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Ghost Ship (2002)
| Directed by:
A salvage crew
is led to a spooked CGI ocean liner in the hopes of finding riches. Of
course, ghosts eventually go "pop goes the weasel", Gabriel Byrne flirts
with the bottle, and the shite hits the fan.
didn’t expect much sailing in to see Steve Beck’s latest genre
“masterpiece”. Having pretty much despised "13
expectations were needless to say, in the gutter. But
surprisingly, even though I found this fast-food horror burger a tad
redundant for the bulk of its running time (they explore, weird shit
happens…that’s it!), I still found myself somewhat entertained by
the events unraveling before me.
starters, the killer opening sequence stabbed me in the face with its
sharp, pleasurable horror daggers and I have to prop the flick for that.
WHAT A KICK ASS SCENE! I’ll remember that one! It then proceeded
to showcase some mucho stylish directing that gripped me on occasion, a
few boo scares that made me twitch in my seat, a sweetie ghost girl angle
that I appreciated, some gnarly horror imagery that echoed "The
Shining" at times (among other films) and of course, the man, the myth, the legend
himself...Gabriel Byrne doing one of the things he does best: boozing. I
also should note that I totally rocked on the aggressive, horror montage
that Beck slapped in there as a means of communicating what really went
down on that damn ship. Talk about a tight, slaughter-filled and
enthralling bit! YIPPEE!
sadly, this Ghost Ship sunk low on many levels. For starters, the
characterization was so damn bland. Apart from The Byrne who managed to
elevate his thinly written role to a higher level due to his exceptional
acting skills, the rest of the crew members were plain ass dull. I also
found it really odd that the ghostly apparitions didn’t seem to affect
our heroes much. I mean, if a spirit would stroll up in my face on a
deserted ship, I wouldn’t care what it had to say or if it had a nice
rack...I’d be off the canoe in a heartbeat!! But not these mo-mos; for
some reason, they find the urge to either chit-chat, drink, or even try to
nail the ghosts. WHAT’S GOING ON HERE???? If the leads aren’t afraid
of the spirits, why should I be? In consequence, apart from a few well
executed easy jolts, this cruise criminally lacked in the fear and
suspense department. Last I checked this was a horror movie; so that’s a
add more water into the hull, the narrative was in way too much of a hurry
to reach its conclusion for my liking. The editing was awkward at times and the film went through its more important plot turns faster than I can
say “there’s no money to be made
running this site”. What’s
the rush? Where’s the momentum? The film came off more like a collage of
individual scenes at times, than a well woven feature. Last but not least,
the special effects went from decent to poor and the crappy narrative
twist behind the madness smelled like a convention straight out of Scooby-Doo.
still don’t fully grasp how this silly “evil force” worked! They
should’ve kept it simple! Maybe Joel Silver and his checkbook can
clarify it all for me one day. Then again, do I give a hoot nanny? AT ALL!
the end credits rolled, I couldn’t say I found much that was novel or
standout in this "Ghost Ship". Most of its tricks were of the “been there,
done that” variety and I’ve seen them done much better before in other
films. But I will admit that the bloody intro, the kool horror montage,
some of the visuals and Gabriel Byrne assaulting the bottle did amuse me
though. At least it’s a
step up from 13th Crap! Let’s explore this ship!
(Murphy) "is" the movie and he out-acts everybody on deck. The man has
presence galore and is just an all around blast to watch. You also can’t
go wrong with watching Gabe chugging those drinks. Julianna Margulies
(Epps) does ok, I guess, but she’s pretty boring as an actress. Ron Eldard
(Dodge) acts with his blonde hair, not much of a part. Isaiah Washington
(Greer) plays "that guy"...you know what guy I’m talking about…yes,
that’s it…"that guy"…again! Desmond Harrington (Ferryman) failed to
impress. I liked him way better in "The Hole".
