This Post Has Teeth – a Look Back on Our Best & Worst Shark Movies ūü¶ą

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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).

~

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? ūü¶ąūü¶ąūü¶ą

Open Water 3: Cage Dive (Film) Review

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Start the year as we mean to go on I thought, so I chose something very much relevant to my interests. Why wouldn’t I? It’s our Collab and we do what we want.

This one has sharks, good-looking but unbearable beach bums and found footage – the holy trinity basically.

So, straight in with the first pick of 2018.

*Spoilers*

Open Water 3: Cage Dive (2017)

IMDB Synopsis

Three friends filming an audition tape for an extreme reality show, take part in shark cage diving, only to be left in great white infested waters, turning their recording into life and death.

My Review

Jeff and Josh (Joel Hogan and Josh Potthoff) are brothers (I think). Jeff is in love with Megan (Megan Peta Hill) and the three of them are tight af – living life as only blessed young people from Laguna Beach can. The three friends decide they’re going to make an audition video for an extreme sports reality show but, don’t worry, things like that never go wrong.

For their show reel, they travel to Australia to stay with a distant cousin of the boys’. Their intention is to film absolutely everything they do on the trip, including the shark cage dive, which is the jewel in their audition crown.

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“Hand on heart, I’m a good guy.”

Things are idyllic and light as our good-looking trio arrive Down Under but it soon becomes clear that there’s a tension between Megan and Josh, Jeff’s brother (AKA they’re secretly banging). Shiiiit.

I’m not sure how this will bode when it comes to exercising trust in the middle of a crisis (CLUE: Not well) but for now it gives us more of an insight into our main characters. With everything being filmed, it isn’t long before the camera picks up a secret rendezvous between the illicit lovers (we never learn how far the relationship has gone tbf) but luckily duplicitous Josh manages to conceal it in the nick of time.

Poor Jeff.

Jeff seems nice if decidedly D-U-L-L. He also has some sort of a heart defect which is mentioned a lot, particularly by his mum just before they leave LA. Hmmm, could this be foreshadowing? Also, minor question, but when the trio leave the States why does Josh say “Thanks Laguna, you treated us well” (to paraphrase)? I don’t say that to Brighton every time I leave for a holiday – IT MAKES NO SENSE (unless he’s psychic and realises he isn’t going to return).

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Stairway to certain death

Annnnyway. After a few days partying, the kids make their way to the boat for cage dive time. We already know, via the medium of Found Footage and various news reports/interviews leading up to this recorded account of events, that Something Bad Happens.

Our gang get lots of cool content for their audition in the cage but things take a dramatic (and deadly) turn when a freak wave upends the boat, the cage and everyone on board. Ooopsy.

Well, as expected, there’s a warm shark welcome waiting for the tourists and crew when they hit the water, plus quite a few of the people have been injured in the capsizing, which basically makes them chum. It does not end well for several side characters, especially the dude with half his face hanging off already.

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Enjoy it while it lasts, kids.

I don’t suppose much more needs to be said. As the trio drift further and further away from the boat’s original spot on the ocean, their chances of rescue seem more futile. With sharks still threatening at every turn, things are looking decidedly fishy (sorry) though it could be exposure to the elements that gets them first, or starvation.

Or they could just kill each other with their truths because where better to air your grievances than in the middle of the sea while great whites nibble at your toes?

When Jeff spots a blow up rescue boat bobbing in the near distance is seems as though things could be looking up. They suddenly have enough supplies and a relatively solid base to hunker down in until the coast guard show up. They even save another survivor who’s in a catatonic state. All they need do is relax and let fate take care of the rest.

Hmmm.

Course things don’t really work out that way because Megan takes the most pointlessly stupid action of all time and fucks everything up for everyone forever. Will our reluctant menage √† trois make it back to shore with all their limbs attached?

That this could be a happy ending for anyone is left open until the climax but you kind of already know going in. Have fun!

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Just chillin’.

My Thoughts

If I’m honest, I don’t have much time for any of the core characters. Megan is a screamer and although I’d be 1000% more hysterical in the same situation, I find her whining unbearable. She’s also playing both guys with little remorse. Like, brothers, Megan? How could that ever end well?

Josh and Jeff aren’t that well-rounded in terms of character. Josh is brasher than his brother who seems the best of a bland bunch but when they’re wet and screeching in the water, both with names beginning with a ‘J’, it’s hard to keep track of who’s who.

The shark action is satisfying though and although this is never going to be Jaws (because nothing is), I wasn’t disappointed by the horror of the situation our friends find themselves in. It’s literally the worst.

And yes, I did have to lift my feet onto the couch watching this, a sure fire sign this is scary, if only for the sharks.

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They’d had more relaxing holidays

My Rating

3 smiling sharks out of 5. Tense because of the situation but you’ll be rooting for the great whites.

What does Wifey think? Would she cage dive with this one or leave it in the water? Find out here.

Happy Birthday and a Half: The Great Blog Collab

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A change from the norm this week but still very much on brand, don’t you worry.

It’s Jillian & Christa’s Great Blog Collab‘s 18¬†month anniversary¬†(phew) this week and since it’s kind of a big deal to us (and hopefully a few of you), we decided we shouldn’t let the occasion pass without sticking a celebratory pin in it.

So this week we both¬†present to you a little glance back at our top 5 favourite movies from our blogs, a couple of absolute turkeys (I feel we may overlap here) and a handful of honorary mentions because some films are just noteworthy¬†in ways that don’t translate into ratings, you feel me?

