The Direct to Video Connoisseur

I'm a huge fan of action, horror, sci-fi, and comedy, especially of the Direct to Video variety. In this blog I review some of my favorites and not so favorites, and encourage people to comment and add to the discussion. If you click on an image, it will take you to that post's image page, which includes many more pics from the film and other goodies I couldn't fit in the actual review. For announcements and updates, don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. If you're the director, producer, distributor, etc. of a low-budget feature length film and you'd like to send me a copy to review, you can contact me at dtvconnoisseur[at]yahoo.com. I'd love to check out what you got.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Poseidon Adventure (2005)

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During the DTVC's recent poll, I got some complaints from C. Thomas Howell's people that, while we were featuring films by Don "The Dragon" Wilson and Steven Seagal, we didn't do any of CTH's. They felt this unnecessarily biased the results against their boy. Unfortunately, with the DTVC's unplanned hiatus, we were unable to get this film up, which would've at least been one for him. Unfortunately we can't change the past.

The 2005 version of The Poseidon Adventure is a TV movie romp meant mainly to scare Americans into being jingoistic and xenophobic. The only four non-whites on a cruise liner piloted by Peter Weller have planted bombs on it, one of which detonates, causing the ship to capsize. A few passengers and crew members, led by Adam Baldwin, an officer for Homeland Security, and Rutger Hauer, a nomadic priest, band together to uphold the virtues of God-fearing white America. They succeed in only saving themselves. This also has Steve Guttenberg and Bryan Brown. Oh yeah, and C. Thomas Howell plays a dreamy doctor.

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I was disturbed by this movie. A large portion of it was the lack of imagination. You'd get more creativity if you asked a group of 5th graders to write an adventure story about the world's recent struggles against the scourge of terrorism. Why anyone was involved in this project was beyond me.

That includes Rutger Hauer and Peter Weller. Guys, we expect more. Weller is unceremoniously dumped early in when a terrorist shoots him in the back. What a waste. Hauer survives as the priest, but at what cost? Definitely his dignity. At least in Hunt For Eagle One he was visibly phoning it in. Here, he seems to be putting in some effort, and the more effort, the less I respect him.

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Guttenberg hurt. He works in Police Academy, or Short Circuit, or even Three Men and a Little Something-or-Other, but here he plays a troubled author who has an affair, but through the tragedy rediscovers his love for his family. Guttenberg doesn't do troubled well at all, considering he was barely that great goofy and irreverent. I liked him best as the cardboard cut-out in El Debarge's "Who is Johnny?" video.

One scene troubled me the most, and when I saw it coming, I told my friends I would hate this movie forever for it. For some God awful reason the film goes from being over, to inventing some convoluted reason why it's not, and makes the survivors traverse some flaming pit. This gives the holier-than-thou writers the chance to kill off it's two remaining "Evil Doers" in a fiery pit of hell. The two Evil Doers: the one terrorist Adam Baldwin didn't kill, and the Jezebel that seduced Guttenberg away from his wife. When the women went, so did the remaining vestiges of this film's credibility.

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Finally, I must discuss the C. Thomas Howell factor. There was none. He was barely in the film, and what there was of him, he was presented to us as a dreamy hunk of a doctor. Poll or no poll, I believe poor CTH's bid for a spot in the coveted DTVC Hall of Fame may be held up another year. I feel bad, because if we'd seen Side Out a month ago, and this ten years ago, he'd probably be in. But it's a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately kind of world, and with this film, you ain't done much. See you next October, C. Tommy baby.

I'm not sure what else I can say. Avoid this film at all costs. Maybe, just maybe, use it as a modern day example of the kind of Red Scare films from the Cold War, like Rocket Attack U.S.A. or Red Dawn; and only use it for an example if you're doing a project for a class on film history dealing with the subject of monolithic scare films.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0419358/

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