Quarantine Post #66: Disturbia (2007)

Standard

In the spirit of all things spooky, I mean… it is October, I did say that I was going to watch some scary stuff… I am back to HBOmax… because they have Disturbia. I am just going to come out and say it. I had not been a fan of Shia LaBeouf not because I didn’t think he was a capable actor… just because I hated his character on Even Stevens… but I dug him in Holes… so hell… I figured I would give this a try and see what I thought. Best decision I had made in a while. But check out the trailer and tell me what you think: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZWjvseFptg)

The good thing is I love Alfred Hitchcock movies. I even took an elective class in college that was all about him. So I knew the premise of this movie was a lot like Rear Window (1954). (The film is considered by many filmgoers, critics, and scholars to be one of Hitchcock’s best and one of the greatest films ever made.) For those of you out there that don’t know about Rear Window, Shame on you. LOL. If you aren’t familiar with the premise of either movie, let’s give the rundown… In Rear Window, Jimmy Stewart plays L.B Jefferies, a photographer that is recovering from a broken leg. He is confined to a wheelchair in his apartment in Greenwich Village, Manhattan. His rear window looks out onto a courtyard and other apartments. During an intense heat wave, he watches his neighbors, who keep their windows open to stay cool. (Super Voyeuristic.) Eventually, he begins to suspect one of his neighbors of murdering his wife. Disturbia has kind of the same premise… but they roll it out a bit differently. Shia Labeouf plays Kale Brecht who punches out a teacher and is given 3 months on house arrest with a ankle monitor and a proximity sensor. He thinks he will be about to play video games and watch television for the 3 months… but when his mother puts her foot down… he resorts to watching the neighbors… one of whom he suspects of being a serial killer. (Fun times.)

You can see the similarities that they tried to use even in the movie posters… Hitchcock left his prints everywhere.

So let’s jump into it… I once owned this movie on DVD but it has been years since I have seen it. I knew I had to rewatch it once I saw it on HBOmax.

  • So the movie starts of with Kale and his dad fishing. It is a little too happy for what you know is coming. Kale and his father bond and get pretty close. All of that is shattered when there is a car accident that kills Kale’s dad. Kale was the driver… and I am sure that has serious effects on him… The scene takes such a drastic turn for the worst that I remember being in the movie theater and being just as shook up by that as Kale was. That would such… and you felt for Kale… At least I did. Take a look: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9qMqGTi1uc) I mean we have all been in the car and had a person cut us off. But hopefully it is never this drastic. GOODNESS GRACIOUS.



  • Fast forward a year later… High School Spanish.. I hated it…. and Kale does too. So much so that he is asleep while his friend gives a oral presentation. When the teacher tries to motivate Kale, I am not sure I agree with his approach… that, however, does not mean Kale should have punched him in the face. It seemed a bit drastic. But people deal with the death of a parent differently. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWw0KCLcKHc) Although, the judge lets him off pretty easy. I mean, come on house arrest for punching a teacher in the face… among other offenses… DUDE. Kale and his mom get the walked through the house arrest rules. He is shown being fitted for the ankle monitor and the proximity sensor. He can only venture about out in an 100 foot radius from his house. And we are shown that the cop that is supposed to monitor Kale is the cousin of the teacher Kale punched out. (SMH.) Initially, Kale is having a great time on house arrest… (Quarantine in a pandemic is much the same. So I feel this in a way I never did when I was younger.) But his mom definitely puts a stop to that. She killed his subscription to iTunes and Xbox. Poor kid. But I mean this is a punishment. After getting cheeky with her… she even cuts the cord on his tv in dramatic fashion. He really did this on himself.


  • Kale’s boredom leads him to watch his neighborhood. (Gotta love the twinky tower.) He becomes familiar with his neighbors comings and goings… He started out spying on the new girl that moves in next door. (She gets sucked into the fold… There must not be a lot to do…) I got a weird feeling watching Kale watch the girl next door undress. And I also had the same feeling I did when I watched Rear window. “Doesn’t anyone have or use their shades/blinds?” (this comes up a lot in the conversations with friends about thriller/scary movies.) He stumbles onto his next-door neighbor Robert Turner. One night Kale becomes suspicious of Turner after he returns home in a 1960s Ford Mustang with a dented fender, which matches the description of a car given on a news report of a serial killer at large. (So… is it just me or is it weird that all he can find to do is people watch? Maybe it is a byproduct of being at home. Not saying that it is unrealistic… but I don’t think I am ever bored enough to watch my neighbors.) I mean, Kale only notices these things because he is forced to be at home…. would he have notice a serial killer otherwise. History says no.



