Sunday, February 3, 2019

Frenzy 2018 3 out of 10

Frenzy 2018  3 out of 10

The single best thing about this movie it the poster.  The movie is basically a cheap version of The Shallows (which I didn't enjoy).   A couple of sisters that are a part of some Adventure You Tube show end up in a plane crash into the ocean with their crew.  The crew end up shark bait and the movie is basically the one sister on a raft after the crash watching her friends get killed by sharks.   The movie uses flashbacks between the boring raft scenes to give the characters some semblance of character development, but this tactic just becomes annoying.    About half-way through the film everyone is dead when the one sister makes it to a tiny little island the looks like a mushroom.   Magically her injured sister washes up and they spend the last 40 minutes on a wooden platform under the mushroom island.  

They flag down a boat that unfortunately the people fall off of into the water with the sharks.    Then they pull some Ewok village trick to lure one of the sharks to death with a well timed boulder on a rope which leaves two  sharks vs two sisters in a not so epic showdown.     The shark effects were actually decent --the story was just dull.  I actually almost gave up on this film around the 1 hour mark--but toughed it out to a decent ending that partially redeeemed the boring film.

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Nightmare Shark 2018 5 out of 10

Nightmare Shark 2018  5 out of 10

Nightmare Shark is a bizarre shark movie that aired this year on the SyFy channel as a part of Sharknado Week.  It was produced by Curmudgeon Films who also did Trailer Park Shark and Atomic Shark and actually features some characters from those films.   So you could pretty much say those movies are a part of a shared Shark Universe.    

The story focuses on a group of survivors of shark attacks that are dealing with nightmares from those encounters that seek out help of a scientist that has developed and experimental drug to help deal with the nightmares.    The scientist turns out to have ulterior motives and is actually trying the use the survivors to summone a Hawaiian Shark god from the realm of dreams into the real world.

The film is like a strange Nightmare on Elm Street with a CGI shark instead of Freddy Krueger.  You can never tell when a character is awake or dreaming and in fact the ending makes everything that happens even more unclear.   I give the film some credit for trying to bring something different to the Shark Movie genre --but it is almost too strange and weird.   

The movie was originally titled "Curse of the Dream Witch" which might explain one review on IMDB where the reviewer said that there wasn't even a shark in the movie they saw?   It could explain some of the film.  In certain scenes the characters are being attacked by what looks like a swarm of flies and a weird prescence instead of a shark.   I almost wonder if the film wasn't re edited to add more Shark footage so the films name could change and it could be re titled as a part of Shark Week.   I can't find any information to support this theory --but it might explain how it seems so strangely pieced together. 

Here is the trailer for the film

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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Santa Jaws 2018 5 out of 10

 Santa Jaws 2018   5 out of 10

I wish I could give Santa Jaws more than a 5 out of 10, because compared to the recent batch of Bad Shark movies I've watched at least it had a concept and plot that made sense from start to finish.  It was pretty decent for a direct to TV shark movie that couldn't even afford to have a movie poster.  

The story for this flick revolves around an awkward teen that is an aspiring comic book artist.  He happens to get a magical pen for Christmas and basically accidentally summons a killer Shark with a Santa Claus hat on it's fin that starts killing off his family members after he wishes to be alone.   He and his friends take it upon themselves to try and kill this beast and discover that it is drawn to Christmas items and can only be hurt by Christmas related things as well.  There was some limited comedy in this movie concept --but not enough to make it a good movie and not enough of the shark either (I'm sure due to budget).

The best part of the movie was the opening sequence which has a dirty looking Santa that has tied up some guys girlfriend battling until Santa is killed by a shark that acquires his hat.  The over puny humor in this opening sequence --which was supposed to represent the comic book was great.  If the whole film has kept this over the top tone it would have been better.    

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Sunday, December 16, 2018

6 Headed Shark Attack 2018 3 out of 10

6 Headed Shark Attack 2018  3 out of 10

Are they even trying anymore?   I have to ask that question after watching 6 Headed Shark Attack.  Apparently the maximum amount of heads on a Shark to still have a decent Shark Attack movie is about 3 --because that was by far the best of this bad shark movie franchise.   They skipped 4 heads for some reason which I will never understand.  Maybe they should stop just adding heads to the shark because it looks cool on the posters.   Six heads is definitely too many.  I don't even get how the stupid shark can swim effectively with that many heads.  The extra heads didn come in handy when the shark decided to crawl on land.

The story for this addition to the franchise is that a bunch of couples are at a marriage boot camp on an island.  The casting seemed to involve hiring the first 10 random people that showed up to the audition.  The screenplay for this movie was god awful and beyond stupid.  Many of the decisions the characters make were beyond reason.  It is like that commercial where the kids are in a horror movie and one guy suggests -"Let's drive away in that running car" and everyone else  decides to hide out in the garage filled with chainsaws instead.   It must be difficult to find ways for characters to get back into the water in a bad shark movie,  but this movie takes the cake in that department.

     They are all safe on land when all of a sudden a major storm is supposedly approaching.   One person claims the storm will flood the entire island and suggests swimming out to a couple of pontoons with a tent on them and to rise with the tide.   What are you kidding me.   No lets all go to the Lighthouse instead.    By the way the storm never apparently arrived....  I guess they couldn't afford rain for this movie.    It was just so terrible on so many levels and yet never passed into "So Bad it is Good" Territory.   At least this movie ties into the previous ones and explains that this is where the shark originated from.  

