Off the Beaten Path

Hey folks! It’s been a two movie weekend for me here, and you get to suffer for it!

I’m only partially kidding, of course. But you know those movies that are just so bad and over the top and you really never want to see it again, but you’re going to say you liked it anyway? Yep. Got one of those. Behold:

sharknadoYes, Sharknado. As in sharks. And tornadoes. And did I mention sharks?

It’s a Syfy network movie, which for those who haven’t partaken of such classics as Sharktopus and Chupacabra vs. the Alamo, is another in a long line of movies created with a paper-thin plot, a few minor stars, a script that I believe is using English as a second language, and production values that I think Patrick can match using the camera on his phone.

In short, these things are the rebirth of every horrible but classic 1950s ‘B’ movie.

The plot for the film, if indeed we can call it a plot, is this, plain and simple: sharks come inland in California thanks to the power of tornadoes spawned by a rare hurricane working its way up the west coast from Mexico. Oh hell, when even the poster for the movie just says “Enough Said!” you know it must be pretty simple.

Here’s the thing: the movie was horrible–worse than Chupacabra vs. the Alamo, and infinitely worse than Sharktopus (which actually was directed by Roger Corman). I’m fairly certain that the script was written by a college student over a six-pack of beers between frat parties. The special effects pretty much are just effects because there’s nothing special about them. And the acting is, well…It’s as if everyone working on the movie realized this was just crap and treated it that way.

Which is part of what makes a good ‘B’ movie: you either commit to doing this thing straight and hope people understand it was all tongue-in-cheek, or you go all-in and completely ham the whole thing up.

Here. Just check out the trailer:

And yes, those are most of the good parts, and a complete explanation of the plot. Yet my entire family sat through it because it was just too horrible to stop watching. You just never stop laughing. As such, Sharknado gets a flimsy Three out of five stars.

Oh, and for comparison’s sake, here’s the trailer for Sharktopus. Compare. Contrast. Discuss.

We’ll round out this review with an actual theatrically released movie that I watched, though not in a theater, this was on HBO: The Watch.

the watchNo, it’s not my normal fare, and no, I wouldn’t ordinarily watch a movie with either Vince Vaughn or Jonah Hill unless you had tied me to a chair and taped my eyes open. But my draw was Richard Ayoade, a British comic who starred in The I.T. Crowd, a TV series from a few years ago.

The plot here is preposterous, but not horribly thin: aliens are invading a town in Ohio via the local Costco’s basement, and the neighborhood watch, led by Ben Stiller, seems to be the only group willing or capable of ridding the planet of the imminent threat.

That’s the highlight of the movie. It really could have been very, very funny. It could have been really, really good. But it wasn’t.

Everyone in the movie yells. All of the time. And they swear all of the time, for no reason other than I think it’s the type of humor they were shooting for. And while they do a good job of making the lead characters likable, I ended up just hating all of them because they yell all of the time. If I wanted that much yelling, I’d just have had my kids fight over the remote for 105 minutes.

The thing is that I’m really disappointed. Once I figured out what where the movie was going I just kind of stopped caring but wanted to see how the whole thing ended because by then I was halfway in. And it was all because they insisted on making it a loud, disgusting, profane movie. And it didn’t need to be any of those to be absolutely hilarious.

But alas, it was. Two out of five stars.

It’s All Star Game week! I may or may not blog tomorrow and Tuesday nights. It depends on how exciting the Home Run Derby and the game are this year.

See you tomorrow. (or not…)