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PCR # 320  (Vol. 7, No. 19)  This edition is for the week of May 8--14, 2006.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith
Two and a half stars

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

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The Florida Collectibles and Vintage Memorabilia Show....Charlie Carlson Summer Program  by Will Moriaty
"Poseidon"  by Mike Smith
Mark Terry, a Felon?  by Mark Terry
Happy Mother's Day....Cruising to #1....Oh To Work With Jackie Chan!...My Favorite Films -- Part 19: "Slap Shot"  by Mike Smith
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Warner Brothers     
Starring: Josh Lucas, Kurt Russell, Emmy Rossum and Richard Dreyfuss
Directed by: Wolfgang Petersen
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 1 hour 39 mins

It's New Years Eve. You and two thousand other people are ringing in the New Year aboard the luxury liner S.S. Poseidon. Suddenly, the ship is hit by a rogue tidal wave, causing it to turn upside down in the water. What do you do? WHAT DO YOU DO?

If only the film "Poseidon" was as dramatic as that past paragraph. Based more on the original novel by Paul Gallico and not the 1972 film, "Poseidon" is packed with scenes that keep you holding your breath with the actors on screen. However, when they're not climbing through air ducts or swimming forever underwater (they would make David Blaine envious with their breath holding abilities), you really don't know too much about these people. Nor do you really want to. Lucas is a card shark. Russell is the one time Mayor of New York (?) and, in what I can only assume is a nod to the much superior "Backdraft," a former fireman. Rossum is his daughter and Dreyfuss is the stereotypical gay guy who, even in a crisis, calls the handsome porter "gorgeous." Along the way we also meet the hot single mom with the cute kid, a stowaway (again, ?), Rossums' boyfriend and an obnoxious lout. Let's see, which of these gets the honor of going down with the ship?

Director Petersen has done some excellent films, among them "Das Boot," "Airforce One" and "The Perfect Storm." He knows how to build suspense and stages some spectacular stunts when the ship begins to roll over. Unlike "The Poseidon Adventure," the toll the wave takes on the ship's passengers is very graphic, with much credit going to make up master Greg Nicotero and his staff. The almost silent scenes are the most powerful in the film. Fans of the original film will see the many similarities. Lucas and Russell share the role played by Gene Hackman. Kevin Dillon, the lout, is obviously there to remind us of Ernest Borgnine. And Dreyfuss is Red Buttons, down to his overprotection of the young stowaway. And the similarities wouldn't be bad if the cast made you care about them. "The Poseidon Adventure" was a film where performances stood atop the special effects. Hackman's priest, chastising God for what He had put them through. Borgnine breaking down over the loss of his wife ("You took from me the only thing I ever loved in the whole world, my Linda"). And of course, Shelly Winters, who will forever be remembered as Mrs. Rosen. The cast of "The Poseidon Adventure" was led by four Oscar winners (Borgnine, Buttons, Winters and Jack Albertson). Five if you count the Oscar Gene Hackman won for "The French Connection" during the filming. That cast featured some of the best ever in taking a supporting role and making it real. And while there is nothing wrong with the cast of "Poseidon," (I'm a huge Kurt Russell fan and former Oscar winner Dreyfuss is one of my favorite actors of all time), it's almost like they are all individual characters dropped into a disaster film.

I left the film with one burning question: if I can't get a cell phone signal when I stand in a certain part of my back yard, how in the heck can you get one miles out to sea? On a scale of zero to four stars, I give "Poseidon"  Two and a half stars

This week's movie review of "Poseiden" is ©2006 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2006, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2006 by Nolan B. Canova.