So as you all know I started a book club last year. I have fallen behind with my posts, but I was catching up. I am for sure only one behind now. 🙂
No I’m serious! This time I am really only one behind!
Every month we read a book and I do a little post on the book we read and discussed. What can I say, I just love books.
There is no theme, other than with each month, a different member gets to pick a book, whichever one they want.
The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers
So Francine Rivers is a favorite author of mine. I’ve read everything of her Christian fiction, except one, The Last Sin Eater. So when the book club member suggested us reading it, I was totally down and excited.
Grace Moore has been through a lot in her life. A painful childhood, growing up with a cold and emotionally separated aunt. She put her dreams on hold for her husband, had a disastrous marriage, lost her job, and is now a single mom.
She was going to give her child up for adoption, living with the potential family but changed her mind. Now she is trying to figure out how to take care of her son and make enough money to move out as the family is trying to take her child. Everything seems to be a big no, until she finally gets a job as a assistant to temperamental artist Roman Velasco. He’s never been able to keep one as he is too out there and hard to work with, but Grace is hoping to stick it out until she can find something else.
Roman Velasco has his own hard life. He lost his mom years back, was put in foster care, and sent all over San Francisco as they just kept moving him on. He joins a gang as a runner but then becomes the tagger, graffitiing the gang everywhere. He ends up being sent to a ranch, but as soon as he is old enough takes off.
He has always been interested in painting and art, and ends up becoming a very rich and profitable one. But he has a secret. At night he runs around Los Angeles, creating graffiti art going under BRD-Billy Ray Dean, his real name. He also has been growing ill, and not feeling good-but keeps that and the BRD secret.
Grace is instantly attracted to him, but knows she needs to stay away as she has bad choices in men, he has a lot of issues, and is not a Christian.
Roman tries to leave Grace alone, but is attracted to her. He ends up letting her in more than any person in his life has been let in. But then something happens that changes their relationship forever. Will things work out or will this masterpiece go through several changes before it is completed?
This was a fantastic book and a real page turner. I never wanted to put it down, and just had to find out what happened next.
Defintely worth a read! Check it out today!
The cover of the book comes from a real graffiti painting. It is called Time Flies by artist Camer1. For more about it, check out Francine Rivers blog. Our book club member who chose the book actually was able to go to San Francisco and see it in person.
People want heroes…but heroes are not born, they’re created.
So this is our first installment of four reviews of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle films.
So I know those of you who haven’t been following me, and have stumbled upon this post are probably really confused. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? As a horror film? NO WAY.
I know you are all saying to yourselves, hey this is a superhero movie, not a horror film. Au contraire, you see the turtles are radioactively enhanced to be larger; agile, smarter, etc. In fact the only thing that separates them from other radioactively changed creatures: such as the ants in Them, the giant spider in the Tarantula, or even Godzilla. They choosing to use their abilities for good and be superheroes doesn’t change the fact of how they were made.
You also might be wondering why am I starting with the 2014 film instead of the 1990 one? Well I decided that I would review the one with the closest horror film components, as these turtles are engineered in a lab instead of accidentally created, just like Frankenstein.
It might be a little confusing working backwards, but fun all the same. So here we go.
So as you know I hate remakes and sequels.
I was not excited about this film coming out at all. And when I heard that Michael Bay was directing?
It’s going to suck. I just knew I would hate it.
But then, I had some friends tell me they liked it and really enjoyed it. I thought, okay. I’ll watch it, I’ll see how it is.
So I went to the movies and I sat through it. And I really tried to be objective, I really tried to be open and like the film. The only problem was that it sucked.
It had some good things, but on a whole it was boring, ugly, the same-old-same-old, and stupid. I hated it. I hated everything they did. They ruined the turtles!
So let’s get started on the actual review.
So I liked the beginning comic book look for the credits, that was okay although I didn’t like the backstory. I mean it makes no sense that Splinter would want to prepare the turtles to fight Shredder and the Foot clan, unless they had a backstory and prior knowledge of each other, like in the original. This made no sense whatsoever. It was just so stupid!
So Megan Fox as April O’Neal. Why, why would you do that? She is a horrible actress because she doesn’t act. If you put her, Kristen Stewart, and Channing Tatum in a room with a pile of wood, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between any of them.
This film sucks!
Now the whole April O’Neal being a young, fluff reporter trying to make it as a serious journalist, at first put me off…but afterwards I didn’t mind it so much.
I prefer the established April, but I didn’t mind that change. I know they wanted to make her young, “hot”, and more relatable to the viewers.
really? I can’t stand this movie.
So this is the first film to have Vernon, a character from the original cartoon TV show. Instead of being an egotistical jerk, he’s one of those “ugh guys”. You know the type that tries to be Fonzie, but isn’t anywhere as cool as him.
