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More Proof -If Needed- Hollywood Jumped The Shark

First I have to say, I don't do movies. Not at the theater and very rarely at home. I can count on 1 hand the number of movies I've paid to see in the last 10 years. And all the ones I did see have a common theme. (Titanic, The Passion of the Christ, Forest Gump) In short, the only movies I find myself interested in are ones that are at least roughly based on some historical event.

The way I like to tell my friends, my momma told me enough bedtime stories as a kid, I don't need any more.

But before I realized how boring movies were, I saw the original Poseidon Adventure. OK, to tell the story properly, I was like 6 years old when my older siblings brought me to the theatre and I cried like -well, a 6 year old- every time someone on the screen died. Years later I watched it again on TV and could actually appreciate the drama and the story.

Even though it was no Casablanca, I always felt a fondness for the movie since it was the first movie I recall seeing. I had toyed with the idea of watching the remake "Poseidon" when it came on satellite or something. In a moment of weakness I might have even paid $1.99 for the PPV though that would have admittedly been doubtful.

Until I got off the phone with a friend who had seen the remake but not the original. Now I can safely say I won't be wasting my time.

[spoiler alert]

It seems the epic struggle of survival -where it was man going solo against the elements- has been replaced with a pseudo-MacGyver vibe where the characters keep finding things that might help them later.

But the reason I won't go see it -and proof that Hollywood is now just a bad joke- there is no priest who gives his life to save everyone BUT they did insert a gay guy.

Everything has to be a statement in Hollywood. And I'm not going to pay to hear it hear the PC message. If Hollywood spent half as much time one their craft as they did their activism maybe they wouldn't be dying.


Comments (21)

I heard a review of this mo... (Below threshold)
Margo Demers:

I heard a review of this movie over the weekend; the reviewer gave it a "thumbs-up".

However, he did mention that in the remake, the ship is upside-down within the first ten minutes.

The reviewer commented that movie audiences "wouldn't stand for" the one-hour character development in the original.

I guess he felt that audiences today are way too shallow to care about the characters in the movies; we just want them to perform their function and move on.

Ah, but there is a gay guy.

I'm with you on this one Paul. I too can count the movies I've seen in the last ten years on my fingers.

SPOILER**<br ... (Below threshold)

SPOILER
*
*
*
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The biggest sin of all is that they took out the Shelly Winters character. I decided I wouldn't see it when I found that out.

I love movies. But I gener... (Below threshold)
Big D:

I love movies. But I generally avoid any movies with a lot of special effects. Digital effects allow the movies to be made without restraint. Instead of thinking of a better way to tell the story they spend the time trying to find a new way to blow something up. It is like a uncreative chef - more butter! more salt!

The original Poseidon Adventure had a strong theme of sacrifice. Sacrifice for those you love, sacrifice for total strangers. It is what made the movie great. I remember the end or the original where the roman catholic priest essentially committed suicide to save the others. Quite controversial at the time.

To add insult to injury, Th... (Below threshold)
Langtry:

To add insult to injury, The Gay Guy is played by Richard Dreyfus! Other than Dustin Hoffman, Dreyfuss is probably the single most annoying neurotic character actor ... ever.

Allow me to rant on the another cast member:

If someone can persuade me that Josh Lucas is a "Movie Star" ... my grandparents got Clark Gable and Gregory Peck. I get Matthew McConnaghey (sp.) and Josh Lucas. Makes me want to sue Hollywood.

I saw it (I work with teena... (Below threshold)
J-Ho:

I saw it (I work with teenagers so I had to). It was entertaining. But...

SPOILER ALERT!!!!

They showed the ship losing power. No power, only battery powered emergency lights. Yet, the bow thrusters were running at full speed despite this (and the fact that all their controls were under water). Oh, and even though there was no electrical power, people were still being electicuted.

It was dumb. Don't waste your time.

Paul, been in Metairie a month. I'm glad to be here helping out. - Jim

>The biggest sin of all is ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

>The biggest sin of all is that they took out the Shelly Winters character. I decided I wouldn't see it when I found that out.

