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Member Since 07 Mar 2010
Offline Last Active Feb 09 2015 03:08 PM

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All is Lost: *Spoilers / mistake list

28 October 2013 - 08:55 PM

*This thread is for those who have seen the movie. SPOILERS AHEAD*


I'm curious as to how many mistakes were made in the movie. I know I probably didn't catch all of them.  But I thougth it might actually be educational to find the ones I'd missed.  I'll start with the most obvious I remember, and we can take it from there.


By the way, I like this comment about the movie on another thread, and somewhat agree with it:


It's not a movie about sailing, so criticism at that level misses the point.  It's an allegory, sailing as a metaphor for life.  We travel through life solo, make good decisions, make bad decisions, have good luck, have bad luck, and die.


Step back and forget about sailing.


So I'd like this thread to be critical, but just about technical details, those which will be interesting and educational.


-The lack of radio equipment. Had they set the movie pre-gps, it would have been much more credible. But I'm just not sure the premise of the movie works today: If you're in the middle of an ocean and you don't have  backup radios, epirbs, gps tracking services, satellite phones, VHF handhelds, etc, you're pretty much so stupid you deserve to die. The premise of the movie doesn't work. That's a problem.

-For a singlehander, he doesn't spend much time sailing. We never see an autopilot, he doesn't have a windvane, and we don't even see him rigging the boat to heave to. The movie gives the impression that boats don't need someone steering, or watching where they're going. That's counterintuitive even, I think, to non-sailors.

-The time to go to bare poles / storm sails is BEFORE the squall line gets to you, not DURING. Again, even non-sailors would sort of get to that conclusion.

-Granted, it's been 30 years since I've cracked open my Bowditch copy, but I don't think using a sextant to shoot the sun is any use unless it's sunrise, sunset, or high noon.

-It's very unlikely he could get any kind of accurate fix. If he wasn't familiar with the sextant, he had no reason to have his watch be accurate to the second, and even if it was accurate within ten seconds, and he's got clear skies and an accurate fix, that's 1200 miles of longitude that's ambiguous. Not to mention figuring out those friggin tables so close to the dateline, having relevant tables, etc. Not many could get a fix by reading the manual for the first time.

-The contrast between conditions that would roll a boat tethered to a sea anchor, and the bathtub conditions we see when he leaves the interior are way too high.  I get that they shot it in a tank on a limited budget, but it just didn't work for me. You have to help me out with better effects.

-Again, we don't see him actually sailing.  Like tuning the lenght of the line for the sea anchor to the length of the swells, or adjusting the angle of that line to the ship. Throwing it and forgetting it would be worse than useless.

-He doesn't know how to rig a tether. If you can go overboard, you've done it wrong.

-He's singlehanding in the middle of the Indian Ocean, but doesn't know how to set off a flare? And we're supposed to feel sorry for him?

-He's got a huge sunhat, with a chinstrap, yet gets badly sunburnt. Why?

-He's got yummy small sharks in the area of his raft, line, hooks, and a knife, but isn't interested in dinner? (granted, landing one and cleaning it without damaging the raft or dealing with larger sharks would be tricky).

-He rides out a squall in his raft at night, but doesn't turn his light off to conserve battery. Ultimately, he has to set his raft on fire for lack of a light. What's wrong with this picture?

-It bugged me that he didn't clear the line to his sea anchor when he's walking it off the container. Just one of those moments any experienced sailor would watch and have his hands twitch wanting to do it right...


What else?