Fishtales (2007) Poster


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See 'Splash' Instead
Der_Schnibbler12 August 2008
The cast may have seemed to have had fun filming this--but you certainly won't.

Classicist goes to Greek island with his daughter to work on his research on ancient love spells. There his daughter befriends a mermaid, with whom she subsequently attempts to fix up her reclusive and work-obsessed father.

Sounds good when I put it that way but sitting through the film is a very different experience. If I had to describe this entire movie in one word, it would be "jagged." The plot lurches abruptly in random directions, with characters' motivations suddenly shifting unexplainably or we see them performing actions which are bizarre and out of place.

Not long after the professor arrives on the island, he calls Oxford and, in a drunken stupor, tells them he quits his job. There is no lead up to this. Nothing. Out of nowhere, a perfectly composed researcher is shown drunk and quitting. His daughter, who befriends the mermaid, does all she can to make her father and the mermaid meet only to suddenly change her mind because she realizes her father is in love with "a fish." Why is the daughter's motivation suddenly twisted around 180 degrees? In another scene, we see the daughter walking into a shop and addressed by a female shopkeeper with a dubbed male voice who snorts, pig-like. Why? We will never know. The villain is played by a local fisherman with a mechanical arm (your guess it as good as mine here) who wants to capture the mermaid for his own profit.

Countless of scenes consist of snippets of dialog which seem to have belonged in a bigger conversation. Then the scene cuts to yet another in a long stream of bizarre happenings.

I don't want to put this film down, because I rather like its strange but original nature. However, I must warn any potential viewers: If you are looking for an off-beat, strange little movie that'll slightly perplex you while it throws in a few slightly amusing parts, then sure, go see "Fishtales." However, if you are looking to be ENTERTAINED--if you want a movie with a coherent plot, which is well-paced, moves in a pleasant manner and captures you attention without you having to constantly pause and ask yourself, "what the..."--see "Splash" instead.
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Fun-loving and romantic, fans of light comedic love tales should like this one
inkblot1124 September 2009
Dr. Thomas Bradley (Billy Zane) is a typical absent-minded professor. Writing a book about the lore and language of ancient Greece, he is having trouble, nonetheless, meeting deadlines. His young daughter, Serena, is at a loss about how to help him. At the college's direction, Dr. Bradley is told to travel to the Greek isles and finish his book at the appropriate time. Unfortunately, Thomas is a bit of a scaredy-cat when it comes to the sea and he can't swim, so the prospect of a working vacation surrounded by water doesn't please him. Yet, once he and his daughter arrive at their destination, Dr. Bradley does find the atmosphere quite nice. So does Serena. In fact, Serena meets a beautiful neried (Kelly Brook), a classical name for mermaid, on the shore and is fascinated by her new acquaintance. The young girl is soon determined to "match" the mermaid to her father, despite the fact that the water-lady only has legs after sunset. Then, too complications arrive when a native Greek gentleman begins following the foreigners, for his grandson has told him a mermaid has been seen on the shore near their house. Will the professor finish his book in time and will he be interested in romance, too? This was quite a lovely film for those fans of light romance. The cast is nice, with Zane giving a fine comical turn as the professor and Brook utterly gorgeous and dry-witted as the neried. All other cast members give talented turns, too. Naturally, the scenery in Greece is beautiful beyond measure and the costumes, production values, script and direction are worthy, too. But, although the movie is touted as an acceptable family film, some parents might object to the daughter's occasional back-talk and the use of words like "a-hole". All in all, however, kids will probably enjoy it, especially young girls. Therefore, if you or yours love humorous romance and sweet stories, here is a tale to bring home someday soon. There's nothing fishy in saying a good time will be had by all, young and old alike.
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Greek myths with American science and oxford academic supervision about love
pecine2 December 2007
exciting plot,funny characters,uplifting jokes ,ALKI David VERY PROMISING AS mr .MAVROS, BILLY ZANE seducing as usual, cinematography very fulfilling creates as many variants as the characters being realistic and magical the same time ,editing too cuty but works well, a slower pace would be probably more funny, script is strong and very inventive with good jokes and twisted story lines that do not allow the viewer to be bored in a linear narration. A down to earth mermaid completes the puzzle with her humanistic approach and tolerance of the mortals, worth seeing it more than once as pure entertainment,take your kids or date with you. visually one of the more exciting images combining oxford atmosphere with Greek island taste and smell,yes images work so well that you almost touch and smell the locations.
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A very original comedy with some gutsy and very funny performances
Dr_Mark_ODoherty24 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Although the plot is somewhat predictable, this is actually a very original comedy with some gutsy and very funny performances - especially from the strong supporting cast, that includes a very diverse range of actors. A spirited performance also by Kelly Brook. Her transformation from the haughty, dignified mermaid goddess into the whimpering lovesick fool - who stalks her love interest by camouflaging herself with a bush - is very funny. In fact, this modern Greek love tale would have been almost touching, if it would not have been so chaotic and comical.
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Skip it
geoff-36717 November 2008
Der Schnibbler was too kind when he called this movie jagged. The screenwriter seems to have no clue about anything. I howled in the beginning when Billy Zane's character is warned of the precarious position of a "visiting professor emeritus." ("Emeritus" is a fancy word for "retired", hardly appropriate for the youthful Zane, and visitors don't retire because they never had a permanent job in the first place.) The mermaid doesn't make any attempt to hide herself, but the villagers are unaware of her. When the daughter first encounters her, both characters are unsurprised and swim together like old friends, with no hesitation or getting-to-know-you scenes. I could go on and on.

