Food, drink, film and other random thoughts from The Lone Star State.

Friday, February 16, 2007


I spent a bit of my youth in Alabama, Mobile to be exact. What I remember most from that era were my neighbors: Suzy, her sister Karen, her mom (my DC Mom) and her dad, Ralph. Ralph was a career Coast Guard guy, a helicopter pilot. When the CG took him from Alabama to Alaska our family went to visit. What I remember vividly to this day was Ralph taking us up for rides in his helicopter to see the hundreds of little islands where they lived; the weaving in and out of lines of trees at almost a sideways angle, quick ascent over the mountains, then quick descent to touch the water. Thing is, Ralph loved flying us around more than we loved the ride, which is something considering it is one of my favorite memories. I can still see Ralph's wide-eyed grin and hear his booming laugh as he showed us one of the most beautiful states in the country.

It was tragic that years later a helicopter accident took his life. It was a small but necessary comfort to me that at least he went doing something he truly loved.

All this came back to me as a result of watching this film. I wondered afterward if Ralph would have approved of the portrayal of the inner workings of the Coast Guard's Rescue Team - The Swimmers.

Its a formula film - mostly predictable, sparsely cheesy but still very entertaining. Kevin Costner was in his element as the Coast Guard rescue swimmer turned trainer and Ashton Kutcher was not bad as the young, antagonistic student. Most of the film centers around opposing forces: an innate student-teacher rivalry which keeps them separated and similar psychological scars which bring them together.

Decent action, decent dialogue and decent "violent storm at sea" generated images kept me interested throughout. I can't recall even one scene that didn't involve water. Students are either in a pool for "training", which seemed to me more intense than Army boot camp, or they were dropping out of helicopters into the Bering Sea. At the end I felt cold, wet and I think my fingertips shriveled up.

The ending, well, I didn't do a full eye-roll and yell "Oh c'mon!", I think I just smirked and thought "Disney ending".


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Blogger suzy said...

I have not seen it yet, I am going to. I will let you know if Ralph would have approved. He had definate opinions on ALL things, and could talk for hours on them. Especially flying. Always flying.

10:49 PM

Anonymous sortedlives said...

Heyy, came across your blog through Steve's Whirlyworld and Spider and enjoyed your stories. I look forward to reading more and will definately blogroll you.

Have a great weekend.

7:29 AM

Blogger Jim said...

I'll curious to see what you think about it too, since you grew up with the CG and Alaska.

Yes, your dad had opinions. And everyone listened to them since he was 6'6"! :)

8:22 AM

Blogger Jim said...

Welcome sorted! You have a great (long) weekend too!

8:23 AM

Blogger purpletwinkie said...

Now I want to see this. Thanks for the review.

Disney ending... does that = "feel good movie of the year"?

3:26 PM

Blogger Jim said...

Scott, I mean like golly-gee, anything is possible!

5:24 PM

Blogger JC said...

Well if you would NOT get the giant sized drink maybe your pants would feel wet....
Or maybe it was Kevin Costner that caused that....heh heh

7:19 PM

Blogger Jim said...

LOL, JC Costner doesnt work for me in that way ;)

8:03 PM


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