Written by Books, Films

The Perfect Storm

Well I sat down on Saturday night at a loss for anything to watch on TV, and on a whim, decided that I’d rewatch The Perfect Storm on DVD. Not a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination, but a lot of fun. The interesting thing about it is that obviously it has stacks of CGI throughout it, a lot of which takes place at sea. And they don’t do a bad job with it. Not totally brilliant, but pretty damn good. Now compare and contrast with Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, which has a big sequence that takes place on a watery planet. This film was made two years later than The Perfect Storm and it’s rendering of a stormy planet is much worse. OK, there are bigger problems anyway with this film, since there simply is too much CGI throughout, leading to the film looking more like a cartoon than a live-action film, but I simply don’t think that Lucas has the best technicians in this regard anymore. Peter Jackson seems to have those – a make believe world you can believe in!
Anyway afterwards, I recalled that I got the book years ago, and had never actually read it. So I picked it up, and by the next day I’d finished it off.
The first thing to say is that the film is actually quite a good adaptation of the book, bearing in mind that nothing that happens on the boat is known about. The book makes clear it’s all supposition, but the film has to tell a tale. They use events and other things that are mentioned in the back as the kind of things that can happen on a fishing trip. I guess that the trip detailed in the film really is the worst ever since many eventful things happen before they even hit the storm. There are contractions of plot and characters, but it’s all told fairly well.
The book reads well, and it’s no surprise to discover that like the story of the Everest disaster in 1996, Into Thin Air, it started out as a magazine article for Outside. The book just has a certain style to the way it’s written. Still, it’s quite eye opening, and a story well told.