movie review

August 31st, 2015 Movie – Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter

jesse james meets frankenstein's daughter

Now this is a pretty interesting pairing. A western/horror movie. Granted, I have seen a couple of western/sci-fi movies, and own one, and one or two of them could also fit into the horror genre, but a straight up western/horror is rather new for me. I am somewhat intrigued by this movie but there is one slight problem that I have, and that is the fact that this movie is on the Chilling Classics box set. So that automatically drops this into the 50/50 slot for being a good movie. Well, might as well get it over with and watch today’s movie, Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter.

The plot: In a small town out in the west, a husband and wife comment about how the rest of the townspeople have left. Their daughter Juanita soon arrives, complaining about how she couldn’t find her brother in the house up the hill and despite her parent’s urging that they too should leave, she tells them that she won’t leave until she finds Francisco. Meanwhile, at the house on the hill, Maria Frankenstein, and her brother Rudolph, are making use of the common lightning storms in the area to continue the experiments begun by her infamous grandfather. Maria begins her latest experiment, attempting to remove the brain of Francisco and replacing it with an artificial one. However, unknown to her, Rudolph has secretly been poisoning the children after she revives them, in the hopes that she will quit doing the experiments. Checking her grandfather’s notes, Maria realizes that she needs to keep the living brain in the body and attach the artificial one to it in order for the experiment to work and so she decides that she needs to find a man, instead of a boy, to use her last artificial brain on. In another town, Jesse James and his companion Hank Tracy, are meeting up with a local gang called The Wild Bunch, who plan on robbing a stage coach carrying $100,000. However, Lonny Curry, the brother of the Wild Bunch’s leader, is upset about Jesse being called in and decides to tell the sheriff the Jesse James is here in return for being made a deputy and getting the reward for his capture. During the robbery, the sheriff and his men shoot the other two members of the Wild Bunch and injure Hank as he and Jesse flee. Hiding from the sheriff’s men, the two men come across Juanita and her family, who have finally left their home. Realizing how serious Hank’s injury is, and knowing that they are outlaws, Juanita offers to take them to Maria Frankenstein’s house but her father forbids her to go there. When her parents are asleep, Juanita leaves with Jesse and Hank in order to lead them to Maria’s house. Along the way, Juanita is grabbed by an Indian scout and when Jesse goes looking for her, he is attacked by the scout but manages to kill the scout then avoid the rest of the Indians that ride past where they are hiding. They finally arrive at the town and while Juanita waits at her old home, Jesse and Hank head towards Maria’s house to see the doctor. When they get there, Maria and Rudolph start to treat Hank and when he accidentally let’s slip who they are, Maria decides to use Hank in her experiment. She offers to let Jesse stay in their house and when the marshal shows up looking for them, she lies and tells them that she hasn’t seen them. As Hank begins to get better, Juanita urges Jesse and Hank to leave as soon as they are able becuase she doesn’t trust the Frankensteins. However, Maria wishes for Jesse to stay with her but when he refuses, she decides to get rid of him. She gives Jesse a note, saying it is a prescription that they need for Hank, but in reality, it is a note telling the pharmacist who Jesse is and that he should call the sheriff. While Jesse is away, Maria performs her experiment on Hank and succeeds, naming her creation Igor. When Rudolph goes to give Hank the injection, she notices that it is poison and tries to stop him, eventually calling Igor to kill her brother. Unknown to her, Juanita witnesses all of this and rides off before Maria can have Igor kill her. In the next town, Jesse gives the note to the pharmacist, who makes up an excuse about needing to make the medicine, but instead he goes to sheriff’s office. The only one there is Lonny, who tells the pharmacist to pretend to make the medicine while he tries to capture Jesse for the reward. However, Jesse senses something is wrong and kills Lonny before making his escape. On the way back, he runs into Juanita, who warns him not to go back to the house but when he continues on, she goes to the marshal for help. Jesse arrives at the house and demands some answers from Maria, but she calls on Igor, who knocks Jesse out and ties him up. Juanita and the marshal arrive and when the marshal searches the house, he finds an unconscious Jesse strapped down onto a table. Maria has Igor attack the marshal and hide the body, then when Juanita tries to free Jesse, she orders him to kill Juanita. However, seeing Juanita seems to bring back some of Hank’s memories and he kills Maria instead. When Igor goes after Jesse, Juanita is forced to kill Igor. After burying Hank’s body, Juanita asks Jesse to stay with her but knowing the trouble his fugitive status will bring, chooses to ride off with the sheriff instead.

This was an interesting movie, and by interesting I mean boring. I actually think I nodded off for a few minutes and honestly didn’t miss anything of importance. The acting was pretty bland all around, though I will say that Rayford Barnes was decent as the scheming Lonny but Narda Onyx was to over the top in her performance as Maria Frankenstein. The story was somewhat interesting and had potential to be much better than what was filmed. The “action” scenes were pretty slow paced and the pacing was just slow. Honestly, I can’t really say much else about it.

