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Hollywood you better get your act together. Thanks you for spitting out
another INSTANTLY forgettable "Blockbuster" Thank God I only paid $4
dollars to see this. Not only can't the Studios come up with original
material. The material they remake is worse than the original. If this
crap keeps up you will have even less of an audience. A good cast given
nothing to chew on and a Director who has made great films and this is
what we get? 150 million and the Ballroom set in the original was more
Video games are so prevalent in society that I fear their mind numbing influence is starting to permeate even NON video game derived movies. The original movie was a good solid, involving movie. This remake takes every element of the original and removes what made it involving. I mean EVERY element. There are people out there making these decisions!! And they are paid huge sums to make these decisions! With the talent in front of and behind the camera this is truly frightening as this seems to be the norm at the present.
Right from the start there is almost NO set up. We don't know where the ship is, where it is sailing, even what ocean it's on! Things that actually would create some atmosphere like the originals speech by the Captain explaining the origin of Poseidon. Greek God of the Sea. They are sailing on the Mediterranean, to Greece? Get it? Cheesy but involving. You know it gives the proceedings some gravatis, some mystery. In the remake we get nothing, we are are in Video game land, we don't have time for such things.
Even the cause for the disaster has absolutely no set up. Happy new year, bang, the tidal wave hits. Unlike the originals slow build up, as it explained WHAT WAS HAPPENING AND WHY! Even the effects in the original worked better. They were simpler but executed as a whole created more of an impact because of the tension that was built up. Again a sense of gravity, HUMAN INVOLVEMENT and Atmosphere! Even in the original, Leslie Nielsen's corny grimace as the wave engulfs the ship. It's goofy but you REMEMBER IT. You know a character we identify with reacting to the impending disaster. It's a very basic cinematic technique. But I guess todays more "sophisticated" audience don't need this kind of thing anymore.
There is no human involvement in the wave hitting in this remake. The Captain isn't called to the bridge, no build up, just some crew members we've had no contact with running around. Absolutely unmemorable. The effects are impressive but who cares, I'm not given anything to latch on to.
Straight across the board EVERY situation is diminished from the original. The scene chewing conflict between Gene Hackaman and Ernest Borgnine is totally lost in the remake. There is NO conflict with the characters. NONE! It's just one disaster to overcome to the next. You know , like a VIDEO GAME.
Even the self sacrificing Shelly Winters death swim has almost no emotional impact because the character doesn't return and die in front of everybody. Like DUH! Hey screen writers perhaps you should learn of something called ELEMENTS OF DRAMA!! Even if you have no talent you could at least COPY the original, not make it worse! Absolutely mind boggling!! If you WANTED to sabotage the original you couldn't have done a better job. UNREAL! All you film lovers just keep repeating "Things will get better" Repeat it like a prayer.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In the original POSEIDON ADVENTURE, the venerable SS Poseidon was on
its last voyage, even before it had a wave of bad luck. Headed to port
to be turned to scrap, the aging luxury liner was comfortably aged and
loaded down with a bunch of amiable B-list movie stars playing rather
endearingly ordinary people. POSEIDON, the remake, is apparently far
from being on its last leg; sparkling new and lavishly decorated in
nondescript, tasteless elegance, it is carrying a passenger list of
dubious VIPs, who don't even have enough dimension to be clichés and
are played by actors, who, though competent, would barely even rate
being on the B-list.
But it does seem to have a healthy cargo of things that blow up. Indeed, it seems that more of the unfortunate victims of this seagoing disaster meet fiery deaths than watery ones -- explosions being far more photogenic than the inability to hold ones breath for very long.
POSEIDON the new movie is very much like Poseidon the new ship: cold, efficient, impersonal and doomed to sink like a rock. The most remarkable thing about this SS Poseidon is that it has a huge bridge full of technicians and flashing electronic gizmos, yet the 150-foot tidal wave that flips the boat sneaks up on everyone without warning. Apparently the wave spotting equipment they use is from the same company that created iceberg detecting equipment for the Titanic. Indeed, the first person to spot the tidal wave is a passenger played by a strangely subdued Richard Dreyfuss, whose impromptu suicide attempt is rudely interrupted.
The movie itself is pretty much an empty vessel, though it is certainly a product of its time. Trivial concerns such as story and character are jettisoned in favor of elaborate and expensive sets and CGI special effects. Indeed, the imagery of the new POSEIDON is most impressive and outshines the then-cutting edge productions values of the 1972 original. Yet, it isn't nearly as effective in any regard. The original film had its ragtag band of survivalists interacting with their topsy-turvy environment, where this time the stunts and sets and CGI simply overwhelm everything and everybody. Like so many CGI blockbusters, human interaction is merely a bothersome detail; the real focus being on the violent extermination of masses of nameless, faceless victims. And once again, Hollywood has mistaken technological gimmickry for storytelling skill.
