47 Meters Down (2017)

The final movie rental we watched during the holidays save for one around New Year’s Eve (which the review is coming up) to try and catch up more with 2017 is 47 Meters Down. No brainer really why I picked this one. I really love shark movies. There is no particular reason other than I find them endlessly amusing for the most part. There are some exception to the equation so let’s see if 47 Meters Down works or not.

47 Meters Down (2017)

47 Meters Down

Director (and co-writer): Johannes Roberts

Cast: Mandy Moore, Claire Holt, Matthew Modine, Chris Johnson, Yani Gellman, Santiago Segura

Two sisters vacationing in Mexico are trapped in a shark cage at the bottom of the ocean. With less than an hour of oxygen left and great white sharks circling nearby, they must fight to survive. – IMDB

At first glance, 47 Meters Down ticks a lot of the boxes that I love and fits right into what I enjoy. Sharks, destination vacation, sisterly bonding, tension, water, shady characters, Mandy Moore and Claire Holt: all people and things that interest me in a movie. Being trapped underwater with limited oxygen is a perfect setup for a shark film. It will build tension, and create suspense. There’s an unknown factor from the deep blue sea that blocks out the ability to detect the predator making them even less predictable.

47 meters down

In fact, 47 Meters hits a lot of those boxes. It manages to create the hunting and trying to escape outside of the cage bits very tense. It uses light and dark of the sea very well and teases your expectations a little as well. This lets the dread set in as we sit in anxiety with the sisters trapped underwater as they have to decide when to fight for their lives and when to stay put. To be honest, I don’t know enough about scuba diving or swimming with the sharks to know how authentic this entire ordeal is so I took it for what it was. Of course, if I was to get into a rusty looking cage to sit in to look at sharks, I probably would say no, but that’s just because as great as the idea sounds, I would probably want to join an operation that didn’t look as shady as the one the sisters, Kate and Lisa decided to go to, especially in Lisa’s case, lying about knowing about scuba diving. My point is that in creating tension, 47 Meters Down does a great job, especially in finding a way to also give us something to think about.

47 Meters Down

Putting the fact that I chose to believe everything here and pushing aside my lack of risky adventure, 47 Meters Down does also fall short in some places. In particular, it all dials down to some clunky dialogue. I think the sisterhood bonding thing was destined to happen as they saw their differences and their expectations. Mandy Moore and Claire Holt delivered good performances. But the dialogue and just sometimes how they decided to do certain things and reasoned the logic of their next moves made it feel very hard to fight for them. For sure, these decisions did lead to some intense scenes but at times, it felt a little deliberate.

As a shark film, 47 Meters Down does a lot of things right from building the atmosphere to having competent shark predators and a premise that helps build the tension of the film. However, some of the characters decisions or perhaps in general their reasoning does leave a little to be desired. These decisions do all pile up to whether you have connected with them and remain hopeful that they’ll make it out of this ordeal as they fight for survival. What does make up for some of its flaws is a thoughtful ending that gives us something to think about.

Genre Grandeur – A Walk to Remember (2002) – Tranquil Dreams

Check out my review over at Rob’s Genre Grandeur this month where I got the pleasure of choosing the genre. My choice was Teen/High School Romances.
There has been a ton of really good reviews for awesome choices already up that I had considered before choosing this one (and one later on). My choice here is for A Walk to Remember. I have reviewed it before here but it is a great teen romance featuring once of the best chemistry in an on-screen couple that always gets my emotions churning and tears flowing by the end of the movie.


high-school-romanceFor this month’s next review for Genre Grandeur – High School/Teen Romance Movies, here’s a review of A Walk to Remember (2002) by Kim of Tranquil Dreams

Thanks again to Kim of Tranquil Dreams for choosing this month’s genre.

Next month’s Genre has been chosen by Reut of Sweet Archives.  We will be reviewing our favorite dark comedies. Please get me your submissions by the 25th of July by sending them to darkcom@movierob.net  Try to think out of the box! Great choice Reut!

