comedy, horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi

August 17th, 2017 Movie – Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!

sharknado 3

My apologies for being late with today’s post. I had to go in to work early today and spent 75% of the day in one meeting after another. Not exactly the best way to start off the day. So now I get to come home, fairly exhausted, and try and finish watching today’s movie (because I managed to watch a little bit of it this morning) and write up my review before I pass out on the couch. I know, this is not exactly a funny or endearing story about today’s movie. Well, to borrow the tagline from yesterday’s movie, Shark Happens. Now, onto today’s movie, Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!.

The plot: Fin Shepherd is racing through the streets of Washington DC until he is met by a pair of Secret Service Agents, who are there to take him to the White House. As he is en route, Fin calls April, who is pregnant and currently in Orlando with her mother May and their daughter Claudia. As the car gets stuck in traffic, Fin chooses to get out and continue running to the White House, where security stops him until White House Chief of Staff Gary Martin Hayes shows up and escorts him inside, where President Marcus Robbins awards him the Presidential Medal of Freedom. At the banquet afterwards, Fin is making the rounds, stopping to say hello to his brother-in-law Martin, who is there as a guest, when he is surprised to see the Mayor of New York City there, who awards Fin with a golden chainsaw for his efforts in saving New York. Stepping outside, Fin checks some weather data he asked for and when the President joins him, Fin says he can sense when a sharknado is going to form and says that DC isn’t safe. Fin and President Robbins head back inside just as a sharknado forms and begins attacking DC. As the storm hits the White House, Martin manages to save Vice President Sonia Buck, while Fin and President Robbins are forced to shoot their way out after all of the President’s Secret Service are killed. As they make it outside, the storm suddenly dissipates and before Fin can wonder about it, he and the others quickly lift up a fallen flag to kill a shark that is falling towards them. With flights grounded in DC, Fin rents a car and starts driving to Orlando, calling April and Claudia on the way to tell them he will be there tomorrow. April, Claudia and May are at Universal Studios Resort and May for Claudia’s birthday and May gives Claudia some money as she leaves to go have fun with her friend Jess. Claudia is met by an employee and given VIP passes that allow her and Jess to skip to the front of the line on rides but Jess sees a boy, Chad, that she starts flirting with so Claudia ends up riding on the roller coaster with his friend Billy but as she leaves the roller coaster, Claudia accidentally forgets her phone. Meanwhile, Fin is driving when he encounters a dense fog and as people start running out of the fog in a panic, he realizes the fog is actually a “fognado”, with sharks swimming inside. As Fin fights off a shark that smashes through the window, an armored RV shows up and two masked people emerge, with one fighting off the sharks while the other takes out the fognado. As the fog clears, one of the people approaches the car and takes off the mask and Fin is surprised to see that it is Nova. As the two talk, Nova introduces Fin to her partner, Lucas Stevens, and she explains that the collect all the data they can on the sharknadoes in order to be better prepared, showing him a dead shark and explaining that they are finding birds in their stomachs now as well as ice crystals in their blood, indicating that they are staying in the atmosphere longer and able to survive. Nova asks Fin to help her but Fin says he can’t as he needs to get to Orlando, and Nova is upset to learn that he and April are back together and having a child but offers to give Fin a lift there. Lucas is upset at first but Nova tells him that they have been tracking the storm’s epicenter and it has been heading south so it is on their way. In Orlando, April and May are discussing baby names when a shark lands in a nearby pool. April goes to save a lifeguard, with her robotic hand able to turn into a chainsaw, but May stops her from doing so. Fin calls to check on April after hearing about the entire East Coast of the US is in jeopardy and April is not surprised to learn that Nova is with him. After hearing about the shark attack, tells her to get Claudia and get somewhere safe, then tells Nova that they need to hurry but they find the bridge is washed out. Since they are near Charleston, Fin tells Lucas to head towards the Charleston Air Force Base, where General Gottlieb, the base commanding officer, is a family friend. After being cleared to go inside, Fin talks with Gottlieb, who agrees to let him take their training plane to Orlando and Nova tells him that she can fly, as Fin’s son Matt had trained her how to fly before he deployed. As Fin and Nova get in the plane, a sharknado hits and Lucas heads towards the Beast to take car of it but he is severely wounded by sharks, which bite off one of his legs and arms. Crawling towards the fail safe device on the roof of the Beast, he loses his other arm and leg and is forced to hit the button with his chin, blowing up the RV and dispersing the sharknado. Nova sees what happens and cries out but Fin tells her that they have to leave or else Lucas would have died in vain. As they make their way towards Orlando, Nova asks Fin how he handles dealing with the sharks and he tells her he thinks about his family, which includes friends like her. As they pass over Daytona, they see a sharknado forming over the Daytona 500 and they use the extra fuel tank as a means to destroy the sharknado, or at least kill the sharks, but once they succeed, an errant shark hits the plane and they end up crashing into a lake but emerge unscathed (and without their clothes (seriously R.A.F.)). They head into the park to try and find April and Claudia, just as more sharks begin falling from the sky and attacking people. Meanwhile, April uses a tracking app to track Claudia’s phone to the roller coaster, and goes with the operator, Bruce, to see if she is stuck in the cars. Elsewhere, Claudia, Billy, Jess, and Chad are riding the “Disaster” ride when Chad is killed by a shark, while Jess gets killed as they run from the ride. Fin uses his app and meet April on the roller coaster but they find no sign of Claudia. Bruce realizes that they are talking about Claudia’s phone, which he hands to them, but a shark ends up killing him and activating the roller coaster. Fin is trapped in one of the cars and ends up flying off the course and crashing into the “Twister” ride, where he kills another shark before leaving. Fin meets back up with April and May, and they are then joined by Claudia, Billy, and Nova. Seeing the sharknado approaching, Fin has them all take shelter inside the Universal Globe, which is sent rolling around by the sharknado before landing on a nearby tower. Everyone is ok except for May, who had hit her head during the globes’ spinning, and she is taken away in an ambulance. Nova shows Fin and the others Lucas’ theories on dispersing the merged sharknadoes and rather than using several nuclear explosions, he chooses to call his father, Colonel Gil Shepard, and try to get him to use his contacts with NASA to help. Fin heads to the diner that Gil owns and works on convincing him to help by launching a space shuttle and detonating the fuel tanks to create a column of heat big enough to destroy the sharknadoes. As the sharknadoes form a massive storm wall that ranges the entire East Coast, Fin and Gil get ready to board the shuttle but April, who didn’t know Fin was going on the shuttle, pleads with him not to go but the sharknado destroys the gang plank and April is forced to board the shuttle with Fin. With more sharks falling, the national guard works on keeping the sharks away from the shuttle and when two guardsmen are killed, Claudia and Billy take up their weapons and start killing the sharks while Nova uses a jet to help clear a path. As the shuttle goes to launch, Claudia and Billy head back inside mission control but Billy is killed after he pushes Claudia inside to avoid a falling shark. The shuttle launches and they detonate the tanks but it does not dissipate the sharknado wall. Gil then says he has a Plan B, and heads towards a nearby satellite, which is a cover for part of the fabled Star Wars program, planning to use the laser to vaporize the storm wall. When they are unable to remotely activate the satellite, Gil does a space walk to the satellite in order to manually reboot the system and fire the laser. The laser succeeds in destroying the storm wall but Gil tells Fin that they only have enough fuel to either come get him, or enter re-orbit, but not both. Suddenly, some sharks that were blown up into space by the laser begin attacking the shuttle, and Fin works on killing them but one of the sharks swallows April, while a second one destroys the shuttle. Fin ends up swallowed as well but as the shark drops back to Earth, Fin is able to punch a hole into the charred flesh and use his emergency chute to safely land. Crawling out of the shark, Fin sees more sharks falling from the sky and hears a chainsaw coming from one of them. Heading towards the shark, Fin reaches inside to pull out April and instead sees his new born baby emerging from the shark. Fin grabs his baby, then pulls April out of the shark as well and the two hug each other and their newborn son. Claudia and Nova come running up to them and Fin introduces them to the baby, calling him Gil after his dad. They all look up towards the sky and Fin throws a salute at the moon, where unknown to them, Colonel Shepard has managed to make it to the moon’s surface. Fin looks for his dad’s wings that he had given him before they left and April sees them nearby and goes to pick them up when a piece of the shuttle falls towards her and as they all scream out, the debris lands on top of April as the screen goes black and the word “Fin?” appears on the screen.

Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! met with negative reviews from the critics, holding a 36% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! bites off more than it can chew, leaving viewers with an overlong mess that isn’t even bad enough to be good.” Once again, the movie featured several references to Jaws, but also had people make references to what they are most well known for, such as Lou Ferrigno telling someone “Don’t make me angry.”, or George R.R. Martin being killed next to a bride during a wedding. Sharknado 4 was announced during the premier of Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! and fans were asked to use Twitter to vote on if April would survive for the 4th movie, using the hashtags #AprilLives or #AprilDies to cast their votes.

The Sharknado movies are still a lot of fun to watch, but I will admit that this one was a little lacking compared to the previous one. The acting was good, with Ian Ziering (Fin) and Cassandra Scerbo (Nova) doing a good job reprising their roles, while I actually liked Tara Reid (April) in this outing. Ryan Newman did a good job in taking over the role of Claudia Shepard, while David Hasselhoff and Bo Derek were great playing Fin’s father Gil and April’s mother May respectively. The story was honestly a little weak, as I felt like they could have done a better job in setting things up instead of just blatantly making it a doomsday scenario almost right from the start. The cameos definitely added a lot of humor to the movie; either by who they were or what they were doing in the movie, or an inside joke or reference to previous roles the people had. The cliffhanger at the end was actually a good way to keep people invested in the franchise, as I don’t recall as much hype over this movie compared to the previous two. The special effects were pretty good and I liked a lot of the shark scenes but there were definitely a couple of times where they looked too fake, with sometimes it being really funny, such as the guy being eaten by a shark hanging from a sign thinking it was the fake shark for the Jaws photo op, but a few times the fakeness hurt the scene. Still, everything together added up to a solid entry in the series and is well worth watching and laughing at.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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comedy, horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi

August 16th, 2017 Movie – Sharknado 2: The Second One

sharknado 2

When word of mouth causes a made for TV movie to get more viewers each time it aired, the idea for a sequel made perfect sense. After the success of Sharknado, I could hardly wait for it to occur. Then they announced the title and tag line for the movie, and it honestly felt like they were going to do a good job of keeping the advertising simple and letting word of mouth generate the buzz, which worked because I knew a lot of people were going to be tuning in to watch it. As for me, I did what has since become a tradition and went to my friend Emily and Mark’s house to watch this movie when it debuted and I was not disappointed in the least and quickly went online and pre-ordered it as soon as it became available to do so. So let’s get down to business with today’s movie, Sharknado 2: The Second One.

The plot: Fin Shepard and April Wexler, who are attempting to work things out after the events of the previous movie, are flying to New York for a book signing of April’s book that she wrote about the sharknado. As the plane starts to hit some rough weather, Fin sees some sharks flying through the sky and thinks he is seeing things at first. After a shark takes out one of the engines, the pilots start descending to a lower altitude only to have more sharks attack the plane. Several passengers are killed as sharks make it inside the plane and both of the pilots are sucked out of the cockpit when a shark breaks through and attacks one of them. Fin heads to the cockpit to try and land the plane and April follows after him but when the plane door is blown off it’s hinges, she is forced to grab onto to a nearby strap to keep from being blown out of the plane. The sky marshal goes to help her but ends up trapped by a food cart and, seeing a shark approaching April, throws her his gun to defend herself but the shark bites off her hand. The sky marshal is eventually able to pull April back in the plane while Fin manages to land the plane in New York. Downtown, Fin’s sister Ellen Brody and her husband Martin are there with their kids and arrange to meet at April and Fin’s hotel that night before they split up; with Ellen going to Liberty Island with their daughter Mora while Martin is going to a Mets game with their son Vaughn. Meanwhile, Fin is interviewed after the plane lands and he tries to warn the city about the coming storm but the police don’t seem to believe him. After accompanying April to the hospital, Fin is told by her doctor that she is stable and should make a full recovery. Fin heads to her room and they talk for a while before seeing a news report about the storm approaching New York. At Liberty Island, Ellen and Mora meet up with Ellen’s friends Polly and Chrissie, who ask Ellen about Fin and tell her about the plane crash. Ellen calls Fin and he tells her that she has to get off the island and when Mora can’t reach Martin, Ellen asks Fin to go get him and Vaughn, saying she had sent April a ticket for him. Fin agrees to go and kisses April before he leaves and