Rating: 1 out of 5

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Flashback Review: March 2nd, 2014 Movie – Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy

anchorman the legend of ron burgundy

Sometimes when you are watching a comedy, it is hard to tell if you are laughing because of the movie itself, or the people you are watching the movie with. Today’s movie is one such example for me. See, when I first saw this movie, I was watching it with a bunch of friends, including my friend Chris. Now watching a movie with Chris is an experience because his laugh is very noticeable and infectious. So when I first watched this movie, when Chris laughed, pretty much everybody else laughed as well. So watching today’s movie, Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy, by myself will let me really know how funny it is.

The plot: In 1974, Ron Burgundy is a famous local news anchor in San Diego. Along with his friends and KVWM news team, Brian Fantana, Champ Kind, and Brick Tamland, have succeeded in maintaining their status of the top rated news show in the city and decide to throw another in a series of wild parties. The next day, the station manager, Ed Harken, informs the news room that due to the need for diversity in the workplace, they station has hired a female news anchor, Veronica Corningstone. Ron and the rest of the news team is angered at first, arguing that women don’t belong in the news room. However, after meeting Veronica, the four men all decide to try and sleep with her. Brian, Champ, and Brick all try and fail to get far with Veronica but Ron finally manages to take her on a  “professional tour” of the city which results in the two sleeping together. Ron and Veronica enter into a sexual relationship, but professionally, Veronica still has not had an opportunity to do more than simple “fluff pieces” for the show. However, when Ron has an altercation with a Biker resulting in his dog, Baxter, being kicked off a bridge, Ron is late getting to the studio and Ed has no choice but to let Veronica host the news. Veronica does a good job and Ed decides to make her co-anchor, but Ron flips out and decides to break up with her. With their new status as co-anchors, Ron and Veronica wind up becoming bitter rivals on and off the air but the tensions between then starts making the rest of the people at the station take sides. Wanting to change there image, Ron, Brian, Champ, and Brick go looking to buy new suits but wind up getting lost. They end up being challenged by a rival news team, but just before they start to fight, several other news teams appear and a giant melee begins until the sound of police sirens causes them all to flee. Back at the station, one of the women informs Veronica that Ron has a tendency to read whatever is written on the teleprompter and so she decides to use that to play a trick on Ron by making him say “Go fuck yourself, San Diego.” As a result, Ron winds up fired from the news station and though Veronica tries to apologize, Ron ignores her attempts. Three months later, Veronica and her cameraman are at the zoo covering the birth of a baby panda when a rival news anchor shoves Veronica into the Kodiak bear enclosure. Unable to locate Veronica, Ed calls Ron and offers him his job back. Ron heads over to the zoo with his news team but when he sees Veronica inside the bear enclosure, he jumps down to try and save her. The rest of the news crew leap in to save them but they are batted aside and Ron and Veronica are almost killed until Baxter suddenly appears and convinces the bear to let them go. As they are climbing out of the enclosure, rival anchor Wes Mantooth grabs the ladder and threatens to drop Ron back into the bear enclosure but tells Ron that though he hates him, he always respected him, and pulls him up to safety. Ron and Veronica reconcile and report on the baby panda together and years later, they are shown reporting together for the World News Center.

Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy was positively received by the critics, holding a 66% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The consensus is that “it isn’t the most consistent comedy in the world, but Will Ferrell’s buffoonish central performance helps keep this portrait of a clueless newsman from going off the rails.” Many magazines and sites consider Ron Burgundy to be one of the top 100 funniest characters to come out of film in the last 20 years or more. The audiences in North America enjoyed the film as it would make over $85 million in theaters, but it didn’t seem to do as well overseas as a little over $5 million in those markets for a worldwide total of over $90 million.

Even seeing it by myself, this is a funny movie. Will Ferrell was hilarious and had some of the most memorable lines in any comedy that I have seen in quite a while. The rest of the cast was good as well but there were a couple of times that Steve Carell kind of stole the scene. The story was really funny, taking a humorous look at how gender equality started working into the some job markets in the 70’s. There was a lot of scenes that were really funny, especially the cameo loaded mass melee. Definitely a funny movie, regardless on if you watch it with or without friends.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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August 30th, 2015 Movie – Jersey Shore Shark Attack

jersey shore shark attack

Hi folks. Joey is dealing with a migraine so I am bringing you today’s movie. Man, what a blast yesterday was. Soooo many shark movies. So many laughs. And what is on tap for me today but another shark movie. Granted, this is one of the 10 movies that was watched yesterday but who cares. It’s a funny movie and I will totally watch it again. Besides, how often do you watch a shark movie and totally root for the shark to kill people. I mean, I am pretty sure everyone does it the first time they watch this. After all, who wouldn’t want to see the cast of Jersey Shore get eaten by sharks, even if it is in parody. So let’s get right into today’s movie, Jersey Shore Shark Attack.

