1: Is there a boy/girl in your life?
Quite a few, at least 70 2: Think of the last person who hurt you; do you forgive them?
Eh sure, i don’t even remember it 3: What do you think of when you hear the word “meow?”
The Holocaust 4: What’s something you really want right now?
Gloves for lighting 5: Are you afraid of falling in love?
Psh, no 6: Do you like the beach?
Meh, on occasionally 7: Have you ever slept on a couch with someone else?
Why yes, many a naps on the couch 8: What’s the background on your cell?
The camera pushed up against my knee in total dark 9: Name the last four beds you were sat on?
Steve, Kirk, Bogey, Frannie 10: Do you like your phone?
Meh, sure why not 11: Honestly, are things going the way you planned?
Technically yes, but they could be going better 12: Who was the last person whose phone number you added to your contacts?
ummmmmm Great Clips? 13: Would you rather have a poodle or a Rottweiler?
Rottweiler, because they’re delicious 14: Which hurts the most, physical or emotional pain?
Emotional pain 15: Would you rather visit a zoo or an art museum?
An Art Museum 16: Are you tired?
Yeah 17: How long have you known your 1st phone contact?
Ummm I assume my whole life 18: Are they a relative?
Yes 19: Would you ever consider getting back together with any of your exes?
Yes all of them 20: When did you last talk to the last person you shared a kiss with?
idk… 5 min ago unless you mean actual talking then… Tuesday I think 21: If you knew you had the right person, would you marry them today?
Umm no because that’s not financially smart 22: Would you kiss the last person you kissed again?
Oh sure I suppose 23: How many bracelets do you have on your wrists right now?
1 24: Is there a certain quote you live by?
“Insert quote here” 25: What’s on your mind?
These bloody questions 26: Do you have any tattoos?
no 27: What is your favorite color?
Red or Black 28: Next time you will kiss someone on the lips?
ummm Wednesday probably? 29: Who are you texting?
Kelly 30: Think to the last person you kissed, have you ever kissed them on a couch?
Yes 31: Have you ever had the feeling something bad was going to happen and you were right?
Umm probably because I get that feeling a lot 32: Do you have a friend of the opposite sex you can talk to?
yes a few 33: Do you think anyone has feelings for you?
I’m fairly certain, yes 34: Has anyone ever told you you have pretty eyes?
Only after I told them 35: Say the last person you kissed was kissing someone right in front of you?
Well it depends on the person, the kiss and the situation 36: Were you single on Valentines Day?
Nope 37: Are you friends with the last person you kissed?
Yes 38: What do your friends call you?
Justino 39: Has anyone upset you in the last week?
Yes 40: Have you ever cried over a text?
Ummm probably 41: Where’s your last bruise located?
Fuck if I know 42: What is it from?
ummm the aliens 43: Last time you wanted to be away from somewhere really bad?
Today in class 44: Who was the last person you were on the phone with?
My paterfamilias 45: Do you have a favourite pair of shoes?
No 46: Do you wear hats if your having a bad hair day?
No 47: Would you ever go bald if it was the style?
No 48: Do you make supper for your family?
No 49: Does your bedroom have a door?
Yes 50: Top 3 web-pages?
thatguywiththeglasses.com, achievementhunter.com, 1201beyond.com 51: Do you know anyone who hates shopping?
yes, myself 52: Does anything on your body hurt?
my ear 53: Are goodbyes hard for you?
Only because I’m Minnesotan 54: What was the last beverage you spilled on yourself?
Water 55: How is your hair?
Red 56: What do you usually do first in the morning?
Wake up 57: Do you think two people can last forever?
No, because they’ll eventually die 58: Think back to January 2007, were you single?
Yes 59: Green or purple grapes?
Green! 60: When’s the next time you will give someone a BIG hug?
Prolly Wednesday 61: Do you wish you were somewhere else right now?
Yes 62: When will be the next time you text someone?
Ummm soon 63: Where will you be 5 hours from now?
Probably in a warm soundproof room 64: What were you doing at 8 this morning?
Getting ready for class 65: This time last year, can you remember who you liked?
Yes, fondly 66: Is there one person in your life that can always make you smile?