The filmmakers seem to have been making up the plot as they went along, while suffering some sort of amnesia as to what came before. Yes, it's a fantasy, but there is zero internal logic. And whenever they run out of ideas, they resort to gross-out jokes. (TWO crotch blows in 15 seconds? Give me a break.)

I will, however, admit that all the leads are photogenic. I hope that next time they will read the script before signing up.
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Worst Mermaid film Ever! (spoilers)
shinybutton20 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This film was a massive disappointment. The set up is fine, but the mermaid turns out to have a spoiled brat nature that ruins the magic. The plot is chaotic and the characters seem fickle, if not just mentally ill. They weirdly insert a menacing cross-dressing shop keeper into the middle of the film, for no apparent purpose to the plot. The villain fisherman is also a peeping tom who gets his jollies spying on women in their underwear. The village matchmaker attempts to lure the Dad, by tossing a bucket of water on buxom village women. Then at the end, an old man suddenly falls in love with his male colleague and kisses him! I know there are parents out there that will not be expecting all of this, this or wanting to venture into the questions that may arise from it.
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it just makes no sense
NeliaQ4 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
It is entertaining, yes, comic, made me giggle a few times. And the mermaid actress, Kelly Brook, is dead gorgeous. Her tale is a magnificent prop. And that is about it. This accounts for the two stars.

None of the characters makes any sense. They are all collages of different personalities. And with them, the plot keeps flipping randomly as well.

Amber Savva, the little girl, is such a bad actress it is annoying. Her character is a good swimmer, and yet makes no attempt at all to rescue her drowning father. She has a security-blanket bracelet she fondles with constantly in the beginning, but she doesn't notice it is lost till half a day has passed. There is a visible attempt to make her pass for a mature girl, but all the inconsistencies flunk this.

Her father is such a confused and weak-willed fellow I don't know how he survived high-school, let alone become a professor near an intellectual break-through.

This old Greek servant, if she doesn't live in the house, why was she there one time at night? Why don't people leave their clothes and wallets on a safe place at the beach instead of practically under the waves? This book on the mermaids is said to be really really very old, and yet there are Art Nouveau paintings on the pages. And etc.

There is a strong hint that the mermaid is the lost daughter of the elderly professor, and that he knew of mermaids and had mated with one, and yet, nothing comes of it. There is a strong hint that the bad fisherman (played by the director Alki David himself) drowns and his good son will be adopted by the heroes, but no either. There is claim on the tail's jewels, and yet we hardly see them. There is no reason for a special breathing shell for swimming underwater if the wonder-cave is a few meters from shore and above water level. And etc.

With all these reality flaws, I seriously doubt there is any fundamental truth or logic in the professor's studies on the Classical Greek spells and poems. I mean, the actors don't even look in the correct direction at times...!

It is sad: the story could have been really pretty, but the characters and the plot were so ill-developed you can't but wonder which fourth-grader took over David's mind.

...I have just noticed: the movie is from 2007! Fancy that? I thought it was some twenty years old. Mr. David, get your story straight, and film it again properly. It will make a lovely movie.
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Fun movie
sanchezruben-9944824 March 2020
Simple, innocent and romantically fun. A good family movie to enjoy.
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What did I just watch?
scrivenerfire23 February 2020
The only good thing in this movie are the quotes. It's all so corny and ridiculous, my family quotes it all the time.
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A mermaid tale with no splash...
paul_haakonsen18 December 2020
This 2007 movie titled "Fishtales" from writers Alki David and Melissa Painter sort of felt a bit like the 1984 classic "Splash" movie starring Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah, except "Fishtales" had no splash and had no Hanks or Hannah.

The storyline in "Fishtales" as presented by director Alki David was watchable, to a certain degree, but it was hardly a captivating or interesting storyline. And the pacing of the story was very, very slow, and that left the movie feeling very mundane for me.

"Fishtales" has Billy Zane on the cast list, which should be an indicator of you liking it or not. In my opinion, as I am not a fan of his, then I will go as far as to say that this movie was hardly among some of his better or memorable performances.

I believe that a movie like "Fishtales" might find a fan base in a younger adult female audience base. So I fell very short of that particular audience group.

While I managed to endure through the entire course of the movie, I can't claim to have been entertained or particularly enjoying the movie.

My rating of "Fishtales" lands on a mere three out of ten stars. The movie just didn't offer anything worthwhile for me, nor did it bring anything outstanding to the cinematic experience.
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Horrible, absolutely horrible!
aictopus29 December 2018
The pacing is terrible, the acting is really cringey, and the whole thing makes zero sense. The film doesn't know what it wants to be. I would've given this a 1 star but that's reserved for movies like Manos: The Hands of Fate.
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weakly made
SnoopyStyle6 July 2016
Dr. Thomas Bradley (Billy Zane) is a bumbling Oxford University professor of classical Greece. He is given one more summer to finish his database of ancient Greek. Another professor offers him a villa in Spetses, Greece. He travels there with his 12 year old daughter Serena. Captain Mavros sends him overboard. Thomas can't swim and he's rescued by mermaid Neried (Kelly Brook). Serena is looking for love for his father and asks Neried to translated old writings.

This is sort of like a bad kids movie. It's got sloppy slapstick. Billy Zane is wrong for a bumbling professor but the little girl is perfectly fine. I can't believe this got shown in Cannes. That is the last place to show this. This is a weakly made kids fantasy. It's more straight to video.
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Great visuals.
carlitosnavas25 December 2020
First of all thanks to the director, is rare to see now a film where there is no camera shaking, thank you for going back to slow camera pans and steady shots, that and the visuals made me enjoy the film.
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