  • Kale pitches the idea to his friend Ronnie, and the new girl Ashley that his neighbor is the serial killer. It is interspersed with news footage of a missing woman… You have to know that a teenager is bored out of their mind to watch the damn news.. Oddly, in the first half of the movie… (if you didn’t know what you were getting into beforehand) the news footage blends into the background pretty well. You wonder if Kale is going to impress this girl and then you remember this is about a KILLER. Anyway… Ashley gets involved with watching Turner’s comings and goings with the dudes. Ronnie and Kale have a hard time convincing her… because Turner has fixed his car… They are camera ready when Turner returns to his house with this woman (a redhead… as Ashley points out is the MO of the serial killer they can’t find in Texas. The Police found a house that was abandoned by the owner that was packed with dead bodies. No one knows who the previous owner was. Just like in the Stepfather… how can you buy a house without proper documentation?) Things start off simple enough… but things take a turn for the worst. She is seen running around his house in a panic, but later appears to leave in her car. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NH5fod3mC7c) Gotta love the next morning when Turner shows up in Kale’s kitchen. Maybe if his personality weren’t so douchey people would listen when he talks. Because I mean, he is telling the truth. Tuner is there under the pretense of helping with groceries and Kale doesn’t say much to bring his mother over to his side. He is openly hostile and it just ends up looking like the troublemaker 17 year old kid is berating the nice older neighbor. For someone as smart as Kale, I would have figured he could maneuver better. But… the subtle threat that Turner throws out it awesome. Poor mom is looking to date him and even with his dad having passed away… I am sure Kale is more concerned about mom being the next victim.






  • The following day, Kale asks Ashley to follow Turner to the supermarket so that Ronnie can break into Turner’s car to get the code of the garage controller. Caught and intimidated by Turner at the parking, Ashley quits spying on Turner, to Kale’s disappointment. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCghHER3cOU) Apparently, teenagers don’t make good spies because…. he knew he was being followed. SMH. (It is slightly different when Jimmy Stewart sends Grace Kelly to the killers apartment.)There is also a scene where Kale is going over the blueprints of Turner’s house and notices a space that wasn’t there originally. “What would he need that for?”




  • All of this is not for nothing… Ronnie did manage to get the garage door code. But there is always a catch… Ronnie being the friend that always fucks up has left his phone in Turner’s car. So he has to go and get it. They made it out unscathed the first time… so why not do it again? That always works. Here is where the formula mirrors real life. No one believes Kale. They think he’s paranoid and has too much time on his hands. which could still be argued… However, after watching a lot of these true crime specials… We know… that many times someone does report seeing something strange or knowing a person that fits this description and they aren’t taken seriously. (See Ted Bundy’s first girlfriend.) While inside, Ronnie gets trapped when the garage door closes; Kale attempts to rescue him but alerts the police upon leaving his property with the ankle monitor. The police arrive and search the garage, and find nothing but a bag containing a roadkill deer. Turner… being a chameleon that he is… turns on the charm. He even has an excuse for why the dent on the car is fixed. The car matching the description of the one the missing woman got into before she disappeared. Car show obviously. The cops don’t believe him… Ashley has abandoned him… Ronnie isn’t taking it seriously (he just doesn’t want to get into trouble with the cops.) And his mom doesn’t want to hear a word of it.


  • Kale’s mom wants to make sure that Turner doesn’t press charges. So she takes it upon herself to go over to his house and talk to Turner on Kale’s behalf. Kale tries to talk her out of it… but she is determined that he doesn’t go to jail. Well people have to deal with the consequences for their actions and your son may actually be telling the truth. But know in true thriller fashion… She walks right into the lions den. UGH. Ronnie reveals that he has escaped from Turner’s house. (Just like Kale… I would have been furious for making me believe that he was dead.) Kale watches the video Ronnie made while running through Turner’s house, and he notices a corpse wrapped in plastic in a vent. Meanwhile, next door, Turner incapacitates Julie and holds her captive. I really wanted to believe that he wasn’t a killer and it was all in Kale’s mind. She was almost out the damn door. I would say poor lady but she was warned… some people are too trusting. Turner then enters Kale’s house, knocking out Ronnie and binding and gagging Kale. (There is a real struggle scene. I enjoyed that much more than I thought I was going to.) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toAOUXtlXXc) He reveals his plan to frame Kale for the murders and make it appear that Kale then killed himself. Kale really made it too easy to be framed… because he sounds like a LUNATIC! Turner is not worried. He plans to do them all in and move on like in Texas… SMH.


