Tag Archives: canadian movies

Movie Review: Avalanche Sharks

As a kid, a shark was an animal that swam in the water. My parents reminded me every time we went to the beach how important it was that I didn’t go too far in the ocean. I had to be wary of sharks. Sharks are dangerous for obvious reasons.

However, the greatest deed that a shark ever accomplished was not in the water in which it inhabits, but on the screen. Shark movies have made history. Whether it be Jaws, a milestone in film, or Sharknado, a milestone in comedy, sharks have created their own genre. This can be accredited both to the Syfy channel’s persistence to parade some of the most bizarre scripts known to man and the concept that has turned into an enormous bandwagon for the Hollywood market. The need and demand for shark movies is insanely high, probably far higher than it should be and yet, the more ridiculous the title and the story get, the more marketable it seems to be. Sharknado was nascent and now it might be one of the most recognizable phrases in pop culture. It has spawned two sequels and despite the direct-to-DVD stipulation, fans are still talking about it. Sharknado 4 is expected to be released in July and while critics such as myself continue to question this phenomenon’s longevity, it continues to prove us wrong effortlessly and I, guilty as charged, will continue to pay for it.

A while back, before the Sharknado sequel officially came out, there was a film called Avalanche Sharks being advertised. It was rumored to be a Sharknado spinoff, although that was never confirmed. However, the idea of another shark movie even loosely connected to Sharknado was a great marketing pitch. I remember watching this trailer and the feeling I had afterwards. You would think that feeling would be one of malcontent, but I was genuinely excited. This film screams awful, from the acting seen in this minute-and-a-half clip to the special effects or whatever you want to call these visuals. It is bad, purposely so and I was thrilled.

Few films acquire such a taste from an audience. Not many people are going to watch a bad trailer showcasing an even worse film and react with a glorified acceptance speech about how he and his compadres must see this film. Whether you hate or love these incompetent products, you have to admire the marketing side of the spectrum.

With all that set aside, let’s talk about Avalanche Sharks. The plot is absurd and that’s expected and wouldn’t bother me if it wasn’t for the multitude of sideshows we get introduced to, the continual leaning of the film on these Styrofoam characters and the blatant disregard for what started the shark problem in this film in the first place. When you find out, you won’t be upset. You will be outright fuming like a Harley Davidson that’s been running for the last 24 hours and has reeducated its rider about the term “overheat”. It might be the worst cop out in film history. There’s no reasoning. It just is and by just is, I mean just is stupid.

There’s a difference, I believe, in any pursuit, between making something purposefully bad and going out of your way to make someone hate themselves for ever being invested in it. Avalanche Sharks is the latter. Will it turn me off to the shark genre? No, I have thicker skin than that, but I’m still peeved at the level of obnoxiousness this film reaches.

There is some talent required to make a film purposefully bad while still making it mildly appealing and entertaining. The Asylum is especially good at this. Believe it or not, to act bad in an entertaining way, you must have a basic understanding of how to act well. It makes sense when you think about it. To know what not to do, you need to have an understanding of what you’re supposed to do and then incorporate some of both. If you don’t know how to act and you just wing it, you end up with a movie like this, where no one has any idea how to produce anything of substance. The actors in this film have an elementary understanding of how to be a moving piece in a big picture. Aside from its blatant amateurishness, although that might be too polite a term, the acting portrayed here is lifeless and walks the tightrope of overdramatization and effortlessness.

Easily detached from the plot, my mind was the battlefield for a quandary: What do I discuss in this review: How is it possible for anyone to be this bad at anything? Are the actors trying to be this bad or are they actually this bad? The acting underscores any reasonable standard that should be held in a professional environment, even an infantile understanding of the subject of film and theatrics. I’m convinced after Avalanche Sharks’ 82-minute run time that the actors are abusive to any mind. This cast is utterly useless at something and I believe that’s the only takeaway to have after this movie: Know that no matter what you do, you’ll never be as bad at anything as the cast of Avalanche Sharks is at acting.

With the film soured as a whole, any screenwriting delights (of which there are none) are overtaken. The visual effects warrant no admiration and there are far too few sharks for this escapade to carry any enjoyment down the slopes to viewers.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (DeadpoolAvengers: Age of UltronThe AvengersThe BabadookInterstellar)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Olympus Has FallenThe Cable GuyThe Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of Tomorrow)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (10 Cloverfield LaneCreedScouts Guide to the Zombie ApocalypseCrimson PeakThe Martian)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Hardcore HenryBatman v Superman: Dawn of JusticePride and Prejudice and ZombiesThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2Beasts of No Nation)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (ConstantineRaceEverestHerculesThe Sentinel)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (War, The Ridiculous 6The Lost BoysZombeaversCrank)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (CatwomanThe GunmanThe VisitThe Fantastic FourThe Boy Next Door)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (The Coed and the Zombie StonerThe Forbidden DimensionsCyborgOutcastSabotage)

My score for Avalanche Sharks: 21.

