Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus: a dual perspective review

Thanks to the magic of Netflix streaming video and a PC patch cable to my TV, Red and I were able to watch this celluloid train wreck the other day. I am not sure she has forgiven me for this yet. But like any ordeal a couple faces together, we are now stronger for having lived through it.


PLOT

Red: I was actually pretty impressed that they had a very logical, if highly implausible, explanation for why these two ancient beings were suddenly swimming in 21st century oceans.

EG: Here's the entire story: "How are we going to catch the Mega Shark and the Giant Octopus?" If you watched the trailer in the previous post, there isn't anything else to flesh out beyond that. There are more non-sequitur scenes than Red telling a campfire story while drinking Raspberry Stoli. They mix chemicals trying to find a solution to capturing the creatures. Because they are scientists and they are using science to solve their problems. Not to blurt out any spoilers here, but the answer seems to involve Halloween glow sticks. Also, I've seen better character development in soft core porn flicks.

ACTING

Red: I've seen some bad acting in my life. Anyone who's seen as much theatre, and been in as much of it as I AND gone to school for it like I have is bound to have encountered plenty of bad acting. I've even been in a couple of bad plays. Do enough of them and it's tough to totally avoid the bad ones. I can't say this tops all the bad acting I've seen, but it's right there with the worst of it, and that's ESPECIALLY true of Lorenzo Lamas. (The one supporting guy who plays Debbie Gibson's mentor is really quite tolerable.) I looked LL up on IMDB and thought, "Wow. How can some one this awful have been working steadily for forty years?" Okay, he's reasonably good looking, but not that good looking. Possibly he slept with the right people, or possibly it's the Keanu Reeves phenomenon where he was really right for the first role he did and then certain movie-making people got the crazy idea we should let him do other things, too.

EG: The professor 'ad the worst Irish accent ever, more like a drunk South African. I am pretty sure the crew of the Japanese sub were all Hispanic. I feel bad making any snide comments about Lorenzo Lamas because I think he may be going through rehab from a major stroke. Debbie Gibson gets an A in the B-Movie school of acting. The shining star for me was the Chris Penn-esque sub commander. But there is a reason the makeup artist was billed higher than most of the actors (I mean beyond the fact that she was obviously schtuping the producer.)

ACTION SEQUENCES

Red: I mostly looked away from these, so I don't have a solid opinion. I tend to look away from action sequences much of the time (e.g., I spent most of Sin City watching EG's shoulder), so my opinion doesn't mean a whole lot.

EG: For a movie that seems to be designed around some good old fashioned monster brawling, they skimped a little on what should be non-stop, heart-pounding action action action. They did manage to work in the shark jumping up and biting a 747 out of the sky...for absolutely no reason. The Octopus was very underused, though the scene below of the erect tentacle bitch slapping a fighter jet out of the sky was a defining moment for the film. Overall I feel it could have been much more gratuitous.

LOVE STORY

Red:This was maybe the worst part of this movie, although this movie is so all over awful that it's hard to say. If the love story had been between DG and LL (who have apparently been involved IRL according to some website or other I encountered when EG asked me, "Hey, is she Jewish?" On which the 'net says nothing but oi does she look it!) If the "love" story had been between the two of them, at least it could have had that "I-hate-your-guts-please-fuck-me" thing that works so well in movies. (EG says this movie couldn't have pulled that off, and he's probably right.) But it's between DG and this diminutive Asian actor who plays a fellow scientist. There's NO chemistry. If you were either of them on a date, you'd go home, peck on the cheek, and maybe never go out again. But we're supposed to buy that they're both shy and sweet and this is somehow a Relationship instead of just colleagues who had never-to-be-repeated sex for reasons that they both question later.

EG: No T and no A. Movies like this should be legally required to have some bimbo with fake boobs ripping her shirt off for a very flimsy excuse. Debbie and the Asian guy do jump each others bones, though I was disappointed that they decided to wait to find a broom closet and didn't just start rolling around on the floor in front of the prof and the armed thug.

SPECIAL EFFECTS

Red: The name of the special effects company, which I can't remember and won't bother to look up, was good. The effects were not.

EG: The name of the company is Tiny Juggernaut. I believe they are headquartered out of the basement of one of the principal's parents. The effects make any random episode of Thunderbirds Are Go look like Juassic Park. Your typical modern video game has better animation for its cut scenes. In my mind I imagine the FX producer worked on Babylon 5 but was fired for incompetence.

CAMP FACTOR

Red: Maybe 3 on a scale of 1-5, because this movie is only camp by accident. So they didn't embrace it and it wasn't nearly as much fun as it might have been.

EG: Deborah seemed to be the only person in on the joke. Everyone else was taking this shit seriously. It would be hard for me to assess how to improve this without getting tongue in cheek. So I am saying 4 out of 5.

OVERALL RATING

Red: No stars. Not one. I'm not really pissed at EG for "making" me watch this, but I am incredulous that he felt the need to. I should have gone to the gym.

EG: I will be kind enough to give it 1.5 stars. Even if I weren't watching this with a sense of irony, I would still think they at least assembled a schlocky story and executed it. That's more than you can say for Face-Off.

2 comments:

Rassles said...

That's it. I'm watching this on Sunday while I battle my hangover.

GETkristiLOVE said...

Uggh... my ex was in Face-Off... this one has got to be better than that one.