The Pink Panther Snipes Again

Bad Movie Reviews with a Touch of Snark


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Planet of the Sharks, or: Damn Dirty Waves

The shame consumes me as, at least for the purposes for the blog collab, we forgot about the most important summer holiday:  Shark Week.  Better late than never?

The Film:

Planet of the Sharks

Where to Watch:

Amazon Prime

The Uncondensed Version:

This one is a SyFy original giving the all-important shark genre a dystopian setting and topical global warming commentary, so you know it’s going to be good.

In the future, humanity has fucked up…to the utter astonishment of no one.  Predictably, people waited until the entire surface of the Earth was underwater before coming up with constructive ways to combat global warming.  As a result, people live in giant floating cities primarily constructed from recycled debris.  Not an ideal situation to begin with…but it’s about to get better when we throw swarms of sharks controlled by electromagnetic pulses into the mix.  Seriously.

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Never volunteer for look-out duty in a shark-infested dystopian planet.

For whatever reason, we follow the sole survivor of a shark attack that wipes out her, er, city(?) when the double whammy of sharks + random explosions strikes.  I think we’re supposed to feel at least some sympathy for this girl, but it’s difficult to even remember her name (which I don’t) when she has something like 2 lines of dialogue in the entire movie.

After this girl is saved when the closest floating city sees a distress flare, scientists try to determine what is happening and how it could impact their current project.  So you’re aware–their current project involves launching a rocket into the atmosphere to destroy the C02 that has led to global warming.  One rocket is supposed to reverse decades of C02 emissions and pollution that has flooded the entire goddamn planet…?  Rather irritatingly, there’s quiet a lot of science-splaining that pretends to be smart but is really just spewing a bunch of nonsense.

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Obviously the main thing lady scientists do is stand around looking sweaty.

So anyway…the lead shark glows for some reason and is able to control the rest of the sharks for human destroying purposes.  This has the power to doom humanity completely as any chance of launching a miracle C02 blasting rocket could be in jeopardy due to shark attacks.

The scientists try to recruit the help of the largest floating city around, Salvation, to defeat the sharks and launch the rockets.  Unfortunately, their leader is too much of a badass to believe her city could be taken down by sharks.  Her indeterminate but vaguely Creole accent is distracting, but her one-liners more than make up for it.  Even though I don’t condone the killing of sharks, she’s a bit of a hero, uttering with complete confidence lines like, “I find it hard to believe an entire flotilla could be taken down by sharks,” and “We got some…sha-waks to keel…”

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Shark-kabobbed.

Since it’s been only about 20-30 minutes at this point, I think you can guess whether sharks or humans win this round.  However, the scientists, the girl, guy who looks a bit like a pirate, and cringey comic relief dude have a chance to regroup and restrategize.  Their brilliant plan?  Lure the sharks to an underwater volcano and then make it erupt.  For real.  Goodbye, humanity.

Color me surprised when this rock-solid plan suffers some unexpected complications.

The Rating:

3/5 Pink Panther Heads

It’s no Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark, but there are definitely some moments I really enjoyed here.  The characters are largely forgettable, but some of the women demonstrate moments of badassery and pretty entertaining one-liners.  I probably should have given them more attention, but I seriously cannot remember any of their names.

The last half of the film is way slower and decidedly less shark-centric.  There is SO MUCH discussion of the damn rocket, and all of the pseudo-science drove me insane.  While I acknowledge the point of this movie was to fill time and sell ads on SyFy, it still irritated me that global warming was a plot device explained with nonsense that probably does more harm than good.  What hath SyFy wrought?  Will we grow up with a generation that sincerely believes launching a single rocket can solve global warming???

Overall, I was hoping for a more deliberate Planet of the Apes parody (I would KILL to see talking land sharks enslave humanity) rather than just a catchy title that has little to do with the way the film unfolds.  However, this film checked off some major boxes:  sharks, women with spears, volcanoes, and inexplicable explosions.  I can live with that.

Would Christa rule the planet of the sharks or let it all go under?  Find out here!


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12 Days of Terror, or: Torpedo Is the Only Possible Explanation

Sadly, Shark Week is officially over, but in the true spirit of taking things to an unnecessary extreme that no one really wanted, this blog collab officially recognizes July as Shark Month.  What could possibly be more American than that?

I stand by my decision to start out the month with—I kid you not—a made-for-tv shark attack period drama.  It’s as glorious as it sounds.

