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    Re: More comments on movie "All is Lost"
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2013 Nov 7, 10:13 -0800

    From that nameless reviewer:
    "Why would any rational person go sailing with this guy?"

    Aha, well now at least know why our hero is sailing alone. :)

    And the reviewer wrote:
    "He's adrift for a week and has almost no food or water, no PFD, no flares, no GPS, no EPIRB."

    As I mentioned previously, I was very bothered that he had no backup GPS. But people do sail that way, rationally or not. Then again, it wouldn't have solved any problem in this scenario. They're are plenty of scenes of him eating rations. Food isn't really a problem. And we see that his carefully prepared supply of fresh water has been ruined by an unfortunate accident. The lack of EPIRB is more serious (assuming the film is set in the present day). As for no flares... um... was this reviewer munching on popcorn when the flares were fired as giant ships passed by our hero? Multiple flares?? And he missed them? As for no PFD, I've known people who hate them and avoid them at all costs. They swim.

    The reviewer also wrote:
    "He makes navigating with a sextant seem so trivial. He waves it at the horizon and instantly there's a fix plotted on the chart."

    Anybody who expects a detailed course in celestial navigation will be sorely disappointed. As for making celestial navigation seem trivial, um, it *IS* trivial. I agree that it "looked" too trivial within the context of the film. Even if there had been a few moments where he became frustrated and scratched out his calculations, it would have been more believable since we see him studying at an earlier point in the film. And btw, the fix wasn't "instant". They did show some sort of calculational work. It would have been a much worse movie if they had shown all the details. In any case, our hero may be doing nothing more than latitude by noon Sun. You can work up a noon Sun sight on a small scrap of paper. There are a lot of hyper-geeks who enjoy boasting about the difficulty of celestial navigation. They are full of it.

    That reviewer added:
    "I didn't have time to write down all the errors in this film. I bruised my wife's arm from nudging her every time I saw a mistake."

    Definitely a hyper-geek. I would have bruised his nose. There were a few of these where I saw the film. I even had to turn around and 'shush' a couple in their 70s who were happily chatting about sailboat gear during the first ten minutes of the film (reminding us that teenagers are not the only ones who don't realize they're not in their own living room when they're at the movies these days). Hyper-geeks are people obsessed with technical details. I agree that "All Is Lost" is relatively lazy on technical details, but that's not what makes or breaks the film. It's a survival story, not a "survival-ist" story. To put it differently, it's not a man showing us "how" to survive; it's a man who simply "must" survive. Like "Gravity", this is a film that has been over-sold by the critics raising expectations to stratospheric levels. There are endless reviews declaring "ten out of ten!", "best movie ever!", "best acting!", "revolution in film making!". Like I say, I'm calling it about 7 out of 10 for both of these.

    But, what the hell, I may as well link you to one more superlative review:
    http://www.richardroeper.com/reviews/allislost.aspx
    You'll note that Richard Roeper compares it directly to "Gravity" at one point, and also, tellingly, the review is really about Redford's odds of "finally" winning an Oscar for his performance.

    -FER

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