WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
For anyone that has never set foot in the beautiful city of Cape Town, you’ll never know quite how miserable our winter can be. After 5 months of glorious summer and a very brief autumn when the leaves begin to fall, you’re suddenly lurched into the next 4 months of non-stop cold, wind and, thanks to the wind, rain that comes at you sideways. In this kind of situation, there’s really only one option: hide out at Tropical Mary‘s house with Jersey Shore Shark Attack and wait for the storm to ride itself out. I’m not going to advocate that this movie is any good, because that would be a blatant lie, but for anyone who has had the misfortune of being subjected to MTV’s Jersey Shore then this is an absolute must-watch. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, this movie goes about ripping off a bunch of orange oompa loompas while throwing some albino sharks in for good measure. How could you say no to that?
It’s a tough day down on the Jersey Shore. A tangerine Nooki suspects that her ex-boyfriend Gino ‘The Complication’ Moretti (because, apparently, whenever he’s around, situations with members of the opposite sex become complicated) has been cheating on her (how an ex-boyfriend can cheat on you raises several questions that I couldn’t answer, so I’m just gonna assume it’s a guido thing). Her suspicions are apparently confirmed when we switch to a shot of him in bed in nothing but his boxers whilst a topless female sleeps next to him. He throws her out on the balcony with nothing but a pillow to protect her modesty, but Nooki’s a smart bird and thinks that something’s up when she discovers a lace bra in The Complication’s bed. Things just got complicated.
You know things are going to go into a bit of a downward spiral whenever Dylan Vox (of Vampire Boys, Aliens VS Avatars and various gay porn movies fame) appears on the scene, and lo and behold there he was in a golf shirt with a popped collar. Now you know that shit’s gonna go down. In an unexpected educational turn I learned that creatures on the Jersey Shore are fiercely territorial, with Vox and his preppy crowd fighting desperately to keep Nooki and her carrot-coloured people on their half of the beach. Through this series of informative events we are introduced to the rest of Nooki’s people: she’s got her pals J-Moni and BJ, while The Complication likes to hang out with Donnie and Paulie Balzac. Before he’s eaten, the boys were also friendly with a guy called JP who, despite being quite regular in size, is constantly referred to as a midget.
Well, that more or less covers the ‘Jersey Shore’ part of the movie’s title; let us now move on to the actual shark attack. In an attempt to improve the Jersey Shore and attract a more wealthy and classy kind of visitor (hence the growing number of preppy hipsters), the town has begun drilling just off shore. Drilling for what I’m not entirely certain, but it hardly seems all that important. The point is is that the drilling has been sending tsunami-like sound waves out across the bay and colliding with a crystalline cave full of albino sharks. The sharks, who are seemingly very keen listeners, follow these sound waves back to their point of origin. When they arrive at the Shore (keep an eye on them swimming – I’m pretty sure it’s just recycled Sharktopus footage) they begin to eat everyone in sight. It’ll fall to The Complication to defeat the preppies, win Nooki’s love, save the entire Jersey Shore population and defeat the sharks once and for all. Just another day in the life of a guido.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- New in Jersey Shore fashion: Jersey Shorts (kickass butt not included).
- It’s fine to do you, but you should never do it in public.
- Sharks are a lot like whales, just with fins.
- The bigger the vibration, the bigger the shark attack.
- Any semi-capable police station has a well stock armoury right next to its kitchenette.
- Present tense: to drown. Past tense: to drownded.
- Present tense: to drive. Past tense: to drove.
JERSEY SHORE SHARK ATTACK TRAILER
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Movies like this irritate me. So far as unheard of end of the world movies go, this really wasn’t a bad watch and there are far worse ways for you to spend your time. It’s main problem is that it dragged, but not in the usual way that makes you feel bored to tears. Rather it has a lot happen in a relatively short space of time so when you feel that Earth is pretty much on her knees and a resolution to the problem is about to be discovered you realise that you’ve only been watching for half an hour and that there’s still an hour to go. There are some glaringly obvious factual issues floating around but on the whole the acting is quite decent and the special effects are of a reasonable quality. That said, the title of the movie is completely misleading: nothing gets blasted and the arctic is in no way involved in the problem.
Poor little humans, we’re in for another round of ‘let’s meet our maker.’ It was a beautiful day when the people of Australia were watching a total solar eclipse (of the heart) and, much to the joy of health officials everywhere, nobody burned their retinas out. As happens from time to time the solar eclipse has a slightly greater effect on the planet than would normally be desirable. Somehow the combination of the moon passing in front of the sun and our recent tendency to pump our atmosphere full of pollution leads to the ozone layer springing a leak just off the coast of Tasmania. This rather sizeable hole (which is apparently visible from space) is allowing super cooled air from the mesosphere to filter down to the surface. This results in a cold front that begins sweeping its way across the sea towards Tasmania and the rest of Australia.
