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Wed08122020

Last updateMon, 20 Apr 2020 1pm

1. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Sony)

2. The Other Woman (20th Century Fox)

3. A Haunted House 2* (Universal)

4. Divergent (Lionsgate)

5. Need for Speed (Disney)

6. God's Not Dead (Pure)

7. Noah (Paramount)

8. Rage (Image)

9. Oculus* (20th Century Fox)

10. The Quiet Ones (Lionsgate)

* Available for rental before Redbox and Netflix

Published in Video Top 10

1. Divergent (Lionsgate)

2. Need for Speed (Disney)

3. A Haunted House 2* (Universal)

4. Oculus* (20th Century Fox)

5. Noah (Paramount)

6. Sabotage (Universal)

7. The Other Woman* (20th Century Fox)

8. Heaven Is for Real (Sony)

9. God's Not Dead (Pure)

10. Rage (Image)

* Available for rental before Redbox and Netflix

Published in Video Top 10

1. Divergent (Lionsgate)

2. Noah (Paramount)

3. Heaven Is for Real (Sony)

4. The Other Woman* (20th Century Fox)

5. Need for Speed (Disney)

6. Oculus* (20th Century Fox)

7. Sabotage* (Universal)

8. God's Not Dead (Pure)

9. Rio 2 (20th Century Fox)

10. Transcendence* (Warner Bros.)

* Available for rental before Redbox and Netflix

Published in Video Top 10

1. Noah (Paramount)

2. Rio 2* (20th Century Fox)

3. The Other Woman* (20th Century Fox)

4. Sabotage* (Universal)

5. Heaven Is for Real (Sony)

6. Transcendence* (Warner Bros.)

7. Cesar Chavez (Lionsgate)

8. 300: Rise of an Empire (Warner Bros.)

9. Bad Words (Focus)

10. Non-Stop (Universal)

* Available for rental before Redbox and Netflix

Published in Video Top 10

The Only TV Column That Matters™ has seen the glory of Syfy’s Sharknado 2: The Second One (premiering Wednesday, July 30) in advance and can definitively report that it’s even more ridiculous than 2013’s surprise … hit? … Sharknado.

This time around, the chompy tsunami hits New York City, and it’s up to Ian Ziering and Tara Reid—as well as Kari Wuhrer, Mark McGrath, Vivica A. Fox and a seemingly endless parade of other guest stars who’ve probably since fired their agents—to shut down the SharkDown. It may be cheesier than an overturned truck of Doritos Loaded in a 7-Eleven parking lot, but Sharknado 2 isn’t entirely predictable—let’s pre-test your pre-knowledge of The Second One:

1. Even though he’s famously battled one before, nobody believes Fin Shepard (Ziering) when he initially warns of a Sharknado hitting NYC because:

A. It sounds like a bad Syfy movie.

B. He thinks the best pizza in Noo Yawk is made by Biz Markie.

C. How can you trust the judgment of someone who’d re-marry Tara Reid?

D. You can’t tell New Yorkers anything.

2. The movie’s catchy, Ramones-y theme song (yes, it has a theme song) features the lyrics:

A. “Stay away from Central Park / You’ll get your ass bit by a freakin’ shark.”

B. “So damn much trouble we’re in / So ironic our hero’s name is Fin.”

C. “Teeth are raining from the sky / ’Scuse me while I kiss this guy.”

D. “Go, go, go, go, go, go, go! / We’re all gonna die in a Sharknado!”

3. At the beginning of Sharknado 2, Tara Reid loses:

A. Her ability to create even the most basic facial expressions.

B. Any trace of acting talent she may have, arguably, once possessed.

C. Half of her screen time (and probably salary) to Kari Wuhrer.

D. Her left hand.

4. Of the movie’s many B-celeb cameos, the least convincing are:

A. Robert Hays (Airplane!) as an airline pilot and Judd Hirsch (Taxi) as a cab driver.

B. Billy Ray Cyrus and “Downtown” Julie Brown as a doctor and nurse.

C. Andy Dick as an NYPD cop and pro wrestler Kurt Angle as an NYFD fire chief.

D. The Today Show’s Matt Lauer and Al Roker as newscasters.

5. Co-star Mark McGrath, who gets an inexplicable amount of screen time, used to sing in the band and host the TV show:

A. Smash Mouth and Entertainment Tonight.

B. The Spin Doctors and Access Hollywood.

C. 98 Degrees and To Catch a Predator.

D. Sugar Ray and Extra.

6. The guy who wrote Sharkado and Sharknado 2 is actually named:

A. Cyclone Jones.

B. Lightning Lebowitz.

C. Avalanche Johansson.

D. Thunder Levin.

7. In addition to Sharknado 2, Syfy will also soon roll out the new monster flick:

A. Meta Shark vs. Twitter Critter.

B. DinoWeasel vs. SharkAardvark.

C. Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark.

D. Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda.

8. Beside the whole sharks-sucked-up-into-a tornado thing, the most unbelievable part of The Second One is:

A. Ian Ziering flying through the sky with a chainsaw, hacking up sharks.

B. Tara Reid’s character was scheduled to appear on Live! With Kelly and Michael (who also appear) to promote a book she wrote.

