Hello, Spongey here. And welcome to DCOM Month 2!
I actually don’t have much to say about this before we go in. The main reason I wanted to watch it will be saved for when it comes up in the film.
It’s one of those fairly obscure ones you have never heard of. But here’s the thing: This came out in 2004. With one or two exceptions, most of the DCOM’s that came out after 2003 or so are well known, at least more so than Jumping Ship or something like that.
So why the heck is so obscure? Why did Disney bury? You’ll find out soon enough. I had never heard of until I looked at the all the DCOM’s on Wikipedia way back when I did the first DCOM month. When I read the summary, I was…interesting.
So today, I’ll see how it is. Another reason why it’s odd that it’s obscure that it actually has well known actors in it, but we’ll get to them later. The writers have done nothing of note, but the director did, get this, Halloween town!
Again, how is this obscure?!
Well, it’s time to find out, isn’t it?
This, is Tiger Cruise
The movie opens in the home of our main character, Maddie, played by Hayden Panettiere. She was not an adult when she filmed this, so I can’t do the gag. …Wait, I did it for The Scream Team even though Kat was young, so screw it.
Anyway, told you there were well known people in this.
“Why can’t I go on the Tiger Cruise?”
Two movies in a row with title drops in the first two minutes? It must be my lucky month!
Anyway, her sister said that. That sister is played by a young Jennete McCrudy. Not as well-known as some others, but most of you known her. A nick start started out on Disney Channel, isn’t that odd.
Maddie is going to visit her Navy Commander father. Her Mom says she usually isn’t interested in her Dad’s whole deal but I suppose we’ll find out why she’s going later. Anyway, the Tiger Cruise is a week-long cruise for military families and their friends aboard his aircraft carrier.
We have a montage of some of the kids Maddie will meet later, including a boy, a black guy, and a girl. They better not be hugely stereotypical. We then get a scene of a plane so the chick and Maddie can meet and bond a bit. The chick is into navy type stuff, so she gives us info dumps to show what she’s like.
They arrive at the cruise, and I’d like to mention that like The Color Friendship this takes place in an earlier year. I won’t reveal the year cuz…I don’t want the address elephant in the room until it’s a good time to do so.
She meets up with her Dad, played by Bill Pullman. Not much happens so let’s cut to our third lunchroom scene this month! Okay, it’s a “mess deck” but it’s the same thing. We find out that the chick’s name is Tina and she’s a bit of an artistic type. After some of that, Maddie and Tina visit her Dad. They fail to make small talk and she leaves to do some stuff. They go outside where it is insanely windy and the black guy randomly pops up and falls into the water, in the most hilariously fake way possible.
Actually he lands on a net and this scene was pointless.
Maddie talks to Dad again and she drops this bomb.
“When are you coming home for good?”
Ah, it’s this kind of story, eh? We’ll see how it goes. She’s not happy that she’s had to move a lot, and all the other problems this kind of thing comes with.
This scene get fairly intense with her going on, which makes me forget this boils down to the whole workaholic stuff. But hey, he’s got a good reason to be doing what he’s doing…but I can kind of see where she’s coming from. So ah well.
He says soon he’ll be home for “a while” but that doesn’t make up for anything. The over-dramatic aspect works a lot better here than in our previous film but it’s still perhaps a bit much. Maybe. When they are done talking, we cut to the next day as she asks him if and she and Tina can be up on the flight deck during the air show, or something like that.
He says no because it’s dangerous. They are going to go there anyway, aren’t they? Sure enough, the black guy shows them the way there. Sure enough, they get caught and they are called out on it. Didn’t we go through back in Zenon?
Dad gets all angry and stuff and tells her to start thinking about her action. The black guy’s…brother I think says the same stuff. Maddie eventually apologizes to Dad and he tells her that she was kind of right. He’s coming home for good. They hug it out and it’s all good. Then we cut to the next day.
…and now it’s time to address the elephant in the room. Remember how I said this takes place in a certain year? Well, if you were to watch the movie you’d figure out what the film is truly about at the start, but I’ve been hiding it until this very moment.
What is the date the next scene, and likely the rest of this film will take place on? Well, here it is, taken straight from the film, unedited:
Yeah. Uh…I don’t know what to say here. I just…wow. When I first heard about this, I couldn’t believe it. Allow me to say it in order to let it sink in.
This is a Disney Channel Movie about 9/11.
…Wow. I suppose I should make one thing clear: I don’t really have a problem with them doing this. Up to this point, the film has been mostly serious and there has been nothing offensive that could undercut this. There’s some cliché stuff but nothing overly DCOM-y.
It’s that…it’s a DCOM with 9/11 in it! Regardless of how it’s handled it’s just…wow! That’s why they never air this. But I’m shocked no one has found out about it and given it a cult following. Trust me, people would be interested to find out about this.
