Monday, July 4, 2016

Careful, gringa.

Somehow, I was moderately respected in high school. Like, almost everyone was fairly okay with my presence (and the incessant sarcasm/high school douchery that came with it). But even more shocking, and I shit you not, the hottest girl in school was a fan, too. A big fan. 

She was smart, funny, had a sweet...uh, truck, and was, in all seriousness, jaw-droppingly beautiful. And while she liked me, her true love was the beach. And surfing. 

On more than one occasion, she would beg me to come out with her so she could teach me how to surf, but there was (foolishly, I'll readily admit) no f--king way that was going to happen. Even after repeated tales of her top being totally lost at sea (this wasn't her persuasion angle, just anecdotes that rendered me incapable of basic human functioning), I couldn't bring myself to do it. Ever. 

Surfing, to her, was something beautiful, something that connected her to the ocean and all the marine life that lived in and around it.  It was, without a doubt, part of her DNA. Me? I never appreciated the ocean until years after I left it. DNA? F--k. I was in it for the T&A.

You could remove all the words and just say the following:
It's like CastAway, but Tom Hanks is a hot chick and Wilson's a seagull.
Oh, and there's a giant, a-hole shark wanting to eat both of them.
Which is a motivation deeply rooted in many, as there are an infinite number of things most dudes (high school and otherwise) will do/and or watch to satiate our primitive instincts. Not the least of which is this summer's highly-effective thriller The Shallows, Blake Lively stars in this 85-minute gem that checks the boxes of not only watching a pretty lady doing stuff, but also, a notch or two down the list, sharks f--king eating people.

Opening with a bit of the end, before heading back in time, The Shallows tells the story of Nancy, a twenty-something year old sorting some shit out. When we meet Nancy, she's riding shotgun in a rusty-old pickup with some handsome hombre named Carlos. She's a little coy with the stranger, but this pilgrimage to some top-secret beach location serves two purposes: One, the beach was a spot her late mother often told tales of, and this visit will help Nancy reconnect. And two, as a recent med-school dropout, the time away will hopefully provide some direction as to what, if anything, Nancy will do with the rest of her life.

Honestly, it's a lot of backstory shoehorned into a little exposition, as every highlightable thing I just mentioned aggressively serves to explain all of Nancy's ensuing, crazy-ass actions. Where once she was this ultra-mellow, totally passive (and super sexy) drifter just here for the waves, bra, she will be quickly transformed into a determined survivor, fighting the way her mom fought. It might get a little hokey at times, but in the hands of a rock-solid Lively and director Jaume Collet-Serra, The Shallows is a kickass story of survival, if not the surprise of the summer (so far, anyway).

On a scale of one to forty-three...
Not kickass, nor surprising are the Yays and Boos. I was going to give them some time off after f--king Independence Day: Resurgence (that's poorly worded, I realize), but they were totally stoked after this one. Who knew hot chick + angry shark = great time? Oh, right. Everyone having (or near) a penis.

Secluded beach with a total stranger?
What could go wrong?
  • Carlos advises Nancy to put the phone away. This won't be the last time Carlos is totally f--king clutch.
  • Dammit, this should probably be a Boo, as I'm like, super progressive and shit, but uh...we get a lot of unnecessary boob shots. Like, we could have started that shot on Nancy's face...butttt....we're gonna check in with her tits first. Sometimes in slo-mo, no less.
  • If you happen to be a big fan of giant, floating corpses that probably smell like an old dumpster full of assholes, well...this might be your favorite movie ever. Seriously, that's some gnarly stuff.
  • Hitchcock never had to consider it, but I'm kind of digging the way a lot of directors are coming up with ways to show incessant cell phone usage. Nancy is on her iPhone on a couple of occasions, and each time it's pretty f--king rad.
  • On paper it's kind of silly, but I actually got into Nancy's relationship with the little wounded seagull. I know, I know...f--k you, too. 
  • Dammit again, this too should be a Boo, but we're treated to an extended scene of a fat, drunken a-hole, doing exactly what we expect fat, drunken a-holes to do. You have to trust me,'s f--king hysterical.
  • Not funny in the least, there's some scary shit in here. Nasty stuff, too. Luckily, everything is fairly manageable if you're not terribly squeamish. Though that one jump scare really got me. Hopefully the guy sitting in front of me had jellyfish stings all over his back.
  • Speaking of...the good folks at the Jellyfish Union (not a thing) must be f--king pumped that they're finally not yet another awful thing in the ocean. This time? These gooey f--kers come up huge.
  • And finally, the f--king shark. I don't know why this f--ker is such an absolute dick, but man, this apex predator doesn't have any quit in him. 