A special thank you to Jill for thinking this one out logistically, and catching the anniversary. I’ve been feeling fried for the last few weeks and feel as though I’ve brought almost nothing to the table in terms of our collab, hence another Free for All theme this month.

I’m starting to feel brighter and more inspired than ever though, and am excited for this post and our future reviews.

To my Top 5! (5 of 10)

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American Mary (2012)

I loved this movie¬†so much when I first saw it and although I haven’t revisited it since, I think of it often. At¬†the time of reviewing it, I accepted that it was¬†imperfect even though I didn’t hesitate to slap a 5/5 rating on it. The ending is disappointing, though I’m not sure Mary could have just walked off to a normal life after everything she’d seen and done, even if I wanted it for her.

I find the body modification community fascinating and wonder how close to the bone this really is. In terms of taking back control and self-expression, it’s a wonderful tale and although you could argue that, in her pursuit of vengeance, our girl becomes just as bad as the perpetrator of the crime that changes her forever, it’s a fantasy and I’m with her all the way.¬†I love the power Mary wields and the ways¬†in which she empowers her clients.¬†Female-centric horror written and directed by women? More please. Ps. Katharine Isabelle, ILY!

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The Wolfpack (2015)

This documentary, that follows the bizarre lives of The Angulo Brothers; Bhagavan, Govinda, Jagadisa, Mukunda, Narayana and Krisna,¬†is¬†so special I feel it’s left a lasting impression on my heart. Funnily enough it came up in conversation with a friend earlier this week and our talk made me want to see it again. (BTW, I’ll reveal more soon but I have a very special project coming up and I think you’ll love it).

I often wonder what the boys are up to now, yet I can’t bring myself to look as this film has sealed them in time and left them on a high, despite their weird and wacky inner world. I need to live my life knowing that they’re all fine and happy.

If you enjoy something different, positive and heart-warming, then I can’t recommend this¬†enough. (I’ve deliberately told you nothing here so you go in with no information. Trust me, it’s worth it).

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Wetlands (2013)

I had to choose Wetlands for it’s sheer audacity. It feels like a film designed purely to shit stir. So much of it is ripe for a disgusted reaction; that’s exactly what it wants and gets x 1000.¬†It¬†is¬†refreshing that our protagonist is not bound by the usual rules of femininity though, I have to say that. She’s crazy for sex, will try anything once and doesn’t give a flying fuck about being ladylike. It must have been so fun for it’s lead Carla Juri to play this part.

I’ve just bought the book on which the film is based and I hope to pick up soon. I’m curious to see if it’s even more graphic that its movie counterpart. Here’s hoping?

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The One I Love (2014)

I really enjoyed this truly bizarre anti-romance starring Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass, about a couple working on getting
back that loving feeling, if only their alternate reality selves don’t fuck it up first. Yeah. This is one you have to follow¬†carefully but it’s interesting film-making with great performances and a Make You Think ending, which is kind of bleak when you¬†really consider it.

Part of the reason I love this movie is because I saw it around the same time as Coherence (2013) which is another alternative¬†reality movie (on a smaller budget) that really messes with your mind. Don’t expect the ending to be spelt out for you in either¬†film, both leave you genuinely wondering what the fuck has happened and how.

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Advantageous (2015)

This film is one of the saddest I’ve seen in recent years with such a powerful message. Passing comment on sexism and ageism, it¬†paints a stark picture of the future, where women of a ‘certain age’ are no longer useful unless they’re willing to sell their¬†eggs (in this era, healthy eggs are like gold dust, see).

Our heroine, Gwen feels forced to make the ultimate sacrifice in order to give her daughter Jules the very best shot at a future¬†and it’s more dramatic than you can possibly imagine, with consequences that will change both their lives forever. The film is¬†fantastic, with excellent acting and if it doesn’t send you hurtling into the arms of your loved ones by the credits, then I¬†don’t know what will.

Pop on over to Jill‘s to check out her contribution to our Top Ten favourite movies (we each picked five). I agree with each of the ones she’s chosen.

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Shelley Duvall & Sissy Spacek in 3 Women (I don’t know why they’re smiling, you won’t be)

Now to my Worst!

A look back at some right turkeys:

Monkey’s Paw (2013)
Without question (and I know Jill will mention it too), our worst film to date. It’s a re-imagining of W.W. Jacobs’ infamous supernatural short story and believe me, spend your time re-reading that five times instead.

This movie is painful to watch, with appalling acting and shit effects. In fact, you’ll be so miserable it’ll have you longing for a paw of your own to wish the pain away. Don’t bother, please. We’ve taken the hit so you don’t have to.

3 Women (1977)
This film is odd as fuck, I won’t lie and it feels like it’s ten years long.All I really took from Robert Altman‘s 3 Women¬†is that Shelley Duvallshould have stayed in the seventies as the aesthetic suits her so well, and vagina mosaics are timeless.

Down to You (2000)
Teen wank but of the worst kind. And here was me thinking I would never meet a highschool/college movie I didn’t like. WRONG!

Sharknado (2013)
This is abysmal but I mention it because I was expecting the best kind of bad. Not so, it’s just terrible. So many much better disaster/shark movies out there to enjoy, and we’ve watched a lot of them…Try Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark (2014), 3-Headed Shark Attack (2015) or 12 Days of Terror (2004). Alternatively, just watch Deep Blue Sea again (it’s so terribly great).

Honorary Mentions

Some of these movies just deserve a nod, for the reasons listed below.

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“Come on in, the water’s fine.”