The plot: At Seaside Heights along the New Jersey shore, a young couple sneak onto a pier-side construction site to go swimming. Unknown to them, the site’s underwater drill has attracted a rare school of albino bull sharks, which attack and kill the two swimmers. The next morning, TC (“The Complication”) wakes up with a girl in his bed and his recent ex-girlfriend, Nooki, banging on his door. TC manages to get the girl out of his room just as Nooki enters and begins accusing him of cheating on her, to which he reminds her that she broke up with him the night before. The two argue some more before Nooki leaves and TC’s two roommates, Donnie and Balzac, decide to take him to their favorite bar for some drinks to celebrate the July 4th weekend. When they get there, TC notices Nooki sitting at a table with two of her friends, J-Moni and BJ, but Donnie and Balzac convince him to ignore her. The three guys wind up helping their friend, JP, host a wet t-shirt contest and when she sees TC dancing and kissing one of the girls, Nooki gets jealous and leaves, followed by her friends. However, the noise from the bar attracts the attention of Bradford, Spencer, and Penelope, members of the local yacht club, who head over to the bar, and after a heated exchange, a fight breaks out in the bar. JP hits Spencer in the balls and runs off, with Spencer and Bradford chasing after him. TC, Donnie, and Balzac go to help him but are delayed by TC’s dad, the local sheriff. Meanwhile, JP winds up being chased onto the drilling platform and he ends up jumping into the water, where he proceeds to taunt Bradford and Spencer, but they refuse to go in after him. After they leave, JP is attacked and killed by a shark and when TC and the others get there, the only thing they find is JP’s chewed up hat that TC discovers. Since his dad doesn’t believe him that something happened to JP, TC, Donnie, Balzac, and the girls decide to do something themselves. They head down to the breakwater, where they discover an overturned boat and the partially eaten body of a local fisherman, just before they see a bunch of sharks entering the area. Using a bunch of fireworks, they manage to kill one of the sharks, but when the rest start to swim away, they decide to chase after them. TC leads them to the marina, where they attempt to steal Bradford’s boat, but when they see a shark in the harbor, Donnie accidentally drops a lit firecracker into the bag of remaining fireworks, causing the boat to explode. At the police station, TC tries to explain to his dad about the sharks, but his dad doesn’t believe him. They try going on the radio, warning the yacht club, and even asking Joey Fatone to warn everyone but nobody believes them. However, when Joey Fatone begins his performance, a shark leaps out of the water and kills him. At the bar, TC and the guys are complaining about nobody believing them and the owner, Captain Sallie, tells them a story about a past instance where the Jersey shore was attacked by a group of sharks. After listening to the story, the guys are interrupted by J-Moni, who has them follow her to the yacht club, where a drunken Nooki is dancing on the bar in front of Bradford. After getting her down, the two argue again before TC and the guys leave, followed by the girls. The next day, the shark that ate Joey Fatone is killed and the beaches are opened, but the sheriff, finally believing his son, decides to increase the watch on the beach, with TC, Donnie, and Balzac helping. Meanwhile, Bradford, in an attempt to get back at TC, invites Nooki to come out on his yacht for the day, and disregarding the warning about sharks, set sail for the nearby cove. At the beach, an accident at the drill turns it on, causing the sharks to begin swarming the beach and attacking swimmers. TC and the guys help to rescue some of the beachgoers but learn that Nooki is at the cove with Bradford. With his father’s permission, TC goes to the police station for some guns, then takes the police cruiser to go after Nooki. When they arrive, they discover the yacht is under attack by the sharks, with several people already being killed. TC and the others begin firing at the sharks, injuring several of them and making them swim away. TC goes on the yacht and finds Nooki is stuck and when he gets her free, a shark attacks them but TC kills it. After rescuing everyone, they head back to the harbor, where they discover more sharks attacking the pier, the kids begin shooting the sharks, with TC even using a speargun to save his father. TC then shuts off the drill, sending the remaining sharks back out to sea and the kids all celebrate with a “Guido” chant, but as a newscaster is reporting that the city is safe, a shark leaps out of the water and kills him.

This was a very entertaining movie, mainly because it made fun of one of the stupidest shows on TV in recent years. The acting was so over-exaggerated in the whole “Jersey guido” speak that it made the movie very entertaining. The story was admittedly a little weak but pretty funny. The only problem was that the sharks did not kill off more of the people. I mean, that’s what everyone wanted to see. The sharks honestly did not look as good as sharks in other movies, Their heads just looked to flattened. I also thought it was funny that they only really killed 3 sharks. Every other shark was just shot in the dorsal fin but didn’t really die. It has it’s faults, but it is still a funny movie to watch.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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August 29th, 2015 Movie – Jaws: The Revenge

jaws the revenge

Ahhh, It’s good to be back in charge around here. See, Joey is having a shark movie marathon today so he is doing some last minute cleaning for that. And it just so happens that the movie for today happens to be a shark movie. Imagine that. Anyways, 12 years after the original movie, the fourth and final movie in the franchise was released. After the less than stellar showing from the previous sequel, the studios decided to go ahead with one more film in the hopes of revitalizing the franchise. Thing’s didn’t quite work out as they expected but judge for yourself as we watch today’s movie, Jaws: The Revenge.

