horror, movie, movie review, thriller

August 10th, 2017 Movie – Shark Night

shark night

3D. We must make every movie in 3D, no matter how bad of a movie it might be. Don’t get me wrong, when I heard about this movie, I was on board with watching it. But then I heard that it was going to be PG-13, which actually caused me to hold off on seeing it in theaters. I wound up eventually watching it on Netflix a while back and decided to pick it up during a shark movie buying binge on Amazon. The question still remains, was it worth it for me to buy Shark Night? Only time will tell.

The plot: On Lake Crosby, a couple are fooling around in the water but when they guy heads to shore and goes into their camper, the girl is attacked and killed by something in the lake. At Tulane University, Malik heads to the dorm room of his tutor Nick and yells at him about how he needed to get a C to keep his scholarship but as Nick fears the worst, Malik shows him that he got a B+ on his final, revealing that he was just messing with Nick. Malik hugs Nick and then says that as payment for helping him, he is inviting Nick and his roommate Gordon to go out on Lake Crosby this weekend and when Nick starts to refuse, Malik tells him that they are staying at Sara’s parent’s lake house, knowing Nick will go as he has a crush on Sara. The three friends, along with Malik’s girlfriend Maya, Sara, Beth, and Blake pile into Maya’s SUV and head out to the lake. The group stop at a bait shop at the edge of the lake to get some supplies and Sara tells everyone that their cell phones won’t work on the lake. While most of the group head into the store, Malik and Maya are moving some of their bags around in the SUV when a truck pulls up next to them and the passenger gets out and insults Maya. Malik grabs the man and threatens to hit him when the driver interjects himself into the argument. When Sara sees what is going on, she recognizes the man as her ex-boyfriend Dennis and Dennis is surprised to see Sara back in town and says it is just a misunderstanding and that his friend Red has had too much to drink already. The group head to the dock and get on Sara’s boat and head out onto the lake towards the island where her parent’s lake house is. Along the way, they are pursued by Sheriff Sabin, who says hi to Sara and the kids and says he will drop by the next day to bring over the mail like Sara’s mom asked. The group start having fun on the lake and Nick asks Malik about Sara and if she is dating anyone but Malik tells him that in the three years he has known her, he hasn’t seen her date anyone and all she does is hang out with her dog Sherman. Nick, Blake, and Maya go out on the boat while Malik is wakeboarding behind them but as they get close to the dock, something bumps into Malik and knocks him off the board. Nick circles around to try and find him and they see him swimming towards shore but when he gets on shore, they find his arm has been bitten off. Nick, who is a pre-med student, works on stabilizing Malik and then dives into the water to retrieve Malik’s arm but as he grabs it, he sees a shark swimming in the distance and quickly swims back to the dock. Nick, Sara, and Maya put Malik in the boat, with his arm being placed in a cooler, and they head out to take Malik to the hospital but the blood from Malik’s wound drips out the boat drain and attracts a shark, which starts hitting the boat. Maya is knocked out of the boat and Nick throws a life preserver to her and they try to drag her back to shore but the shark kills her. The shark then attacks the boat, damaging the steering and throttle, and Nick, Sara, and Malik are forced to jump to safety as the boat crashes into the dock. With no communication to the outside, Gordon uses a flare gun from the house to try and signal for help and eventually, Dennis and Red show up in their boat. The two start insulting the group but when they find out what happened, they say they will head back to the harbor and get a helicopter to medevac Malik to the hospital and Beth and Gordon decide to go with them but after they get out in the middle of the lake, Dennis and Red reveal that they were the ones to put the sharks into the lake. Back on the island, Malik learns of Maya’s death and, grabbing a harpoon, he heads out into the lake intent on killing the shark. His blood attracts a hammerhead shark and, with Nick’s help, he is able to kill it but as they pull the shark to shore, Nick finds a camera attached to it. Meanwhile, Dennis tells Gordon to get in the water, and when he refuses, Dennis shoots him in the shoulder and the impact knocks him into the water. Gordon swims to a nearby Cypress tree and tries to climb it to safety but a bull shark leaps out of the water to drag him back into the water and kill him. Back on the island, Blake decides to use the jet ski to take Malik to the hospital but as they are heading across the lake, Malik sees a shark approaching behind them. Malik falls into the water, choosing to sacrifice himself to the shark to save Blake but Blake is still killed when a great white leaps out of the water and kills him. Meanwhile, Dennis and Red force Beth to strip down to her underwear and knock her into a netted off area filled with cookiecutter sharks, with Red filming as the sharks kill her. Back on the island, Nick asks Sara about why she hasn’t been back to the island in 3 years and she explains that she had dated Dennis years ago but when she chose to go to college, she broke up with him. Dennis didn’t take it well and suggested they go on one last dive together but when she had trouble breathing, she signaled for help but Dennis refused. Sara managed to make it back to the surface and onto the boat but as she steered it back to shore, planning on leaving him out there, she accidentally hit his face with the propeller. Sabin arrives on the island, having seen the bonfire, and when he sees the shark on the beach, he uses his radio to try and call for help. When Nick passes out, Sabin and Sara carry him to the couch and Sabin says that he probably passed out due to all the stress. Sara goes to get a compress for Nick and hears Red talking on Sabin’s radio, realizing that they are working together. Sara goes to attack Sabin but Dennis grabs her and knocks her out. When Nick comes too, he finds himself tied to a chair, with Sabin preparing to feed him to a pair of tiger sharks. As Nick struggles to get free, he knocks over some gasoline in the boat house and, after using a lighter to burn through his restraints, he sets the gasoline on fire and burns Sabin, who is forced to jump in the water and gets killed by the tiger sharks. On their boat, Dennis has placed Sara into a cage and radios to Carl, the owner of the bait shop, to release a second great white into the lake. Nick swims out and holds Red hostage while telling Dennis to free Sara but Dennis kills Red, then attacks Nick. Nick manages to shoot Dennis and knock him into the water, then goes to raise the cage out of the water but Dennis climbs onto the cage and pulls the pin, causing it to drop free of the winch and into the water. Nick grabs a bang stick and dives in to rescue Sara but Dennis attacks him. Sara grabs Dennis and manages to tie him to the cage, then flicks him off as the great white charges and eats him. The great white starts attacking the cage to get at Sara but Nick manages to kill it with the bang stick, then brings Sara back onto the boat and performs mouth to mouth in order to revive her. After she comes too, Sara kisses Nick and thanks him as they stare out at the lake, where another great white is shown to be leaping out of the water.

Shark Night was panned by the critics, holding an 18% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “A joyless excursion into the water that doesn’t even produce good gore or nudity thanks to the neutered PG-13 rating.” The animatronic sharks in this movie were created by Edge Innovations, the same company that created the sharks used in Deep Blue Sea, Austin Powers In Goldmember, and the orca for Free Willy. Despite the poor reviews, the movie did make a slight profit at the theaters, earning $40.1 million off of a $25 million budget.

