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Movie Review: Ice Sharks

Ice Sharks

Released: 2016
Genre: Action / Sci-Fi
IMDB Rating: 3.6 / 10

Just after I reviewed the decidedly average Mega Shark VS Kolossus a little something from one of its lead actors popped up in my Twitter notifications:

Ice Sharks_EdR Tweet

Not wanting this to be another Kacey Zen-type incident I decided that there was only one rational thing I could do: become the President and Chief Financial Officer of the Unofficial Edward DeRuiter fan club. It made sense – he tends to be in movies I enjoy watching and he had that oddly buff office worker vibe going on. And so it was decided that I would watch any movie that Mr DeRuiter had a starring role in after the aforementioned Mega Shark VS Kolossus, and the fan club kicked off its run with Ice Sharks.

Once they reach a specific age marine bases swim off to start families of their own.

Once they reach a specific age marine bases swim off to start families of their own.

The Plot

On at undisclosed island somewhere around Greenland at an unnamed facility doing unspecified but very wide-reaching research things are about to get a little hairy. According to the local Scottish Indian Inuit people are going missing on the ice, and Tracy and David (played by the ever-charming DeRuiter) decide to head out and see whether the polar bears are snacking on things they shouldn’t. It all goes a bit pear-shaped when it becomes apparent that several creatures lying in bits and pieces on the ice have been attacked by Greenland sharks, and even David’s swoon-inducing smile isn’t enough to ward off an attack, and he and Tracy barely make it back to the facility alive.

But these are clever sharks, evolved to have razor-sharp fins and a strong understanding of circles. Working as a group they saw through the ice, separating the facility from the connecting land and causing it to float off into the sea. Cautionary tale kids: don’t build your research facility on wafer-thin ice – not even David’s rippling biceps will be able to reconnect that to the rest of the shelf.

Things take a decided turn for the worse when the sharks rally once more and sink the facility, sending it to the sea floor from whence they can pick off the survivors one by one. It’ll be up to David and all his sensuous manoeuvres (and the help of several unimportant characters and a large ice breaking ship) to make effective use of soft science that’ll refloat the facility if anyone’s going to have a chance of seeing the surface world again.

Ain't nothing wrong with a little extra thigh.

Ain’t nothing wrong with a little extra thigh.

The Visuals

I’ll say this: leave The Asylum to its own devices and it can really throw some painful stuff your way, but have SyFy pitch in with a little spare cash and what I presume must be a vision of some sort and you end up with something that, while not tremendously good, is still quite entertaining. I mean I’m not quite sure why we’re building things on tiny flecks of ice or how a tank that sunk right down landed up half a kilometre away from where it was dropped or how one short cable can turn into four very long sunken-facility-lifting cables, but if that’s what the movie wants to throw at its audience then fine, I’ll accept that. Of course the vast majority of everything is also that CGI work from circa 2002, but it wouldn’t be an Asylum or SyFy movie without it. The day they cough up for real special effects is the day I tap out.

Of course, with all these CGI sharks and floating research facilities, one thing that’s all real (and all man) is Edward DeRuiter, and that’s all that matters at the end of the day.

He got that, he got that, he got that D.I.L.F. $

He got that, he got that, he got that D.I.L.F. $

The Feelings

I went into this movie for ice sharks and Edward DeRuiter, and I left satisfied.

At the end of the day you’re going to get out of this movie exactly what its title and lineage suggest: sharks in and around the ice, some very questionable science, and a bonus round of cockblocking from a Scottish Indian Inuit. In my humble opinion there are far worse ways to spend a Sunday night.

And of course, it has Edward DeRuiter. With absolutely no knowledge of a Germanic language other than English I’m fairly sure his surname must translate to ‘the dreamy one’, and that’s the most important thing this movie will teach you.

My Final Rating: 4 / 10
Buy Ice Sharks at Amazon.com

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Posted by on August 15, 2016 in Movie Review

 

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Movie Review: Lavalantula

LavalantulaReleased: 2015
Genre: Sci-Fi / Horror
IMDB Rating: 5.3 / 10

I don’t know what’s going on over at Syfy, but someone needs to have a sit down and a little real talk with their people. Ever since Sharknado became a thing (and it was a glorious thing, don’t get me wrong) they’ve started to get a little cocky, and it’s in the likes of Lavalantula that it shows. I mean really, they’re lava-spitting, fire-breathing tarantulas for God’s sake, and somehow this still turned out to be a pile of pants. For shame.

I hope the people who made this movie are sitting in a corner somewhere thinking about what they’ve done.

Do you think it'll grow into its looks?

Do you think it’ll grow into its looks?

The Plot

Colton West is a washed-up has-been of an action star that’s just trying to make a couple of hundred thousand dollars to support his struggling wealthy family, but all people want to throw at him are b-action movies, with no films of substance on the horizon for this veteran actor who even Chuck Norris would be embarrassed to be associated with.

Chuck’s chance to be a real-life action hero comes about in a most unexpected way when a series of volcanoes suddenly begin erupting across Los Angeles. Unlike your standard-issue volcano, however, these ones are shooting out giant fire-breathing spiders in addition to lava!

These spiders are nasty little sons of bitches that are hell-bent on barbecuing every human being in Los Angeles (as well as using a few of them as egg pouches). It’ll take all Colt has to shake off his has-been acting persona and become the has-been hero that Los Angeles needs, but thankfully he has a motley gang of film crew, film extras, and a wife that’s proficient in a seemingly endless number of lethal yoga styles to help him save the day.

Sassy black woman with a gun - we're gonna be OK!

A sassy black woman with a gun – we’re gonna be OK!

The Visuals

This was really a mixed bag. The movie clearly had a bit of a budget behind it, but it also seems to have pumped that money into very specific areas rather than opting to give us a well-rounded experience.

On a good note, I’ll give points to whoever designed and did the necessary CGI on the spiders, because they looked fantastic. Those little bastards were incredibly well done and miles ahead of your usual Syfy monster. Everything else, however, is your usual Syfy affair, but a Syfy affair circa 2005. The visual effects looked tacked on, and the green screen sections were particularly bad.

Give me fantastic science fiction nonsense or give me rubbish science fiction nonsense, but don’t try and distract me from the latter with the former – I’m too old to be fooled by such trickery.

I'm not OK with this.

I’m not OK with this.

The Feelings

Starting to feel a little discouraged over here.

The joy to be found in older Syfy originals was that they were utterly ludicrous in their plots, but played out very seriously within the confines of their own insanity. Since Sharknado came along, however, and gained this kind of film a slight hint of mainstream acceptance, they’ve lost that sense of seriousness and become completely self-referential and satirical (to the point that Ian Ziering from Sharknado makes a cameo).

Now, I don’t mean to say any of that in a hipster ‘I liked these movies before they were cool’ kind of way, it’s just that this could have played out very differently. Where we could’ve soft-scienced the hell out of where the spiders came from and how best to go about killing them, we’re instead treated to a movie that essentially spends 2/3 of its runtime screaming “Oh my God, we have lava-spitting tarantulas! Haha! Lavalantulas! Get it? Get it?! Wow we’re so stupid!”. Therein lies the whole problem – we know it’s stupid, you don’t need to keep pointing it out. What you’re meant to do is take that stupidity and do something fun with it that the audience will enjoy, and that’s where you slipped up.

For shame.

My Final Rating: 3 / 10
Buy Lavalantula at Amazon.com

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Posted by on September 1, 2015 in Movie Review

 

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