Killer Mermaid (2014)

This gets a nod¬†because it’s hysterical in every way. Film wise it’s horrible but oddly only when it ventures into Buffy territory. Could have been excellent, instead it’s good bad gone mad. I will always watch a mermaid movie if it’s offered to me IDGAF!

Lizzie Borden Took An Ax (2014)

It’s a shame in some respects that Lizzie Borden didn’t take an ax to the only copy of this film, thus rendering it extinct.¬†However, we’ve not been that lucky. I’ve included Lizzie because Ricci plays her with such relish but in the end, apart from a¬†little bit of face hacking, this tumbles into a courtroom drama and gets rather dull. Shame, as I love the Lizzie Borden story!

The Hellraiser Films – Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988) and Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996)

I love love love love love deliciously horrid Julia from the first two Hellraiser movies (played by Clare Higgins). Unfortch, the lack of evil step mum in the subsequent instalments render them not as good. Even if, in Bloodline, we get new Cenobytes, a scenario set during the French Revolution and Pinhead in Space.

Having said that, there are about 69 other Hellraiser movies in the series, so I’m sure we’re not done yet.

———-

So there we have it, 18 months of appalling, bad, horrifying, great, classy, trashy, unbelievable and downright bonkers movies! And many more to come I’m certain of it.

The Collab has opened my eyes to all the wonders of bad cinema, made me expect more from the things I watch (for real though there’s bad bad and bad great, and never forget it). It has allowed me to embrace the one thing I love the very most: cinema. And even more than that, it brought me something I didn’t know I¬†needed (but clearly did): a great friend with similar cinematic tastes.

Happy Birthday and a Half Blog Collab, and to you my blog wife! *raises cocktail glass in manner of Gatsby*

Don’t forget to swing over to wifey’s for her view on our anniversary.

Don't worry, Christina, normal blog service will resume next week...
Don’t worry, Christina, normal blog service will resume next week…

Mega Shark Vs. Mecha Shark (Film) Review

I’m loving Shark Month so much I’m not even mad at last week’s terrible choice¬†(though I should be). This week is very much in keeping with the creature feature/B-Movie fare both Jill and I love so much – and it’s actually quite compelling.

Without further a do, let’s get down to some fishy business, shall we?

*Spoilers ahead* in case you’re worried about keeping some suspense.

Mega Shark Vs. Mecha Shark (2014)

Director: Emile Edwin Smith
Stars: Christopher Judge, Elisabeth Röhm, Matt Lagan

IMDB Synopsis: A new mega shark threatens to destroy humanity. The government creates an exact robotic copy of the shark, either equal to or greater than the original. Now they must fight to the death while people and whole cities get in the way.

My Review:

A tugboat pulling a giant iceberg into Egypt (?) accidentally unleashes hell on the world when a Megalodon shark escapes from within. (I don’t know either but let’s go with it). I laughed out loud as the aforementioned tugboat was flipped across Egypt by the Megalodon’s tail, knocking off the head of a sphinx as it went.

The unintentional unleashing of this giant prehistoric sharky bastard really fucks with the chi of the world as boats are no longer safe to go about their business without being attacked and honestly, this big boy is pissed at something. I mean, normal sharks don’t attack boats just because they can, right? I guess being trapped that long in a giant ice cube can take its toll.

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“This cannot be good…”

We piece together just how much devastation is taking place through the cleverly stitched global news reports and Meg (let’s call him) is being very naughty. We also learn that global warming is to blame and I like that nod to reality, very much touched upon in¬†3-Headed Shark Attack and Sharknado, though you’d be forgiven for ¬†blinking and missing it. Basically, if we don’t recycle and stop with the over use of hairspray, we’re in for the same fate.

So while Meg crashes about causing chaos, husband and wife wonder team, Rosie (Röhm) and Jack Turner (Judge) are the bad asses selected to take him on. But how prey tell does one go about doing something like that? Why, build an exact replica out of steel and have them battle it out, obvs!

Rosie is the captain of the Mecha, having proved her chops on a smaller vessel, which is co-piloted by special¬†A.I. “Nero”. “Nero” (voice by Paul Anderson) is basically “K.I.T.T” from Knightrider but flirtier. Jack is un-enthused about Rosie going into the Mecha before it’s been tested fully and without “Nero” to boot but she’s a plucky women who does what she wants so she goes anyway.

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Oops, wrong movie!

Straight away this turns out to be unwise and there’s a bodged attempt to stop Meg. Admiral Ackbar Engleberg¬†(Lagan), who’s in charge of Mecha operations is a bit grumpy when it comes to this failure, as his brother was killed by the Meg. (Somewhere along the line there is a reference to this being the third time the Meg has popped up though I don’t think you need to have seen those movies to follow this one).

So Engleberg has a personal investment in the Meg’s demise and that seems fair – Meg is kind of a dick. Anywhoo, Jack manages to convince him that installing “Nero” into the Mecha is the least they should do and soon “Nero” is wise-cracking with the best of them. Jack is adorable btw as he’s obviously madly in love with his wife and just wants her to be okay. He’s a good egg and also, looks like exactly the kind of person you want on your side in a crisis.

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The Posh & Becks of the Mechanical Shark World

Rosie meanwhile is a remarkable woman who shows emotion several times on the job but pulls herself together and gets on with it, like women do. All the while her high ponytail never messes up. She’s also, and I don’t mind my heroines in any form of attire, remains fully clothed throughout the movie and looks her age which made this character, and therefore the film, stand out to me. The genre is not always kind to the female form as we all know.

