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Joined: 29 Apr 2003
Location: Upstate New York - rooting for global warming
|Posted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:27 am Post subject: Sharknado gets a very favorable review
|Perfect Storm: The Genius of Sharknado
Note: I have been on vacation and was not planning to return to blogging until next week. There are certain times, however, when a journalist cannot ignore the call of duty. Assassinations. Acts of war. And sharknadoes.
One of the greatest legacies left behind by the late film critic Roger Ebert–who celebrated some of the movies’ greatest artistic triumphs and also wrote the screenplay for Beyond the Valley of the Dolls–was that a work of art needs to be approached critically on its own terms. A movie like Syfy’s Sharknado, say, should not be judged on how well it fulfills the standards of Band of Brothers. It should be judged on how well it fulfills the standards of a movie with the title Sharknado.
So we must ask different questions of this movie. We must ask: Does it entertain? Does it make us squirm while laughing while reconsidering our commitments to a pescatarian diet? Does it, we must ask above all, give us sharks in a tornado?
Yes, yes, and hell yes. Like so many things, The Simpsons expressed this critical principle best: “Barney’s movie had heart, but Football in the Groin had a football in the groin.” And Sharknado, bless its skeleton made of cartilage and brain made of cheese, is maybe the closest thing television has created to 80-odd minutes straight of footballs in the groin.
Really, it’s a deceptively tough feat that the makers of Sharknado pulled off: making a movie that’s shlockily and campily hilarious without seeming to try too hard to make something shlockily and campily hilarious. (While I don’t want to make too many assumption about the cast and crew’s intent, this delightful io9 interview with screenwriter Thunder Levin suggests they went in with tongue in man-eating cheek.) Oh sure, you’d think it’s as easy as casting Ian Ziering and Tara Reid, hiring a hobo to do the CGI, and letting the magic make itself. But it’s easy to see where a title like this could become self-serious or smirky.
Not Sharknado. From the opening moments–an almost non sequitur high-seas showdown between an evil shark-fin buyer and more-evil shark-fin peddler that ends with both swallowed by balletic sharks–the movie signals its determination to efficiently get you the balls-out-crazy mayhem you want and not let narrative, budget constraints, or the laws of science get in the way. Sharknado spends about as much time setting up its premise and getting down to action as does a porn movie. Sharks are massing along the Pacific Coast because, um, science and global warming and crap. There’s a newsflash on TV, a storm whips up in front of Ziering’s bar, and soon the Pacific Ocean is selectively flooding L.A. while people are cold-cocking sharks with barstools like that’s just a thing that happens.
Read more: http://entertainment.time.com/2013/07/12/perfect-storm-the-genius-of-sharknado/#ixzz2YqTeZWSS
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