Showing posts from February, 2007

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…