Now understandably nobody really wants to be caught in a fast-approaching cold front where the temperatures drop to -80 degrees fahrenheit (-62 centigrade for those who, like myself, find degrees fahrenheit confusing). Unfortunately for those people living in the line of fire the government isn’t really prepared to believe that the planet’s ozone layer is ruptured and freezing people in a split second, so a few people have to turn into frozen lollies before anyone actually sits up and pays attention. This is an end of the world movie so of course we have a rogue scientist in the form of Jack Tate to help us overcome this minor issue. As with many rogue scientists Jack’s family is in a state of turmoil and he’s in the process of divorcing his wife and losing the trust of his teenage daughter. Could this crisis possibly bring this family back together again?
So now what is the government going to do about this little problem? Well they’re certainly not going to listen to Jack, the one man who might just have all the answers. While the government twiddles its thumbs Jack tries to get his family to safety and sticks his wife with the in-laws and takes his daughter back to his lab. While in the lab he will try to come up with the best solution to Earth’s current situation and possibly fix the screw up of a plan the Australian government has come up with on its own. The situation will become slightly more complicated by the fact that the ozone hole above Australia in some way sent ripples out across the planet and opened holes above other major cities in Europe, Asia and North America. The race is on to find a way to plug the holes before all of Earth gets turned into a giant ice palace.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- If meteorologists get drunk enough they could easily solve all the world’s problems.
- Divorce lawyers are quite happy to be called blood-sucking parasites.
- Fireworks and chinese take aways will not buy you your daughter’s loyalty.
- For some people a ship full of condensation is the craziest thing they’ve ever heard of.
- A hairdryer will fix the most waterlogged of hard drives.
- Diabetic meteorologists need excessive amounts of chocolate to do their work.
- Any fool who bangs on his keyboard hard enough will eventually hack into an American military satellite.
- A true gentleman will gladly offer to do a little insulin shopping in -50 degree weather.
ARCTIC BLAST TRAILER
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Oh dear, another interesting concept with dreadfully poor execution. There’s so much more that can be done in a movie centred around killer paintball with a slight dusting of Hostel for fun, but you’d be amazed at just how boring poor film making can make this concept. It suffers from a number of things: firstly, the camera work is shoddy. The cameraman actually moves bushes where no bushes should be moving. Secondly, the camera also appears to function as the microphone and as soon as anybody moves too far away it’s virtually impossible to ever make out what they’re saying. Finally, it suffers from that terrible movie affliction where the director tries to make it obvious just how distressed the characters are but the outcome is a bunch of whiny little people who scream (unintelligibly) at one another for the entire duration of the movie. Mr Paintball director, I do ask that before you try to make another movie that you and I have a chat so we can make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.
There comes a time in everyone’s life when you begin to question what it is you’re doing and what the purpose of your existence is. Thankfully many of these questions can be answered with a little intense paintball action. Turns out there are numerous places around the world that cater to individuals who just have that undying urge to shoot paint at moving targets, and our little story takes place somewhere in Europe where renegade paintball is all the rage. It’s a secret little society where the location is unknown, people are brought in blindfolded and made to rely on their teammates (who they’ve never met) and their wits. It’s an intense game of survival and only the best will come away unstained, but for some its just what you need to feel alive.
And so our little team (whose names I can’t remember) set out on this new adventure to become the ultimate paintball champs. It takes all of 3 minutes before they start arguing with one another, debating on who gets to be leader, how to get to the flags and who can actually read a map. The situation is tense – the other team might be just around the corner and decisions need to be made quickly. The team makes their way to a spot in the forest filled with old cars and one derelict bus. They move with the precision of army commandos, but are about as quiet as howler monkeys during mating season. While searching the area the other team spots them and begins to pelt them with paint, and they duck for cover in the old bus. The action begins to diverge from usual paintball practice when the opposing team throw two smoke canisters through the bus’s window, followed shortly afterwards by a box containing a bullet proof vest. When things go quiet and the team begin to make a move they realise just how different this game really is – the opposing team has started to use live ammunition, and our little group is running in plain sight.
