Reviews written by registered user
|13 reviews in total|
Bad Movie! Bad! Go stand in a discount bin. Carrot Top should really
stick to low lit comedy clubs. It's movies like this that make old
Jerry Lewis films look like Shakespeare and John Agar like John
Barrymore. Coutney Thorne-Smith (a fine talent)is absolutely wasted.
Her purpose seems mainly to look pretty and oblivious.
The only enjoyable things about the movie is seeing Raquel Welch doing an Alexis Carrington type role, and Estelle Harris as a harridan of a landlady. The only way I can imagine someone thinking it would be a good idea to make this (beyond sophomoric) film, is if the producers' fourth grade child was allowed to pick the script. Well, maybe his third grader. What this film really needs is to be rubbed in the noses of its creators.
Paul Gallico's novel, published in 1969, is not so much a disaster
novel, as it is a grim character study of people caught up in a
disaster. The book is gripping in it's savage brutality. The
character's are stripped of all pretensions, and self delusions. They
reveal more and more of their inner selves as they climbed further and
further into the ship.
The 1972 film only hinted at this. The Hallmark TV film, only had conventional characters who reacted in conventional and unsurprising ways to the various challenges.
Now, Wolfgang Peterson has stripped the story of all humanity and created what amounts to a two hour film in which the audience watches a very large kinetic sculpture designed to destroy itself. The actors seem to be more like cogs and wheels in that sculpture than human beings. There is no character development and no plot.
Yes, the special effects are fantastic, especially as the wave strikes and capsizes the ship. The sets are stunning but sterile, and the action is absolutely nonstop. And THAT is all the film has going for it. Peterson seems to be catering to those with minds only developed enough to pay attention to movement and pretty lights, like a small baby watching a mobile hung over its crib.
Many of the actors are quite good. We know that because of their past bodies of work. Unfortunately, in this film they may as well have had animated wax figures playing their roles. True, the Irwin Allen film had a number of overblown and hammy performances, but those actors at least had something to bite into. A lobotomized Frances Farmer would have been able to handle these empty insignificant characters.
In interviews, Richard Dreyfuss commented that he did this film for money. I certainly understand that! He definitely didn't do it because it was a great part. He played a gay man, suicidal and depressed because his lover has left him. Unfortunately his being gay seemed rather gratuitous. Publicity for the film stated that he suddenly discovers he very much wants to live. This also seemed gratuitous.
Kurt Russell plays the role of a former NYC firefighter and mayor and seems to have fallen into the real life role of aging action hero making way for younger action hero.
Kevin Dylan plays a character named Lucky Larry, who seemed obviously patterned after computer game icon Leisure Suit Larry. His character would have been quite enjoyable had he not been so reprehensible.
As far as the rest of the cast went, you may as well have taken them like so many Barbie and Ken dolls, popped off their heads and interchanged them.
The costumes were pretty much what you might expect to see aboard ship on New Year's Eve, but nothing strikingly great. The only one that stood out was the singer (who I understand is a member of The Black-eyed Peas). It was so awful, I mistook her for a Charo impersonator. But at least it stood out.
One thing I must give the filmmakers an A+ on. The underwater shots of the ship were extraordinarily impressive. The attention to detail with all the debris and parts of the ship breaking away seemed very realistic. I do have a final question, however (and a nit-picky one at that). Do they no longer bolt down tables and other large furniture aboard luxury liners?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Poor Paul Gallico must be spinning in his grave to see such an
excruciatingly bad production of his adventure novel, The Poseidon
Adventure (it says so in the credits; "based on the novel by Paul
Gallico")and then to have it so blatantly based on the Irwin Allen
disaster movie. Come to think of it,Irwin is probably doing about 500
To start, the teleproduction committed the very worst of sins. It bored. There was little suspense or tension. The characters evoked no charm, no life, and no spark. Most of the actors may as well have been carrying cardboard standees of themselves and reading from the script as they moved about. With few exceptions, most of the portrayals made Sharon Tate and Pia Zadora's worst performances look like Sarah Bernhardt and Ethel Barrymore. Even Mamie Van Doren and John Agar were never this tedious.
There were characters who did not emit waves of blandness. The castrating shrew of a wife, Mrs. Rosen and the terrorist "high value prisoner". No, they just annoyed the hell out of me. The wife was so emotionally disaffected, my jaw dropped. Here you are on a capsized, sinking ship. Would you let your teen daughter stay behind to help the injured? For all the reaction she showed to the idea, the girl might as well have been her favorite manicurist. Mrs. Rosen would not have been too bad if she had not kept blathering on about her deceased husband, and as far as the terrorist went, he might as well have had a turban and a Kris and a handlebar mustache to twirl.
The screenplay had the feel of a high school play that was written by the drama coach and cast with the popular students, rather than the ones who had talent. It was trite, mediocre, and awkward. With lines such as "We'll burn and drown at the same time!", my eyes were rolling more than a hooker at a craps table. Mrs. Rosen's death scene was excruciatingly horrible, I cringed with embarrassment for Sylvia Sims. And that was the only time I felt anything for anyone in the production.
