Movie Review: The Shallows (2016)

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Shark movies! Just… shark movies! Fucking shark movies! Love ’em, hate ’em… shark movies!

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Shallows”!

Nancy (Blake Lively) has traveled to a secluded beach to gt away from some shit. But her little vacation kind of goes to shit when she is attacked by a huge god damn shark and gets stranded on a rock about 200 yards from shore. So now she’s trying to survive while the shark is swimming around in the waters around her. And now we have a confined thriller with a shark… that is a pretty great premise. And it is for the most part a tense and very entertaining plot. I say “for the most part” because the first twenty(ish) minutes drag a little bit. I came here for a shark thriller, not an MTV music video. But after those opening minutes have passed and the shark has attacked, the movie truly starts adn I thougth that stuff was really good. Not Oscar worthy, but definitely entertaining and tense.

So there isn’t really much to say regarding characters here, considering how little time they get throughout. Really, the only one we can talk about is Nancy… so let’s do that. I thought Blake Lively did a really good job in the role, she really carried the movie very well. What I also liked about the character is that she wasn’t a “Mary Sue”, but she was also not your typical damsel in distress. The stuff she did throughout this tough situation, it all felt pretty realistic (given that the situation is exaggerated for the sake of our entertainment). And I kind of lied when I said that Blake Lively was the only character worth talking about. On the rock that Black Lively is stuck on, there is a seagull keeping her company, and I honestly think it’s the best character in the movie… just had to get that out there.

The score for the movie was composed by Marco Beltrami and I thought it was really good. Beltrami tends to compose scores that I like, and this is no different. It can at times help elevate tension and it’s overall very well composed. There are also some modern, licensed tracks in the soundtrack, none of them really my cup of tea. Good thing that they’re all pretty much in the beginning during the “MTV Music Video” bit. It didn’t ruin anything for me, but I had to mention it.

This movie was directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, a man whom I am a fan of. And I think he did a really good job here. The shots look terrific for the most part, and the scenes when Blake Lively is on and around the rock are all tensely directed. Not “Jaws” levels tension, but there’s still a good amount of tension throughout. And the shark is very well realized. The CG looks really good… for the most part. There are a few parts where I looked at the shark and said to myself “Wow, that looks kind of bad”. But those moments are like when we get a really close and lengthy look at the shark. But the moments when the camera was in the air and we saw the shark cruising around under the water… that stuff looked great, gave us a real sense of scale.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 77% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 59/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,4/10.

“The Shallows” is a really entertaining shark movie. It has a good plot, two good characters, a really good performance from Blake Lively, really good music, and great directing. However it is slightly brought down by those first 20(ish) minutes and a few bad CG shots. Time for my final score. *Duuuuun dun*. My final score for “The Shallows” is an 8,89/10. So I’d say that it’s worth buying!
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My review of “The Shallows” is now completed.

Seriously, I loved that seagull.

Movie Review: Jaws – The Revenge (1987)

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Guys, we are here at last… the final review in my series of movie reviews based the “Jaws” movies. It has been a tumultuous journey to say the least, but it feels good to finally be here. We made it through all of the movies. From the incredible 1975 original, to the mediocre sequel, to the unholy abomination that is the third one. And now, let’s finish this son of a bitch off.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the finale of this series… “Jaws: The Revenge”!

Where “Jaws 3” had potential for a great plot and fucked it up, this movie has one of the most ridiculous and also hilarious plots ever that you could never make genuinely amazing. In this movie we follow Ellen Brody (Lorraine Gary), the wife of Chief Brody who apparently had a heart attack between the last time we saw him and this movie. After her son Sean (Mitchell Anderson) is killed by a giant shark, she starts believing that a giant murderous shark is actually following them around, apparently wanting revenge for his three shark buddies getting killed by the Brody family in all other movies. Yeah… this shark wants Revenge… with his Jaws… (I’ll show myself out now). I love this plot, but not in a “Oh my god, this is so great” sense, but more in a “BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!” sense. While the plot is terrible, it is also hilarious.