C. Said “book,” titled How to Survive a Sharknado, looks all of 50 pages long.

D. A packed stadium for a Mets game.

Answers: 1: D. 2: D. 3: D. 4: D. 5: D. 6: D. 7: C and D. 8: B, C and D.


DVD ROUNDUP FOR JULY 29!

1 Chance 2 Dance

When a teen girl (Lexi Giovagnoli) is uprooted to a new, East Coast high school in her senior year, she’s torn between two boys and her One Last Shot at becoming a dancer. How many previous shots she’s had at the old age of 17 remains unclear. (Monarch)

Cuban Fury

Speaking of dancing: 20 years after his career as a champion salsa dancer traumatically ended, Bruce (Nick Frost) faces down his demons and gets back on the dance floor to win over a woman (Rashida Jones). See? It’s not over at 17. (eOne)

Mystery Science Theater 3000 XXX

In Vol. 30 (!), Joel, Mike and the ’bots suffer through terrible flicks The Black Scorpion, Outlaw of Gor, The Projected Man and It Lives By Night—episodes that span the Comedy Central and Sci-Fi Channel (not Syfy) years. (Shout! Factory)

Noah

Before a flood overtakes the planet, God tells Noah (Russell Crowe) to build an ark and save the animals because humans suck (as true now as it was then). A poignant family drama based on a true/fake story from an old book/the Bible. (Paramount)

The Other Woman

A wife (Leslie Mann), a mistress (Cameron Diaz) and a younger mistress (Kate Upton) plot revenge against the man (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) who’s been three-timing them all. Also starring Nicki Minaj’s ass, which should get its own movie. (Fox)

More New DVD Releases (July 29)

The Amazing Catfish, Amber Alert: Terror on the Highway, Big Losers, Cold Turkey, The Den, Dragonwolf, Five Dances, The French Minister, Frontline: United States of Secrets, Half of a Yellow Sun, It Felt Like Love, The Protector 2, Secret State, Tennessee Queer.

Published in TV

I did my share of Bible-reading when I was a kid. In fact, I read it multiple times from cover to cover.

I was also reading The Lord of the Rings trilogy and a bunch of Stephen King books—and of all the literature I read as an impressionable youth, nothing was more violent and more insane than the Bible. Actually, the Bible may be the sickest book ever written when it comes to death and destruction. If you count the apocalypse, the whole world dies more than once in that particular piece of literature. That’s a huge body count!

Whether you are religious or not, the Bible is, no doubt, a pretty sweet platform for over-the-top cinema. With Noah, director Darren Aronofsky has concocted a crazy, dark and nasty disaster film befitting those few pages in the book of Genesis.

In what is surely his best performance to date, Russell Crowe plays the title character, a good, passionate man in a not-particularly-good time. The people outside of Noah’s family circle have turned Earth into a place of carnivorous debauchery, and “The Creator” (this film’s go-to name for God) intends to wipe all humanity off the face of the Earth with a great flood. Noah is tasked with saving the innocent animals on a huge ship that he is to build, with the help of large rock monsters.

That’s right—I said large rock monsters. This movie has rock monsters in it. They are Aronofsky’s version of fallen angels. I don’t remember reading about rock monsters in the Bible, but I will tell you that they come in quite handy when one is tasked with building a huge boat to house two of every animal on the planet. (That’s minus the sea-faring animals, of course. There were no aquariums on the ark. Dolphins and angelfish and whatnot probably just camped out under the stormy surface, while the sharks went to town on people clinging to mountain peaks and treetops in the rising waters. Sharks eating the biblically doomed as they scampered atop Mount Everest are not depicted in this film, but I reckon “Shark-Flood-Oh” could be coming soon to a cable channel near you.)

The supporting cast includes Jennifer Connelly as Noah’s wife; Emma Watson as his adopted daughter; and Anthony Hopkins as the Yoda-like, mountain-dwelling grandfather. Logan Lerman delivers notably good work as Ham, the son of Noah who eventually gets banished for seeing his dad all drunk and naked.

The movie, as a spectacle, is quite good, although its CGI does have a few moments of weakness. The flood itself is a frightening sequence, with a horrifying moment involving screaming people outside of the ark getting washed off a big rock by waves. I’m actually surprised this movie garnered a PG-13 rating. It struck me, very much, as an R-rated film due to its violence.

Noah is also a beautiful, inspiring story about survival, freewill, blind faith, killing in the name of religion and, above all, the virtues of veganism. It comes as no surprise that Aronofsky, who also co-wrote the script, is a vegan. It also comes as no surprise that the film’s main villain (Ray Winstone) bites the heads off of live animals for evil energy.

Yes, I had a blast with this movie. I imagine it will enrage a few pastors and preachers who bring their Sunday-school classes to a matinee, only to discover the rock monsters.

Noah is not a deeply religious film; it’s a big, bold disaster movie with a super-intelligent and compassionate core. Like the best of movies, it will inspire many long, perhaps fiery conversations for years to come.

Noah is playing at theaters across the valley.

Published in Reviews