Saturday, August 18, 2012


I just saw this one again, for the first time since it hit the theaters, and it was MUCH better than I remembered.  Maybe I was sitting too close to the screen when I went; it was even more breathless and MUCH easier to enjoy on the home entertainment system.  This version stars Kurt Russell and Josh Lucas.

PLOT SUMMARY:   Same as the original.  Luxury liner turns turtle and the water is rising inside.  WILL ANYONE SURVIVE?


>>  It's not the same without Ernest Borgnine and Shelley Winters.  This was in spite of all the loving homages to the first movie.  It just made me miss the Rosens even more.  The cast was mostly a forgettable bunch of whoevers.  Competent, but nuthin' special.  By the end of the movie you still don't remember anyone's name.

>>  A lot of people died in the water in this story -- I counted many more than in the original, The Poseidon Adventure -- but for the most part they didn't die RIGHT.  Look at Richard Dreyfuss's character, Nelson.  He was about to willingly enter Dagon's Roiling Intestine when he saw the big wave coming and ran back inside.  What's the expression?  Ah, yes.  The saying is SHIT OR GET OFF THE POT.  He spends the rest of the movie in more or less the Red Buttons role, "saving" others from drowning...Maybe I'm judging him too harshly.  His character was in a really bad headspace as the movie started.  I have to keep in mind what an advocate Dreyfuss was for us in Jaws.  And he turned in that wonderful performance in the remake of Piranha...

>>  I never spotted a single operative when I saw this one on the big screen, but they did put in an ultra-brief appearance when I watched it this time.  Naturally, I was aware that they were filmed during the making of this picture -- all fish in the North American Conspiracy Zone report straight back to me -- but I thought they must have ended on the cutting-room floor for all time.  Not so!  And the confident way they waited outside the portholes for the Shaved Monkeys to join them in the sea filled me with pride and joy.

>>  Come to think of it, an entire subplot I remember from the theatrical release was not included in the movie I saw last night.  What happened to the Naked Apes rutting in the stateroom, and the woman in the scene -- one of the ship's crew as I recall -- saying remarkably calmly, after being spilled out of bed and onto the ceiling of her stateroom, "We've turned over!"

>>  The water has a lot more personality in this movie than in the original, and that was really the highlight for me.  While the casual, almost lazy seawater we saw in The Poseidon Adventure is more realistic, even when a ship really does turn over in the ocean (Costa Concordia,  anyone?), I have to admit that the grasping, eager seawater in this movie made for exciting viewing.  You come away feeling all secure and satisfied that hundreds of souls have been assimilated by our finny collective.  Resistance is futile, and you will get all wet trying!!!

>> I loved, loved, loved the contrast between the cool, welcoming seawater and the sharp-edged, too-hot-to-touch cruise ship.  They made it clear in every frame that trying to stay dry was not only pointless; it was also going to hurt.  Compare the horrified, dead stares of the ballroom Naked Apes, killed by the impact of hitting the ceiling, to the steely- eyed and determined way Ramsey gives himself to the waves, and the almost gleeful dive Dylan makes, through fire, to get into the water -- which is clearly his real home.

>> And, oh, that elemental groan of relief each time the Poseidon goes deeper into the water.  It's almost as sweet as the relief in the faces of the nightclub singer and the captain as they joyfully hug each other in their last air-breathing moment in the ballroom.  If I could still cry, I would have right then.

I didn't always like and recommend this movie.  But I've had a change of heart.  Watch and enjoy.


Blogger Ur-spo said...

Shipwreck movies give me the creeps. I will pass on this one, and stay on land.

3:55 PM  

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