Release date:June 24, 2016
MPAA Rating:PG-13 (for bloody images, intense sequences of peril, and brief strong language)
Starring:Blake Lively, Oscar Jaenada, Sedona Legge
[divider]This it’s an interesting story nonetheless. There are some very typical plot twists in addition to some pretty good jump scares (for the uninitiated)
The story starts are warmly with Nancy (played by Blake Lively) going to the beach and that her mother visited some twenty years ago. She is skimming through pictures on her phone, which you see on screen in almost a “pop-up” format. The person she is reading list speaks very little English, but does manage to remind her that there is a beautiful world to see, outside of her phone, a trend I’m seeing more and more of and one that I endorse (Ok, enough of the soapbox).
Once they arrive the scenery is absolutely gorgeous, breathtaking, in fact. There is so much beauty within such a short period of time that it’s almost hard to take it in and yet one’s eyes are, indeed, treated to an amazing blues, greens, sand colors, different textures of the rocks as well as a pristine view beneath the gentle rolling of the ocean.
When they arrive at the destination, it is almost as if the curtains of the theater have been pulled back so as to introduce us to ingenue of the production…the cove. Such a gorgeous display of nature it was quite staggering to look at.
Karen arrives on the beach alone, her friend having bailed out on her due to a case of “Irish fever”, and we see early on that she’s very prepared and organized individual, having packed a first aid kit and other necessities.
There are numerous, gorgeous, establishing shots of her surfing in something in this amazingly clear water. This is to establish why this movie is called “The Shallows”, for just barely under the waves deadly coral and rocks away to shred the first one who might show disrespect. The underwater camera work for these shots is flawless! No well the camera work was amazing, I thought that the sounds of the ocean in these early shots was off. They sounded more like gurgling coagulation then the crisp sounds of the ocean. I’m not sure if they were trying to make us feel as though we were under water with the Surfers or what, but it, for me, was definitely a distraction more than an enhancement, thankfully, later on, this is taken care of.
Now to the action; After a full day of Surfing her two new friends start to head in. While she is out there, there is a rather sudden dissipation of the surf, which was so plentiful earlier. It just stops. Weird!
It is in this place of “Solace” that she sees something on the immediate horizon, a small humpback whale that is out of men killed or just died. The weird thing here is that neither of the two other Surfers noticed this even though they were out there longer and farther out than she was. So, for some reason, she makes her way out to the decimated Beast and notices both of smell and rather good-sized bite taken out of it. Shortly after this is when we are introduced to our “main villain”.
This is where things get a little weird for me. The Beast seems to take an immediate interest in her, despite there being a full whale carcass just a few feet away from it.
The shark continues to behave uncharacteristically throughout the movie. It stalks her, pursuing her as if it had a personal Vendetta against her, even to the point of killing others around her like some psychotic boyfriend.
Karen’s only salvation, at this point, is a small piece of rock which has appeared due to the low tide and in getting there and she is attacked again, this time by piece of fire Coral which cuts and burns her pretty severely. When she message to the Rock, which is barely above the water, she’s able to tend to her wounds, and a rather clever and believable fashion. This is where becomes a waiting game. She has to figure out what to do to get yourself to safety.
There are several more close encounters with a shark and she figured out a couple more things to help her survive and eventually is able to swim to a buoy. This is where it gets strange again, she has to swim through a large, tightly packed, school of jellyfish, which appear out of nowhere. This is one of many plot holes that just don’t make sense. What are the jellyfish suddenly appear from? How is it that you can swim through dozens of jellyfish and not die?
Indian there’s an epic battle with a shark and, of course, in typical Hollywood fashion…well you know how that works out.
I will say that Blake does carry this film very effectively with equal parts of fear, pain, heroism, strength, and survival skills. I thought you did a wonderful job! The main problem I had with this film, however, is that they seem to want to capture the terror of Jaws but there’s no impetus for the sharp pursuing her in such a personal way.
No Question Mark Box Here; Super Mario Delivers a 1-Up in Theaters
If you were born in the ’80s, ’90s, or literally ANY decade after those, you know about Super Mario. A cultural phenomenon was brought to life on the big screen this last weekend. One that has not only stood the test of time but reinvented itself time and time again. This wasn’t even the first time it’s been made into a movie but, well, let’s be honest.. some of us choose not to acknowledge the LIVE action adaptation of the beloved game from 30 years ago.
