Jarv’s Schlock Vault: Shark Night 3D

What are all these sharks doing here? 

Fuck this film.

After the success of Piranha 3D in 2010, the inevitable happened: a whole host of geniuses decided to copy the formula laid out in Piranha and then translate it for other large hungry fish. Obviously, the biggest, scariest and hungriest is the noble shark, and so it was inevitable that one of the first out of the blocks would be Shark Night 3D.

Does not contain a single solitary boob sighting, but does contain spoilers below:

 For those that don’t know, the large and angry fish movie should in theory be one of the easiest forms of schlock to bash out. Take one group of idiots, place on the water somewhere and expose them to the hunger of a big and scary fish. Some large fish have cachet automatically, such as sharks and piranhas and whatnot, others are more difficult such as the stupid hungry chinese thing in Frankenfish. However, generally, as a rule you can’t really go wrong with ludicrously oversized sharks.

Don’t get excited. This is almost as close to boob as the film gets.

Once you’ve placed your cast of disposable cretins in harm’s way, then the following essential ingredients should be added: Alcohol consumption, nudity, gore by the bucket load, cheap laughs. If you get the quantities balanced properly, then it is possible to turn in a ludicrously entertaining film. Although I do not want to see scenes with our victims crossing open stretches of water on suspended ropes that then dip perilously close to the drink and therefore the carnivorous bastard under it ever again.

Given the simplicity of the formula, I always find it frankly astonishing how difficult it is to translate to the big screen. The number of good hungry fish movies is almost infinitesimally small (Deep Blue Sea, Piranha 3D, and the daddy: Jaws) compared to the sheer volume of absolute fucking stinkers out there. Still, at the very least it should be possible to drag something hilarious out of even the worst films- the epic “I EAT YOUR HEART” scene in Frankenfish is a good example of this.

Occasionally, though, a fish film comes that just fails on every conceivable level. I’m told that this year’s Piranha 3DD (pathetic and juvenile title) is such a film, but before that, last year’s Shark Night 3D set the bar particularly low. How is this possible? It’s not brain surgery, rocket science or even some combination of the two of them, it should be as easy as hitting water when you fall out of a boat, and yet the sheer number of crushingly lame fish films out there suggests that it might actually be quite hard.

Taking a shot in the dark, I’d say this was a shark.

In this case, the premise is inordinately stupid. College nerd Nick (Dustin Milligan) is friends with uber-jock Malik (Sinqua Walls). He’s dragged away from his X-box along with buddy Gordon (Joel David Moore) for a weekend at Sara’s (The Innkeepers’ Sara Paxton) plush lakehouse. Accompanying them are piece of tattooed filth Beth (Katherine McPhee), cretinous male model Blake (Chris Zylka) and Malik’s love Maya (Alyssa Diaz). After a run in with the local sherrif (Donal Logue) and Sara’s ex Dennis and his redneck buddy Red (Chris Carmack and Joshua Leonard respectively), they settle in for some beer and some water related antics.

Unfortunately for Malik, he’s showing off while wakeboarding when a big fucking shark pops up out of nowhere and has his right arm. This sends our group into a panic, as they now are on the clock. Can they get Malik back to safety, without further loss of limbs? So, with that, Nick, Maya, Sara and Malik set off in the boat. Shark attacks and Maya is turned into chum. Through an act of fuckuppery rating at 9.7 on the fumbletrumpet scale, they total the boat. Malik, Sara and Nick drag themselves back to the house, because for reasons best known to themselves they turned the boat round and were surprisingly close when it blew up. 1-0 to the fish.

“My god! Is that a shark?”

Meanwhile (this word will come up quite a lot), Beth has a nervous breakdown of some description and Dennis and Red turn up- ostensibly to give them a lift to the nearest major hospital. Sara reveals that Dennis tried to drown her, so she ran his face over with a propeller (although you can’t tell), so you’d think that letting Beth and Gordon go off with him may be a bad idea. Nevertheless, they go through with it. Half way across the lake, Dennis and Red stop the boat to reveal that they are filming some kind of shady reality TV “When Sharks Attack” thing, and they’ve been letting the sharks into the lake to eat tourists. What a dastardly plan. Anyhoo, they shoot Gordon, who manages to swim to a mangrove tree, before a shark breaches and has him in one. However, he has it easy compared to Beth, who they strip down to her underwear and then stuff her in a net full of cookiecutter sharks. These things are, in terms of hungry fish films, possibly the worst thing I’ve ever seen. Anyhow, despite that she could quite easily have got out of the enclosed area, she stays around and lets them eat her. So, on the half time whistle, it’s 3-0 to the sharks.