Ok, so this wasn’t the best movie in the world. In fact, it was about what I expected it to be; a watered down movie with a few decent pops but a pale mockery of what it could have been. The acting was ok, with Dustin Milligan (Nick), Chris Carmack (Dennis) and Donal Logue (Sabin) doing the best jobs while everyone else was honestly pretty forgettable. The basic plot was pretty interesting but there were a lot of problems with it, primarily how they were able to keep the sharks relatively corralled in the lake in the areas they wanted them to be. The other big problem with this movie was that it really needed to be Rated R, as the PG-13 rating toned down what they could do to the point that it made the movie more laughable than scary. There were several time where the sharks looked reasonably realistic but the 3D formatting didn’t always help matters and in some ways made them seem even more fake than they already did. It might be worth watching if your bored and it comes on late one night, but there are better movies out there, ones that didn’t get the opportunity to hit the big screen, which are much more entertaining.

Rating: 2 out of 5

action, movie, movie review, thriller

August 9th, 2017 Movie – Shark Lake

shark lake

Amazon definitely has my shopping trends pegged. Anytime I go on their site, they always point out movies that I would be interested in, or already own. Today’s movie is one such item that popped up on my feed a year or two ago. Since Dolph Lundgren has kind of had a career revitalization with The Expendables movies, I decided to go ahead and pick this movie up. Let’s see if that idea was worth it as I watch today’s movie, Shark Lake.

The plot: At Alpine Lake, the police, led by Meredith Hernandez, are raiding the home of Clint Gray, a black market dealer in exotic species. When they enter the house, they find Clint’s young daughter Carly in her bed but Clint tries to escape in his van. As he is driving, Clint calls his client to try and arrange delivery of the cargo he is carrying but as he tries to evade the police, he ends up crashing into the lake and as he swims to shore, a shark is seen swimming out of the crashed van behind him. Clint is captured by Meredith and her partner and as they are writing up the reports, Meredith is keeping an eye on Carly and asks who is coming to pick her up and her partner tells her Child Services, as she has no living relatives aside from Clint. 5 years later, Clint is paroled from prison and Meredith, who has adopted Carly, begins receiving calls from Child Services about arranging supervised visits between Carly and Clint. Carly goes to her old partner Lewis Galloway, who is now the police chief, and asks him to do something to help keep Clint away from Carly, as she feels Clint would be a danger to Carly. Lewis tells her it is the law but relents and says he will see what he can do. Meanwhile, an old man panning for gold on the lake shore is killed and when his wife gets to his body, she finds the arm had been ripped off. When Meredith gets there, Lewis tells her the wife believes it was a bear attack but Meredith is unsure that that was what happened. Elsewhere, Clint returns to his home to find to men waiting for him saying that their employer, Don Barnes, wants to meet with him. Clint refuses to go and when they try to use force, Clint breaks the arm of one man while grabbing the gun from the other one, then forces them at gunpoint to leave the house. Meredith and Carly go out for lunch and as they are eating, Carly is asking questions about the attack, as one of the kids from school had been talking about it. A man sitting nearby overhears their conversation and as Carly goes to the restroom, he introduces himself to Meredith as Peter Mayes, a marine biologist who is testing some gear at the lake. That night, during a bonfire party at the lake shore, two kids go off alone into the water but as they are fooling around, the boy is killed. The next day, Peter is diving in the lake and comes across the arm of victim, which he takes back to show Meredith. Meredith and Peter head to the lake, where Lewis is holding a press conference about the capture of a bear in the area, and warn everyone to get out of the water, just as a parasailer has her foot bitten off. Later, Peter is explaining to Lewis about how bull sharks can live in the lake but Lewis wants to know how it got there, as there are no rivers or streams connecting the lake to a waterway. Meanwhile, Clint stops by Meredith’s house to speak with Meredith but after her mother tells him she isn’t there and he isn’t welcome there, he leave, but not before he sees Carly watching from the top of the stairs. The next day, Don and his men pay a visit to Clint, and Don is upset about the bull shark being in the lake, as Clint was supposed to deliver the shark to Don 5 years ago. Don demands that Clint capture the shark, threatening Carly as a means of convincing Clint to meet his demands. Meanwhile, Meredith goes to see Lewis about getting a restraining order for Clint but he is busy talking to Garreth Lee, a shark hunter who was brought in to capture the shark, but Meredith feels like Garreth is too arrogant for his own good. After Lewis refuses to give her the restraining order, Meredith heads to Clint’s house but find him gone, as he has already headed out on the lake to try and hunt the shark. Meredith keeps looking around the house, eventually finding a photo of a bull shark on Clint’s basement wall as well as a bullet, which she later determines goes to a Soviet underwater assault rifle. Meanwhile, Lewis goes with Garreth and his cameraman out onto the lake to hunt the shark and when they find it, Garret and his camerman head into the water to go after it, only for Garreth to be attacked and killed by two other sharks they weren’t aware of, while the cameraman is killed by the first shark. Meredith had gone to Peter’s hotel room to voice her suspicions about Clint being responsible for the bull shark being in the lake 5 years ago and as they watch the video of Garreth’s attack, he explains to Lewis that the bull shark was pregnant when it went into the lake and apparently two of it’s pups survived. Meanwhile, Carly sneaks into Meredith’s office and looks up Clint’s address and then sneaks out of the house and rides her bike there while Meredith’s mother is walking the dog. Meredith goes out for a drink with Peter after they fail to convince Lewis not to post the bounty on the sharks as it will end up with more deaths on their hands. When they get back to Meredith’s house, Meredith heads inside but when she sees a shark heading for her mother in the lake, she quickly grabs a shotgun and kills it. When Meredith’s mother goes back into the house and finds Carly is missing, Meredith radios for an officer to go check Clint’s house as she drives over there with Peter. The officer doesn’t see Clint there at first but when Clint pulls up in his truck and heads towards his boat he follows him and tries to arrest him for Carly’s kidnapping. Clint is surprised to hear about Carly being missing but when Carly appears, having been hiding on the boat, and distracts the officer, Clint disarms him and then throws him off the boat before heading out into the lake. Clint then talks with Carly for a little bit and tells her that he has to take her home as her mom will be worried but when Carly asks why they are going the other way, he tells her they are taking the scenic route. Meredith and Peter arrive at Clint’s house just as he is leaving and they head back to the dock to get Peter’s boat to go after them. As they are leaving the harbor, they encounter a man on a jet ski that is going out to try and catch the sharks but the man ignores their warnings to stay out of the water. As Meredith and Peter search the lake for Clint’s boat, the jet ski crashes into their boat, knocking Peter out of it. Peter goes to help the jet ski driver but one of the sharks attacks the man and kills him while Peter swims back to the boat. With their boat sinking, Peter fashions himself a weapon to use as they try to swim the shore. They are attacked by one of the remaining sharks but Peter manages to stab it to death with his makeshift spear, only to be killed by the last shark. As the shark swims towards Meredith, she is pulled out of the water by Clint and dragged onto his boat. After demanding to see Carly, Meredith argues with Clint about having her out there but Clint says he was going to bring her back to Meredith, as he doesn’t have a problem with her raising Carly. When Meredith says that it is Clint’s fault that people died, Clint says he knows and that is why he is there to fix it. The shark starts attacking the boat and Carly is knocked into the water. Clint dives in to save her and as Meredith drags Carly onto the boat, Clint fends off the shark and ends up being bitten in the shoulder. After making sure Carly is safe, Meredith dives into the water and shoots the shark to save Clint. As they make their way to shore, Meredith tells Clint that he should go, as she doesn’t want him to be arrested again, but Clint says he is tired of running and chooses to stay and face the consequences. As his injuries are being tended to, Meredith pleads for leniency on Clint’s behalf to Lewis and Lewis agrees to release Clint in exchange for his help in providing information to capture Don.