Here is something kind of positive I can say about this movie; compared to “Jaws 3”, the characters in this movie seem to have some real chemistry. In the last one it was like the director simply told them “Hey actors, speak the lines from the script and then we can all go to lunch”. In this you could actually believe that they are family despite the fact that there aren’t any good performances in the movie. Okay to be fair there are a few performances that are… fine, at best. And those are the ones of Lorraine Gary, Lance Guest (He plays Mike Brody) and WHAT THE FUCK IS MICHAEL CAINE DOING IN THIS MOVIE!? Don’t get me wrong, I love Michael Caine, but I am seriously wondering what he is doing in this movie. Not so fun fun fact: He couldn’t be and accept his Best Supporting Actor Oscar trophy because he was busy making this movie… oh lord.

The score for this movie is… not that bad. Don’t get me wrong on this one, it is not as great as the John Williams original, or even the score from the second movie, but it is at least better than in “Jaws 3-Dick”. Does it build suspense? Nope, no suspense here. But at least it is enjoyable to listen to in certain parts. The quality is definitely better than in the third movie. Thank you, Michael Small.

Joseph Sargent directed this one and it is decently done. Great? No. But again, better than “Jaws 3-Dick”. The shots look pretty good and everything flows pretty well. But what the director failed to do, which is a big sin when it comes to this franchise, is the fact that he never managed to create suspense or tension. *Sigh*. Also, the ending “action” scene is not good… although it is pretty fucking hilarious. And just to save you the trouble of having to watch it, I will spoil the shit out of it. I know I am breaking my own code here, but I feel like I can do it with a big piece of shit like this. They go out in a boat to the middle of the ocean, they put a… thing in the shark, they activate the thing, they stab the shark with the tip of the boat and it goes KABOOM! Stupid? Beyond belief. Good? Not in the slightest. Hilarious? I burst out laughing at that part. Oh also, the shark roars in the movie despite the fact that sharks don’t have vocal cords.

This movie has been incredibly poorly received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 0% positive rating (Ouch). Roger Ebert gave this movie a thumbs down which I can only assume is the lowest possible rating from him. And on imdb.com it has a score of 2,8/10. I even remember seeing it once on imdb’s “Bottom 100” list.

“Jaws: The Revenge” is an atrocious movie that really shouldn’t be watched unless you have the right crew with you. You need people who can help you talk smack about it while laughing at the stupidity. But at the same time, I like more than “Jaws 3”. It has better characters, better music and slightly better directing… but it’s still awful. Time for my final score. *GAAAAAAH*. My final score for “Jaws: The Revenge” is a 4,00/10. I think that you should just skip it.
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YEEEEEEEES! I AM FINALLY DONE WITH THIS SHIT! NO MORE SHITTY “JAWS” MOVIES! AAAAAAHHHHH!

While you’re at it, go watch Chris Stuckmann‘s review of the movie.

 

Movie Review: Jaws 3 (1983)

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Sorry that it’s taken me so long to get to this entry, the only reason I got is because I have been hesitant to do it. I’ve been like “No, I don’t wanna watch it! NO!” but then I was like “Come on, Markus… you promised your followers”. So I took a deep breath, groaned for a bit and finally sat down to continue my series of “Jaws” reviews.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Jaws 3”. Or as they marketed it, “Jaws 3-D” (Oh lord).

So in this movie a shark breaks into Sea World and it’s up to Mike Brody (Dennis Quaid) and Sean Brody (John Putch) to stop it. That’s right, this time it is up to the sons of our beloved Police Chief to try to stop the shark. I’m not gonna lie, I actually liked the idea of a shark breaking into Sea World and causing mayhem. Problem is however that the execution for the plot is pretty bad. And by bad I mean fucking terrible. There is no suspense or tension AT ALL in the movie, it’s all gone. And the writing in the movie wasn’t very good either, so that just made the storytelling even worse. And the fact that the plot can get over-the-top and unintentionally hilarious doesn’t make it any better.

The characters are uninteresting. That’s it, uninteresting. And it doesn’t help that the actors are mediocre at best in the movie. I mean… I guess Dennis Quaid’s fine, but most other actors are straight up not good. I think a bit of it comes from the lackluster script as well as the actors.

For this movie Alan Parker took over the reins for the score. So how was it? BLAUAUAUAUauaaauuuuuauuuuu. Yep, it’s bad. It’s bloated, it’s ridiculous and it doesn’t know how to build any tension whatsoever. Even “Jaws 2” knew how to build a little bit of suspense with it’s score. This score has no idea what the fuck suspense or tension is. This score is terrible.

