Tuesday, July 26, 2016


Year 8, Day 208 7/26/16 - Movie #2,403

BEFORE: I came back from San Diego yesterday, my plane was late taking off due to thunderstorms expected at JFK airport and I had a bad blister on my foot, so walking home from the subway with luggage was a bitch, and I showed up at home in a terrible state.  Comic-Con went pretty well, all things considered, our panel there was a hit, and we sold a lot of merchandise at the booth.  There were a thousand petty little annoyances, from the "bros" across the aisle to the way that other people don't seem to know how to act in public, or walk in crowded spaces.  Plus that whole California attitude makes me want to scream, or at least give people who serve beverages and snacks some decent tips on doing it more efficiently, because, you know, there's a long line.  

I think the worst part about the trip is probably the traveling, though - I get somewhat anxious before the trip, unsure if I remembered to ship and pack everything, and then there's that whole flying in the air thing, which is still not 100% safe after all this time, not to mention terrorism and such, so my stomach was really upset during the trip there.  Once on the ground I checked in with my AirBnB host, had a nap and then a sandwich, and I felt better.  Set up for the convention with no problems, but then on Preview Night when returning back to my flat I missed the trolley stop, and since it was late, I figured there were no more trolleys running the other way, so I decided to walk.  Bad judgements were taking place, because at that point I'd been up for about 36 hours with just two short naps - so a 20-minute walk along a dark highway in an unfamiliar neighborhood with just the map on my phone to guide me was probably not the best plan, and this was confirmed as I watched the trolley pass by on the elevated rail, which meant I could have waited for it to go the one stop back, and been there in 5 minutes.  Oh, well.  

I did not watch any movies while in San Diego, I just didn't have the time.  But I did watch "Batman v Superman" again on the plane trip home, which helped kill 2 1/2 hours.  It did seem a lot more coherent the second time around.  But back to the watchlist - I've got one more Richard Dreyfuss film, as he carries over from "The Crew".  Then I'll have to start making some tougher decisions.

FOLLOW-UP TO: "The Poseidon Adventure" (Movie #456)

THE PLOT:  On New Year's Eve, the luxury ocean liner Poseidon capsizes after being swamped by a rogue wave. The survivors are left to fight for their lives as they attempt to escape the sinking ship.

AFTER: This remake doesn't bear much resemblance to the original 1972 film - where's the preacher played by Gene Hackman, who leads the small band of survivors?  Where's the lady played by Shelley Winters who turns out to be such a great swimmer?  Which version, if any, is more faithful to the book?  I'll have to do some research on this later.  So, is this a remake, a reboot, a re-imagining, or what?  Soft reboots like this are all the rage these days, what with both Marvel and DC retooling their entire casts of characters, trying to keep what works, or what they think fans want to see, and jettisoning the rest.  

I think that's what we're dealing with here - boiling the plot down to its barest elements.  As long as we've got a ragtag bunch of survivors moving through a flipped cruise ship, nobody really cares about the details, right?  So let's make sure we've got a full complement of youngish people of different races, plus a couple of veteran actors who can give off some authority.  Make one of them an ex-fireman AND ex-Mayor of NYC for good measure.  One can be an architect, good, that's good, and we'll distribute various skills among the others that are sure to come in handy down the line.  

And let's not confuse things, like that other version did, by making it seem like there's more than one course of action - even though the Captain says that the safest place is in the ballroom of the overturned ship, for various technical reasons.  Turns out even the Captain can be wrong - we wouldn't want our band of smart heroes to start second-guessing themselves, now, would we?  

There's a lot of the same sort of thing happening again and again, as the group goes from one upside-down room to the next, with a different set of challenges in each room, but with similar results - the group's probably going to be getting smaller, in other words.  And I can't help but assume this film went into production after "Titanic" was such a titanic hit - there are parts that feel like the bits where Rose and Jack had to work their way through the ship, with the water constantly rising.  No, wait, the water stayed the same, it was the ship that was sinking.  Right.  

I've been on three cruise ships, never had this or any kind of problem, except for one night of rough seas coming back to NY from Puerto Rico on the second cruise.  And I don't usually get seasick, so when I did, the sea must have been pretty rough.  And then if you recall the Costa Concordia, and that Carnival cruise line from 2013 (the one where every deck became the "poop" deck...) maybe a tragedy such as the Poseidon doesn't seem so far-fetched - but that wave, though.  Taller than the ship?  Is that even possible?

I can't help but notice that an upside-down cruise ship bears some resemblance to the San Diego Convention Center.  It's probably about the same size, too.  Maybe I can take this film as a giant metaphor for Comic-Con - both it and the Poseidon are large, confusing structures, and the crowds all run about with no sense of direction, or care for their own safety.  But maybe, just maybe, a smart group of people can navigate through all the chaos, bend the rules a little bit, and survive long enough to steer themselves back to civilization.  Hey, it's been known to happen.

Also starring Kurt Russell (last seen in "The Thing"), Josh Lucas (last seen in "J. Edgar"), Emmy Rossum, Jacinda Barrett, Mia Maestro, Mike Vogel, Kevin Dillon, Freddy Rodriguez, Andre Braugher (last heard in "Superman/Batman: Apocalypse"), Fergie, Jimmy Bennett, 

RATING: 4 out of 10 ballast tanks

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