Always is a strong word, but mostly yes 67: Did you kiss or hug anyone today?
No 68: What was your last thought before you went to bed last night?
Oh shit I left the stove o…. 69: Have you ever tried your hardest and then gotten disappointed in the end?
Yeah I think so 70: How many windows are open on your computer?
4 71: How many fingers do you have?
10 72: What is your ringtone?
a buzzing sound 73: How old will you be in 5 months?
5 months older 74: Where is your Mum right now?
In Minnesota 75: Why aren’t you with the person you were first in love with or almost in love?
Because career paths are a thing 76: Have you held hands with somebody in the past three days?
nope 77: Are you friends with the people you were friends with two years ago?
yes, quite a few 78: Do you remember who you had a crush on in year 7?
Umm if that was kindergarten then that would be Madison (I think) 79: Is there anyone you know with the name Mike?
Yeah! The Blaze-man! 80: Have you ever fallen asleep in someones arms?
no, but viceversa 81: How many people have you liked in the past three months?
I’m sure a few. I don’t hate everyone 82: Has anyone seen you in your underwear in the last 3 days?
no 83: Will you talk to the person you like tonight?
Sure 84: You’re drunk and yelling at hot guys/girls out of your car window, you’re with?
Probably Sinatra since it’s a dream 85: If your BF/GF was into drugs would you care?
Yes 86: What was the most eventful thing that happened last time you went to see a movie?
I got some twizzlers 87: Who was your last received call from?
Kiera from CA Ventures 88: If someone gave you $1,000 to burn a butterfly over a candle, would you?
Yes 89: What is something you wish you had more of?
Money 90: Have you ever trusted someone too much?
Probably 91: Do you sleep with your window open?
No 92: Do you get along with girls?
Yes 93: Are you keeping a secret from someone who needs to know the truth?
Needs to know? No 94: Does sex mean love?
No 95: You’re locked in a room with the last person you kissed, is that a problem?
Well no, I think we’d have our fair share of entertainment 96: Have you ever kissed anyone with a lip ring?
No 97: Did you sleep alone this week?
Yes, unfortunately 98: Everybody has somebody that makes them happy, do you?
Yep, lots of things 99: Do you believe in love at first sight?
Nope, I believe in lust at first sight though 100: Who was the last person that you pinky promised?
Ummm my sister?
These were dumb questions with way too much of an emphasis on snogging
Sharknado. The title is a genius move on its own. It makes the movie everything stand out amongst all the crap coming out these days. It’s so grand of a name that it pushed the movie into the eye of pop culture, making it a social media phenomenon. While this cultural anomaly is worth examining, that’s not what I’ll be talking about. Instead I’ll be making the case that Sharknado is a good movie. Well, a good bad movie.
Every film has its purpose. Has its goals. Has a reaction it’s trying to illicit from an audience. A comedy wants to make you laugh, a drama wants to get you invested, a documentary wants to make you informed. And when one judges and critiques these films there is rarely a cross-breeding of expectations. You don’t criticize the documentary for not being funny enough and you don’t criticize the comedy for its lack of effective scares. However there is one thing all these movies have in common: they are trying to be good. Judging whether something’s good or not is the foundation of movie criticism and it really only in the past decade has started being challenged on that.* The idea of the so-bad-it’s-good movie has been around for awhile, but now quite a few filmmakers are striving to achieve that status. To make a movie so bad that it’s good.
This is where Sharknado comes in. Now right off the bat we can pass off the idea of the filmmakers unintentionally making their movie as bad as it is. When you sign on to a movie called Sharknado you know exactly what you’re getting into. There is no way you’ll make a movie called Sharknado the horror drama of the year because audiences can’t take it seriously. So why not just go balls to the wall? Make it a piece of shit, but an entertaining piece of shit. So with us throwing out the standard of examining if it’s good, we now have to examine if its bad qualities make it entertaining. And holy shit is Sharknado entertaining.