It was pretty bad… But this was animation. ILLUMINATION animation at that. The Universal company that brought us Gru and his Minions, showed us the Secret Life of Pets, and gave us a reason to SING! Still, I had my reservations and even some concerns, especially when the casting was announced.
Eyebrows were raised. As big of stars as they were on paper, could they really deliver on voicing characters from a staple of our childhood? They did.
Chris Pratt and Charlie Day may not be Italian, and Jack Black may not be a King or Turtle creature from the Mushroom Kingdom, but they make the characters their own all while paying homage to the lore of a video game.
From the jump, the story reintroduces us to the brothers that just want to save Brooklyn one clogged sink at a time. We feel an instant connection and relate to these “underdogs of the plumbing world”. The movie is riddled with easter eggs, each of which tugs on the heartstrings of every generation of Mario fandom. And the soundtrack was beautifully put together to not only make us feel like we’re taking a walkthrough of the game but like an experience all its own with some familiar favorites thrown in.
Every word in the movie is pure eye candy for both those that are casual fans, and those analyzing every frame to see what they’ll catch next. Bowser’s ship, the Mushroom Kingdom, Kong’s arena, and the Rainbow Road.. They’re all meant to give us just enough of a “new” look at these amazing worlds, but stay true to how we remember them.
The movie itself moves along at the perfect pace. Although, if you don’t really know ANYTHING about the Super Mario Bros, you may have gotten a little lost and felt left behind in the green tunnel. But that’s ok! It’s an adventure of the imagination and a classic story of a boy that meets a girl and tries to save the world from a monster that wants to destroy it.
What’s funny is that you could easily say this is a story about two characters who couldn’t be more opposite if they tried, battling to win the heart of a princess. Who would’ve thought that the King of the Koopas was just trying to impress his crush?
And that song? Ohhh THAT song! It’s my new ringtone and deserves the Oscar for Best Original Song.
Back to the movie.
Universal and Illumination clearly understood the assignment. Is it missing some things or could things have been done differently or even better? Absolutely! We’re the worst critics of the things we hold nearest and dearest to our hearts. But if you’re up for going on a 90-minute adventure through amazing worlds, with awesome music, and characters that’ll make you smile and laugh, then this is the perfect movie to spring you into that warm summer feeling.
Plus there’s the whole part with karts and shells, and banana peels and oh my goodness how amazing was that?? It’s enough to make you want to stand up and cheer, then go home and destroy your friends and family on your favorite track haha.
The bottom line, it pays homage in all the right ways to the little guy with the mustache, while giving us something new and exciting. Take the kids and go see Super Mario Bros. You’ll be glad you did!
Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment returns to WonderCon 2023
Justice League x RWBY: Superheroes & Hunters Opening Act Saturday, March 25 at 1:30 p.m. on North 200A. Talent confirmed so far to participate in the post-screening panel is Natalie Alyn Lind (Big Sky, The Goldbergs, Gotham) as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince and longtime RWBY cast member Lindsay Jones (Camp Camp) as Ruby, Kara Eberle ( RWBY: Ice Queendom) as Weiss, Arryn Zech (Detective Now Dead) as Blake and Barbara Dunkelman (Blood Fest) as Yang – along with Jeannie Tirado (Soul, Saints Row) as Green Lantern and Tru Valentino (The Rookie, The Cuphead Show!) as a cyborg. Also attending the panel will be producer/director Kerry Shawcross (series RWBY) and writer Meghan Fitzmartin (Supernatural, Justice Society: World War II).
Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment returns to WonderCon 2023 with the big screen debut from DC Animated Films: highlights this year include the world premieres of the highly anticipated Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham and Justice League x RWBY: Superheroes & Hunters Part One the weekend of March 24-26 in Anaheim, California. Both screenings will be followed by panel discussions with actors and creators. Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham premieres at The Arena on Friday, March 24 at 6 p.m. Tati Gabrielle (Kaleidoscope, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Uncharted) as Kai Li Cain, Christopher Gorham (The Lincoln Lawyer, Insatiable) as Oliver Queen, David Dastmalchian (Dune, Suicide Squad, Ant-Man) as Grendon, producer/co-director Sam Liu (The Death and the Return of Superman), co-director Christopher Berkeley (Young Justice) and screenwriter Jase Ricci (Teen Titans Go! and DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem Across the Multiverse).
Both films will have encore screenings in the Arena on Sunday, March 26. Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One will screen at 12:15pm, followed by Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham at 2:00pm