Tuesday, May 16, 2006

All Wet: Poseidon in IMAX

So, next time Matt and I head out to see a movie at (deep breath) the Comcast IMAX 3-D Theater at Jordan's Furniture Reading, we'll do a few things different:

(1) We will do it on a sunny day. Heading out to Reading in the middle of a rainstorm that was at times about as nasty as could be without there being actual thunder, lightning, or hail is not particularly wise, since there's a half-mile walk between the train station and the furniture store. This was exacerbated by...

(2) We will not trust the directions we've gotten from Google. Google Maps gave us directions to 50 John Street. John Street sort of becomes Walker's Point Drive, but we're talking two completely different #50s. For those in the Boston area looking to make this trip: At the Reading commuter rail/bus station, orient yourself so that you're facing northeast. Turn right, and then left onto Washington. Follow that until it sort of dead-ends in a T-shaped intersection, and turn right. That gets you onto Village, which gets you onto Walker's Brook. Unlike the Jordan's in Natick, a pedestrian can get there, although the sidewalks sort of jump from one side of the street to the other at points. And there are puddles on a rainy day.

(3) We will go without time contraints, so we can hang around Jordan's looking at furniture we can't afford and other seemingly random stuff: There's a jellybean shop, a Fuddrucker's, and a trapeze in there. It's crazy. And we even saw one of the brothers from the store's commercials (Elliot, I think. The one with the ponytail), which counts as nifty celebrity-sighting in Massachusetts.

(4) We'll see something better than Poseidon. I don't know that that was an $18 movie, even with the beautiful 3-D IMAX Happy Feet teaser.

Still, I did have ample opportunity to joke about how while everyone else in the audience just got great picture and sound from the IMAX experience, we had the tactile "soaked to the skin" sensation. I said this to Matt, I said it to the young lady at the box office, I said it to our mom when I called to wish her a happy Mother's Day, and now that I'm using it here, it's going out everywhere. So I'm done with that bit. I got far more use out of it than it likely merits.

The next IMAX Hollywood movie on the schedule is Superman Returns, with twenty minutes of 3-D goodness. I may wind up seeing that some morning/afternoon in Montreal, what with holiday weekend stuff being planned up in Maine and plans to head to Fantasia on the 6th. So the next time I'm out to Reading will probably be in August for The Ant Bully.

Unless I wind up seeing Superman in French and want to know what people are actually saying. Which could happen; my French isn't so hot (as in, I haven't used any of my three years of high-school French in a decade) and I didn't hit a multiplex before checking into my hotel last year because I didn't know what language they'd be speaking.


* * ¾ (out of four)
Seen 13 May 2006 at Jordan's Furniture Reading (The IMAX Experience)

There's no fat on Warner Brothers' new adaptation of The Poseidon Adventure. It establishes the setting and sketches its characters out quickly before getting to the meat of the picture, the action. The problem with there not being much fat on the picture is what anybody who has gone for the low-cal version of anything knows: You lose the fat, you lose half the flavor.

It takes maybe ten minutes to introduce us to the double handful of people on the ocean liner Poseidon during its New Year's Eve voyage that will turn out to be significant. Robert Ramsey (Kurt Russell) is a former mayor of New York, traveling with his daughter Jennifer (Emmy Rossum) and her boyfriend Christian (Mike Vogel); he's uncomfortable with her being all grown up and having girl parts. Dylan Johns (Josh Lucas) is a professional gambler (or so he says!); he hits on Maggie James (Jacinda Barrett) and isn't scared off by her ten-year-old son Conor (Jimmy Bennett). Ramsey and Johns are playing poker with "Lucky Larry" (Kevin Dillon), while on the other side of the ballroom, Richard Nelson (Richard Dreyfuss) is getting ready to jump off the side of the ship because his partner stood him up at the dock. Elena Gonzalez (Mia Maestro) has stowed away with galley mate Marco Valentin (Freddy Rodriguez). Shortly after the captain (Andre Braugher) announces that midnight has passed, an enormous rogue tidal wave hits, leaving the ship upside down. Johns decides he's not going to wait for rescue in the ballroom, the others fall in, and the group sets off to climb up to the bottom of the ship.

Read the rest at HBS.

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