28 June 2009 | Samiam3
A whale of a movie
If you felt that John Huston's film of Herman Melville's immortal epic was too old hat for you, I think you'll find what you are looking for in here. stunning photography, stronger acting, and dazzling special effects, Franc Roddam's Moby Dick, is not just one of the greatest TV movies but one of the greatest sea fearing pictures to come out of the last few decades.
Moby Dick is one of those novels that everyone talks about but nobody has read. Herman Melville's 19th century New England maritime dialog would be difficult for most contemporary readers, but his story is just as strong in a movie form as it is in a 1000 page book, ergo a viewer could gain the same knowledge and understanding of all the themes, whaling, shipping and most of all human nature.
I've never thought of Patrick Stewart as a great actor, but this is the strongest performance I've seen him give. His Captain Ahab is more colorful than Gregory Pecks, sometimes going over the top, but he does a better job of portraying the old captain as a madman Henry Thomas and Ted Levine also give good performances, and even Gregory Peck makes an appearance. Incidentilly this what the last movie he acted in.
Even though the original Moby Dick is still impressive today, the special effects are weak and they show scientific inaccuracies regarding the movement of whales. A good balance of CG and animatronic makes Moby Dick in this film, move more elegantly, like a whale rather than a rubber model. Once again the film not only emphasizes the color of the whale but the size. Moby Dick is a Sperm whale, a species which grows to a lenght of about 50 - 55 feet. however this specimen looks closer to 100 feet . There are some great shots which provide a good hint of scale, one of which involves a whaling rowboat being crushed between the giants jaws
If you can find this on DVD or catch it on television, I strongly recommend you see this, it might just blow you out of the water with awe.