 A word of advice:  Less heads and more sharks next time.  Or maybe actually try and write a script instead of giving the movie the green light based on the cool poster.

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Deep Blue Sea 2 2018 5 out of 10

Deep Blue Sea 2 2018  5 out of 10

The only thing this low budget sequel has in common with the original Deep Blue Sea from 1999 (which was actually one of the only good shark movies after Jaws)  was that is had the same basic plot.   It was more like a low budget remake than a sequel and didn't reference or seem to connect with the original.   The story featured a rich delusional billionaire that is experimenting with shark to try and advance the human brain so that we can deal with the artificial intelligence.  Of course making super intelligent sharks is not a good idea and he results are predictable.   

A 5 out of 10 rating is probably a little bit generous.  The first 45 minutes of the film are all exposition and the fact that this is pretty much a cheap remake makes that exposition unnecessary to this bad shark movie fan.   The second half of the movie redeems  itself a tiny bit with the underwater base getting partially flooded and the characters having to navigate half filled with water corridors with cool mood lighting.   Unfortunately this also limits the shark attacks to the concept new to this particular shark movie of intelligent piranha like baby sharks.  A decent concept that comes off less exciting than actual sharks on screen.   I guess the only thing that saved this movie for me was some of the really terrible dialogue that made it somewhat entertaining.   The awful banter between the characters is luaghable and that helped me stay interested to a certain degree.   The movie also had at least one decent shark attack death at near the end of the film and a cool hero shot as two characters take out a leaping shark with flare guns.  This would have made a good poster for the film.  

All in all it was basically a cheap rip-off of the original actually good shark movie Deep Blue Sea.  Kind of a disappointment that they slapped on the Deep Blue Sea title on this low budget films because it gave me false hope for a decent shark flick.

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Sunday, December 9, 2018

Tomb Raider 2018 4 out of 10

Tomb Raider 2018  4 out of 10

When Alicia Vikander was first announced as the new Lara Croft I thought.... that is an odd choice.  She has proved herself as a solid actress in films like Ex Machina in which she was incredible,  but she just doesn't look like the character from the classic video game.  She is too skinny and has a very slight figure.

 I'm sure I will be labeled by the PC crowd as sexist to even say this --but at least they got the characters look right the previous time around with Angelina Jolie.    Alicia is a good actress she just doesn't fit the role.   And before you label me sexiest for thinking that Lara Croft should have a body type that more resembles the original character think about this for a second because it goes both ways.   

Do you think your wife would be as excited for the next Aquaman if instead of Jason Mamoa she got Raj from the Big Bang Theory.

Or if instead of casting Chris Hemsworth as Thor you got David Spade .  I don't think so?

All I'm saying is cast someone who fits the character.  People want to see buff Chris Evans as Captain America and not skinny Steve Rogers before the serum.  

On a different note they even got the character wrong.  Lara  Croft is a total badass in the games.   Instead she is portrayed quite differently in this film.  The character with two guns from the original game seems more of a survivalist in this film instead of a fearless explorer.  At times she seems very capable and at others like a victim struggling to just survive.  It was almost as if they didn't know how the character should be played.

That aside the movie itself was a total dud.  It was like the creators had never seen or played the video games before.   A huge pet peeve of mine is when Hollywood tries to reboot a franchise and wastes half the movie giving us an origin story for the character we already know.   If you are going to see Tomb Raider you know who Lara Croft is.  The film wastes time showing her training as a kick boxer and riding a bicycle through the city in some race to earn extra money.  She finally excepts her inheritance from her father who has been missing for 7 years and discovers his secret chamber in his castle estate.   She watches a video of him instructing her to destroy his research instead she goes in search of him.  

The film takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes to get to anything resembling Tomb Raider after wasting time with her character getting robbed by street thugs in Asia and then hiring the son of the guy that took her father to a mysterious island that I half expected to find King Kong on.  Then after falling off a waterfall she runs into her dad who looks like the crazy character from Treasure Island or Professor Oxyley from Crystal Skull.  There is a straight out of Last Crusade where he states at least she destroyed his research like he asked.  Not so much..... she actually brought the "Grail Diary" with her. 

 By the time it does get to Tomb Raider worthy story it is instead just a bad rip off of  end of The Last Crusade.    Unfortunately I had already checked out of the film by this point and was checking how much time was left on the DVD.  Everything that could be considered good in this film was taken from other films. 

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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Like Father 2018 8 out of 10

Like Father 2018   8 out of 10

Like Father was a surprisingly charming straight to Netflix film starring Kristen Bell and Kelsey Grammer.  Kristen Bell's character gets walked out on at her wedding after she is delayed walking down the aisle because she is too obsessed with her phone and work even walk down the aisle on time.   Her father who walked out on her when she was still a kid shows up to the wedding and after talking her out for a drink they both end totally hammered and on her honeymoon cruise.

The film does a great job of exploring this broken relationship with the cruise as a backdrop.  It has a few funny moments --but for the most part it is a drama grounded in the reality of their broken relationship.    What makes this movie work so well is the talent of its main to stars.   I pretty much love Kristen Bell in everything and Kelsey Grammer was a part of two of my favorite TV shows (Cheers and Frasier).   The two great actors play off each other really well and made what I figured would just be a throw away movie a lot more fun,  especially the sequence where they compete in a on ship game show together.     

If you don't go into this movie expecting big laughs and just enjoy the experience you may find this film as enjoyable as I did.

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