This was a decent movie to watch. The acting was good, with Dolph Lundgren (Clint), Sara Malakul Lane (Meredith), and Michael Aaron Milligan (Peter) doing good jobs in their roles. The story was pretty good, doing a great job in explaining how the shark got into the lake. The human drama regarding Meredith’s fear and over-protectiveness of Carly regarding her father actually worked in well with the main plot, serving as a great way to close out the movie and bring Meredith and Clint onto the same page, as they both want to keep Carly safe. The one downside with this movie were the special effects regarding the sharks, as they definitely looked overly fake. Since the movie was made in a fairly serious tone, you couldn’t really laugh at them for being bad, unlike in some of the other over the top movies where the sharks are sometimes intentionally designed to look cheap just to up the ridiculous factor of the movie. Still, this isn’t a bad movie and is worth checking out if there is nothing else on.

Rating: 3 out of 5

action, Maneater series, movie, movie review, thriller

August 8th, 2017 Movie – Shark Killer

shark killer

With all of the shark themed movies that have come out over the years, it would only make sense that the Maneater series would have a shark movie or two. Today’s movie is the second movie in the series after RHI’s financial difficulties. Now I didn’t know that it was part of the series when I bought this movie. I bought it because it was a shark movie and it had Erica Cerra in it, who I liked when she played Jo Lupo on Eureka. So let’s see if my impulse purchase was worth it as I watch today’s movie, Shark Killer.

The plot: On a beach in Hawaii, the mayor of the local beach is holding a press conference stating that their shark problem is over and the beaches are reopened. As the people head into the water, the mayor’s assistant tells him that Chase Walker says they still have a problem but the mayor refuses to listen, believing that Chase is over priced, then goes to yell at him when he hears that Chase threatened to tell the press. The mayor finds Chase sitting on the beach staring out into the water but as he starts yelling at him, Chase takes off his shirt and starts running into the water. Several people are on a platform in the water when they see a shark circling them and as they all try to stay balanced on the platform, the shark rams it and knocks a girl into the water. The girl starts screaming as the shark approaches her when blood suddenly appears in the water and Chase surfaces next to her, having killed the shark, and introduces himself. The next day, Chase is woken by someone knocking on his hotel door. When he opens it, he finds a woman, later introduced as Jasmine, standing there and after she hands him an envelope and tells him to be ready to go in 10 minutes, he opens it to find a golden shark’s tooth inside. Chase goes with Jasmine and they travel to South Africa, with Chase trying to learn more about Jasmine the entire way. They soon reach the home of Jake, Chase’s brother, and after the two go through some insulting banter with each other, Jake explains why he had chase come there. Jake tells Chase that a particular great white, one with a black fin, had eaten a priceless diamond he was transporting and he wants Jake to kill it and retrieve the diamond. Chase agrees and convinces Jake to have Jasmine accompany him for this, which upsets Jasmine and she slaps him for it when they are alone. Jasmine takes Chase to the hotel Jake rented for him but Chase refuses to stay there, saying that it is too close to the ocean so he has her take him to a dive motel far from the beach. The next morning, Jasmine picks up Chase and takes him to the marina, where they start loading stuff on the boat and Chase learns that Jasmine will be his guide, which he argues against at first until he sees her wearing her wet-suit and he quickly shuts up. They head out to the spot where the shark supposedly ate the diamond and Chase has Jasmine dive down to look for the diamond, as he refuses to go in because he hates the ocean. When Jasmine surfaces some time later, she starts arguing with Chase before she yells and drops back into the water and when Chase jumps in to try and find her, he hears her laughing from the boat as she had simply tricked him. Suddenly, Jasmine sees the shark approaching behind Chase and she tries to warn him but it suddenly grabs him and drags him under but Chase is able to get away, though the shark swallowed one of his boots and injured his leg in the attack. After Jasmine drops Chase off at his motel and leaves, Chase is confronted by three men, who tell him to get into a nearby car. When Chase refuses, the men attack him but Chase is able to beat them, then grabs one of them and forces him to tell him where he was going to take him. Arriving at the docks, Chase boards the boat the man indicates and eventually meets with Nix, a drug lord who claims that he is the owner of the diamond Jake wants. Nix tells Chase that he hired Jake to steal the diamond from one of the security firms that Jake does business with but Jake tried to double cross him so Nix tells Chase that if he wants to live, he will give him the diamond. Meanwhile, the shark has followed Chase and Jasmine to the marina, where it kills a dog and two people that had fallen into the water. The next morning, Jasmine meets Chase at the dock and he explains that Blackfin, what he has started calling the shark, followed them and that he got some new gear for them. Heading back to the spot where they were attacked yesterday, Chase reconfigures a thumper so that it will attract sharks instead of repelling them but when they sharks that show up are too small, he pulls it back in so he can tweak it to try and attract Blackfin. As they continue moving through the ocean, they come across the bodies from a boat that Blackfin had attacked and Jasmine tells him they are over the wreck of the ship Jake had attacked. Chase dives down there, believing that Blackfin had established a hunting ground and is hiding in the wreckage of the ship, but when he sees the wreckage, he sees the only thing remaining of the crew is their arms, which were shackled to the boat’s deck rail. Jasmine gets worried and dives down after Chase but as she enters the wreckage, she sees Blackfin approaching her. Jasmine’s scuba tank gets caught in the wreckage but Chase manages to pull her free before Blackfin kills her and the two manage to get back onto the boat before it can get them. As they lay on the deck recovering, Chase starts taunting Jasmine about her falling for him, which she denies. When they head back to the dock, they find Jake there ranting about them being gone for two days with no word and he accuses Jasmine of sleeping with Chase, which angers her to the point she pushes him into the water and leaves with Chase. That night, the two are sitting by a fire on the beach when Nix’s men shoot Chase with a tranquilizer and grab Jasmine, telling Chase that Nix will exchange Jasmine for the diamond before Chase passes out. When he comes too, Chase heads to Jake’s house to find that all of his men are dead, with the only survivor telling him Jake had already left before he finally dies. As Chase drives off, Jake appears in the back seat and holds a gun to Chase’s head but Chase repeatedly slams on the brakes and drives forward, then grabs the gun from Jake. When they both get out of the car, they start fighting for a while but eventually, Chase convinces Jake to go with him to rescue Jasmine. Meanwhile, Jasmine tries to get away from her captors but they capture her and begiJaken to hose her down, saying that Nix has “romantic” plans for her. Chase and Jake sneak onto Nix’s boat to rescue Jasmine but as they argue, they end up alerting the guards and rush into the ship, with Chase merely knocking the guards out while Jake argues that shooting them is easier. After getting past all of the guards, they find Nix holding Jasmine in his drug lab and Jake tries shooting Nix but Nix’s work apron is bullet proof, and he proceeds to shoot Jake. Chase grabs Jake’s gun and shoots the light over the drug lab, setting it on fire, the yells at Jasmine to run for it as he grabs Jake, who was wearing his own bullet proof vest, and the three manage to run from the lab and jump off the ship before it explodes, while Nix isn’t as lucky to escape due to his injured leg. The next day, Chase, Jasmine, and Jake go after Blackfin again but they are attacked by a badly burned Nix. Chase shoots Nix with their harpoon gun, but Nix’s body falls on the throttle of his boat and his boat drives off, taking the harpoon gun with it. Jake, frustrated at how things turned out, stabs Jasmine in the leg and pushes her off the boat to use as bait and when Chase dives in to save her, they see Blackfin approaching. Chase stabs Blackfin with a spear and when that doesn’t kill her, he breaks off the shaft and repeatedly stabs her in the head until she finally dies. Jasmine and Chase make it back on the boat, where Jasmine proceeds to kiss Chase, but Jake dives into the water after Blackfin to try and retrieve the diamond. Jasmine tells Chase that Jake isn’t worth it but Chase dives in to rescue Jake as more sharks are swimming towards him, attracted by the blood of Blackfin. Some time later, Chase and Jasmine are driving along the road, with Jasmine holding onto the diamond, when Jake sits up in the back seat and after trying to get Jasmine to let him hold the diamond, Jake suggests they go to Australia, as it has both diamonds and sharks available.