Meanwhile (see), back at the house, Malik has gone a bit nuts. He’s found a spear from somewhere (eh?) and is marching into the water to show the Shark the “West Baltimore” (aye, via fucking Julliard) way. Eventually, he gets in a hilarious fight with a hammerhead shark, and with a bit of help from Nick and Sara, stabs it in the head with his spear. Malik’s late consolation goal registers a kill for the humans making  it now 3-1 to the sharks.

Blake enters the game. His genius plan is to ride a jetski to hospital with Malik on his back. Needless to say, this goes badly, and Malik sacrifices himself to save his buddy (4-1 to the Sharks). Blake carries on at a rate of knots crying havoc with the sharks of hell on his tail. Just as it looks like he’s about to make it, a big fucking Great White jumps out of the water and fucks him up good and proper (5-1 to the Sharks).

Don’t worry, he’s ‘armless. Sorry.

The Sherrif turns up, and reveals himself to be playing on the same team as Dennis, Red and the fish. The species traitor. Anyway, he sedates Nick and Sara, and tries to lower Nick into a shark infested tank on a chair. Luckily, Nick is super cunning  and using a Zippo that defies the laws of physics is able to set the fat cop on fire and tip him in the tank with the fish. 5-2 to the Sharks.

Meanwhile, Sara is in a bit of shit. Dennis, apparently, is still holding a grudge about that whole propeller incident, and they’ve called for a late substitution in the form of a Great White. Pausing only to throw her pet dog overboard (fucking hilarious scene), he plans to stuff Sara in a shark cage, cover her with gore and let the big Saffa go to work on her. This, in theory, is a plan WITH ABSOLUTELY NO DRAWBACKS WHATSOEVER!! Well, it isn’t but you get the idea. Nick turns up on the boat (eh?) with the Sherrif’s gun. No sooner does Dennis sacrifice Red (own goal, but that makes it 5-3 to the sharks), hilariously, when in a punch up with Nick he’s knocked overboard. Nick goes to rescue Sara, but the evil wannabe reality TV mogul isn’t dead. Instead he drops the Shark cage sending both him and Sara into harms way. Sadly, he didn’t plan this one out properly at all, and the Great White fucks him. (5-4). Sara, clearly Aquaman’s daughter given how long she can hold her breath) is being snapped at by the great white before Nick pops up to score a late equaliser for humanity. Our hero and heroine escape. With their dog, which the fish turned its nose up at.

I think this may also be a shark. Just not the one we saw earlier.

This is clearly shite, hence my slightly facetious keeping score. The writing is dismal, with nary a decent laugh, the acting (aside from Paxton) is best described as somnambulent, and the direction and effects are all over the place. Because it was filmed in THREE FUCKING D the film spends an inordinate amount of time pointlessly poking things at the camera, which is massively irritating. Nevertheless, I could let it off all of that, if it realised that it was a stupid schlocky fish eats people film. It doesn’t, annoyingly, so for some fucking inane reason best known to the studio, Shark Night 3D was filmed for a PG13 certificate. Therefore, we’ve got the most boring and straightlaced Shark film out there- there’s not a single solitary boob sighting in the entire run time (Boooooooooo!) and the gore is simply fucking pathetic.

The calling card scene is obviously meant to be Beth in with the little sharks, and it is, just not for the reasons that they intended. This sequence is a nigh-on perfect example of everything that’s wrong with the film. Firstly, she should be naked, or at the very least topless. These are murderous redneck scumbags, are you honestly telling me that they’d strip her down to her underwear and then allow her to keep her bra on to save her modesty? Secondly, she could easily escape the fish. Easily. Thirdly, the little sharks themselves, while quite a scary idea as they’re a sort of death by 1000 cuts thing, are some of the most disgustingly shitty CGI that I’ve seen in a while. This 5 minute sequence encapsulates the total lameness and point-missing shiteness of the entire fucking film.

I really wasn’t joking about her being Aquaman’s daughter. She holds her breath for about 20 minutes here.

Nevertheless, it isn’t an Orangutan of Doom effort. Malik punching the Hammerhead with his good arm is hilariously stupid, as is throwing Fido overboard, while Paxton’s acting is streets ahead of the rest of the cast. This is not, by any stretch of the imagination, enough to make up for the utterly hopeless rest of the film.