Let’s see what Darren thought of this movie:


A Walk to Remember (2002)

a walk to remember poster

Director: Adam Shankman

Cast: Shane West, Mandy Moore, Peter Coyote, Daryl Hannah, Al Thompson, Lauren German

Jamie Sullivan (Mandy Moore) and Landon Carter (Shane West) could not be more different. Jamie is the Reverend’s daughter and she is her own person not caring about about her appearance or how others see her…

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Valentine’s Marathon: Love, Marriage, Wedding (2011)

Moving right along with the Valentine’s Marathon! Day 3! We’re taking a look at Love, Wedding, Marriage.  I’m not exactly sure why I felt inclined to watch this last night.  I figured Mandy Moore has  never disappointed me before so why now, right?

Lets check it out! 🙂



Director: Dermot Mulroney

Cast: Mandy Moore, Kellan Lutz, James Brolin, Jane Seymour, Jessica Szohr, Michael Weston

Marriage counsellor Ava (Mandy Moore) just marries a handsome and sweet winery manager Charlie (Kellan Lutz).  During their honeymoon phase, its interrupted by the announcement of Ava’s parents desire of wanting a divorce at the brink of their 30th anniversary due to the reveal of her father, Bradley’s (James Brolin) 25 year ago affair that had just come to light. Having all her beliefs in marriage put in hazard, Ava tries every way possible asking for help from Charlie and her younger sister, Shelby (Jessica Szohr) to help her fix her parents’ relationship.

love wedding marriage

I love Mandy Moore and I love romantic comedies and honestly, if you’ve been around Tranquil Dreams and my movie write-ups/reviews, you’ll realize that I’m a pretty easy crowd to please especially when we’re talking about rom-coms (or any romance for that matter).  Now, Love Wedding Marriage was not really anything great, let alone good.  It was just really blah and meh, whichever word you’d like to describe it as.  I sat through this not laughing or reacting a lot and kind of trying to not doze off.  Its about as predictable as romantic comedies go and yet there isn’t even that special something that will make me want to go see this again because as I’m writing this, I’m struggling to remember much other than Kellan Lutz’s abs.  But if you are going to watch a movie for just a ripped body, then go for What’s Your Number? because at least there’s Chris Evans and that movie was way more fun than this one.

love wedding marriage

So, okay, I can’t just have one paragraph and end this review because I did finish the movie. There was a few redeeming qualities.  Mandy Moore is always a sweetheart to watch on screen, even if her role is a little normal as the marriage counsellor newlywed who doesn’t really bask in her marriage but tries her hardest to make her parents work out again.  The effort is definitely commendable but to what lengths, right? Thats the question I was asking because it was just a little crazy after a while. Another sweetheart to watch was Jessica Szohr.  I like her a lot, ever since I saw her in Gossip Girl as Vanessa.  She’s always a really fun character. As Shelby, she brings a little life to the screen.

love wedding marriage

I mean, its a given how the movie will end but regardless, the parents are played by James Brolin and Jane Seymour. I have nothing against Jane Seymour.  I’ve seen her in Austenland before so its all good. And then I sat there staring at James Brolin struggling to remember his name and where I saw him, until it hit me….my last Shitfest entry for Bad Girl Island. *shakes head* All those bad memories come back.  I choose to move on and not think about this….

love wedding marriage

Finally, we’re at Kellan Lutz. So, I’m not a huge fan of this guy.  Sure, at certain angles, he looks pretty handsome and he has a totally ripped body and trust me, there was a lot of scenes with that.  But, I’m guessing if he didn’t have his blonde hair, he would look a lot better. Still, his ripped body was a redeeming point also.  I’m not gonna lie 😉

Overall, Love Wedding Marriage isn’t one that I’d recommend.  Mandy Moore and Jessica Szohr made me want to watch this but it was pretty bland as a romantic comedy.  I didn’t laugh a lot or feel much of the love or chemistry at all.  I guess I’m just indifferent.

Have you seen Love, Wedding, Marriage? Did you like it? 

Three Quick Reviews: Accepted, Chronicle & How To Deal

This past week, I’ve been taking a break from reviews.  Before I dive into 3 short reviews, that prove I haven’t been NOT watching movies, I’d like to tell you why.

Aside from the reason of work totally burning me out, its mostly because I’ve been prepping myself for March’s recommendation month.  I’ve gotten the material watched so that I just need to worry about writing the reviews and I have some time to give it more thought.  Its something I’m working on actually.  To not watching everything last minute and then play catch up with my posts.  I’m hoping it’ll work out, but I don’t know…

Anyways, enough of that! I’m excited about recommendations month but first things first, I need to exercise those reviewing muscles.  I watched 2 of those this past week and the other one, maybe two weeks ago.  The reason I do these, its really because I’ve piled up too many movies or there’s just not enough to review in a single post.