The plot: On Amity Island, Sean Brody is now a deputy in the Amity police department and living with his mom Ellen. Just before Christmas, Sean is on duty and has to go out and clear a piece of driftwood that is stuck on a channel buoy. As Sean tries to throw a rope around the log, a large great white lunges out of the water and bites off his arm. In shock from the attack, Sean starts screaming for help but the sound from the singing choir on the pier drowns out his cries as the shart attacks again, biting through part of the boat as it attacks and kills Sean. Michael Brody, his wife Carla and their daughter Thea, come up for the funeral and Ellen tells Michael that she believes the shark intentionally attacked Sean and wants Michael to quit his job as a marine biologist in the Bahamas. Michael argues with Ellen that it is safe and convinces her to come back with them to the Bahamas after the funeral service. Back in the Bahamas, Ellen resumes her argument with Michael about his job but he goes back to work anyways. Meanwhile, Ellen begins to adjust to life in the Bahamas and starts up a relationship with Hoagie, a local pilot. A few days after they get back, Michael’s partner, Jake, is searching for conch in the mini-sub when he sees a large great white shark. The shark swims past him and heads for the boat, biting into the area that Michael was standing on. Jake is excited about the opportunity and wants to study the shark and Michael reluctantly agrees but tells him not to let his mother know. The next day, Jake rigs up a transmitter and manages to tag the shark with it, allowing them to track the shark’s heartbeat within a 3 mile radius. A few days later, Michael goes back underwater when the shark suddenly attacks the mini-sub. Michael manages to escape from the sub and swims to a nearby sunken ship but the shark follows him, forcing Michael to release the air from his scuba tank, jetting him up to the surface. The events with the shark have Michael rattled, causing some strife with Carla while Ellen still worries about his job but tells him that she won’t ask him to quit anymore. The next day, Michael, worried that he won’t be able dive anymore, forces himself to go back in the water, missing Carla’s unveiling ceremony. At the ceremony, Thea get permission to ride on a banana boat but during the ride, the shark appears and attacks the banana boat, killing the women that was sitting behind Thea. As Carla rushes out to grab Thea, Ellen, feeling some sort of connection to the shark, realizes that it is the same shark that killed Sean and is now after the rest of her family. Ellen decides to go after the shark so she takes Michael’s boat and goes after the shark. After hearing about what happened, Michael goes after his mother, getting Jake and Hoagie to help. Realizing that it would be easier to search by air, they get in Hoagies plane and find the boat just as the shark is about to attack it. Hoagie flies the plane low enough to distract the shark, but ends up crashing it into the water. Michael and Jake manage to swim to the boat but the shark attacks the plane before Hoagie can escape, but he managed to get out the other side of the plane and make it to the boat. Realizing the shark won’t stop attacking them, Jake rigs up an device to send out electrical impulses that will drive the creature mad. Jake uses a boat hook to get the device into the shark’s mouth, but he winds up falling into the shark’s mouth himself and is carried away. Michael uses the device to shock the shark, causing it to leap out of the water. Ellen seizes on the opportunity and when it next leaps out of the water, she steers the boat towards the shark, jabbing the broken bow of the ship into the side of the shark, just as the device explodes. With the shark dead and the ship sinking, Ellen and Hoagie call out to Michael, who surfaces on the other side of the wreckage, where he discovers a badly injured but still alive Jake. Sometime later, Ellen decides to head back to Amity and Hoagie chooses to fly her back there himself.

Jaws: The Revenge was completely panned by the critics, currently holding a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, one of the few films on the site to have such a rating. The main consensus among the critics was that it was “illogical, tension-free, and filled with cut-rate special effects, Jaws 4 – The Revenge is a sorry chapter in a once-proud series.” Lorraine Gary reprised her role of Ellen Brody and did receive a Saturn Award nomination for Best Actress, but also received a Razzie nomination for Worst Actress. The actually received a total of 7 Razzie nominations and won one award for Worst Visual Effects. The audiences definitely didn’t care for the movie as it would make a total of over $51 million worldwide, making it the worst performing movie of the series.

I feel so bad for Spielberg. I mean, he makes a classic movie but the legacy is somewhat tarnished by the lousy sequels. This movie was as bad as the third one, maybe a little worse. Lorraine Gary was decent reprising her role of Ellen Brody but Michael Caine and Mario Van Peebles made the movie more entertaining with their characters. The plot was very different from previous films as they decided to with the shark specifically targeting the Brody family, as opposed to just a shark happening to show up and start killing people. I didn’t think the scenes with the shark were as bad as critics made out, but I did think the shark looked a little weird, slightly crooked as opposed to the normal streamline shape a shark normally has. I also didn’t like the changed ending as the original theatrical ending had Ellen Brody stabbing the shark with the boat, killing the shark, and the shark’s weight broke the front part of the boat off and caused it to sink. Apparently they decided to reshoot it and add the explosion the kill the shark, but didn’t really explain how the shark exploded so you are just left to guess that Jake’s device caused the explosion. About the only reason to watch is if you really like shark movies (like me) or you just want to watch the whole series.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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August 28th, 2015 Movie – Jaws 3-D

jaws 3-d

So normally Sharktoplushie would be handling this review since he deals with all things shark related but this movie has a lot of sentimental value to me so allow a brief bit of seriousness. Now when this movie came out, I was a 6 year old kid living in Nashville, TN. before my mom and step-dad moved to Birmingham, AL. Now even though I was a little kid, I had already seen the first two Jaws films on TV and I really wanted to see this new one. Well, one day my Granny (my grandmother on my mom’s side, a.k.a. the cookie grandma to my Texas friends) checked me out of daycare early and the two of us went to see this movie. This was awesome for me because a) it was my first time seeing a Jaws movie in the theaters, and b) it was in 3-D, which was freaking cool. So while today’s movie may not be the best movie ever, it will always have a spot in my heart just for that memory. Ok, enough mushiness. On to today’s movie, Jaws 3-D.

