Poseidon [Blu-Ray] Wolfgang Petersen

Poseidon [Blu-Ray] Wolfgang Petersen
After the endless parade of disaster movies from the '70s, it was only a matter of time before Hollywood started remaking them, taking advantage of the newest CGI special effects to make it look like the actors could perish at any moment. And that's exactly what the ocean-obsessed Wolfgang Petersen has done with Poseidon, a remake of 1972's The Poseidon Adventure, Poseidon starts off like a mediocre TV movie and doesn't do much to rise above before flipping the boat almost immediately, with almost no warning. It barely allows any time to get to know important characters (or as they will soon be known, "the survivors"), but tries by using some very unsubtle writing that makes it easy to know whom to root for. And just in case it isn't obvious enough, the writers threw in an obnoxious drunk who refers to himself as Lucky Larry, who sticks around just long enough to have one of the most spectacular deaths in recent movie history. Embracing the one-dimensional story and admiring the special effects is the key to making it through Poseidon, but ultimately it is just a very average remake of an average movie, albeit with a shiny new coat of paint. That said, the movie looks and sounds rather good on Blu-Ray and considering that this is a disaster movie, which requires convincing special effects, that is a good thing. The cast make the best of what they are given to work with. Kurt Russell is suitably earnest and Richard Dreyfuss is only camp about half the time. The other thing that works to the film's advantage is that it clocks in at just over an hour-and-a-half, so it doesn't overstay its welcome. And while it does occasionally stray into "so bad it is good" territory, it doesn't do it nearly enough. The three behind-the-scenes featurettes are an interesting watch, if only to see how they managed to turn a luxury liner upside down. There is also a History Channel documentary about the phenomenon of rogue waves, the supposed cause of the disaster in the movie. It adds some legitimacy to the film, if only for 30 minutes. The problem with the special features is that they are all in standard definition, somewhat disappointing after the HD-ness of the movie. (Warner)