The special effects were okay at best and unbelievable at worst. The best were the actual capsize scenes in the ballroom, but even there it felt matter of fact. The worst were the scenes of the oil fire,burning on water,in the engine room. It was obviously computer created and done by people who have never seen an oil fire.
The worst mistake the director made was to take us outside of the ship. By doing so, any sense of immediacy, tension, and mystery were completely lost. by switching back and forth, the viewers were not able to put themselves into the story. One could only watch as a distanced and disaffected viewer.
One of the most wonderful things about seeing a film is to be able to become part of the film; to forget yourself and merge with the story. The most magnificent example of this I ever noted was in the original 1972 film. When Shelly Winters and Gene Hackman emerged from the water, I was startled to hear this odd noise in the theater. And I was delighted to realize that it was the sound of almost 700 theater patrons releasing their breathe at the same time. Had this film been shown theatrically, there may have been a similar incident, that of hundreds of people losing their dinners at the same time.
This is a delightfully charming movie, with a shining young star. Sofia Vassilieva is an extremely energetic young actress, who certainly has captured the spirit of Kay Thompson's, Eloise. She held her own with Julie Andrews, who is wonderful as her Nanny. Much like an older and more exhausted Maria Von Trapp. Christine Baranski proves to be delicious in what could have been a two dimensional character role. She makes Prunella a woman you love to hate. Seeing Corinne Conley as Mrs. Thornton was very enjoyable. I first became fascinated with her in Days of Our Lives and I have loved watching her since. The only flaw to the film is it's exhausting pace. Eloise flits from one thought or deed to the next with such alarming rapidity that I wanted to spike her eggnog with Prozac.
From Claude Raines to Jon Hall? Egad! Evan Gale Sondergaard's delicious brand of luxurious menace can't save this turgid piece of tedium. Scream Evelyn, Scream. There's nothing else for you to do, and besides it might keep the audience awake. John Carradine and Gale Sondergaard were badly wasted in this yawner.
This amazing crapfest came a few years too late to be riding on the coattails of Cameron's Titanic. Which makes one wonder why was it even made. The thin as air plot is based on rumours surrounding the sinking of the ship in 1915, that hold extremely little weight. For the most part the acting is adequate with a special nod to Jacqueline Bisset (she really must have needed the money). Aside from the hysterically unbelievable plot and third rate writing, the worst element of this "flick" was the special effects. Predictable scenes of flooding compartments and passageways, the obligatory swim under water and our heroes being trapped behind locked gates are merely a journey of yawns, compared to the annoying and obvious computer-created graphics of the ship and it's watery demise. I've seen PC games with better and more detailed ships.
I found this film delightful. It is frantic and fun but somewhat uneven in it's pacing. Vittorio Gassman is quite good as the poor schmuck who unknowingly gives away a fortunate hidden in one of thirteen chairs, and Sharon Tate is delicious in her role as the antique dealer. Had she lived, she may well have made it as a light comedian. It was quite surprising to see Orson Welles in this light comedy. His performance is more understated than the other two stars, but still quite good.
If the first movie wasn't bad enough, the sequel only confirms that we are living in the declining years of a decadent society with a blinded sense of esthetics, an amoral soul and the intelligence of club moss. YES, I know this movie is parody, but parody can be funny, witty, and sophisticated without resorting to crass vulgarity and filth for its own sake. This film only proves that Hollywood continues to cater to the lowest common (very common!) denominator (or is it that Hollywood continues to define the lowest common denominator?) and that the vast majority of movie going audiences have the brains of a degenerate ferret. I am no prude. Vulgarity and shock value have their place. They should be the spices and seasonings on the entree, not the entree itself. This piece of work is a hollow mockery of what real parody should be and only moves us that much closer to the total collapse of social responsibility.
This film is one of those you must see to believe. It has good special effects, bad acting and a number of great actors struggling to maintain their professional integrity in an embarrassing film. Helen Reddy as a singing nun,and Karen Black as the stewardess, are delightfully funny, especially when they are trying to be serious. Poor Gloria Swanson. She must have desperately needed money. Overall it is a good comedy, but not one of the best of the bad. Good way to blow off a slow Sunday afternoon.
It may not be the best of movies. It may not even be a good movie, but Adventures In Babysitting is one of the most delightful comedies of the '80's. Obviously designed for the youth market, it is appealing for all ages. You don't have to think about this piece of mind candy, just sit back and enjoy it. Maia Brewton is precociously charming and Elizabeth Shue gives a fine and credible performance. Penelope Ann Miller is hysterical as the stranded and woe-begone Brenda. The plot, though contrived, leads you from one belly laugh to the next. The ad-libbed blues song is a highlight, as well as Brenda's efforts to help a baby "kitten".
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