Adventure Movies

How The Poseidon Adventure Got Me Hooked On Movies for Life | Far Flungers

February 13, 20193 Mins Read

There’s also the magnificent inversion of the Poseidon, done with great ingenuity, fooling the audience during the ballroom scene by tilting the camera with additional, incremental angles on each progressive take. And most of all, there are the fantastic, exploding miniatures and the use of real water that both look much better than CGI. This is particularly evident when comparing the similar scenes from the 2006 remake. Even though recent technology in the latter version was able to convey such spectacular things like the ship’s swimming pool turning around, there’s also a nagging feeling in Petersen’s film of fakeness when the wave strikes. Besides, the old, rusty Poseidon turned out to have much more character than its ultra-modern counterpart.

So much has been made recently about whether features like “Die Hard” and “Lethal Weapon” are really Christmas movies. Under the same criteria, “The Poseidon Adventure” is the ultimate New Year’s Eve movie, though I suspect this setting was mostly an excuse to reunite the entire crew and passengers in the main ballroom, the most cinematic spot for a catastrophe of this nature to strike, with the actors, stunt doubles, chairs (some inexplicably bolted to the floor) and confetti flying all over the place, along with a couple of grand pianos. The pianos are a sight so impressive, someone decided to put one aboard the sinking 747 from “Airport 77” with the same, crushing results (now, those should have been bolted to the floor!).  

“The Poseidon Adventure” came out at the early stage of the ’70s disaster movie era, and even though its successors have become bigger and more technically advanced, it is still the best of the group for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, it’s about the only one that deals with more than just a handful of characters stuck in one of its genre’s typical formats, be it the heroic, philandering pilots and brave stewardesses sacrificing themselves for the greater good in the “Airport” movies; the romantic triangles resolved by catastrophe from “Earthquake,” “Titanic” and “Airport 77”; the couples on the brink of divorce whose relationship is saved by the calamity at hand (with the expendable third party usually getting crushed or vanished) in “2012,” “San Andreas” and “Twister”; the parents on a quest to save their offspring from certain doom in “The Day After Tomorrow” and “San Andreas”; or, more often than not, a combination of one or several of these formulas. “The Poseidon Adventure” is a film that cannot be described as a mere roller coaster ride like most of the genre’s recent examples, where the characters are chased by one catastrophe after the other nonstop. It reminds me more of Ridley Scott’s 2015 film “The Martian,” with its players having to survive one unexpected setback after the other in order to reach the end of their journey.

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