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Shark in Venice (2008)
Let's get the formalities over with this is a film starring Stephen Baldwin and some other people who must have been bribed about a group of divers who are trying to find some treasure in the waters of Venice. What they find instead is a great white shark which rips a few of them apart. The Mafia are involved somehow, so that results in some gunfights and someone getting dragged off the street in full view of a public seemingly too bored sorry, scared to intervene. They find the treasure, the Mafia wants it, the shark gets away.
Thank God that's over. Something in this made me laugh so much it hurt. During the diving expeditions, the divers are talking to each other as if over radios. This would be fine if they didn't all have whacking great regulators shoved in their mouths, making it impossible to move their lips. Once you've noticed this it all falls apart, and you'll notice it very quickly. Trouble is, you'll notice a huge list of other things as well, namely:
* The terrible acting
* The terrible script
* The terrible Italian accents
* The terrible plot
* The terrible shark attacks
* The terrible extras
* Editing that makes the film look like it was pieced together from a Venice Tourist Board video, the out-takes from Jaws, and a film about Boating For Fun and Profit
The truth is that many viewers won't get past the first twenty minutes, but for those who do another hour of complete tripe awaits. I found that the best way of passing the time was to create the Observer's Book of Bad Extras, and I encourage you to give yourself a tick for spotting the following:
* The hotel doorman who looks at the production crew just after his five seconds of outrageously poor acting
* The two men sitting absolutely stock-still in a police station clearly wondering whether they should be moving
* The men in a café who don't notice when a someone runs through the room and falls into some boxes right behind them
* The policeman who takes a bullet and falls to the floor without a wince of pain
* The man with a newspaper who continues to read it as the Mafia kidnap someone directly in front of him
* The guy bartering in the market who watches the camera approaching
There's also the moment when the treasure is discovered, which, along with the rest of the scene leading up to it, is like a particularly poor Disney sequence. The rest of it is a cross between James Bond, The Mummy, and Wildlife on One. That is, the stuff from James Bond, The Mummy and Wildlife on One that ended up on the cutting room floor. During the 'climax', which is a lot of gunfire and some police boats, the 'eclectic' soundtrack excels itself by breaking into a jolly piratey-type theme and then something that rivals Psycho for violin-related insanity.
As for the sharks, there are a lot of blurry, dark moments and copious amounts of red colouring to prove that they couldn't get one.
The extras amount to a short making-of and the theatrical trailer, both of which highlight a film taking itself and its value far too seriously. This is Jaws for people who have had a frontal lobotomy.
Beehive is the latest in a plethora of 'girl group' comedy shows, coming after Smack the Pony and Tittybangbang, amongst others.
Deliberately outlandish, it veers between silly and puerile and is simply, and the words of Sarah Kendall, "just s*** that makes us laugh".
Some of it will, indeed, make you laugh. Highlights include the extremely rude South African flight attendants, a parody of Sex and the City, the one-upmanship competition called "You've Been Served!" and a quite delightful moment where Kendall believes she's Spiderman.
Trouble is, not all of it works first time. In the tradition of The Fast Show, you need to have seen many of the catchphrases a few times before you start finding them funny, and by then you may have given up. This is a real shame, as there's potential for a lot of growth.
It's saved by terrific performances - the four women can turn their hands to anything, whether it be an accent, a mannerism, a character or a parody of a real person. The production values are high, with the girls' "flat" being the sort of place you'd like to have a look around in reality. Thankfully we get to do this in a reasonable DVD 'making-of' which leads us through the creation of the show and, perhaps sadly, proves it could have been even more puerile.
I like Beehive. Despite the content, it has an oddly benevolent feel which is lacking from its contemporaries. I can understand the low rating, but if you give it a chance you might get more out of it than you expect. A second run could produce a real improvement, but I fear that they'd be pointed even further in the wrong direction by a 'comedy' market based on unpleasantness.
The Thirsting (2007)
I don't really know what to say about this other than it is the worst film I have ever seen. I say that genuinely as I am a film reviewer (for my sins).
So, a truncated version of my actual published review: it's a just a badly-made heading-for-softcore flick...and then the last fifteen minutes come. Forced incest? Electrocution? Evil nuns? Rape of a minor? Were they trying to 'save' it at the end?! Half the dialogue sounds like it was dubbed in someone's living room. Kind of a pity you were able to hear it at all, given how bad it was. The acting is terrible (I think someone from Neighbours might be in it), the plot is...well, there aren't words...and did I mention the ending? Did I? I wish I hadn't hung around for it! Please. Don't bother. Don't encourage them to make rubbish like this.
28 Weeks Later (2007)
That wasn't what we expected....
Heavens above, that was intense.
This isn't a 'zombie film'. This isn't even a 'horror film'. This is one of the single most disturbing films we've ever seen - and that's saying something.
I can't remember the last time either of us, both seasoned horror fans, sat in the car on the way home blatantly trying not to burst into tears. There wasn't a single point where this 'let up' - the original has a great opening and then lost its way, but this never, ever loses it. There are a couple of moments of perhaps unnecessary gore, but the overall effect is so powerful that you will be unbelievably glad to be walking out of that cinema into broad daylight. Within the first ten minutes I was struggling not to weep, and that's really scared me. This was really scare you. See it at the cinema, on a big screen, before it's too late.