Showing posts from 2007

The Adventures of Ford Fairlaine (1990)

The Adventures of Ford Fairlane(1990)
Dir.: Renny Harlin
TC4P Rating: 4/9
Appearance: via dialogue and a brief cameo (deceased and barbecued).

What smells worse than the scent of overly charred shark meat, roasted to disgusting effect on a spit? Possibly only the script to this flop attempt to launch Andrew Dice Clay as a major motion picture leading man. Truthfully, I kind of like Clay on film, even if I have never been even the slightest fan of his stand-up act. I thought he was the funniest thing in the Lea Thompson-Victoria Jackson misfire Casual Sex?, which isn't the boldest statement given its general shoddiness, but it's the truth. Looking back on the supposed shock of his Saturday Night Live appearance the year this film came out, it's hard to see what all the hubbub was about, Bub.

Given a legitimately R-rated platform to sell his largely misogynistic and sophomoric material, Clay ends up slapping out a truer approximation of his cartoonish, buffoonish character (which…

L'avventura (1960)

L'avventura (1960)
Dir.: Michelangelo Antonioni
TC4P Rating: 9/9
Appearance: dialogue only; unseen species of Mediterranean frequency.

In the traditional and monstrous fashion of most fictional sharks, the appearance of this "pescecane" (as it is referred to in the Italian of what is considered by many critics to be one of the greatest films of all time, L'avventura) comes out of nowhere to rupture the plot violently and infuse images of its "horrid" self into the thoughts of the film's idle rich. An idyllic summer voyage to the islands in the Aeolian Sea off Sicily, in which a boat full of the emotionally empty languish in their own ennui and the lies they tell themselves and others, all under the pretense of having a good time, turns tragic when the most conflicted of the lot, Anna, completely disappears, both from the island they are visiting, and from the movie altogether.
Before she disappears, however (and just before they decide to dock at the island)…

My Super Ex-Girlfriend (2006)

My Super Ex-Girlfriend (2006)
Director: Ivan Reitman 
Cinema 4 Rating: 5 
Shark: great white shark 
Appearance: CGI, dialogue 

Sleeping with Anna Faris should be heavenly, and -- despite my deep and abiding appreciation for toothy marine creatures -- uninterrupted by the sight of a great white shark flying towards one’s head as one sits up in bed after awakening from what was probably the most emotionally and physically fulfilling night of one’s life. Setting my own personal fixation on Ms. Faris aside, this is exactly what happens to Luke Wilson just over an hour deep into the middling special effects comedy, My Super Ex-Girlfriend. 

Wilson sleeps with Faris, his longtime crush, after breaking up with the voluptuous but clearly “off her rocker” super-heroine G-Girl, played almost like a mannequin for the most part by Uma Thurman, who really should remain in the employ of a director like Tarantino who clearly worships her and understands her strengths as well as her weaknesses as an actress…

9 Steps Towards Understanding Why There Is a Film Called Shark Hunter that Just Happens to Star Antonio Sabato, Jr.

Shark Hunter(2001)
Dir: Matt Codd
TC4P Rating: 4/9
Species: the extinct Megalodon [C. megalodon]

1. First, WATCHShark Attack, Shark Attack 2, Blue Demon, Deep Blue Sea, Shark Attack 3: Megalodon, Jaws 2, Jaws 3-D, Jaws 4: The Revenge, Blood Surf, Megalodon, and Spring Break Shark Attack. In fact, watch just about any film released since Jaws, outside of Jaws, that has even the faintest trace, like blood in the water, of shark footage in it. Pay especial attention to Shark Attack 3: Megalodon. Then get around to watching Jaws once again, not just to remind yourself of what a great shark movie is (as if you needed reminded that really there is only one), but also because it is still just that damn cool.

2. Then, SEEShark Hunter. Fight your way initially through the horribly produced "flashback" footage of the lead character's "happy" childhood (this footage occurs over the far too ponderous credit sequence; I'm not sure which one makes the other seem even longer t…

Black Water Gold (1970)

Black Water Gold (1970)
Director: Alan Landsburg
TC4P Rating: 4/9
Species: blacktip reef sharks, Caribbean reef sharks

Let's get this over with quickly, shall we? A full 55 minutes into this not wholly dull ,made-for-television, deep sea treasure adventure, we finally get a glimpse of sharks in the water. After several diving sequences and some other watery action, a plan is hatched by one of the heroes to get the native population of the island to lightly chum the water with fish remnants from their fishing boats, thus attracting a handful of sharks to keep the villains out of the water where the hero knows the treasure is hidden. What seems (I'll explain in a moment) to be a blacktip reef shark or two, and then a reef shark of the Caribbean variety, show up to grab a quick snack and drive the baddies off for the nonce. The film doesn't make the sharks look menacing at all; in fact, they are only filmed from above the water, and are literally onscreen for less than 45 seconds…

TSFO Manta Wing: Below (2002)

Below (2002)
Director: David Twohy 
TC4P Rating: 6/9
Species: giant oceanic manta ray (Manta birostris) 

It is only a sequence of around thirty seconds or so, but it is incredibly memorable. Four Navy divers on a stricken U.S. submarine on patrol in the North Atlantic in World War II take to the depths to effect some repairs that can only be accessed by swimming around the sub. Climbing out of the submersible in scuba gear that had barely been invented (and that the Navy apparently did not even use yet), the quartet stand on the deck with only their flashlights illuminating the darkness surrounding them. One diver plays with the mass of plankton floating around them, passing his hand in front of his light and marveling at the tiny creatures. Suddenly, a huge ghostly shadow, with a very recognizable underbelly, rises up behind them, and then one of the divers looks to his side and sees the gaping maw of what must seem to the character to be an alien creature swooping towards him. A flare i…

Blue Demon (2004)

Blue Demon (2004)
Director: Daniel Grodnik 
Cinema 4 Rating: 3/9
Species: genetically modified great white sharks

"Four years and millions of dollars on this project, and all I've got to show for it is a couple of big sharks with pretty eyes?"- Lawrence Van Allen (Danny Woodburn)

Let's imagine that Daniel Grodnik, the director-slash-co-writer-slash-producer, (i.e. The One On Whom To Place All Blame) of the genetically engineered great white shark, straight-to-video purgatory flick, Blue Demon, falls into that much fabled Peter Jackson fan-boy territory. Jackson, much like Ray Harryhausen and Ray Bradbury before him, credits the 1933 King Kong as the chief inspiration for his life and career in the realm of fantasy storytelling. (Kong, as regular readers of my original blog, The Cinema 4 Pylon, know full well is my favorite film as well, though I have yet to get either a life or a career, in any realm...) Jackson works his way from making small, independent B-movies to bec…

...Because Fish #@%& In It!

It's hard to concentrate on movies or blogging when all you have are thoughts of copulating sharks in your head. Such is the problem when Discovery Channel's annual Shark Week rolls around. It's not my fault that they devoted an entire documentary to The Science of Shark Sex! But then the filmmakers spent 45 minutes of the show not talking about shark sex at all, but instead showed the drooling scientists roaming about the water around three islands posting all sorts of monitoring devices in their attempt to capture the mating habits of some grey reef sharks. But once the magic moment arrives -- BUCK-A-WHANG! It was so freaking graphic, with all of this descriptive talk about penetration and thrusting, that I wasn't sure that I hadn't fallen asleep earlier and missed the whole plotline involving the great white pizza delivery boy and the randy nurse shark cheerleader.

The scientists made a big deal about how they had been waiting their whole careers to capture such …