  • Turner wants Kale to write a note. Kale is stalling…. I mean… what would you do in this situation? But Ashley arrives… Where did she come from anyway? Did she not see Ronnie crumpled up downstairs like a used napkin??? CALL THE POLICE GIRL!! But no… She walks right into a would be murder. But I have to give it up for your girl… She jumped right into action… ATTACKING TURNER. The two of them manage to incapacitate Turner for a brief moment… but I mean… we have all seen these movies before right? It’s quiet… too quiet. Kale at least gets the duct tape off. But Turner comes crashing in (Here’s Johnny style.) They manage to escape to the roof and jump in her pool next door. But what about his mom? WE HAVE TO SAVE HER!!!! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGtMNsci-zk)

  • Kale’s plan is almost foolproof except for the fact that the cops just think he is a troublemaker. So Cousin Gutierrez is not interested in following up on the call. Plus it is the end of his shift. He wants to finish his damn burger. Kale enters Turner’s home to search for his mother. In a hidden room, Kale finds ample evidence of Turner’s previous murders, including a woman’s dress and wig, indicating Turner pretended to be the woman leaving the house the night Kale and Ashley were watching. (My mind is blown. For some reason… I can’t remember how this played out in Rear Window. I have to watch it again.) Also there is a whole maze underneath this man’s house. None of the builders asked questions about this at all? Did he kill them? I have questions. Gutierrez arrives but doesn’t call for back up… and gets his neck twisted… Poor Guy. He was off duty. Damn! Kale stumbles upon the decaying remains of murder victims, as well as their driver’s licenses and belongings, and finds his mother bound and gagged. Turner appears, slashes Kale in the back and pins him to a wall, but before Turner can kill Kale, Julie stabs him in the leg with a dagger, allowing Kale to grab a pair of gardening shears and impale Turner in the chest with them, finally killing him. The boy had to lookout for his mom… she was all he had left. EVEN THOUGH SHE DIDN’T BELIEVE HIM.





Of course the movie ends with Kale getting the ankle lock taken off. He and Ashley take things to the next level. Thank Goodness Ronnie survived with only a nasty gash… Still a great movie. I don’t think I would change a thing. It starts off a bit slow and isolation drags on. But I would argue that lends to the feeling of paranoia. Is he seeing what he is seeing or is he going crazy. I ask myself that a lot in quarantine life. Shia shined in this movie which is hard to do in what one would think is a grade B movie going into it. But I would say this is probably one of the better remakes (or loosely based upons) I have seen in a while. So… it is on HBOmax. Go watch. Do a watch party with friends…. Do a double feature with Rear Window… and Disturbia. Let me know your thoughts and feelings on the movie.

Quarantine Post #65: The Stepfather (2009)

Standard

So it is October… so it is time for a scare. I figure that I need to jump back into all things scary. As a kid, I was into scaring the shit out of myself. (Read my post about Goosebumps.) I haven’t been into that as much as an adult. Unless you count true crime documentaries. Netflix has a bunch of those. So I decided to pick one at random. I landed on the Stepfather (2009). I remember watching the trailer when it came out. I had been out of high school for a few years but that had not dulled my love of B horror movies. But I could not get anyone to go see it with me. Either they were not into scary movies like my sister… or thought it was going to be super cheesy. Check out the trailer here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ki5GyO0tRWc)

So I was able to find out a bit more about it… Apparently, it is a remake for a movie from 1987. Remakes are not usually good. But I mean… I knew what I was getting into. The films are loosely based on the crimes of mass murderer John List. Dylan Walsh plays the stepfather… And I loved him in Nip/Tuck. And a young Penn Badgley was in it. (YOU). So why not…? It would be nice to remember that he wasn’t always a crazed killer. So I will take you through my thoughts on the movie. I always have to say this… but it has been 12 years… SPOILERS ahead.

  • So the movie starts off in a weird eerie way… We see Grady Edwards transform himself in a bathroom. He shaves off his beard, dyes his hair, and removes his brown contact lenses. I was like… this man is on the run… He has to be but I was not prepared for when the camera zooms out and you see him step over a dead child… You see that he has actually killed a woman and her two children…and l gasped as he stepped over another body in the doorway… shut the door and walked out. SMH. Of course, we know from his routine… that he has done this before. As the police investigate, it is said that another family was murdered in a similar manner in New Jersey not long ago, which causes them to believe there is a serial killer on the loose. Duh people! Do something! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Z8M-6WU8sw) and (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bw1LrnnnjdM) The issue is our Grady pays for things in cash and circumvents having to show his identification.
  • The next scene shows us how he works his MO. It is sad that we know where this is headed… Susan Harding, a recently divorced Oregon housewife, is shopping in a grocery store with her youngest children where she meets Grady, who introduces himself as David Harris, and claims that his wife and daughter were killed in a car accident. He charms her, and six months later, they are engaged to be married. Now there is nothing wrong with meeting someone new… and seeing where things go… but this is a bit too quick. There was a time when I would have said this is not realistic… But I have been watching a few shows on Discovery Plus (Who the Bleep did I Marry? Evil Lives Here etc etc) and I see that is not as out there as I once thought it was. I will circle back to this point a bit later.
  • I am not sure that Grady/David was prepared for the fact that Susan had an older son… (I mean he is filling out college applications.)You can see the chink in his armor… when Michael returns from military school. He is the first… and frustratingly the only person who is suspicious of Grady/David. The issue is that no one takes him seriously… being as though he is the problem child… (I have seen this before. I’ll make a post about that movie later.) Grady/David tries to befriend Michael over tequila… which sets off his spider senses. Not to mention these weird cabinets with locks in the basement. Did his mom not even ask questions? He just set up shop downstairs and didn’t ask him anything? (Again…. I have seen real stories where people just don’t question things.) But I just didn’t understand her wanting to hop into another marriage… after supposedly going through a bad divorce.

