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*** Official SAHARA Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Cameron Yee, Apr 8, 2005.

  1. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
    Reviewer

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    Haven't seen it, but

    1) I suppress an immature chuckle every time I see "Dirk Pitt"

    2) The movie poster is awfully reminiscent of Chicago's
     
  2. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    Dirk Pitt is the hero of a series of thriller novels by Clive Cussler. It's not the first time Dirk Pitt has made it to the big screen, one of Cusslers novels Raise the Titanic was filmed way back in 1980, Dirk Pitt was then played by the late Richard Jordan, the film was a titanic disaster, I hope Sahara fares better.[​IMG]
     
  3. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This thread is now designated the Official Discussion Thread for "Sahara" please, post all comments, links to outside reviews, film and box office discussion items to this thread.

    All HTF member film reviews of "Sahara" should be posted to the Official Review Thread.

    Thank you for your consideration in this matter.


    Crawdaddy
     
  4. Shawn_KE

    Shawn_KE Screenwriter

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    Haven't seen it yet either. When I first saw the promos, National Treasure came to mind. And yea, Dirk Pitt is one of the worst names ever. Is it supposed to be a Brad Pitt as Dirk Diggler?
     
  5. Tim-H.

    Tim-H. Second Unit

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    Ebert's review is funny, he liked it against his own better judgment. I'm still debating, since I like most of the cast a lot...
     
  6. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

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    Read the book "Sahara" again a few months ago and my wife and I just saw the movie last night! We're both fan's of Clive Cussler's books! (recently read "Night Probe" on my Palm T3)

    First of all, many story element plot events are not in the movie and the major character backgrounds have been change, ... so don't expect it to be a faithful adaptation of Clive Cussler's book.

    Movie Rating IMHO = 4 Stars out of 5

    It's a Hollywood epic feeling, buddy film & the INTRO is literally a blast!!!** [​IMG] [​IMG] (no spoiler's here)

    Some of the trailers show some, not all of the bomblastic highlights and that's good since the story unfolds with some unexpectations.

    Dirk Pitt (Matthew McConaughey) and & Al Giordino (Steve Zahn) are, perfectly cast as the elite daring do team. The chemistry between Dirk and Al are believable and well played to the observed audience approval (& laughter) around us - Century THX Theater was 3/4+ full - late show staring 9:10pm.

    My wife noted, and I agree that Dirk Pitt's character is not fully flushed out for those not familiar with Clive Cussler's books, but otherwise Matthew McConaughey did a very fine job!

    I thought the other principal castings were A-OK, including Penelope Cruz (Dr. Eva Rojas).

    At 2 hrs 7 mins., they covered the plots (trailer reveals those) in the story from beginning to end with efficiency while adding interesting side scene events in-between.

    All-in-all, excellent pop-corn entertaining blockbuster movie.

    **Music added to the action and I can't wait to get the DVD and really feel the LFE with my SVS 25-31PCi!!! [​IMG]

    Phil
     
  7. RobertW

    RobertW Supporting Actor

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    i guess i'm in the ebert camp, since i did enjoy the movie desppite my profound disappointment in what the final result turned out to be. it's a big dumb popcorn special effects blockbuster similar to LXG, MI2, name your big summer action flick here. but i liked it better than any of those.

    part of it is because i'm a cussler fan, although his last four or five books have been extremely formulaic. part of it was the engaging performance of mcconaughey, who captured some of dirk pitt's roguish charm. the dirk/al comraderie, while not quite as fully realized as i had hoped it would be, will be appealing to those not familiar with the books. only the part of rudi gunn was horribly miscast.

    but i had such high hopes for this, and it failed to deliver. it was just more of the "heroes in trouble and banter their way along" amidst a background of set piece disasters and special effects bombast. sure, the humor is a huge part of the dirk/al relationship, but it's not the only thing. i guess i wish the movie had a bit more drama to it, a bit more gravitas. maybe something along the lines of Hunt For Red October. i wanted it to be more than just a big budget summer popcorn flick.
     
  8. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    That sort of thing makes me wonder why they even bother (yeah, I know, $$$).

    Here's a summary of the differences in the characters posted elsewhere:

    1 Dirk Pitt. 40ish, with a little grey at the temples, otherwise jet-black hair. Tall, about 6'3 or so, very skinny and dark-tanned with lots of sun wrinkles and scars.

    1A Matthew McCannotact. 35. Sandy brown hair (curly), about 5'9ish, pretty skinny and well tanned, but no wrinkles to speak of.

    Strike One.




    2 Al Giordino. Italian. Short, about 5'5. Well-muscled bodybuilder type.

    2A Steve Zahn. Too tall, too white, NOT Italian, skinny with a beer gut. Pathetic.

    Strike Two.




    3 Admiral Sandecker. Short, wiry guy, 60ish, red hair and a red Van Dyke beard. Constantly fit and healthy.

    3A William H Macy. 50ish, about 5'10, little on the heavy side. No red hair, No Van Dyke beard (would that have REALLY been so hard?).

    Foul ball. Probably the only acceptable cast member.