This was a pretty entertaining movie for the most part. The acting was good, with Erica Cerra (Jasmine), Arnold Vosloo (Nix), and Paul du Toit (Jake) doing good jobs in their roles. I also liked Derek Theler as Chase but I honestly felt like his look and character were patterned too much after Chris Pratt’s Starlord from Guardians Of The Galaxy. The story was pretty good, though it focused too much on the conflict over the diamond and not enough on the shark to really make it seem a good fit for the Maneater series. The special effects regarding the shark were pretty decent and the shark looked pretty realistic for the most part, though the bit where Blackfin was trying to catch them in the wreck looked a little too fake with the CGI. One of the more entertaining shark movies to come out in recent years and worth giving a chance.

Rating: 3 out of 5

horror, movie, movie review, thriller

August 4th, 2017 Movie – Shark Attack In The Mediterranean

shark attack in the mediterranean

Now this is an interesting movie. I randomly came across this movie on YouTube several years ago. The only thing I honestly remember from the brief bit that I saw was that it starred Ralf Moeller, who was in Gladiator. Given my love of shark movies, I went looking for a copy of it online and found it just in time to have a shark movie marathon with my friends. So let’s see if this was worth the hunt as I watch today’s movie, Shark Attack In The Mediterranean.

The plot: On the Mediterranean island of Mallorca, helicopter pilot Sven Hanson is jokingly being berated by his friend, Police Chief Carlos Rivera, about his being late to pick up a micro-biologist named Dr. Julia Bennet from the mainland and bring her to the marine institute on the island. When he gets to the airport, he mistakenly grabs the bags of another woman, who begins hitting him with her purse and after letting go of the bags and apologizing for the misunderstanding, he turns and runs into Julia, who promises not to hit him. Meanwhile, Sven’s daughter Maja is working on a boat run by a shady man named Javier. Javier is hired by some German tourist to go shark diving but the spot they initially lower the shark cage into is void of sharks. Javier decides to tow the cage to the Santoro Trench, where there are always some sharks swimming around, but decides to not raise the cage, despite the protests of Maja and Fabio Ortega, his other crew member. As the cage is dragged across the bottom of the ocean, it ends up getting caught on some rocks and the daughter is cut by some of the rocks/coral on the bottom. Javier tries to pull the cage up but his wench breaks and the rope falls into the water. When they see sharks circling the cage, Maja gets on the radio to call for help and her father hears her as he is flying back with Julia and they detour to help. With Julia keeping the helicopter steady, Sven is able to grab the buoy and hook it to the helicopter so they can pull the cage to the surface but as they do so, they don’t notice the giant shadow of a shark swimming underneath the cage. After dropping Julia off at the institute, Sven returns home just as Fabio is dropping off Maja and he ends up arguing with Maja about her working for Javier, then breaks the news to her that they are moving back to Germany. Meanwhile, Julia meets with Dr. Verena Brandauer, the head of the institute, who shows Julia around the place as well as showing her Hannibal, a great white shark they have in captivity. Later that day, Carlos stops by the house to talk to Sven and as they go out for drinks, he tries to stop Sven from moving. When they notice Fabio enter the bar with his girlfriend Tina, Fabio comes over to introduce himself to Sven and thank him for his help and Sven warns him about breaking Maja’s heart. At a dance club, Maja and her friend are discussing an upcoming jet-ski race and how Maja should enter when Fabio and Tina show up. Fabio talks with Maja for a little while, which makes Tina jealous, and she approaches them and says they should go to their “special spot” to swim but Maja decides to head home. At the beach, Tina proceeds to go skinny dipping to entice Fabio to join her, while their friends, Lena and Tobias, are making out elsewhere in a boat. When Lena hears something splashing around, Tobias gets up to look around and ends up getting killed by the giant shark, with Lena being thrown from the boat and killed shortly afterwards. The next day, Carlos is visiting his wife in the hopsital, as she is suffering from a severe form of cancer, when Sven stops by to visit them. Carlos receives a call and takes Sven with him to question a fisherman who claims to have seen a giant shark. As he searches the fisherman and discovers a joint on him, Carlos thinks the man was just high but Sven is looking around the beach and finds the wreckage of the boat with a giant shark’s tooth embedded in the wood. Racing home, Sven compares the tooth to the one he found from his wife’s accident and realizes it is much larger than that one. Sven calls Carlos to tell him about the shark as he heads to the beach to warn the people there, including Maja and Tina as they compete in the jet-ski race. After Maja and Tina park on the beach, Sven grabs the key to Maja’s jet-ski and tells her not to go back in the ocean. When Carlos gets there, Sven tries to get him to tell the people about the shark but Carlos says they have no proof and while they did find  mutilated body, it could have been done by a ship’s propeller. Sven shows Carlos the tooth and they head to the institute to see if Julia or Verena can identify it and Verena says that it looks like it came from a megalodon but it is impossible to tell how old the tooth is. Sven decides to go looking for the shark, passing by a boat that appears empty, and when he drops a device to try and lure the shark to the surface, the megalodon grabs it and starts to drag the helicopter towards the water but the cable breaks and Sven is able to avoid crashing into the water. Later, Julia comes by the house to talk with Sven and confirm Verena’s analysis about the tooth and ends up going to dinner with Sven. The next day, Maja and Fabio speak with Carlos about Lena, who is still missing, and after they leave the police station, the two end up hugging. Sven goes by the institute to return Julia’s shawl to her but as he is leaving, someone tries to kill him by forcing his jeep off a cliff but Sven manages to jump from the falling jeep into a man’s pool. Sven borrows one of the man’s cars and heads to Julia’s place and convinces her to help him break into the institute. Once there, Julia realizes that Verena never ordered the DNA testing on the tooth, making her think that Sven might be right about her. When Sven triggers an alarm by breaking open Verena’s desk, he tries to run from the guards but gets caught when he saves a guard who had been knocked into the shark tank. After the guards take him to the police station, Julia examines the disk that Sven had grabbed and learns that Verena knew about the megalodon and was using it for her cancer research. The next morning, Maja is upset about not being able to compete against Tina since she doesn’t have a jet-ski but Fabio shows up with a new one for her to use and Tina gets angry when she learns that Fabio had just dumped her for Maja. Julia breaks Sven out of jail and as they are escaping from the police, she explains what she found on the disk; saying that they had found a megalodon in the Arctic and Verena cloned it to use for her research but it escaped when the institute was flooded 4 years ago. Verena is now on board a freighter ship to try and recapture the megalodon so they head to the port to stop her. Julia pilots a boat out to the freighter and Sven pops out of hiding to hold Verena captive, then orders the crew to replace the tranquilizers for explosive harpoons to try and kill the megalodon. They miss their first attempt and go to reload but Carlos appears, pointing a gun at Sven, and orders the tranquilizers to be reloaded. Sven tries to reason with Carlos but he refuses to listen, as he feels Verena’s research is the only way to save his wife’s life. When the megalodon attacks the ship, everyone is thrown off their feet and Sven and Carlos begin fighting while Julia tries to save Verena, who had been knocked over the edge of the boat, but can only watch as the megalodon kills her. Carlos gets the upper hand on Sven and Sven tells him to go ahead and shoot him but Carlos can’t bring himself to pull the trigger. Sven and Julia load explosive tips onto the harpoons and prepare to fire when Carlos joins them, loading an explosive tip onto the third harpoon. They fire at the megalodon and manage to wound it but it swims away and Carlos chooses to stay on the ship as it sinks, in case it comes back, while Sven and Julia head back to shore. On the beach, Maja and Tina made it to the finals of the competition but while they are getting ready for the last race, Tina secretly sabotages Maja’s jet-ski. Sven and Julia head back to Sven’s house to get his helicopter and they fly off to the beach where the race is taking place. Seeing the megalodon swimming behind Maja and Tina, Sven has Julia pilot the helicopter while he tries shooting RPG’s at it and manages to injure it some more. When Maja’s jet-ski stalls out, Sven leaps into the water to help her and manages to repair the engine. They race towards shore with the megalodon right behind them and Julia manages to pick them up in the helicopter before the magalodon grabs the jet-ski. Sven loads another RPG and as the megalodon leaps out of the water to attack them, Sven fires and blows up the megalodon but Maja is thrown out of the helicopter by the blast. Sven leaps into the water to save her and when he sees that she is still alive, Fabio grabs a boat and heads out to pick them up. Some time later, Carlos and Sven are watching Carlos’ wife and Carlos apologizes for what he did and Sven says not to give up hope as Julia contacted people in Chicago to try and help treat her. After Carlos is lead away by the police, Sven and Julia leave and go dive down into a shipwreck near the trench, where they proceed to kiss underwater.

