Jillian & Christa's Great Blog Collab, Shark Movies, The Movies

This Post Has Teeth – a Look Back on Our Best & Worst Shark Movies 🦈

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Late last night (of course) I got inspired to look back on the shark movies Jill and I have reviewed for the blog. It was a lot of fun so I thought, in honour of undoubtedly the best movie of the year opening this weekend, I would revisit them properly in a post.

That movie, to be clear, is The Meg and I’ll be there on Friday clutching my popcorn with the biggest grin on my stupid face. I’ll also be wishing Meghan Lightle was with me because this is a movie ripped straight from our minds, frankly.

Anyway, to the sharks. It’s hard to sort these into order of preference because there’s love in my heart for each of them, no matter how ridiculous.

Planet of the Sharks – 1.5/5

The planet is now mostly ocean and it’s full of angry mutant sharks. It’s a very bad scene, man. Survivors are living on makeshift rigs in the middle of open water just trying to dodge a bloody fate and while it’s far from ideal, some self-made tribes are getting on just fine.

Help might just be at hand when a bunch of plucky scientists rock up but at what cost really? AT WHAT COST?!

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Spears for Fears

Ghost Shark – 3/5

A favourite of mine, Ghost Shark is the tale of a wronged Great White who exacts glorious, witty revenge on the small beach town that let her* down. This might sound familiar but, wait – Ghost Shark is special because she has the power to manifest in any body of water – with hilarious consequences.

An absolute highlight. *I like to think of her as ‘she’.

Sharknado – 2.5/5

I’ve never ventured beyond the first Sharknado but this was a lot of fun to rip apart. Plus, apparently I have a thing for Ian Ziering, who knew?

You probably don’t need me to give you a synopsis on this one, given that it’s one of the most well-known modern shark B-movies but there’s a hurricane heading towards LA and the tornado at the centre of it is spitting out killer sharks. Luckily, sex pot Fin Shepard (geddit) is on hand to save the world and look damn fine while doing it.

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Hey bae (I think this might be from Sharknado 2 but oh well)

Mega Shark Vs. Mecha Shark – 3.5/5

Sometimes there’s only one way to deal with a problem and that’s to build an identical steel version of that problem – and have both versions fight it out to the death. Throw in a kick-arse central character and you’ve got yourself quite the treat.

I’m not even being insincere when I say this one was pretty okay.

3-Headed Shark Attack – Priceless

What’s better than a shark movie starring Jason Statham? That’s right, a 3-headed shark movie starring DANNY FREAKIN’ TREJO, King of my Heart.

This film has a lot to say about the environmental impact of all that plastic in the ocean and I appreciate it honestly because you don’t always get a message from your straight-to-DVD titles. Triple the heads = triple the fun.

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The announcement of the new Bond received mixed reviews

12 Days of Terror – 3/5

A shark (or two) terrorises the beach one hazy summer while the Jersey Shore tourist board turns a blind eye to the carnage because tourism, yo.

Hot lifeguard Alex isn’t about to let this slide though – and if all this sounds familiar it’s because 12DOT is based on the TRUE STORY that also inspired the Rolls Royce of Shark movies, Jaws. So not bad for a TV movie and it might also be thanks to salty sea dog, Captain (John Rhys-Davies).

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I’m quite sure there will be many more shark movies in our future but until now, enjoy these gems.

What, you’re not already on your way to pick up all these titles now? What’re you waiting for? 🦈🦈🦈

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Jillian & Christa's Great Blog Collab 2018, The Movies

Permission (Film) Review

April already and time for a new Collab category but do you think we can think of anything? Can we fuck. So it’s a Free for All again and I’m not mad about it. I’m mad about this week’s film however but that’s another story.

*Spoilers*

Permission (2017)

IMDB Synopsis

A woman on the brink of a marriage proposal is told by a friend that she should date other men before spending the rest of her life with her boyfriend.