  • The suspicion starts when Grady/David is telling Michael about his wife and daughter… but forgets his daughter’s name. Michael, like any sane person, wonders how a person forgets their own daughter’s name. There is some tension in the household because Grady/David has some old fashion views… specifically for Michael and his girlfriend. Over dinner, Grady/David brings up the fact that Michael should have a talk with his girlfriend because he “doesn’t want the neighbors to talk.” This sets Michael on edge. (Now… I would never have been able to have my significant other at the house… all day while my parents are at work… But… Michael’s rebuttal makes me laugh EVERY TIME… “What do you think the neighbors are saying about you moving in here with my mom?” Touche. You have issue with the way she dresses but not being a serial killer.


  • There is an instance where Grady/David tries to choke the youngest son for not listening. (He is playing the video game too loud.) I figured that this would open the mom’s mind… but she just brushes it off. (I was outraged. But again… I have seen some of these instances in real life.) Susan’s ex-husband Jay confronts Grady/David angrily about laying hands on his son, Sean. He warns Susan that she knows nothing about David. She has the nerve to be offended… but it is true. I mean you know nothing about this man other than what he told you. And you are mad that someone pointed that out. She just wrote it off as her ex husband being a jerk. It annoyed the hell out of me.

  • More of Michael’s spider senses kicking in when the nosy next door neighbor comes over in the morning. She tells his mother that she was watching America’s Most Wanted… and saw who she thinks is David on the program. Michael overhears the conversation. David sneaks into Mrs. Cutters’ house and throws her down her basement stairs, then suffocates her. When news hits the family later about her death… Michael immediately thinks his stepfather killed her. The next red flag is when Grady/David is asked to provide proper documentation to stop working under the table at his real estate company. He is really good at selling houses… which didn’t surprise me. He had to be good at getting people to trust him. He is asked several times to bring in a photo ID and SS Card. He decides to quit instead. (Again when it was told to Susan… she doesn’t see it as a big deal.) I do wonder how Grady/David is able to get married over and over. Don’t you have to show identification for a marriage license? I’m not married. I don’t know.


  • Onto to the next victim, Michael’s father did some checking on Grady/David. Michael told his father, Jay, about Grady/David’s college history. Apparently, the stepfather was able to get Michael back on the swim team… and able to practice at school again. But something about him rubs both Jay and Michael the wrong way. Later, Jay comes back to say goodbye to his kids… Grady/David answers the door. Jay confronts him with the evidence that he found… He called up the school that Grady/David supposedly went to and they had no record of him. I am not sure that I would have confronted him by myself. But I guess the whole macho guy took over. Maybe Jay was attempting to get Grady/David to leave on his own. But when you find someone has been lying about who they are… I wouldn’t imagine that they would just leave quietly. Also the kids are upstairs when the murder occurs… BLEW MY MIND. David clubs him with a vase and suffocates him with a plastic bag. He sends Michael a text with Jay’s phone saying that David checked out okay. Check out the scene here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryBtr6mY8Ho)


  • Next victim… Susan’s sister, who Grady/David worked with at the real estate agency. She sends an email to Susan about hiring an investigator. But David… intercepts the email. The sister now has a target on her back. She was supposed to be flying out out town for vacation. I was so annoyed because what was taking so long for her to get in the damn car. You send the email.. you get on the good foot. If you think this man is a killer… you make sure to not leave a trace…. UGH. Of course… David shows up at her house and drowns her in the pool. Why didn’t she leave when her girlfriend left? Make it make sense. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfR82HOjR2U)
  • I wanted to like Michael’s girlfriend. She was worried that he was going to get sent back to military school. She is trying to get him focused on other things. But we know that there has to be a skeptic in the bunch… Michael grows more obsessed with the contradictions in David’s stories. His girlfriend does join him in trying to dig up evidence. I guess she was hoping that he didn’t find anything things would go back to normal. It doesn’t work out that way. (After the neighbor dies… Michael pulls up America’s Most Wanted and sees the picture and is also convinced that Grady/David is a killer. Determined to discover what was in the locked cabinets, Michael breaks into the basement as Kelly keeps a lookout. In the basement, Michael eventually discovers his dad’s body in a freezer. David knocks out Kelly and traps Michael in the basement. 


