Thursday, October 02, 2014



This straight-to-video release was the brainchild of a Naked Ape director named Trey Stokes.  I watched it last week along with all the "disc extras" that the Homo saps always make so much fuss about.  Needless to say, this film -- which currently scores 2.4 stars out of a possible 10 at the Internet Movie Database -- has a complete "making of" documentary attached to it.  IT REVEALS FAR TOO MUCH.  I am not talking about piscatorial security leaks.  It reveals the thinking process of the people who put this movie together, and frankly I can hardly believe that they take this movie seriously themselves, but there it is on the disc for all to see...I guess that's human nature in a nutshell, isn't it?  If I did this it is a work of art, not a baffling clusterfunk, because I mean it to be powerful and moving.  So it must be.  Because we humans are the masters of that sort of thing.  NEVER MIND that we didn't really put any thought into this at all, for all our vaunted intelligence, and the results we got would make a cat laugh...


PLOT SUMMARY:  This may be familiar to a few of you, especially those who were first drawn to Piscatorial Love by reading Melville's Moby-Dick.  A half-mad sea captain named Ahab chases the great white Whale that took his leg years ago.   The crew of his ship, the Pequod, gets distinctly nervous as their quarry gets closer, because dang, this is one big honker of a Whale.  Ahab -- a remarkable combination of planful and crazy, played wonderfully by Barry Bostwick -- cannot be swayed from his goal, and ultimately, well, IT ENDS ABOUT THE SAME WAY THE NOVEL DID.


>> Ishmael from the novel is remade in this film adaptation into a pretty blonde marine biologist named Michelle.  She has an Odious Comic Relief sidekick named Pip.

>> In this movie, Pequod -- and the ship Ahab was working on when he lost his leg to the whale, Acushnet -- are nuclear submarines.  The crew involved are not supposed to be hunting Whales at all; they are strictly military guys.

>> All of these guys -- Starbuck, Queequeg, all the names you may remember from the book -- are pared down to bland background characters with hardly any lines and no real role in the story.  Michelle is no different.  She doesn't even have the role Ishmael had, of the lone survivor who needs to  sit down next to you, introduce herself, and tell you the terrible tale of what happened aboard the Pequod.

>> This story involves all kinds of specialized audio equipment and military secrets turned against OUR OPERATIVES, for PERSONAL REVENGE.  At least that's how Ahab sees it.  Michelle sees it as pretty much crazy.

>> That's not how I see it, however.  Ahab and Michelle argue about how much credit to give Moby-Dick for what looks like an ability to plan ahead, be sneaky, and so on -- they can't agree on whether this Whale is very smart or very dumb.  What every Shaved Monkey on board appears to miss is the way Moby-Dick uses the Pequod's technology against the crew, so that she can successfully complete the cycle of recruitment.  FOOLS!

>> You can sort of see why Ahab is so upset at Moby Dick, because they were JUST down there minding their own business, or rather the business of those dadblasted Communists who are trying to undermine the American way of life, when out of nowhere this ridonkulously huge Whale grabs them amidships, shoves them straight up through a solid sheet of ice into the open air, snaps them in half in mid-breach and then sinks back below the surface with half the sub still in its mouth.  The nerve!

>> You can sort of NOT see why Ahab is so upset.  One of the other survivors of the Acushnet  disaster, a guy named Boomer, was just as badly hurt and yet still has his head screwed on pretty straight.  In the time since half the Acushnet was stranded on an ice floe, Ahab has risen to the rank of submarine captain, designed the Pequod himself (which suggests he must have gotten a naval engineering degree under his belt at some point, probably at government expense), then clean got away with stealing his own ship to set off on the revenge trail.

>> In this movie you can very, very easily see the overlap between this plot and the one we remember from Jaws.  The Great White Shark, like the Great White Whale, and their human recruits find each other across countless miles and years to finish what they started together.  Now THAT is what I call good technique.  THIS IS THE MESSAGE OF THIS MOVIE, AS FAR AS YOU ARE CONCERNED:  for recruiters, the message is FINISH WHAT YOU START.  For recruits, the message is RESISTANCE IS FUTILE.  START LEARNING TO SWIM NOW.


>> How does anyone steal his own nuclear submarine...from himself? 

>> Isn't it kind of a rule in the Marines that if you lose a leg in action, they send you home with a disability pension?  Ahab has lost a leg and Boomer, we are told, got gangrene in his arm while they were waiting for rescue aboard the bisected Acushnet.  Why are they still in the Marines?  Odder still, Boomer seems to pretty much still have his arm.  At times.  Here and there he seems to try to tuck his hand up his sleeve and hide it that way.  But there's no hook or anything obvious like that to show he had an amputation.  And then his hand shows up again for a minute.  Oh, I don't know.

>> What species is Moby-Dick?  Basically the same shape as what the Naked Apes call a Sperm Whale, this operative is 500 feet long and big enough to eat a standard-issue Whale as an hors d'oeuvre.  OK, we know there are all kinds of species out there unknown to the Naked Apes, but isn't this one kind of hard to hide?

>> What kind of Whale not only hides, evades sonar, flies, and hovers on top of the water as long as desired like an inflatable raft, but ALSO roars like a dinosaur whether above or below the surface?  The abilities of this species are astounding.  I especially like the way the massive Whale slipped unnoticed through a 12-foot-deep channel too shallow to admit the Pequod.  I guess it's no more physically impossible than a Whale that flies.

>> And why is there only one?  When Ahab finds his quarry, it's not just any 500-foot-long Sperm Whale.  It's the same one that ate his leg.  Fifty years ago.  Definitely.  (And he knows this how???)

>> If this Whale is so elusive that she is only a legend -- to everyone but the crew of the Pequod -- how is she so easy for Ahab to find again and again?  You know and I know that they are drawn together by the natural progression of the recruitment process, but NO HOMO SAP UNDERSTANDS THAT.  They don't even try to explain that in terms a human can understand.

>> If this Whale is so elusive that she is only a legend -- to everyone but the crew of the Pequod -- what's with all the old harpoons embedded in the poor creature's head?  Don't they usually catch sight of a Whale before firing a harpoon into her?  That's what I thought.

>> I understand a nuclear sub needs more than one person to run it, but I think they wasted time introducing one character after another in this movie that had no real role in the events.  It was just between Ahab and his recruiting operative.  It should have been kept that way.

 Ultimately, the most believable factor in this story is the way Ahab, stricken with Piscatorial Love, looks crazier and crazier to his human observers as he becomes incapable of anything else on earth but getting between the jaws of that Whale.  But love finds a way.  That alone makes it worth seeing. 


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