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My Review

Will (Dan Stevens) and Anna (the luminous Rebecca Hall) are childhood sweethearts blissfully in love and happy in life. Anna’s some sort of academic while Will makes tables, and in his spare time renovates a home for the two of them to live in. Once completed the plan is that they’ll move in, get engaged, have the babies, all that jazz.

This is all well and good but you didn’t think it would be that easy, did you? On the night of Anna’s 30th birthday, one of their friends (more on this arse clown later) mocks them for being boring and ponders how they can possibly be happy never to see anyone else’s junk. The couple is initially bemused by this reaction but it triggers a conversation that leads to an agreement that they will in fact sow some oats with other people before they put a ring on it. They’re strong enough, right? And it’s all just physical – RIGHT?

*Raised eyebrow*

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Well, straight off the bat Anna gets down with sexy Dane who she meets in a club when she’s with Will. Will’s all for the union and Anna enjoys herself, despite the initial butterflies. Will in turn is not short of offers and soon afterwards gets it on with Gina Gershon (who’s the best thing in this film). When Anna finds out, she pushes Will to see her again because she wants to spend more time with Dane. And here’s where things start to unravel… like, what? I get that no strings loving can be hard to do if you’re not that kind of person but you’re not looking for new relationships, guys. Or…?

It should be said that they also each make a questionable sexual decision in addition to Dane and Lydia, and this might be why they go running back into the safe arms of their initial conquests.

Running parallel to the main relationship woe is the slow disintegration of Reece and Hale’s relationship. Reece is the jerk friend who suggested Will and Anna’s way of life was a problem in the first place. Hale is desperate for a child and Reece won’t even discuss it with him. He’s happier to cast judgement on Will for shagging around – DESPITE THE FACT HE’S THE ONE WHO SUGGESTED IT IN THE FIRST PLACE! These dudes are the worst with Hale being incredibly passive and annoying – and Reece just generally being unbearable.

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While I appreciate the premise of this film, I definitely expected it to be a lot more fun. Forgive me for expecting a movie with this central cast to be a witty sex comedy. Instead it was bleak and stupid. The ending is really frustrating – and I’m no fan of the cavalier and selfish way in which both Will and Anna treat the new people in their lives. Anna more so.

Permission does get points for being good looking, as is Rebecca Hall who is always head and shoulders above anyone else in her movies. It doesn’t give us the happy, sickly ending we were expecting (I was certainly expecting it), and I liked that even though I shouted at the screen because it was also kind of bitchy. I felt bad for one of the parties.

Gershon is a fucking gem, always and her divorcee Lydia was probably the most fun I had throughout. I can’t tell you how bored I was by the secondary “Waaaaah-can-we-have-a-baby” drams.

I don’t know, I’m not sure what the message is supposed to be: Good, healthy relationships are bad and boring, so nobody should have one? I’d say it should be: if it ain’t broken, don’t try to fix it but what do I know?

My Rating

3/5. Meh.

What did Jill think of this one? I think I know because we messaged back and forth about our mutual frustrations. But officially, would she dump this to bone other films or prefer to live monogamously for the rest of time? Find out here.

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Jillian & Christa's Great Blog Collab 2018, The Movies

Roxanne Roxanne (Film) Review

Funny how our March Madness Month has been more or less focused on films by and about fucking fierce women, isn’t it? Guess we weren’t quite ready to hang Feminist February back in the wardrobe, which is f-i-n-e fine with me.

To this week’s film which is no different, a neat little Netflix Original charting the rise of teen rapper Roxanne Shante.

*Minor spoilers*

Roxanne Roxanne (2017)

IMDB Synopsis

In the early 1980s, the most feared battle MC in Queens, New York, was a fierce teenage girl with the weight of the world on her shoulders.

My Review

Shante (Chanté Adams) and her family live in an overcrowded apartment in Queens. Things seems to be looking up as the women, Shante’s mother Ms. Peggy (Nia Long) and her daughters get set to move out and into a bigger home.