  • It is the infamous scene… “Who am I here?” I think Susan could have protected herself before now… but IT IS TOO LATE NOW. It is a pretty good scene nonetheless. The commotion with Michael wakes Susan, and Grady/David berates her parenting skills and says that he thought she could be “Mrs. Grady Edwards”. With Susan’s stunned reaction, David grimaces and asks, “Who am I here?” Susan tries to snap him out of it by saying his name, causing him to say, “David! I’m David Harris!” He went on this rant about discipline… and how she doesn’t discipline the kids at all. I wanted to know how long she was going to stay and talk to this man. But you and I both know now the chase is on. usan, realizing the situation after noticing the unconscious Kelly, flees to the bathroom, locking herself in. David kicks the door in, shattering the mirror behind it. Susan picks up a shard of the mirror, holding it behind her. David grabs her, they struggle, and she manages to stab him in the neck with the shard. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hg30XRt3zhU) Now we all know that is not the end of it. THIS MAN IS NOT DEAD! They didn’t hear me.

  • Michael escapes from the basement and finds Kelly, his girlfriend. They find Susan in the hallway across from the bathroom, thinking David is dead. Then David approaches from behind and blocks the stairs, chasing all of them into the attic, where he and Michael fight. It is really not a fair fight because Grady/David had been doing work in the attic early on in the movie. There were places that both can fall through. Both fall onto the roof and then off the edge of the roof to the ground, where they lie unconscious. I would have figured by now that someone would have tried to shoot him by now. When Michael wakes up, he finds out he had been in a coma for just over a month. He learns that David is still alive and fled the scene before the police arrived. The end scene shows David, who has again changed his appearance and his name to Chris Ames. He is working at a hardware store when he meets a woman who is shopping with her two sons. Ugh and the vicious cycle starts over and over again.



Some of these movies are just sowing distrust in people. I should have known that this movie was going to be open ended. The original spawned 2 sequels. Maybe they thought it was going to be a franchise. I don’t know. But movie checks all of the genre boxes. I enjoyed it… but I mean… Susan made me want to kick her. ALL OF THESE RED FLAGS MA’AM! Putting your kids in peril. Solid B movie. It is enough to get your friends together and have something to laugh at. Get your Netflix watch party on. If you have seen it… let me know in the comments.

Quarantine Post #64: Deep Blue Sea

Standard

Since I have been seeing a lot of talk about it on Twitter, I decided to rewatch Deep Blue Sea. I remember watching with with my family as a kid back when it came out in 1999. All of my siblings and I laugh about it to this day… So I figured… why not give it another go. Head over to Netflix to check it out. I thought I remembered much more of the movie than I did… I do remember not liking the main doctor chick… because she did not see anything wrong with how many lives were lost in the name of her research. But let’s get the rundown of the movie for those that don’t know…

Deep Blue Sea is a 1999 American science fiction horror film. It stars Saffron Burrows, Thomas Jane, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Rapaport, and LL Cool J. Set in an isolated underwater facility, the film follows a team of scientists and their research on mako sharks to help fight Alzheimer’s disease. The situation plunges into chaos when multiple genetically engineered sharks go on a rampage and flood the facility because what else could have happened here…. It was a classic B movie… Something to watch when it came on television on the weekend. But in this pandemic… it has had a resurgence thanks to streaming services. So let’s do my reactions to a rewatch of this film. If you haven’t seen this film.. I mean… it have been over 20 years…but nonetheless spoiler alert.

