Episode 238: Greyhound

This week we cover the Tom Hanks penned and led intensely focused WW II Naval war film based on 1955 novel The Good Shepherd by C. S. Forester.

Greyhound Spoiler Review – 0:09:29

The Connecting Point – 0:50:05

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FF+ Cyber Shorts VR Film Festival Creator & Winner Interviews

Interviews with Darryl Armstrong, Festival Co-Director, and the filmmakers behind the winning shorts of the inaugural Cyber Shorts VR Film Festival.

Darryl Armstrong

Elvert Baneres (Dreams Aren’t Made By the Wind) – 0:14:50

Georgia Harter (Not Your Bible) – 0:34:43

Danny Chandia & Rachel Johnson (Violent Water) – 0:49:23

Darryl Armstrong

Elvert Baneres

Georgia Harter

Danny Chandia & Rachel Johnson

Aaron

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Feelin’ Film

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Music: City Sunshine – Kevin MacLeod

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Episode 237: Fast and Furious 6

The one with the infinite runway and probably the best villain.

Fast and Furious 6 Spoiler Review – 0:06:49

The Connecting Point – 1:10:04

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MOVIE REVIEW: Greyhound

Rating: PG-13 / Runtime: 1 hour and 31 minutes

“Greyhound” is a fictional wartime Naval drama set over a 5-day period early in 1942 during the Battle of the Atlantic and is based on the 1955 novel The Good Shepherd by C. S. Forester. Like the novel it is adapted from, director Aaron Schneider’s film tells the story of Commander Ernest Krause (Tom Hanks) as he experiences his first wartime action while leading an international convoy of 35+ merchant ships and Naval vessels across a dangerous section of the Atlantic dubbed the “Black Pit”, where ships were out of range and unable to rely on tactical air support. Schneider chooses to drop us directly into the action almost immediately and the film’s runtime of barely over 90 minutes is a gripping, intense sequence of cat and mouse played by the Navy destroyer and handful of dangerous German U-boats hunting the convoy. Unlike many wartime epics that rely on dramatic backstory and character building of the crew and enemy, “Greyhound” instead is experienced entirely from Krause’s point of view as he battles fatigue, self-doubt due to his own inexperience, and depression in addition to tumultuous weather, shortcomings of sonar and radar systems, and the enemy submarines themselves. In fact, there is nary a single named German individual met – the threat is the wolfpack of U-boats themselves and they are plenty deadly without knowing anything about the people who run them. The resulting picture is an engrossing one that thoroughly captures the oftentimes split-second chaotic decision-making that must take place in times of direct Naval conflict. Through the chaos and fear, Hanks carefully portrays Krause as a man who makes smart, quick decisions, and as a man of faith and respected leader whose fellow Officers and crew genuinely believe in and trust despite his own insecurities.

Hanks’ performance carries the emotional load and pairs perfectly with the incredibly well-shot Naval action by cinematographer Shelly Johnson. While some viewers may find the constant dark and stormy blue-gray color palette unappealing, I can tell you from personal experience that it is an accurate representation of how cold and miserable life out at sea in this area can be. Aerial shots of battle maneuvers were particularly awesome to watch, and throughout the film, Johnson is able to show us clearly the precision Naval tactics needed to succeed against such a harrowing threat, no small feat when the majority of camerawork is from the viewpoint of the ship’s bridge. A constantly pulse-pounding score by composer Blake Neely and exceptional sound design (the depth charge explosions, torpedoes, and 5-inch guns are loud and powerful just as they should be) help to round out some of the most immersive cinematic Naval warfare ever.

Hanks also penned the screenplay for the film and between the dialogue and his performance you can see that he has a passion for telling this story. His dedication to using correct Navy jargon was admirable and greatly enhanced the experience for this former Navy sailor. I found myself frequently noticing how accurate commands being given and life aboard the ship were. This is definitely a difficult choice for a writer to make because it means that some of the terms will not be understood by the audience, but I feel that Schneider took care to show enough visually that viewers will be able to follow what is taking place aboard the ship at all times.

“Greyhound” surprised me with its hyper-focused and claustrophobic storytelling and non-stop intensity, and it thrilled me with its tactical realism, but also managed to affect me emotionally as I considered how many lives were lost to battles like this one and what kind of stress civilian and military sailors must have faced during every crossing. Hanks is fantastic as the subdued Captain of the USS Keeling (call sign “Greyhound”) and has this ship sailing into 2020 claiming its place as one of the most historically accurate and best films centered around Navy combat to ever be made.

Rating:


Aaron White is a Seattle-based film critic and co-creator/co-host of the Feelin’ Film Podcast. He is also a member of the Seattle Film Critics Society. He writes reviews with a focus on the emotional experience he has with a film. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter to be notified when new content is posted.

Episode 236: The Rock

“Welcome to The Rock.”

The Rock Spoiler Review – 0:17:01

The Connecting Point – 1:01:22

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Episode 235: Fast Five

The franchise goes international for this next entry, the one that is usually regarded by fans as the best, and we do not disagree. It’s time for us to gush about one of the most perfect action films ever made. We love it. It’s in the Trophy Room. Listen and find out why. Salute, mi familia.

Fast Five Spoiler Review – 0:04:27

The Connecting Point – 1:23:01

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Episode 234: Fast and Furious

Though many dislike this entry, we have a fondness for this particular film in the Fast Saga and think it is severely underrated. In this episode, we gush about how Justin Lin starts to take this franchise down new roads while solidifying character relationships we’ve come to love and giving us a healthy dose of mostly still grounded racing action.

Fast and Furious Spoiler Review – 0:05:07

The Connecting Point – 1:05:35

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Episode 233: Da 5 Bloods

This week we’re joined by special guest Emmanuel Noisette of Eman’s Movie Reviews to discuss the newest Spike Lee joint, a film that puts a focus on the Black Vietnam veteran experience and marries that with a gold heist. Everything Spike Lee is known for is present, including passionate history lessons, great acting performances, and unconventional stylistic choices. We talk about the film’s timeliness, cultural relevance, and much, much more.

Da 5 Bloods Spoiler Review – 0:08:32

The Connecting Point – 1:19:39

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Episode 232: 2 Fast 2 Furious

We continue our fast and furious summer with a conversation about one of the most disliked sequels in the franchise. Changing directors, relocating to Miami, and introducing Brian O’Connor to an entirely new group of friends, this film stays in line with the grounded nature of the first but trades some of its emotional heft for a little extra style. We discuss both the ways it was a pleasant surprise and its slight missteps.

2 Fast 2 Furious Spoiler Review – 0:10:49

The Connecting Point – N/A

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Episode 231: The Fast and the Furious

Feelin’ Film kicks off our fast and furious summer with a conversation about the film that launched one of our most-beloved franchises. The street racing, unique heist, great character introductions and more come up. And yes, we talk about family, too.

The Fast and the Furious Spoiler Review – 0:06:14

The Connecting Point – 1:07:47

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