When the film does try to escape from tired predictability it bites off far more than it can chew. At one point a main character is compelled to kill another character in order to save himself, yet this intense and perverse moment early in the film is never dealt with again. The surviving character must neither redeem himself or face karmic punishment for his act. The secondary character is just killed and forgotten -- presumably because the character and the actor playing the part weren't important enough to care about. After that, it is hard to care about the fate of anyone else. The film has no sense of humanity, let alone a sense of humor about the absurdity of the entire premise.
The cast, not unduly burdened with characters to play or chances to actually act, run the obstacle course with dogged professionalism. Kurt Russell is no Gene Hackman, but he is in the unfortunate position of being too good of an actor for this type of film, yet not big enough of a star to actually carry it. Young Jimmy Bennet is perfectly convincing as a terrified child and Josh Lucas has an impressive underbite perfectly suited for jutting out his chin in fierce determination. Other than that, the cast is unremarkable, sadly lacking even any Carol Lynleys or Pamela Sue Martins, let alone such wonderfully hammy pros like Roddy McDowall, Stella Stevens, Ernest Borgnine or the inimitable Shelley Winters. None of the characters/actors stand out enough to be sympathetic, endearing or even memorable. Indeed, the three female leads -- Jacinda Barrett, Emmy Rossum and Mía Maestro -- are so interchangeable that it is hard to tell their characters apart.
I suppose that the filmmakers wanted this to be like the remake of KING KONG, an eye-popping, special effects reinvention of a well-worn story. But, instead, POSEIDON ends up being like the woefully unnecessary remake of PSYCHO: there was no need, demand or purpose for this film to exist and the filmmakers reveal they have no apparent clue as to why the original is loved in the first place. That's what happens when you set sail without a compass; you just get lost at sea.
I attended an IMAX screening with a group of friends and family on
opening day. Some of us are fans of the original. At least one had seen
neither the original nor the Hallmark miniseries. One thing became
clear early on in this film: a sky-high budget isn't worth a bucket of
seawater if the characters aren't interesting or involving.
On New Year's Eve, the ocean liner, Poseidon, is capsized by an enormous rogue wave that appears without warning. Seems all the sophisticated equipment on the bridge doesn't include reliable radar targeting; rather, the wall of water is detected Carnac-style by a bridge officer, and then spotted by a depressed passenger inches away from taking his life by jumping overboard (the audience laughed out loud during the former instance). What follows is the life-and-death struggle of a handful of wealthy Caucasian, er, I mean, assorted passengers through the fiery, waterlogged bowels of the overturned ship, as they attempt to reach and escape through one of the bow thrusters. Who are these people? I couldn't tell you, because at least one person in our group fell asleep during the film, and afterwards, the rest of us could barely remember any of the leads' names or back stories. We learn nothing about the central characters by the end of the film that we didn't already know or sense in the opening introductions. Storytelling is dead in Hollywood.
The Poseidon Adventure, starring Gene Hackman, is still loved by many decades after its release, because the creative forces behind that project breathed life into the characters and crafted a solid film. Wolfgang Petersen's re-imaging, Poseidon, will be forgotten faster than yesterday's breakfast buffet aboard the Pacific Princess, for exactly the opposite reason. It's yet another exercise in CGI gimmickry and a hollow voyage to nowhere.
Especially one that sinks Titanic in special effects...
This is a remake of The Poseidon Adventure (1972). Before you jump on the bandwagon and start bashing it on this basis alone, keep it mind that the original film was not exactly a masterpiece. It was a film that sacrificed scientific reality to propel an inane plot, filled with one-dimensional characters and compensated for it with action-overload. Poseidon is exactly the same -- ridiculous plot, intrepid characters and big slice of adventure. What is different in this version is the masterful CGI. This is a perfect time to remake a film like this (much better than in 1972) -- just go overboard with special effects and no one will notice the flawed writing (which is basically a sketchbook mess).
This is the reason Poseidon does not fail in entertaining the audience. I'll admit that I was skeptical when Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas appeared in all her plastic surgery glory and Josh Lucas spouted out some cheeseball line ("Where is the disco?" "Why, you feel like dancing now?"), but I set its cringeworthy dialogue aside early on and focused my energy on not wanting to kill Fergie. The giant tidal wave capsizing the luxury liner Poseidon would take care of that, leaving only a small group of people fighting to reach the top and get out.