Ms. Peggy and her man have been planning a new life for the family while Peggy has been saving every last penny, finally stacking up 20 gees after years and years of hard work. Shit takes a turn when her boyfriends ups and leaves one night with the money in tow. Who fucking knew?

Throughout this movie it seems the girls’ are destined to learn than men are rubbish and never worth the effort. They hang around waiting for a father than never shows and suffer the wrath of their hard-working single mother who loves her girls dearly but has no time to suffer fools, because men. It’s actually the relationship between Shante and her mother that I liked the most about this film – Ms. Peggy is a force to be reckoned with but she ain’t taking no prisoners.

Following a rough patch at home, Shante moves out and in with a male friend (couldn’t work out if this was a friend or cousin actually). She shoplifts to order for a small gang and this is how she makes the benjamins to live. This set up can’t last forever and Shante learns the hard way that adulting is not easy and has no choice but to return home.

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Shante, the hero of this story, has shown a unique talent for rap battling from an early age and earned herself something of a local infamy. Because of this she finds herself regularly challenged to battle by snot nosed neighbourhood boys.

One day – in between laundry shifts – Shante throws down a couple of verses on a neighbour’s track and before she knows it, has blown up on the radio. Popularity though comes at a price and she finds herself growing apart from her school friends and family. She also meets Cross (Mahershala Ali), a charismatic older man keen to hitch his wagon to her rising star.

I found the older man/16-year-old thing really icky to watch even if it a true representation of what happened to the real Roxanne Shante. When Ms. Peggy confronts him for sleeping with her daughter I cheered. Although Mahershala Ali is one of the most exciting actors around at the moment, he plays sleazy Cross just a little too well. I hated him and I hated the violence he rains down upon the person he supposedly loves.

When Shante and Cross take their relationship to the next level, all sorts of Hell breaks loose. Will Shante survive to become the Queen of Rap, or what? You know what to do.

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My Thoughts

God this was boring. I mean, I love a rags to riches tale and I loved Shante but why did it feel so long when it was only 90 mins? It didn’t show me anything new, didn’t really inspire me to feel anything at all – and Shante has a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it birthing scene that I thought I’d imagined. As a bridge across time I got its purpose but it didn’t work. There’s not that much character development either.

Nia Long and Adams are the stand outs in this, they’re brilliant with what they have to work with – and I would have been delighted with more one on one between them. All in all this movie just isn’t all that, sadly.

My Rating

2/5.

What does my Queen think of this one? Would she challenge it to a rap battle or take it on tour? Find out here.

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Jillian & Christa's Great Blog Collab 2017, The Movies

Cult of Chucky (Film) Review

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I feel like this week’s choice is definitely an authentic nod to the sort of crappy films we enjoy, and one of the reasons Jill and I started the collab in the first place. Sure, quality has undulated over the years but there have been times we’ve cursed ourselves by not going harder on films you can tear apart.

This is definitely one of them – and yet, I love them with all my heart. Ever since Bride of Chucky introduced Jennifer Tilly as Chucky’s love interest, Tiffany I’ve been in. This comedy/horror sequel seemed to take itself even less seriously that the first handful of Child’s Play films and got all the better for it (imho).

Bride had the terrible twosome channel Sid & Nancy and although Chucky didn’t always appreciate his lady, we bloody did. Seed of Chucky followed and a sympathetic yet creepy child was born of their love and the quality of the films shifted again (down, down, down). Curse I can’t really remember honestly, other than it was clunkily meta.

Cult of Chucky (Child’s Play 7) strips it back a little (but not much) and places Nica of Curse in a medium security institution, where she is still trying to live with the guilt of killing literally everyone she came in contact with in the last instalment.

Except, did she? She’s been lead to believe a certain killer ginger is all in her head and a manifestation of a severe mental disorder but we all know different, right?

*Spoilers*

Cult of Chucky (2017)

IMDB Synopsis

Chucky returns to terrorize his human victim, Nica. Meanwhile, the killer doll has some scores to settle with his old enemies, with the help of his former wife.

