A few thoughts about....THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE SPECIAL EDITION (with Photos)

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Ronald Epstein, Apr 25, 2006.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    [​IMG]

    Along with an extremely well remastered DVD release of The Towering Inferno,
    comes Irwin Allen's first theatrical blockbuster, The Poseidon
    Adventure
    , released theatrically in 1972.

    I never had the opportunity to see this film on the big screen.
    Instead, my first introduction to this film was on broadcast televsion,
    which by the mid-late '70s seeing a blockbuster on network TV was
    actually a huge event within itself. Even under those circumstances,
    I was immediately captivated by this story of a capsized ocean liner
    which was inspired by a true incident which occurred aboard the Queen
    Mary during World War II.

    I only had a brief opportunity to look over this brand new Special
    Edition release. It was my goal to give all of you a short overview
    of how this new version stacks up against the original 1998 DVD
    release.

    When I viewed both old and new releases of The Towering Inferno,
    I was amazed at just how much better the Special Edition transfer
    looked. The same thing can easily be said for this new transfer of
    The Poseidon Adventure which looks better by leaps and
    bounds over the original release.

    If you compare both the OLD and NEW releases, the differences are
    apparant right from the first scene where we are looking at the
    Captain's control room. In the original DVD the scene is not only
    littered with a small amount of debris, but there is a distractive amount
    of visible grain/noise in the picture -- particularly as you look at the
    whites in the ship windows. In this new remastered Special Edition,
    all of that is cleaned up and for the first time, we are looking at a
    miraculously clean, detailed print that is miles ahead of the old.

    Let's take a look at some pictures of OLD vs. NEW.

    Before we begin, let me note that these screenshots are compressed
    and they don't do the comparisons full justice. While some of you may
    prefer the sharpness of the original photos, they are actually extremely
    grainy, whereas the newer photos are cleaner and softer.

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    Here is a look at the menus from Disc One and Disc Two...

    [​IMG]
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    Fox has put a wealth of extra material on this 2-disc DVD set that
    includes two audio commentaries....the first from Director Ronald
    Neame and the second, from stars Pamela Sue Martin, Stella Stevens
    and Carol Lynley.

    More of a gimmick than anything vital to the storyline, is a Follow
    The Escape
    feature that gives you 3-D access views and schematics
    of the ship as you watch the film. You set it all up in the SPECIAL
    FEATURES menu and it looks something like this example...

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    As you watch the film and the passengers progress to a new escape
    route on the ship, an icon appears on the lower right of your screen.

    [​IMG]

    Click on the icon and you are taken out of the film and branched off
    to a schematic of the ship, where the passengers are located, and
    their present status indicated.

    I gave a brief overview of the Supplements on Disc Two which
    include 9 all-new featurettes, an AMC BACKSTORY, storyboard-to-film
    comparisons, trailers, production stills and more!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    One of the most interesting featurettes is entitled The Cast Looks
    Back
    , which seems to be a brand-new featurette though actor
    Roddy McDowell, now long deceased, is featured. Doesn't seem like
    any of the major stars are featured here (not even Shelley Winters
    prior to her recent death). The NEW interviews are basically with
    Red Buttons, Pamela Sue Martin and Stella Stevens.

    There's also a great original 1972 featurette that is as interesting
    to watch as the 1974 featurette found on The Towering Inferno DVD.
    I enjoy these features because they give you a rare glimpse of
    what it was like to actually be on the set of a disaster film in the
    making.

    Finally, I should note that the DVD contains a stereo track that
    has been long missing from the presentation of this film. I really
    haven't had the opportunity to evaluate it, but I do know it is
    something fans have been asking the studio to include and it's nice
    to see that they did.

    What else can I say other than the obvious? The Poseidon
    Adventure
    is certainly worthy of a double-dip and a full
    commendation should be given to Fox for doing such a marvelous
    job here!
     
  2. Jordan_E

    Jordan_E Cinematographer

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    Nooooooo! Ron, stop! [​IMG]
    First you convinced me to get The Towering Inferno and now The Poseidon Adventure! LOL!
    Good job on these two, Ron. These really send me down Memory Lane and I look forward to the improved transfers on my projector.
     
  3. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    Thanks for the review Ron. Looking forward to this special edition along with The Towering Inferno. It'll be interesting to watch it with stereo sound for the first time.
     
  4. Steve JD

    Steve JD Stunt Coordinator

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    Ron,

    Can you confirm this is the true-stereo sound last heard on the 1991 LaserDisc, or is it a bad Fox fake-stereo remix?

    The only review so far is at:
    http://www.dvdmoviecentral.com/Revie..._adventure.htm

    but they don't go into detail about the soundtrack and don't mention if it's 4.0 stereo, 2.0 true-stereo, or, 2.0 fake stereo...
     
  5. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Steve,

    I can't help you.

    I have no reference to the original laserdiscs.
     