Another thing, besides special effects, that is by far better in this version is that the characters are actually interested in surviving and do not stop every few minutes for a petty argument as in The Poseidon Adventure (1972). Make no mistake however, these characters are still dumb to the core, getting by on lucky circumstances, occasional heroic feats and conveniently appearing objects and hatches you've seen it all before, but damn, this is sensationally quality action.
Overall, Poseidon is bathed in a militantly hectic mood and is as fast-paced as any action film you'll see. It features mind-numbing special effects, overdoses of excitement and just typical Wolfgang Peterson overkill. It definitely won't disappoint you if you're looking for cheap but solid adrenaline kicks. I'd even happily sit through this experience again.
On New Year's Eve, the luxury cruise ship Poseidon is hit by an
enormous wave that flips it upside-down stranding thousands of
passengers underwater. A group of passengers join together to try to
escape the ship.
The original Poseidon was decent disaster film. It had engaging characters, decent special effects and a cheesy storyline. The remake is more or less the same minus the interesting characters, charm and suspense. Okay, the remake did have a few suspenseful scenes though nothing very memorable or original. The reason why the film wasn't very suspenseful was because the characters were all one dimensional and dull. There was no character development at all so it was hard to care for these people. While watching the movie, it's just easier to refer to them as generic titles like "the old guy" or something. Actually, if you use this method then you can probably figure out who will die and in what order they will die.
The acting is very weak and unconvincing. Josh Lucas is an okay actor but he wasn't very good here. He just didn't make a good hero nor was his character very likable. Kurt Russell was okay, nothing special. Emmy Rossum was terrible as Jennifer. Her performance felt so forced and over the top. The way she expressed her emotions just looked so fake and unconvincing. Jimmy Bennett was just annoying as Conor. Richard Dreyfuss was very misused and his character seemed out of place. Jacinda Barrett gives a laughable performance, it was just very poor. I should warn you (or comfort you?) that Stacy Ferguson from the Black Eyed peas is only in the movie for about 10 minutes, maybe a little less.
When judged as a disaster film, Poseidon is actually pretty decent. The special effects were great though 160 million was obviously just a bit too much. Wolfgang Petersen is really good at making a film appear stylish including the ship which looked amazing. His storytelling skills aren't as good though. The combination of a weak script didn't help matters either. The movie was just too corny at times for my taste. For example, there was once scene where Josh Lucas was planning to escape the ballroom and one by one, the rest of the characters just come up and ask to come along. It was just a bit too obvious and they should have handled it differently. I also thought it was kind of dumb that all the characters were able to hold their breath underwater for large amounts of time. Despite these flaws, there were a few engaging scenes and some touching moments. Also, the movie is pretty short so it's not really too much of a pain to sit through. This helped the experience a little though I wouldn't have minded a longer movie. In the end, Poseidon may not be worth checking out in theaters but it should make for a decent rental. Rating 6/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It is important to point out that this new film is only based on THE
POSEIDON ADVENTURE ... it is not a remake. When a passenger ship (named
Poseidon) is hit by a large wave on New Years Eve and capsizes, a
handful of people struggle to escape. Other than that, do not expect
any similarities -- not one character, not one line of dialog, not one
I first saw the original film when I was ten years old and have been a huge fan ever since. Surely TPA (as imperfect as it may be), was the catalyst that spurred my interest in ocean liners, architecture, classical music ... and Art Deco design. Therefore, I was excited about the latest film -- and pleased that it had been given to a talented director. I knew that the film and its characters had been changed/updated and was cool with that. But after viewing the new film twice now, I feel a bit let down.
I don't want to touch on the stale characters. Although it is a major flaw, that subject has already been addressed again and again on this board.
The cast (with the exception of Dreyfuss) are ALL buff and beautiful -- no fatties or uglies here. Of course, some of the physical obstacles in this film would require the endurance of a champion athlete and the bravado of a Schwarzenegger action hero! This is definitely not the motley group of survivors found in the original.
The CGI graphics were very good. The ship was beautiful in a glitzy Las Vegas sort of way ... but the Poseidon never seemed very "real" to me. Perhaps it was all those overly elaborate CGI camera shots? Not really sure why. The Titanic certainly seemed "real" in TITANIC. But for me, the Poseidon seemed as plastic as the people on it.
