Review: The Poseidon Adventure (1972)

poseidon 05

Hmmm… I was going to post this pic upside down, but I wanted to not spoil the film for those who’ve yet to see it.

Yes, friends, it’s time for another episode of…

Video Store Action Heroes - Banner 9 final

Other posts can be found here, here, and here, so get in your reading, I say,

This month, we’re all going on a cruise, yay!

Well, sort of (just remember to climb the Christmas tree, or else). Ronald Neame’s 1972 classic (co-directed by Irwin Allen) is a star-filled one with impressive practical effects (well, the ship model looks these days like an expensive toy you don’t want to accidentally sit or step on while in the bath) and very cool upside down sets. While it’s not your typical “action” movie, it’s certainly exceptionally well made and packed with more than enough thrills and (wait for it…) spills galore (expect a lot of puns here, friends). As a disaster flick, it certainly wasn’t a disaster at all, raking in 93 million dollars for 20th Century Fox over its time in theaters.

poseidon_adventure_ver2_xlg

A big movie deserves a big poster, right?

These days (and a poorly received sequel plus a expensive few remakes later) is the original The Poseidon Adventure still a seaworthy film? I say yes, it still holds its water rather excellently if you throw caution to the wind and don’t go overboard with your expectations. Granted, for all its death and angst on display, the film is not as cruel as the 1969 novel was with some of its characters. One could say Stirling Silliphant’s adaptation of the Paul Gallico novel softens the impact somewhat yet still has enough drama for its target audience.

If you’re new to the film, all you need to know is how it starts and sit back to enjoy the rest (and NO, it’s not a true story):

poseidon 06

You better not think this actually happened.

Let’s just say it’s New Year’s (Rockin’, as ships do in bad weather with no ballast) Eve, stuff happens minutes after the happier vibe the film kicks off with that isn’t too good (like any New Year’s party, things can kind of get a little out of hand) and the world is turned upside down for a bunch of people (as I said, like any New Year’s party, things can kind of get a little out of hand). The survivors bond (well, sort of) and have to find their way off the doomed ship before she sinks to a watery grave like a former swimming champ does after a bit of too much exercise.

Uh, did I say this review was spoiler-free? I lied. Here’s the trailer, doing what it needs to to get 1972-era butts in theater seats:

Continue reading

Turner Classic Movies Finally Gets With The Program on YouTube

 
Like many of you out there, I love Turner Classic Movies quite a lot, although the popular classic movie site isn’t without its issues. I’m still waiting to see more imports (where are Cul De Sac, {The Mad Adventures of} Rabbi Jacob, The Tall Blonde Man With One Black Shoe and other intriguing foreign films that deserve a wider American audience?) and a more stable Underground (I can be the host, as I have a LOAD of ideas to make it better and more accessible to new viewers to the weird and strange!), but overall I’m happy with most of what they do. That said, they’re finally using YouTube a lot more effectively, posting videos for current programming for the day during the week, which goes a long way towards making folks like me see what’s coming on during the day without having to check the cable guide or just turn the channel on when we crawl home and hope we’ll see something we haven’t yet. Yeah, the frequent rebroadcasts need to be worked on a bit, but for now, I have one LESS thing to gripe about…

It’s here! The Funny Lady Blogathon!

Whee! I made it, Ma! Top of the World! (BOOOOM!) OK, OK, it’s just my first Blogathon submission, that’s all, but still – nice to get some new readers and yep, I’m poking around to contribute more articles elsewhere… OK, back to work… where was I again? Oh, right…(BOOOOOM!!)

Movies Silently

funny lady blogathon movies silently

I am just marvelously excited! The Funny Lady Blogathon has launched! My fellow bloggers have joined me in celebrating the wonderful funny women of classic film!

Some have contributed reviews, some have contributed articles. I invited my Tumblr friends to make animated GIFs for the occasion and they did themselves proud! Come and see all the wonderful treasures that have been contributed!

A special note to participants:

Thank you so much for making my first blogathon a success! Please give me the URL of your post to make it easier for the readers to find your contribution. You can email, tweet, Tumblr message, anything you like.

I have arbitrarily divided the ladies into three categories covering the time when they did their most famous work. It’s just a guesstimate to keep things tidy so don’t be mad if I put someone in the wrong slot.

Blogs with direct links to…

View original post 371 more words

Random Film of the Week: Play Misty for Me

 

Play Misty for MeWith Arrested Development back on the block as a hot TV series (well, if you count not actually being on TV as part of a popular pay-to-stream service that’s 100% useless if your internet goes down), I figured I may as well celebrate the fact that I can’t see it (until someone wises up and gets a physical media collection out) by pointing you to this more than pretty decent 1971 Clint Eastwood-directed thriller that may have kicked off the whole “unhinged stalker hookup” sub-genre. OK, put that jaw up, stop doing that double take and pay attention – there’s a point here being made (I think).