This is an interesting movie to watch. The acting was ok for the most part, with Ralf Moeller (Sven), Julia Stinshoff (Julia), and Gregor Bloeb (Carlos) doing good jobs in their roles. I will say that the dubbing issues, since this was a German made for TV movie,  were pretty bad at times, with several instances of words being spoken while lips were not moving. The plot should have been pretty simple but it felt like they had too many subplots going on which kind of made it a little difficult to focus on the movie. The special effects were a little on the cheap side but not as bad as they could have been. I will say there was a little more comedy in this movie than I was expecting, with some funny interactions between Sven and the millionaire. Not the worst shark movie I have ever seen but can make for some fun viewing.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

drama, horror, movie, movie review, thriller

July 29th, 2017 Movie – The Shallows

the shallows

So this is some fun timing in regards to today’s movie. I mean, Shark Week is wrapping up this weekend on Discovery Channel and Sharknado week is starting tomorrow on Syfy. Which means my watching a shark movie today is absolutely the most appropriate thing to be doing right now. To be fair, any time is appropriate to be watching a shark movie but that’s another story. So I remember the commercials for this movie when it came out last year and they said the same thing EVERY shark movie says in their commercials; “This is the best shark movie since Jaws.” Hollywood needs to stop using that pitch because the second I hear it, my opinion of the movie immediately drops and I it becomes harder to win me over. With that being said, let’s see just how good of a movie The Shallows really is.

