Home Celebrity Oscars: The Negative Campaigning Starts Early, with “Gravity” and “Captain Phillips”

It’s that time of the year. Academy Award buzzed movies are opening. And with them comes the negative campaigning. To wit: the New York Post is leading the charge against Paul Greengrass’s “Captain Phillips.” And “Gravity” is being attacked for its bad science. Can these movies be destroyed by all this? I don’t think so.

First “Captain Phillips”: some members of the Maersk Alabama’s crew have filed a screwy lawsuit, claiming that the real Capt. Phillips purposely ignored warnings and steered them into pirate infested waters. This makes no sense whatsoever. It also has nothing to do with the movie, which is exciting and beautifully produced. Back in 2009. there were plenty of interviews with the crew, especially Shane Murphy, who is depicted in the film.

Murphy and many of the crew came to the New York Film Festival last month for the premiere. They all sang Capt. Phillips’ praises. I think it will come out that the dissident crew members weren’t paid for their stories by the production company. But until then, we’ll have to endure the accusations.

As it happens, a friend of mine and I shared a cab with Shane Murphy and his wife on the opening night from the screening to the party at the Harvard Club. We asked Murphy all about the movie’s veracity. He said, “The movie’s very good. It’s funny to see five days compressed into two hours. But mostly, they’ve got it.” He did NOT say, Listen, Phillips tried to kill us and himself so one day there would be a movie.

As for “Gravity”: who cares if the science is bad? The 3D is amazing, the actors are great, and it’s damn exciting. You want to re-enact the whole thing and see if it works?

What’s next? That the man who wrote “12 Years a Slave” was a volunteer, that he did it all to write a book, and was only down south for 6 months in 1841. That nothing in “Mandela” is right, that Nelson Mandela came and went from Robbens Island by helicopter. How about “American Hustle”? Is there enough time to get all the ABSCAM people together so they can rat it out? And so on.

3 replies to this post
  1. Both were great movies. If someone like that stupid scientist wants to try and nitpick about things in Gravity then he’s just ruining the movie for himself. People realize that it’s a freakin movie and not documentary!

  2. I would suspect that the ‘negative whispering campaigns’ always seem to start with TWC. They seem to have a murky history of trashing the opponent. They seem quite successful for getting tongues wagging about inaccuraties in frontrunner nominees…they also seem to get tongues wagging only about ‘positive’ attributes in all Miramax/TWC films (like Rev. Jesse Jackson glowing about Chocolat because its about ‘tolerance’ while Robert Wise has to shrill about Scorsese direction of the dreadful Gangs of New York.

  3. In his hero worship, Roger Friedman demonstrates his ignorance about the lawsuit about Maersk Alabama’s hijacking and reality. The lawsuit has been winding it way through the courts, since 2009, and was originally filed by eleven of the twenty crew members of Maersk Alabama. The claim is that Capt. Richard Phillips, deliberately ignored warnings and sailed into pirate infested waters, mostly likely to save time and fuel. Two of the original eleven plaintiffs, have dropped out of the lawsuit, after reaching financial settlements with Maersk.

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