Thursday, March 29, 2007

Poseidon Rant

So, I caught Poseidon from the beginning. It had really great potential.

But why, oh, why, remake a movie and not realize that it’s a classic and it’s going to take some really, really, really hard work? Huh?

I just purchased - on Amazon - the novel by Paul Gallico and look forward to reading it. But until then, my 2 cents.

Okay, so we are going to remake a classic. A classic that stands the test of time. Where do we start?

Oh me, oh me. Pick me, I know this one.

We must ask how close to the original do we want to stay, or will we be just keeping the name and overall theme?

Okay, so what did they do? A mish-mash of both. Is that a word - mish-mash?

Let me just say this. I watch the original over and over because I LOVE Rev. Frank Scott. He says and does everything I wish I had the guts to do and say, but I’m too damn scared that I’ll get struck by lightning, or have all of my really religious friends and family disown me. He’s a reverend, for Christ-sake. Am I going to hell for that?

Okay, so now in the new movie, we have Kurt Russell. Or is is Josh Lucas? Shit! I’m so damn confused. Okay, so it has to be the one who dies, right? No, or maybe that was the new twist - our hero lives this time? Shit, shit, shit! Work it out before you put it up on the screen, people!!!!

Okay, I’ll just “doggy, doggy, step right out” this one. I pick Josh Lucas. He’s younger and hotter and a bit more bankable. O0ps, my wanna-be executive hat is rearing its ugly head.

Okay, Josh Lucas is to Gene Hackman as... Night is to Day? What were they going for here? Huh? Huh? Huh?

Rev. Scott was a...well, reverend. Dylan... a gambler (and maybe an ex-Navy something or other - not sure, but I might have heard him mumble something like this). Anyway, okay, people I get it. He’s a gambler, he takes chances, calls people’s bluff, likes the odds and bets the house. But... why the hell should this make me care wether he lives or freaking dies? Arrrggghhhhh!!!!!!!

Oh, pick me again. Please pick me.

He likes children. Remember when he first meets the snot-nosed little kid (actually, he was cute and adorable - want to turn things on its head? - make it a kid we secretly wish swallows a bit too much salt water - oh, no, that’s cruel - just plain cruel - but fucking interesting). I digress. Sorry.

So, Dylan likes kids. And... there is this instant chemistry with the kid’s single mother (NOT!), and we can’t wait to see if the two will hook up. So... that’s why we care whether he lives or dies. Give me a big fucking break.

Anyway. Oh, we also get a nice few lines of exposition. I’m the kind that likes to go it alone - blah...blah... blah. I wish he would have. Might have made it a bit more interesting. An amazing race to see who could get to the bottom of the ship and out first. And my money would not be on the kid - but I’m cruel.

Where was I? ADD is setting in pretty fast and I’m only at the beginning.

Do I hate this movie? No. Interesting enough, I’ll probably watch it again. I pay enough for cable and... I have no life.

It’s like being a deer and headlights. I know it’s going to be ugly, but I just gotta stand there and go...WTF?

Okay, focus, focus.

So, now we have Kurt Russell’s character - Robert Ramsey. The last name - is it supposed to mean something? Anyway. So, Ramsey is an ex-firefighter and get this, the fucking ex-mayor of New York fucking City. I’m sorry about the profanity... but JEEZ!!!!

Okay, so now we all can relate to a NYC mayor? We’ll find out next year if they were on to something.

Not just any NYC Mayor, but one who seemed to have quit early (some reference to this mumbled again during a sidebar moment). His wife also dumped him and he and his daughter have these little fitty moments (why? who the hell knows, though I’m suspecting it has something to do with adding conflict). So, this ex-mayor, firefighter, husband happens to be on a cruise with his daughter (couldn’t tell is she was a late teen or way past teen - but not important - I guess) and her boyfriend. No, make that her fiancee - who she has not yet told her father of this late breaking news.

Who gives a shit!!!!

Okay, okay, he’s the ex-mayor of NYC. That makes him a very powerful man - instantly. Also, we all know New Yorker’s have attitude. This gives us an instant character that we have to do very little developing for. BULLSHIT. I’m a New Yorker and do I have an attitude? No fucking way.

So, we finally have some conflict here, right? Father - daughter thing, add the possible, would-be, might-be, gotta-break-the-news boyfriend not quite fiancee thingy and we have bonafide conflict that is sure to keep an audience at the edge of their seats.

It could happen.

Okay, so Dylan and Mr. Ex Mayor are total opposites brought together during a time of crisis and must find a way to work together in order to save lives. No, no. They are the same people, with the same need to be in control and they must get past their selfish wants and desires and help to save the lives of a small group of helpless and lost souls. That would indeed be the first movie, the two characters being Rev. Scott and Det. Rogo.

