Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014)

Number Rolled: N/A
Movie Name/Year: Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014)
Genre: Action & Adventure
Length: 100 minutes
Rating: Unrated
Affiliated Companies: The Asylum, Syfy
Director: Anthony C. Ferrante
Writer: Thunder Levin
Actors: Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, Vivica A. Fox, Mark McGrath, Kari Wuhrer, Courtney Baxter, Dante Palminteri, D.C. Douglas, Tiffany Shepis, Raymond T. Williams, Judah Driedlander, Kurt Angle, Benjy Bronk, Billy Ray Cyrus, Sandra ‘Pepa’ Denton, Andy Dick, Perez Hilton, Judd Hirsch, Robert Klein, Matt Lauer, Biz Markie, Kelly Osbourne, Al Roker

Fin and April survived their California Sharknado storm. Romance renewed, they take a trip to New York in order to get together with Fin’s sister and her husband. They haven’t even arrived when the signs of another Sharknado hitting the Big Apple begin to appear. In fact, it crashes their plane and they are thrust into another episode of survival.

When Sharknado 2 premiered, you’re damn right I was watching it with a group of equally insane friends. I liked the first one and had been looking forward to the second one.

Ok, it’s not a masterpiece. It won’t be viewed as amazing cinema in the future, or at all for that matter. It may not even technically be a “good” movie – but it is entertaining and amusing. In the end, that’s what most viewers are really looking for.

As fun as the first one was, I think the second one was even better. Obviously, I’m not factoring in the terrible representation of science or the fact that critics apparently felt like they were smacked in the face by a fin (they hated it).

First of all, the plot was more confident. The writers didn’t have to wonder if anyone would watch; they knew that people would be tuning in to the premiere and then sticking around to watch the encore, possibly even recording it. So they had the freedom to be silly and punny, which brought up the “campy” factor quite a bit.

Secondly, the celebrity cameo’s elevated the interest level. Wil Wheaton, Kurt Angle, there was even Pepa from the 90’s rap duo Salt n’ Pepa. It was like a smorgasbord of awesome!

Third, the references were spectacular. I don’t know if they were on purpose or not, but there were a ton of Evil Dead/Army of Darkness references.

If you enjoyed the first Sharknado then, by all means, watch this one. Even if you don’t like creature features, you might enjoy it. A friend of mine avoids them like the plague and still enjoyed Sharknado and Sharknado 2.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 26%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – None yet

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – N/A
Trust-the-Dice Score4/5

The Random Rating: Rated R – for strong violence with blood and gore

P.S. At the beginning of every month I generally do the Top 10 Movies to Look Out For – but nothing I’m going to recommend comes out on the first anyway, so the Sharknado 2 premiere came first.

Movie Trailer:

Monday, July 28, 2014

Cat Run (2011)

Number Rolled: 28
Movie Name/Year: Cat Run (2011)
Genre: Independent
Length: 105 minutes
Rating: R
Affiliated Companies: Lleju Productions, Universal Studios (Distribution only)
Executive Producer: Ram Bergman, Derrick Borte, Peter Principato, Max Winkler, Paul Young
Director: John Stockwell
Writer: Nick Ball, John Niven
Actors: Paz Vega, Janet McTeer, Alphonso McAuley, Scott Mechlowicz, Christopher McDonald, Karel Roden, D.L. Hughley, Tony Curran, Michelle Lombardo, Radik Golovkov, Branko Djuric, Gordan Kicic, Jelena Gavrilovic, Albert Perez, Caleb Vela Poquet, Heather Chasen, Michael Sopko, Vanja Govorko, Jovan Krstic, Jean-Christophe Bouvet, Milorad Kapor

Anthony has done his best to distance himself from his family. He even moved out of the U.S. and opened a restaurant on another continent. Business wound up kind of sucking and when his best friend finds him and gives him the idea to start a detective agency he folds. Their first case, though, takes them further into danger than they ever expected.

I hate the word “derivative.” In fact, the only time you’ll ever see it used in one of my reviews is when I’m making fun of it. Why? Well, when a critic uses the word to describe a movie, they’re basically just saying that the film was imitating another one. In a lot of cases, I find that it’s less imitation and more inspiration. I mean, directors grow up watching movies and honed their styles in the memory of their favorites, right? So almost every one of them has been inspired by something someone else made. If a critic simply means the movie is cookie cutter or unimaginative – then they should just say that. I feel like it’s just a word those people use to sound more elitist.

Cat Run was not well liked by critics. I think the lot of them were watching the wrong movie or something, because I thought the film was hilarious.

There’s a lot of sex and nudity, but considering the main plot it makes sense for there to be a lot of sexuality. There was also the buddy-detective aspect because of the two main characters. Most of Cat Run actually seemed like an episode of Psyche with different actors. It did have some relatively original parts, though, and I thought the characters came alive through the actors.

There were some plot holes. The only one that I can mention without adding a spoiler alert, however, is that it’s never explained why Anthony has such superior observation skills (his skills are revealed roughly 10 minutes into the movie). I would have liked to know the story behind it.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 14%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 33%

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 3.3/5
Trust-the-Dice Score3/5

Movie Trailer: