12 Days of Terror (Film) Review

Jill and I batted around the idea of doing political movies this month but after the last couple of weeks the UK has had and all the bullshit currently wafting around on Jill’s side of the pond, I think we made the right choice to back away from that for a while.

Instead, we’re doing Shark Month in honour of the USA’s wonderful Shark Week. We don’t have it here and frankly, it’s a travesty. Bonus is, I can pretend Nigel Farage is the one being terrorised and it makes me feel better.

Jill picked this week and I was all ready to mock the shit out of this overly dramatic TV movie. In the end I actually became rather engrossed.

Call it the handsome and earnest leading man, call it the hilarity of most of the cast members being all too eager to jump into the water even though there’s a goddamn shark in there!

Whatever it was, let’s get down to business. *Spoilers* as usual, though this is a shark movie so you can guess a lot of it.

12 Days of Terror (2004)

Director: Jack Sholder
Stars: Colin Egglesfield, Mark Dexter, Jenna Harrison, John Rhys-Davies

IMDB Synopsis: For 12 days in July, 1916, a shark patrolled the waterways of northern New Jersey. This docudrama is based on Richard Fernicola’s account of those days.

My Review:

It’s 1916 and there’s this new craze called sun bathing sweeping the nation. People are flocking to the New Jersey shore to cure their polio in the sunshine and to not think about the World War raging across the ocean. The Jersey Shore in this scenario is very different to the shore we know and love today (or so the film would have us believe). Though, I’d have paid good money for a cameo from Snooki.

Our hero is Alex (Egglesfield) and let’s no beat around the bush, having to watch him wrestle sharks for the next hour or so is not going to feel like a chore. He’s a good egg this one, life guarding like a boss on the beach outside a posh hotel and mentoring other less experienced life guards on his watch.

2073415,IoXe6lwO0QMh6Z04p6fOKZYvOlooUZkWjQYZrXa4RHqhx6Bc2+v7wgMLdv+hcmIcSr_7eqK9guqJkPpD4fA6uw==
Worth pretend drowning for

He receives a visit from his best friend Stanley (Dexter) and his fiance Alice (Harrison), who we later learn used to be Alex’s girl (oooooooh!). Alex tells Stanley he’s totally cool with them getting married (riiiight) and even helps Alice make a decision on the kind of cake they’ll be having on the big day. Like I said, kind of a hero.

Unfortunately, this is the first day of terror and a dandy called Charles (David Jeffery) becomes our first victim. It’s at this point I have to say, Charles, your dog is barking violently at something in the water, perhaps at least approach it with caution? Always listen to the animals, dude! As he runs into obvious trouble further out, Alex dives in to rescue him without a single thought for his own personal safety. Charles has a huge chunk missing from his leg and sadly does not make it to see day 2.

Alex is adamant that this was a shark attack (I mean, duh) but some ‘experts’ swoop in and imply that it could of been a torpedo. Ummmm… a torpedo with teeth? Alex doesn’t buy this one bit and suggests that perhaps they close the fucking beach until they know the score? But alas he is but a lowly Tom Cruise impersonator lifeguard and he’s poo-pooed.

Again, he’s not happy but what can he do but stay vigilant? The Mayor (Patrick Lyster) isn’t keen on losing out on the tourism and the President of the U S of A is due to visit any day now so the show must go on. They speak to yet more experts who state that it would be highly unlikely for the shark to come back (haven’t they seen Jaws?).

6fb27e37-240d-4ca9-b346-ee99ee5cbe95
Salty

Come to think of it, Alex is our Roy Schneider, running around crazed and trying to cut through bureaucratic red tape in order to save lives. He’s also mates with a salty old sea dog called Captain (see what he did there?). Captain is John Rhy-Davies who was Gimli in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) and I quite fancy him.

Since this is 12 days of horribleness, you can guess that the shark does indeed come back and this time it’s personal as he bites off Alex’s mates’ legs (both of them, no messing). Alex once again is first to the scene and it doesn’t end well for his friend, I think his name was Danny?

865b0b6eff02
He’s got some legs off

After this attack, the authorities half-heartedly concede that there might a problem and place some big steel fencing around the beaches to make it safer for swimmers. Alex has lost all his enthusiasm for the job since Danny’s death and quits, has a fight with Stanley (who tries to stop him doing anything rash. Oops TOO LATE!). He takes a job with Captain as his first mate, which sounds legit. Captain seems to fish a bit and just hang about on the docks but this time he’s been contracted to fit the fencing.

