Skip to main content

Movie Review: All is Lost (2013)

Lionsgate Entertainment
Director: J.C. Chandor
Runtime: 1 hour, 46 minutes
Rated: PG-13 (for brief language)
Writers: J.C. Chandor
Starring: Robert Redford
Action | Adventure | Drama
In the entire film, there are only a few strands of dialog, most of them abruptly short. The rest is a silently slow drama with one man lost at sea (Robert Redford). It all takes place 1,700 nautical miles from the Sumatra Straights.

After a collision with a cargo container at sea, our man finds himself staring mortality in the face. And not even knowing his name, the bigger questions that go unanswered only make us wonder all the more what preceded the movie’s events…

“13th of July, 4:50 pm. I’m sorry...I know that means little at this point, but I am. I tried, I think you would all agree that I tried. To be true, to be strong, to be kind, to love, to be right. But I wasn’t. And I know you knew this. In each of your ways. And I am sorry. All is lost here...except for soul and body...that is, what’s left of them...and a half-day’s ration. It’s inexcusable really, I know that now. How it could have taken this long to admit that I’m not sure...but it did. I fought ‘til the end, I’m not sure what this is worth, but know that I did. I have always hoped for more for you all...I will miss you. I’m sorry.” 

But those questions we never get an answer to. Instead, we get: “This is the Virginia Jean with an SOS call. Over,” with the steady crash of waves and the movement of the tides out on a lonely, open sea.

Will the modern equivalent of silent films come back into grove? All is Lost is a good indicator that such a thing could just about happen. It may not have obtained the level of suspense it wanted to, but a daringness to not follow the beaten path of familiar films it has in spades, not to mention a respect for plot focus not seen in similar movies of its kind (like 2000's Castaway).

At the halfway marker, we start to lose a bit of patience and don’t sympathize as much with our man’s plight since the film’s artistic display of choice unintentionally detracts somewhat from the film’s goal. Redford may not have given us his full-on best, but what he gives comes close to it.

A few semi-successful misleads and music pieces that don’t always help to access the more tense moments has us wondering why our captain never talks to himself or hollers out in fits of rage, but most of what we are shown was specifically intended not to overplay any one element behind the drama. Director Chandor, still mostly green in big-name film endeavors, logs a tremendous number in All is Lost, an excellent movie by all standards.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

When Jesus Turns Down the Glory: 10 Worst Ever Christian Songs

It’s a sad testimony when even the creator of a thing realizes that the product isn’t what it was intended to be. Well, actually it’s a good thing. It just doesn’t happen often enough. The Christian music industry is, shall we say, not up to par with where its admirers (and even creators and ardent well-wishers) would hope it would be. And when even the average believer realizes that their music is not market-cornering stuff, all should know that there is a problem.

Now not all Christian music sucks (you might even find a few rock songs from artists like Petra on Joe Holman’s ipod that he still sometimes listens to and enjoys), but what makes the stuff that does suck suck is that what sucks sucks for a number of different reasons. We begin the countdown going from best of the worst to absolute worst...

The Top 5 Most Powerful Beings in Sci-fi (Part I of II)

It’s a subject that is rarely tackled in any form outside of random questions on a message board, but here we will devote a sensible examination of it. Who – what – is the most powerful being anywhere in every realm of sci-fi or fantasy ever dreamt up by a finite human being? I’ve been contemplating this subject since I was 8 years old. At 39, it hasn’t left my mind. That means several things; (1) I’m a fucking geek. (2) I’ve invested enough of my life pondering this for it to qualify as an obsession.

As with all “Most” anything lists, we are faced with several problems, one of them being limited source material. A couple of these only made one or two brief appearances somewhere and that is all we have to go by. But sometimes, those situations let our imaginations go into overdrive and give us even more creative fun. The mystery tends to add to the experience of contemplation.

The Top 5 Most Powerful Beings in Sci-fi (Part II of II)

#1) The Douwds – From Star Trek The Next Generation

Claim to fame: This Douwd went from pacifist to mass murderer of 50 billion in a single moment of anger. He appears to hold the record for most murders in all of sci-fi.
Abilities: Just about unlimited.
Nature: True immortals.

Our winner, debatably edging out number #2, is a mysterious race of beings called the Douwds. We only get to meet one of their kind in a single episode (#51, season 3 - see the condensed version here) called “The Survivors.” It was one of the very best of any season. What little we know of this illusive race “of disguises and false surroundings” only adds to our fascination with them.

When the Enterprise gets an urgent distress call from a federation colony on Delta Rana IV about an attacking alien warship, they head over as fast as they can, but they are days away. By the time they arrive, it is too late. All are dead and the planet has been literally leveled…with the sole exception of one house and the small pa…