Shark Night
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Shark Night

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This nation has often been referred to as the great melting pot where different cultures combine to create something new and wonderful. Frequently crossing the normal genetic boundaries can result in phenomena called hybrid vigor where the resulting strain is more robust my selecting out the weaker genetic traits. Unfortunately although this methodology is utilized to a significant degree in entertainment the genre mass up can juxtapose the weaker component elements of the constituent types of flicks. A flick that is ideal for demonstrating this form of anti-synergy is ‘Shark Night’ the formula just might resonate with a modicum of potential. At least a sufficient degree for someone to approve the reported $25 million budgeted to its production. The box office missed recouping that investment by about 25% which is why you might see it in the bargain section of your favorite online retailer or featured on a video streaming service. The movie was made with the real 3D techniques and in a nod to ethnological you can obtain it in that format under video on demand. The recipe for this flick is take equal measures of the classic slash and dash flick set in an idyllic lake front and shark frenzy dinner party stir in an admittedly on point social commentary on the resistant popularity of contrived reality show and bake. All things considering it might be prudent to market this to a demographic where the audience is already baked. While not condoning any illegal pharmacological means to alter perception it might be highly conducive to patching over the numerous plot holes and leaps over logic no stunt rider would attempt.

A group of college friends decide to take a respite from the academic stress of their undergraduate curriculum Tulane University. The seven members of the group; Sara (Sara Paxton), Nick (Dustin Milligan), Beth (Katharine McPhee), Malik, Maya (Sinqua Walls), Blake (Chris Zylka) and Gordon (Joel David Moore) have traveled to the vacation home her parent’s used when she was young. As such Sara had some history with the residents of lake front community. No sooner than the cadre of undergraduates arrive than Sara’s past catches up with her when she encounters and old flame, Dennis (Chris Carmack) and his chromosomally redneck friend, Red (Joshua Leonard). Red comes across as a few chromosomes short of a full genome while Dennis appears as the type of young man more concerned with the numbers in his bench press weight rather than the digits comprising his IQ. Red might just have some degree of difficulty spelling IQ.

The friends don’t waste time before getting down to the raison d'etre for the getaway; partying. Grabbing a motor boat and some wake boards Nick, Blake, Malik and Maya head off to the lake. It’s Malik’s turn clasping the tether as he wake boards across the surface of the lake. Suddenly the playful mood was disrupted in a deadly and zoologically impossible event occurs; Malik is attacked by a shark. A fact that lake front communities have been quite proud of since the fear of sharks hit an all-time high after the iconic film; ‘Jaws’ is that all the species of sharks are ocean dwellers. Their physiology is not equipped to survive in the fresh water environment of an enclosed body such as a lake. For a young man engaging in sporting activity on such a body of water a shark attack is considered neigh on impossible. It is doubtful that such ichthyologic details were undoubtedly far from his minds as the creature was ripping his arm from his body. Such trauma has the propensity to overwhelm your immediate train of thought. With the shark in heated pursuit the trio barely made it back to the safety of the dock. Nick boldly dives into the lake to retrieve the severed limb making it back to shore. Since Nick happens to be a pre-med major he starts treating his profusely hemorrhaging buddy. I can remember my time as an undergrad pre-med student. I had a heavy class schedule of some 28 credits a semester. They encompassed a lot of theory in biochemistry, physics and basic anatomy. Along with the requisite core requirements of literature, philosophy and history I didn’t have much of an opportunity for trauma and emergent care. It seems that in movies like this everyone in pre-med is qualified to administer care that would be challenging to a third year resident. If you recall I did include notations of plot hole on s planetary scale, these are only a couple that happened in the first few minutes of the movie.

While sharks, like bird of a feather tend to flock together the lake is an environment conducive to supporting a plethora or different representative species belonging to the diverse order Lamniformes. Seen hungrily swimming in the lake are bull sharks, cookie cutter sharks a hammerhead and, apparently by rules enforced by the cinematic shark union, a great white. The attrition rate is consistent with the traditional precepts of a Camp Blood scenario with the notable thematic difference of substitution of some supernatural masked serial killer heralded by the swish-swish leitmotif with the ‘Jaws-esque ’Da-dum’ feel. Both are fairly tied as to complete impossibility to occur. The intact friends try to get help by notifying the community’s lawman, Sheriff Greg Sabin (Donal Logue) who when we first meet him demonstrates his commitment to his job by drinking a beer with the twenty-somethings.

What follows might be considered a spoiler so please consider an alert duly made. The only reason I include it is I find it incredibly difficult to just leave a mention of how a Sea Word worthy cross section of killer sharks happened to find their way inland to a lake. Baring a Mythbusters worthy consideration of a freak water spout or an even less credible alien experiment causation I find I have to address the solution to this quagmire offered by the screenwriters. The locals previously encountered are more entrepreneurial than most denizens of isolated communities. Instead of planning their means to financial security through time honored endeavors like moonshining, pot cultivation or a methamphetamine laboratory these wannabe fiscal innovators decided on making snuff flicks staring ravenous sharks feasting on their hapless guest stars. Certain a lucrative black market distribution model is feasible they plan are chumming the waters of success with the body parts of any human being unfortunate enough to encounter the producers of this lethal reality based fusion of the Animal Planet, True YV and the Food Network.

What first piqued my interest in this movie was the eclectic casting. Donal Logue is one of his generation’s most notable journeymen actors currently active. He has appeared in virtually every conceivable genre running the gamut from exasperated sit-com father to hit man and criminal mastermind. In each case he never fails to nail his portrayal then there is Sara Paxton an actress that combines attractiveness with a strong talent in her craft. She is proof that a child actor can grow up and take on teen and subsequently adult roles without descending into the morass of train wreck fodder for the tabloids. Capping off the unusual ensemble is Katharine McPhee. She gains notoriety in the public eye by being a popular contestant on the singing competition ‘American Idol’. With a strong singing voice she could readily rely only on her musical abilities. Instead she has been carefully accepting a variety of roles as she hones her intrinsic acting talents. The 3D effects were actually better executed than many flicks especially the ones in the horror venue. This differentiated it sufficiently to deserve some modicum of recognition. The use of the illusion of depth helps relate the story, what there is of it, rather than inundate the audience with overused gimmicks consisting of thrusting objects at the audience. the 3D edition is not the primary disc release in the States but Vudu has it online for purchase and the above link is to an import that is Region A and playable on most American 3D equipment.

Posted 03/05/2014

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