was shelved for five years
before its release and was the last film produced by an
QUICK TAKES —
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Antique Chris-Craft Steals the Show
On Golden Pond
Dumbest Usage of a Fake Captain’s Hat
Best Signup Tool for the Coast Guard
Least Enjoyable Dive Trip
— By Elaine Dickinson
Wildest Italian Holiday