While they’re fitting the steel posts in the water, one of Cap’s crew gets spooked and shoots at the water, claiming he can see a shark. Alex and another crew member are in the water at this time and I have to say that absolutely nobody seems that arsed about shark attacks. And yeah, I get that rivers aren’t the usual stomping ground of great white sharks but when Captain sees a formidable shadow streaking through the water towards the creek and goes suitably mental, nobody else reacts accordingly.

You would not have to tell me twice to stay the fuck out of the water, let me assure you. Anyway, Captain is in his little row boat shouting at children to get the fuck onto dry land but he’s only one man and can’t get to them all. So a small group are splish splashing about when our shark rocks up.

A hysterical mother shouts to them from the river bank and they do nothing because they can’t hear her! Kids, eh? They pay the price for not reading her body language so there’s a lesson here.

vlcsnap-2012-10-05-07h04m05s254
GET OUT OF THE FUCKING WATER!

When Stanley hears that a kid he knows is in the creek he gets rather heroic. I can’t work out at this stage if the kid is his (I don’t think so) but whatever, it’s enough to get Stanley moving. Several local men leap into the creek but don’t find the kid. I’m not going to outline each and every death for you, don’t worry but tragedy strikes round about here and makes Alex even fucking angrier that before.

1277045234_12.dney.straha.2004.xvid.satrip.kinozal.tv.avi_003873800
5 cents you say? BARGAIN!

Meanwhile, I’ve missed out a part where Cap seems to have caught a shark but there’s still another shark out there (I think this happened, I have an image of it), so there must be multiple sharks out there. Alex isn’t pleased that his mate is making money out of tragedy but this is how Cap rolls and I think we all just have to accept that.

Also sniffing around is a strange dude called Michael Schleisser (Jamie Bartlett) who works with dangerous animals. He doesn’t really have much going on apart from a deep fascination for the shark and attempts to go out on Cap’s tiny boat to see if he can catch it. As one does. He’s really dislikable and has an air of the guy who captured King Kong to me. He’s definitely not that into animal welfare and in it for himself.

4b250af2-1d34-440a-b652-ce4ea9900852
“Oooooh he’s a biggun!”

Alex and Cap tell Schleisser his plan, to somehow ensnare the shark in a net and get dragged along by it until it tires itself to death, is rubbish but he’s having none of it. The shark must hear them talking and get fucked off as he jumps out of the water and tries to bite Captain.

There’s a final Jaws-esque show down between shark and human men, and I’m going to let you see how that turns out.

Questions:

What becomes of pretty Alex? Does Schleisser rightly so get eaten by our big fishy friend? Will Alice and Stanley make it down the aisle after all this drama is over, or will a place open up by Alice’s side?

And what of the shark, whose only real crime is being a shark and going with its animal instincts?

My Thoughts:

Way more thrilling and entertaining than expected. It’s cheesy of course but the period setting lends it some class. It’s very reminiscent of a certain Spielberg directed shark movie but that’s because the film is based on the true-events that also inspired Jaws so you can’t blame it for that.

Shots beneath the surface of the sea are very Jaws-y and tense though this film lacks the horror element that made Jaws so amazing. You do actually care for some of the victims which helps and I have to say the fact you don’t see the shark for a good while helps the build up.

Some of those characters are so dumb though and none of the female characters really get a look in. Alice is a very 2D, decorative prop (and I say prop because she’s only there to add a subtle tension between the two best friends). It’s like one big fisherman’s club up in this joint. Also, when an experienced fisherman/lifeguard tells you to stay on dry land, STAY ON DRY LAND!

My Rating: 3/5. A TV movie that feels like a TV movie but like, a goodish one.

Did Jill circle this movie with interest or was it nothing but chum to her? Find out here.

 

Lovestruck: The Musical (Film) Review

lovestruck-the-musical-cover-poster-artworkFinally, the schmaltzy love fest to end all schmaltzy love fests! This is the straight-to-TV version of a liquified Homer Simpson donut with extra sugar added – and it is a joy.

But first *spoilers*!

