Tonight's marathon is all about witnessing either a plane crash or ship wreck, that turns into an adventure for our main characters. While these adventures are new for these characters who happen to be regular people, it happens to become an experience that transforms them both emotionally and physically. There's no guarantee that these guys will make it home or get rescued which makes them adapt to their new environment as they make their way home. These adventures don't come without moments of danger besides the crashing of a plane or sinking of a ship, but also require the strength of each character to deal with obstacles such as fighting off blood thirsty Wolves and Bears. This is not just a thrilling experience but an emotional one for not just the main characters but the audience as well. For tonight's powerful marathon, we have on the following menu:
The Grey 2012, Cast Away 2000, 127 Hours, and Life Of PI 2012
Now this is one of a kind marathon with films that are ideal for this theme. Here we have several different stories and journeys of people at the edge of the world. While being secluded from the rest of society, these people learn to cope with their lives out in the wilderness. and while doing so, also becoming better people. Most of these movies are critically acclaimed or are considered exciting adventure dramas. Each film carries with it a powerful punch that adds to the ultimate message behind the lineup which basically says that when put in a situation such as these, the experience can either bring out the best in you or the worst. You either face the challenge head on and fight to the end to survive or you give up easily and die in shame. What makes all of the characters in these films relatable are that they are fighters as well as people who don't give up easily on things. Because of their reluctance and stubborn refusal to go quietly, we follow these characters through their journey until they reach their final destination point. It takes courage, bravery, and the strength of the human heart to endure what these characters have gone through and in most cases live to tell about their stories.
The first movie of the marathon is the 2012 critically acclaimed action drama titled The Grey starring Liam Neeson. The story centers around a plane crashing in Alaska that leaves six oil workers stranded and led by a skilled huntsman in their quest to be survived. Their plans of being rescued are halted when a pack of merciless wolves begin haunting them with each step they take. One of the great aspects of this marathon, is the unique and different kinds of cinematography each film possesses in telling its story. The Grey is a beautifully shot and well acted film with large thanks being aimed at the combination of Liam Neeson being the lead actor and Narc's Joe Carnahan at the helm as director. The film is tense, exciting, and carries with it a lead character that you come to care about, a philosophical touch to it, and an intense tale of survival with man against wolves. The Grey is the perfect first film of the night because it establishes the theme of an accident happening involving a plane crash that's out of everyone's control, then puts our characters to the real test of fighting for survival out in the open. The experience puts everything the main characters know and believe in faith wise to the test.
The second movie of the marathon is the 2000 critically acclaimed drama and blockbuster titled Cast Away starring Tom Hanks and Helen Hunt. Nominated for two academy awards including Best Sound and Best Actor in a lead role, Cast Away places Tom Hanks as a FedEx executive, who leaves behind his girlfriend to personally escort a FedEx load that crash lands in the sea. When he pulls himself to shore, he must transform himself both physically and emotionally to survive on the island alone. Cast Away is one of Tom Hanks finest roles as an actor and also one of the defining films in regards to surviving in the wild. From Robert Zemeckis, the director of Forrest Gump and Flight delivers a film with strong screenwriting, powerful acting from Tom Hanks, beautiful cinematography that makes you believe that Hanks is really stuck on an island, and top notch directing from Zemeckis who worked with Hanks previously on 1994's Oscar winning film Forrest Gump. Whereas The Grey is suspenseful and thrilling, Cast Away is slower and takes things down to a more human level.
The third movie of the marathon is the 2010 Oscar nominated drama titled 127 Hours starring James Franco and directed by Slumdog Millionaire's Danny Boyle. Based on a true story, the film centers around an adventurous mountain climber who becomes trapped inside a canyon while canyoneering alone around Utah. He resorts to desperate measures in order to survive even going as far as cutting his arm off in order to break free of his net in order to find help. 127 Hours is once again a solo actors film much like Cast Away, with James Franco utilizing his acting talents to carry the film in an Oscar nominated performance as the helpless mountain climber whose stuck between a rock and a hard place. The film is also a philosophical piece of filmmaking much like The Grey with both Liam Neeson and James Franco reflecting on their lives, mistakes they made, people who they love but aren't with them anymore, and gaining the will to pull through and prevail. The film is gut wrenching and inspirational with a great performance from James Franco and beautiful direction and photography from Danny Boyle.
The fourth movie of the marathon is Ang Lee's Oscar Winning drama titled Life Of Pi. Nominated for 11 academy awards and winner of 4 including Best Director for acclaimed filmmaker Ang Lee, Life Of Pi centers around a young man, who survives a sea disaster and finds himself embarking on an epic journey involving adventure and discovery. While being essentially a cast away much like Tom Hanks in his film, the young man is left on a small boat with the only other survivor of the shipwreck, a Bengal tiger. The two form a connection that's not only believable but would change the young mans life forever. Life Of Pi is the most emotional film of all four movies and essentially the perfect way to end the marathon. It goes back to being a personal journey much like Cast Away blending masterful storytelling with powerful performances and great technological effects. When combined with other movies such as The Grey, Cast Away, and 127 Hours the marathon as a whole provides a powerful yet rewarding experience.
So what are all of these movies trying to say as a whole when you put them together? The message says that sometimes unexpected things happen such as a plane crash or a ship sinking, and if so, you are gonna be put to the test. That test is going to be a battle for survival and is also going to change a person both emotionally and physically. A movie like The Grey says that you should fight the odds and never give up until the end, no matter what it takes. Cast Away says that sometimes it takes the direst circumstances to not only bring out the best in us but to also make us realize what's most important. 127 Hours says that everyone needs help sometimes when the occasion calls for it, and you should always tell your parents or someone else where you're going away so they can find you if needed. For Life Of Pi, a young man can call onto his faith when put into a crisis such as the one presented in the movie.
Our characters for this evening: