Tuesday, July 20, 2010

20,000 Leagues Under The Sea -- 1997

20,000 Leagues Under The Sea

Richard Crenna
Ben Cross
Julie Cox
Paul Gross
Michael Jayston

“Metal... Hm. What species would this be, Professor?”

Something has been terrorizing the Atlantic Ocean, sinking ships or injuring critically. People are suspecting a sea monster of some kind and who knows best about sea monsters but world renown marine biologist Professor Aronnax (Richard Crenna)?

He is asked to come aboard a navy ship who is going on an expedition to find and destroy the monster. As fate would have it, his daughter Sophie (Julie Cox) is visiting him at the time. She is a willful young lady with a mind of her own. But she isn't stupid. Her knowledge and common sense are invaluable to her father. Of course, she insists on going with him. Since the Navy won't have a woman on board, she goes as Professor Aronnax's assistant... male assistant.

On board the ship, Professor A. and Sophie (now known as Charlie Darwin) meet the crew, including the harpooner (“Ned” -- Paul Gross) that the Navy had hired for killing the whatever was terrorizing the seas. Their first night out, the monster appeared. In fact, it appeared alongside their ship. When the harpoon struck, it bounced off with a clang. Ned fell overboard and when the monster struck again, Sophie and Professor Aronnax were also thrown into the sea.

Morning arrived to show the trio (Sophie now known for who she was) clinging to wood debris from the ship, which was limping painfully homeward. With the dawn came the monster. Blowing steam like a whale, sunlight glistening from it's hull... a savior from the blistering sun and salt and sharks. But from death? What sort of human being would be the captain of this beast of destruction?

What I Liked:
1: For having a girl in it, she wasn't dressed terribly and the romance was limited to kissing and hugging.
2: The acting was fairly well done.
3: Beautiful shots of the sea, creatures and plants. I really enjoyed that part of it.
4: There was some detail of the ship and how they lived.
5: Ben Cross made a great villain.
6: The movie was pretty well done for when it was filmed and how much they changed the story.
7: When Professor Aronnax saw he was wrong, he admitted it and changed his ways.
8: Paul Gross has the most marvelous facial expressions. He kept us laughing throughout the entire film.
9: How clean it was.

What I Didn't Like:
Note: Please understand that I am not necessarily a purist.
1: The romance/girl. It didn't help the story at all.
2: They didn't show the pearl in the oyster. That was my favorite part in the book.
3: Nor did they show the part under the iceberg.
4: They changed or skipped many of the best adventures told in the book.
5: Evolution is strongly promoted.
6: There was not a lot of detail about the ship, how they ate, clothed themselves and all the treasures Captain Nemo had collected. In the book, he had another life than ramming ships and collecting treasures...
7: In the movie, Nemo is made out to be an irreversible evil but in the book, he is more eccentric than mad. However, in the book he is much more frightening...
8: Some language. But I hardly caught any of it.

That being said, there is such a thing as time constraints and the movie was enjoyable in spite of all the changes made to the story.

Things to Know:
1: Mentions of unfaithfulness are made... and there is some kissing. ;-)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

this is a nice rendition of the book and a good remake of the original film back in the 50s-60s.

at the time i saw this back in '97 in my Literature class at university, there was this girl i crushed on in that class who resembled Julie Cox perfectly except this girl had a bit longer hair. Sadly, i never had a shot at her cause she was already engaged at the time. Anyway, this movie will always remind me of her.