Oh yes, so Debbie Gibson’s Doctor Emma Macneil pops up to warn the Admiral that the Megalodon is aggressive (yes, thanks dear). I guess from this cameo that she’s kind of a big deal in the Mega franchise (a little digging shows she was in Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus (2009)) but she doesn’t half state the obvious. She does add though that his aggression is down to the fact that he’s looking for a mate and that explains it all.

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“Give me a song and I”ll whistle it.”

During a battle with Meg, Mecha discovers a damaged oil line and Jack lectures Rosie about the environment (good boy) so she uses Mecha to seal the pipe. Rosie tries to take Meg down with a torpedo but he’s horny AND clever, thus flipping it at a ship with his tail fin causing the needless death of hundreds. Bearing in mind he’s already destroyed an oil rig and damaged countless ships, Meg is on a roll.

In the ensuing drama, Mecha is thrown to the bottom of the ocean and Rosie is knocked out. Poor Jack is beside himself but ‚ÄúNero‚ÄĚ has a plan, which works and gets Rosie to the surface. Meanwhile, Meg is free to body slam the USS James Stewart Aircraft Carrier, killing everyone horribly.

Can I take a minute here to praise the excellent work of all the submarine and ship crews? They either bob around in the background like extras from Spaceballs (1987) or are thrown into utter panic mode by an explosion. These actors give their all to their small roles and I love them for it.

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Double your sharky goodness

Rosie is okay (don’t worry guys) but is definitely out of sorts. The one bit of the film that kind of annoyed me was the flashback we get to the couple obviously having lost a child which is touched upon as Jack stirs Rosie back to consciousness. Really? Just so you know the only thing ever driving a woman is a tragedy, usually to do with a child! We must make her more sympathetic after all.

Minor bug bear but really! Anyway, ‚ÄúNero‚ÄĚ says he can pilot the Mecha alone and even though cautious Jack is reluctant, really what choice do they have? I got a bit lost for a while as I was putting my dinner on, but Mecha is go once more.

Oh yes, on recovery Rosie and Doctor Macneil hook up (not like that) and Rosie flies to Auckland where the scientists discuss what’s going on. They think he’s heading back to his birthplace, Australia, the spawning ground for his species. (Wait, does that mean there are loads of lady Megs just kicking it round Sydney Harbour?). Smells like a sequel to me.

In Oz, “Nero” malfunctions and goes rogue, Mecha is now somehow on dry land causing more damage that good (basically, his safety filters are off so he’s programmed to kill Meg without think about his surroundings, you dig?) and it’s all a mess. Oh, and look: a kid’s just got separated from her mother! Someone has to stop and find her! Better ask a woman!

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“When Mummy says don’t run off, maybe don’t run off, Kid!”

Yes, Rosie puts her life on the line to save a snotty brat who doesn’t understand basic instruction and all because a) she’s a woman! b) she lost a child remember! c) she’s a woman in case you also forgot that! (I know I’m overthinking but honestly). Also, Rosie is a damn decent woman (unlike any woman who hasn’t had a child), so she rescues the poppet and also meets up with Jack at the same time.

I won’t go too far into the climax because frankly, you’re already expecting a fight to the death, right? But Rosie has to get back on Mecha to lure Meg away from Sydney Harbour and hopefully be destroyed so everyone can go home and wash the bloody chum from their glossy locks (only Rosie then).

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A Woman’s Work

Questions:

Will the final mission go off without a hitch? Will Rosie live to fight another day or will she break her damned husband’s heart? Did Michael Bay direct the action sequence throughout the streets of Sydney? Will Meg meet his match?

And finally, will Admiral Ackbar finally get his revenge?

My Thoughts:

I was actually into this and almost non-sarcastically. I mean, it’s ridiculous but everyone’s really giving it their all so you can’t be mad. I really enjoyed the central couple, who I actually buy as one and I cared if they made it or not.

It was funny in places and how can you not be impressed by the sheer scale of the Megalodon? (I actually believe in them so this is practically a documentary in my eyes). My only small bug bear is the adding a sad backstory malarkey. I know what they were trying to do but it’s clunky af.

All in all probably my favourite shark-ie so far this month.

My Rating: 3.5/5. Enjoyable actually. More like a real action movie than the rest so far with good leads and not too horrific effects.

Oh yes and… totally passed the Blechdel test!

Did Jill love this monster or was she ready to flip it into next week with the tail fin? You know the drill.

Sharknado (Film) Review

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The question I most want answered, and I’m sure I could find it if only I could be arsed to look, is: were they bloody serious about this?!

I mean, obviously I get that it’s all very tongue-in-cheek but did that come after the original film became a surprise neo-cult classic? Because they all seem very serious and that,¬†I suppose, is¬†a credit to the cast as actors (maybe not in skill but in effort), you know?

This film is a total train-wreck it’s true but is it fun? Is it entertaining? Read on if you wish to know my view on that.¬†Also, I fancy Ian Ziering and that, my friends, is not something I ever¬†expected to hear myself say. Ever ever.

*Spoilers* if you give a shit!

Sharknado (2013)

Director: Anthony C. Ferrante
Stars: Ian (Sex Pot) Ziering, Tara Reid, John Heard, Cassandra Scerbo, Jaaaaaason Simmons

IMDB Synopsis:¬†When a freak hurricane swamps Los Angeles, nature’s deadliest killer rules sea, land, and air as thousands of sharks terrorize the waterlogged populace.

My Review: 

They¬†don’t beat around the bush here in Shark Land. There’s a tornado whipping across the country, sucking up sharks in its wake¬†and they’re fleeing it as much as they can¬†but that’s easier said than done I guess.