Faced with this new terror our group does what they do best: panic and scream at one another. So they panic off as fast as they can, only to discover that the entire forest is surrounded by a highly charged electric fence. After screaming at one another they panic off in a different direction, but soon pause to scream about where they’re actually going. Some more panicking and screaming ensues, and nobody really knows what’s going on, and gradually they’re all being shot. Along the way there’s an Asian person who adds nothing to the story, and a few booby traps here and there to make things a little bit more exciting in this game of cat and mouse. But who would be so evil as to corrupt an innocent pass time like paintball? Surely such people have been sent by Satan himself to vilify what our dear, screaming characters once held to be so positive and character building? The answer, unfortunately, isn’t anywhere near as exciting.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Taking part in super elite, top-secret paintball tournaments is the absolute height of badassness.
- Part of staying well hidden involves screaming at the top of your lungs wherever you go.
- Part of hiding from enemy fire involves running around in the open.
- Fat guys are always the first to panic when a paintball massacre breaks out.
- Asian people make terrible paintball hostages.
- The smaller your knife, the better your throat slashing abilities.
- It’s incredibly difficult to speak when you have a machete rammed through your chest.
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
What’s not to love about a good movie made for the SyFy Channel? They’re guaranteed to be b-grade, they’re guaranteed to be made on a low-budget and they’re guaranteed to be a good laugh. The Hive is no different; based around an island under attack by a swarm of man-eating ants the audience is subjected to an hour and a half’s worth of so-so acting, horrible CGI and a plot that’s so far-fetched I recommend it for nothing else other than the ‘No, they didn’t just do that!’ factor. Read on, dear reader, if you would like to know just how far the animal kingdom can be pushed by a company out to make a tremendously b-grade sci-fi / horror combo!
Something’s very wrong on a little island in the middle of the Pacific. One night, high up in the sky, a strange light was seen descending and disappearing behind a hill, and ever since then the ant population of the island has been going a little awry. It would appear that they are no longer content to simply invade the locals’ picnics and make off with whatever scraps are available to them – they’ve now got their sights on a much bigger prize. It all begins simply enough: one night, in the middle of the jungle, a woman is busy tidying her house while her baby gently rocks itself in a little hammock. Outside, the ants are preparing for their first attack. Hundreds of thousands of them descend on the house, making intricate structures on the roof by bunching together. Having gathered into formation they begin falling from the roof and, in a matter of seconds, devour the woman and her child and leave nothing but piles of bones and clothes. Soon most of the island’s population is on the run as the ants begin to spread out and attack entire communities, leaving nothing but death and destruction in their wake.
With the island on the brink of collapse it’s up to Team Thorax (I shit you not), a group of highly trained insect killers, to try and sort out the problem. They’ve come fully loaded: suits to stop the ants getting to them, high-powered ant-killing laser guns and a state-of-the-art communications centre to keep in touch with those brave souls out on patrol. All of these things are necessary since the ants are displaying incredibly aggressive behaviour, are swarming in never-before-seen numbers and have developed the ability to run at about 90 km/h. Where the ants plan on striking next is also proving to be very difficult to track and the combined forces of Team Thorax and the island’s military are being stretched rather thin trying to contain the outbreak. Oddly enough though nobody seems to think that millions of ants swarming together and eating people alive is particularly strange behaviour. Obviously Team Thorax has seen its fair share of ant-related atrocities in its time and this is really just another day at work for them.
Since eating every human in sight doesn’t seem to be impressing Team Thorax overly much the ants decide to go all-out and display even more bizarre behaviour in a desperate bid to get some attention. Firstly the humans discover, when they take a sample from the ants’ frontline, that the swarm is made up of a number of different species of ants, something very strange since ants usually attack ants of a different kind (racism is still very much an issue in the ant community). Nobody seems to think much of this, so the ants then start to mass together and form floating tentacles with all the ants at the front staring forward so that they can investigate their surroundings. The tentacles are also good at breaking things when the ants get angry. This doesn’t seem to impress Team Thorax either, so the ants decide to take the leader and his scientist girlfriend into their lair. Here we find that the ants have turned themselves into a computer (again, I shit you not) capable of controlling the swarm and assigning tasks to the various different ant species to ensure the optimum killing power of the swarm as a unit. The ants then begin to communicate with the humans, telling them what it is they want and why they’re doing what they’re doing. The humans must then decide if they’re going to give the ants what they want or declare all-out war.
See? Watch it for nothing other than the sheer ridiculousness of its plot. Even by SyFy standards this one was rather far-fetched.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- A great way to seduce a woman is to insult her field of expertise on national television.
- There’s an entire industry dedicated to making enormous weapons for killing ants.
- Speculating about mass intelligence in insect swarms is hardly mainstream science.
- Women hate it when you grossly overstate the purpose of their PhD thesis.
- Ants are incredibly eager hosts and want to show off the home they’ve created.
- Ants are open to entering into territorial negotiations.
- Ants are very knowledgeable on the workings of the human brain.
- Ants are very good at using humans as ventriloquist dummies.
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