The plot: At SeaWorld in Florida, entrepreneur Calvin Bouchard is overseeing the preparations for opening day, with the focus being the new underwater tunnels, which offer a close up view of the different animals in the park. As the ski team practices their run, a shark follows them into the park’s lagoon, knocking the security gate off it’s track in the process. Head engineer Mike Brody examines the gate with his crew and orders them to just secure the gate and fix it later as he doesn’t want them on overtime. Mike then heads off to see his girlfriend, Dr. Kathryn “Kay” Morgan, the senior marine biologist. He finds her riding on Shamu (the killer whale) and as the two talk, she orders her assistant to let Cindy and Sandy (two dolphins) out in the lagoon for some exercise. Her assistant comes back saying that the dolphins don’t want to leave their pen so she says to lock them up before she leaves with Mike. As they head out of the park, they see Calvin talking with his friend, oceanographer and filmmaker Phillip FitzRoyce in front of some reporters but ignore them when they see Mike’s brother Sean, who just arrived for a visit. That night, one of Mike’s workers, Overman, goes into the lagoon to fix the gate but he is attacked and killed, as are two poachers that sneak into the park to try and steal some of the coral. The next day Mike finds out that Overman is still missing so he and Kate go into the lagoon to see if something happened to him. As they search the underwater Spanish galleon, Cindy and Sandy appear and try to keep the two away from the ship. Mike and Kay continue to look inside when suddenly a small great white shark begins to attack the ship. Mike and Kay, with the help of the dolphins, manage to swim to safety in the dolphin’s pen just before the shark rams the fence. Mike and Kay inform Calvin about what happened and he initially plans on having FitzRoyce film the killing of the shark, but after Kay tells him that no other park has been able to keep a great white alive in captivity, he realizes that he can make more money if they are able to capture the shark alive. That night, Kay, accompanied by FitzRoyce and his partner, Jack, to film the proceedings, heads into the lagoon to try and capture the shark. When the shark suddenly attacks Kay from behind, grabbing her scuba tank, FitzRoyce begins pounding on it’s head in order to get it to release Kay. Mike manages to shoot a spear, attached to a flotation tank, into the shark, slowing the shark enough for Kay to jab it with a tranquilizer. The shark is transferred to a holding tank where Mike, Kay, and her team are able to revive the shark. On opening day, Calvin is pleased with the ticket sales and decides to go ahead and move the great white to an exhibition tank against Kay’s orders. Kay finds out and heads to the tank just as the shark stops swimming and rolls onto it’s back. Kay and her assistant, Danny, jump into the tank to attempt to save the shark but it is unresponsive and ends up dying. Meanwhile, visitors in the underwater tunnels begin screaming when Overman’s corpse suddenly floats by the window. Mike and Kay examine the corpse to determine if the shark they captured killed him but when Kay sees the bite radius, she realizes that he was killed by a much bigger shark. Mike and Kay find Calvin, who is having drinks with FitzRoyce, and inform him that the shark that killed Overman was not the one they captured, but the shark’s mother, which she estimates to be about 35 feet long. Calvin doesn’t believe her at first until the shark suddenly appears outside of the underwater lounge. Kay heads off to make sure the animals are ok while Mike, Fitroyce, and Jack go to get people out of the lagoon. The shark chases after several water skiers and injures several people, including Kelly, and employee that Sean was seeing. As people are trying to leave the underwater tunnels, the shark rams one of the tunnels, causing the tunnels to seal off to prevent them from flooding, trapping some of the people inside. Theorizing that the shark must have been stuck in one of the filtration pipes, FitzRoyce and Jack try to lure the shark back into the pipe, allowing Mike and Kay to weld a patch onto the tunnel to free the trapped people. FitzRoyce manages to lure the shark into the pipe, but when his safety rope breaks, he finds himself trapped with the shark and attempts to use a grenade to kill it but the massive shark swallows him whole before he can pull the pin. Mike and Kay manage to get the patch in place just as the shark escapes form the pipe and heads towards them. Cindy and Sandy attack the shark, allowing Mike and Kay to swim to the underwater control room. Inside, Calvin is able to repressurize the tunnel, allowing the people to escape. Suddenly, the shark rams through the control room window, flooding the control room. Calvin is able to rescue one of the technicians but a the shark kills the second one before going after Mike and Kay. Seeing FitzRoyce’s body, with the grenade still in his hand, inside the shark’s mouth, Mike uses a bent piece of tubing to pull the pin on the grenade, causing the shark to explode. Mike and Kay swim to the surface of the lagoon, where they witness Cindy and Sandy leaping in celebration.