Now, to be fair, I do sincerely believe that the remake was going for this. I do believe that they thought a selfish gambler and an ex-NYC Mayor would fit this criteria. But here is where I think things run amuck (did I tell you I love that word amuck?). Rev. Scott and Det. Rogo don’t work because of their job titles alone. No, it’s just the beginning. We have to give them their own personal conflicts to deal with. Remember English class? Inner conflicts? Man Vs Self? The story already has the Man Vs Nature built in. It does its own job, it brings people into the theatre.

So, what’s left? Man Vs. Society. Man Vs. Man. Man Vs. Self.

But, I digress. I’ll come back to this later. Or maybe not. ADD is a horrible thing.

What were each of these characters struggling with? Why is this important? Well, damn, you took a small group of people away from a large group of people and decided to give the small group a fighting chance. Right there, they must be special. Now your job is to prove it. Tell me why I feel they shouldn’t have died with the rest of the lot.

I can go on and on and on and on, but I’m tired and I want to go to sleep. The bottom line, why the hell should I care? You already killed off thousands of people on that ship, why should a handful be spared? What makes them any more worthy?

If you are going to remake something, study, I mean really study, the original piece. Understand why it’s worthy. But if you are not going to study it, then make it completely over. Sit down for hours and days and months and years if you have to - figure out how to make it your own. Figure out that twist.

Could I have done a better job? NO, that’s why I ain’t sittin’ down to write a remake of The Poseidon Adventure. Jeez!

But if I was able to sit in the room, maybe as just a fly or annoying gnat, I would have thrown out a few brainstorming thingys.

Okay, so we don’t want to go with a man of the cloth. First, why the hell not!!!!!!!! So, what’s completely opposite of the man of the cloth? A gambler? Should have made him a drunk. Oh, you did - that was Kevin Dillion’s character. Why?

Okay, so you wanna stick with a gambler. Why should I care about a gambler? And whatever you do, please don’t show me a scene where he is actually sitting at the table gambling in a real, honest poker game. How about a card shark? What about an honest-to-God hustler? A low life who sneaks aboard ships to dupe really old ladies and naive nouveau riche people out of their money?

Hey, I didn’t say my idea was the best, or even good. But at least we are starting with a character that’s interesting. I wanna see him trick and hustle his way out of this disaster. I don’t know, but by making him a hustler, at least I can see him in action instead of being told that he’s a man who likes to take chances. Making him a gambler is telling, not showing - sorta like cheating. But we all cheat, right?

Richard Dreyfuss - his character is gay. Can we create some conflict with that? Is there a character who is so homophobic that he has to come to grips with this in order to live? Maybe an ex-NYC Mayor or gambler? Okay, so it’s riddled with cliches, but that hasn’t stopped you so far.

And what about my idea to make the kid a freaking brat? Why do we always have such lovable kids? In the first movie, the kid was a little fucking annoying, but that came in handy. Turn it up a notch. Give us a kid that challenges us. We all know that we should save the helpless, but what if this kid brings out the worst in everyone? Now, that’s what I call conflict.

So, we lost the Shelley Winters character. I suspect it’s because we can’t bring up the fat thing. Okay, so what do we replace it with? You see, her being overweight (you don’t have to use the fat word) was an inner conflict, as well as an outer one. It put her in direct conflict with the other characters. So, we’d have to put our heads together and try to find a replacement character whose physical attributes cause a problem. Yeah, I know, blind would be too cliche, but you gotta give me something that brings out the side in people that shows their prejudices. You see, cause that’s what I think the original was all about. Thou shall not judge and pick who should live or die, only God shall (but give us a fighting chance - I’m paraphrasing here).

Please don’t give me a stock character who we know must die. Why? Because he is a drunk and a male chauvinist pig? If you do give me this character, then keep with the theme and let him redeem himself. Again, give him a fighting chance.

Oh, and don’t give me a group of people who like each other. Yes, the best in us comes out in times of crisis, but what about the will to live? What would we be willing to do in order to live? Oh, and don’t just show me one character kicking a complete stranger off of his leg in order that he may save his own life. Or give me a parent who we are most likely to believe will do anything to protect their child. Turn it all on its head, people. Give me something old, but new. Work it out.

Okay, I need to go to bed. I must say, though, I am really learning a lot by analyzing this movie. I will most definitely watch it again, as well as watch the original and read the book. School is in.

Oh, and just to note - I KNOW NOTHING. But I aim to learn as much as I can.

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