The Poseidon Adventure

I loved the original version of the The Poseidon Adventure. It was campy shlock but a hell of a lot of fun with a decent cast. Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine and Red Buttons, what could be better. In fact it was so good there is an entire website devoted to it.

And now there is a remake. I am TIVOing it with great trepidation. I have little enough time as it is and to give so much to something so questionable, well I am not sure that it is wise. The critics tell me that I shouldn’t bother. Check out this snippet:

“Sometimes, a critic just wants to write, ”Don’t watch it.” Or, ”NBC, you should be ashamed of yourself.” And leave it at that.

But then how would he vent the frustration of having spent some three hours submitting to an embarrassing remake of the iconic 1972 disaster movie ”The Poseidon Adventure”? So thank you for letting me heal in public, and in return I promise not to use the phrases ”all wet” and ”titanic flop” in reference to this Robert Halmi Jr.-produced sweeps event, which sucks up air tomorrow night at 8 on Channel 7.

I will, however, use the words ”interminable” and ”ridiculous,” because the movie is like a slow amble through a faulty water park. The effects? Not so special. The survivors climb endlessly through a visually illogical soundstage, getting doused and then dodging fires that are as threatening as a gas fireplace on a daytime soap. There’s not a hint of drama to be had when the big boat flips and thousands die — or at least we assume thousands die, since there are only a handful of bodies strewn about. If this represents state-of-the-art film technology, it’s state of the art circa 1960.

Meanwhile, the movie keeps cutting away to a two-bit rescue effort led by Alex Kingston as an intelligence agent. Kingston mans a high-tech room that looks like a dreary basement entertainment center. It’s from that oddly sequestered room that she phones in her performance.

As they move toward safety, the survivors’ relationships are as deep as they would be on an episode of ”Love Boat,” with Steve Guttenberg still trying to seem adult-like as an unhappy husband who hooks up with the boat’s massage therapist.”

Come to think of it watching the Love Boat would have been more enjoyable had they turned it into a disaster flick. Watch Gopher, Isaac and Captain Stubing try and lead a boatful of ‘B’ actors, hasbeens and neverwas through the gauntlet. How much fun would that be.

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  1. Jack's Shack November 23, 2005 at 4:22 am


    Police Academy 1-17

  2. MC Aryeh November 22, 2005 at 9:00 am

    Has Steve Guttenberg ever been in anything worth watching? Although he would make a great Love Boat guest…

  3. Jack's Shack November 22, 2005 at 7:25 am

    Hi Ann,

    The ’70s were a special time, Towering Inferno, Earthquake, Rollercoaster….There were some good flicks.


    not surprised.




    Remakes are hardly ever worth the wait.


    That is not a bad idea.


    I wonder if Irwin Allen haa a blog.


    Don’t call me Shirley.



  4. PsychoToddler November 22, 2005 at 2:59 am


    In the name of all that’s holy…WHY??

  5. cruisin-mom November 22, 2005 at 1:45 am

    best disaster movie…Airplane!

  6. Elie November 21, 2005 at 9:37 pm

    The original Poseidon Adventure was very good, but my favorite disaster movie of the 70s remains “The Towering Inferno.” I don’t think I’ve seen it in decades; it never seems to be on cable. I’ll have to see if it’s available to rent.

    I watched parts of the TV movie last night – it was fairly awful.

  7. Robbie November 21, 2005 at 9:33 pm

    I’m a big fan of hasbeens. We should take the show “the Surreal Life” and put them on a boat and tip it upside down.

    Now THAT’s entertainment!

  8. Pragmatician November 21, 2005 at 1:53 pm

    Honestly a remake is by definiation just for the die hard fans.
    I awaited Bewitched with such anticipation=dissapointing!

  9. torontopearl November 21, 2005 at 1:43 pm

    Thought you might be interested to read some thoughts from the screenwriter himself.

  10. Stacey November 21, 2005 at 5:44 am

    I loved the song from The Poseidon Adventure even more than I loved the movie.

  11. -Ann November 21, 2005 at 5:32 am

    I loved “The Poseidon Adventure” too. I love every sort of cheesy disaster movie that I can get my hands on. Although I have to say that they just don’t make ’em like they did in the 70s. Disaster movies work because of the people and the 70s movies, with their limited special effects, forced focus on the people. Smaller sets, fewer set options means that the focus is narrow. CGI gives directors and writers too many options and the movies lose focus.

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