The Film:

12 Days of Terror

Where to Watch:

Netflix (US)

The Premise:

According to the trailer, this movie is based on true events that happened in 1916 off the Jersey Shore, which also sort of inspired Jaws.

The Uncondensed Version:

We follow Alex, a strapping young lifeguard who seems to be metaphorically floating along without much thought for the future.  It’s clear pretty quickly that Alex is still really into Louise, his friend Stan’s fiancée (and, coincidentally, former girlfriend of Alex).  Because wedding shit is apparently super important, Louise and Stan have ulterior motives for visiting Alex—Louise absolutely must make a decision about the color of the flowers on the wedding cake.

Early clues that Alex is sweet but not the brightest:  he picks GREEN flowers because they match Louise’s BROWN eyes.  WTF, dude?  Green flowers are just suspicious, aren’t they?  Esp. on food.

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Why were green flowers even an option to begin with?  I am NOT letting this go.

Anyway, this film gets right to the point because after about 10 minutes of exposition, the moment we’ve been waiting for happens—SHARK ATTACK.  We’re just not sad at all, though, as the victim was this overly confident upper-class twit.  Alex immediately jumps in to save the man, but the shark already took a big enough bite for the first life to be lost.

Commence the frustratingly oblivious officials and politicians who will dominate the inaction of the remaining hour and 15 minutes of the film.

Even though Alex insists the man who died was a victim of a shark attack, there is literally no other logical human in New Jersey, so no one believes him.  It is, ahem, “scientific fact” that killer sharks don’t swim near the shore, and they’re not aggressive towards humans.  Besides, President Wilson is just about to visit the small beach town, which no one wants to jeopardize.  Plus there are many business interests involved that would be hurt if anyone admitted the beach might not be safe.  So nothing happens and, in fact, the prime suspect in all of this is a stray torpedo, it being WWI and whatnot.  DUDE, can you even hear yourself???

It really blows to be Alex at this point because the only person who takes his side is a drunk old sea captain/mentor who gives advice like “If ever your dog got hold of a chicken, you’d have to shoot it.”

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Yarrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…fish…grog…sea beasties…

However, what can he do besides keep calm and lifeguard on?  Alex continues working and biting his tongue.  That is, until one of the other lifeguards falls victim to the shark, yet the official reports keep denying the existence of aforementioned shark.  This move is widely frowned upon, and even Stan says Alex looks like a coward for quitting his job.  Dammit, Stan.  Remember the war’s out there.

Now that Alex doesn’t have a lot to do except feel bad about all of his life decisions, he joins up with the sea captain to basically build a fence that will keep the shark away from the beach.  Yeah, good luck with that one.  The whole construction of the fence is actually quite impressive, though, as there’s absolutely no snorkeling gear involved.

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It was an almost impossible choice for the captain to declare a winner of the wet t-shirt contest.

Things seem to be going okay until the shark makes its way up a creek, where there are children swimming.  The captain yells at the boys to get out of the water, and do they fucking listen?  I’ll give you a hint:  they’re boys.  Stupid, stupid boys.

In an effort to save the boys, Stan jumps in to the water, which you can imagine isn’t going to end well.  After things take a turn for the bloody, Alex is out for revenge.  …Against the shark.  Clearly.  Because that’s a language sharks understand.

Either way, the last few scenes of the film are actually quite tense and emotional.  I think you’ll end up feeling sorry for the people as well as the shark unless your heart is made of stone.

The Rating:

3.5/5 Pink Panther Heads

It’s really difficult to go wrong with a shark film, even (especially?) a made-for-tv period piece based on true events.  I unabashedly enjoyed this one even though it’s really annoying to (1) watch so many fuckheads go into the water even with repeated warnings NOT to and (2) see all of the so-called experts claim there’s no possible way the attacks could’ve been the work of shark despite an increasing amount of evidence supporting exactly that point.

Alex was so sincere (and, ahem, didn’t look at all bad whilst emerging from the ocean) that I couldn’t help wanting him to succeed.  But being the only sane person amidst cripplingly incompetent assholes can boost your likeability factor immensely.

Did Christa jump on board with this or does she prefer to deny its existence?  Find out here!

Full disclosure:  I had to stop halfway through this and watch Jersey Shore Gone Wilde clips because of the number of times characters said “Jersey Shore.”  Zero regrets.