The capsizing sequence was stunning, but so many areas of the ship were highlighted in such a short time that I never really felt I was part of the action. There were no screaming passengers clinging/falling from overturned tables. No man falling backwards onto an illuminated skylight (a famous cinematic scene). And no Christmas tree!?! The Christmas tree played a pivotal role in the original film ... from passengers falling into it during the capsizing ... to it unexpectedly crashing down ... to the survivors climbing it (and Mrs. Rosen getting stuck in the spokes) ... to it falling back into the flooding Dining Room when panic ensues! Why leave it out entirely when there are so many cinematic possibilities? Instead the characters in the new film "sneak out" of the Ballroom using some stacked chairs. There is absolutely no plea for others to join them even though they know that anyone left behind may die. I suppose it says something about today's society ... "I'm getting out of here -- to hell with everyone else!". But these guys are supposed to be the heroes in the film?
Don't expect much humor in this film either. I really missed the funny scene with the upside-down bathroom set. I can't imagine not working that into the new movie! But these new action-survivors don't seem to require toilets ... or rest. They keep going and going -- through one unrealistic scenario one after another!
It was strange that the survivors find heaps of dead bodies everywhere they go, but never any other survivors. A ship this size would be expected to have over 4000 people on-board. Where are they? When our survivors merge in the Nightclub/Disco, they then struggle to find an escape route. So where did the 200-300 other people who left the room moments earlier go? And why can't our survivors seem to find a staircase/elevator core on this ship? Every modern passenger ship has several -- found every 200-feet or so. There is always one adjacent to the atrium (in addition to the grand stairway and glass elevators). Perhaps all the other people immediately ran up one of the usually ever-present staircases and escaped out a porthole hours earlier? That would certainly explain the absence of other people...
I must admit that I missed John William's music from the original. I wonder why he wasn't hired to update his existing TPA score -- dramatic in all the right places and the deep "bell" sound accompanying the music is indeed haunting. And wouldn't it be fun for all us old-timers if they had used "The Morning After" (Academy Award-winning song from the original) and updated it in the new film?
As fun as the original film may have been, I know that it is flawed, so some rewriting would be expected. And the producers obviously felt the need to update the original film to appeal to modern movie (and cruising) audiences. But this new version seems soulless. I feel that they may have been better off setting the film in 1972 and using the original campy script! That wonderful, but cheesy, dialog ran the gamut from the ridiculous to the sublime! Some of the quotes are classics! The new film's dialog is completely forgettable.
I suppose that this new film is fine if you are not expecting much. I was obviously hoping that Petersen would turn the original film into another TITANIC. But this POSEIDON is what it is ... a mindless summer action movie with dazzling special effects. Should appeal to teenagers. Though it is doubtful that this new film will inspire many youths or ever become a cult classic. And decades from now, will it have web pages, fan clubs and conventions devoted to it?
Actually, I'm guessing that by this time next year, this POSEIDON will be largely forgotten ... as it should be.
It all starts off so well too. The opening shot of Wolfgang Petersen's
Poseidon is beautiful. A single take that begins beneath the surface of
the ocean that swings up and out of it as the underside of the ship
slices through the waves, before pivoting round the colossal cruise
liner and zeroing in on Josh Lucas running on the deck. With the sun
setting in the distance and the immense size of the vessel itself
contrasted with the deep blue of the water, this is a visually
astounding entrance to a movie that is unfortunately very shallow
A remake of the classic disaster movie The Poseidon Adventure, this tells much the same story with a small group of passengers trying to escape a doomed ocean liner after it capsizes due to a freak wave. Given the beloved status of the original, besting it was going to be tricky from the start so how to do it? Bestow the characters with as much depth and humanity as possible, arrange it so that you don't want any of them to die just as the original film did? No. That isn't the 21st Century Studio Approach to blockbusters at all, the trick is explosions! Lots of explosions! And dangerous stunts that happen in very quick succession with no set up whatsoever.
As a result, things happen very quickly. We've hardly got to know anyone on the ship before the wave strikes and sends their world tumbling upside down in a hail of glass and debris. Trapped beneath the waves, there is no debate on the best means of survival but instead a bull headed rush to escape as soon as possible and before you know it, barely any time has elapsed before we have our luckless nobodies dangling from lift shafts, diving through burning oil slicks or scrambling up air vents rapidly filling with water. This could all be very entertaining if it wasn't so empty and if only they'd eased back on the throttle a little bit, we could have had a much more successful film.
Kurt Russell for instance is wasted. As an ex firefighter and former Mayor of New York with a failed marriage behind him, they could have crafted the image of a troubled man going through a midlife crisis who finds himself tested beyond his limits. Instead, the only hints at any characterisation are him protesting his daughter's cleavage bearing dress to leave no doubt that theirs is a strained relationship. Then there is Richard Dreyfuss (who has finally found a bigger boat), whose character might as well be listed in the credits as "depressed, elderly gay man." Everyone else is just as vacuous and while Josh Lucas is certainly a charismatic focal point, it cannot make up for the two dimensional stereotypes of Kevin Dillon's gambler Lucky Larry or Mike Vogel's performance as Christian, the fiancée of Russell's daughter who manages to put in perhaps the worst attempt at acting you will see in a blockbuster this year.
