After Hours #4 – Deep Blue Sea

Season 2 for Movies and Tea has entered into its After Hours episodes. The first of three episodes starts with our pick for our seasonal “Shark Week” is Deep Blue Sea. One of my personal favorites and also the first shark film that I ever saw. Head on over to Movies and Tea to hear our discussion of Deep Blue Sea and share your thoughts over there as well!

Movies and Tea

Welcome to our seasonal “Shark Week” episode as after we had so much fun with “The Meg” last season why not look at a shark movie every season.

On this episode we revisit the 90’s classic Deep Blue Sea as a team of scientists find themselves stuck in a rapidly deteriating underwater facility while surrounded by super inteligent sharks!!

We question what it is about this film which made it such a cult classic, Samuel L. Jackson’s favourite death scene and how much of the film did the sharks actually plan plus much more!!

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Triple Feature: Jaws 2, Jaws 3 & Jaws: The Revenge

Welcome to the rarely seen Triple Feature! A little change in pace in things as the Jaws franchise being available on Netflix lead us to watching the sequels back to back to back. With that said, there are only so many words I can say about these sequels so I’m going to jump right in!

Jaws 2 (1978)

Jaws 2

Director: Jeannot Szwarc

Cast: Roy Scheider, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, Joseph Mascolo, Mark Gruner, Ann Dusenberry, Barry Coe, Gary Springer, Donna Wilkes

Police chief Brody must protect the citizens of Amity after a second monstrous shark begins terrorizing the waters. – IMDB

In this sequel of Jaws, Jaws 2 takes us into a good time after the Jaws events (it can only be expected as the councilman doesn’t seem to care about it anymore). As the town has recuperated slightly and moves forward, Chief Brody yet again starts suspecting that there is another shark attacking and yet no one seem to believe him. Jaws 2 is a pretty good premise to start off and in general, executes the movie pretty well. While its not quite the character depth or sophistication of the first film, this sequel directed by Jeannot Szwarc is pretty much a decent success and a real thrill to watch for the majority of the time, with some exceptions character-wise.

Its great for one to see the sequel bringing back familiar faces and at the same time, still giving it the same location and Chief Brody’s family. This time it gets slightly more personal. With the first movie, Chief Brody becomes a more-fleshed out character and can now be diving into other aspects and this one, we see how he interacts as a parent and the heaviness he has for his duty to protect especially seemingly being the only person that has learned from the previous shark situation that happened and making precautions than everyone else. In that element, we don’t only get to see Chief Brody as different situations that the audience gets to see gets brought to his situation reinforcing his belief that there is a second shark haunting the waters while at the same time, there is a focus on his older son Mike who has gotten a liking for sailing with his other teenage friends as well as trying to show off to get a girl’s attention. As expected, these sailing trips will uncover and also be the focus of where trouble hits at a certain point and Brody ends up heading to the rescue despite his lack of knowledge of driving a boat.

To be fair, there’s a whole lot more of good here. There are some great shark attack moments and a decent build of tension. The story itself, while a bit predictable, still manages to be a fun shark movie to watch as it has a few tricks up its sleeve. The teenagers are mostly fun to watch. The one exception, which is my main complaint about the film, would be one of the girls is incredibly annoying to watch. Overall, its a decent sequel effect and one definitely worth watching if you haven’t seen it yet.

Jaws 3 (1983)

Jaws 3

Director: Joe Alves

Cast: Dennis Quaid, Bess Armstrong, Simon MacCorkindale, Louis Gossett Jr., John Putch, Lea Thompson, P.H. Moriarty

The sons of police chief Brody must protect customers at a SeaWorld theme park after a thirty-five-foot shark becomes trapped in the park with them. – IMDB

Not sure how many years after the 2nd movie this takes place but Brody’s sons are already adults now. In this third movie, Jaws takes its set to SeaWorld. Jaws 3 is meant to be in 3D and for that, there are a lot of crappy, out-dated and forced 3D shots done that really makes it feel like its trying too hard. To be fair, Jaws 3 has a decent premise. Nothing is more at stakes than the idea of being trapped in an area with a shark and for that, the story does work. Its the execution here that has a lot of issues whether logically or just how the story spirals. There is a theme park element here as well as a mother shark seeking its baby element as well, put together while its a fairly commonly used outline, does have potential to be done well.

