Thursday Night Movie Club
The Perfect Storm
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Release Date: June 30, 2000

Director: Wolfgang Petersen
George Clooney
Mark Wahlberg
Diane Lane
Karen Allen
William Fichtner
Bob Gunton
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
John C. Reilly
Allen Payne
John Hawkes
Christopher McDonald
Dash Mihok
Josh Hopkins
Michael Ironside
Captain Billy Tyne
Bobby Shatford
Christina "Chris" Cotter
Melissa Brown
David "Sully" Sullivan
Alexander McAnally III
Linda Greenlaw
Dale "Murph" Murphy
Alfred Pierre
Mike "Bugsy" Moran
Todd Gross, Channel 9 TV Meteorologist
Sergeant Jeremy Mitchell
Bobby Brown
The Perfect Storm movie poster The Perfect Storm movie poster The Perfect Storm movie poster
Perfect it's not but it's pretty darn close. Its a harrowing, rousing tale of triumph and tragedy. More lives are saved then lost but that's not much consolation for the crew of the doomed Andrea Gail.

The advertisement poster is a bit misleading. The poster plays up the struggle of the Andrea Gail and her crew: George Clooney as the captain reunited with Mark Wahlberg as the rookie. But the movie is about actual events surrounding "the perfect storm" that struck the Northeastern coastline in October, 1991. A hurricane in the Caribbean, joined with a low pressure system off the coast which was energized by a cold front from Canada created the storm. Waves, theoretically, could have reached 100 ft. heights.

The Andrea Gail was not the only ship caught unawares by the storm. Other sword fishermen were out and made decisions to run for cover and survived. A sailboat with a crew of 3 were not so lucky and had to be rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter. An amazing scene of special effects as the helicopter. would disappear entirely behind a wave only to reappear.

The special effects are top-notch and very impressive. I was feeling "woozy" (one of my mother's favorite descriptions) during the opening shot, a pan across the Gloucester Bay (I was looking for the airsickness bag). But better yet are the character developments. All of the characters are throughout and portrayed very well. The movie is more gripping and grim when you care about the characters.

George Clooney as Capt. Billy Tyne in The Perfect Storm The exception to the above is George Clooney. His smile is almost as annoying as Tom Cruise's except that he doesn't smile incessantly. After watching "Three Kings" and again here, I am convinced that Clooney has a muscle problem in his face that causes him to break out in these smiles. For example (Not in the movie but for illustration only) Clooney: "Don't look now but we're about to be killed!" (Smile). It is difficult to take the character seriously. Unless that is what the director intended, that the captain of the Andrea Gail was an idiot that should never have been allowed to captain a ship.

But that is a very minor question and maybe that helps to make the movie even more grim. In reality, the Andrea Gail was never heard or seen again after radio contact was lost. Had the ship already sunk or did the crew live on to fight the pounding seas for hours until exhaustion over took them and their ship? Only a few pieces of debris were ever located from the ship. The story we have here is one possibility.

Finally, I think I noticed a continuity error in the film. The final shot of the movie lists the names of the six men who died on the Andrea Gail. The opening scene shows a boat captained by Mary Elizabeth Mastrontonio carting off the corpse of one of their crew who died on the voyage. His name was not on the list of fishermen who died that year.