Saturday, August 25, 2018

The Shallows 2016 3 out of 10 (Bad Shark Movie)

The Shallows 2016  3 out of 10

This movie wasn't supposed to be a bad shark movie. This was supposed to be a good Hollywood version of a shark movie. It was released in theaters not a direct to SyFy channel as a part of Sharknado week.   It got a good 78% rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes.   So what happened?

The movie is actually less of a Shark Movie and more a movie about survival along the lines 127 Hours.  You know the movie about the mountain climber that becomes trapped under a boulder while rock climbing by himself.   I guess I probably wouldn't like that movie either because it is hard to feel sorry for stupid and careless characters.  

The main character in this movie (played by Blake Lively) decides to go on a surf adventure in a foreign country all by herself after the death of her mother.  This is about the stupidest most reckless thing someone could do.  All surfers and swimmers know that you should always go in the water with a partner.  So my sympathy for the character was already super low by the time she is attacked by a shark.   This premise may be interesting to some --but it can be boring if you aren't invested in the character.   A major portion of the movie is basically the character stranded on a rock yelling for help as a shark with nothing better to do hanging around.

I don't blame the actress.  I feel Blake Lively did a decent job with the role she was given.  The plot was just so stupid that by the time you get to what should be an exciting end you are just ready for the film to end.  I was over it by the time she decided to try and swim from the rock as high tide approached

There were so many times during the film where my wife turned to me and said "This film is so stupid".   A great example is after sleeping on the rock all night she wakes up and see a drunk laying on the beach.   The drunk is a Hispanic character that looks like s stereotype straight out of an old time western.  He is staggering after a night of too much Tequila.  She flags him down in an effort to get her phone and call for help.  Instead he predictably steals all of her stuff while waving at her.  Of course he then tries to swim out to steal her surfboard as well only to get eaten by the shark.    Other dumb moments include the "for shock value only moment"  when she tried to eat a live crab while on the rock.  I get she is hungry---but it isn't like she has been stranded there for days to where she would need to eat a tiny live crab whole.  And then there is the wounded seagull that she tries to help.  We get it she is a doctor and needs to survive to help people---but she isn't going to try and heal a bird when she is fighting for her own life.   

I was really hoping to like this movie...but it was too dumb and too boring that many of the bad low budget Shark Movies are actually more entertaining.

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Thursday, August 23, 2018

Megalodon 2018 1 out of 10 (Bad Shark Movie)

Megalodon 2018   1 out 10

If you follow this blog you will know that I have an unhealthy OCD desire to see pretty much every bad Shark Movie that comes out.    I watch them for the So Bad That it is Good movies and this past week the Syfy channel filled up my DVR with 7 new Bad Shark movies.  Unfortunately for me I started with  Megaladon,  the rip-off by Asylum films timed to come out near the big budget Meg which recently took a bite out of the box office.
This movie was unfortunately not So Bad it is Good…… it was just terrible.   Out of all the bad shark movies I’ve this one has to be one of the worst.  Instead of going over the plot which is minimal I’ll just make a brief list of why this is one of the worse shark movies.  This film was a lifeless waste of time.

1.   Starring Michael Madsen:   He has been in some good movies in his life –but this definitely was a quick paycheck for minimal work.   He absolutely phoned in his performance in his brief appearance in the film.   It felt like he was just reading his lines off a cue card.  It was one of the laziest underperformed performances I’ve ever seen.

   2.   Over acting vs Under acting:   The main character that plays the Captain of the ship that must battle the giant shark is a serial over actor.   Which makes the scenes he shares with Michael Madsen even worse.  The over acting and under acting on screen at the same time stuck out like a sore thumb.  80% of the movie is just the captain of the ship yelling orders at crew members.  Occasionally the characters would pretend to fall down when the shark was supposed to be bumping into the ship.

  3.    The shark is basically an after thought to the movie.   The only interaction with the shark is when he shallows a submersible for a while…before the people in the sub undramatically just drive back out of it at some point. 

  4.   Boris and Natasha:   Apparently the filmmakers didn’t think a giant shark could hold the interest of the viewers, so they hired a couple of actors to do some terrible Boris and Natasha style fake Russian accents and have them escape on the ship in the middle of the shark drama.

   5.    The worst fake gun fights ever:   There is a scene where the personal on the ship are firing guns at the ocean.   No shark in sight….I guess they forgot to add the Shark to the footage.

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Saturday, August 18, 2018

Pacific Rim 2: Uprising 2018 7 out of 10

Pacific Rim 2: Uprising  2018 7 out of 10

While I thought the original Pacific Rim was a super fun and original blending of genres that was able to successfully bring a twist to the Godzilla style monster movies this sequel doesn't really build that well on the world building of the first film.   There are some really odd and bizarre things that drive the plot of this sequel.  It is almost like the story itself was an after thought.  I felt like the ideas the producers had for scenes they would like to see drove the plot more than the natural progression from the first film.   "Hey let's have Jaegars fighting each other"   "Let's find a way for the Kaiju monsters combine like something out of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers to form an even bigger monster"   Why not.   The plot was just to derivative and offered nothing special or new.  The film was still enjoyable --but at times I wondered if it would be better off with Japanese stuntman in rubber suits as I watched the robots and monsters fighting.   