The story of Sharknado is that of bar owner Fin, who embarks on a quest to save his ex-wife (Tara Reid) and kids when a hurricane/water funnel/tornado full of sharks hits LA. Along with him for the ride is his Tasmanian best buddy Baz, his waitress/love interest(ish) Nova and frequent bar attendant George (John Heard). It’s obviously not the greatest of stories and the pacing can be uneven, but for the most part it is a non-stop thrill ride of shark attacks. What is important is that it’s rarely boring. You never have long 25 minute stretches like in other asylum movies where you want to tear your eyes out, which is really a mark of how good this bad movie actually is because it avoids the ultimate sin of filmmaking: boredom.
The acting is, of course, really bad. However, even if you got George Clooney and Meryl Streep to star in this movie no one would buy their performance as soon as they uttered the word “Sharknado.” So the acting is appropriate, with just enough cheese from some actors to balance out the woodenness of others. Tara Reid stands out as the complete brick wall of the movie and her asshole boyfriend gets the overacting award. The dialogue is really cheesy (of course), but it does attempt a little character development and is never confusing or misleading like in other films.
The actual directing and other camera work is adequate to sub-par with most of the movie being average and certain scenes so clumsily shot that it’s painful to watch, but you still get a sense of what’s going on. The continuity is a nightmare, with the either cloudy or sunny background being humorously swapped back and forth and especially with the copious amounts of stock footage.
The effects are hilariously bad, being the bastard child of a malfunctioning CGI computer. I don’t want to give away too much, but they are used effectively in the death scenes to create a mixture of awesomeness and cheesiness. They may be run of the mill for The Asylum, but a fresh audience will be taken aback by how blatantly bad a lot of the sharks look and how obvious the money shots of the movie are.
Sharknado is probably one of the most fun and entertaining recent movies to watch, especially with a group of friends. Not because it’s got the suspense of Jaws, but rather the opposite. It hits all the right notes of a bad b-movie without breaching into boredom or (on the other end of the spectrum) being too over the top. It does exactly what it intends to do and because of that I stand by my statement that Sharknado is a good (bad) movie. You know what you’re expecting if you want to see this and Sharknado delivers on those expectations. Sharknado recently became available on Netflix instant, and Amazon prime, as well as an upcoming DVD release from The Asylum.
*I’m aware that plenty of intentionally cheesy movies have existed before the 2000s, but with the internet and the independent movement, these films have exploded in number and popularity.
The supernatural teen drama can come in many forms, such as the cheesy super hero styled Smallville, the melodramatic shit-fest Twilight or the slow-ass “thriller” Disturbing Behavior. The supernatural teen “insert genre here” really started to take off in the late 80s-early 90s. The Faculty is yet another one of these and I swear I didn’t plan these two to be together, but it seems to be a much better version of Disturbing Behavior. It’s by no means perfect, but there is an endearing charm to it that I can’t help but feel attracted to.
The Faculty is the story of a high school whose teachers begin to act strangely and soon Elijah Wood and his friends discover that this is due to an alien invasion. So the chase is on to somehow stop the invasion, but that’s pretty tricky when all your classmates, teachers and parents are against you. Oh and there’s some teenage drama character stuff but nobody gives a shit about that.
The story of The Faculty is definitely the product of its time, relying heavily on tropes and themes we’ve seen before. It even throws in some meta-sci-fi referencing cause, you know, Scream was a thing. The story requires some intense suspension of disbelief and even then there are still plenty of plot-holes and stupid decisions that will have you groaning. Nonetheless there are still a few genuinely good moments of suspense, but I think we can mainly attribute that to director Robert Rodriguez. The plot does seem to be weirdly paced, picking up a lot at the beginning and then slowing down a lot after that. However, unlike Disturbing Behavior, the story does keep moving forward during these parts. The flashforward at the end is probably the most objectionable part of the story (and that’s saying a lot) with characters ending up in downright impossible situations. Speaking of which…
The characters are all stereotypes… to an extent. Like in a Hughes project, the characters all start out as their respective clichés, but then as we get to know them, we find they aren’t that cut and dry and we inevitably find ourselves actually slightly invested in them. They certainly aren’t memorable, but for the duration of the movie you won’t hate them (which is a plus compared to the horror/thriller movies of today). The acting ranges from good to bad, with mediocrity being the standard. The adults mostly ham it up, and the kids either do a good job or overact. Elijah wood and Josh Hartnett and Jon Stewart (fucking what!) are highlights in my opinion.
