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Give me life of the sea

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We are pretty much landlocked here in Calgary (no, rivers and prehistoric seas don't count) so some ocean viewing is essential.

Behold these watery wonders

The Ebb Tide

Based on Robert Louis Stevenson's fiction, The Ebb Tide stars Robbie Coltrane in a 19th Century adventure on the high seas. Coltrane is famous for his role as a forensic psychologist in the British series Cracker, and he's great in this role as a fortune seeker with a leaky ship.

Ah, the Kraken!...Watch National Geographic's Devils of the Deep: the Jumbo Squid and you'll question whether "jumbo squid" sounds like a tasty dish. This documentary explores squid communication and intelligence but also exposes their violent side. They'll eat ya as soon as look at ya with their great, staring eyes.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Based on fashion editor Jean-Dominic Bauby's memoirs transcribed by a therapist, the movie gives insight into a man trapped in his own body after a stroke. In his hospital beside the sea, Bauby has time to reflect on his past loves.

We could do a whole post (at least) on naval movies. In the "let's question the captain's judgement" category of cinema, one of the best is The Bedford Incident starring Sidney Poitier. Poitier plays a journalist sent to work aboard ship with a taciturn captain (Richard Widmark) obsessed with destroying a Soviet submarine.

The Piano. Holly Hunt stars in this award winning film in colonial new zealand. Hunt's character is a mute pianist with a daughter from a forbidden love affair sent to New Zealand to marry a colonist in want of a wife, played by Sam Neal. Harvey Keitel is unforgettable as the rival for Ada's affections. The ocean features prominently.

If you like pirates, watch The Pirate Queen: Grace O'Malley (part of the Warrior Woman series) and National Geographic's The Pirate Code: Real Pirates ,which examines the wreck of the Wydah and the life of Samuel Bellamy. We learn from these documentaries that O'Malley was a chieftan protecting her clan's rights to resources while Bellamy stole from slave traders to raise money to win his lady love.

Speaking of pirates, try Johnny Depp in the three fun Pirates of the Caribbean movies if you missed them in the theatres: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Dead Man's Chest and At World's End.

We also have two versions of Mutiny on the Bounty, with Clarke Gable (1935), or Marlon Brando (1962), The Horatio Hornblower series, based on D.S. Forrester's novels and, of course, Spongebob Squarepants.

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