The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Opinion & Letters to the Editor

November 28, 2012

‘Chasing Mavericks’: lost among the waves

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 — From the first of November all the way to the end of December and into January every year there is a rush at the theaters. It is the holiday season, it is awards season and the studios are actively releasing movies for three reasons: to make money, win awards or in the best-case scenario, do both. This season always produces casualties: films which never find the audience they deserve.  

“Chasing Mavericks” is one of those films that got lost in the waves and tides of a very busy season at the cinema. Many times this happens to films that deserve to get lost and films that should sink to the bottom of the box office. However, other times, it is unfortunate because the film actually deserves to ride the surf to success. I will go on record to say that “Chasing Mavericks” should have stayed afloat longer and most definitely should have made a bigger splash.  

“Mavericks” had a huge ad campaign. I must have seen the previews two or three dozen times in the theater and many more times at home. The film had a $20 million production budget and opened in 2,030 theaters. At the time I am writing this review, the film has been released for 26 days, it has earned $5,677,954 and is ranked 129 in ticket sales among all the films thus far released in 2012. That is not a stellar performance.

So, in an effort to encourage my readers to seek out the film, or at least place it on their Netflix queue, here is a short review of “Chasing Mavericks.”

First, this is a true story and it is a remarkable one. I have written many times and will say again, I like all kinds of films, those based on true stories and those based on fiction. I even enjoy a thought-provoking documentary. When a dramatic film is based on fact, and the story is as startling as “Chasing Mavericks,” it moves me in a unique way. I became involved in this story and a part of my emotions were based on the truth of the narrative.

Second, though the film is formulaic, it ultimately rises above the formula. There is a student and mentor in the film. All film fans have seen this formula over and over again. Yoda and Luke, Mr. Miyagi and Daniel, Morpheus and Neo, and the lists go on and on. That is also the formula for “Chasing Mavericks.” Except the story adds unexpected twists that do not ultimately alter the greater plot, but do offer a break from the rote storytelling. I do not know if these twists are based on historical fact or not, but I know the film is strengthened by the telling of these events.

Third, there are some breathtaking shots of surfing in this film that makes one wonder what is CGI and what is real. I have reached the point in life where there are many things I will never do. Surfing is on that list. The surfing in this film, for someone like me, is beyond impressive. And again whether the film shows real surfing or not, it is based on a true story of a 15-year-old surfer who did awe-inspiring things.

Finally, the last 20 minutes of this film are amazing. I knew nothing of “Maverick’s” story that I had not seen in the previews. I do not want to offer anything about the finale except to say it is stunning, surprising, thrilling and joyous but not necessarily in that order.   

“Chasing Mavericks” is not one of the best films of the year, but it deserved more attention than it received. Maybe, just maybe, a few of my readers will help this film rise up to the top and surf once more.

 

1
Text Only
Opinion & Letters to the Editor
  • Do White Castle prices tell us anything about the minimum wage?

    NEW YORK - Economists love hamburgers. Specifically fast-food burgers. This is partly because all right-thinking human beings love ground meat on a bun, but it's also because the sandwich makes a handy yardstick for international financial comparisons. The ingredients and labor involved in preparing a Big Mac are pretty much the same no matter where you are in the world, so by looking at how many hours of toiling it takes a worker to earn enough to purchase one, you can get a sense of how wages really stack up across countries. The Economist famously created the Big Mac index in 1986 to see which currencies were overvalued. It started as a joke. Now, as the magazine proudly notes, it's a subject of academic study.

    April 22, 2014

  • Can Hillary Clinton rock the cradle and the world?

    WASHINGTON - What's most interesting to contemplate is the effect becoming a grandmother will have on Hillary's ambition. It's one of life's unfairnesses that a woman's peak career years often coincide with her peak childbearing years.

    April 22, 2014

  • Doug Creamer All in the Family

    We had a family get-together at my brother’s house on Easter Sunday. It’s hard to get our family together because we are spread out, especially when you consider nieces and nephews. My parents and siblings all made the gathering this year. Some of my nieces and nephews are far away, but they all remember gathering at my brother’s house for the holidays. Easter is known for the Jell-O eggs and the famous Easter egg hunt.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Victimized by the 'marriage penalty'

    In a few short months, I'll pass the milestone that every little girl dreams of: the day she swears - before family and God, in sickness and in health, all in the name of love - that she's willing to pay a much higher tax rate.

    April 19, 2014

  • The case for separate beds

    WASHINGTON - The other night I slept on a twin bed in the guest room of the house I share with my husband and our two kids.
    It was the best night's sleep I've had in years.

    April 19, 2014

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Obama's equal pay exaggeration leads us all into danger

    The president's claims of national shame over gender-based pay inequity spring from distorted calculations, as well as some convenient political math.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Teens trading naked selfies for mugshots

    Will teenagers ever learn? You think yours will. Maybe so. But it's likely that was also the hope of the parents of children who were so shamed by nude photos of themselves that went south - how else can they go - that they killed themselves.

    April 12, 2014

  • Brent Laurenz If you want to vote in primary, you need to register to vote now

    RALEIGH – North Carolina voters will head to the polls on May 6 this year to cast ballots in important primary elections across the state.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Scott Mooneyham Heeding the voter fraud call in N.C.

    RALEIGH – Legislators found the findings outrageous.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Doug Creamer Roots

    I took a few minutes over the weekend to enjoy our yard and the arrival of spring. There seems to be so much work that needs to be done, it is hard to decide what to do first. I am excited that I got to run my tiller through the garden. I didn’t go very deep, but I did at least break up the soil. I have a couple of raised beds and the soil in them was in very good shape. I didn’t plant my peas and now after the big rain we got on Monday I realize that I missed a window of opportunity.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Seasonal Content