Beyond the Poseidon Adventure…. is more Poseidon Adventures

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I stumbled across ‘Beyond The Poseidon Adventure’ on tv earlier this year. It was a good one or two week period for my telly watching. Also on the tv around that time was ‘The Enemy Below’ (1957)(same year as James Dean Story, I’ve not forgotten about it) and some film about a blimp .. ‘The Hindenburg’ (1975) http://www.imdb.com/media/rm1010556160/tt0073113?ref_=tt_ov_i,
but I missed the end of that movie, I’d gotten a bit drunk and almost burned the house down, you could say, ironically so.

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So anyway it turns out that ‘The Enemy Below'(1957) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050356/?ref_=tt_rec_tt

was Spielberg’s inspiration for the plot of ‘Jaws'(1975), an above-and-below-water game of cat and mouse. Substitute the Russian submarine for a man-eating shark and Robert Mitchum for a gnarly Robert Shaw, and voilà, you’ve got one of the greatest movies ever made!

Back to this afternoon’s subject, ‘Beyond The Poseidon Adventure'(1979), an inverse oasis amongst the mélange of Michael Caine’s career.

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and on that submerged Oasis who do we find? Not Noel Gallagher, he left that ship.

Sadly not Liam either, instead we’ve got baldy detective turned baddie, who loves ya baby, Telly Savalas.

great

1980 Oscar winner Sally Field does her best to keep the proceedings bearable, but needles to say, she didn’t win the Oscar for this movie.

and Michael Caine, he’s no Gene Hackman. Gene Hackman shall henceforce be referred to as ‘God’. Only he could have drained the seas and rescued this shipwreck.

Why am I even talking about this movie??? Its pretty bad, but I remember it made me laugh, a lot. Through its sheer unnecessariness, its total obsurdity. Why make a sequal to ‘The Poseidon Adventure'(1972)??? It’d be like remaking ‘Towering Inferno’ to wade about in its ashes and hope, by god, for it to catch fire again just for something exciting to happen.

At least they must’ve learned their lesson eh?? No? What do you mean ‘Poseidon'(2006)?? No they ddidn’t. Yes you did! YES you DID Brett! You dug up Richard Dreyfuss. And Richird Dreyfuss doesn’t like to be dug up by anyone other than Mrs Speilberg. I’ve not watched it and I don’t plan to.

What I do plan to do is dig out screenshots from the end of ‘The Poseidon Adventure'(1972) and compare it with the beginning of ‘Beyond The Poseidon Adventure’ (1979). In the movie it’s the morning after, in real time it’s 7 years later. That’s interesting right? Anyway that’s why I’ve been blethering on about it. One side-by-side image to follow.

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after the B movies

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“and what seems to bee the matter, young lady?”

moving on from yesterdays B movies back to serious business, maybe. Maybe there B more B torritorB to explore ?????????.,,.,.

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“It’s serious. Like a really big Bee you know”

I remember hazily one sultry Sunday afternoon many noons ago, at home on the carpet. A film starring Michael Caine, that movie legend, what is he doing now? He’s doing ‘The Swarm’ (1978)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078350/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_84

This came out during the Height of Caine’s career amongst films like ‘Beyond The Poseidon Adventure’ (1979).

Following this heady spell the viewing public had to wait a full 8 years before his next gem ‘Jaws: The Revenge’ (1987), one of my all time favourite movies, you could say it surpasses the original. Especially that flawlessly shot finale… but more about that later.

other Bee movies of mention including ‘The Bees’ (1978)

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Starring buff film actor John Saxon from ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ and ‘Enter The Dragon’ fame and another John, John Carradine, father of all those other Carradines.

and of course there is…

‘The Deadly Bees’ (1966)

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This must win the prize for best bee based cover ever. Starring Suzanna Leigh, goddaughter of Vivien Leigh and best pals with Sharon Tate.

moving on …

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sorry, I couldn’t resist it.

long live the Cage.

I’m So Excited!

I will not be watching James Dean Story today.

Instead, because my flatmate is putting it on, I will be watching Pedro Almoldóvar’s ‘I’m So Excited’ (2013)

Checking out the imdb rating of 5.6, How could I not be?

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2243389/?ref_=nm_flmg_wr_1

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His previous films are mostly brilliant though, so I’m giving this rating the benefit of the doubt for now.

showtime at 9

So yeah, its an entertaining B movie, old school. The first half is a bit of a drag, I was thinking Airplane/Carry On movie but it picks up in inimitable Almoldovar style, although it does miss a few beats along the way (maybe a few beats too many) and rounds off with an inventive low budget finale. Very short cameos from Penelope Cruz and Antonia Banderas at the beginning of the movie now act as some kind of retroactive low budget punchline. A tongue-in-cheek bit of fun film not to be taken too seriously but to be admired all the same.

