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After my pal Pam and I came out of Poseidon the other night, we were doubled up with laughter. We made fun of the gurgling demise of one of the main characters. We made comments like, "the dialogue in this movie makes Jim Cameron look like a genius." Fans of Titanic have NOTHING to worry about. And Wolfgang Petersen's terrific work on Perfect Storm remains unchallenged. What he manages to do here is a workmanlike, almost crude, audience manipulation as a set of characters climb their way out of a huge sinking ocean liner. (Roger Ebert uses the right word in his review: "perfunctory.") I fitfully enjoyed the movie, which does build suspense. And the actors do their yeoman best to breathe life into the script. But there aren't any characters there. Many people are renting the original Poseidon Adventure, and rediscovering the late great Shelley Winters. There's a huge void in this movie where a memorable character like her should be.

With the less than stellar Mission Impossible III opening, and a likely disappointment here, the summer of 2006 is getting off to a slow start.


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  • Risky Biz blog takes a deep, daily look at the film industry's ups, downs and deals from around the world and the heart of Hollywood. It is edited by media and entertainment journalist Steven Zeitchik, with contributions from The Hollywood Reporter's worldwide team of film editors and reporters. Zeitchik is a Los Angeles-based writer for THR and also has written for The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

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