Overall, I don’t recommend this. Shark Night 3D is an almost perfect example of how not to make a hungry fish film. Quite why you would make something as ridiculous as this and then neuter it with a kiddie rating is one of life’s mysteries. Basically, if you’re going to make a piece of intentional marine schlock, then you make it balls out- maximum nudity, maximum gore, and throw the curse words around. You do not, frankly, make a lame and nutless effort that’s as much fun as spending an afternoon memorising Pi to as many decimals as you can. This is shit, and that’s the rating it’s getting.

What a failure.

Until next time,

Jarv

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About Jarv

Workshy cynic, given to posting reams of nonsense on the internet and watching films that have inexplicably got a piss poor reputation.

71 responses to “Jarv’s Schlock Vault: Shark Night 3D”

  1. Droid says :

    Yeah, I’ve avoided this one because it seemed lame. I’d rather watch Deep Blue Sea again. Incidentally, the only boob in that film was LL Cool J.

    Meanwhile, the two people in that “My God, is that a shark?” picture look like they’ve just walked in on the pool sex scene in Showgirls.

    • Jarv says :

      Shit! I wish I’d thought of that.

      Damn it.

      It’s utter wank this film. Deep Blue Sea destroys it.

      That’s what I meant about Balance- DBS only has LL boob, but the comedy and dumbhouse factor on it is huge so it makes up. Jaws is almost entirely boob free as well. Jaws is higher quality than DBS though.

      • Droid says :

        Jaws has a flash of boob at the beginning. But Jaws is just a stupendous film. It’s really not fair on the other angry fish films to directly compare them to it.

        DBS is hilarious. Crap like Jackson’s monologue getting cut short. And if I remember correctly (I haven’t seen it in ages), the shark springs out of the water and chomps LL Boob J’s parrot. And the shark nicking Skarsgard and using him as a projectile to break the glass. hehehehe I’m going to have to watch that again.

      • Jarv says :

        Yes, you are remembering it correctly.

        Also has stuff like LL Cool J’s “We walk through the shadow of the valley of death and we shall fear no evil because we are the baddest motherfuckers in the whole valley.”

      • Jarv says :

        I also agree about Jaws being infinitely better than the rest.

      • Droid says :

        Jaws is kind of a different beast. For one thing, it’s actually legitimately frightening. Nothing in angry fish films like DBS, or Anaconda (not a fish, but largely set on/in water), is remotely scary. Jaws takes time to develop real characters, and to tell a story.

        DBS and Anaconda are basically comedies. Jaws, however, is rarely funny. The occasional amusing exchange, or reaction shots from Dreyfuss or Sheider, but its intent is not to amuse. These later films, that’s solely their intent. And this is why the mastery of Jaws can never be overstated. These films ARE hard to do well. So many have tried and failed, and the one’s that are successful are entertaining for very different reasons. Piranha 3D, DBS and Anaconda are all comedic.

      • Jarv says :

        That’s what I mean about how it should be easy- these modern ones are set up for schlock comedy value- yet so many of them are lame and boring.

        Jaws is effectively a slasher film- it has the same beats etc. It’s a great film, Jaws.

      • Droid says :

        Is that true? I haven’t read that anywhere else. About Reynolds I mean. It’s assumed that the new Batman won’t be too far away. But casting Reynolds seems a bit too much of a risk for them considering he has just starred in a big superhero movie that didn’t do well. Maybe they should cast Taylor Kitsch!!

      • Droid says :

        Reynolds is also too desperate for a big superhero franchise. I like him as a general rule, but what with the X-Men character, Green Lantern, and his attachment to The Flash movie that didn’t eventuate, it’s getting a bit ridiculous.

      • Droid says :

        This being said, wouldn’t be at all surprised if they cast him (or someone) now, and had him as a credit cookie cameo at the end of Superman. You just know that the next Batman will crossover with Superman.

      • Droid says :

        They could cast Jensen Ackles as Bats. That way the character always has the Batvoice whether he’s Bats or Bruce.

      • Jarv says :

        I’m sure I saw him linked to another superhero movie as well.

        It’s getting a bit silly. It’s a pity that GL was so lame because that could have done him. Also, I don’t really see him as Batman.

      • Droid says :

        The problem isn’t that I don’t see him as Batman, it’s that I don’t see him as Bruce Wayne.

      • Jarv says :

        No. I don’t either, and I don’t know why.

      • Droid says :

        Actually, if he wasn’t so tall and was a bit younger, he’d be more suited to Robin. If Robin was like Arkham City Robin.

      • Jarv says :

        I really like the Arkham city heroes and villains. I’d love to see that Penguin on the big screen.

      • Droid says :

        They’re mostly well done. Are they ripped straight from the DC comics? Their character design and whatnot?