John Boyega (Finn from Star Wars) cashs in on his Star Wars fame in the lead role as Jake Pentecost the son of Stacker Pentecost from the first film.  He starts off the movie as a scrapper trying to earn a big score in territory that is off limits.   He quickly is dragged back into his former job as a Jaeger pilot.  His back story is almost unnecessary as he easily gets right back into his old career as if he had never left.  He does a solid job as the main character --but again people are tuning into this film to see giant robots fight giant monsters.    Just like Rampage (which I saw the same weekend)  this is a silly giant Monster movie and just like Rampage it should be enjoyed for what it is ---silly popcorn fun.   You aren't going to remember these film years from now -- but you may enjoy them for the couple hours you invest in watching them.

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Rampage 2018 7 out of 10

Rampage 2018  7 out of 10

When I first heard that they were going to turn the arcade game Rampage into a movie I laughed.   The game was a simplistic game that gave the player control of one of three monsters basically putting the player in a King Kong or Godzilla like characters with the goal of destroying a city.  I wondered how they were going to turn such a simple concept into a film?

Well the answer is that they really didn't put much more thought into the movie than the that.  The plot of Rampage was simple and silly and totally predictable from start to finish.  While watching the film I was laughing at how simple and completely unbelievable the film was.  This film is definitely not winning any awards for screen writing and yet somehow it didn't matter.   This totally flawed and silly monster movie still succeeds at being entertaining.    

One of the main reasons for the film being enjoyable is Dwayne the Rock Johnson who plays a primatologist named Davis who has works at the zoo and has a great relationship with a large albino Gorilla named George.  The Rock is just so likeable of an action star that he can pretty much make any film he is in watchable at this point.  The silly story didn't hinder the enjoyability of the over the top film because the relationship between this gorilla and The Rock is so good.  Big props to the CGI department for helping create such a believable character in George the Gorilla.

In the arcade game humans turn into the giant Monsters after taking a genetic potion.  The film slightly spins this into the monsters basically happening as a result of a greedy corporations genetic experiment from space crashing to earth and infecting several animals including George.   After being infected George starts to rapidly grow and show fearsome behavior.   The film then becomes a race as The Rock tries to race to get an antidote from the evil corporation before the enlarged out of control creatures destroy the city.

Aside from The Rock we didn't tune into this film for the story....we came for the giant monsters destroying the city and battling each other and in that aspect the third act of the film doesn't disappoint.  If you played the video game there are numerous nods to the game including one of the arcade games itself in the offices of the evil corporation.   The monsters climb the side of buildings and punch helicopters just like in the game.  At the same time that I was laughing at how stupid the plot was I was also kind of smiling at how all that didn't matter because it was still fun.  Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan from the Walking Dead )  also stars in the film as a government agent that at first seems like an antagonist to the Rock at first and yet isn't exactly what he seems.   I thought it was funny that he was basically playing a nicer version of Negan  (even saying some of the same lines that his Walking Dead character says).   

If you like Giant Monster movies  then just enjoy this silly film for what it is......a giant predictable tasty and cheesy bucket of popcorn.

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Friday, August 3, 2018

(Animated movie # 14 ) Hotel Transylvania 2 7+ out of 10 2015

(Animated movie # 14 )  
Hotel Transylvania 2  7+ out of 10  2015

I found the first Hotel Transylvania to be surprisingly entertaining.  It wasn’t a movie that was on my radar and I saw it at a movie in the park event several years ago with the kids.   When the sequel came out we got it on DVD and the kids ended up seeing it in the back of the car on a road trip, so I didn’t get around to seeing it until this past week.

The first movie dealt with Drac who runs a Hotel in Transylvania for Monsters dealing with his daughter falling for a human.    In the sequel we pick up with his daughter getting married and having a baby.  The story jumps forward a bit and mainly deals with Drac wanting the baby to embrace his monster side as he approaches his 5th birthday.   Drac and his pals try and show with grandson what monsters are really like with some funny results.  I didn’t think this story worked as well as the first on, but it still had some entertaining moments. 

The best part of this film series is Adam Sandler as Drac.   While his live action movies are very hit and miss his voice acting as Drac in this animated feature is spot on.   His sense of humor works well as the old Vampire stuck between the reality of his current world and the old days when things were different. 
The other element that works so well in Hotel Transylvania series in the world building.  The monsters that visit the hotel are totally interesting and entertaining.  Hotel Transylvania 3 just hit Theaters this past month and I’ll be interested to see the cast of cool background characters in that film as well as they vacation on a cruise ship.  The concept for the third one sounds like a more interesting plot then this second outing.

I would definitely recommend this one if your kids liked the original.