Actually Janette *I think* they -sorta- left that character in. From what my friend says it is a father vs a grandmother but a very similar character.

Jim, glad to hear it... One day I'll mail and I'll buy ya lunch.

Does the gay guy at least, ... (Below threshold)
cagey1:

Does the gay guy at least, you know, die?

I doubt I'll watch Poseidon... (Below threshold)
Tim:

I doubt I'll watch Poseidon either in the theatre or on DVD, but I am curious about one thing Paul. First you made this statement: "I don't do movies. Not at the theater and very rarely at home. I can count on 1 hand the number of movies I've paid to see in the last 10 years." Then you made this statement: "If Hollywood spent half as much time one their craft as they did their activism maybe they wouldn't be dying." Paul if you don't do movies, then how are you judging the level of their craft?

Mmmmmm.... butter. Salt.<... (Below threshold)

Mmmmmm.... butter. Salt.

I saw Poseidon and, ... (Below threshold)
docjim505:

I saw Poseidon and, to my surprise, I enjoyed it. Perhaps it's a question of low expectations; I went in expecting it to suck, but left the theatre suitably entertained.

Yes, there are some sizable plot holes. Yes, it's an SPFX-oriented movie. There is next to no character development. Making Richard Dreyfuss' character a gay man was gratuitously PC. There was the obligatory kid who gets trapped and has to be saved. An illegal immigrant stow-away. The selfish loner who turns out to be a hero. Blah-blah-blah.

But, I think that if you simply go in expecting some neat SPFX and some heart-stopping moments, then you won't be disappointed.

All that being said, it's disgraceful that Hollywood, with all its millions (if not billions) of dollars, can't hire better screen writers. I mean, is this what we have to look forward to in the years to come? Remakes of '60s and '70s TV shows and movies? Or does Hollywood think that we're all too stupid / adolescent to want anything more?

If they want to do an underwater disaster movie, why not get some GOOD screen writer to adapt Peter Maas' The Terrible Hours about the sinking and rescue of USS Squalus in 1939? How about a screen adaptation of James Hornfischer's Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors? Or is portraying military people who aren't incompetent, psychotic, or both just too passe?

There are literally thousands of books and novels out there, many of which could be made into entertaining movies given a bit of effort.

But we get a movie version of Dallas... Sheesh.

Paul - As a kid part of wha... (Below threshold)

Paul - As a kid part of what I loved about the original was that Shelly Winters' grandmotherly character surprises everyone and does such a cool thing. (Not saying what to avoid more spoilers.)That they changed that character to a man seems like a betrayal. That's probably just my Inner Child speaking. ;)

Hmmm.Sorry but I'm... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

Sorry but I'm going to wait for the puppet version produced by the South Park guys.

...

Actually that sounds rather entertaining. They could have a blockbuster hollywood crew of lefties all stuck in an capsized cruise ship getting killed off one by one.

Ok. I'd pay to see that movie.

I watched the first hour of... (Below threshold)

I watched the first hour of the original Posiedon Adventure on AMC the other night (would probably have watched more but it DID start at 1:15am and I'm usually in bed by 11:30 - and no, I won't explain why I was up so late). The first hour is pretty darn funny, viewed 30 years after the fact, and not nearly as frightening as I remembered. Then again, I was probably too busy laughing at the early 70's decor and *gag* music - where before it was all "normal" and not dated. Sad statement, but true.

That said, I'm sorely disappointed to hear they replaced the priest character. While I find his early "God in You" speech obnoxiously filled with 70's (and post 70's) relativism, I can ALMOST forgive that offensive Hollywood attitude toward people of faith (that the "progressive" ones are too enlightened to have any) in light of the character's endgame sacrifice. Almost. At least it made the film interesting because the characters "grew" over time.

Losing both that and Shelley Winters' character means this isn't really even a remake - it's a hack job masquerading as a remake - and I don't have to see the film to guess why. Audiences have been trained to expect effects-filled PC drivel rather than a film that might teach them something about themselves or force them to confront a difficult decision and ask the meaningful question: "What would I do if the choice were my life or those of five innocent people?"