hails a cab, where the driver, Ben, recognizes Fin and asks him some questions about being swallowed by a shark. Back at Liberty Island, Ellen, Mora, Polly, and Chrissie notice hundreds of sharks swimming in the waters around the island and when the ferry gets there, they quickly board it. Fin arrives at the ball park, with Ben giving him his card in case he needs another ride, and he heads up to find Martin and Vaughn when he runs into Skye, his old girlfriend who was at the game with Martin, Vaughn, and their friend Brian. Skye kisses Fin but he pulls back and tells her he is back with April and she apologizes. Fin heads to their seats and tells Martin and the others that they need to leave before the storm hits but Brian refuses to leave, believing that this is a simple rain delay. When an announcement comes over the loudspeaker that the game is cancelled, the crowd boos in disappointment but when a sharknado appears heading towards the stadium, they all quickly flee the stadium and head to the subway station. AS the train leaves the station, two subway workers are heading into the sewer tunnels to shut off the valves so the tunnels don’t flood but one is killed by an alligator and the second is killed when the tunnel floods, with a shark killing the alligator. The flood hits the subway and sharks begin attacking the cars, with one killing Brian, but Vaughn hits the emergency brake and they are able to get everyone off the train before the flood waters push it down the tunnel. Heading back to the surface, they manage to get a ride from Ben, and Fin asks him to take him to a hardware store but the one Ben knew was closed so he takes them to Times Square, where they split up to find weapons and supplies for Fin to make bombs. Meanwhile, Chrissie is killed by a shark on the ferry and as Ellen, Mora, and Polly disembark and start heading to the hotel to meet the others, they are forced to run as the head of the Statue of Liberty is broken off by the storm and comes rolling down after them. After managing to avoid the rolling head, they keep making their way to the hotel, eventually grabbing some bikes so they can move faster. Back at the hospital, the patients are being evacuated to the basement as a sharknado heads towards them but April, after helping a scared girl to the basement, leaves the hospital to go find Fin and the others. Back at Times Square, the group meet back at Ben’s cab and head for the hotel but before they get there, the streets end up flooded. Using Ben’s tow rope, they throw it over a traffic light so they can use it to swing across to the hotel. Martin, Vaughn, and Sky make it safely across but Ben is killed as he tries to swing across, dragging the rope into the water with him. Martin says he will try to find some more rope but Fin says there is no time, and proceeds to jump on the sharks’ backs to make it across (prompting Martin to joke about him jumping the shark). Heading inside the hotel, Fin tells Martin and Vaughn to wait in the lobby for Ellen and the others while he and Skye head up to the roof and try to destroy the sharknadoes. Ellen and Mora reach the hotel but Polly, who had lagged behind them, is killed when a whale shark falls on her. Fin and Skye reach the roof and use a slingshot to try and destroy the sharknadoes before they merge but the sharknadoes are too cold. He decides to make a bigger bomb but all that does is cause the sharks to catch fire and he and Skye are forced to leave the roof and head back downstairs. Meanwhile, the lobby becomes flooded and Martin, Ellen, Vaughn, and Mora head up the stairs to escape the rising water. They meet Fin and Skye partway up and are forced to use the fire escape to get away from the danger on both fronts. They leave the hotel, where they are surprised to see April in a fire truck there to pick them up. The group heads to the empire state building, where the Mayor and Fire Chief have a command center made ready and hand him a chainsaw to use. Seeing that the merged sharknado is about to converge with a third sharknado, Fin decides to blow the Freon tanks atop the Empire State building to try and freeze out the sharknados and Skye goes with him to help. When they reach the observation deck, Skye goes to make the connection as Fin prepares to use the lightning to trigger the explosion. As a shark starts to fall towards him, Fin can’t get the chainsaw started but he is saved by April, who had Vaughn make her a make-shift handsaw gauntlet for her injured arm. When Skye is finished, Fin tells her to get April out of there while he triggers the explosion but the cable becomes disconnected and Skye is forced to hold the cable in place. The explosion occurs and Fin and Skye are thrown into the air, with Skye being killed by sharks, but the massive Sharknado is broken up, with the crowd below grabbing any weapons they can find to deal with the falling sharks. Fin uses his chainsaw to kill some of the sharks near him as he falls but when it is knocked from his hand, he grabs a chain and usesit to snare aThe popularity  shark and ride it down to the observation deck. As more sharks fall towards him and April, he looks for a weapon and notices the dead shark by April is the same one that bit off her hand. Reaching inside it’s mouth, he grabs her severed hand and uses the gun it is still holding to kill the falling sharks. Afterwards, he takes the ring off the severed hand and asks April to marry him again, which she happily accepts as the crowd below celebrates their victory.

