Tuesday, January 17, 2006


In the last few days I've discovered two things to get excited about. These are things I don't expect anyone else would be dorky enough to get excited about, but we're all unique and special, yada yada yada. The first thing is that I just learned the extremely useful verb "to zerbit," which is what Ben does to the kids to cause tremendous, delightful fits of giggles. He's much better at it than I am -- he has some way of easily accessing the tender, juicy area around the belly button. That makes two words so far this month for this word nerd to delight in (the other was smurgling).

The second exciting discovery is the trailer and approximate release date for the remake of "The Poseidon Adventure." I make no secret of the fact that the original 1972 version is my favorite movie of all time. I had heard rumors of a remake because I actually visited a couple of Poseidon Adventure fan site a while ago, including this one and this one. I'm mostly excited because I can't wait to see what the 21st-century special effects will be like. The interiors of the original movie were great, but the exteriors -- a toy boat flipping over in a bathtub -- were pretty damn pathetic. (The movie nonetheless won a special Academy Award for visual effects and was nominated for a total of nine. I'm sorry to report that the only other Oscar it received was for Best Song, with Carol Lynley lip-synching to the amazingly insipid "The Morning After.") After seeing "Titanic," I know what they can do in terms of awesome special effects involving large ships.

But I have trepidation as well, because of course they won't use the original actors, or apparently, even the original characters. I fear that, also like "Titanic," they will graft a superfluous, badly written, poorly acted and altogether ludicrous plot (i.e., love story) onto the disaster so as to haul in the 12-year-old-girl demographic. OK, stop laughing hysterically. I can hear what you're saying: "Oh, like the original 'Poseidon' was Shakespearean drama? You're worried about a 'ludicrous' plot when you can sit there and calmly watch Ernest Borgnine and Gene Hackman chewing up the scenery in their tight 'n dirty undershirts while Shelley Winters blobs like a giant jellyfish underwater and has the most unrealistic heart attack in the history of motion pictures?" (Although it should be noted that Ms. Winters was also nominated for an Oscar for best supporting actress.) Well, but, you see, the ludicrousness is half the fun. The movie works on so many levels -- you can get involved in the escape story while also poking fun at Shelley et al and their dialogue for the ages. Whereas when they create new characters and dialogue for the remake, I'm afraid the result will be not so much unintentionally humorous as simply aggravating in the extreme. The tearful 12-years-olds notwithstanding, Leo and Kate (a.k.a. Jack and Rose) in "Titanic" did NOT work for me on any level whatsoever. Blecch. Anyway, I'll be there on the opening day for Poseidon 2006, even though, as several friends have wisely pointed out, it can never be as good without Shelley, who incidentally passed away from (of all things) heart failure last week.

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