Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sharknado/Sharktopus double feature.

Well, here we have it folks. Two of the worst movies I've seen in my life. No joking, no exaggeration. These are both pretty bad. Worse than Catch .44, worse than most things that I've ever watched.
But there is a clear winner in this, Sharknado was made a little better than Sharktopus, and it was certainly funnier than Sharktopus.
The science for both movies is essentially nonexistent. Sharknado has a laughable view of both physics and... Actually physics covers a lot of the issues with the science in Sharknado.
Sharktopus, on the other hand, has gotten its ideas of genetics and anatomy from a plot summary of the Resident Evil series and a fundamental misunderstanding of how genetic engineering and modification works.
Come to think of it, Sharktopus has taken most of its premise and ideas from Resident Evil. Only the characters are completely unlikable, the villains aren't nearly as bombastic as they would be in Resident Evil, and the monster isn't scary in the slightest.
And by the way, the animation in both films looks much worse than anything you'd have seen on the original PlayStation, or the GameCube. And I mean that. The rigging on the Sharktopus looks awful, and apparently The Asylum can't afford to render a single shark realistically...
The real difference between these two is the fact that Sharknado is fun to watch because it's funny, and because it being bad is at least partially intentional (But don't let that be any kind of excuse for how bad the rest of The Asylum's output is) and Sharktopus just seems like a failure. Sharknado is a ridiculous concept at first glance, but Sharktopus might have worked if it had been made by say, Capcom, or Michael Bay, or Steven Spielberg, or James Cameron. And if it had a higher budget, and better actors.
The big problem is that nobody in Sharktopus is any shade of likable. They're all jerks, and none of them are anything that could be considered smart!
And that just makes the story hard to care about. I care about the story in Resident Evil because Chris Redfield, Barry Burton, Rebecca Chambers and Jill Valentine are all good characters, they're likable people, with motivations one can sympathize with. At heart, they're all good people, and they all want to get out of the mansion alive. And they do their best to survive, and they don't make stupid decisions.
The characters in Sharktopus are dumb, and unlikable, and impossible to root for. I don't get what some people say about horror movies being about the villains, and the characters are supposed to be unlikable because you want to see them die. Alien and Aliens had likable characters and those were both great films.
That leads me to the conclusion that it's mostly the bad movies that do that. Because a movie lives and dies on its characters. If it's impossible to like the characters, and you wind up rooting for the villains to take them down a peg, that just means that someone else has to stop the villains, and the unlikable pricks would normally be an aside that's mentioned once and never brought up again in a good movie. Or they're one character, and the rest are all sensible.
If the characters in Sharktopus are all eaten, that means that they've got to call in more people to take it out, and that begs the question as to why they went the whole movie without calling in more than a handful of military forces to combat the creature. It's shown that the Sharktopus can't stand up to gunfire or explosives in the end of the movie, and the thing was rather obviously leaving plenty of survivors in its wake, so why wasn't there some kind of fast response?
Anyways, the damn thing eats a bunch of people, and then gets blown up. That's about it.
Now, let's talk about why this movie sucks.
First off, there are so many effects failures that it goes well beyond the point of being anything but sad.
The execution on this project is nothing short of remarkably horrible. It's hard to think of one thing this film doesn't screw up.
Onto Sharknado.
The effects suck, they use the same shots a few times when once would have sufficed, and some of the jokes are less than funny. But the movie is somewhat decent for a laugh, I suppose.
Thing is, there are better movies out there to spend ninety-minutes watching. And for that matter, you could watch any number of better comedy TV shows...
Honestly, these two movies made me look upon most of the movies I watched last year in a new light. And just thinking about both of them makes me look upon The Amazing Spider-Man 2 more charitably. And especially having watched the rest of the Paul W.S. Anderson version of The Three Musketeers around the same time, it makes that movie look like freaking gem by comparison. With the existence of movies like Sharknado and Sharktopus, it makes me not only look upon the not-so-great stuff more fairly, but also upon the good movies better. It also makes me thankful that we've come as far in filmmaking as we have. We can make a gigantic transforming robot the size of a building and it looks like it's actually there! Fifty years ago, that was but a fantasy! We can generate animals that look and act like their real-life counterparts, we can generate entire cities, and worlds with computers that look like you could reach out and touch them!
And that just makes these two movies all the worse. They're produced by uncaring executives that just want to make a quick buck, putting in as little effort as possible to maximize their profit margin.
And that's why I hate these movies. The fact that they're horrible helps too, but the obvious lack of any effort being put into both films, plus the fact that one is made by The Asylum shows that all they really care about is money. That or they really are that stupid. I've seen movies put together by YouTuber's that are better than both of these.
Now, I might as well explain why the science sucks.
In Sharktopus, the titular monster has two mouths. It's even animated with two. Not sure why they decided to be accurate about that, since scientific accuracy sure isn't a problem the rest of the movie has.
If you can't tell by the posters up at the top of the article, the Sharktopus doesn't have a tail. The tentacles come out of the rear of the creature. Which doesn't make any kind of sense. If you wanted to cross a shark and an octopus, you could stick the tentacles around the head of the shark and leave the tail alone. Or stick the shark mouth in the underside of the octopus.
Which begs the following question; Who greenlit this program, the head of The Umbrella Corporation?
No, because their super-weapons weren't strange crosses between creatures, they were just straight mutations of other creatures. The Neptune was just a giant shark. The Tyrant series was essentially just giant humans with enhanced stamina and regeneration with maybe some built-in weapons.
But I suppose we know now who the forebearers of the people who crossed Ripley with the Xenomorph in Alien Resurrection were. It only took them a few hundred years for them to get it right. If you can call bringing the Aliens back "Getting it right"
Sharknado, on the other hand, is an affront to physics, as opposed to genetics, as I noted earlier.
And anatomy and biology to lesser extents, but that's a minor thing compared to how badly they screw up weather physics.
Towards the end of the film they decide to blow up the Sharknadoes. While that's something that could possibly be accomplished, it certainly wouldn't work with the puny-ass bombs that they did use. Even if they managed to get all of the explosive material they had access to into one of the Sharknadoes, it probably wouldn't have dispersed it.
It makes the characters look stupid for thinking that would work, and it makes the filmmakers look stupid for having it work!
No, I won't be giving either of these a score, because they don't deserve it. It's so far below-par that I don't even want to try to quantify how bad they are.
So, on that note we'll be moving on to the best year for movies in recent memory next week, 2012! See you then with Brave!