Lovestruck: The Musical (2013)

Director: Sanaa Hamri
Stars: Jane Seymour, Sara Paxton, Chelsea Kane

IMDB Synopsis: A jaded woman who never fulfilled her dreams of a Broadway career pushes her daughter to have one. Daughter rebels and goes to Italy to get married. The mother drinks a potion that makes her young again and tries to sabotage the wedding.

My Review: 

Look, any film that starts with Jane Seymour covering Gaga‘s Let’s Dance is a-okay with me. As slightly bitter former Broadway star, Harper Hutton, she is a total fox and actually quite likable, which surprised me. Not wanting her daughter, Mirabella (yes, really) to miss out on the stardom she never quite achieved herself, she is unimpressed when Mirabella announces she’ll be staying in Italy after her wedding to former Italian playboy, Marco (of course).

In a rage she tells her daughter that she’s loco to marry a man she has only known for three months, and in the process of dropping her unwanted truth nuggets, manages to get herself dis-invited to the wedding.

xJ0CB
“This never happens when I do Born This Way”

She also hurts herself during the Gaga number, an echo of the injury that caused her beloved career to slip through her fingers all that time ago (Seymour is like 89, right?). Rather than taking this shit lying down, Harper jumps on the nearest plane and finds herself in Italy, fully prepared to halt the wedding and drag Mirabella back. UGH – I hate that name so much, I am going to stop typing it, now.

Of course, before we launch into Harper’s plan to stop her daughter’s wedding, I should mention that there’s some magic8c8a424a3f908be6687170f679dc5f06 afoot. In the wake of twisting her knee showing some backing dancers how to work it like a boss, Harper calls for some aspirin. Sadly, none of the dancers carry aspirin but one does find an old ancient filing cabinet that houses a long discarded bottle of vitality potion, and passes it over.

Like any sensible adult who has just been handed a bottle of something containing god knows what, Harper takes a big old swig after she’s touched down in Italy. It makes her leg feel much better but also knocks about 30 years off her age. Delighted at this new development, Harper rushes off to seduce her son-in-law-to-be-or-not-to-be (creepy). Not before checking she’s back to full flexibility, though (she is).

I want to know if seduction was the plan before she got on the plane and took the youth juice. Also, I always dance around airports with strange men to Whitney Houston, don’t you? Question: where’s the footballer casually heading in top to toe kit?

When she meets up with M and her BFF, annoying Noelle, Harper pretends to be long-lost second cousin, Debbie. Queue lots of high jinx (and musical tomfoolery) as the girls embark on M’s bachelorette party. Harper is subjected to the bawdry tale of how her angelic daughter popped her cherry to a horny Parisienne and then has to perform Like a Virgin on a pile of silky sarongs without a single penis straw in sight.

The main thing I took from this scene is that I wish I had bigger hair.

lovestruck04
“Wooooooooooo! We’ve all got fingers!”

Meanwhile, Young Harper has pretty much sewn up her plan to pull the groom by just turning up and kissing him but then she starts to regret it as she realises – shock, horror – he really has changed his man-whore ways and does love his fiancé.

Sadly, M and her mahoosive hair overhear him confessing their kiss to his sexist friend, so the jig is up, although she doesn’t know it’s Debbie (AKA Mum). Instead she believes it’s her best friend, Noelle.

This turn of events changes the rules of the game as Harper decides to save her daughter’s relationship instead. Oh and then her lying cheating ex-husband turns up to mix things up.

Chelsea-Kane-Drew-Seeley-Dancing-Lovestruck-The-Musical
“Oh okey kokey kokey, oh okey kokey kokey…”

I don’t want to ruin the rest of this love fest by giving too much away and the truth of the matter is that it’s light on plot as it is. Whatever it is you assume is going to happen will probably happen.

Will M change her name so people don’t dislike her as much? Will she make it down the aisle at all? Will these stupid men ever learn to keep their dicks in their jockeys? And what does a frizzy haired ginger gots to do to get a Barbie barnet like half the cast?

Most importantly, will Noelle ever forgive M for automatically assuming that she’s a great big slapper who would willingly cheat with the groom on her best friend’s wedding day, just because she’s had a few glasses of fizz? I’m sorry but I would have a few things to say about that accusation if it was me, rather than hmmming and hawwwwing about whether I actually had done it because I was quite drunk.

The answer should have been “Hell no, you bitch!”, not “I don’t think so…”. Just saying, Noelle.