AD’s Jessica Walter is in this one, younger, more attractive and save for the psychotically imbalanced character she’s so good at playing in this flick, she’d probably be a great partner for Eastwood’s late night DJ, Dave Garver. Of course, Dave’s not actually a completely nice, innocent guy here, but that’s another thing the film plays with as it tells the tale of lust gone bad…
Continue reading

Random FIlm of the Week: Love and Death

Love and Death poster Probably the most amusing thing about Woody Allen’s 1975 film Love and Death is how well it works despite practically hitting you over the head with how literate you need to be to get some of the best (and funniest) jokes. On the other hand, you don’t need to be a student of Russian literature or philosophy at all to nearly die laughing when Woody’s character, Boris, is trapped inside a gigantic lit cannon that rolls downhill during the big battle scene and fires him into a tent full of French officers, making him a temporary war hero of sorts.

There are a few other big laughs as well, but the bulk of the film’s humor springs from the one-two punch of Allen’s writing and flawless direction as he captures the moods of his put-upon characters as they go through their dramatically (and intentionally) dreary lives in 19th Century Russia. As bleak as that last sentence sounds, it’s one of Allen’s best comedies because it skewers its subject matter (and subjects) so well that you can’t help but laugh even when the worst is happening…
Continue reading

Random Film of the Week(end): The Palm Beach Story

You’ll probably need to watch Preston Sturges’ The Palm Beach Story at least twice if you’ve never seen it before. The second time will be to catch some of the rapid-fire dialog you missed the first time out from laughing so hard as your brain attempts to keep up with the wild setups and payoffs the movie hits you with. Sturges’ gift for well-timed comedy direction comes through excellently in yet another gem he also wrote and you have to give the man major credit for letting his actors fly through scenes (and sometimes the scenery) as if they were tossed around sets by small cyclones. Of course, having some great actors throwing those lines around helps quite a bit… Continue reading

Random Film of the Week(end): It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

Soon after hearing about Jonathan Winters’ death two days ago, I had the realization that we’re running out of truly great NATURAL comedians that made us laugh without resorting to juggling expletives or putting themselves in the public eye constantly in an ego-feeding frenzy. Granted, trying to get today’s short attention spanners out there to sit down and watch Winters’ best work is going to be a hard sell, but I think Stanley Kramer’s 1963 comedy classic kills a few birds with one stone.

Yes, the movie is too long by today’s standards (hell, it was too long for 1963 standards), but it’s packed to the gills with comedians and comediennes from a huge enough slice of history that you could see the careers of some beginning and ending with this one zany epic. The story of a bunch of wildly assorted strangers chasing down a dead robbery suspect’s stolen loot is still required viewing for anyone who considers him or herself a fan of comedy and the film works so well because no one gets away without taking a few lumps or a pratfall or three… Continue reading

Random Film of the Week: Sunrise: A Tale of Two Souls

 

Even though it’s well over eighty years old, F.W. Murnau’s Sunrise: A Tale of Two Souls is still one of the most amazing films ever made. For a silent film with a surprising amount of visual effects and innovative camera work for what’s basically a dramatic romance mixed with a morality play. The story manages to resonate on a few levels thanks to stellar acting by the leads, phenomenal sets and cinematography and of course, Murnau’s highly expressionistic direction. A simple tale of a nameless farmer who plans to ditch his wife permanently for the charms of a gal from the city, the film shifts into gear right from the opening sequence, pulling you in to the grand final moments. Continue reading

Random Film Of The Week: A Face In The Crowd


 

While most Americans will be remembering the late, great Andy Griffith from his lengthy stints on two hugely popular CBS TV shows The Andy Griffith Show and Matlock, (both in perpetual reruns somewhere around the country) I’ll always be more fond of his much more compelling movie debut, A Face In The Crowd.

In this classic 1957 Elia Kazan film (which was Griffith’s big-screen debut), his character of Larry “Lonesome” Rhodes explodes onto the scene in a still amazing performance that makes the movie even more enthralling to watch today. What makes the film so important is how precisely it nails Rhodes’ rise from vagrant jailbird to media superstar with his own national TV show (with help from a small town news reporter played by the great Patricia Neal) and later, his fall from fame’s grace are so compelling that for me, nearly all of Griffith’s later TV work pales in comparison.

Continue reading

Dissecting THE THING: Missing Minutiae, Merrily Making Modern Mistakes…

While last year’s prequel to John Carpenter’s classic 1982 film was well-made and an effectively creepy good time, as a big fan of the original 1951 flick and of course, JC’s fine retelling… I was a tiny bit disappointed. For me, part of great suspense is all in the build up and despite some nice scares, the prequel loses a bit of suspense because it doesn’t build much empathy for its doomed cast (and loses some chances to once the monsters start appearing). Still, I found most the film fine until the entire alien saucer sequence complete with that all-too common “formerly flexible monster who can’t quite reach the heroine!” and “run like hell to escape the big explosion” set pieces we’ve all seen in too many other films. I’ll get to the “leave ’em hanging!” part of the pre-credit ending later, as there’s a great (and I think intentional) workaround there that could actually set up an actual sequel (should someone be crazy enough to make one)…

Continue reading