The plot: On a secluded beach in Mexico, a young boy is playing with a soccer ball when he notices a helmet with a GoPro attached to it. When the boy plays the video recorded on the camera, he sees video of a some surfers and one of them being attacked by a great white shark, which sends the boy running down the beach. A few days earlier, Nancy Adams is being driven to the beach by a local man named Carlos. Along the way, she explains that her mom had come to the beach when she was pregnant with Nancy and she always thought of it as their beach, but this is the first time she has ever been able to come to it. Nancy gets upset when her friend is not able to join them but overcomes the disappointment as she talks to Carlos and they finally come to the beach. After staring in joy at the beach, Nancy tries to give Carlos some money for taking her there but he refuses, saying he lives close by and was going the same way and tells her to be careful as he leaves. Putting her gear up out of the tidal area, Nancy grabs her surfboard and heads out into the water, surfing with two locals that are also there. After surfing for a while, Nancy heads back to the beach and video calls her younger sister and shows her where she is at. After talking to her for a while, Nancy’s father gets on the phone and talks to Nancy, trying to convince her to come home and not drop out of med school but Nancy tells him he wouldn’t understand and quickly says she loves him before hanging up. Nancy heads back out into the water to surf some more but the two locals are heading in, suggesting she leave as well. After watching the locals load their gear into their jeep, Nancy gets a little nervous about how quiet it is and lays on top of her board. When a pod of dolphins swim by her, with one of them leaping out of the water over her. Nancy paddles after the dolphins a little ways but stops when she sees the carcass of a humpback whale, with several huge bites taken out of it’s flesh. Feeling scared, Nancy quickly paddles away and catches the next wave towards shore but as she is surfing, a large shark bumps into the board, knocking her into the water and causing the surfboard’s tether to snap due to the current. When Nancy surfaces, she starts swimming back towards her surfboard when a great white shark suddenly bites her in the leg and drags her back underwater. Nancy manages to get free and swims towards the whale’s carcass, climbing on top of it in order to get away from the shark. Seeing the damage done to her leg, Nancy uses the tether strap to make a makeshift tourniquet to keep from bleeding to death, then frantically yells out for help but the two locals don’t hear her and drive away. Suddenly, the shark starts dragging the carcass further away from the beach and Nancy tries to figure out what she can do. She sees a buoy nearby but decides it is too far away for her to make it and decides to head for an outcrop of rocks that have begun to rise out of the water as the tide moves out. When the shark charges at the whale and strikes it in the hopes of knocking Nancy back into the water, Nancy jumps off the whale and frantically swims to the rocks. She manages to make it there and climbs on top of them, cutting her foot on some coral in the process, but finds herself completely alone, except for a seagull which had been wounded by one of the whale’s flukes hitting it. Using her jewelry, Nancy begins stitching up the wound in her leg, then uses her wet-suit to try and keep it dry and, hopefully free of infection, before settling in to wait out the night. As night falls, Nancy takes the wet suit off her leg and then rips off one of the sleeves, then pulls the sleeve over her injured leg as a makeshift compression bandage. Nancy passes out briefly from the pain and comes too to find some crabs crawling around and on her. Nancy smashes one of them and attempts to eat it but quickly vomits it back up, which the injured seagull begins to eat. Seeing her surfboard floating nearby, Nancy attempts to swim out to it but she sees the shark nearby and quickly heads back to the rocks. As she catches her breath, she notices a man asleep on the beach and starts screaming for help. The man hears her and wakes up, tossing the empty liquor bottle in his hand away, before turning in her direction. Nancy yells for him to call for help but when he just stares at her, she motions towards her bag. The man heads to her bag and proceeds to go through it, pocketing the money and phone before shouldering the bag and starting to walk off. When the man notices the surfboard, he puts the bag down and heads out into the water to grab it and Nancy yells out a warning but is too late as the shark drags the man underwater and ends up biting him in half. The next morning, the two surfers from yesterday have returned to the beach and the seagull starts squawking to alert Nancy to their presence. Nancy starts yelling at them to get out of the water and get help but they don’t believe her. When one of the surfers is killed by the shark, the other one starts paddling towards Nancy, who moves down on the rock to try and help him but he is dragged underwater. After a a broken surf board is launched out of the water, the surfer appears and tries climbing up the rocks and Nancy grabs him to help but the shark drags the man back underwater and kills him. Nancy uses the broken surfboard to shield her from the sun, but with less than an hour before the rock’s become submerged again, she is running out of options as to what to do. Nancy manages to grab the seagull, who she starts calling Steven Seagull, and after seeing that it’s wing is merely dislocated, pops it back into place, saying now it has a chance to live. Noticing the helmet with the GoPro that one of the surfers was wearing floating nearby, Nancy times the shark’s route from the whale’s carcass to the rocks and makes a dash for the camera. Nancy manages to grab it, injuring herself some more in the process but as she holds onto the camera, the shark tries to grab her. Nancy injures herself again avoiding the shark but the shark is also injured by the coral as it tries to attack her. After viewing the footage of the guys surfing and how the last surfer was killed, Nancy noticed that the shark had been injured before, which possibly explains it’s aggressive behavior. With only a few minutes left before the tide covers the rock she is on, Nancy uses the GoPro to record a message detailing what happened, as well as a goodbye to her father and sister, then tosses it out towards the shore, in the hopes the tide will carry it there. Nancy then places Steven Seagull onto the piece of surfboard and sets it adrift, hoping that it will make it. As she prepares to make the swim to the buoy, Nancy notices a swarm of jellyfish entering the area and starts to feel despair, until she remembers the shark’s reaction to the coral and realizes that it might be her best chance. Nancy begins swimming towards the buoy and ends up getting stung but the jellyfish stings keep the shark at bay and allow her to reach the buoy. Nancy starts to climb up but the rusted metal gives way and she fall back into the water, right on top of the shark. Nancy stabs the shark with the piece of metal she has and manages to make it onto the buoy, avoiding the shark as it tries to attack her once again. Nancy sees a ship in the distance and finding a flare gun on the buoy, tries to signal it but the ship doesn’t see it and continues sailing away. When the shark begins attacking the anchor chains of the buoy, Nancy attempts to shoot it with the flare gun, igniting the oil from the whale’s body and setting the shark on fire briefly. The enraged shark begin attacking the buoy again, knocking two of the anchor chains free and causing it to tilt. Nancy uses the tether to tie herself to the third chain and when it breaks free, she is swiftly pulled underwater towards the bottom. The shark gives chase and just before she reaches bottom, Nancy lets go and moves to the side, causing the shark to miss her and impale itself on the metal rebar on the rock the chains were attached too. Meanwhile, the kid who found the GoPro has returned to the beach with his father, Carlos, and they see the bodies of one of the surfers. When the kid points out Nancy’s body in the water, Carlos carries her to shore, then tells his son to get help. Nancy comes too and smiles as she notices Steven Seagull had safely made it to shore before seeing a hallucination of her mother and saying out loud that she will be ok. One year later, a recovered Nancy, having finished med school and now a doctor,  is on the beach in Galveston, Texas with her sister and father, and heads out into the water to teach her little sister how to surf, as  her dad says he is proud of her.

The Shallows met with mostly praise from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 77% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Lean and solidly crafted, The Shallows transcends tired shark-attack tropes with nasty thrills and a powerful performance from Blake Lively.” A puppet and CGI were considered for the character of Steven Seagull but the producers wanted to use a live animal and when they saw Blake Lively feeding a group of seagulls, they realized it would be possible to use a real animal. The movie was expected to make just $7 million on it’s opening weekend but ended up earning $16.7 million, doubling expectations on it’s way to making $119.1 million off of a $17 million budget.

There were a couple of bad moments, but this was actually a pretty good movie. Blake Lively really did a great job in this movie, showing a lot of emotion to help carry the performance, as she was pretty much the only person in the movie. The story was really good and Blake Lively really sold the sense of isolation and despair she was feeling with her being the only person out there. The special effects involved with the shark were pretty good except for the last scene where it impaled itself, which looked like it belonged in one of the numerous low budget shark movies I enjoyed watching. The interaction between Nancy and Steven Seagull was a nice bit of light-heartedness to try and take away some of the despair that she was obviously feeling being trapped in her situation. Make no mistake, this isn’t going to be considered the next Jaws, but this is still an entertaining movie that is worth watching.

Rating: 4 out of 5

crime, drama, movie, movie review, thriller

July 27th, 2017 Movie – Shadow Of Chinatown

shadow of chinatown

Once again, I find myself watching a movie that is made up from a serial film. The difference between this one and some of the others I have watched is that this one has a rather famous actor in it, one Mr. Bela Lugosi. Now, I have to admit that I never heard of this movie and when I first saw the title, I honestly thought I was getting a martial arts movie. While I am a little disappointed that it wasn’t that type of movie, a nice little crime drama could still be fun to watch. So let’s see if this is worth watching as I watch today’s movie, Shadow Of Chinatown.

