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Based on 'the perfect storm' off the East coast of the US in October 1991, this is the story of the fishing boat Andrea Gail and what happened to it and to others caught in the unique confluence of three diabolical weather systems. Capt. Billy Tyne (George Clooney), takes his boat out to the far-flung Flamish Cap off the Gloucester coast, in a desperate attempt to haul a decent catch after a bad spell, unaware until it's too late that he's facing a weather demon of unparelleled ferocity. He and his crew, Bobby (Mark Wahlberg), Dale 'Murph' (John C. Reilly), David 'Sully' (William Fichtner) Michael 'Bugsy' (John Hawkes) and Alfred Pieree (Allen Payne), find the fish allright, but on the journey back home, they meet 'the perfect storm'. Warnings, including frantic calls from fellow sword fishing boat captain Linda Greenlaw (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio), don't get through.

"Based on a book by Sebastian Junger, this is the true story of a town and one fishing boat in particular, that faced what scientists have dubbed The Perfect Storm, which resulted from the confluence of three wild weather systems in the Atlantic off the US coast, in October 1991.

The only thing missing from this magnificent, technically superior DVD package is a ‘how to’ feature from ILM on turning a fake miniature storm in a studio tank into the raging rampaging roar of The Perfect Storm. Perhaps commercial prudence was the motivation for the omission of detailed explanations and illustrations of how the digital maestros made it possible to create a screen version of the monster that battered the seas off Gloucester that terrifying October in 1991. There is no ‘You too can create a perfect storm at home…’ but there is ample material to convince us that what Wolfgang Peterson and his team (including the ubiquitous Industrial Light and Magic) did end up with a pretty realistic version of what really happened. They even get credit for tear removal – no doubt a far more delicate process than wire removal.

This sense of confirmation is boosted both by Peterson’s and by author Sebastian Junger’s separate commentaries. Both are unusual: Peterson’s because he is responding to questions put by J. N. Kenny, the producer of the package, and Junger’s because he takes us into his confidence as a writer, revealing the mechanics of the real story and how he ‘found’ it. His is the commentary that puts it all in context beautifully, and permits a view of his feelings towards the town and the fishermen.

The other element that’s missing is some detail on Peterson’s methods with his actors; perhaps he’s too modest to discuss it. He does, however, talk a lot about the mechanical details and the degree of difficulty – not to mention psychological challenge – in recreating this story.

The HBO/ First look special is a better than average EPK (Electronic Press Kit), and includes a brief shot of Australian cinematographer John Seale on the set with Peterson.

James Horner’s music feature is a welcome inclusion, dealing with the crucial music aspect, and the short feature talking to some of the witnesses to the real storm is a nice closing item, rounding out what is a satisfying and invlolving DVD – best enjoyed over two consecutive nights."
Andrew L. Urban

Published: February 1, 2001

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See Andrew L. Urban's interview with Australia's JOHN SEALE from the set.


Making a Perfect Storm FEATURE

GEORGE CLOONEY talks about making the film


CAST: George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Diane Lane, William Fichtner, Karen Allen, Allen Payne, Bob Gunton, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio

DIRECTOR: Wolfgang Petersen

RUNNING TIME: 125 minutes


DVD RELEASE: December 19, 2000


Widescreen presentation

Commentary by director, Wolfgang Peterson

Commetary by author Sebastian Junger

Creating an Emotion – music featurette by James Horner

HBO/First Look special: Creating The Perfect Storm

Witnesses to the storm

Yours Forever photo montage

Storyboard gallery

Dolby surround 5.1 English & German

Subtitles: English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Icelandic

English & German for the hearing impaired

Theatrical trailer

Scene access

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