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The Shallows: Next Jaws? Not so much, but still a fun movie.

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Release date:June 24, 2016

Studio:Sony Pictures

Director:Jaume Collet-Serra

MPAA Rating:PG-13 (for bloody images, intense sequences of peril, and brief strong language)

Screenwriter:Anthony Jaswinski

Starring:Blake Lively, Oscar Jaenada, Sedona Legge

Genre:Thriller

[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.

 

 

 

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Caesar’s Reign Comes To The Big Screen With New Trailer For Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes

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Director Wes Ball breathes new life into the global, epic franchise set several generations in the future following Caesar’s reign, in which apes are the dominant species living harmoniously and humans have been reduced to living in the shadows. As a new tyrannical ape leader builds his empire, one young ape undertakes a harrowing journey that will cause him to question all that he has known about the past and to make choices that will define a future for apes and humans alike. “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” is directed by Wes Ball (the “Maze Runner” trilogy) and stars Owen Teague (“IT”), Freya Allan (“The Witcher”), Kevin Durand (“Locke & Key”), Peter Macon (“Shameless”), and William H. Macy (“Fargo”). The screenplay is by Josh Friedman (“War of the Worlds”) and Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver (“Avatar: The Way of Water”) and Patrick Aison (“Prey”), based on characters created by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver, and the producers are Wes Ball, Joe Hartwick, Jr., p.g.a. (“The Maze Runner”), Rick Jaffa, p.g.a., Amanda Silver, p.g.a., Jason Reed, p.g.a. (“Mulan”), with Peter Chernin (the “Planet of the Apes” trilogy) and Jenno Topping (“Ford v. Ferrari”) serving as executive producers.

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Masterchef Is Back! For Halo Season 2

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A quick recap – Halo is set in a war-torn 26th century, where humanity led by the United Nations Space Command or UNSC and their supersoldiers known as Spartans, fights against the onslaught of the alien conglomerate known as the Covenant. The full dust-up of Halo Season 1, can be found here. Onward into the introduction of Halo Season 2!

It’s been six months since the forced separation of Spartan Masterchief John (Pablo Schreiber) and Cortana (Jen Taylor), and the Silver Team has been sent on a mission to evacuate residents of the planet Sanctuary before the Covenant glasses the whole thing. This comes with its own set of challenges, given the resistance of the planet’s inhabitants, and it doesn’t help that Masterchef starts seeing things right in the middle of trying to save some marines. Or is he? Those energy swords the squad of Elites were carrying looked worryingly real.

Back on Reach, the Silver Team is entirely dismayed to learn they have a brand new Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) representative come in as the new boss, to finally replace the traitorous Halsey, James Ackerson (Joseph Morgan). And of course, Ackerson manages to immediately get under Masterchief’s skin, by not only expressing far too much interest in John’s relationship with Cortana but also apparently disbelieving of John’s report of his encounters on Sanctuary. That just means Masterchief has to go around, if not entirely over, Ackerson’s head.

Elsewhere, Soren (Bokeem Woodbine) is trolling the slave markets in his boredom, only to stumble across a soon-to-be indentured servant who claims he knows the whereabouts of the UNSC’s most hunted human, Catherine Halsey (Natascha McElhone). That should bring a huge bounty, but really, Soren should’ve known better by now.

Halo Season 2 premieres Thursday, February 8th, 2024, and will continue to air every Thursday, only on Paramount+!

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Reborn as a Vending Machine I Now Wander the Dungeon’: I look forward to your next use!  

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If the title of this delightful little isekai anime entry didn’t give it all away, our nameless protagonist is a vending machine fanatic who, after being killed by a vending machine, gets reincarnated in another fantasy-style world as one! 

Japan has a tendency to give birth to all sorts of crazed fads that can last for decades, and no one does better when it comes to the vending machine industry, too. These days there are vending machines that will serve you sushi you can actually eat, hot pizza in the box, wagyu steaks, freshly popped popcorn, and a whole mind-boggling array of tasty treats, and other non-edible but still useful items! Umbrellas! Condoms! Oxygen masks, sterile bandages, shoes, and emergency clothing! Actually, far more things that we use on an everyday basis, could be considered as technically a vending machine, and the anime explores that beautifully. Into the world of vending machine fanaticism, we dive! 

So our poor protagonist never gave a name, and inevitably when he’s discovered by his first official friend the starving hunter Lammis, she dubs him “Boxxo”. Like many isekai that seem to take inspiration from video games and RPGs, Boxxo discovers he ways he can communicate, level up his existence, and even evince magic-like powers and attack and defend against monsters and enemies. Though in the beginning, and as an underlying theme throughout the show, Boxxo is primarily concerned with providing unique never-before-tasted-in-this-world food and drink to the amazed folk, human and otherwise. 

Boxxo’s prices are entirely reasonable and hey, he can even choose to give out his wares for free on occasion, so his popularity immediately skyrockets. Lammis with her awkward charm and prodigious strength blessing, introduces Boxxo to other friends of Clearflow Lake Village and associates along the way – Director Bear, an actual bear-monster who’s the head of the Hunters Association; Lammis’ friend Hulemy, the insane genius magic item engineer; the Bearcats Suco, Pell, Short and Mikenne, cheerful hunters with astronomic appetites; even suspicious Kerioyl, leader of the Menagerie of Fools party. 

The show approaches the practicality and versatility of the true vending machine with amusement, but also with the love true fans display for things they’re passionate about. Certainly, things like a brothel needing a condom vending machine exist in our world, but to toss them into a potentially more innocent other-world isekai is a welcome and often hilarious treat. The show celebrates the cheerful idiocy and devotion of the fans to their chosen fandom, in this case, yes vending machines, but also the spirit of the lonely otaku finally finding their Tribe! 

Pay your coins to watch ‘Reborn as a Vending Machine’ on Crunchyroll now! 

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