Jaws 3 does give us Dennis Quaid in one of his earlier roles where he also does take the lead as Mike Brody while Sean is played by John Putch, who at the time took up his first movie role in his career with this movie. Mike and his girlfriend Kay (played by Bess Armstrong) have a good deal of screen time as they play key roles in the park as the engineer and the biologist respectively. Their roles are portrayed well. While with any theme park movie, you always have the rich boss, Calvin Bouchard (played by Louis Gossett Jr.) who makes bad decisions that makes a lot of situations worse.

Its hard to say outside of the forced 3D elements here where things ultimately fail. Perhaps its because the story lacks enough depth to make it feel like a good shark movie. Maybe its the fact that we never learn enough about Mike or Sean Brody to make them characters that we care about before they are headed straight for danger. Or it could attribute to the fact that there are some close-ups of the shark attacks that make the shark extremely animatronic or robotic, just the opening and closing of the jaws itself. However, it has some nice points and that is the emphasis on the cleverness of dolphins and their instincts to save humans in times of danger during shark pursuits. Overall, Jaws 3 is many steps down from its former two films. There are good elements and a lot of flawed ones but I think one of the main issues is that the ending feeling is that its pretty much forgettable.

Jaws: The Revenge (1987)

Jaws The Revenge

Director: Joseph Sargent

Cast: Lorraine Gary, Lance Guest, Mario Van Peebles, Karen Young, Michael Caine, Judith Barsi, Mitchell Anderson, Lynn Whitfield, Cedric Scott

Chief Brody’s widow believes that her family is deliberately being targeted by another shark in search of revenge. – IMDB

Jaws: The Revenge is the 4th instalment of the Jaws franchise. After Jaws 3, its hard to have too much hope about this one being better. Out of the original cast, Lorraine Gary returns as Chief Brody’s wife but as we can see, Chief Brody has passed on leaving her a widow. Adding salt to the wounds, Sean starts off the movie on Amity Island who has followed her father’s footsteps as a police officer and gets killed by a shark. Because of this loss, she ends up moving to Bahamas to live with Mike however the haunting fear of water and how sharks are out to get her family bothers her. Let’s first start this off by the fact that this script doesn’t seem to match with the previous one where Mike had mentioned how Sean doesn’t like to be on Amity Island which is why he didn’t study on the island so why did he go back? Then you think about what shark is revenging on her family because in our memory, every shark has died in the previous movie. Either way, just a few points to think about how the story in the beginning already has its plot holes.

Lets say that we look past that and accept for the way it is. There are still some annoyinh characters here from Lorraine Gray who overacts a bit. At the same time, Mike’s buddy, Jake is supposed to be a fun character but also stands close to the line into annoying as his dialogue feels very rinse and repeat. Theres a whole emphasis on the relationship between Mike and his wife which doesn’t seem to matter much other than give the movie some character building but then, Mike Brody has been a character in each of these films just at a different age. One thing that did bring my heart up a little is seeing Michael Caine here who brings some character to the film as a whole.

Jaws:The Revenge seems unnecessary and forced. The story doesn’t seem to flow with the previous film and then has this element of never giving intriguing characters. If this film didn’t take itself seriously, maybe I wouldn’t either and then at least there would be some fun.

That’s for this rare triple feature!
Have you seen any of the Jaws sequels before?

After Hours #1 – The Meg

Who would have known that we’d both head out to see The Meg this past weekend! And of course, it paired up perfectly as one of our anticipated films for 2018 and also a perfect selection to kick off our After Hours over at Movies and Tea!

Check out our discussion on The Meg over on Movies and Tea Podcast!