The plot: In 1930’s San Francisco, manufactured goods from all over the world are arriving at the port and distributed to stores across the city, as well as the rest of the Western US. A Russian businesswoman named Sonya Rokoff receives a letter stating that the sale of goods from Russia has declined sharply due to Chinese imports and that something must be done immediately. She contacts a man named Victor Poten and tells him she needs to see him to discuss the matter. When she arrives at his home, she says she will pay him $10,000 to find a way to shut down the merchants in Chinatown, and he accepts the job. Victor hires some men to disguise themselves, then the men all head into various shops and restaurants in Chinatown and begin using smoke bombs and firing pistols into the air to scare everyone out of the buildings. Joan Whiting, a society beat reporter, heads to the home of Martin Andrews, her boyfriend and novelist, and tells him what happened. Joan tries to get him to go with her to find out what is going on but Martin refuses. When Martin’s butler, Willy Fu, tells her that if the trade in Chinatown goes bad, it will mean profits for their rivals so Martin tells her to run with that story. Joan heads down to try and get more information but the mayor and police chief refuse to speak with her. As she is about to leave, Joan sees a Chinese businessman being grabbed by some men and taken into a building and she quietly follows after them. The businessman is taken into a room and when he backs up into a statue, the statue grabs him and pivots around before dropping him down a trap door. Joan sees this happen and attempts to escape but she ends up falling through another secret door and is captured by Victor’s men. Some time later, Joan’s editor contacts Police Captain Waters and tells him about Joan disappearing in Chinatown and asks that he try to find her. Waters goes to see Martin and accuses him of knowing something about Joan’s disappearance, as the events in Chinatown are similar to the subject of one of his books. Martin claims he is innocent and accompanies Waters to Chinatown to try and look for Joan. Meanwhile, Joan writes on a mirror and tries to use the reflection to send out a message for help. As Waters goes to check with his men, Martin sees the message and climbs a telephone pole and uses the wire to try and make it to the window. When the wire snaps, Martin crashes through a lower window, then ends up fighting with the thug guarding Joan. After knocking him out, they go to escape but hear someone moving outside the door . Martin has Joan open the door and Martin attacks the man but stops when he realizes it is Waters. Waters is angry about being attacked and when he finds the room empty, as the thug had recovered and snuck away, he takes both Joan and Martin to the station to answer some questions. Later, Martin and Joan return to Joan’s editor’s office and Martin tells Joan to stay away from him. Elsewhere, Victor, Sonya, and the rest of Victor’s men escape the building and Victor and Sonya make some new plans to stop the Chinese shops. When Victor leaves, one of his men, Grogan, assaults Sonya but Victor stops him using hypnosis. Some time later, Martin and Joan are both on a ship, as is Victor, who is busy disguising himself. When Martin goes to see the captain about Grogan, who had caused a disturbance on board but as they go to question him, Victor secretly shoots him with a dart to paralyze him. Victor has Grogan’s body taken out of the room and he quickly disguises him, telling Sonya what he had done. Shocked at what happened, Sonya takes Grogan off the ship and takes him back to her apartment. Martin sees them leave and they follow her and when Martin, Joan, Willy, and Waters confront her about what is going on, she admits her part and tells them Grogan is the other room. The four go in to see Grogan, but while they are in the other room, Victor sneaks in and hypnotizes Sonya and her assistant. When Martin and the others head back into the room, they discover Sonya sitting unresponsive and her assistant is missing. Meanwhile, Victor sneaks around and takes control of Gorgan, then hands him a grenade to use in killing the others. When Martin goes in the room, Grogan throws the grenade but Martin catches it and throws it out the window. They then take Grogan and Sonya with them to try and get them some help. When Sonya comes out of her trance, she tells them about how she contacted Victor to help her but his hatred of the Chinese has driven him mad. She tells them that Victor is able to observe the happenings of all of the shops and offers to take them to Victor’s lab. When they get there, they find no sign of Victor but a trap he left causes Joan to faint. Martin takes her out of the room and tends to her, saying he couldn’t live without her and Joan reveals that she is ok and tells Martin she plans on holding him to his word. Waters gives orders to not allow anyone to leave Chinatown and gives passes to Joan and the others so they can leave. Martin asks Sonya for the keys to her apartment, thinking that there might be a clue to Victor’s whereabouts there. Meanwhile, Victor, along with Healy and a still hypnotized Grogan, are in the apartment and when they see Martin and Willy Fu arrive, they sneak out the window but leave Grogan there to attack them. Meanwhile, Joan and Sonya go to the police station, and Sonya gives a description of Victor to their sketch artist, but Joan gets worried and feels like Martin is in trouble so they head off to the apartment. When they get there, they see Martin and Grogan fighting on the roof, as Martin manages to throw Grogan off the roof to the ground below. Heading inside, Joan tends to Martin’s injuries as Waters arrives, and Martin says he has some ideas where Victor might be heading and goes with Waters, while Willy takes Joan and Sonya to Martin’s house. Meanwhile, Victor and Healy are heading to Martin’s house, figuring nobody would be there, but get in a car crash. The injured pair get inside and Victor tends to Healy’s wounds when Joan and the others arrive. Sonya lays down on the couch to rest and Willy goes to make some tea but notices a strange smell and he and Joan proceed to search the house. They are soon captured by Victor and Healy, who then sets a trap for Martin but Sonya wakes up and, noticing the trap, pushes Martin out of the way and is killed instead. Victor escapes, leaving Healy behind and Martin manages to capture him, then tells Joan to call the police while he goes after Victor. Victor avoids a police motorcycle, who chases after him with Martin, and ends up driving off a pier but as everyone looks out into the water, nobody notices Victor moving around underneath the dock. Some time later, Martin is talking with Willy about a new idea when Joan comes in and tells him about her front page article featuring him. Martin grabs her and tells her he got her fired from the newspaper and when she protests, he tells her he didn’t want his wife to be working for the paper, causing Joan to smile and kiss him.

Whenever I watch a movie made from serials, I am usually curious to watch the entire serial but I don’t necessarily feel that way with this one. The movie was pretty decent but nothing too impressive. The acting was ok, with Bela Lugosi doing a great job as Victor, while Luana Walters (Sonya) and Bruce Bennett (Martin) were also good, but Joan Barclay (Joan) just came across as whiny while Maurice Liu (Willy) was just a painfully bad stereotype. The story was pretty interesting but I felt like it could have had a little more depth to it. In all fairness, they material cut from the serials could have added that missing depth. The camera work was ok, with the usual jumpiness that you would expect considering how it was made. It is ok to watch once but not necessarily something to hunt down.

Rating: 2 out of 5

crime, drama, movie, movie review, mystery, thriller

July 25th, 2017 Movie – Seven


1995 was a time for some fairly memorable movies to come out, and man did I enjoy watching them. Today’s movie was one that I first had the opportunity to watch during a movie night at college, but ended up falling asleep. That was an interesting night as they were showing both today’s movie and 12 Monkeys and I fall asleep after Gluttony body is found and wake up to a bunch of animals running around a city with no clue what had happened. So when this came available to rent, I immediately rented it so I could find out what exactly happened. I always thought it was a good movie but never got around to buying it on DVD. When my brother was getting rid of his DVD’s and offered some of them to me, I saw that he had this one so I immediately decided to grab it. Now let’s see if it is as good as I can remember as I watch today’s movie, Seven.