Sharknado 2: The Second One met with mixed to positive review from the critics, holding a 61% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “The schlock factor for Sharknado 2: The Second One is not as entertaining as its predecessor’s, though fans of the brand will likely enjoy it.” There were numerous nods to other movies throughout the film, primarily Jaws, Airplane, and Star Wars, while the original film’s popularity allowed The Asylum to use numerous people in cameo appearances as well. In it’s initial airing, it garnered 3.9 million viewers and prompted Syfy and The Asylum to almost immediately make plans for another sequel.

All the craziness from the first movie was amped up in the sequel and it paid off in a fun way. The acting was great, with Ian Ziering doing a great job as Fin, while Mark McGrath (Martin), Vivica A. Fox (Skye), and Kari Wuhrer (Ellen) doing good jobs in their roles as well. Tara Reid (April) didn’t seem as bad in this one as she was in the first movie but I have to admit that her screaming was just awful. The story was great, basically using the same concept from the first movie but doing a good job of trying to show how the tornadoes were forming with the different weather and pressure systems converging on New York City, while doing nothing to explain all the sharks (because where would the fun be in that). I also liked all the nods to the various movies that were used, as well as the cameos, but some of the funniest cameos were the ones that hinted at the actor’s previous roles; such as Robert Hays being the pilot (a nod to Airplane) and Judd Hirsch driving a cab (a nod to his character in Taxi). Even the short bit with Jared Fogle sitting underneath a sign for Subway while eating a Subway sandwich was pretty funny. The special effects were a little better than the original movie in regards to the sharknadoes, though I didn’t honestly see much improvement in the sharks themselves. Still, this movie was a lot of laughs and definitely something worth watching.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

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