Tomorrow I will watch ?

p.s

As a wee bonus there was a sneaky rewatch of ‘Birthday Girl’ (2001) tonight. Another kind of B movie with an accidental couple of A-listers. Referencing Pinter’s ‘Birthday Party’ but with a hollywood ending. also Lots of cameos from the English comedy establishment of the early 00’s

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0188453/

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The trailer has the classic american gravely voiced guy, hamming it up like its 1989.

“But, before they share a fut ure …    they have to surv i v e her past!”

but.. as everyone says … why doesn’t he call the police???? cause it woulda been the end of the film after 30mins that’s why…  It have would make a better film had it been left at the 30minute mark, more mysterious, less hollywood.

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onwards

Sunset Boulevard

imageI was not ready for the rest of James Dean Story so I put on a classic which I have never watched before. It has been on my To Watch list for a while and I am interested to see how it is and how it relates to our man Robert Altman within the Hollywood timeline.

Sunset Boulevard (1950)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0043014/

It is amazing. There are so many references and it ties directly to Altman. No doubt this was one of his most influencial films. Most superficially and obviously he references it in ‘The Player’ during the script pitching scenes, but I feel there is something deeper going on, something at the very heart of Altman’s films. It is pulling many pieces together for me. Also I notice key parts of the plot of a Columbo episode starring Janet Leigh, ‘Forgotton Lady’. Likewikes she played a discarded aging hollywood star hoping for one last shot at glory, she watches her own movies in her livingroom.

Another reference, well the major plot of Altman’s ‘That Cold Day In The Park’ is borrowed from Sunset Boulevard. A deranged woman keeps a man held house prisoner, sound familiar?

So yes, Sunset Boulevard is great, I have a feeling I will be watching it again soon.

but alas James Dean Story

I’ll watch it tomorrow

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other thoughts/refences/links

The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald, 1925. Novel

The Great Gatsby (Film) http://www.imdb.com/find?ref_=nv_sr_fn&q=the+great+gatspy&s=all

Citizen Kane, Orson Welles (1941) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0033467/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

Psycho (1960) > http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0054215/

The Phantom of The Paradise (1974) > http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071994/

James Dean Story… how did Altman get away with it?

This blog has begun due to my interest in film and film making… well that should be the reason. It is mostly to do with having just watched the first 20 minutes of Robert Altman’s ‘James Dean Story’ and not believing that he got away with it.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050558/
I will try and watch the whole thing maybe if I can stand it. But in the first 20mins it is plain enough to see what is going on. My blogging muscles are just warming up so here are some words from the IMDB board. The post below mentions many of the points I pondered whilst watching this ‘documentry’.
From user’housebluehill’ on 16th Sept 2004,

‘I watched the movie because Robert Altman directed it, but I’d assumed it was going to be a straight forward documentary of Dean’s life. Then about half way through it something didn’t feel right. The people being interviewed spoke like they were on automatic pilot and the childhood photographs chosen for the movie had the quality of a spoof. I watched it a second time and realized it was Altman’s documentary of the American Celebrity Cult, not James Dean. Our devotion to movie actors was reaching a new zenith in the 1950’s and the life and death of Dean was a timely example of it. It’s a movie about us in the same way Nashville is, or A Wedding, or Short Cuts.’
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050558/reviews?ref_=tt_urv

So yeah, it is a spoof, Altman is blatantly taking the piss. At the time the film was made I can understand why this attitude was not detected by most, but with our knowledge of Altman’s susbsequent films we can now see it for what it is.

The thing is, I’m not very comfortable with this realisation.

So Robert Altman made a satirical film in 1957 about the phenonmenon of Celebrity in the guise of a heart-felt money-making homage to a movie star.

Altman is affronted at the very thought of making a sentimental ornament to oil the movie industry machine. He persues his own agenda.
But pushing his agenda makes a fool out of everyone interviewed in the film, the majority of the viewing public and of course, the movie producers.
It seems to be in very poor taste, considering the suposed subject of the film, but also incredibly risky for Altman. To ridicule the entire establishment at such an early stage of his career has got to be admired, but as I say, it does a bad taste in the mouth.

The problem is that it becomes propaganda just like the propaganda of Celebrity (aka Capitalism) that it is criticising. This propaganda being overtly cynical and astute under the veil of the establishment aesthetic (in order to provoke ideas). The establishment is cynical and astute under the veil of entertainment aesthetic (in order to make money).
Is this then Altman’s response to the McCarthyism of the 50s?

I need to watch the rest of it

But I hate how preachy Altman can be, and it is beginning to annoy me.

Altman has his cake, eats it, then sells it to the other guy as a pork pie.

I will grin and bear it, and report back on my findings.
to be continued …}

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other thoughts

The Great Dictator (1940) > http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0032553/

Citizen Kane  (1941) > http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0033467/?ref_=nv_sr_2

Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (1988) > http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094075/

McCabe and Mrs Miller ( 1971) > http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067411/

1st pasta post

Welcome to john’s film blog

we will begin with some Altman and see where we go from there

not a bad place to start