A sail boat in the thick of the storm, containing a crew of nefarious fishermen who are actually catching and cutting off shark fins to sell for shark fin soup (one of the most barbaric things ever) is perfectly placed for the most ironic shark revenge of all time. These men all deserve to die horribly so from the get go you’ll be licking your lips in anticipation of heads rolling and limbs being¬†chomped.¬†You won’t be disappointed at all, my friends.

I have to say here that the ‘head to head’ between the boss¬†seaman *giggle* and his Asian business partner is so camp, with both characters stereotypical as all fuck so we’re off to a good start I think.

Cut to Californiaaaaaaa and Ian ‘90210’ Ziering’s Fin Shepard (LOL) is just a good man trying to make a buck. He owns a bar and looks good on the beach. Like rrrreallllly good guys, time has been kind¬†to the former Steve Sanders. Perhaps not having to stand next to Luke Perry helps?

Ziering has also recently graduated from the Christian Slater Academy for Furrow-browed Actors, presumably with flying colours. Honestly, watch him, they’re both cut from the same cloth. And I for one, am 100 emoji about it.

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This can’t be good

Fin is the brooding¬†type¬†which makes him irresistible (to me) and you just know there’s more to him than meets the eye. Don’t worry, you’ll find out soon enough what that is but for now, whilst frolicking in the sea with his mate, Baz Hogan (Simmons), shit kicks off. The sharks are actually racing inland in their droves and this does not bode well for the California beach bunnies romping there.

A decent amount of carnage ensues and yet again, people, when someone starts yelling from the water and looks super distressed, maybe take note? It might just save a leg or two.¬†After the initial attacks, Fin and friends¬†don’t seem too¬†bothered, heading to back to the bar Fin owns on the pier to get on with their lives.

He’s got a leg off

The bar is pretty archaic in¬†nature. Bar wench Nova (Scerbo) works in a bikini and has to physically fight off bar regular George (Heard) more than once when he grabs her arse. I would break his knuckles but she laughs it off. It’s all in good fun, isn’t it, all this cheeky everyday sexism and harmless physical harassment? God bless George.

Nova throws herself at Fin behind the bar during their shift and he callously rejects her before revealing he has a wife. An estranged wife but a wife nonetheless. The aforementioned ball ‘n’ chain¬†is April Wexler (Reid) who hates Fin right now because he’s so damned attractive presumably.

Fin’s worried about the storm and all the flooding going down around them and wants to get April and their daughter Claudia (Aubrey Peebles) the fuck outta Dodge. April however has a new boyfriend and is pretty sure he can protect them (she obviously can’t protect herself, what is this the 21st century?).

Back to the bar and if it¬†was up to me,¬†I would have left all the men behind when the first sharks start flying through the windows (tornado, remember?) and the bar and pier started to collapse. But our¬†rag-tag team decide to stick together: Fin, Baz, Nova and Handsy George jump in the car and head to April’s. She lives on a hill they figure, so less flooding.

It’s a stressful trip to April’s and I’d be lying if I said everyone makes it. One of the gang will not live to slap another woman’s bottom against her will ever again¬†*hint*. Nova gets hold of a shotgun (well this is America, you get them from vending machines there, no?) and is more than happy to blow the fuck out of every shark she sees. She really really hates them so much so that you’d think she has a tragic shark-themed back story.

I quite enjoy Nova, it has to be said even though her mooning over Fin gets tired really soon. Even if I understand it only too well, babe.

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Cheer up love, it might never… oh. Nevermind.

April is deeply unimpressed when Fin arrives and she’s obviously not one for girl power as she calls Nova a stripper right off the bat. Unfortunately, April’s house is not the fortress of watertight safety they were expecting and things go pear-shaped quickly. On the plus side, April’s foppish boyfriend Collin (Christopher Wolfe) becomes chum, thus paving the way for a possible reunion between Fin and April? I’m not sure if she deserves him yet tbh!

Sharks are notoriously bad at helping with removals

So the gang grows¬†as they decide their only option is to go and find Fin and April’s son Matt (Charles Hittinger) who’s in flight school. Riiiiight. Things escalate, people get bitten, our team finds a pet store full of weapons (?) and decide to build a bomb to fly into the heart of the tornado, as you do, thus killing the storm and the sharks.

Nova begins¬†to bond with Matt, who is way closer to¬†her in age and it’s kind of creepy. She confides in him the real reason she hates sharks so much and it’s HILARIOUS. I mean, the funniest, most improbable tale EVERRRR. Wouldn’t it be terrible, after all Nova’s been through and on the cusp of a new relationship with her crush’s son to boot, if she didn’t make it?

Hmmmmmm. I’ll wrap up here but will tell you this. Fin has definitely seen one or two Evil Dead movies because his chainsaw work is wonderful. He gets intimate with a very large Great White and does his best to protect his family while he’s at it.

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You’ve got red on you, Nova

Questions: 

Can Fin win back the love of his family, who resent him for being an absent father? Will April ever acknowledge that her new boyfriend has been killed, a moment of silence if you will for Collin? Who will make it? Who won’t?

Will you care?

My Thoughts: 

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You did not get this in Jaws

Jesus H. Christ on a bike. This is godawful. I got bored half way through which I wasn’t expecting and I just didn’t care, I’m sorry Fin – I love you but no. I can’t really believe they’ve made three further films in this series – honestly, I was tired of sharks crashing through windows after maybe the second time, so I don’t know how they’ve kept it fresh. Perhaps they haven’t, I don’t know if I’ll even make the sequels.