    4 Rudy Gunn. Former Navy Commander, basic brown hair, brown eyed guy, tough as nails and good with weapons.

    4A Rainn Wilson. Geeky nerdy fat guy. Tries to play the humor angle with a character that's not funny. Says he never took survival training and jokes that he shot a guy with a flare gun. Does that sound like a Navy Commander to you? Terrible.

    Strike Three

    So it looks like those who wanted to see a Dirk Pitt novel onscreen didn't get it. I'll pass.
     
  9. RobertW

    RobertW Supporting Actor

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    i didn't really care if mcconaughey or zahn weren't the spitting image of the book's characters, only that the personalities of the written characters would be transferred adequately. it was to some extent, but still lacking in areas.

    pitt is a guy that men respect and appeals to women. he has a hard edge about him, but around the ladies he can be caring, understanding, supportive, and definitely protective. all that came across in the script was his repartee with giordino, and no sense of these other aspects of him. he came across mostly as a teasing wise-ass beach bum.

    for all his devil-may-care attitude, and blase sense of humor, there's also a decided serious streak to giordino that shows he's a man not to be messed with. all we saw was a constant wise-cracker.

    livable, and most people unfamiliar with the books probably wouldn't mind. but what they did to the character of gunn was inexcusable. they made him a generation y computer geek.
     
  10. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

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    n/m
     
  11. derek

    derek Second Unit

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    If you can turn off the brain Saraha turns out to be a fairly fun popcorn movie. McConaughey actually plays the part well as a likable Dirk Pitt and does best with what he's given. Cruz is passable but nothing special. I really liked Zahn in That Thing You Do and Daddy Daycare but some of his lines felt flat (again the writing.) Many of the locales are extemely beautiful with some breathtaking shots.
    Now if you can't turn off your brain...the movie is just plastered with ridiculous plot devices, dumb characters (and villians) and incredulous circumstances. This is definitely no Indiana Jones. The air of believeability is just too thin. I can understand why Cussler is suing the studios with reagard to the release cause I wouldn't want to pick up and read such silly plot-hole-ridden tales (as portrayed by the film.) Now if Cussler's Pitt tales are truly that silly...then they're just not for me.
     
  12. Jim Barg

    Jim Barg Second Unit

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    Saw it Saturday night. I was far more entertained than I had a right to be. The story doesn't make a lick of sense, yet it coasts on the chemistry between McConaughey and Zahn. If the film can make back its money via overseas box office, then we might see a (cheaper) sequel and I wouldn't mind seeing that at all.
     
  13. LanieParker

    LanieParker Supporting Actor

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    ROTFLMAO! I spit orange juice out my nose, seriously!

    This movie does nothing for me. No interest in it at all. I felt that way about National Treasure too. I like Steve Zahn though, too bad he is in this movie.
     
  14. RobertW

    RobertW Supporting Actor

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    his last seven or so, of which Sahara is one, have veered dangerously toward predictable formula, full of outlandish plot twists and miraculous escapes from peril. a lot like the movie, actually, although a bit better. but still, predictable, roughly the same plot, just the people and locations change.

    start with a mystery from the past, introduce pitt saving the day for someone, then throwing pitt and giordino and the heroine du jour from one peril to the next, each escape more outlandish than the previous, until they foil the bad guy and solve the mystery set up at the beginning. his early books were roughly the same way, but just better done. the newer ones just seem churned out.

    but his earlier books were very well plotted, and great action/adventure stories. i'd particularly recommend Night Probe, which is another of the books optioned to be filmed. and Raise The Titanic was the book that got me started with Cussler. Vixen 03, Deep Six, and Cyclops are also personal favorites.

    probably Treasure was the book that began the more formulaic approach, which was followed by Dragon and Inca Gold. even so, these were still pretty good reads, but it just kept getting worse after these, each book following progressively less exciting, but more outlandish and formula than the one before.
     
  15. Daniel Kikin

    Daniel Kikin Screenwriter

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    I have to agree with Robert, his later books are much more formulaic and also outlandish compared to the earlier, more balanced ones. Night Probe may be my favorite and I'm hoping that's the next film.
     
  16. RobertW

    RobertW Supporting Actor

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    Night Probe would make a damn good movie. especially if they cast sean connery. [​IMG]
     
  17. John Mansor

    John Mansor Stunt Coordinator

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    I saw this last night and mostly enjoyed it. The chemistry between Zahn and McConaughey was very good. Any chance of a sequel?
     
  18. Stephen Orr

    Stephen Orr Screenwriter

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    I believe there is talk of one, perhaps two more. I think Brett Eisner mentioned something about it on the DVD commentary.
     
  19. Kevin Grey

    Kevin Grey Cinematographer

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    I saw it this past weekend and have to say that I enjoyed it.

    I discovered Clive Cussler when I was 16 with "Dragon" and quickly devoured the rest of his books. After "Atlantis Rising" I had to give up on him though- I agree that he has become way too formulaic and his writing is very banal.

    That said, I thought Sahara really got the spirit of the books right and I really have no issues with changes. Cussler's characters are one note caricature's anyway so I didn't mind if one cliche was swapped for another (as in Gunn's case).

    I thought it was good fun and definitely wouldn't mind seeing another entry from this team.
     
  20. John Mansor

    John Mansor Stunt Coordinator

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    Cool! Thanks.
     

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