Friday, September 23, 2011

My Week In Movies - Piranhas Are Better Than Sharks

Shark Night 3D (2011) Folks, this is one horrible movie. It's not scary. It's not funny. It's not campy. It's not gory. It's not very interesting. It's about a group of college kids who go on a trip to a beach house and then they all get eaten by sharks. The sharks look only slightly more realistic than the special effects in a made-for-TV movie on SyFy. The plot involves one of the absolute dumbest motivations for a bad guy ever! The 3D is just about as unnecessary as it can get. Not once do the filmmakers use the 3D gimmick to their advantage. I thought this was going to be silly over-the-top fun like Piranha 3D, but I was wrong. The only thing this film has going for it is the beautiful Sara Paxton in the lead role and former American Idol star Katherine McPhee as one of her friends. Even the fact that the entire cast is in bathing suits for the majority of the running time can't excuse the existence of this poor film.


Pom Wonderful Presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (2011) With is third film, Morgan Spurlock seems to have hit the same wall the Michael Moore has - he thinks his films need a gimmick. While Moore constantly tries to cram an in-your-face stunt into every one of his movies, Spurlock too feels the need to duplicate the pattern of his first movie (Super Size Me) and put himself into the middle of the subject he's investigating. In this instance, the subject is product placement in films. That's an interesting topic that hasn't been exposed in a documentary yet, however Spurlock takes it a step further and spends most of the film trying to find real sponsors to finance his film through advertising. It's a gimmick that works some of the time, but chunks of the film with him meeting with various potential clients seemed forced. The expose is at it's best when it uncovers the truth behind advertising in movies.


The Muppet Movie (1979) There are just so many reasons why this is one of the greatest movies ever made. First of all, it's a perfect example of how to take a television property and translate it to the big screen. The Muppet Movie has all the elements of comedy, music and heart of The Muppet Show - just blown up on a bigger scale in set in the real world instead of a theatre. The Muppet's first big screen outing is also the most perfect example of the right way to do cameo appearances. Just about every speaking role by a human in this picture is played by someone famous. Bob Hope, Richard Pryor, Steve Martin, Lee Marvin, Mel Brooks and even Orson Wells all pop up throughout the colorful adventure. The music in the film is all top notch including the now-standard Rainbow Connection and one of my all-time favorite songs, Movin' Right Along. Compared to today's family films with loud pratfalls and even louder flatulence, Kermit the Frog and Company's silver screen debut is an old fashioned, good hearted time at the movies.


Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday The 13th (2000) I'm not quite sure what the deal with this film is. It's seems to have a pretty decent sized budget and it's competently directed but it was just dumped on to TV and video when it was released. Perhaps it was upstaged by the higher profile Scary Movie. Anywho, this is a pretty good parody film which riffs on mostly Scream but also I Know What You Did Last Summer and then about 50 other movies. When Dawson and his friends at school start getting mysterious notes, they are all written on "From The Desk of the Killer" stationary. Now, that's funny right there. I don't care who you are! Unlike the more recent parody films that have been released, this one actually makes fun of all the movies it touches upon. There's actually a pretty funny Grease scene in here. You would think with a staring lineup of Coolio AND Shirley Jones this would have been a big hit - Oh, Hollywood! Netflix Streaming


Going In Style (1979) This older comedy came highly recommended from another blogger so I thought I'd give it a try. It's about three elderly gentlemen who are bored with their lives so they decide to spice things up and rob a bank. Their disguise is pairs of Groucho glasses, which seems to be about the only funny thing in this movie. Dreadfully slow and kind of depressing - I didn't enjoy this at all. George Burns is such a pleasure to watch doing anything...but this caper film just wasn't up my alley. Netflix Streaming

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