Michael Caine, Sally Field, Telly Savalas, Peter Boyle, Jack Warden, Shirley Knight, Shirley Jones, Karl Malden, Slim Pickens
Paul Gallico (novel), Nelson Gidding
Terror Beyond Imagination.
Picking up where The Poseidon Adventure left off, this action packed yarn tells the story of how a group of rescue workers descend on the overturned Poseidon to try and salvage the remnants of the crippled ship. Among them, posing as a medic, is the nefarious Captain Svevo, who arrives in order to steal a nuclear load the liner war carrying.| During a struggle, Svevo and the team of rescuers become trapped in the overturned hull. When they try to find an exit to the surface, they discover a handful of survivors from the original disaster. Now they must put their differences aside and join forces to find their way out of this watery grave.
Runtime: 114 min.
Release Date: 8/22/2006
• ďBehind the Scenes: Beyond the Poseidon AdventureĒ Featurette
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Sony 36" WEGA KV-36FS12 Monitor; Sony DA333ES Processor/Receiver; Panasonic CV-50 DVD Player using component outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Sony SA-WM40 Subwoofer.
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Beyond The Poseidon Adventure (1979)
Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October, 2006)
When 1972ís Poseidon Adventure ended, there didnít look to be much room for a sequel. After all, the characters we followed either died or were rescued. What would a sequel examine Ė what they had for breakfast the next day?
Never let it be said that Hollywood wonít try to find a way to milk a successful flick. Because of that, we ended up with 1979ís Beyond the Poseidon Adventure, a curious sequel that attempts to wring a little more gold out of the sinking ship.
Beyond introduces to the small crew of a tugboat called the Jenny: Mike (Michael Caine) and Wilbur (Karl Malden). They also have a somewhat annoying passenger named Celeste (Sally Field). When they hit the same storm that sank the Poseidon, they lose their cargo but emerge otherwise unscathed.
They also see the rescue efforts accorded the Poseidon. Mike takes this as a good opportunity for some salvage and plans to scoot inside to find whatever loot remains. Before he can do so, though, the medical rescue ship Irene arrives with Dr. Stefan Svevo (Telly Savalas) in charge. Svevo and crew will try to find survivors, while Mike just wants the treasure.
Thus the two crews enter the Poseidon for their own goals. Inevitably, problems ensue and they become trapped themselves. As they seek escape, they encounter a few survivors: shipís nurse Gina Rowe (Shirley Jones) and passengers Frank Mazzetti (Peter Boyle) and Suzanne (Veronica Hamel). A few other survivors emerge along the way, and additional forms of intrigue take place. We watch the two groupsí attempts to realize their goals and various complications.
I knew I was in trouble during the very first new shot of Beyond. (It opens with a rehash of the first flickís boat sinking.) At DisneyWorld, thereís an MGM Studios attraction that lets you learn how various bits of movie effects are done. One of these takes audience members onto a fake boat to demonstrate how to create water scenes. We see them subjected to storm-like conditions and watch the results of the movie magic. Itís not too convincing, but itís fun.
The opening shots of Caine at the helm of the Jenny look frightfully like those Disney gags. Thatís not a good thing, for whatís entertaining at a theme park doesnít look very realistic in a motion picture, even one made 27 years ago.
Beyond starts stupid and goes downhill from there. On the surface, I suppose the movie deserves some credit for a plot that does more than just rehash the originalís story. Many sequels go down that path, but while Beyond certainly shares elements of the first flick, it does take off onto its own tangents.
Too bad that those curves are uniformly asinine. It doesnít take Kreskin to tell from minute one that Svevo and company arenít doctors, and their side of the plot is far-fetched and idiotic. That element actually leads to a gunfight on the sinking ship, a moment that may be the dumbest thing Iíve ever seen on film.
Beyond boasts plenty of other atrocities to compete with it, though. More soap opera than action-adventure, the film saddles us with moronic character problems. Itís not enough that these folks need to escape from a sinking ship; they need various personal concerns to up the ante. These do nothing other than make the story even more absurd.
Not that it needs their help, and nothing else about the film helps redeem it. Yes, Beyond boasts a strong cast, but each member gives a broad, cheesy performances. They all act down to the level of the material, and that makes the movie even less watchable.
Add to that cheap sets, clumsy photography and choppy editing to make Beyond the Poseidon Adventure a disaster of a disaster movie. The film boasted some potential but squandered everything that mightíve been good. It ends up as a total dud more valuable for unintentional laughs than anything else.
The DVD Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B-/ Bonus C-
Beyond the Poseidon Adventure appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Though the movie itself stunk, it received a nice transfer.
For the most part, sharpness came across well. Some wide shots appeared a little soft, but those concerns arose infrequently. The movie almost always looked pretty crisp and distinct. No jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and edge enhancement seemed to be absent. Source flaws were a minor distraction. I noticed the occasional speck or mark, but the movie stayed pretty clean most of the time.
Colors came across nicely. Skin tones appeared natural and all the other hues looked solid. The movie boasted a clear and tight palette, and the tones were vivid and vibrant across the board. Black levels appeared quite deep and rich, while shadow detail worked well. Were it not for the occasional print blemish, this would have been an ďAĒ-level transfer.
Though fine for its era, the monaural soundtrack of Beyond didnít hold up as well as the picture. Speech had some rougher moments. Although the lines usually demonstrated acceptably natural qualities, they also suffered from bouts of edginess. The dialogue was erratic but stayed reliably intelligible.
Effects also had their ups and downs. I noticed occasional instances of distortion, as sometimes these elements became a bit shrill. However, they mostly seemed reasonably concise, and a few scenes boasted more than decent low-end. The score was the most successful aspect of the track. While not tremendously robust, the music demonstrated good range and definition. The mix deserved a satisfactory ďB-ď.
Only a minor allotment of extras fills out the DVD. The main attraction comes from a vintage featurette called Behind the Scenes: Beyond the Poseidon Adventure. In this 22-minute and 14-second promotional program, we get movie clips, footage from the set, and interviews. We hear from director Irwin Allen, stunt coordinator Paul Stader, art director Preston Ames, and actors Michael Caine, Sally Field, Peter Boyle, Shirley Jones, Angela Cartwright, Jack Warden, Shirley Knight, Mark Harmon, and Slim Pickens. We get a recap of the movieís story and characters before we hear about the work of Allen, the creation of the sets and shot planning, stunts, and location shooting.
Make no mistake: ďScenesĒ came to life as an attempt to sell movie tickets. That means we donít learn a ton of good information, as the material tends to be fluffy. Nonetheless, a lot of fun footage from the set definitely salvages the program. We see all involved at work and find nice glimpses of that side of things.
In addition to this featurette, we find a collection of trailers. These include the theatrical ad for Beyond as well as clips for The Swarm, Twister and The Perfect Storm. The trailer for the 1972 Poseidon Adventure is a no-show since Fox owns the rights, but I donít know why this set lacks an ad for 2006ís Poseidon, another Warner release.
Iíd give Beyond the Poseidon Adventure all ďAĒís: itís atrocious, awkward and absurd. A sequel that never remotely lives up to its predecessors modest charms, this one stinks in all possible ways. The DVD offers very good picture quality, however, along with satisfying audio and a small set of extras. Avoid this waterlogged stinker.
Viewer Film Ratings: 2.3333 Stars
| Number of Votes: 9