The effects aren’t quite as bad as expected but maybe that’s because I’ve seen Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre (2015) which makes this look like a Michael Mann movie. Though I did want to see more animatronics √†¬†la¬†Bruce the Shark¬†as the CGI makes it feel¬†so empty and soulless.

Apart from the beautiful Fin, the rest of the cast are pretty forgettable. Nova probably shows the most promise but I can’t tell if that’s just because she carries a weapon and isn’t afraid to muck in. Tara Reid I imagine gets a bit harder in the following films (judging by the images I’ve seen – spoiler!) but in this she just looks worried the whole time.

If you’re interested my new favourite website is unclear as to whether this film passes the Bechdel Test. I tried to follow myself but got distracted and I’m guessing probs not.

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*Heart eyes emoji*

My Rating: 2.5/5. Poor. So bad it’s just bad with nothing really endearing about it. Although Fin does look very good in plaid.

Did this make Jill want to swirl around like a whirling dervish, or would she rather go swimming with the sharks, where this drivel belongs? Find out here.

12 Days of Terror (Film) Review

Jill and I batted around the idea of doing political movies this month but after the last couple of weeks the UK has had and all the bullshit currently wafting around on Jill’s side of the pond, I think we made the right choice to back away from that for a while.

Instead, we’re doing Shark Month in honour of the USA’s wonderful Shark Week. We don’t have it here and frankly, it’s a travesty.¬†Bonus is,¬†I can pretend Nigel Farage is the one being terrorised and it makes me feel better.

Jill picked this week and I was all ready to mock the shit out of this overly dramatic TV movie. In the end I actually became rather engrossed.

Call it the handsome and earnest leading man, call it the hilarity of most of the cast members being all too eager to jump into the water even though there’s a goddamn shark in there!

Whatever it was,¬†let’s get down to business.¬†*Spoilers* as usual, though this is a shark movie so you can guess a lot of it.

12 Days of Terror (2004)

Director: Jack Sholder
Stars: Colin Egglesfield, Mark Dexter, Jenna Harrison, John Rhys-Davies

IMDB Synopsis:¬†For 12 days in July, 1916, a shark patrolled the waterways of northern New Jersey. This docudrama is based on Richard Fernicola’s account of those days.

My Review:

It’s 1916 and there’s this new craze called sun¬†bathing sweeping the nation. People are flocking to the New Jersey shore to cure their polio in the sunshine and to not think about the World War raging across the ocean. The Jersey Shore in this scenario is very different to the shore we know and love today (or so the film would have us believe). Though, I’d have paid good money for a cameo from Snooki.

Our hero is Alex (Egglesfield) and let’s no beat around the bush, having to watch him wrestle sharks for the next hour or so is not going to feel like a chore. He’s a good egg this one, life guarding like a boss on the beach outside a posh hotel and mentoring other less experienced life guards on his watch.

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Worth pretend drowning for

He receives a visit from his best friend Stanley (Dexter)¬†and his fiance Alice (Harrison), who we later learn used to be Alex’s¬†girl (oooooooh!). Alex¬†tells¬†Stanley he’s totally cool with them getting married (riiiight) and even helps Alice make a decision on the kind of cake they’ll be having on the big day.¬†Like I said, kind of a hero.

Unfortunately, this is the first day of terror and a dandy called Charles (David Jeffery) becomes our first victim. It’s at this point I have to say, Charles, your dog is barking violently at something in the water, perhaps at least approach it with caution? Always listen to the animals, dude! As he runs into obvious trouble further out, Alex dives in to rescue him without a single thought for his own personal safety. Charles has a huge chunk missing from his leg and sadly does not make it to see day 2.

Alex is adamant that this was a shark attack (I mean, duh) but some ‘experts’ swoop in and imply that it could of been a torpedo. Ummmm… a torpedo with teeth? Alex doesn’t buy this¬†one bit and suggests that perhaps they close the fucking beach until they know the score? But alas he is but a lowly Tom Cruise impersonator¬†lifeguard and he’s poo-pooed.

Again, he’s not happy but what can he do but stay vigilant? The Mayor (Patrick Lyster) isn’t keen on losing out on the tourism and the President of the U S of A is due to visit any day now¬†so the show¬†must go on. They speak to yet more experts who state that it would be highly unlikely for the shark to come back (haven’t they seen Jaws?).

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Salty

Come to think of it, Alex is our Roy Schneider, running around crazed and trying to cut through bureaucratic red tape in order to save lives. He’s also mates with a salty old sea dog called Captain (see what he did there?). Captain is John Rhy-Davies who was Gimli in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) and I quite fancy him.

Since this is 12 days of horribleness,¬†you can guess that the shark does indeed come back and this time it’s personal as he bites off¬†Alex’s mates’ legs (both of them, no messing). Alex once again is first to the scene and it doesn’t end well for his friend, I think his name was¬†Danny?

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He’s got some legs off

After this attack, the authorities half-heartedly concede that there might a problem and place some big steel fencing around the beaches to make it safer for swimmers. Alex has lost all his enthusiasm for the job since Danny’s death and quits, has a fight with Stanley (who tries to stop him¬†doing anything rash. Oops TOO LATE!). He takes a job with Captain as his first mate, which sounds legit. Captain seems to fish a bit and just hang about on the docks but this time he’s been contracted to fit the fencing.

