"The Poseidon Adventure" releases on a Walmart-exclusive Blu-ray package featuring the 1972 Oscar-winning picture starring a talented ensemble cast that includes Gene Hackman, Shelley Winters, and Ernest Borgnine, to name a few. This gripping classic directed by Roland Neame and Irwin Allen tells the story of a ship capsized by a tidal wave and its group of passengers as they struggle to survive the disaster. Combining the victims' intimate and personal stories and the race toward the doomed liner's lowest compartment, now its highest point after being turned upside down, this heart-stopping dramatic thriller pushes the characters toward increasingly deadly waves, hazardous obstacles, and even their own rising tempers.
With an Oscar win for Special Achievement Award for visual effects, along with nominations for the Cinematography, Art Direction, and Costume Design categories under its belt, the film clearly looks terrific in Blu-ray format. It showcases a finely restored cinematic piece that keeps the story compelling from start to end. With most of the film happening inside an overturned and fast-sinking ship, shots convey convincing and richly detailed images with impressive sense of depth.
Black levels are consistently inky and stable. Shots seem untouched by any form of overbearing digital manipulation. There are no detrimental compression artifacts and age-related issues to contend with anywhere in the picture.
The film's original four-track stereo mix is used in this package's DTS-HD Master Audio 4.0 track. This system came in before Dolby Surround and the latter five-channel and seven-channel mixes now available for motion picture projects. It hosts three front speakers with some effects coming from a rear mono channel. This audio track also features an Academy Award for Best Original Song for "The Morning After."
The speaking lines are always clear and intelligible. The varying sound and ambient effects are mixed well for a modest stereo separation. The disc also provides a handful of alternative audio options, which includes a five-channel mix in Polish and mono mixes in Spanish, French, and German.
This single-disc package boasts a number of interesting and informative supplemental materials. It offers two sets of audio commentary tracks, one by director Ronald Neame and the other by actors Pamela Sue Martin, Stella Stevens, and Carol Lynley. It also provides optional subtitles available in a number of languages including English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Italian, Russian, Dutch, Filipino, Korean, Mandarin (Simplified), Mandarin (Traditional), Cantonese, Indonesian, Finnish, Danish, Norwegian, Polish, Greek, Hebrew, Icelandic, Bulgarian, and Swedish SDH.
The disc supplies a gallery containing movie collaterals such as posters, publicity stills, and behind-the-scene photos. Its video materials, which are all in SD format, include "Hollywood Backstories: The Poseidon Adventure," "The Cast Looks Back," "Falling Up with Ernie," "The Writer: Stirling Silliphant," "The Heroes of the Poseidon," "The Morning After Story," "R.M.S. Queen Mary," "Conversations with Ronald Name," "Storyboard Comparisons," and "Vintage Promotional Material," which also houses the film's teaser and trailer.
"The Poseidon Adventure" has definitely aged well both in its technical attributes and its storytelling perspective. Its admirable screenplay, direction, and acting performances allow its long list of potential survivors to really grow as significant characters in a disaster tale that is straightforward but challenging to assemble. Its human elements and action-packed presentation justify both its box office success and critical acclaim.
- Arts & Entertainment