These rocks are pretty much the best thing ever.
Even if they change shape all the time.
  • As serene and spiritual as this trip should have been, uh, her friend seems to majorly contradict everything.
  • Hey, girl. Here's the famously remote beach that we can't even say the name of. And here's two other guys totally surfing it.
  • Outside of the Reef Girls (Google it), the actual reef sucks d--k. Fine, maybe the Reef Girls do too, but the actual reef is a real bitch not to be f--ked with. 
  • I think anytime you have to hold a part of your body shut that totally qualifies as a bummer. In a horror movie, it's your mouth. In a shark movie, it's all of the above. (hope you like spurting)
  • F--k me, I just survived a shark attack and passed out on these jagged rocks. And what's that? Crabs have overtaken me? Ew. Welp, while they're here...ewwww.
  • As I've said...some of the violence? Totally graphic and intense. But when it's 'feeding time'? Implied carnage. 
  • Nancy dropped out of med-school and she can still re-set a seagull's broken wing. Me? I finished college and can hardly spell seagull, let alone have enough money to actually see one.
  • Look, f--k that helmet, okay? I don't care if it's made of shark kryptonite (it's, because that's not a thing), it ain't worth it.
  • Flares. First of all, they suck. And secondly, what is my responsibility if I see one in the sky? I'm no boat...guy but these tiny red flashes seem like a monstrous burden for anyone who happens to see them. I imagine if you've been at sea forever and you see a flare go up, everyone on board turns around like nothing happened (kind of like the move Dad's pull at the playground when someone else's kid falls on their face).
  • I'm not 100% sure why this is a Boo...but, well, here goes: *whispers* She sets the shark - a wildly thrashing, ocean-based animal - on fire. 
  • What feels like the subtitle to Election 2016, we're treated to a totally illogical race to the bottom.
  • And finally, Bryan and I were slightly tempted to see The Shallows instead of Independence Day: Resurgence. But this movie isn't in 3D, so it was a firm no from my older brother. I told you he was a dickhead.

As scared as I was of looking stupid back in those high school days at the beach (potentially surfing with an aforementioned goddess), honestly, not five minutes didn't go by in the Pacific ocean where I didn't think was that a shark? And I imagine, as I wasn't exactly Michael Phelps in the water (or on land), I would have been as easy mark for the lions of the ocean. But the joke would have totally been on the shark, you know? As I'm laying there in shock with my arm ripped off, the shark would be the one really surprised.

Where's the f--king blood? This guy's totally empty. 

And what was that tiny, flesh-colored missile that shot out of the ocean and exploded like a firecracker over the horizon? And why's he still smiling?

Happy Fourth of July!


  1. I heard so much good about this, the run time is encouraging too. God I hope that seagull survives...

    1. Really? A lot of people liked this one? That's fantastic. It's probably not as good as I thought it was...but the math all adds up.

      That f--king seagull is/was my hero.

  2. I thought this looked terrible from the previews, but you make it sound a lot better. I think I'll give this one a watch if it shows up on Netflix.

  3. OMG, this movie looks SO BAD but always in that 'I can't wait to see it for some reason' kind of way.

    Oh, I know the reason.