Jaws 3-D was pretty negatively reviewed by the critics, earning only an 11% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Many critics called the movie tepid and criticized the use of 3-D as a gimmick to attract the audiences to the theaters. The fact that the 3-D scenes did not translate well onto television also attributed to the critics dislike for the film. The audiences didn’t seem to buy into the marketing for the movie as it would only make over $87 million worldwide, which was about $100 million less than it’s predecessor and almost $400 million less than the original. The movie was nominated for 5 Razzies (Worst Picture, Director, Supporting Actor, Screenplay, and Newcomer) but did not win any of them.

6 year old me loved this movie but as an adult, I can admit that this movie is not that good. For being the male lead, Dennis Quaid just seemed rather bland in his scenes. Louis Gossett Jr and Simon MacCorkindale were much better in their roles of Calvin Bouchard and Phillip FitzRoyce respectively. The plot was ok except for the whole “mother shark avenging her baby bit” since sharks don’t really mother their young. The scenes with the smaller shark were pretty good but when the larger shark showed up, it actually seemed somewhat anti-climactic. The 3-D scenes are weird because it looks like they were filmed slower. That actually made some of the scenes as a whole look really stupid, such as when the shark is heading towards the control room and everyone is reacting in slow motion before it finally pierces the glass. There is a good memory attached to this movie, but that doesn’t help make it any better.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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August 27th, 2015 Movie – Jaws 2

jaws 2

Afternoon people. It’s me, your favorite shark/octopus hybrid plushie, Sharktoplushie. Yes, considering yesterday’s movie, you all should have figured that I would be sticking around for a while. Now where were we..ahhh, yes. So after the massive success of Jaws, Universal wanted to do a sequel almost immediately. However, they had two problems to overcome. The first one is that while the original movie was based off of Peter Benchley’s book, they would have to come up with their own source material for the movie. The second was that Steven Spielberg refused to work on a sequel, in part to his dislike of sequels in general and the problems he faced making the first movie. Still, Universal pushed on and three years later, Jaws 2 hit the screens.

The plot: Two divers are exploring and photographing the sunken wreck of the Orca when they are suddenly attacked and killed. Meanwhile, on Amity Island, Police Chief Martin Brody is meeting his wife and kids at the opening ceremony of the new hotel that was built by land developer Len Peterson, unaware of the shark swimming nearby. The next day, Brody is talking to his deputy, Len Hendricks, on the dock when a passing boat informs them of an abandoned boat in the channel so Brody sends Hendricks to investigate. When Hendricks returns to the station, he has a dive camera that Tom Andrews, the local dive instructor, had brought up from underneath the abandoned boat. Out in the ocean, the shark misses out on attacking a para-sailor but soon begins to chase after a water skier, eventually knocking the skier into the water where the shark kills her. The boat driver, seeing her friend is missing, circles back to where her ski is floating. The shark attacks the boat and the frightened woman dumps gasoline on the shark and sets it on fire with a flare gun, burning the shark but inadvertently catching herself on fire before the boat explodes. The explosion is heard by two teenagers and an old woman, who calls the police. Brody has Hendrick’s drag the ocean to try and find the bodies, but the only thing he finds is a power cable. The next day, Mike Brody and his friends are hanging out at a nearby light house when they discover the body of a killer whale with huge bite marks on it, causing Brody to believe another shark has returned. As Brody walks down the beach, he notices a piece of wreckage from the speedboat in the surf and when he goes to retrieve it, discovers the charred body of the boat’s driver. The next day, Mayor Vaughn and Len Peterson are showing prospective clients the town beach when they notice Brody standing watch in a shark tower. The two men try to get the clients away from the beach before they become concerned but Brody, noticing a shadow under the water, causes a panic when he orders everyone out of the water and begins shooting at the water, only for it to be a school of bluefish. That night, Brody gets the film from the diver’s camera and goes to the town hall meeting to try and convince them that there is a shark in the area, but they dispute his claim and fire him because of the incident on the beach. The next morning, Mike sneaks out to go sailing with his friends and is forced to take his little brother Sean so that Sean doesn’t tell their parents. As the kids prepare to sail, Marge, one of Mike’s friends, offers to let Sean sail on her boat, allowing Mike to take Jackie, the girl he has been trying to date. As they sail out of the harbor, they pass by Tom Andrews’ dive class and joke with Tom about bringing them back some lobster. Tom leads his class down into the ocean, but as he is exploring some underwater weeds, the shark lunges out at him. Frightened, Tom rushes to the surface but due to his surfacing to fast, develops an embolism and the boat rushes him back to shore as the shark heads off after the teenager’s sailboat. Tina Wilcox and Eddie Marchand fall behind the rest of their friends and decide to fool around when the shark suddenly attacks their boat, knocking Eddie into the water and as Eddie swims back to the boat, the shark attacks and kills him. Back on the island, Brody is giving his wife Ellen a ride to work when they notice an ambulance heading toward the docks. Following it, the get there just as Tom Andrews is being loaded into an ambulance. When they hear that Mike had gone with his friends to the lighthouse, Brody and Ellen get on the police boat, forcing Hendricks to go with them as they have no authority. They eventually come upon Eddie’s boat and discover Tina hiding in the bow and when they start to bring her out, she begins screaming about a shark. Signaling a passing boat to help, Brody leaves Hendricks and Ellen with Tona and heads off after the kids. Meanwhile, Mike and his friends have decided to go past the lighthouse and are goofing off when the shark suddenly attacks the boats. Several boats are either damaged by the shark or by running into each other and Mike winds up getting knocked out and is drifting in the ocean. The shark returns and heads straight for Mike, but two of his friends, whose boat is not damaged, manage to pull him out of the water and go for help. The remaining kids use some ropes to tie the damaged boats together into a makeshift raft. Brody arrives at the lighthouse, but when he doesn’t see the kids around, calls the harbor patrol to get a chopper to help search. The chopper discovers the kids and prepares to tow them to Cable Junction, a nearby power relay station, but as he prepares to take off, the shark lunges out of the water and grabs onto one of the choppers pontoons, causing the chopper to crash and further damage the makeshift raft. The shark then breaks the raft apart, knocking some people into the water, including Sean. Marge goes in after Sean and manages to get him onto the hull of her boat, but the shark kills Marge before she can climb to safety. Meanwhile, Brody spots the boat with Mike and his friends and after Mike tells him that Sean is out on the boats, he instructs the kids to head to the lighthouse while he goes after Sean and the others. Brody finds the raft stuck just off of Cable Junction, but as he tries to get closer to the kids, the shark comes out of the water, catching Brody off guard and causing him to crash on the island. Brody tries to use the tow winch to pull the kids to the island but the hooks become stuck on a power cable. Just then, the shark breaks through one of the boats, sending most of the kids into the ocean, where they swim to the island, leaving Sean and Jackie alone on the raft. Brody uses an inflatable raft to head out towards them but, noticing the power cable, begins pounding on the cable with an oar in order to attract the shark, then holds the cable down so that the shark bites the cable when it tries to attack him, electrocuting the shark. With the shark dead, Brody is able to rescue Sean and Jackie and take them to the island with the others, where they all await rescue.

