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May 15, 2006 - Image 12

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2006-05-15

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12 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, May 15, 2006

out to sea
By Jeffrey Bloomer
Managing Editor
What is it about open water? There
is a long cinematic tradition of huge
vessels laid bare to encroaching ocean
waters attempt-
ing mercilessly to
pull them under, Poseidon
typically with At the Showcase
some magnificent and Quality 16
force of nature Warter Bros.
sending the resi-
dent luxury liner
into splashy digital chaos. Iconic
images of oceanic mishaps pervade
the prototypic Hollywood adventure
movie (including the highest-gross-
ing film in the industry's history), but
few have ever been able to reconcile
the inherent problem this causes, req-
uisitely searching for other ways to
drive the story that doesn't involve its
main premise.
This phenomenon is on eager dis-
play in Wolfgang Peterson's half-baked
remake "Poseidon," the director's faint
echo of a summer blockbuster. The
inescapable fact is that water alone
makes for a pretty sorry villain, and a
story as thinly drawn as this one calls
out for a strong antagonist with almost
embarrassing desperation. As they
tread on through the ventilation and
shaky corridors, the film's characters
just look befuddled, because as icily
calculated and determined as the ever-
persistent floodwaters might seem, at
the end of the day, physics is physics.
If, as it does here, a tidal wave hits the
side of a massive cruise ship and flips it
over, the likelihood is that yes, in fact,
the passengers on board will drown.


"Letting you go will free up some budget for a better script." "And bag
Granted, there's an oblique, if everymen and women whoi
guilty, pleasure in watching a mon- become the central tenets of
tage of breaking windows and fall- conveniently coming togeth
ing chairs crash down the exploding "rogue wave" capsizes the
cabin of a commercial liner, espe- liner and they are left alonet
cially when it's done by future mati- to the surface.
nee idols trying to earn their way The 1972 original onY
into a film with characters of a col- film is based had the longer
lective mind educated beyond grade Poseidon Adventure," but
school. "Poseidon" has some spec- opted here for the simple
tacular sights in that oft-explored don," perhaps because he
but nevertheless viable vein, but honest man. The film's $16
watching a group of interchangeable price tag, among the large,
cardboard concoctions run from a staggering. Does it really
stationary foe lost its soggy charm much for a few big booms ar
some time ago. The open sea has no overheard shot of the ship
beef and would be rather difficult Where did all that money
to kill, though if Peterson ("Troy") sidering the ratio betweent
could find some way to do that in and dialogue, if they paid tI
$160 million or less, we can rest writer by the word, he cou
assured he would. made more than $100.
The film stars Kurt Russell, an But hang on a second. T
ominous sign in and of itself for a does, to be fair, have acc
movie released past 1994, as a former genuine suspense, and thei
firefighter/mayor/take-your-pick who, an early scene of startlin
if his pre-disaster screen time is any diacy involving an approxi
indication, alternates between high- Rico from "Six Feet Under
stakes gambling and insulting his Rodriguez) and Richard
20-something daughter (the woefully playing a suicidal man who
underused Emmy Rossum, "Phantom orientation is his character
of the Opera"). Along with his charac- is a come-on, an explosion
ter comes an onslaught of nondescript tal death in the span of three

the story,
er after a
ir luxury
to make it
which the
title "The
r "Posei-
is a very
0 million
st ever, is
cost that
end a quick
go? Con-
the action
.he screen-
ldn't have
'he movie
cidents of
re is even
ng imme-
mation of
" (Freddy
ose sexual
arc. There
and a bru-
e minutes,
in morbid
ce a time
re escap-
r escapist
ause stuck
ke "Posei-
n get.

Oh malaise.
'Lost' in mediocrity


By Jerry Gordinier
Daily Arts Writer

The rollicking "Gramercy Park
Hotel" captures this essence of
casual listening. The effervescent


and we can't help but smile
satisfaction. There was on
when summer movies we
ist, but now we settle fo
moments within them, beca
in a theater with a movie li
don," we'll take what we ca

guitar, slight taps of drummer Dave
Harrison and subdued full-band
Edwin McCain's latest, Lost in sound (what Hootie and the Blow-
America, offers a rare experience fish rode in on) combine with clas-
for the listener: sic rambling lyrical laments ("Old
It's a chance to Edwin Babe Ruth / He was a drunkard just
hop into a tour van McCain like me / He lived it high and he
filled with a light- lived it low / Stumbling down the
hearted, full-bod- Lost In America New York streets").
ied band casually Vanguard McCain's range comes up a little
rolling across the short, though. The album is lim-
nation. Unfortunately, the bouncy ited in span and is saltine-cracker
jazz-and-blues-infused pop-rock dry - especially noticeable on the 4
sights all seem to be giant marsh- unintelligent track "Welcome to
mallows: repetitively sweet, very Struggleville." In the same tiring
fluffy and altogether uninteresting vein, McCain is unabashed in his
in an album. "Losing Tonight." The tune estab-
In casual taste, the lightness is lishes itself well with a poignant
not a completely unpleasurable and reverberating slide guitar. But
experience. McCain's title track, the track is over-run with clich6 lyr-
"Lost in America," enters with a ics ("I'm holding the darkness / will
sort of happy-go-lucky feel. Start- you be there to break my fall") and
ing hushed and electronically lim- McCain's brisk voice, combining to
ited, the vocals fully break out in produce an overused, pseudo-emo-
a booming summation of America: tional composition.
"the cars, the girls, the money, the For a band whose sound is more
drugs to get you out of your rut." geared for live performance, McCain
still accomplishes much on the album,
but one can only eat marshmallows
-z dfor so long. Not an entirely unenjoy-
a Hertz Foundation able voyage - if you're tired of overly
pleasure in serious fare - but Lost is nothing to
6 Fellowship Award to write home about. Take the trip, if you
chigan student: feel the need, but eat before coming.
Paul Podsiadlo We've been supporting the UM
Chemical Engineering Community since 1939...
Now come
Hertz Foundation Fellows
i88 applicants to receive support us!
hip Award of up to $240,000

The Fannie and Johr
takes great
announcing a Fall 200(
University of Mi
fr~eedomr to inniovale
Mr. Podsiadlo is one of 15
chosen from a field of 6
a five year Graduate Fellowsh

Go to Europe this summer and salvage
what's et of your youth.
- Go to raileurope.com and find special deals
- Or visit the nearest STA Travel Office

while earning doctorates in the
Applied Physical, Biological or Engineering Sciences.
The Hertz Foundation would like to extend its congratulations to the
University of Michigan
for its role in educating this exceptional student.
See www.hertzfoundation.org for more details.

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