      • Jarv says :

        I don’t think so. Bane definitely isn’t.

      • Jarv says :

        Although having just said that, I’m almost certain that Bane is from South America in the funnybooks.

      • Droid says :

        The problem is…

        Blade 3… Funnybook character included in movie as potential spinoff character.

        Wolverine… Funnybook character included in movie as potential spinoff character.

        The Flash… Funnybook character. Development hell. Never eventuated.

        Green Lantern… Funnybook character.

        RIPD… Funnybook adaptation.

        Batman… Funnybook character.

      • Jarv says :

        Jesus. That’s a lot of funnybook stuff.

      • Droid says :

        I know. He’s like Nic Cage. Desperate for a funnybook franchise.

        Actually, I think The Flash would’ve been a better superhero movie for WB to start with, if they were trying to do a Marvel and build one universe. Not that I pretend I know anything about The Flash, but as far as I’m aware, it’s set entirely on Earth, there’s no aliens and whatnot. That way, you could do it Iron Man style. I think the more fantastic nature of Green Lantern put a lot of people off (before the reviews and word of mouth of course). Marvel introduced those elements after 3 or 4 movies. Now you’ve got the third highest grossing film of all time and it’s about space nasties attacking earth, and the public is lapping it up. I don’t think they would have accepted it quite so readily if Marvel had kicked off with Iron Man vs Aliens.

      • Jarv says :

        I don’t think the Space Opera of GL was a problem. I think the piss poor plot, daddy issues, boredom, schonky effects and general all round BLAHness of it was.

        It wasn’t a dreadful film, but it most certainly was not good.

        They didn’t seem to know what to do with it- goofy or completely serious, and it suffered as a result.

      • Droid says :

        I agree about GL that they didn’t really know how to approach it. Just the fantasy would have put people off I think. Like John Carter.

      • Jarv says :

        The concept is intrinsically silly, that’s the thing. I don’t think the space cops aspect of it would have been too hard, but the bloody “Yellow= fear and negates Green which = will” crap would have.

      • Droid says :

        Sure, but if handled correctly, it’s no less silly than an alien superman from Krypton, an alien god from Asgard, or even a kid who is bitten by a radioactive spider and develops super abilities. I just think that GL would have been accepted a little more readily if the foundations were layed by a movie like The Flash, which is basically a guy that can run real fast. It’s fantastic, but less fantastic than GL. Because in honesty, I thought GL was better than Crap, Le Hulk, and Iron Man Poo.

      • Jarv says :

        I thought it was better than IM 2 and X:Foetus, but marginally worse than Crap. I’m not sure about Le Hulk, as my mood towards it fluctuates and GL really was totally lame. I think, on balance, better.

        Certainly better than Hulk-San, but that’s not saying a lot. Worse than Daredevil, better than Spidey 1 and 3, worse than Spidey 2. These are all below 2 Chang films though.

      • Jarv says :

        The missus hated it. Her worst film of the year, even worse than Sucker Punch.

      • Jarv says :

        Funnybook rankings:

        Tier 1: Blade, Blade 2, TDK, BB, Superman, (the best ones)
        Tier 2: Superman 2, Burton’s Bats films, Thor, Punisher War Zone, Hellboy, Hellboy 2(the good ones)
        Tier 3: x2, Wolverine, IM, Punisher (The mediocre)
        Tier 4: Supes 3, Daredevil, Spidey 2, Batman Forever, (worse than mediocre)
        Tier 5: Crap, X1, X3, Spidey 1, Le Hulk,GL, FF (Shite but not totally hateful)
        Tier 6: Hulk, Blade 3, Ghost Rider, FF2(really shite, toying with OoD)
        Tier 7: Elektra, IM2, X:Foetus, Spidey 3, Superman Returns, Batman and Robin, Superman 4, Catwoman. (Orangutan of Doom).

        The shite far outweighs the good.

      • Droid says :

        A little different.

        Tier 1: Blade, BB, Superman, Hulk, Superman 2, Burton’s Bats films
        Tier 2: Blade 2, TDK, Thor, Hellboy, Daredevil DC (the good ones)
        Tier 3: x2, Wolverine, IM, Punisher War Zone, Hellboy 2, Spidey 2, GL (The mediocre)
        Tier 4: Supes 3, Spidey, X1, X3, Crap, Superman Returns (worse than mediocre)
        Tier 5: Le Hulk, FF, FF2, Punisher, Batman Forever (Shite but not totally hateful)
        Tier 6: Blade 3, X:Foetus, Ghost Rider (really shite, toying with OoD)
        Tier 7: Elektra, IM2, Spidey 3, Batman and Robin, Superman 4, Catwoman. (Orangutan of Doom).