I’m just shocked that this exists. Is there a risen to drag 9/11 into it? Hmm…not sure, since for all I know that’s the only time period this whole Tiger Cruise thing could work with. If that’s not the case, then I don’t see the point on a narrative level.
Really, I think we just move on and see how they handle it. I’ll just give you a minute to get over the shock of it all …..You done?
Okay, let’s move on.
So where was i? Oh yeah, we cut to the day as…the event happens and our pals over here are informed about it. Everyone is told to stay calm and all that good stuff. The entire sequence is done with the respect it deserves and it’s all fairly dramatic.
I just wanted to be sure you know that since it’s pretty important.
There really isn’t a lot to say at this point since most if it people running around and dealing with the situation. Not a ton to comment on, really. The next few minutes are more or less the same as Maddie helps make sure the other kids are kept calm through this situation. She talks to the black guy who reveal that he had friends in New York who have parents that live right in those buildings.
…Ouch. Wait, only does he get any sort of depth in the slightest? Is it disrespectful for me to say anything bad at a moment like this? After all that, Dad tells Maddie he’s not going to be coming for obvious reasons. She’s worried about him for those some obvious reasons, but a speech calms her down.
After some minor scenes, at Maddie’s suggestion, the passengers hold up a giant American flag on the deck of Tiger Cruise. Because…it only took a few days for us to get into the AMERICA FUCK YEAH phase that we apparently needed after the events.
Oh crap, was that an insensitive joke? I’m not sure. Seriously, I have no idea if making a joke like that is okay given this a DCOM about the events, made after The Cheetah Girls was a thing. This is followed by Dad giving a rousing speech telling everyone that they’ve done well. With that, the cruise is pretty over as we get a scene full of goodbyes.
“Everything’s different now”
Yeah, now cartoon episodes will get banned for dumb reasons!
Maddie says she’s cool with Dad being away because now she understands why he does what he does. Wait, we’ve got a story like this where the kid realizes the Dad doing work is good and starts to respect that? Holy crap, what are the odds?!
And it only took 9/11 to do it! ….Wait..
Anyway, she salutes Dad as he goes back to his duties and the movie ends. Yeah, even a 9/11 DCOM needs an abrupt ending. It had a nice feeling with the end, but of course it made me realize the two biggest supporting characters didn’t do a whole lot.
Either way, the movie was…kind of what I expected. Let’s move on.
Let’s forget the…thing for a moment, and just pretend this is a normal movie. I will look at it on a purely narrative level. It’s alright. It hits on a lot of clichés you may expect see in something like this, and that can be hit miss. Sometimes it’s just the stuff you see before, while at other times they put more drama into it, or even a nice spin on it.
The story is nothing too new but it works at times. If you just wrote it out it does fairly cliché and it really all depends on the execution and it’s a nice execution. At times the drama sinks in pretty well and the actors are all mostly fine, which is important for a movie like this.
It’s one of things that mostly works better when you watch then when you read/hear about it. As far as the characters go, only two matter, and they are alright. They fit it into their archetypes but the writing can help make them a bit more interesting sometimes.
There isn’t a ton to them but they are okay. My problem is with the use of Tina and the black guy. Tina seems like she’ll have a lot going on but she mostly doesn’t a ton and she just gets a minor moment at the end. That’s really is. She’s there enough I suppose and it’s not really about her but she could have been used better.
The black guy…doesn’t even get a name that I caught (Did David Lubar write this) and doesn’t have much depth until he ties into the 9/11 stuff. Ah well, as at least the important characters aren’t bad.
I am mixed on the film as a whole though, and it’s mostly due to the drama. I’m not sure how I feel about how insanely over dramatic it can be at times. It works better than our last film, because the story is more interesting. It can help make for some nicely emotional scenes, and with the subject matter it makes sense, but man can it go overboard at times.
I’ve seen worse in this regard, but it can be a bit much. I’m not really sure how to put it, honestly. It’s odd yet it works sometimes.
Now I got to talk about the 9/11 aspect. They treat it with respect and it’s all done well. My point is that if this was a normal movie, or you had no idea it was a DCOM…you may like it it less. This could be seen as another preachy movie where 9/11 is in it because reasons. It has a lot more effort put into than other films like that but there’s no doubt that the DCOM aspect is what makes it notable.
At least the characters are now in the middle of the event, they are just effect by it. I really no problem with 9/11 being here, or anything like that. I’m not just not sure how I can feel about how the drama is executed, due to the event’s inclusion.
I guess I’ll leave that up to you. Overall, it may be flawed but it some nice emotional moments and a decent ending to the main arc. It’s worth watching but oddly enough, there are more complex and emotional DCOM’s out there, without needing to tie in real life.
So we finish off DCOM Month 2 next time. And really, only one possible movie could fit.
Yep, it’s finally time for this one.