Chasing Mavericks [Blu-Ray] Curtis Hanson & Michael Apted

Chasing Mavericks [Blu-Ray] Curtis Hanson & Michael Apted
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With Curtis Hanson having directed films like Wonder Boys and L.A. Confidential, and Michael Apted helming instalments of the Narnia and Bond franchises, this true story about a teen surfer wannabe tackling the Mavericks — some of the biggest waves on Earth — seems like an unlikely collaborative effort. What could have attracted them to such seemingly saccharine, inspirational material, given their collective success and propensity for helming works of far greater significance? However, after Chasing Mavericks establishes the affable, idealistic disposition of its 15-year-old protagonist, Jay Moriarity (Jonny Weston), and introduces the experienced, but gruff surfer dude with a heart-of-gold, Frosty Hesson (Gerard Butler), this coming-of-age story about the gradual defeat of optimism and hope starts to show its true colours. While Apted often tackles true stories (Gorillas in the Mist) or films about idealists (Amazing Grace), Hanson's involvement suggests something else altogether. Jay's family life is fragmented; his father is gone and his mostly absent mother (Elizabeth Shue) asks to borrow money from him habitually. Jay's crush (and eventual wife), Kim (Leven Rambin), similarly has a more practical and experienced approach to life, finding herself attracted to the perpetual ray of sunshine beaming from her beau, despite knowing that it's only a matter of time before the world crushes him. Everyone around our protagonist has a prescience he's incapable of understanding. And another thing that Chasing Mavericks does well is make clear the surfer Zen metaphor of coasting over the worst the world has to offer and coming out as a winner, which is made ever-painful by the inevitability of surfers eventually succumbing to the waves, or life. Beyond the impeccable high-definition imagery of a curling, rumbling, tumultuous ocean, crisply captured with impeccable cinematography, there's a devastating narrative about running out into the world with wide eyes, only to be disappointed. In the interview supplemental included with the Blu-Ray, friends and family discuss the real Jay's magnetic personality and irrepressible energy, noting that no matter what was going on around him, he always had a collected disposition. The nature of surfing is also discussed, as is the filming of the many impressive action scenes on the ocean. Ultimately, the outcome of the film is a tough pill to swallow, speaking to the human experience and the nature of being let down quite profoundly, which is far more than most would likely expect from a movie about a kid that just wants to surf with the big boys. (Fox)