      • Jarv says :

        I think the fundamental differences (ignoring Hulk because there’s nothing to say about it), are that I haven’t seen Daredevil DC, and you’ve been much more generous to Stalkerman than I can bring myself to be.

        And I seem to like Punisher films more than you, for some reason.

      • Droid says :

        I hated Tom Janes punisher movie. I quite liked War Zone. Nothing too special though.

        And I don’t hate Supes Returns like you do. It’s actually quite similar to GL for me. Really felt bad for Routh that he got lumped with Singer on that one.

      • Droid says :

        It’s a solid 2 I think. I feel a bit bad for Reynolds, because he really did try to make the movie work.

      • Jarv says :

        Christ no. I’d go 1 for it. I also feel bad for Reynolds but the good in it is crushed by the lame.

      • Droid says :

        I liked it fine. Did you see the extended cut? Cause that’s actually worse than the theatrical version because the whole opening is the daddy dying. Which is then flashed back to when his plane is plummeting just a little later. The movie is worse for having that footage added back in.

      • Jarv says :

        Ah! I saw all the daddy dying stuff.

        That may be what’s the difference. I wonder if I should bother with the theatrical one.

      • Jarv says :

        I didn’t even know there were two versions.

      • Droid says :

        Not necessarily. It’s better, but to be honest, it’s not very different apart from that opening. That is pretty bad.

      • Jarv says :

        That opening does it so much damage.

        The other thing that hurts it is the demonstration with the plane. It’s meant to show his overwhelming “will to win” but it just makes him look like a stubborn and reckless cock.

        In fact, that entire first 40 minutes is poop on a plate. It gets better when he gets to Oa, but there’s plenty of rubbish to follow.

      • Droid says :

        The worst bits, for me, are:

        The daddy dying bit, which is poor in the theatrical, but abysmal in the extended cut. The extended cut also shows it twice because it flash backs to it, so it’s even worse.

        Ryan Reynolds co-starring with a plank of wood.

        Saving the helicopter with a race car, or whatever it was. Showed the confusion of the filmmakers. Is this film aimed at little kids?

        Rushing through the Oa scenes.

        Best bits were actually the performances. Reynolds and Sarsgaard. And I liked the end. How he defeated the big fart cloud. That is actually what the test pilot scene is intended to set up, IMO.

      • Jarv says :

        Best bits were actually the performances. Reynolds and Sarsgaard. And I liked the end. How he defeated the big fart cloud. That is actually what the test pilot scene is intended to set up, IMO.

        Wasn’t a huge fan of Reynolds v Big Fart Cloud, to be honest. The thing is, this is obviously what they were intending to set up with his “Will to win” garbage in the first bit, but they botched it in the first bit and he came across as an arrogant dick, whereas the end felt more like him sacrificing himself.

        The other thing worth noting, is that it was, for a fucking change, trying to hard to set up a sequel. Why can’t they just make a decent film and then make the sequel later?

      • Droid says :

        Article #1

        This is pieced together from a few articles. It’s all highly suspect, but hey ho. Worth posting as a talking point.

        News hit earlier that Warner Bros. had anticipated the success of The Avengers movie and has hired Will Beall to pen the Justice League Movie script.

        First of all, director Zack Snyder has previously mentioned that his Superman movie, starring Henry Cavill, wouldn’t be involved with any other movies, let alone a Justice League movie.

        We are told that is now changing.

        • Our source tells us that the major developments are underway at DC Entertainment — and the Man of Steel will spearhead it all.

        • The Man of Steel will be chapter #1 of a shared universe, it will all bend around that film.

        • In chronological terms, the Man of Steel is the first, with the Lobo movie looking to be the second, followed by the Justice League movie.

        • Henry Cavill will be given a new contract after Man of Steel that would probably include a pay raise along with his new terms that feature the Justice League film and subsequent sequels.

        Article #2

        I’m told that a new Batman movie might be slated for 2016 following the Justice League Movie, and it will not be an origin story (like Amazing Spider-Man), but will feature a Batman who is entering his second year as a hero.

        The film may also be called “The Batman,” though I can’t be sure on that as the 2004 animated series was of the same title which featured a Batman in his third year.

        Also, this new Batman will be part of the same shared DC Universe that features the Justice League Movie as well as having Henry Cavill in the role of Superman in Justice League and subsequent sequels to the Man of Steel.