  • So we start the movie with a shark attacking teenagers on a boat… because why not? They all make it out alive because Carter manages to get back the escaped shark… In a remote underwater facility, doctors Susan McCallister and Jim Whitlock are conducting research on mako sharks to help in the re-activation of dormant human brain cells like those found in Alzheimer’s disease patients. Does that make any sense to you? No? Me either but hell I have heard stranger things. After the shark escapes the facility financial backers send corporate executive Russell Franklin to investigate the facility. Why not pull the plug? Because that would be too easy. Gotta love Samuel L. Jackson.
  • Susan wants 48 hours to prove that this research is viable. None of the researchers seem to like that Russell is there poking around. The underground facility is a maze and maybe it is just me…. what made them think they could keep the sharks from escaping in the first place? They put fences in the middle of the ocean…. *shrug* sure.
  • LL Cool J and this parrot are killing me… but not for the reason you think. This man is preparing meals with a bird in the kitchen? I have questions… actually nevermind… I don’t. I also don’t want any of that food. Pets/animals don’t go in the kitchen while you’re cooking. They have a birthday celebration for Susan… and of course there is a storm rolling in as if being trapped in the middle of the ocean with genetically enhanced sharks wasn’t bad enough.
  • Here is where shit really hits the fan. Let me tell you, you can usually gauge who is going to go first in movies like this… there is always a person with a God Complex… I knew when Samuel L. Jackson said something about “What in God’s creation…?” And the smug doctor responds with “Not his creation, mine.” Insert eyeroll. The doctor gets his arm bitten off for his trouble. Can’t say I felt bad about it.


  • Susan is not a likeable at all. (She was warned about her experiment by Carter… She pushes on because they will all be out of work otherwise. No matter that kids were almost killed by a problem you created.) The thing on her mind when Jim’s bleeding out is that the shark is not killed solidifying the idea that she is definitely okay with sacrificing people if it means that she gets what she wants in the end. They are trying to get Jim emergency assistance while a storm is rolling in…. and it is a disaster… it just left me wondering… was this the only plan they had in case of emergencies? Brenda Kerns, the tower’s operator, calls a helicopter that braves heavy rain and strong winds to evacuate Jim, but as he is being lifted, the cable jams, dropping Jim and his stretcher into the shark pen. The largest shark grabs the stretcher and pulls the helicopter into the tower, killing Brenda and the pilots, as well as causing massive explosions that severely damage the facility. I did not have shark pulls helicopter out of the air on my bingo card. Maybe it was too long ago for me… but I did not remember that at all.


  • In the laboratory, Susan, Russell, wrangler Carter, marine biologist Janice Higgins, and engineer Tom Scoggins witness the shark smash the stretcher against the laboratory’s main window, which then shatters, drowning Jim and flooding the facility. Sharks out for revenge? I mean… what did Jim do to them anyway. Took the guy while still on the stretcher attached to the helicopter and then trying to give him back to the crew in dramatic fashion. But no one watches these movies because they make sense.

  • Russell asks Carter why the sharks are behaving like they have a vendetta. Short answer? Because they do. Long Answer… Carter tries to explain that the sharks are after them… and when Russell pushes Susan to reveal that she and Jim  genetically engineered the sharks to increase their brain size, as they were not large enough to harvest sufficient amounts of the protein complex; this had the side effect of making them smarter and more deadly. (No one else on the team was apparently knew anything about it… ) So this extremely dangerous situation they are in… is her fault… the other are too nice to her. I would have definitely punched her. Janice calling her a BITCH didn’t soothe me nearly enough. Susan was defiant in the face of questioning… as though all that matters is her research. Thank Goodness Carter told her about herself… I still think she deserved a punch or at least an open hand slap. I mean what kind of scientist doesn’t think… if we make something’s brain bigger… I may get smarter… I question her PH.D.
  • The group goes to the facility’s wet entry, where they plan to take a submersible to escape. When the group reaches the wet entry, they discover that the submersible has been damaged. These sharks are really playing with these people… Someone nutty suggests that they swim to the top… I think it was Carter… And I swear he was my favorite to that point. What would make you think that I could swim faster than a shark… especially one that you have altered. Scoggins proposes an alternative that Susan doesn’t like… but who cares what she likes… She didn’t care what anyone else thought either. There is a lot of in fighting as the group tries to figure out which escape route to take… Russell takes control of the room… only for him to be eaten the most hilarious and dramatic fashion. His speech is something that my siblings and I quote all the time.
  • LL Cool J on the other hand is having a tough time. That man just wanted to make breakfast but no… In the kitchen, it starts to flood… He was warned when the Parrot took the hell off. Why did he not go with? No clue. The sharks swim in the kitchen looking for food. And forced LL into to take refuge in an oven. But not before eating his shit talking parrot. Something about this is hilarious… reminds me of the show Frasier… when Nile’s bird was saying rude shit. You have to laugh at LL Cool J having to climb into the oven to keep from being eaten. The Shark ends up trying to bake him… but he manages to hack his way out of the oven… and exacts revenge on the shark that ate his bird. Large gratuitous explosion… It was the oddest thing to watch but let me tell you… I would have been a dead duck. There is no way that I would have been able to jump out over the damn shark that is trying to kill me. And I damn sure would not have been able to make it to the top.