The technicals are all pretty solid. The actually directing/lighting/sound/etc… are all fine. It’s the effects that are going to bother people. Now there is a mix of CGI and practicals, which is nice, but the CGI looks really dated. In my opinion, practicals couldn’t have done much better, so either way you’re stuck with a distraction. This is a nitpick, but the introduction of the characters have each of them with their names on screen. This is stupid since their names are said quite quickly after or repeated a lot over the course of the movie.
The Faculty is, above all else, fun. Its mediocrity is evident, but it nonetheless manages to partially captivate and completely entertain. If you’re a fan of Buffy, Smallville, or Roswell then this will be familiar and comfortable territory for you. It’s sure as shit superior to Disturbing Behavior on every level, but then again that’s not saying much. The Faculty is available from Amazon, iTunes and Netflix instant for your popcorn munching pleasure.
Disturbing Behavior is an inept thriller, completely lacking in thrills, a solid story and any sense of pacing. But before I get too ahead of myself I should probably say that Disturbing Behavior is the 1998 sci-fi thriller starring James Marsden, Katie Holmes and Nick Stahl and is brought to us by a good chunk of the X-Files crew, including director David Nutter.
Behavior brings us the story of Steve whose family has recently moved to island town Cradle Bay. New to the school, Steve finds himself thrown together with Gavin, UV, and Rachel, three rejects who show him around and warn him about the Blue Ribbons, a group of A+ students who suck up to adults and look down on everyone else. Gavin tries to convince the others that these Blue Ribbons are brainwashed former students who now occasionally go batshit crazy whenever they get turned on. After Gavin gets turned into one of them, Steve and Rachel start to investigate the mysterious project of Dr. Caldicott.
Behavior really does feel like an X-files episode. And not a good one. The script itself seems like a rejected episode and the actual content of it probably would fare better in the 45 minute time slot. It has the same formula of an opening scare and an ending cliffhanger, but without any of the charm of our favorite FBI agents and with the same flimsy supporting characters taking up more screen time.
As stated before, the script is incredibly flimsy with the story really only taking up about half of it and the rest easily being superfluous. Sure you could call it character development, but then I’d have to laugh in your face. The pacing is ungodly slow, with the actual investigation of the mystery not starting until an hour into the movie. The first hour is just the characters stewing in this predicament and it slowly getting worse, but they still refuse to do anything until the movie pulls a Scream 3 and they find a videotape of Gavin reiterating what he already told them, but this time it gets them off their asses. There are entire scenes and sequences that could be removed and no one would care. For example the scene with the girl going insane because she really what to fuck Marsden doesn’t fucking matter. The whole subplot of the janitor doesn’t need to be there, he just needs to be a genius, that’s all. The subplot of the horny Blue Ribbon hitting on Rachel serves its purpose in that it adds “scares” but if the plot was actually more substantial, it wouldn’t need to do that. The actual investigation/climax moves at such a quick pace you almost get whiplash and it becomes incredibly obvious that the writer did not think it through. There are tons of plot holes and the “resolution” of the story is so poorly explained, that we know there are still Blue Ribbons out there before the movie itself pulls that dumbass twist. Now this could have worked in an episode of X-Files, because you don’t notice such things as easily during a TV show, but its so painfully obvious here because any suspension of disbelief got thrown out two jock fights ago.
The acting ranges from hammy/campy to mediocre/flat. James Marsden occasionally presents a real emotion, but for the most part he just walks around looking at things. Not that I really blame any of the actors, since the character flaws are very script related, and to be honest their goofy performances did make it more entertaining.
The movie is solid on a technical level, extremely indicative of it’s crews origins. Alas if only they had the story to back it up. I would have loved for The X-Files to kick off an era of really good sci-fi/fantasy thrillers, but alas Dangerous Behavior is just another example of how that rarely works out. If you’re looking for a fun riff, I might recommend this movie, but for anybody else steer clear and just watch X-Files on Netflix. Dangerous Behavior is only available on DVD, not that you should go looking for it.