Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dinoshark


I’m back. Possibly. Anyway. On to Dinoshark, starring Eric Balfour. When I saw that it was starring Balfour (and to me, he is only “Balfour”), I got really excited. Then I realized that, if asked, I could not cite a single movie or show he’s ever been in. Even after checking his IMDB credits and confirming I have seen some of the shows, I have absolutely no recollection of his presence. But that excitement is why Balfour embodies the blog’s name.

There are two kinds of C-list actors: the ones who were famous back in the 80s or 90s, and the ones who are famous but you can’t name a single thing they’ve been in. Sure, there are the A-list actors who are slumming it, but where would a SyFy channel original be without at least one C-list actor?

I can tell you this much: Dinoshark needs Balfour. In fact, there isn’t enough Balfour, as far as I’m concerned. The movie’s biggest weakness is that the female lead’s subplot is much more Dinoshark-related than Balfour’s. His plot is mostly about his run-ins with the harbor patrol. She’s the one who actually researches the Dinoshark.

The one thing that sets this movie apart from the others is that is has more filler shots than any movie I’ve ever watched. Which is surprising, given what rich material they have to pull from. I mean, this is a movie about a prehistoric shark terrorizing Puerto Vallarta. And yet, for every character who is devoured by Dinoshark, there is at least a minute of stock footage leading up to it.

No, seriously. This is an actual scene from the movie.



I love that the Dinoshark doesn’t strike until you start to wonder to yourself, “Okay, what’s the point of all this stock footage?” He lulls you into a state of mild confusion and boredom – or, as I like to call it, the Dinoshark’s wheelhouse. Then there’s the fact that the cheery surf music suddenly switches to foreboding surf music. I didn’t even know foreboding surf music existed until this movie. Thank you, Dinoshark composers, for introducing me to this subgenre. I know what I’m adding to my workout mix.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Fire From Below


Have you ever read an entire page of a book, only to realize that you don’t remember a single word? That’s what watching Fire From Below was like for me. Even as I was watching it, I recognized that I didn’t actually understand what was happening. Normally, disaster movies have gaps in logic or reasoning, but Fire From Below goes beyond the gaps in logic – it just doesn’t have any. The tag on the poster reads, "The Laws of nature have just been broken." I now realize that the marketing team was trying to warn me.

Basically, after a group of miners strike … something, a sparky fire tentacle begins terrorizing a small town in Texas. It is apparently caused by the stuff they’re drilling for: a huge supply of a lithium isotope, the L-6 isotope. What is the L-6 isotope? I’m glad you asked. According to the “sexy” business lady over at Drake Industries, the L-6 isotope has huge potential to be used in long-running batteries and in alloys for plane bodies. There’s only one flaw: it is highly combustible with water. Yes, to you and me, this seems like a bad substance to tack onto an airplane, but Mr. Drake dreams big.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Black Hole

Black Hole is the first movie that lets the blog live up to its name. It stars Judd Nelson and Kristy Swanson as two scientists racing against time to stop both a black hole and an energy monster from devouring St. Louis.

Now, I know what you’re all thinking: “Yes, but does Judd Nelson do the fist thing at the end?” No, unfortunately, he does not. I understand if you don’t want to keep reading, but I suggest you continue, as this movie isn’t so different from The Breakfast Club.

The movie starts with the following information: “In 1999, a panel of nuclear physicists discussed the possibility that a heavy ion collider experiment could result in the formation of a black hole. After an extended debate, the panel decided that such a scenario was not just highly unlikely, but impossible.”

“Well,” you think, having read all that. “That was a surprisingly anticlimactic movie.”

But then! –

They were wrong.

And with those three words, you know that this movie is no joke. It’s rare that a movie flat-out warns you that nuclear physicists were wrong. But this movie goes there, and you have to respect them for that.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mega Shark versus Giant Octopus


My dear friend Christine has been harassing me regularly to cover this movie, which is absurd, since obviously I was going to. I mean, it’s called Mega Shark versus Giant Octopus. I think that translates in Gaelic to “C-List Actors Save Us All.”

But, looking at this poster having now seen the movie, all I can feel is disappointed. The poster is like the box for sea monkeys. You think you're getting a totally sweet sea monkey kingdom, but in truth, they're just brine shrimp.

Maybe my expectations were set too high, or maybe they weren’t low enough. Regardless, it was just bad. Really, really bad. And boring. And nonsensical. But not even in the good way. In the lazy way, bad, boring way.

The movie stars serious actress Deborah Gibson. No, not singer Debbie Gibson. You must have confused the two, since their names are so very similar. But, if you’ll notice, there’s no way they can be the same person, since serious actresses spell their names with “-orah,” not “-bie.”

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

2012

The first thing you need to know about 2012 is that it is 160 minutes long – 2 hours, 40 minutes. So, brace yourself, because apparently, the end of the world happens in real time. Then again, if they had edited it down at all, Roland Emmerich would have had to cut out at least one “running in front of a natural disaster” sequences, and we all know how much he loves those.



The second thing you need to know is that humanity sucks. No, really. We suck. If there is one lesson that you can take away from this movie, it’s that mankind sucks, hard.

Warning – spoilers ahead. No, seriously. I’m spoiling this movie like Veruca Salt’s daddy.

Friday, November 13, 2009

2012 Photoblog

So, last night I went to see the seminal "Mayan Apocalypse" movie of our time (and no, Mel Gibson, I'm not forgetting Apocalypto).

I was so excited to see it, Scott and I dressed up in costume as our favorite natural disasters. I was a volcano, he was a hurricane.



His costume was just a sign that said hurricane with a cloud drawn around it. I told him that hurricanes aren't just a bunch of clouds, but he said, "Whatever, I look like a jackass, you owe me."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Surface, Episode 2


Where last we left off … eh. It was the pilot. We met people. There are sea monsters. They don’t eat people … yet.

The show opens at a lighthouse near the Cape of Good Hope. Inside, an old guy watches rugby on the TV. Little does he know that he’s about to die. Or, if he were on any other show, about now is when he would die. Lucky for him, he’s on Surface, where nothing actually happens. The old guy sees his water glass rattling on the table, and even he thinks he’s in a better story, because he looks like he knows he’s about to bite it. No good comes of water glasses rattling. He goes to the window, peers into the fog, and hears a roar that blows out all the glass in the lighthouse. And then … that’s it. We see the sea monster dive below the waves, satisfied with his destruction.

Really, people? We’re in the second episode and no one’s been eaten by a sea monster yet? These sea monsters kind of suck. Apparently, they’re more into property damage than actually being threatening. What are they going to do next, egg a house?

The episode picks up where it left off last week, with everyone except Aleksander Cirko being remarkably uninteresting, despite having alternately wacky hijinks and perilous government run-ins. We’ll get to them later. Let’s check in with Dr. Cirko.

Dr. Aleksander Cirko, dramatic Serbian evolutionary biologist, is en route to see a fully-grown mystery creature when he’s stopped by a handsome Asian man in a suit. You know he’s evil because he’s really friendly and amicable while throwing around his power. Government agents are never that friendly unless they have some serious power over you.