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Poseidon by Klaus Badelt


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Poseidon by Klaus Badelt

Composed by Klaus Badelt
Insterscope Records (2006)

Rating: 4/10

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“This time around composer KLAUS BADELT delivers the music-to-drown-by...rather the music-to-be-overturned-by-a-rogue-wave-by. With a film that is one flashy set-piece after another, filled by characters that never made it out of "pre-viz" apparently, a lot falls on the shoulders of Badelt's score to get the audience to connect with the film.”

Roll, Roll, Roll Your Boat Roughly with CG
Review by Christopher Coleman

There aren't a lot of movie moments I remember as child, but going to the drive-in with my entire family to see THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE is one of them. The images of that big boat rolling over with people flying everywhere were burned into my three-year-old-psyche. Well, maybe the constant repeat airings of the film over the years has helped to keep those images fresh, but being there at the drive-in remains one of my surviving child-hood memories. One thing I paid no conscious attention to was John Williams music for the film. (It would be five more years before he would arrest my attention and forever divert the course of my line of musical appreciation.) Still, in the hey-day of the disaster film, composer John Williams might have been king and his work for THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE ranks right up there with his other "score a la disaster" like EARTHQUAKE and THE TOWERING INFERNO.

POSEIDON ends up a high budget (as in $160 mllion high) thriller that delivers little more than a few impressive CG shots for all that money. It is vitually impossible to bring a movie like this to the screen, in the post-Titanic-era and not have compared to that new standard in sea-catastrophes. While boasting vastly improved CG-water, the film has nothing to offer "below the surface." An occasional "ooh" or "aah" hardly makes up for the painful dialogue and paper-thin characters. The decent cast was not given anything to work with and so one hardly cares for their fates at all - something that I'd have to say THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE did a better job at. Still, there was at least the possibility of cinematic-rescue in terms of emotional investment and that was the film's score. The question became would the score be good enough to keep the film afloat?

This time around composer KLAUS BADELT delivers the music-to-drown-by...rather the music-to-be-overturned-by-a-rogue-wave-by. With a film that is one flashy set-piece after another, filled by characters that never made it out of "pre-viz" apparently, a lot falls on the shoulders of Badelt's score to get the audience to connect with the film. POSEIDON is really built upon on single main theme which is well established in the opening scene of the film as well as in the first score track of the soundtrack release, "The Poseidon" (3). We will dispense with any commentary on the three pop tracks inserted at the beginning of Interscope's release, as they will be a little interest to anyone outside of "Fergie-land." Back to the main theme - Badelt constructs a fairly memorable piece that is hopeful and determined and works well in establishing the grandeur of the ship as well as communicating the determination of the band of wave-survivors who plod their way out of the overturned ship. Carried by brass and strings and undergirded by percussion, this theme is truly the only noteworthy piece of the score. Aside from track 3, the theme also makes other notable appearances in "A Map and A Plan" (6), "Fire Dive" (7), and finally in "Escape" (11).

The remaining tracks are sadly disappointing and sound as though Klaus Badelt was on "cruise control"...whoops sorry wrong cruise ship-disaster flick. Honestly, most of the action sequences, even the central action piece, "The Wave" (7), are a rather dull concoction of electronics and orchestral bursts that would seem to fit better in films like ULTRAVIOLET or EQUILIBRIUM. For a film like POSEIDON the opportunity to do something more organic to connect the audience to the plight of the victims was missed. While the 80-piece orchestra was helmed by conductor William Ross, somehow the mix of the music brings the electronic elements to the forefront. The somewhat-satisfying concluding piece "Escape" (11) just isn't enough to make up for all the preceding moments of disconnect. In the end, this seems to mirror the emphasis of the overall film production - CG over the human-story.

POSEIDON ends up quite a disappointment - most re-makes tend to be. Unfortunately, Klaus Badelt's score fits the film all too well and is overall disappointing as well. Interscope's release? Yes. I have to say it again, "disappointing." Including the three pop tracks we still only reach some 42 minutes of music. For Badelt-collectors, POSEIDON probably isn't a bad buy for you, but for those looking for some truly memorable adventure score, POSEIDON will likely sink after a couple of listens.

Rating: 4/10

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Track Title Track Time  Rating
1 Won't Let You Fall - Fergie 4:36  **
2 Bailamos - Fergie 3:10  **
3 Postales - Federico Aubele 4:09  **
4 The Poseidon 3:18  ***
5 The Wave 4:37  **
6 A Map & A Plan 2:29  ***
7 Fire Dive 2:48  **
8 Claustrophobia 7:09  **
9 Drowning 3:04  **
10 Don't Look Down 3:43  **
11 Escape 2:41  ***
  Total Running Time (approx) 42 minutes  




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