        Article #3

        Our source tells us that Ryan Reynolds is expected to return for the Justice League Movie.

        Though the Green Lantern movie was – shall we say – less than stellar, and Reynolds himself has stated he has nothing to do with a Justice League Movie, we are told that Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment expect the actor to reprise his role as Hal Jordan/Green Lantern.

        While Reynolds did state previously that he hasn’t been approached about the Justice League Movie, he did seem to leave the possibility open when he added, “We’ll see if they do it in the long run.”

        We are also told that the events that transpired in the Green Lantern movie — although they won’t be ignored in the Justice League Movie, they won’t be acknowledged either. It will sort of be hints to Green Lantern’s backstory, and the character will be more serious than in the solo film (more like how he was towards the end of the film).

        Regarding the Green Lantern movie sequel, we’re told it has a treatment but the situation is unclear. It most likely will be brought to a stage where it is near getting the green light and will be held there until things become clearer where that franchise is headed.

      • Jarv says :

        the Lobo movie

        Who the fuck wanted that?

      • Droid says :

        Who’s Lobo?

      • Droid says :

        I just looked him up. That will fail.

        “I have no idea why Lobo took off,” Giffen once said in an interview. Referring to the 1990s incarnation of Lobo he created, he said, “I came up with him as an indictment of the Punisher, Wolverine, hero prototype and somehow he caught on as the high violence poster boy. Go figure.”

        Giffen is the guy who created him.

      • Jarv says :

        I’m sure it started as a joke.

      • Droid says :

        This is why I don’t listen to nerds. Hey, I’m sure it’s a decent read, but fuck me it’s a funnybook for fuck sake. What a douche.

        Out of all of Frank Miller and Alan Moore’s stellar works for Marvel & DC Comics in the 1980s, Daredevil: Born Again by writer Frank Miller and artist David Mazzuchelli must stand out as being the most concise, the most stripped down and the most affecting tales that the revisionist trend for super heroes threw out in the mid-1980s.

        Whatever was in Frank Miller’s tea when he co-created this Marvel masterpiece starring blind lawyer Matt Murdock and the long, slow and insidious dismantling of his personal and professional life, should be bottled up and sold to the legion of imitators that came after who couldn’t quite match Miller’s visionary storytelling. Myself and many of my friends at the time who were fans of Alan Moore’s writing on titles for various publishers such as Marvelman, Swamp Thing, Captain Britain and Watchmen when Born Again came out originally in comic book form (Daredevil Volume.1, issues 226 – 233), there was a collective belief that Miller had finally stepped up in to the big leagues and was if not the better then certainly the equal of Alan Moore. All the more impressive since Miller’s tenure as artist/writer on Daredevil from #159 – 191, followed by his highly personal tribute to the Lone Wolf & Cub stories, Ronin, for DC Comics, a 1980 Batman short story and a few Spider-man annuals (Amazing Spider-man Annuals 14 & 15 and Marvel Two-In-One #51 & #100 were superior work for hire fare).

        Miller’s best work by far, Born Again, achieves its impact on the reader by virtue of its understanding and manipulation of emotional themes – its depiction of the Kingpin renders the Kingpin of Crime in the most realistic terms in the Marvel Universe since Daredevil #179 (His gloating over winning Businessman of the Year award for “procuring footage of acts beyond description for a automobile distributor” place the Kingpin and his amoral ruthlessness firmly and subtly into abject reality. His torment as he realises Murdock has escaped his wrath is cinematic in the extreme; it would be hard to believe that a certain Q. Tarantino hadn’t read this and felt humbled by Miller’s writing genius. Ditto for the shootout in the police cell when Lois the nurse working for the Kingpin is being interviewed.

        Finally, Miller’s tribute to Captain America co-creator, Jack Kirby, is astonishing (Jack Kirby being deeply embroiled in an undignifiedlegal battle with Marvel Comics for recognition as one of the architects of the Marvel Universe). Faced with the corrupted, evil version of himself in the shape of Agent Simpson aka Nuke, Captain America comes face to face with the reality of modern day, corporate Reaganite America. The exchange on the rooftop between Matt (Daredevil) Murdock and the star spangled Avenger is one of the most powerful scenes in the history of comics and the final battle between the escaped Nuke and Daredevil is a Battle Royale modern cinema would be hard pressed to emulate.

        In DD: Born Again, writer Frank Miller’s aim was to separate the man from the hero, from the troubling contradiction between costumed vigilante and defense lawyer (Matt Murdock’s day job) but this was too much for lesser writers to maintain and the character and his stories went to a limbo of mediocrity well, pretty much ever since these comics came out but that’s just this reviewers personal opinion. In dramatic terms, nothing since then has ever matched this incredible piece of comic writing and art and for this reason alone, you should purchase this trade paperback edition. Simply stunning.

