Snapshots - #38: Only the Brave, Jane, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Only the Brave (2017), (♦♦♦♦): Based on the true story of the effort it took to get a municipal crew of firefighters from Prescott, Arizona, certified as Hotshots. After battling thousands of wildfires since their inception, the Granite Mountain Hotshots answered a call to battle the Yarnell Hill fire—about 30 miles away from Prescott—along with several other crews. How they got to that point and what happened is what this movie is about.
Only the Brave is a drama with some thriller on the side, and excellent performances to boast of. It's got a dynamic pace, engaging plot, amazing shots of wildfires, fun camaraderie, and great music to underscore the action. As an audience, we care for the journey of that crew, individually and as a group, and as heartbreaking as the closing scenes are, we stand in awe at the sacrifices that firefighters and their families make every day of their lives. Only the Brave is a darn great tribute to them, and elite firefighters such as the Granite Moun…

Captain Phillips (♦♦♦♦)

“Chances are they are fishermen.” 
“They're not here to fish.”

In April 2009, the Maersk Alabama, an American cargo ship containing among other things food aid for Somali people, was attacked in international waters near the African Horn by Somali pirates--natives of a fishermen’s village. At request of Captain Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks), the crew hid in the engine room and managed to wound two of the pirates, but in a dangerous twist of fate, Captain Phillips was taken hostage aboard a lifeboat with only the pirates for company. Quarreling among themselves, the pirates were surrounded by US Navy frigates which had to intervene to rescue Captain Phillips.

Leave it to Tom Hanks to carry a movie like this on his shoulders. Captain Phillips is a taut thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat virtually from the start and Tom Hanks shines the most, though Muse, the pirate Captain and his crew are excellent in their roles as well.

The tension is palpable all along the film, among the crew in the Maersk Alabama-- when discussing the possibility of being attacked by pirates and possibly holding the fort, a union guy expresses that he isn’t paid enough to defend the cargo—and among the pirates because even though they agree on that thirty thousand dollars is too small a pay for their risk, they don’t agree on how to proceed, how to be led, and most importantly, how to treat their “ace card”.

Captain Phillips is more effective because it’s a true story. This movie is a pure adrenaline ride from start to finish.


  1. Captain Phillips sounds like a movie my husband would really like. Thanks.

  2. I think it's great regardless of the genre of the audience...Not too graphic, and it's a true story.


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