Shmee Witnesses Sharknado!


Very rarely does a name make a movie popular, but when the name is Sharknado people notice.  The movie has been blowing up all over social media due to it ridicules name, and even worse production values, but still is it is a movie that is hard not to enjoy.  It was directed by Anthony C. Ferrante and distributed by The Asylum for the SyFy TV network, but thanks to its popularity it was released during mid-night shows around the country, and that is how I got to watch it.

The plot, if you want to call it that, is about Finley ‘Fin’ Shepherd (Ian Ziering (That guy from 90210)) trying to save his family and friends from a Sharkicane(?) that is about to hit LA, but along the way he stops randomly to save people, but things get worse when the Sharkicane starts off a bunch of … wait for it … Sharknados.  Which they fight, yes they fight the Sharknados, with hardware store bombs.

Some (most) of the scenes in this movie defy explanation, and my brain would come out of his hibernation and go, “Hay wait a minute!”, and I would be like, “Not now brain!”, and he would be like, “But, but, but …”, and then the logic abuse from the movie would make him pass out again.

The actors all seemed to know what kind of movie this was, and just have a good time doing whatever this movie required of them, which for the most part was to say and do dumb things.  I could see the glint in their eyes when they had to deliver some of the lines in this movie, and they were so close to busting up.

Thanks to a featurette after the movie, I know that the director thinks he was making a pretty much an ‘A’ quality movie because he used a crane, but I can tell you that he was excessively wrong.  The special effects were bad, the shots were framed and blocked poorly.  It was decidedly ‘B’ all around.  This movie was made for late night drive in movie theaters, and it is a shame that there aren’t enough around for movies like this to be seen in their natural habitat.

The director was convinced that he was making a good movie, and despite the facts that the acting was wooden, the special effects were abysmal, the plot was preposterous, and the general filming was dire.  I cannot disagree with him because move had one thing in its favor: it was completely entertaining, and I left the movie grinning from ear to ear.  That could also be because I watched it with a good group of friends that helped me make fun of it the whole time, but still it was fun, and that is all that counts.

The Wind Rises Trailer!

I don’t have anything to talk about today, so I am just going to post the trailer for the new Hayao Miyazaki movie The Wind Rises.  I don’t speak Japanese, but I still understood the trailer, so I am sure that you will be able to too. It looks great, and sad.  We may have another Graveyard of the Fireflies on our hands.

Japanese Unforgiven!

I have soft spot in my heart for westerns and samurai movies since they are thematically very similar.  They very rarely get made anymore, and when they do we get the Lone Ranger, so when I heard they were making a Japanese Unforgiven I was interested, but now after watching the trailer below I am blown away.  I need US release information now!

I Loved The Pacific Rim!


Ever once in a great while I get the feeling that movie producers green lit a project just for me, and Pacific Rim is one of those movies.  For those of you that do not know Pacific Rim is the giant robot versus giant monster movie came out this weekend.  It is written and directed by Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth).

A giant rift in space has opened up and monsters called Kaiju are coming through, and to destroy the Kaiju the world has created Jaegers, giant robots to destroy the threat.  The Jaegers take so much brain power to control that it needs two pilots to join their minds using ‘the rift’ that lets you see all the other pilots memories.  Usually family are used due to them already understanding each other.  The movie follows one such pilot Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam), and his rookie co-pilot Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) as they try to beat the crap out of the Kaiju that want to destroy our world.

This film features a lot of action movie tropes, the washed up pilot that needs to pull it together, the young dangerous rookie that could be something special, the jerky top pilot that worries the other guys are going to get him killed, and many more.  Usually that would be a downside for me, but del Toro uses them with such glee that it is more of an homage then lazy writing.  Because he actually does tell a decent story through it all with some good characterization, but he knows we were all in that theater for one thing, and that is some awesome monster battles, and this movie does not disappoint.

The monsters in this movie are massive, and while they all look similar in style, each one is different and has its own look, and just like the story the Kaiju are like a greatest hits of giant monsters, you will find all of your favorite city destroyers in there.  The robots are treated with equal love.  Each one seems like it was picked out of my favorite Japanese cartoon and delivered on screen, and when they clash, real movie magic happens.  This is a movie that needs to be seen in theaters.

The way he shot the movie was brilliant.  The scenes with humans are all nicely framed, but when he shoots the monsters or robots you get the feeling that he is craning the camera up, but he still can’t get tham all in one shot.  They are just too big.  It was the first time in a long time I wanted a bigger screen to try and fit these beast in, and yes I know that is not how movies work, but tell that to your brain as you watch the movie, or don’t, your brain is having a great vacation and it is best not to bother him.

The actors know their jobs.  This movie is not about them, but del Toro gives them fun lines, and good scenes to work in.  Ron Perlman, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman add the comedy as Hannibal Chau, Dr. Newton Geizler, and  Dr. Hermann Gottlieb respectively.  They are great and do not waste their screen time.  Idris Elba as Stacker Pentecost is as commanding as always, and I would following him to battle giant monsters any day.  Rinko Kikuchi and Charlie Hunnam do a good job leading this picture.

This movie is straight up fun, and it was designed to be.  It is refreshing not have some gritty down to earth story that the new Batman movies told all blockbusters that they need to be now.  No, this movie is an expression of joy, and it was Guillermo del Toro’s love letter to my thirteen year old self, and guess what del Toro, he loves you too!

I Like 3D In Movies, But It Still Needs To Go!


I like 3D in movies.  One of my favorite movies from last year Dredd 3D was obviously in 3D, and it was fantastic, but it is time for the technology to move on.  It used to be fun and only on certain movies, but they recently tried to convince us that we needed to see The Great Gatsby in 3D.  It was a story about the 20’s for crying out loud.

Movies like Dredd and Avatar were meant to be seen in 3D because the directors thought about that process, and made them with 3D in mind, but most movies are not that way.  They take a 2D movie and post-process it to add the effect, and for the most part you can’t even tell except that the movie is fuzzy if you try and take your glasses off.  The only reason they do this is to jack the ticket price up, and since movies already cost north of $12 a ticket it is a little ridiculous.

If they only used 3D every now and then it would great and I would still be happy with the technology, but it has gone too far, and it is time for studios to do the right thing and reduce the amount of 3D movies they release.  It is too expensive and they are destroying their customer’s good will.