Movies and Tea

Hey folks and welcome to the first episode of “After Hours” a series of bonus shows were we will be looking at the films which mean the most to us, but whose directors don’t need require us to work through the director’s filmography.

Kicking things off is “The Meg” whose troubled production history we look into as we finally got to see the rampaging Megalodon brought to the screen.

We not only look at the film, but Elwood perhaps geeks out hard on the comparisons to Steve Alten’s books.

So come join us in the booth!

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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.

Exhibit: Planet Shark-Predator or Prey?

Planet Shark

Planet Shark at Montreal Science Center

Its turning into shark day, no? Maybe its perfect timing because I heard its Shark Week on Discovery Channel.

Isn’t it just right to see a shark movie before a shark exhibit? I thought so at least!

I’ve been wanting to see this since the exhibit started and it was one of the items on my summer activities that I wanted to do and talked about HERE! Finally got one of the activities done!

Technically I’m not sure if I was allowed to take pictures at the exhibit so I will do just a small amount of it to give you a taste of how it was. 🙂

The first thing we walk right in front of is these shark jaws!

Carchardon Megalodon

Carchardon Megalodon

This shark is high danger but its already died out and no one really knows the reason why.

And the whole exhibit has all the types of sharks and their jaws showing their teeth and danger level.

We also see teeth exhibit from different types of sharks and then behind it we have this wall that shows the different sizes of shark in comparison to each other from smallest to largest.

Different sizes of sharks in comparison

Different sizes of sharks in comparison

This one was probably one of the coolest parts of the exhibit and the only real specimens.

Frozen Mako and Tuna Fish

Frozen Real Mako and Tuna Fish at -20C

They also had a little Battle of the Jaws.  Here’s one of the displays comparing a Great White Shark to a Killer Whale

Battle of the Jaws

Battle of the Jaws

Next we get to the movie related section.  First up, we have Jackie Chan’s First Strike animatronic Grey Nurse shark.

animatronic Grey Nurse Shark in Jackie Chan's First Strike

animatronic Grey Nurse Shark in Jackie Chan’s First Strike

After that, we have Jaws…first with some posters

Jaws poster

Jaws poster

Then we have the Jaws Miniature Cages. They were used in the scene with Hooper while real sharks circled the cage.  They had to use a shorter stunt double to do that scene however, because it turned out to be unsafe before Carl Rizzo (stunt double) actually was in that scene, they had to use a dummy instead or else he would’ve been injured (or killed).

Jaws' Miniature Cages

Jaws’ Miniature Cages

I liked this chart below a lot! Mostly because I just had finished watching The Reef.  The review was posted up this morning if you didn’t see it. Its not really clear, but I guess you can get the idea with the little pictures on the side, but if you look at any shark predator movie (especially in The Reef), you will see the group take these precautions as they swim in the water.  Making me feel that The Reef was even more realistic 😉

10 Ways to Avoid Attack

10 Ways to Avoid Attack

This was cool wall collage

This was cool wall collage

That was near the end of the exhibit! It took about an hour to go through the whole thing. It had videos and lots of cool infos with specimens and displays.  It was really awesome! Plus, it gave us access to other exhibits and we ended up checking out an extra one called Mission Gaia.

Mission Gaia

Mission Gaia

Its pretty cool because its about making quick decisions to solve certain issues that occur in our cities and the different sectors.

Lopsided view of Mission Gaia in process of being saved by me and my boyfriend.

Lopsided view of Mission Gaia in process of being saved by me and my boyfriend.

We got through 3 different missions and each one leads to a broader perspective from city wide to more nation wide and worldwide.  You had to choose the right options to grow your city for as many years as possible in the amount of time they gave you but keeping in mind to keep balance in economy, population and environment.  We had 4 tokens to play and make our choices and all the results of the choices had explanations to show the pros and cons 🙂

It was a lot of fun! 🙂 Maybe if it tours to your city, you might want to check it out.  Its definitely worthwhile 🙂