The directing in this movie is not good… at all. The camera starts, the camera films, the camera stops. Nothing great about it. And this is also the only movie that director Joe Alves has ever directed (Gee, I wonder why). Also, I mentioned in the beginning how this movie was marketed as “Jaws 3-D”. Yeah, and it is very noticeable that they wanted it to be 3-D. But even if you watch a 3-D movie in 2-D it should blend in seamlessly… but “Jaws 3” does not do that. The 3-D effects are very noticeable and they are some of the worst I have ever seen. I’m not gonna lie, I even laughed at the efects becaus they were so bad. Especially at one part near the end (spoilers, even though you shouldn’t watch this piece of shit) where the shark is heading straight for a glass window and breaks it. It all looks awful and it is pretty hilarious. My god, this movie has nothing going for it, huh?

This movie has not been well-received at all. It is so terribly received that it doesn’t exist on Metacritic or on Roger Ebert’s website. Anyway, on Rotten Tomatoes it has an 11% positive rating (Ouch). And on imdb.com it has a score of 3,5/10.

Guys… “Jaws 3-Dick” is fucking awful. It has a terrible plot, no good characters, terrible music, bad directing, awful 3-D and is almost impossible to watch. Time for my final score. *Cries in a corner for 5 minutes*. My final score for “Jaws 3” is a 1,77/10. I seriously think we should BURN THAT SHIT!
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Review of “Jaws 3” is done.

I don’t know why I am doing this for you guys.

Movie Review: Jaws 2 (1978)

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As promised, I will review every movie in the “Jaws” series before the end of the summer. And now we finally get to the second installment in the series. Sorry that it took so long, not only was I delayed a week by going to camp, but it also took a while to find a decent version of the movie (too bad that the decent only applies to the audio/video quality, EYYOO!).

Ladies and gentlemen, *Sigh*… “Jaws 2”.

Welcome back to Amity Island, New York! A place of sun, sand and a lot of young people. But the peace is disturbed when another killer shark attacks some people there. So now it is once again up to Chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider, R.I.P) to try to stop it. Is it just me or does this plot already feel overused despite the fact that it is only the second one? Sure, the premise was so simple and you had doubts how great it could be, but then the original “Jaws” turned out to be a fucking masterpiece. Here it isn’t as interesting and well-told, but is almost just boring at times. The suspense is almost 100% gone. The only suspense in the movie exist in the final act, and even there it is paper-thin.

Most of the characters in this movie are pretty uninteresting. The only one I found myself interested in and entertained by was Chief Brody, and I think that is only because of how likeable Roy Scheider is as an actor. He has some funyn lines, he says some smart lines and he seems like he genuinely cares about this town of people who don’t believe him despite the first movie happening. You know what would have made this movie a bit more entertaining? Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) being back to help Brody stop this shark, but noooooo, that could never happen!

Once again the score was done by the legendary John Williams. And I do think the score is the saving grace of this movie. Sure, there are a few tracks that I didn’t enjoy that much, but overall it is really good. I mean, it’s John Fucking Williams!

The shots in this movie look pretty good despite this movie not being directed by Steven Spielberg (smart move, man!). Instead it is directed by Jeannot Szwarc (Jean-not make this movie, please!). To be honest, I have never heard of the man before, but he showed here that he is a competent director. Not amazing, but good enough to make it all come together decently.

This movie has not been very well-received by anyone, based on the few reviews/scores I found. And by few I mean… two. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 53% positive rating. And on imdb.com it has a score of 5,7/10.

“Jaws 2” is an uninspired mess that isn’t suspenseful, has only one interesting character and has a less than interesting plot. However it is held up a little by the charisma and talent of Roy Scheider, the score of John Williams, the decent direction and by being just somewhat fun. Time for my final score. *Cough*. My final score for “Jaws 2” is a 6,12/10. I think it is worth a rental.
Rent it

“Jaws 2” is now reviewed.

Hey, maybe the shark is just misunderstood.
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Movie Review: Jaws (1975)

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It is time. I told you guys a while back that I would be reviewing every movie in this series this summer to celebrate 40 years of shark-based terror. So, without further interruptions… let’s go hunt us a shark.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Jaws!”