I, too, am an "at home" film viewer because I'm just not willing to pay $50 (yeah, I have a family) to be talked down to. Heck, I can get that for free without leaving the house.

>Paul if you don't do movie... (Below threshold)
Paul:

>Paul if you don't do movies, then how are you judging the level of their craft?

Easy. I pay attention to life. I don't have to live in Vermont to know it is too freaking liberal for me to live there.

Listening to the comments a... (Below threshold)
scsiwuzzy:

Listening to the comments about SFX taking center stage and replacing character developement (and I agree 90%), did anybody else find last years King Kong remake oddly touching?
It was on the surface an SFX laden eye candy film, but to be honest, the story telling came first and the FX did what they should do... enable the story.

The obvious question: How w... (Below threshold)
drummaster:

The obvious question: How would you know the level of craft in contemporary movies if you don't go to or see movies? What a moron. Paying attention to life is fine, but life says little about the quality of movies these days. Typical conservative. No facts, no reasoning, no actual experience; just a blunt, uninformed, derogatory and plain stupid opinion.

I dont need to see a movie... (Below threshold)
thomas:

I dont need to see a movie to know all I need to about it .The advertising , movie reveiws not to mention previews tell me all I need to know. How else do you decide which movies to see?
I also have learned from experience not to trust hollywood to make a movie out of a book I like.

I'm going to disagree with ... (Below threshold)

I'm going to disagree with you drummaster. I'm doing my best to write scripts these days (quite different from novel writing,) but I don't watch movies that often. I'm much more likely to buy a DVD if I've heard that a movie is good. The last movies I've seen in the theater, not even excluding kid movies (I have kids) that I remember off the top of my head were Sin City and Kung Fu Hustle, oh, and Serenity. (Which *were* excellent.) I *wanted* to go see Jarhead... didn't... borrowed the DVD... and not only am I glad I didn't pay for movie tickets, I'm glad I didn't pay for the DVD or even rent it. Not that it was terrible, but it wasn't great either.

I think that there is so much entertainment available so easily these days that I figure that if I go out to a movie it should be special, bigger, better... and a person doesn't have to go to lots of movies to have realistic expectations. All you have to do is talk to people and occasionally rent a DVD or *even* just watch the movie on television.

Talk to people about scriptwriting and what you hear is that the studios *will* beat all the life out of just about anything. They are risk adverse in the extreme... though when you figure how much movies cost to produce that makes sense. It's too bad, though. I'm all for being commercial rather than artistic, I figure that something that appeals to the masses has demonstrated an understanding of human nature that should be admired rather than denigrated, but what we're getting *is* remakes of proven movies or sequels or other "safe" movies and generally they're revised to comply to what someone thinks that US movie goers want. *I* want an action/adventure with heroes. But it has to be a character film because without character you don't have story and blowing up more stuff won't help.

The movies that get awards *seem* to be those with worthwhile messages of the proper sort which no one is all that interesting in seeing. If I go to the theater I'd like to escape, not be made to eat my broccoli. I want a big bloody steak, or a banana split with marshmallow topping, or hot saki and a $100 plate of shashimi. Or why the heck go?

And no, I don't have to see lots of movies to know I'm not going to get that.

Yak - I admit that I love t... (Below threshold)

Yak - I admit that I love the Poseidon adventure and when it comes on I usually watch it. It's a great movie because it's the epitome of the 70's disaster genre. I think parts of it are hysterically funny because it's so cliché but if you think about it Poseidon is responsible for those clichés. Sadly, I think the Shelly Winters character was sacred.

Why bother with a remake if they didn't include her part? Sacrilege.

There are some movies that ... (Below threshold)

There are some movies that don't need to be remade. The original "Poseidon Adventure" is one of them. There is absolutely nothing to improve upon.

Its ludicrous to try to com... (Below threshold)
pedrovex:

Its ludicrous to try to compete with the masculine power of old school Gene Hackman and Ernest Bognine. Total Instanity Man...




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