Monday, July 23, 2007

Absolute Disaster

Yesterday evening I watched Titanic on BBC2. I hadn’t seen the film in the ten years since it’s release, within a couple minutes I realised why.

The Christmas of its release I’d gone to see it with my then-girlfriend in LA. We must have spent the day goofing around Universal Studio’s Theme Park because we caught it at the AMC CityWalk Cinema rather than wandered up through Burbank Village to the multiplex on E. Palm Avenue.

Bored beyond belief, the only thing that got me through those 190-odd minutes was by concentrating on a tiny hole in the middle of the screen that shone white. Forget Jack and Rose, it’s really a love story between James Cameron and every little detail of a very big boat.

Detail doesn’t matter when you don’t give a shit about any of the characters. I just remember sitting there trying to stop myself from yelling, “Fucking sink already!” especially when it came to the below-decks clichéd “begorra!” bogtrotters having their riotous “top o’ the morning!” time. Drown you bastards!

Once it was done, and DiCaprio had thankfully sunk like a stone, I had meant to catch the last episode of Rome. Since it’s repeated tonight, I reached for the DVD of The Poseidon Adventure instead. As disaster movies go, this is the way to do it.

The model effects may look ropey, but the sets were great. Who needs CGI figures flailing around when there was Ernie Orsatti on hand? The acting at times could have seen the characters chew their way through the hull, especially with Gene Hackman and Ernest Borgnine going head to head through every deck, but at least it remains the more entertaining of the two. Even the irritating kiddie didn’t make me want to take a shit in his mouth and sew it shut. And of course there were Pamela Sue Martin’s legs.

Good as Bernard Hill was as the Titanic’s Captain Edward John Smith, The Poseidon Adventure had Leslie Neilsen as “The Captain”. Obviously this was years before he was put to good use in Airplane and Police Squad, but The Poseidon Adventure has a marvellous scene of “The Captain” looking at the shallow green crescent flashing on the radarscope and saying to his First Officer, “It seems to be piling up in those shallows. By the way, Happy New Year.” Excellent!

Tonight also sees ITV1 broadcast Die Hard 2. It was meant to be shown earlier this month but pulled from the schedule when the flame-grilled driver of a Jeep Cherokee tried to turn Glasgow airport into a drive-thru. Once the Titanic was holed and slowly going down, wasn’t it a bit insensitive for the recent flood victims to watch characters race through water-logged rooms and corridors?


At 12:58 am, Blogger wcdixon said...

I was absolutely taken in by 'Titanic' first time around...saw it in the last remaining (at the time, alas it is no more) big-ass movie theatre in Toronto with a balcony and plush red cushioned seats, etc. Was mesmerized by the spectacle and even choked up a bit at the end. That said, even though I bought the DVD I've yet to rewatch it again, much less had any interest to. Even when I've come across it on the tube I've watched for a moment and then moved on. Go figure.

At 1:16 am, Blogger potdoll said...

It's a heartless man that didn't cry at the Titanic.


it was the old woman that got on my tits.

At 11:45 pm, Blogger Good Dog said...

Titanic did make me cry. But for all the wrong reasons.

At 10:53 am, Blogger Ian said...

You mean you didn't appreciate the gems of dialogue like the "tumbleweed" line?

As you say, a truly dire experience. I saw this in a packed cinema and couldn't believe people started applauding at the end. With the benfit of hindsight maybe they were applauding the fact the whole mess was finally over.


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