Greyhound | Apple TV+
Apple TV+ today debuted "Greyhound," the highly anticipated Second World War movie starring Tom Hanks as a naval officer given command of Navy destroyer Greyhound in the Battle of the Atlantic.
"Greyhound" features Hanks as George Krause, who must fight his own self doubts and personal demons as he leads a convoy of Allied ships against German U-boats to prove that he belongs in command.
The screenplay for the movie was written by Hanks and the film was meant to be released in theaters, but could not premiere because most theaters across the United States remain closed. Apple ultimately paid $70 million for the film to premiere on Apple TV+.
Alongside "Greyhound," the first four episodes of "Little Voice" also debuted on Apple's streaming service today. The show is a coming of age drama created by J.J. Abrams, Sara Bareilles, and Jessie Nelson, and uses original music by Bareilles. Apple also debuted short-form sports docuseries "Greatness Code" on Friday.
Apple TV+ can be accessed through the TV app on the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, Mac, select Samsung and LG smart TVs, Amazon Fire TV and Roku devices, as well as online at tv.apple.com. A list of all of the TV shows and movies on the service can be found in our guide.
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Now hear this: Captain Tom Hanks "has the conn" . If those words get your bilge water flowing and your timbers shivering, Greyhound is going to float your boat. If action in the North Atlantic is what you seek, Greyhound has virtually nothing but. This briny war film can take its place among the greats
- The Cruel Sea, Western Approaches, Das Boot, In Which We Serve. But why now?
Hanks says it
s accidental. He worked on the script for 10 years, adapting C. S. Forester's novel The Good Shepherd which follows Captain Ernest Krause as he takes on a "wolfpack' ' of German U-boats in the mid-Atlantic . It seems to arrive at the right moment with a useful message: everyone has to do their bit. His penchant for empowering stories set in this era of American history (Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers) is not accidental: he wants to remind Americans of a time when they united with one goal - to win the war. This new film offers nostalgia as political statement, a portrait of leadership in pungent contrast to current conditions. I doubt it will get a White House screening.
Hanks is no stranger to a captain's hat but he's never done a role quite like this - a devout man sent to kill or die, for whom the destruction of an enemy is a duty and a tragedy. He's on his knees praying as the film begins. He closes his eyes to say grace before every meal aboard ship - except he neither eats nor sleeps for most of the crossing. Krause is an experienced officer but new commander. Most of his men have had more time in the North Atlantic. He carries their lives in every decision he takes.
The fictional USS Keeling (call sign "Greyhound" ) is one of four light battleships escorting 37 supply ships to England in February 1942, three months after Pearl Harbour. The voice of President Roosevelt sets out the high stakes: "Our American merchant ships must be free to carry our American goods into the harbours of our friends ... the goods will be delivered by this nation whose navy believes in the tradition of 'damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead' ."
The film is a naval procedural, built around close observation of Krause's actions and state of mind. There is not a wasted second. Nearly every line of dialogue is an order to be carried out or a message to be relayed, up and down the line. Krause's bridge is crowded with young men in fear for their lives: the only thing keeping them from a watery grave is the speed with which they execute orders, and the speed with which Krause can give them. This is a film about judgment, where decisions made under pressure mean the torpedo hits or misses. Krause makes mistakes, but learns from them. With restrained patriotic leanings, the film is more about leadership than heroism.
The nuggety Stephen Graham plays Charlie Cole, his executive officer , the only man who can call him "Ernie" . Their working partnership is superbly drawn. In its depiction of how command works, the film breaks new ground, striving for clarity and comprehensibility. The language may be obscure, but the director Aaron Schneider, in only his second feature, makes sure we can see what everyone is doing and why. Most naval films fail at this, missing the drama of tactics and strategy in pursuit of action. Greyhound keeps its focus on observation and decision, something Peter Weir also did in Master and Commander, set on a British ship during the Napoleonic wars. Greyhound has many similarities, with its combination of raw excitement, primal fear and strong characterisation.
Greyhound was to premiere in cinemas in June until you-knowwhat appeared. Sony offloaded the rights to Apple TV+ for $US70 million ($100 million), who decided to forgo a theatrical release. That's a shame, because this would look and sound so good on a big screen. It looks pretty good on a small screen too. It's that rare thing - a war film driven by abhorrence of war, rather than bloodlust or jingoism. Hemingway's definition of courage as grace under pressure has never been clearer.
Review by PAUL BYRNES | TheAge
This article is from the July 10 issue of The Age Digital Edition.
Apple TV+ - Watch now
(M), 91 minutes, Apple TV+
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