  • The remaining group decides to go with Scoggins plan… to climb up the elevator shaft at the risk of destabilizing the pool. As they climb, explosive tremors cause the ladder to break, and Janice loses her grip and falls into the shark-infested water. Despite Carter’s attempt to save her, one of the two remaining sharks drags Janice under, killing and devouring her. Poor Janice… by this point I believe Susan has lasted too long. She caused all of this. LL Cool J then makes his way to the elevator shaft, where he encounters Carter, Tom, and Susan. Carter and Tom go to the flooded laboratory to activate a control panel that drains a stairway to the surface, while Susan heads to her room to collect her research material. (Because with all the people that died… the research is all that mattered to her.) Carter and Tom reach the control panel, but the largest shark storms in, killing and ripping Tom apart, and sabotaging the controls. In the other room, Susan encounters another shark, and electrocutes it with a power cable, destroying her research in the process.




  • Poor Scoggins died the way he didn’t want to with his leg still twitching. Now… I would like to point out that Susan seems more on board to kill the sharks… but she had the option to do so early on… After regrouping, Carter, Susan, and LL go to a decompression chamber and swim to the surface. LL gets caught by the shark… He had to help himself. (Apparently… he is called Preacher.) I should have known that… He had been talking to God all throughout the movie. Poetic Justice… is when he stabs the shark in the eye with his crucifix, though he escapes with injuries to his leg. (It was a pretty large crucifix.) Russell asked earlier in the movie what a Shark thinks about with no known predators. Carter puts it together towards the end. The Sharks want freedom. They purposely made the humans flood the facility so they try to escape through the weaker mesh fences at the surface. Carter comes up with a plan to kill the last shark but she is on the verge of escaping into open water. Susan actually steps up. I was surprised…. She essentially is jumping to her death… (Again… I want to point out she wouldn’t have had to do this… if she shot the sharks in the first place.) In an effort to distract the shark from escaping to the open sea, Susan deliberately cuts her hand and dives into the water. Although she manages to distract the shark with her blood, she is unable to get out of the water, and is devoured, despite Carter’s efforts to save her. (I am not sure I felt sad at her demise. It was nice that she tried to fix the issue she had a hand in creating… Would have been nice… before people started dropping like flies.)




  • That leaves Carter and LL… Carter is trying to dodge being eaten by the last shark… That leaves LL to try and harpoon the shark. While Carter is grabbing hold of the shark’s dorsal fin, Preacher shoots the shark with a harpoon, but also pierces Carter’s thigh. Poor Carter… He was harpooned… and was a bit too put together after that… As the shark breaks through the fence, Carter orders LL to connect the trailing wire to a battery, sending an electric current through the wire and to an explosive charge in the harpoon, killing the shark. This is a bit of a weird way to kill the shark. I know younger me that was impressed. In the end, Carter reveals that he had managed to free himself in time, and joins Preacher to see a workers’ boat en route on the horizon.

So all in all this was still good… a little more funny and goofy than I remember. Shoutout to LL for making to the end. He is still getting praised for that decades later… I mean that just does not happen for us. I love this movie like I love the Jurassic Park franchise. You know things are going to go wrong… you know people are going to be eaten… and you settle in with your popcorn anyway. Solid movie. Especially for a Saturday night on the couch.

If you have seen it… drop a comment. Let me know your thoughts. If you have not seen it… it is on Netflix… grab some popcorn and a drink and settle in.

Quarantine Post #63: Out of Market Fan

Standard

Did I think that I would still be at home in October of 2021? No. But I have been able to pass the time getting things off my watch and read list. However for my readers… you guys all know this. The other thing that has gotten me through is my new obsession with hockey and baseball. Hockey has been a new thing that I share with my friend Leah. Nothing like enjoying something and not knowing the closest person to you enjoyed the same thing… but you two never mention it to each other. (See my post about the black girl hockey club.) Before coming back to baseball, and getting into hockey, I hadn’t watched sports in years. Being stuck at home changes your outlook on things pretty quickly. Have to entertain yourself gets rough.

The only issue that I am facing… that is a big issue is the need to have cable to watch baseball or hockey. When I decided to cut the cord, it was probably the best decision that I made. There was a lot of money being paid for tv that we weren’t watching. For me, there was never anything to watch… and every year the bill got higher and higher. I have gotten rid of cable and could not have been happier. I can turn on what I want and watch what I want. (Shoutout to Verizon for paying for the Disney Bundle, Discovery Plus and Apple Music.) Not having to pay makes decisions easier. While I have attacked my watchlist… staying up on the New York Rangers and the New York Yankees was way harder than I thought.