Lets start with…


Accepted 2006

Director: Steve Pink

Cast: Justin Long, Jonah Hill, Blake Lively

Bartleby (Justin Long) and a few friends didn’t end up getting accepted into any colleges but to please their parents, they come out with a fake school and stage the whole going to college event. That is until, the word goes out and actual acceptances were done through a fluke on their website.  Bartleby ends up running the college while creating something a lot more than he expected.

Accepted is a pretty stupid comedy and it revolves around a lot of dumb(ish) humor.  A lot of times (actually, more often than not), it doesn’t work for me.  It just doesn’t so I usually run the other way.  Somehow, I remember hearing before that this wasn’t bad so one late night, while I was feeling sick and couldn’t sleep, I turned it on to make me feel better. Its a comedy so its supposed to do that.  To be honest, I can’t pinpoint the reasons, but I ended up enjoying it.  I acknowledged the stupid parts but for the most part, I liked it.  Plus, I really like Justin Long doing that nerdy/geeky sarcastic humor thing and I have no idea why…

I do realize that aside from Blake Lively in Gossip Girl and Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (which I should review), she’s never been very enjoyable in movies.  Its not that she’s bad but nothing quite beats her performances especially in Gossip Girl.  Either way, average humor and its a good one to sit around, leave your brain at the door and laugh a little.

Do you like Blake Lively? How about Justin Long? Any roles you particularly enjoyed of either of them?



Director: Josh Trank

Cast: Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell, Michael B. Jordan, Ashley Hinshaw

Andrew (Dane DeHaan), Matt (Alex Russell) and Steve (Michael B. Jordan) discover a hole in the middle of the woods in the outskirts and go inside to find that they have absorbed some sort of energy that allows them to have all sorts of superpowers from telekinesis to even flying.  As their power develops, they are now torn as to how to use the powers in a rightful way and not be  lead into the darker side of things.

I’m not an expert at found footage. In fact, the only found footage I’ve seen was for last year’s Halloween fest opener, Area 407 (review HERE).  Oh yeah, I hated it! Its one of the reasons I’ve been hesitant to watch Chronicle but since it was going to expire (or has as this goes up), I figured I would.  To my surprise, Chronicle turned out to be pretty good.  I’m not saying I loved it but I liked it.  They used the found footage camerawork really well and even incorporated it with not only their camera but also whoever has filming devices like someone else’s camera (using a second point of view) and phones, etc.  I seriously think for found footage, that aspect is very important.

Plus, they used decent young actors. They portrayed their roles very well.  It helped that the script was done pretty good also.  It had a very intense parts, especially once their bond grows and then starts to fade near the end with disagreeing with how their powers should be dealt with.  Plus, the ending was pretty fulfilling 🙂

Do you like found footage films? Which ones are your favorites?

HOW TO DEAL (2003)


Director: Clare Kilner

Cast: Mandy Moore, Trent Ford, Allison Janney, Alexandra Holden

Halley (Mandy Moore)has seen so many love disasters that she doesn’t believe in true love.  When her sister and then her father both announce to get married and her best friend falls madly in love, she tries to stay supportive.  However, as she starts to know Macon (Trent Ford), the best friend of her best friend’s boyfriend, she starts to like him a lot but also tries to control her feelings.  Except, is it so easy?

Ever since I rewatched A Walk to Remember for the Valentine’s Marathon HERE, I’ve been trying to find more Mandy Moore flicks.  How To Deal is a romantic comedy and although I don’t think its a really great one, its good enough to deal with.  Let me make it clear though, I liked it because of the characters in the story. I always feel that Mandy Moore is a very crush-worthy girl because she gives off this simple vibe.  Plus, Trent Ford reminds me of the more recent Tyler Blackburn from Pretty Little Liars. He has this dark, mysterious but sexy-ish appearance. Plus, they have strong supporting role from Allison Janney.