Thrilled to be back

My Review

First off, how fun is this? Chucky films forever! Whether or not it is any good really will come down to your opinion on these films and your threshold for the ridiculous. If you love gore, terrible one liners and a loose narrative then, baby, this is the one for you.

Nica (Fiona Dourif) has just been released from maximum security to a lower level institute under the watchful eye of Doctor Foley (Michael Therriault). She is being rewarded with a little more freedom now she’s playing along and admitting that Chucky is all in her head.

On her first day, she makes a strong impression on fellow resident Malcolm (Adam Hurtig), who has multiple personalities (and is about as cliched as you can imagine). She isn’t welcomed quite so warmly by the others, as her notoriety has followed her to her new home.

Meanwhile, Andy (Alex Vincent), the terrorised kid turned man of the original CP films, has worked out a unique and satisfying way to ensure Chucky/the serial killer Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif) can’t hurt anyone anymore. What could go wrong? (Spoiler alert: literally everything). 

Soooo, Nica is undergoing more therapy and playing the long game when Dr. Foley brings a vintage Good Guy doll to a group session (wise idea). ‘Good’ Chucky is immediately adopted by a patient who has lost her child which is spooky enough on its own merit. It all gets even more confusing when Tiffany Valentine crops up in human form with her own Good Guy doll and suddenly there are two GGDs in the hospital.

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“Stop copying my hair style, Chucky, you loser.”

Tiff, FYI is at the facility to announce that Nica’s niece Alice has passed away (Ms. Valentine had guardianship of Alice and for the life of me I can’t remember how this came to pass or why). This news leaves Nica devastated, as she’s already living with the guilt of ‘killing’ Alice’s mother, her sister and now she has nobody left. The doll by the way has been left to Nica by Alice. Uh oh. 

Anyway, two GGDs = two Chuckies (Chucki?) because, believe it or not, somewhere along the line it has become possible for more than one Chucky to be possessed at any one time with the soul of everybody’s favourite serial killer.

Andy might have the original Chucky’s head stored in a secret safe but it doesn’t even matter anymore – because the Cult is growing, there are Chuckies all over the shop and we’re all doomed. DOOMED I TELL YOU!

Things soon start to go to pot and this convinces Nica that she isn’t crazy and that  Chucky might be real after all. And nobody fucking believes her.

Anyone who does start to buy into the Chucky theory is mysteriously slaughtered so they can’t back Nica up. Plus they’re all nuts, right?

Doctor Foley is acting like a complete douchebag too which is literally the last thing a girl needs while she’s running for her life from a killer doll but there it is. Men and their sense of entitlement is always priority. One of the Chuckies actually comes through as Nica’s saviour a couple of times but then only so he can enlist her into his cult herself.

Eventually she succumbs to Chucky’s goading and fucks up Foley forever when she realises he’s been sexually abusing her during their hypnosis sessions. He’s a fucking rapist and way worse than Chucky could ever be if you ask me – so good riddance to scum. I celebrated the intensity of his death scene and I hope you will too.

At this point if it were me, I’d be sorely tempted to just team up with Chucky and Tiffany, no questions asked. Living the good and holy life hasn’t exactly been paying off for our heroine.

Look, this is a messy one and since we end up with three Chuckies it gets a little bit confused at times. The gist is that the original Chucky found a voodoo spell on the internet (obvs) that allows him to be inside all the dolls at once, and why stop at doll’s eh? Chucky’s always looking for a human vehicle – wonder where this is heading?

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“Wanna play?”

Let’s just say that the climax might be unsurprising but it’s utterly bonkers and satisfying – and left wide open for another thrilling instalment.

Fucking hell yes.

My Thoughts

There’s not really any way to review a film like this, is there? It is exactly what you’d expect and it’s great.

I get the impression that the team must have so much fun making these films and that Brad Dourif just loves voicing Chucky.

Jennifer Tilly is also an absolute dream and my only criticism of her is that she’s not in this nearly enough. Plus, I was hoping for more than a glimpse of Tiffany the doll, who’s the coolest.