Now when thinking about going back to sports, I assumed it would be as easy as finding a streaming service and paying a fee. But the world is always needlessly complicated. No such thing. Even with a streaming service… blackout days are annoying… but more than that. I was penalized for being an out of market fan. For those that do not know… that means because of my location… I can only watch teams local to me. So… watching the games for teams in my home state of New York was out of the question. It is odd to have a streaming service about sports and then tell people they can only watch said sports if they pay for cable. Why would I need this streaming service if I could watch sports on cable? Punishing fans for not having cable… not cool man. Leah is very opinionated on the matter… I told her I was going to get center ice. And she immediately told me that there were better ways to spend my money. I was determined to prove her wrong… but for $160… why would need to still have to deal with blackout dates? Leah was right. I even tried Fubotv… (which was great by the way… It was just a lot more money than I wanted to pay for using just a portion of the service. If you guys are looking for a service that is not cable… to watch tv… I support Fubotv.) Even with Fubotv… I wasn’t given access to MSG networks because I don’t live in New York or the surrounding areas.

You have to love social media where everyone thinks they know what they are talking about. And how they believe their solution is what is best for you. In a hockey Facebook group, when people were complaining about not being able to watch games… there was a guy that was explaining to everyone that if they just got fubotv… you could watch the Rangers play because you get MSG networks. He got annoyed when I told him that wasn’t the case. It works for him and he doesn’t live in New York. (He lives in Connecticut.) He didn’t offer any more advice when I showed the screenshot of the sports channels I would get here in the south… not one of them included MSG network. Living in a surrounding city versus… living another part of the country is not the same. But thanks for playing. Maybe if he read the Wikipedia excerpt about MSG networks… he wouldn’t have talked so much… but one can only hope. “The MSG Network (MSG) is an American regional cable and satellite television network, and radio service owned by MSG Entertainment, Inc.—a spin-off of the main Madison Square Garden Company. Primarily serving the Mid-Atlantic United States, its programming focuses on events featuring and other programs about New York City sports teams, including live game broadcasts of the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association, the New York Rangers, New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils of the National Hockey League, and the New York Red Bulls of the Major League Soccer. The channel is named after the Madison Square Garden sports and entertainment venue in Midtown Manhattan, home of the Knicks and Rangers.” There was a time during the past two years where I was looking to see if I could just pay out of pocket for this network… no such luck… They have no clue how much money they could make if they just allowed people to pay for what they wanted.

October 1, 2014: New MSG Network television studio.

I do have ESPN plus… and as far as baseball goes… it is super lacking. No such thing as watching something live. Last night I missed the Yankees/Red Sox game of the postseason. If I wanted to watch something live… I would have to log into my provider… or sign in with MLB.tv. I missed the whole game and there is no point in going back to watch it now. (I could watch things on demand if I vowed to stay off social media… but that does take away a fun aspect of the game.) I could sign up for MLB tv… but again… the blackout dates are based on my location and I would be paying and still not able to watch all the games that I want to. It may be easier to see the Yankees play by moving back to New York.

On the hockey front, things seem to be moving in an interesting direction. Disney and the NHL agreed to a 7 year contract that will see ESPN and ESPN Plus become key places to watch and stream hockey games, starting with the upcoming 2021-2022 season. I will be able to gauge how thought out this is once the season gets underway. ESPN Plus is effectively replacing NHL.TV as the NHL’s out-of-market streaming service, with over 1,000 games each season available for fans to stream. ESPN and ABC will also get 25 exclusive national regular-season games each season, while 75 games a year will be exclusive to ESPN Plus and Hulu. Sounds promising… ABC and ESPN together will get to broadcast half of the NHL playoffs each season, too. (Specifically, Disney’s networks will get one of the Conference Final series and half of all the first round and second round games each year. I can’t complain… it is better than nothing. (You think the MLB would agree to a contract like this…? I won’t hold my breath.)

Leah and I were having a discussion as we always do. She is usually my sounding board to vent my frustrations about life. If you don’t have a friend like her, I recommend it. On this particular day, I was ranting about how fans in other regions are getting screwed out of being able to watch their favorite teams. It would be so much easier to just let people pay monthly for whatever game they want to see…. in any league. If I remember correctly, I was also on a rant about paying for MSG networks streaming service. I can’t imagine why TPTB would be leaving money on the table by not allowing out of market fans better options when trying to view the game. Leah in her way pointed out somethings are all about advertising… Companies pay big money in advertising. But I still wonder… (I have a lot of streaming services where I have not paid to be commercial free.) what does streaming a game have to do with not making money on advertising?

Anyways… that was one of my latest rants. Hopefully things will get better for us out of market fans. Maybe big business will stop trying to punish us for cutting the cord. If you want to vent your frustrations, let me know your thoughts in the comments. This EPSN deal does mean that some people are listening. Here’s to hoping it opens other doors and here’s to hoping we leave cable behind.