Jaws 2 was met with mixed reviews from the critics, currently holding a 53% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While many critics felt that it was “an inferior sequel to a classic”, they also agreed that it had some entertaining sequences, enough shocks, and decent story to make it an entertaining 2 hours. The movie was one of the most expensive films to be produced by Universal at that time and inspired more merchandising than the first film. The audiences seems to enjoy the movie as it would make over $208 million worldwide, which was not even half of what the original made, but still the highest grossing sequel at that time.

You know me. If the movie has a shark involved in it, I am going to see it. Nothing will ever really compare to the original, but this movie wasn’t that bad. Roy Scheider was great in reprising his role of Martin Brody, and Lorraine Gary and Murray Hamilton were also good reprising their roles of Ellen Brody and Mayor Vaughn respectively. The story was decent but the one thing I didn’t like about this movie was that this started a trend which would continue in future sequels, that of the shark specifically targeting the Brody family. The scenes with the shark were pretty good but you could definitely tell the difference in directors. Where Spielberg chose to keep the shark unseen for most of the movie in order to build up suspense, Jeannot Szwarc showcased the shark more, using shock and awe over suspense for the most part. Whether it is to complete the series or just to watch on it’s own, this is a good movie to watch.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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movie review

August 26th, 2015 Movie – Jaws

jaws

“Duunnn duunn… duuuunnnn duun… dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun.”  Hello everyone. Sharktoplushie here and I bet you recognize that little tune right there. Yes, the theme song from today’s movie is probably one of the most recognizable bass lines in film history. However, that is not the only thing that this movie is responsible for. Today’s movie ushered in a new era of movies, the “summer blockbuster.” It launched the careers of both Steven Spielberg and John Williams. But more importantly, if it wasn’t for this movie, I would not be here. That’s right, if it wasn’t for today’s movie, there would be no Sharktopus, no Sharknado, no Shark Attack, or any other movie that featured a killer shark as the main villain. So let’s dive right into today’s movie, Jaws.