And finally, what of Harper? Will she stay young forever, or accept her lot in life thus finally finding the pure happiness that has eluded her for so long?

What the hell do you think?

My Thoughts:

Honestly, what’s not to like? This is a thoroughly camp contemporary musical with colourful backdrops and Jane fricking Seymour, man. If you’re not into these things I’d avoid this one. Luckily for me, I’m all over it like well, me on a chocolate cake.

It’s sweet, satisfying and, in a weekend of binge watching OITNB, the perfect temporary antidote to lesbian love triangles, prison slop and prejudice against the trans community.

The cast are more likable that you’d expect, the sets and costumes are gloriously decadent; and frankly, it stacks up pretty well against bigger productions of a similar nature, such as Mama Mia (2008) and Walking on Sunshine (2014).

There are worse ways to spend Sunday afternoon, anyway.

My Rating:

3.5/5 – As a film, it’s a 3, for the enjoyment factor 4 – so I’ve split the difference.

No companion cast this week as I don’t have the time, yo. Poor excuse, but I’ll be coming up with something later in the week.

Incidentally, it’s the TV Movie genre this week and next. This was a fine choice to kick it off and I’m hoping next week’s will hold up my end of things, as it looks and sounds INCREDIBLE!

Pop on over to Jillian’s place next to see what she has to say!

Things & Inc

An update post if you will, as boy do we have a lot going right now.

What, it’s Christmas and everybody is buzzing around like bees on ecstasy? You’re right, my bad. How’re you coping?

Here are a few of the things I am thinking about right now.

02-lena-dunham-2-b.w529.h352.2x

  • Lena Dunham

I’m finally on Not That Kind of Girl and haven’t even passed the Introduction yet. But I’m looking forward to it.

6a00d8358081ff69e201bb07b4f23d970d-800wi

Sadly, the book already has a reputation that proceeds it, given the uproar it has caused over the last few months. People are forming new Dunham shaped opinions all over the shop due to some of the subject matter (and how it has been sculpted by Lena’s choice of language), but I am remaining on the fence until I have a context to relate it to.

I love her style and I can’t see that changing any time soon, but she might allude to stabbing puppies in the final segment, so you never know.

  • Christmas Shopping

I’m done! Did it all in one sitting with the help of the trusty internet. The lovely, lovely internet.

*SMUG FACE*

ChristmasCupid

  • Christmas Movies That Retell A Christmas Carol (And/Or Feature an Alternative Universe) From the Perspective of a High Flying Business Woman (Always American) Who Has Lost Sight of What Is Important 

See Christmas Cupid (TV Movie 2010), Holidaze (TV Movie 2013) and, from this afternoon, It’s Christmas, Carol! (TV Movie 2012).

All, you might have noticed, straight to television masterpieces. And yes, I do love them more than Coco Pops. Amusing because, of course, no woman can climb the career ladder without transforming into a total bitch of epic proportions!

(If any of you know of any more films of this ilk, please let me know).

Screen-Shot-2014-10-07-at-2.33.32-PM

  • Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud

I am obsessed.

  • Family

This week hasn’t been easy and some new news has made it even more difficult and emotional (which I’m not going to go into) but I have been reminded that I have a fucking wonderful family who are strong and incredible people, come rain or shine.

It’s easier to deal with the shit stuff when you have an army of rock stars on your side, that’s for sure.

nightcrawler-main

  • Jake Gyllenhaal

We recently watched Nightcrawler and I really enjoyed it. Following the last of Jake’s films I absolutely loved, Enemy and Prisoners, he’s now pretty much my favourite. Such a talented (and fit) actor.

Nightcrawler follows creepy Louis Bloom into LA’s underground as he becomes interested, and then really quite good at, the business of crime journalism.

  • Ready Player One (the Movie)ready-player-one

OMG this book is fantastic and so completely up my alleyway, that I #canteven! But if I could, I would tell you that the fact that Christopher Nolan has been offered the film version of it is knicker-wettingly exciting and I squeaked a little when I heard.

Cannot wait.

(Even though the scriptwriter has admitted to have taken ‘liberties’ with the original source material, so you know, boo to that).

So, that’s me. I hope you’re all doing well and enjoying the lead up to Christmas. I’m not feeling that merry yet, I have to say but that has to be because I haven’t seen enough Christmas movies yet (I accept non-Dickensian rehashes too). Soon to be rectified, I hope.