This film is not going to change your life or even remain with you for particularly long but it will hopefully keep you sniggering for a little while, and god knows we all need a sigh these days.

My Rating

3.5/5. All in good fun, if not good taste.

What did Jill think of Chucky’s return? Would she commit this one or join him in his shenanigans? Find out here.

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Jillian & Christa's Great Blog Collab 2017, The Movies

Girl Asleep (Film) Review

Something a little lighter this week, or so you’d think of this seemingly innocuous coming-of-age tale. Whether or not it delivers what we were looking for is to be outlined below but one thing is certain right now: thank God I’m not 15 anymore.

*Spoilers*

Girl Asleep (2015)

IMDB Synopsis

The world is closing in on Greta Driscoll. On the cusp of turning fifteen she can’t bear to leave her childhood, it contains all the things that give her comfort in this incomprehensible new world.

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I think he’s sending you an obscene message here, Greta

My Review

Greta Driscoll (Bethany Whitmore) in new in school. Aged 14 and about to turn the big 1-5, she’s just about the most awkward kid in town, except not really because isn’t almost every kid this age a hot mess? God knows I was.

Anyway, she soon makes a new friend in Elliott (Harrison Feldman) but it doesn’t get off to the best start when she quickly bumps him for the popular girls. These Mean Girls aren’t nice but they decide they like Greta so she shares some agonising break times in their company.

Greta soon wises up though and commits herself to her new friendship with Elliott instead. Her mother Janet (Amber McMahon) is beside herself with delight when she brings him home for dinner. While at Greta’s house, she shares a secret with Elliott about a music box her mother gave her when she was a kid. She tells him the tale of The Huldra (Tilda Cobham-Hervey), a wild warrior woman who lives in the woods.

Living at home with Greta and her mother, are father Conrad (Matthew Whittet) – who has a pretty mean line in Dad-jokes – and sister Genevieve (Imogen Archer), who dates slick local boy Adam (Eamon Farren).

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It’s my party and I’ll have a face like a slapped arse if I want to

The story comes to a head when, against the explicit wishes of Greta, Janet invites all the kids from school to Greta’s fifteenth birthday party. G loses her shit until she realises it’s causing her folks to argue. When she reluctantly agrees, Janet promises her this is a right of passage she won’t regret.

On the night of the party, Greta has a run in with the Mean Girls, who feel rejected by her preference for Elliott. Jade and her twin hench-women, Amber and Sapphire out her publicly for having small boobs and humiliated, Greta falls out with Elliott too. Right after he’s admitted his feelings might be more than just friendly. Oops.

During the drama, Greta faints (I think) while a mystical creature steals her beloved music box. This leads her into the woods round the back of her home where she runs into the legendary Huldra who saves her from a tricky situation. During her adventures in the woods, in this creepy paralell world, she also meets The Abject Man (Old Gregg, anyone?), The Frozen Woman – and lots of wild and exciting creatures and characters, including French crooner, Beniot Tremet. Who tries to bone her in an extremely icky scene that shouldn’t exist, just saying.

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Living in the woods never looked so chic

Will Greta get back to her party and real life in one piece, I wonder? Will she make peace with her fifteen year old self – and more importantly, win back her one true friend, Elliott?

Well. I guess I don’t have to tell you there’s one really good way to find out.

While this film is harmless enough and kind of sweet, it also didn’t really do much for me. I went in with a notion that it would concentrate on the human element (in a The Diary of a Teenage Girl way) but instead I got budget Wes Anderson/The Mighty Boosh. Which might be unfair but I don’t care. I found it too try hard and now I read it was based on a play and I think that explains it all. Welcome to amateur hour.

I liked Greta and enjoyed her strength of character but I would have liked more focus on her friendship with Elliott and the conflict with her frenemies. Call me old-school.

My Rating

2/5. SHRUG.

What did my good lady wife Jillian think? Would she protect this one from creepy men in the forest or write an insulting song about it instead? Find out here, obvi. You know the rules by now.

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