He seemed "off" here. Emily
Browning (Katie) was very photogenic, handled her part very well and is
such a cutie. Call me in 5 years honey; we’ll share some Pop-Tarts.
sauce is laid on thick on this horror pizza. We get people cut in half, a
sliced head, an impaling, lots of body parts, a pool of blood, a hook in
the chin, violent mayhem, a burned dude, a crushed to pieces dude, Gabriel
Byrne knocking them drinks down and more!
brunette shows off her boobs and bootie and I thank her for the blood rush
in my loins. The ladies get Gabriel Byrne sipping on potent beverages like
Beck this, he sure knows how to deliver that flash, use fast motion, slow motion and showcase stylish angles. But unfortunately, the atmosphere
here was too candy-coated to give me the chills. It all looked slick, but
it never crawled under my skin. We do get some nice shots of The Byrne man
getting thirsty though.
film pumps out some decent rock tunes the likes of Edwin and Mudvayne.
We also get an okay score by John Frizzel that sometimes stepped up a few
notches in quality to become quite eerie. NOTE: The score didn’t match the feel of certain scenes. Now I’m not sure if
that’s due to the filmmakers being cheeky or them just being sloppy.
NOTE 2: There definitely should’ve been some blues playing in the
background while Mr. Byrne quenched his craving for booze.
Studio: Warner Home Video
DVD Release Date: March 28, 2003
As per most WB dvds nowadays, the GHOST SHIP
DVD is sold in 2 separate entities: Full Screen and Widescreen. Why? I
guess somebody is greedy out there. Come on!! Put “Full Screen” and
“Widescreen” on the same DVD! Bugh! I had the Widescreen edition and
the image was clean and solid overall.
The Dolby Digital sound came through gangbusters. I felt every rip, slash,
cut and ship brouhaha in my living room. Good stuff!
15 minutes): This extensive look at the film basically acts as a long
advertisement for it. It covers everything from cast and crew talking shop
about the film, their characters and the story. Joel Silver also pops in
to give his jive and director Beck comments on specific scenes (opening),
as well as the beats he follows to scare an audience. We also get lots of
scenes from the film so yes, this feature is SPOILERS-heavy for anyone who
hasn't seen the film beforehand. We
also learn about how the film came to be, along with some on-set footage
and what everybody's goals.
OF THE ANTONIA GRAZA: If you can crack this little game, you’ll see 4
reels that tell one story about another salvage crew on the Ghost Ship.
Since I have no patience whatsoever, I only got to see one reel (~
2 minutes) which was basically a POV walk through the ship, with some dude
talking and another yelling whenever he found blood. It took me about ten
tries to find the first reel and life’s too short for me to put in the
time to find the other ones. You find them! I’m not hip to these games
man, JUST GIVE ME THE REELS!
FX FEATURETTE (~
6 minutes): This feature concentrates on the “boat” effects.
The film’s producer, director Steve Beck and some effect dude talk about
the building of the miniature ship, the way it was used while also
addressing the “digital” effects that were used to polish things up.
We also get lots of on-set footage.
CLOSER LOOK AT THE GORE (~
6 minutes): This feature shows us how some of
the more impressive gore effects in the film were done (the opening).
Director Beck, Howard Berger (KNB) and the other effects people come in to
comment on the gore. We also get some kool on-set footage of the red splat
taking place. I’m hip to this feature!
THE GHOST SHIP (~
6 minutes): This feature shows us how they
built and used the various boats for the film and the vibe they were going
for in terms of their designs. We get to see various designs, on-set
shooting and clips from the film. An okay feature.
We also get CAST
AND CREW, THEATRICAL TRAILER, a MUSIC
VIDEO for “Not Falling” by Mudvayne (great tune) and DVD-ROM
I dug the DVD and the many features
actually made me appreciate the movie more.
Even though I
surprisingly found myself having more positive spasms with this glossy
fear flick than Beck’s previous poseur horror sandwich "13th
still didn’t fully sweep me away. Sure, it isn’t the crud I thought it
would be, but it isn’t a pair of Kari Wuhrer titties in my face either. I
say, if you've got time to butcher and money to burn, hop onboard and enjoy
the hollow ride as much as you can. If not, just wait for video/DVD where
you can view it in the comfort of your own cardboard box. It’s that kind
of movie. NOTE: This drink is
for Gabriel Byrne! You rocked in "The Keep" and made it happen here once
more. Cheers mate! GULP GULP! Bartender,
refill this glass now and give another round to the Byrne Man…on me!
flick was produced by Joel Silver, Robert Zemeckis and Gilbert Adler.
poster art for "Ghost Ship" is a poor rip-off of the 1980 fear
flick poster of “Death Ship”.
this movie on The Arrow's HORROR BOARD
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