  6. Steve JD

    Steve JD Stunt Coordinator

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    But have you noticed if this new DVD sounds like true stereo or fake stereo?
     
  7. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    sold
     
  8. Ignacio

    Ignacio Auditioning

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    If the new DVD track is true stereo it should have some directional dialogue and even some directional singing during "The Morning After" number (there's a wide-angle crane shot with Carol Lynley at the right of the frame where all of her singing should come isolated from the right speaker). On the fake stereo track all the dialogue & singing was dead centered.
     
  9. JeffMc

    JeffMc Supporting Actor

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    Do these two new DVD's contain the trailers that were on the original releases of PA and TI? Just want to know if there's any reason at all to hold onto the original discs.
     
  10. Jeffrey Nelson

    Jeffrey Nelson Screenwriter

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    Looking at that photo of Leslie Nielsen as the Ship's Captain, all I can think of is:

    "I just want to tell you both good luck. We're all counting on you."
     
  11. Steve JD

    Steve JD Stunt Coordinator

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    Hurray! TPA finally in true-stereo on DVD! Check out this review:

    http://dvdmg.com/poseidonadventurese.shtml

    It looks like Fox finally tracked down the old 2.0 mix-down.
    It's not 4.0, but unless someone discovers an old stereo print of the film in a vault or in a private collection, this is probably the best we are going to get...
    (Would be nice if one turns up before the HD dvd sees the light of day)
     
  12. Andrew Bunk

    Andrew Bunk Screenwriter

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    I'm a sucker for disaster movies, this and Towering Inferno will be mine. I'll throw in Earthquake for good measure (same day, different studio).

    I also found the Airport 4-pack for $15 at Circuit City. I believe I'll be having a "disaster" weekend very soon.
     
  13. Brent Avery

    Brent Avery Supporting Actor

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    Well, if it works out just maybe I will have at least the Towering Inferno, Poseidon Adventure, and perhaps Universal's Earthqauke by Friday. Hoping to fire up the projector and watch all three - might have to stay up a bit late, it would be a "disaster" if I don't get through them all in one sitting. Anybody else have the same plan?
     
  14. DouglasRobert

    DouglasRobert Second Unit

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    Just got this and Towering Inferno (both for $20).

    In fact I'm watching Poseidon right now.

    The DVDs come in a keep case that slides into the paper sleeve. It's a tight fit. The paper sleeve for this and Towering Inferno has a 3-D artwork.

    You also get Lobby Card repros in both films.

    As note above the picture is crystal clear.

    Right now I'm watching it with the 2nd audio commentary playing. It's too bad they couldn't have had Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Leslie Nielsen or the lactor who was the little boy on the audio commentary. So far the womens commentary is fairly informative and at times funny as well.

    I'll add more as I go through the set.
     
  15. jim.vaccaro

    jim.vaccaro Second Unit

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    Looks like they got rid of the grain by getting rid of the fine detail, too. What a shame. [​IMG] Oh well. I'm getting it anyway. I've never seen this film, and the $12.95 price is too good to pass up.
     
  16. Doug Wallen

    Doug Wallen Cinematographer

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    Watched this in the am and was totally amazed at the picture. Haven't enjoyed this film so much since I originally saw this in '72.

    Good job Fox.

    The supplements on disc 2 are excellent. Really liked the inclusion of the lobby cards. Stellar work.
     
  17. Tino

    Tino Lead Actor
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    Agree completely. Thanks Fox. Poseidon looks and sounds fantastic![​IMG]
     
  18. JeffMc

    JeffMc Supporting Actor

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    Completists may want to hold onto the earlier bare-bones disc as well since it contains an alternate trailer that is not included on the "Special Edition". The trailer on the original disc is about the same-length (app. 1:30:00) as the "teaser" trailer on the "Special Edition", but it's an actual trailer with narration, etc. and is effective.

    Also, no one has mentioned that the full 3-minute trailer on the "Special Edition" is apparently missing the narration audio track. No narration at all. The other audio track of dialog/effects goes up and down throughout and is lower where the narration track should be layed in. This is especially obvious in the moment where all the actor's faces are coming up in blocks and the narrator should be reading each actor's name (as in the other trailers). A small disappointment, yes, on an otherwise great set.
     
  19. Patrick H.

    Patrick H. Second Unit

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    Just got around to watching through all of this last night. Fantastic set! The film has never looked so great, and, unusual for an old effects picture like this, instead of a great transfer showing more flaws, it actually reveals just how good the visuals really were. 70s clothes aside, this holds up extremely well.

    JeffMc, I'm also inclinded to agree that the full trailer was meant to have narration, however, aside from that cast roster (which is borrowed from the teaser anyway), I didn't notice its absense. Unlike the teaser, the trailer has John Williams' score running under it and wall-to-wall dialogue throughout. If there was a narration track, it's probably long-gone and not an oversight. I'm glad they made the effort to dig up any promotional material, considering how many other studios don't bother.
     

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