The plot: At the scene of a murder, retiring detective William Somerset is examining the scene when his new partner, Detective David Mills, arrives and introduces himself. As they leave the scene, Somerset questions Mills as to why he chose to transfer to that particular city before they part ways. On Monday, Somerset and Mills arrive at the scene of an obese man who was found dead in his kitchen. As they examine the scene, they find the man’s hands and feet were bound and a bucket was under the table, collecting the man’s vomit. When Mills keeps talking nonstop, Somerset tells him to go help the officers ask the neighbors if they heard anything, which upsets Mills. At the morgue, the medical examiner tells Somerset and Mills that the man was forced to eat constantly until his stomach ruptured, with bruises on his head indicating a gun was pressed against it to force him into eating. Meeting with the captain, Somerset asks to be reassigned, as he feels like this is only the beginning and he doesn’t want this to be his last case. When he also asks that Mills be reassigned, as he doesn’t want this to be his first case, Mills objects and says he will work the case alone if Somerset doesn’t want to. The captain tells Somerset that he will keep working the dead man’s case, while sending Mills to investigate the death of a defense attorney. Mills arrives at the law firm, ignoring reporters’ questions as he heads up to the scene of the crime, where he finds the word Greed written in blood. Meanwhile, Somerset returns to the dead man’s apartment, after he had been given some pieces of wood that were in the dead man’s stomach. Examining the fridge, Somerset notices scratches in the floor in front of it and moves the fridge to find the word Gluttony written behind the fridge as well as a note. Back at the precinct, Somerset explains to the captain and Mills that the crimes are related and seemed patterned after the seven deadly sins. Somerset then tells them that they can expect 5 more murders before he walks away, saying he can’t be a part of this case. Somerset heads to the library and does some research on the seven sins, leaving a note for Mills to follow up on. The next day, as Mills is getting settled into his new desk (which was Somerset’s old office), his wife Tracy calls and invites Somerset over for dinner. After dinner, Somerset and Mills go over the photos of the attorney’s death and after seeing the picture of the attorney’s wife with blood around her eyes to make a pair of glasses, they decide to go ask her to look through the pictures to see if she sees anything missing or different. When the wife says one of the pictures is upside down, the two men go back to the office to examine the painting and discover fingerprints on the wall that spell out “Help Me.” When they run the prints, they match a known drug dealer and child molester so the SWAT team accompanies Somerset and Mills to his last known address. Breaking into the man’s apartment, they find hundreds of air fresheners hanging from the ceiling and the emaciated body of the man strapped to his bed. Mills finds photos of that the killer took of the man, showing he had been held captive there for a year, when the man suddenly starts breathing and thrashing on the bed and they have him rushed to a hospital. That night, Tracy calls Somerset and asks if they can meet in the morning to talk. Meeting at a diner, Tracy tells him that she is pregnant but she hasn’t told Mills yet as she hates the city and doesn’t want to raise a child there. As Somerset and Mills discuss the case at the precinct, Somerset gets an idea and has Mills accompany him to the library, where he prints a list of all the books that have to deal with the seven deadly sins. They then head to a diner, where Somerset hands the list to a contact at the FBI and he explains to Mills that the FBI would be able to find out who had been checking out some of those books, as well as books about murder and crime scenes in order to come up with some possible suspects. When they get a name, they head to the apartment of a man called John Doe but as they knock on the door, they notice a man approaching at the far end of the hallway. The man suddenly starts firing at them and Mills gives chase throughout the apartment and out into the street but John Doe gets the drop on him and holds a gun to Mills’ head, but lets him live and escapes as Somerset shows up. Heading back to the apartment, Mills wants to go in and look but Somerset tries to talk him out of it, as the way they found him was not technically legal, but Mills kicks the door open anyway, then bribes a woman to lie to the police in order to justify their being there. Heading inside, Mills finds several pictures, including one of him, and realizes that they had seen the killer earlier at the drug dealers’ apartment, posing as a reporter. When they hear a phone ring, Mills answers it and the killer congratulates them on finding him but says he will have to step up his time table. Seeing a picture of a blonde woman, they have some cops try to locate her before it is too late, while they head to an S&M shop, where John Doe had apparently purchased a custom item. When the girl is found, they find that she is dead, as a man was forced to rape her with a bladed codpiece, which ended up traumatizing the man. The next day, 911 receives a call from John Doe and Somerset and Mills arrive to find the fifth victim, a woman whose face had been slashed up and had a phone glued to one hand and a bottle of sleeping pills glued to the other; giving her a choice of living with a disfigured face or ending her own life. When the two return to the precinct, they are surprised to see John Doe arrive and turn himself in, demanding to see his lawyer. As John Doe speaks with his lawyer, Mills and Somerset learn that John Doe had been cutting the skin off of his fingertips for years in order to keep from leaving any prints. The lawyer meets with the detectives, the captain, and the D.A. and tells them John Doe’s demands. He says that he will take Mills and Somerset to the location of the last two bodies and sign a full confession of what he did but if they don’t do exactly what he says, he will plead insanity to everything. Somerset and Mills get in the car with John Doe and he directs them to a field outside of the city, discussing the people he killed along the way as a police helicopter follows them. When they arrive at the field, John Doe has them walk out to the field when Somerset notices a van coming down the road towards them and goes to intercept it. He discovers that it is a delivery van with a package for Mills that John Doe had arranged to send to their location at that time. When Somerset opens the box, he recoils in horror, then tells everyone to stay away before he runs back towards Mills, yelling at him to put his gun down. John Doe starts talking to Mills and telling him how much he envied his life and how he went to his home and tried to imitate it with Tracy but it didn’t take so he killed her and took her head as a trophy. When Somerset reaches them, Mills asks what is in the box while Somerset tries to get him to put his gun down. When John Doe tells Mills that Tracy begged for her life as well as her unborn baby’s life. Mills becomes grief stricken and ends up shooting John Doe, becoming Wrath like John Doe intended. Mills is taken away and the captain tells Somerset that they will do all they can to take care of him, and when he asks where Somerset will be, Somerset tells him he will be around as he walks away.

Seven met with positive results from the critics, holding an 80% certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “A brutal, relentlessly grimy shocker with taut performances, slick gore effects, and a haunting finale.” While filming the scene of Mills chasing after John Doe, Brad Pitt really did injure himself when he fell and his arm went through a windshield, requiring surgery, and the injury was worked into the movie. Denzel Washington and Sylvester Stallone were offered the role of Mills, while Al Pacino was offered the role of Somerset, but they all declined for various reasons and have sense admitted that they regret turning down the roles. The movie was a big hit at the box office, earning $327.3 million off of a $33 million budget.

If you want a dark and gritty movie, than this is the one for you. This is a fantastic movie to watch. The acting was fantastic, with Morgan Freeman (Somerset), Brad Pitt (Mills), and Kevin Spacey (John Doe) were absolutely incredible in this movie, while Gwyneth Paltrow was pretty much the only bright spot in the movie, somewhat literally with her blonde hair, in her portrayal of Tracy. The story was incredible and did a good job of painting a rather bleak outlook on life. The drama and tension involved in the movie did a great job in drawing the audience in and getting them invested in the outcome. I have to admit that even though I knew it was coming, I still jumped when the drug dealer started moving on the bed. A great movie to watch, especially on a dark, stormy night.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5