The plot: During a late night beach party on Amity Island, a young girl named Chrissie Watkins decides to go skinny dipping in the ocean. As she is swimming, something grabs her and as she begins screaming, she is dragged across the water until she is finally dragged underwater. The next day, Police Chief Martin Brody and his deputy discover the remains of the girl washed up on the beach. After consulting with the medical examiner, Brody list the cause of death as a shark attack and wants to close the beaches, but when Mayor Larry Vaughn hears about this, he convinces Brody to list it as a boating accident in order to avoid a panic that would hurt the summer tourist business. The next day, Brody is with his family at the beach when the shark kills a young boy named Alex Kintner. His grief-stricken mother posts a $3,000 reward for the capture of the shark but during a town meeting discussing the reward, a local fisherman named Quint says he will capture the shark, but his price is $10,000. That night, two men attempt to capture the shark by tying a chain to the pier, but the shark manages to break off part of the pier, then chases after the man that fell into the water but the man manages to escape. The next day, due to Mrs. Kintner’s placing the reward in other papers, fishermen from all over the area, and even neighboring states, arrive on the island to hunt the shark. As Brody tries to deal with the chaos caused by the reward, Matt Hooper from the Oceanographic Institute arrives at Brody’s request and after examining the first victim, declares that it was a shark attack. When a group of fishermen capture a tiger shark, Brody and Mayor Vaughn feel like the threat is over, but Hooper argues that the bite radius is to small and the only way to be certain is to cut open the shark. As Brody and Mayor Vaughn argue over doing this, Mrs. Kintner shows up and slaps Brody, blaming him for her son’s death because he knew there was a shark in the area and he did nothing. That night, Hooper and Brody cut open the shark but finding no evidence that it had killed anybody, they head out in the area where the shark has been feeding and discover the half sunken boat of Ben Gardner, a local fisherman. Hooper investigates the boat and discovers a shark’s tooth embedded in the hull but he drops it when he is startled by the body of Ben Gardner. Brody and Hooper try to convince Mayor Vaughn to close the beaches but he refuses to do so since the next day is July 4th. On July 4th, Hooper and Brody are patroling the beaches and when some kids play a prank that causes a panic, the shark enters a nearby estuary, killing a boater right in front of Brody’s son Michael. Brody convinces Mayor Vaughn to hire Quint and the next day, Brody and Hooper accompany Quint on his boat, the Orca, to hunt the shark. As Brody is setting a chum line, the shark suddenly appears behind them, causing a startled Brody to tell Quint “you’re gonna need a bigger boat.” Estimating the shark to be 25 ft, Quint shoots the shark with a harpoon tied to a flotation barrel and then chases after the shark but it goes underwater, dragging the barrel with it. After going the rest of the day without a sign of the shark, the three men go inside the cabin where after eating, Hooper and Quint begin to get drunk while comparing scars. Brody asks Quint about a tattoo and Quint tells them that he was on the USS Indianapolis and proceeds to tell them what happened when the cruiser sank. As they are talking, the shark comes back and proceeds to ram the Orca, causing it to take on water. The next day, Hooper and Quint are working on repairing the engine when Brody notices the barrel has resurfaced. Thinking that they will need help, Brody attempts to call the coast guard but Quint smashes the radio. Quint manages to fire another harpoon into the shark and after a brief chase, they manage to tie the two barrels to the Orca, but the shark begins to drag the Orca, causing the deck to become flooded. Quint shoots a third harpoon into the shark and cuts the ropes tying the shark to the boat. Quint then decides to lead the shark into shallow waters and attempt to drown it, but he overloads the engines and the boat ends up stalled. With little alternatives, the men assemble Hooper’s cage and Hooper goes in the water to attempt to kill the shark. As Hooper is readying a spear to kill the shark, the shark attacks the cage from behind, causing Hooper to drop the spear. As the shark continues to attack the cage, Hooper manages to escape and hide among some rocks at the bottom of the ocean. Brody and Quint attempt to reel in the cage but the shark’s weight causes the wench to break. The shark then jumps onto the boat, causing it to begin sinking and Quint winds up sliding into the shark’s mouth. As Brody gathers supplies, the shark bursts through the side of the Orca, and in an attempt to escape, Brody ends up shoving a scuba tank in it’s mouth. Grabbing Quint’s rifle, Brody climbs onto the crow’s nest and begins shooting at the shark, eventually hitting the scuba tank, causing the shark to explode. As Brody catches his breath, Hooper surfaces and swims over to him and the two men use the remaining flotation barrels to swim back to shore.

Jaws was highly praised by the critics, earning a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and is considered to be one of the greatest movies ever made. It won three Acadamy Awards for Best Sound, Best Original Dramatic Score, and Best Film Editing. It was also nominated for Best Picture but Spielberg was not nominated for Best Director. Jaws was a box office phenomenon, earning over $470 million worldwide, which made it the highest grossing movie of all time until Star Wars beat it two years later. This movie is almost always on any list of the top movies of all time and the shark itself, “Bruce”, is considered one of the top rated villains of all time.Robert Shaw’s monologue about the USS Indianapolis is considered one of the greatest monologues in film history. The movie was also set the precedent for the summer blockbuster movie and was also famous for making people scared to go into the ocean after the movie was released. In 2001, the movie was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

I may be biased, but I think everyone should see this movie at some point in their life. This is definitely one of the best movies ever made. The acting was fantastic, especially among the three male leads. Roy Scheider (Brody), Robert Shaw (Quint), and Richard Dreyfuss (Hooper) were all incredible in their parts. Murray Hamilton was also good in his portrayal of Mayor Vaughn, whose determination to save the town by keeping the beaches open at the risk of further shark attacks really showed a common problem among the small beach communities. The story was great, primarily coming from Peter Benchley’s book of the same name, but with a couple of differences that didn’t really take away from the movie. The suspense in this movie is incredible. Spielberg was able to make the movie to ramp up the suspense and terror by not showing the shark during the first couple of attacks. John Williams score and famous theme song for Jaws also helped make this movie the phenomenon that it is. The actual scenes with the shark were really good and made for some of the most memorable movie moments in years. And let’s not take away from the fact that if it wasn’t for this movie, we probably would not have had as many killer animal movies, let alone killer shark movies. Without a doubt, a must see movie.

Rating: 5 out of 5

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