While they’re fitting the steel posts in¬†the water, one of Cap’s¬†crew gets spooked and shoots at the water, claiming he can see a shark.¬†Alex and another crew member are in the water at this time and I have to say that absolutely nobody seems that arsed about shark attacks.¬†And yeah, I get that rivers aren’t the usual stomping ground of great white sharks but when Captain sees a formidable shadow streaking through the water towards the creek and goes suitably mental, nobody else reacts accordingly.

You would not have to tell me twice to stay the fuck out of the water, let me assure you. Anyway, Captain is in his little row boat shouting at children to get the fuck onto dry land¬†but he’s only one man and can’t get to them all. So a small group are splish splashing about when our shark rocks up.

A hysterical mother shouts to them from the river bank and they do nothing because they can’t hear her! Kids, eh? They pay the price for not reading her body language so there’s a lesson here.

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GET OUT OF THE FUCKING WATER!

When Stanley hears that a kid he knows¬†is in the creek he gets rather heroic. I can’t work out at this stage if the kid is¬†his (I don’t think so)¬†but whatever, it’s enough to get Stanley¬†moving. Several local men leap into the creek but¬†don’t find the kid. I’m not going to outline each and every death for you, don’t worry but tragedy strikes round about here and makes Alex even fucking angrier that before.

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5 cents you say? BARGAIN!

Meanwhile, I’ve missed out a part where Cap seems to have caught a shark but there’s still another shark out there (I think this happened, I have an image of it), so there must be multiple sharks out there. Alex isn’t pleased that his mate is making money out of tragedy but this is how Cap rolls and I think we all just¬†have to accept that.

Also sniffing around is a strange dude called Michael Schleisser (Jamie Bartlett) who works with dangerous animals. He doesn’t really have much going on apart from a deep fascination for the shark and attempts to go out on Cap’s tiny boat to see if he can catch it.¬†As one does. He’s really dislikable and has an air of the guy who captured King Kong to me. He’s definitely not that into¬†animal welfare and in it for himself.

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“Oooooh he’s a biggun!”

Alex and Cap tell Schleisser¬†his plan, to somehow ensnare the shark in a net and get dragged along by it until it tires itself to death, is rubbish but he’s having none of it. The shark must hear them talking and get fucked off as he jumps out of the water and tries to bite Captain.

There’s a final Jaws-esque show down between shark and human men, and I’m going to let you see how that turns out.

Questions:

What becomes of pretty Alex? Does Schleisser rightly so get eaten by our big fishy friend? Will Alice and Stanley make it down the aisle after all this drama is over, or will a place open up by Alice’s side?

And what of the shark, whose only real crime is being a shark and going with its animal instincts?

My Thoughts:

Way more thrilling and entertaining than expected. It’s cheesy of course but the period setting lends it some class. It’s very reminiscent of¬†a certain Spielberg directed shark movie¬†but that’s because the film is based on the true-events that also inspired Jaws so you can’t blame it for that.

Shots beneath the surface of the sea are very Jaws-y and tense though this film¬†lacks the horror element that made Jaws so amazing. You do actually care for some of the victims which helps and I have to say the fact you don’t see the shark for a good while helps the build up.

Some of those characters are so dumb though and none of the female characters really get a look in. Alice is a very 2D, decorative prop (and I say prop because she’s only there to add a subtle tension between the two best friends). It’s like one big fisherman’s club up in this joint. Also, when an experienced fisherman/lifeguard tells you to stay on dry land, STAY ON DRY LAND!

My Rating: 3/5. A TV movie that feels like a TV movie but like, a goodish one.

Did Jill circle this movie with interest or was it nothing but chum to her? Find out here.

 

3-Headed Shark Attack (Film) Review

3-Headed Shark Attack

Week 2 in B Movie Heaven and Jillian’s choice can only be described as truly majestic. Like, it has everything you need and so much more, plus the makers have done their homework (e.g. taken massive liberties whilst being ‘inspired’ by other movies in the same genre).

Without much further ado, let’s¬†get down to sharky bidnis.

*Spoilers* as always.

3-Headed Shark Attack (2015)

Director: Christopher Ray
Stars: Karrueche Tran, Jason Simmons, Rob Van Dam, Danny Fucking Trejo, Brad Mills, Jena Sims, Scott Thomas Reynolds, Rico Ball

IMDB Synopsis: As a mutated, three-headed, great white shark eats its way from one end of the ship to the next, the passengers have to fight the deadly predator using anything they can find.

My Review:

Before I start I think I should tell you that a) this film made me very happy indeed after quite a hectic weekend, and b) Danny Trejo has long been one of my favourite human beings and I long for the day we accidentally meet and become best friends forever. Like truly, he seems so nice, has lived an extraordinary life and loves dogs. He’s perfect.

So I went into this with a very positive mindset and I can’t say I was disappointed. If we were to deconstruct this film in terms of its feminist politics we might hit a snag but, although we might touch upon them, you’ve kind of got to suspend yourself to get something out of this, which I was only too happy to do.

God bless this movie as well for trying to put some science behind the 3-headed wonder fish and for referring to something as the ‘garbage patch’ for so long without cracking up.

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Unlike this Director, I believe in leaving a bit of mystery

Our main protagonist I guess is Maggie Peterson (Tran), an unfeasibly gorgeous graduate (?) who’s just turned up to The Persephone, a sort of underwater building/rig where scientists study a new rush of mutated sea life and monitor water pollution. (Forgive me, my science ‘bits’ might be wrong or embellished throughout).

Oh, but before we meet her we’ve already seen the beast in question and I thought that was kind of sad. Let’s just say that the creators of 3HSA have decided to move away from the suspenseful build up of Jaws (1975) and go full pelt with their CGI masterpiece. So we begin with the inevitable bikini-clad lovely being enticed into the water by a sexist frat boy, only for them all (?) to come quite the cropper.