Welcome to Amity, New York, a real summer holiday town! It looks pleasant, like somewhere you would go with your family for some summertime fun. But that would get slightly changed when a young woman is killed by a giant killer shark. So it will be up to a police chief (Roy Scheider), an oceanographer (Richard Dreyfuss) and a crazy fisherman (Robert Shaw) to go out there and stop it. And that makes for a really interesting plot. Everything about the story works; the pacing, the build-up(s), the suspenseful moments… everything. But the plot gets to it’s absolute peak in the second half when they decide to go out in a boat and hunt down the shark. The sense of isolation and suspense is absolutely perfect in these scenes. And that is when the suspense of the plot really kicks into gear. To be honest, every part of the plot works fantastically.

The characters in this movie are fleshed out, well-written and really entertaining. Roy Scheider is perfect as this polie chief who doesn’t want any more people to die. Richard Dreyfuss is great as this oceanographer who wants to study the shark and of course help stop the killings. And Robert Shaw as Quint… the man, the myth, the legend. He is just straight up manliness at it’s finest. Such a badass who is also a bit of a crazy person sometimes. All of the characters are great in some way.

The score for this movie was done by none other than John Williams himself. And the score helps build the suspense of this movie perfectly. It isn’t like “BWAAAAH” all the time but much rather goes on the down low and starts building more and more until it can finally emerge from the water and “BAM!” in your face. And no, it doesn’t always build up to a “BAM!” but it does help hold the suspense perfectly. And it is just overall a great score that I enjoy listening to every now and then.

This movie when it was being made was going through some production problems. And by some I mean basically all the production problems possible. They were over the deadline, they were over budget, the mechanical shark broke down at all possible times, basicalyl everything that could go wrong went wrong. But they managed to get through it and it looks like it turned out well. Anyway, this was directed by the one and only Steven Spielberg and he did a fantastic job. Since he couldn’t use the mechanical shark at all times he came up with hte excellent idea to take the camera under the water as to portray the point of view of the shark when it had targeted something. And that obviously worked to the movie’s advantage. Overall this movie really well-directed with great camera work at all times. Also, here is a fun fact for you: The mechanical shark was named Bruce, after Spielberg’s lawyer.

This movie has been really well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 97% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 79/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 4/4 stars and put it in his “Great Movies” list. And on imdb.com it got a score of 8,1/10 and is ranked #207 on the “Top 250” list. The movie also won 3 Oscars in the categories of Best sound, Best Film Editing and Best Original Score. It was also nominated for 1 Oscar in the category of Best Picture. 

“Jaws” is a movie with an excellent and suspenseful plot, fantastic characters and performances, an excellent and suspenseful score, fantastic direction and one of the best endings of all time. Time for my final score. Dun DUN, dun DUN, dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun DU-DU- DUUUUN! My final score for “Jaws” is a 9,90/10. It definitely gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

“Jaws” is at last reviewed.

Farewell and adieu to you fair Spanish ladies, farewell and adieu you ladies of Spain…

Happy birthday, Jaws!

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What’s up, people? I am just here to talk a tiny bit about one of cinema’s greatest hits. A movie that has had so much influence over the movie industry yet has never been topped. A movie that made people afraid to go to the beach. That’s right… “Top Gun”! I’m kidding, but those shirtless guys-only volleyball games were kind of scary…ish. No, I am talking about the cinematic masterpiece “Jaws” from master director Steven Spielberg!

On the 1st of June 1975 “Jaws” saw the light of day and became the first real blockbuster. Hell, this is the movie that basically coined the term “blockbuster” simply because people were standing in lines around the block to see this movie. People saw it, they loved it and they got so scared that they didn’t go in the water for a while. Well I don’t blame them, “Jaws” is a pretty scary movie. And by scary I mean really freaking suspenseful. This is a universally loved movie to this day and it is still scaring people with DVDs and Blu-Rays and VODs and WTFs and all kinds of video formats.

I remember when I first saw it. I was around 13 or 14, I was sitting in my room and it was on TV. To be completely honest, I wasn’t that scared by it but I did think it was creepy. I thought the movie was really well made, I thought the actors gave terrific performances and I thought John Williams’ score was fantastic. It was overall a great movie. And the finale of the movie was also fantastic! I won’t spoil it if you somehow haven’t seen it yet. But how can you not have seen it yet… It’s motherfucking “Jaws”!

Talking about this amazing movie has given me a craving to review it one day soon. And the sequels too probably. So look forward to that!

Have a good one and you’re gonna need a bigger boat.