In God's Hands is the story of big wave riders that go all over the globe searching to ride bigger and bigger waves. The story mostly follows Shane Dorian and his obsession with surfing. It also follows how they train for waves like that. Written by
Todd Chesser was scheduled to fly to Maui to stunt-surf the death scene at Maui Pe'ahi (Jaws). But the surf was good in Oahu, so he stayed home, and at 9am paddled with two friends into the lineup at Outside Alligator Rock. Chesser drowned two hours later, after getting caught inside by a 25-foot set. See more »
Near the end, when Shane is on the Mexican skiff, He ties his leather bag and sleeping bag to a red buoy, then throws the buoy in the water.
The buoy floats away, dragging away his belongings.
However, in the next shot on the boat, the sleeping bag and leather bag are visible under the surfboard. See more »
Lest it not fade to grey/black, and certainly not to be totally written off,
Firstly a word about this IMDb voting business. I'm a film buff, I can and generally do find enjoyment in most films, and this is a good example. If I were voting for the screenplay, direction, acting, it would get a 3. Technically a 6, yet for the cinematography a 10. I'm not fence sitting here, as a film is generally a team effort, utilising the skills of many, and to succeed the director/producers have to pull it all together, and pull up those lagging behind, not let them pull you under. Sadly the latter appears to be the case with "In God's Hands", hence the fact I find it hard to give a single vote, due to this disparity of skill, But all will become clear, as you read on,
Well although it's a few years old now, "In God's Hands" deserves some comment I feel. I've had it on DVD a few years, and only just got around to watching it a second time, (thanks to the random button on my DVD archive), as I probably would not have bothered otherwise.
But having got through it, it does have some redeeming qualities, and a few mind blowing ones, hence this additional comment for IMDb.
It is one of those films that could have been so much better, if only they had stuck to a core story line. Great surfing, huge waves, awesome locations, and some of the best cinematography you will EVER see, (but more on that shortly).
Where it all goes horribly wrong, is the fact these amazing surfers, some of the best in the world, are simply NOT actors. They are not aided by the fact much of the dialogue scripted them, is hammy beyond belief, the result of which nearly sinks this film.
Had the makers actually committed to making a surf movie, scrapped all the sub plot, and story lines used, it would have made a far better movie.
Actually the scenes with Brion James, show up the leads lack of acting ability, which isn't really fair on them, they are world class surfers after all, not actors. But it is a good example of just how a skilled actor, much like good special effects are transparent, You accept the performance without a second thought. The reverse is not true, and poor performances/acting ability, delivery, timing etc, tend to stand out during much of the surfers dialogue scenes. Maylin Pultar is worth a mention here, Parisian multi talented, multi artiste, really smolders in some scenes, and knows how to pull it off too, much of the time without a word uttered, (take note lads, this is how you should have handled your dialogue as well).
So back to the movie, and this is the sad bit really, this has to be one of the prettiest films of the last 20 years. John Aronson is without question a master behind the camera, knowing when to lock off, and not move the camera, to maximise the impact of some JUST PERFECT composition. When it's all out there, right in front of the lens, having the maturity to lock off, and just roll. GREAT, so seldom done these days, it is like a breath of fresh sea air. Such a shame, the writers were not as skilled.
The shots filmed from right there in the surf are great too, god knows how they did that safely?
The soundtrack is worth a mention here, as it is pretty good too actually, the big waves need some big subs though, but those frequencies go way, WAY down, so caution to those with unbalanced sound systems, and a preference to high volumes.
So what does all this leave us with? Well a mixed bag I'm afraid.
If you're a script writer, this is how NOT to do it. If you are a stills photographer, and/or have an appreciation for the golden rules, section, ratio, mean, light, shade and shadows, you will love this film, drop the audio out, cue up a Café del Mar CD, sit back and enjoy. If you're a budding cameraman, this is how it's done, make no mistake, old school rules or not, I can't think of more extreme shots, from locked off to in the surf! And if you are into surfing, you can't go wrong with this one, the surf scenes are simply great.
So it is what it is, (pity they didn't just let it be).
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