Dr Laura Thomas on¬†her way to the Scientists’ Wet T-Shirt Contest

Back to Maggie and she’s taking a tour around Persephone with the crew, led by Dr. Laura Thomas (Sims). Some young and spunky divers rock up and – lo! – one of them is Maggie’s ex Greg (Reynolds). They have a super awkward catch up in front of the rest of the crew and then the tour continues.

In one of the rooms the kids (all about my age but still) look at some of the unusual mutations in tanks. They notice that one of the species (a sort of lantern fish hybrid, cute little fella) is really riled up. This leads Dr. Thomas to investigate the boop boop machine (you know, it boop boops and can see if there’s anything in their vicinity that might be dangerous) to see if there’s anything dangerous in their vicinity and they detect something enormous – and it’s heading their way!

Initially, the team think it may be a part of the garbage patch (lol) broken off and drifting but as it’s moving at quite a rapid pace they high tail it onto the beach to Check. It. Out. The staff tell the kids to stay behind but can you guess what they do? Pesky kids.

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“Yeah, dating Chris Brown was way worse than this situation…”

Outside, one of the crew who isn’t particularly sharp gets excited about the massive whale he’s just seen on the horizon and wades into the water. This can’t possible go wrong in a movie like this until it does and the gang witness him being gobbled up like a soggy Wotsit. By the way, I think garbage makes our triple headed friend fucking angry hence all the rage and willy-nilly chomping. (Pollution makes me sick too, hun).

The gang are understandably shaken so they head back to the rig but 3 Head follows and smashes the shit out of the structure, causing massive flooding and killing a man on the toilet (you know it’s serious when).

Our intrepid scientists have no choice but to find their way to a boat, sadly their vessel is somewhere out to sea and requires someone to swim out and bring it in. If you can say anything about our crew it’s that everyone is very eager to sacrifice themselves for their friends (even though they just met). You will notice this theme throughout and you may ask yourselves, as I did, whether you would do the same for your work colleagues. (The answer is: some of them).

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Close you mouth, love

So there’s a bit about the boat and the most annoying thing about this scene is that one of the lady scientist/divers, Alison (Hamil) panics and runs into the water for no reason (okay, maybe the rig/buildings are blowing up behind them but still). This causes one of the others to have to swim out and ‘save’ her, and you can probably guess the rest.

While all this is going on the team have been trying to get hold of the Coast Guard. Apparently the CG has other stuff going on (kid in a donut ring carried out to sea?) and doesn’t answer.

As luck would have it, they’re able to get hold of a gang (literally a gang) in a boat. This gang is lead by Mr Danny Trejo (I’m not sure what the order of business is that day but no mind) and although he’s reluctant at first and worries they may be pulling his leg about the monster, he heads to their rescue. He’s just that kind of guy.

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Luckily, Machete does fish (and has a boating licence)

While they wait, Sharky seems to lose interest in them and heads out to a party boat because why wouldn’t you if you were an angry 3-headed killing machine? Plus they probably all taste of coconut (sun tan lotion, obvi).

Maggie feels the need to save everyone and so insists that they follow so they can save the party kids. Again, I might have turned a blind eye but then I’m maybe not as good a person as Maggie.

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“We’re gonna need a bigger boat! Or three boats. THREE BOATS!”

Sharky terrorises the party boat and its passengers in the most delightful way. There’s some focus on a couple which is a bit boring but from the carnage rises the clear stand-out character of this entire piece: Stanley (Van Dam). Stanley selflessly rescues everyone in sight¬†and you know you’ll be really feeling it when he finally buys it somewhere, sometime.

We lose quite a few of our friends along the way, through self-sacrifice or whatnot and then Trejo rocks up. He actually has a machete and he sorts everything out, don’t worry. Ten minutes with Machete and it’s all over and we can go home.

Or can we?

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He’s got an arm off

I won’t tie up the ending because it’s worth a look if you like shitty films as much as we do but I will say this, to the crew: When you say things like “Phew, it’s finally over!”, it ain’t fucking over, dude.

Also, when somebody in the boat behind you is frantically trying to get your attention, it just might be because something’s up.

And, I really didn’t understand the ending.

Questions:

Who makes it and who will perish? Will you mind after all the stupidity these idiots show? What about our lovely grumpy shark? Will he stay calm in the face of adversity, or lose his head(s)?

Watch now and find out for yourselves.

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Karrueche Tran: Flawless even when battling Great Whites

My Thoughts:

Loved it. I mean, I love Shark Movies in general but this one has a mutated Great White in it. How superb is that?¬†Karrueche Tran¬†is so pretty I can’t help saying that all the time. She also used to go out with Chris Brown and I really hope she’s out of that cycle now. I hope she’s got the best boyfriend, or is absolutely loving single life. Yeah that.¬†

I wonder which one she’d rather? The 3 headed shark or Chris Brown again? Kidding. It would be the shark, every time. OBVS.

Van Dam at least gives his all to his role and honestly if I needed saving, which I do not, I think I could do a lot worse than this dude. Ditto Trejo, though he gets a little cocky.

Otherwise, utterly forgettable characters and dialogue. CGI is better than expected and I had a lot of fun here.

My Rating: 5/5 for entertainment, 3/5 for the film (which is being generous) – split the difference with 4/5?

Did Jill feel the same way or does she think this movie should be relegated to the garbage patch? Find out here, at your peril!