      • Jarv says :

        What a load of cobblers.

  2. Droid says :

    Here’s a request for the funnybook aficionados…

    Since I’m essentially completely and utterly ignorant of all forms of superhero funnybooks, can you suggest what you consider to be the best series, books or whatever you call it for me to read. Just one or two each would be good.

    Let’s start with the main ones. Supes, Bats, Spidy. And suggestions for characters like Daredevil, GL, The Flash, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Craptain America and Fantastic Four would be good too. Not really interested in X-Men so don’t worry too much about that.

    If this works, and I’ve got enough material, I may do a review series on it.

    • Jarv says :

      I can help you with Spidey- read them when I was in school.

      The two definitive Spidey stories are The Death of Gwen Stacy and Kraven’s Last Hunt.

      From general knowledge of funnybooks:

      Bats- er… I suppose, although I’ll be told I’m talking shite here- The Dark Knight Returns (I’ve got this at home, you can have it), and maybe The Killing Joke, or Death in the Family, or The Long Halloween. Probably not Knightfall though.

      Iron Man is easy- Demon in a bottle.

      GL is pretty easy as well- Sinestro Corps War. Or the one where he goes bananas and nukes Coast City.

      Superman? Vaguely remember the one with him dying. Seem to think that was important, but I’ve seen a lot of geek moaning about Kingdom Come.

      This really isn’t my bag at all.

      • Jarv says :

        The other thing worth noting is that nerds are generally wrong about stuff-

        For example- Michelene and McFarlane’s Venom run was something I loved when I was 13. But thinking about it as an adult, it’s Spidey v Gollum with MJ as porno wank fantasy.

        They also get a real boner for anything old, and like stupid OTT Crossover shit- so in the case of Spidey that was Maximum Carnage in the 90’s (which was terrible and he won with the power of love). Then there was all the nonsense with clones and not being peter parker any more.

        Fecking stupid.

      • Droid says :

        Yeah that’s why I need advice from the guys here. I don’t know where to start and don’t trust Internet nerds. Cheers for the suggestions.

      • Jarv says :

        Cockshaw’s at it again:

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2012/jul/05/total-recall-review?commentpage=last#end-of-comments

        How the fuck is Total Recall a guilty pleasure. Cunt.

      • Jarv says :

        The thing is, as I understand it, most nerds about “runs” that a certain writer did or whatever, and I don’t think they’re self-contained stories. Me and a mate used to read the self-contained books in Chemistry instead of working. I read loads of Spidey in that.

      • Continentalop says :

        To add to what Jarv wrote:

        Spidey:

        Doc Oct/Black Cat saga from Spectacular Spider-Man (75-83 I believe). Great story by the tragic Bill Mantlo.

        First appearances of the Hobgoblin by Roger Stern.

        Spider-Man vs. the Juggernaut.

        Bats:
        Neal Adams and Denny O’Neil’s run, especially the Daughter of the Demon storyline and the Joker’s Five Part Revenge.

        Englehart’s Case of the Laughing Fish and Strange Apparitions.

        Detective Comics #576 (fun story with DC’s greatest detecives – minus Detective Chimp – Batman, Robin, Slam Brady and Elongating Man trying to solve the last case that Sherlock Holmes worked on).

        Plus I would add the DC archives especially Detective Comics #18 (Batman’s first appearance), Detective Comics #33 (Batman’s origin) , Detective Comics # 38 (first appearance of Robin), Batman #1 (FIrst appearance of Joker and Catwoman), Detective Comics #58 (first appearance of the Penguin), and Detective Comics #66(First appearance of Two-Face), but that is just me.

        For DD get Frank Miller’s two runs (especially the Elektra and Born Again sagas). For FF, only Stan Lee & Jack Kirby and John Byrne’s really count IMO (get the original Galactus Trilogy and then the Trial of Galactus). . For Thor, you can get by with just Walt Simonson’s (get the Beta Ray Bill Saga).

        Cap, get Stern & Byrne short run from the early 80s. It features a Nazi vampire, so it is awesome. Brubaker’s current run is also highly respected for Cap fans.

        You could also get Batman and Captain America’s team up, set during WWII.

      • tombando says :

        Killraven w Mcgregor etc in the 70s is ok, John Byrne Xmen run, FF King Kirby stuff 60’s, Avengers 150-180, Spidey 70’s all will work.