Of course, the dialogue and story itself isn’t all that great, even though it is supposedly an adaptation of two novels that I’ve never heard of. There’s something missing and the main character is really not good.  I didn’t connect with that one as well but having Mandy Moore there makes this rom-com a lot more tolerable 🙂

OVERALL…the three movies I watched were pretty much average.  I never recommend comedy as its so personal to your tastes.  Even me, I’m not quite sure if its because I was feeling sick when I saw it.  I would recommend Chronicle though.  It was definitely the best out of the three here.  It was also a surprise.  How to Deal isn’t a great romantice comedy but it does have a decent cast who helps it to be better.

Have you seen any of these? What did you think?

Valentine’s Marathon: A Walk to Remember (2002)

I’ve already seen A Walk to Remember a few times, once every few years.  Not my first viewing which you already know that I don’t hate this one at all.  I believe Message in a Bottle was what put Nicholas Sparks on the map but to me, A Walk to Remember is the one that resounds the most to me.  I’ll tell you why after a synopsis.

a walk to remember posterDirector: Adam Shankman

Cast: Mandy Moore, Shane West, Peter Coyote, Daryl Hannah, Lauren German, Clayne Crawford, Al Thompson

Landon Carter (Shane West) is part of the popular group of kids in high school.  Jamie Sullivan (Mandy Moore) is the Reverend’s daughter.  Nothing could pull these two together until Landon gets caught for trespassing and is given community service for his school.  One of the many include getting involved in the lead role of the school play.  Being new to this, he reluctantly asks Jamie for help, scared that it would tarnish his reputation.  As he gets to know her more, she makes him see the world in a different way.

A Walk to Remember has a different meaning to me as it holds the memory of the first time that I ever cried while reading a book.  Maybe its the only time. I did read this back in high school, probably ten years ago give or take and I still remember that strong feeling this book had on me.  To me, this was Nicholas Sparks best work and nothing could ever really beat it. When it was announced that this movie would be made, the excitement I had was out of this world. This was actually a really awesome adaptation. It touched me at least.  Rewatching it now that I’ve been more exposed to the world of film didn’t really change much, I was a total mess.  Waterworks for a good part of the last half. This one gets me every time.

a walk to remember shane west mandy moore dad

A Walk to Remember, to me, was the debut of Mandy Moore.  I really like her for her voice and the character she portrays was spot on.  She was smart, witty and really confident with herself.  She was also very strong but when she opened up her thoughts to Landon, that girl was definitely someone that was amazing.  Jamie Sullivan is the girl you want to be.  Someone who is loved and knows how to love someone else but at the same time and inspire change for the better or inspire someone to see their potential and to give confidence and faith to the one that she loves.  Its a well-written character and Mandy Moore did a great job at bringing her to life on screen.

a walk to remember shane west

I haven’t seen Shane West other than A Walk to Remember and last year in The League of Extraordinary Men.  He actually has boyish charm and as I flipped through his filmography, he actually is in Nikita, a show that I’ve avoided because I don’t like the chick.  Anyways, Shane West does a fine Landon Carter.  Jamie Sullivan and Landon Carter are quite opposite but their characters compliment each other. In high school, he’s that bad boy that all the girls like but wish they could change. Someone with a big more to hide what he’s actually thinking of and someone who just needs the right person to nudge him in the right direction and figure out what he really wants.  I actually felt that when I was younger, I was touched by Mandy Moore’s character but this time, I felt like Shane West’s performance really contributed a lot to it too.  The scene where he takes Jamie out and tries to complete things off her “bucket list” is just so fun!

a walk to remember shane west mandy moore

Sure, this movie is sappy.  I’m not going to deny that.  But, its done so well.  The story is cute, smart and heart-warming and of course, there’s always a heartbreak, bittersweet is Nicholas Sparks calling.  He always does it.  There never is a damn happy ending, never.  For this one, its what makes this story even better because its about the essence of love, how you can’t see it but you can feel it around you.

Maybe I’m biased but this movie works for me.  Its romantic and sweet.  I love it! Its not something I’d go watching frequently because it’d ruin how precious it feels to me and I’m not one to cry all the time.  Still, its a nice reminder of the precious things in life. It holds a lot of nice messages, a few memorable quotes and I absolutely love the songs. I still think the book has a bigger impact than the movie but amongst the many adaptations I’ve seen, this one is done pretty well 🙂

Have you seen A Walk to Remember? Have you read the book? What do you think of it? Any opinions on Mandy Moore or Shane West?