Tuesday, May 16


Things I Learned Watching the Remake of The Poseidon Adventure

Wolfgang Petersen, if you're listening, you should take the script of Das Boot and re-read it. And then maybe get rapped across the knuckles with it a couple of times just to get the point across.

A bunch of us went out to watch Poseidon at the theater to celebrate a pal's birthday. I think the consensus can be summed up by the fact that at the end, when the music swelled and the survivors got rescued by the helicopter and the screen cut to black, we all burst out laughing.

We all thought it schlockily amusing, though I'm not quite willing to admit it to the elusive pantheon of the likes of Destroy All Monsters or They Saved Hitler's Brain. It was acceptibly awful, if not a Crow T. Robot-worthy masterpiece of badness. Still, it was not without some instructional content. Some of these are mine, though I can't take credit for all these conclusions:

1. Bare crosses (the kind you see in Dick Vosko renovations) can be surprisingly useful.

2. Ordinary people have extraordinary capacity in their lungs and can stay underwater for about ten minutes at a time without suffocating, unless they are the tragic doomed illegal immigrant character.

3. Poor stowaways typically dress like they're about to go clubbing.

4. If you're going to get secretly engaged, reveal it to your father right before you're all about to die.

5. There are large and very flammable cylinders of compressed air just lying around the bottommost part of a ship.

6. Passengers inside of a capsized ship must risk all sorts of perils, such as surprisingly bad CGI.

7. When in a crisis situation, it's better to end up with a bunch of Thomists than a group of Utilitarians.

8. Those useless "you-are-here" diagrams in places can be decyphered while upside-down, in low lights and while you're knee-deep in water.

9. Waiters are apparently expendable, but their girlfriends are not, or at least get a decent boo-hoo when they die.

10. Titanic wasn't that bad, after all. At least the costumes were pretty.

11. From the previews: Anne Hathaway now has black hair, and also the Inquisition has been re-established as the fashion journalism industry.

12. The best people to have with you when a ship is sinking are Rudy Giuliani and...the guy from...um...Stealth?

13. Also, Christine Daaé is Giuliani's daughter.

14. A movie at least has some redeeming features when they're compositionally restrained enough to omit a scene where they go back into some burning hellhole for a beloved family pet at the expense of women and children.

15. The comparison of flash-fire burns to rice paper is apparently a valid analogy that would just normally come up in conversation without a script-writer to think it up.

16. The movie definitely would have been better with Leslie Nielsen, because we'd have known they were kidding. Or, perhaps Tom Cruise in a cassock.

17. While we're on the subject of Tom, is it just me or does anyone find it creepy that the girl in Mission: Impossible III is essentially a clone of Katie Holmes? What do they do, keep backup copies in cold storage in the subbasement of Warner Brothers?

18. From the previews: Someone thinks that it would be a good idea to make a movie about illegal Japanese parking-garage automobile racing. Or something.

19. From the previews: Apparently, Anne Hathaway the actress and Anne Hathaway the wife of Shakespeare are two different people. I did not get the memo. My guess is that it all goes back to Jane Seymour.

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