        Plus Superman family 70’s, you know Streaky the Cat, Lightning the Horse, Krypto the dog, etc. Bobo detective Chimp is fun, too.

  3. Bartleby says :

    how many comments until we arrive back at spiderman? sort of like how many licks to the center of a tootsie pop? jk.

    This movie is ass, and not the good kind. The thing is its a waste of a premise. Strangely, when I first heard about this movie one other came to mind; Burning Bright. Both have a concept that just sounds very unlikely to result in anything but crap. If you just told me the premise of both, just the premise, I’d probably tell you the idea of a lake full of saltwater sharks sounded more likely to yield a good movie than a girl being chased through a house by a full-grown tiger.

    Of course Burning Bright works and makes you feel sort of limited for not believing it could work. Once this was over, I wondered why I gave it a try in the first place. Also, I really want to see the supposed demographic/test audience for these movies. Who is the one saying ‘You know what shark night needs more of? Killer hillbiillies planning a realty tv show? Know what it needs less of? Sharks!

    Why do movies continue to do this. Perfectly acceptable creature concept, and then we add in a human threat. Jaws? no human threat. Masterpiece.

    And for the final moment of bitching, why is the horror genre so forgiving for screw-ups? What I mean is that its one of those few arenas–action films seem to be another–where clearly talentless dickheads keep getting work again and again and again. I get that David Ellis paid his dues as a stuntman, that’s cool. Good on ya.

    But who said you could/should make movies? And after this little stable of gems–Final Destination 2, Cellular, Snakes on a Plane, Asylum, The Final Destination–who let you make more? And when this thing didnt have a title, AICN and other venues were calling it the ‘Untitled David R. Ellis project’ like that should mean somerthing.No worries. He’s got four more movies in pre-production.

    Meanwhile, this douche keeps going around ruining genre stuff. It’s like that knobhead who did Dracula 2000, White Noise 2, Prophecy III, My Bloody Valentine, Drive Angry. He;s already on tap to do Halloween 3.

    Meanwhile the directors of Burning Bright, Outlander, and Dont Be Afraid of the Dark have absolutely nothing on the horizon according to IMDB.

    • Continentalop says :

      Meanwhile, this douche keeps going around ruining genre stuff. It’s like that knobhead who did Dracula 2000, White Noise 2, Prophecy III, My Bloody Valentine, Drive Angry. He;s already on tap to do Halloween 3.

      Patrick Lussier. That guy is such a talentless hack.

  4. ThereWolf says :

    I knew this would be cack – the trailer was terrible.

    Brilliant review though, Jarv, loved the score flash concept.

    P.S. By coincidence I watched ‘Green Lantern’ last night. Thought it was okay – didn’t like the ‘saving the chopper with a car’ bit but to be fair, his mate takes the piss about that. I just read it as Hal’s naivety while he gets to grips with his new powers. I’d never heard of the character until the movie was coming out…

  5. Continentalop says :

    Fuck. Good review Jarv, but movies like this frustrate and piss me off to no end.

    How hard is it to make up a decent killer sea creature schlock movie? No, seriously. It should be as easily as ABC.

    Fuck, I’ll make one right now. KRAKEN. Giant killer squid (which hasn’t been overdone) because you know they got tentacles so they can reach up and grab you on docks and boats – you are never safe. Plus tentacles look cool in 3D.

    Fuck. In 10 seconds I made a better movie than Shark Night 3D. Lazy fuckers.

  6. tombando says :

    Needed acquatic lions, robots and Jeff Goldbloom. Pass.

    • Continentalop says :

      SEA LIONS. It’s no longer just king of the jungle.

      A mad scientist insane experiment leads to an aquatic lion with a hunger for human flesh.

      Let’s get crackin’

      • Bartleby says :

        Or we got for the hybrid water-creature human mash-up.

        Look at it: Manatee. They hve already done half the work for us.

        Of course it could be an Adam Sandler comedy too about a fun-loving aquatic mutant… Part Man…Part-y!

      • tombando says :

        Make at least one of them a robot sea lion, and you are in business.

      • Continentalop says :

        No Tom, they have to build a robot sea lion to fight it. Like Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla.

        Bart, has there been an aquatic werewolf movie yet? Cause I’m thinking SEA WOLF could work.

      • kloipy says :

        Under water no one can hear you howl!
        ‘This wolf has been eating seamen like there is no tomorrow!’

      • tombando says :

        I am down w all that but gotta cast Joe Don Baker. Put him in and you are doubly all set.

  7. tombando says :

    Deep bloo sea is cool.

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