This review was hard to write and if you wish to gather a gist of why that is, feel free to hit play on this Medusa. Otherwise, stay far, far away or else you might be turned to stone for a few days, too.

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Movie Review: Tucker & Dale vs. Evil

There was a time when films were meant to tell a story and provide visuals that lengthy novels didn’t have the luxury to include. There was a time when films said something about our lives. It was more than a rare occurrence, it was a natural standard. Somewhere in the midst of film’s most prominent eras, a few people started to make comedies. Laughter disentangles us from the complexities of our existence, from the darker depths of our minds, and brings us to the heavenly homes of freedom, where we can be free of responsibility, obligation and society’s behavioral expectations. We can be us. We don’t have to feel fear. We don’t have to contemplate our worth. We can just be. That’s why Robin Williams’ passing has affected so many people, because we all, in some way, could relate to the man that he was and the things he faced. Perhaps we didn’t suffer from the bottle but we all go to comedy for the same treatment: relief. Whether it’s relief from addiction or financial crises or loneliness, it doesn’t matter. It’s all relief. That’s why we watch comedies, because they, like every other genre of film, transport us to another world free from distractions and obscurities.

Somewhere in the middle of that dream, a few brain matter-lacking individuals began to put on the cloak of comedy and make films. The films they made weren’t comedies at all, but they shrouded their products with illusions and falsities, luring us in with candy and shutting the door behind us once we crossed the threshold. In making films like these, these imbeciles inadvertently created a new genre of film. The genre’s name is known to few because many still believe them to be comedies. Many have not broken the persuasion of the brainwashing these filmmakers have barraged them with. For your information, the genre is called Stupid and Tucker & Dale vs. Evil belongs in this genre.

To call Tucker & Dale vs. Evil a comedy would be akin to calling a serial killer a toddler. Under no conditions do the phrases “Tucker & Dale vs. Evil” and “comedy” ever come even remotely close to each other. They are in the exact opposite time zone. It is 12 am in comedy, 12 pm in Tucker & Dale vs. Evil. One is black, one is white. Every counterpart duo will work.

There is no acting. There is no laughter. There is no invitation to enter the world of make-believe. There is no relief, only blind rage and empty script pages. There is endless wandering with no direction, interminable dying but no living, incalculable life don’t’s but zero life lessons.

Tucker & Dale vs. Evil is so bad that I didn’t even want to write this review. Subjecting anyone to such garbage is torture and therefore as far as I know, illegal. I certainly wouldn’t want to give you a glimpse at this film. Why would I want to do that? What possible obligation would I be following by doing such a thing? Truthfully, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil‘s only favor was that there was nothing for me to spoil anyway because nothing happened. This film was like a really bad dream you had when you were six. It is branded into your mind forever and you’ll never forget it, but you can’t describe it to anyone else no matter how hard you try. Every time you try it vocalizes as insubstantial fiction and you have to keep qualifying yourself: “So this one day I was walking in the forest…actually scratch that, it was more of a meadow and we were walking through the tress…actually I guess they were tall bushes..”

You’re on an endless conveyor belt and you only get so far before your progress becomes regression. There are no checkpoints, no breaks, no stoppages, no power failures. You keep walking. Every part of you aches, especially your brain as the effects of the trauma you’re experiencing settles in. You’re short of breath and your rib cage is being pressed by what feels like a bulldozer. It’s an agonizing experience.

Rather than calm your nerves and tickle your funny bone, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil stings your nerves like a bothersome bee again and again and again until you flip out yelling at the television. There’s no medication to make this a better experience. There’s no anti-itch creme you can put on to make it a little more comfortable or anything like that. It’s invasive and it stinks all over. There are no pleasantries of any sort. Just don’t watch this, okay?

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Guardians of the GalaxyDawn of the Planet of the ApesTransformers: Age of ExtinctionJack ReacherGodzilla)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Tears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2Young GunsCloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too.(Red Dawn(2012)MaleficentRise of the Planet of the ApesTransporter 2Battle: Los Angeles)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (RubberHansel and Gretel: Witch HuntersAnchorman: The Legend of Ron BurgundyThe TransporterSpeed)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (The Expendable 3HomefrontG.I. Joe: RetaliationVantage PointThe Starving Games)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesBilly MadisonA Haunted House300: Rise of an EmpireCowboys and Aliens)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (Planet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice, The Contract)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (X-Men: Days of Future PastThor: The Dark WorldThe Sum of All Fears)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (SafeWatchmenClash of the TitansA Haunted House 2Open Grave)

My score for Tucker & Dale vs. Evil: 16.

I feel like I’ve said it in the most polite ways I can think of, but if you still want the general synopsis of Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, it fricking sucks. It’s bland and effortless. Truly no cares given in the making of this one, and surprisingly, I have no cares to watch this or show this to another living creature ever again.

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