It does have a few commendable points though. One death scene involving a lift shaft, jagged metal spikes and an explosion is an adrenaline pumping crowd pleaser and the aforementioned scramble through the flooding ventilation shaft is really quite tense, the ensemble cast squeezed together in a claustrophobic nightmare as the water bubbles up around them. Ultimately though, it is not enough to save it. Poseidon may make for a diverting hour and a half but Hollywood needs to learn a valuable lesson about plotting: bigger explosions and insane stunts are nowhere near as impressive if we don't care about the people involved. The original version made an entire generation terrified of getting on a boat with Ernest Borgnine, this is just laughable.
This movie epitomizes what is wrong with Hollywood today. Because they lack imagination, the major film studios either copy an idea from a foreign film (Japanese, French, English, especially) or make a sequel or remake of an an existing moneymaker and milk it to death. Where are the original ideas? The Hollywood movie industry (and most of American TV for that matter) has become far too idealistic in my view. The characters are depicted as, not how people really are, but how we would like them to be, and the viewers often emulate what they see on screen as if life actually IS like that. Why should it be all about the 'bottom line'. Out of the top 10 top grossing movies each year, how many actually make a profit? It seems to be a matter of just churning out this sort of garbage and hoping for the best. Why don't the major studios spend the same amount of money making fewer but better films? One wonders sometimes how people are convinced into investing good money in making this rubbish. Poseidon? So far this 'blockbuster' has grossed $50 million a long way from the $140 million it cost to make. Chances are it won't even break even. It becomes very obvious right from the start that it is formulaic and clichéd. For example, why anyone in their right mind would take a woman and her young son along with the exploring party is anyone's guess. Probably because they prove useful along the way. The Hispanic busboy (Valentine) who tags along was the obvious candidate to die being a nonentity, an unknown actor. It's all squarely aimed at the 'demographic' the 13-30 group. That's why there is always a child involved in the story, why most of the characters are 30 years old and good looking. That's why we have a politically correct cast with a black captain, Hispanic entertainers, etc. There is a always a love interest to attract the female segment of the audience and there is always a happy ending one way or another. We have the usual combination of 'B' list actors and those desperate for work, who go through the motions of what passes for acting these days. 'Stand on your mark and say your line when it's your turn'. Don't the directors realize that when people talk to one another, they often interrupt one another? Robert Altman knows this but few others. The special effects are good but with a few too many quick camera movements that are hard on the eye after a while. After only a few minutes I realized that I had seen this movie before in all its forms. Even though the backdrop changes, the character development is always the same. The guy who cares only for himself discovers that he has some redeeming features, The hero will do heroic things and maybe make the supreme sacrifice to save others. Father and son/daughter will reconcile their differences, the coward becomes brave, etc.etc. I've seen it all before.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I read a common thread in most of the previous reviews: No character
development. And that is true. But in a movie like this, we get what we
deserve. I think technology is great, but it also has it's downside. It
has created a generation of impatient people with very short attention
spans. Back when the original Posiedon movie was shown, there was no
internet, no one had home computers, no cells phones and no cells
phones to surf the net with. Talk about impatience, can't we wait to
get home to surf the net. I just think that the director knew today's
audience that would go to see this movie did not have the patience to
sit through any character development and got to the action as quickly
as he could. We reap what we sow.
The special effects were good and most of the action scenes were "on the edge of your seat" intense.
The thing that really spoiled the movie for me was the ending. ***HERE'S THE SPOILER****. Wasn't it convenient that a life raft with a flare gun was waiting for the survivors as they jumped out of the ship. Am I the only one who thought this to be totally absurd and cliché.
In 'Poseidon' Josh Lucas plays Dylan Johns, a professional gambler.
When a freak 'rogue wave' incident causes the Poseidon cruise ship to
capsize, Dylan has gamble for his life. Deciding not to listen to the
captain (Andre Braugher), Dylan tries leads a group of passengers (Kurt
Russell, Richard Dreyfuss, Emmy Rossum, etc.) to safety.
This is a modern remake of the 1972 'The Poseidon Adventure'. I do not remember the original, but I think this one live up to its name. It is like 'Titanic' meets 'The Towering Inferno'. There is a lot of intense action that keeps one on the edge of their seat.
There is not much drama and I do not think it will add too much to the original story. I also noticed that the movie is just over an hour and a half, it is not very long. However, I think audiences will enjoy the intensity of this film.
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