Poseidon on DVD

Poseidon, released on DVD Tuesday, August 21 stars Josh Lucas (Glory Road, Stealth), Kurt Russell (Escape from New York, Tombstone), and Richard Dreyfuss (Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind). In a remake of gigantic proportions, Poseidon delivers a lot of epic scenes, chilling thrills, but not a lot of the same human element that made the original Poseidon Adventure so great.

It’s New Year’s Eve on the huge luxury liner, Poseidon. Everyone is in high spirits except for a chosen few. Robert Ramsey (Russell), ex-mayor of New York is in a family squabble with his daughter, Jennifer (Emmy Rossum) and her fiance, Christian (Mike Vogel). Richard Nelson (Dreyfuss) has just lost his beloved partner. Maggie James (Lucinda Barrett) is overprotective of her son, Conor (Jimmy Bennett). Gambler Dylan Johns (Lucas) doesn’t care about anyone but himself, giving him a world of problems. It seems everyone else didn’t bring their problems at home on this cruise.

When the ship meets its inevitable doom, people die in the worst ways possible. Dancers in the ship’s club get electricuted. Men and women are seen plunging to their deaths. Then when the Poseidon is finally at rest, left over-turned by a 150-foot “rogue wave”, its utter chaos for the survivors inside.

Dylan knows the ship like the back of his hand and despite his objections, he leads the group of people listed above through the depths of the Poseidon to escape through the over-turned bottom. They narrowly escape life-threatening situations. Fireballs, gallons upon gallons of water, and falling objects are among the many things that stand in the way of these survivors and freedom.

In a journey of courage, the group saves each other and others. They absolve their petty issues. They learn to love and trust each other, and the film almost becomes heartwarming when the group reaches the hull. If only it wasn’t for the savage way in which director, Wolfgang Petersen dispatches all of the others, the film may actually be something to appreciate.

Poseidon, an adaptation of the novel, “The Poseidon Adventure” reminds viewers of the original film released in 1972, and leaves them feeling cold and detached. While the heroism of these characters aren’t in question, it’s the lack of heart in which they see the disaster that keeps the viewer from looking at it all through their eyes. They skip and hurdle over bodies as if they were just burnt statues laying or hanging all over. It’s not that Poseidon is a bad movie, it’s just that it keeps viewers at a distance in order to show some amazing digital effects, and some wild theatrical and unbelievable stunts.

The DVD doesn’t offer much but a threatical trailer and a documentary on the making of Poseidon – unless you can find the two-disc set in your video store. The only great thing about this release is its fine transfer. But all-in-all, the movie isn’t all that great and the DVD is mediocre at best but for a rental price of about $5.00, Poseidon might be worth at least one viewing.

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