So April is looking for a way to break into the serious news scene. She has been hearing rumors of these vigilantes fighting back. She knows there is more but no one will talk to her. One dock hand says he knows a guy that will talk to her later, at night.
That night April heads to the docks to get answers.
Excuse me? At night? What person in their right mind would head down to the docks in the middle of the night?
That seriously has to be the stupidest thing anyone could do.
So April spots a group of people breaking into the storage containers at the docks and of course calls the police.
Oh wait, I’m sorry.That would have been the smart thing to do. Instead she goes to record it, but her phone starts dying. Her phone can’t record anymore, as the battery is too low, but instead of making a phone call to the police and reporting it, she gets closer!
April in the other film was much better as she made smarter decisions.
So this April witnesses the Turtles fighting, sort of. It’s too dark to make it out what is actually happening. She sees the graffiti mark they leave behind and photographs it.
The next day she goes to speak to her supervisor, Whoopi Goldberg. Now this is a big problem with this film. In the original, the actors became the characters. They were all well-known people before the film, but they were just so awesome they became them. In this the stars don’t make you forget, they constantly push it into your face that they are Megan Fox and Whoopi. It would have been better of they had picked different people.
Bad. Very bad.
Whoopi is especially distracting as I don’t even know what her character name is.
Truth be told I don’t
I also think it is so stupid that she would throw her idea out there in front of everyone instead of going to speak to her editor one-on-one. She should have waited until later.
So then we switch to our first introduction of Shredder. I thought this was okay. We watch Shredder blindfolded in the shadows, masking his face and fighting the Foot clan. I like that they all speak in Japanese. That was pretty cool.
Now the thing I hate, is they make a big deal on keeping Shredder in the shadows and masking his face, just like in the original, only to show his face and then go back to the shadows. WHY WOULD YOU BOTHER TO KEEP HIM IN THE SHADOWS AND THEN SHOW HIM WHEN IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE A BIG REVEAL.
really? I can’t stand this movie.
And as we are sidenoting, have you noticed how every single person has green eyes in this film? Do you know how rare that is? I have natural green eyes and hardly run into anyone who has them (naturally). In fact let’s get the statistics.
“Green eye color is the rarest color found around the world, and it is estimated that only around 2% of the world’s population has green colored eyes.”
But yet every single person in this film has been given the green contacts. Seriously, Michael Bay back down.
That night April heads down to a big event in which Eric Sacks, gazillionaire, is teaming up with the NYPD to fight crime. And of course, obvious bad guy is obvious.
Owns a huge corporation? ✓
Has gazillions of dollars? ✓
Talks in a creepy voice oozing with evil intentions so that all know he is evil ✓
And of course he’s connected to April.
Yep, as I said this films is full of boring film cliches. He and April’s father used to work together, until a fire destroyed the whole lab, April’s father having died in the process. Same old, same old.
Later that night, Megan oops, I mean April, comes across the Foot clan taking hostages in the subway. Instead of calling the police or the paper, she runs toward the action and gets herself taken a hostage.
Then she takes footage with her iPhone. Hello, you are taken hostage by people who have no qualms about killing, and while in plain sight you are going to film them?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
She has no common sense at all.
The Turtles come and knock out all the lights, and defeat the Foot clan. Instead of calling the paper and sharing her story, a real story in which could actually help her break into serious reporting, she takes off after the Turtles trying to get a picture of them. She gets one from far away and of poor quality.
Can’t see anything
To be honest it is their own faults. Why would they hang around the area after fighting of they don’t want to get caught.
So the Turtles grab her and take her phone. Now why would you do that. Okay in the original April is knocked out and Raphael has no idea what to do. He’s not sure if she is seriously hurt and can’t drop her off at a hospital, so he takes her home. In this the girl is far away, taking a photo at night. The best you are going to get is light flashes, black, and blur. Let it go. Who’s going to believe the story of giant turtles anyway?
Get it together!
But NOOO, they decide, let’s reaffirm her ideas we exist by showing ourselves to her and that they we ARE real.
Can’t see anything
And I hate the way they made the Turtles. They don’t look real and in the picture. You can tell they are CGI, they just feel fake. And don’t tell me that “that’s the way CGI works”, we had CGI in 2001 with Lord of the Rings, and the stuff in there looks way better than some of the stuff we have today.
They also say their “real names” in front of her. Come on, these are teenagers who love pop culture and have never read/seen any superhero thing and realized they need to protect their “secret identity.”
Get it together!
After this whole thing, April runs home trying to figure out where she heard those names before. Excuses me? What happened to the hostage story? That’s a good story.She needs to pitch it to her bosses while she works on the other one. This is why an older, established April works. In the other movies, April played up pieces while continuing to research into the complete story.
She goes home and finds her old home videos she made of her dad’s lab before he died. Now let me ask you one question. What are the odds that she would have brought those old tapes with her? More likely they would be home and she would have to ask her mom to check the attic or her room for her old stuff.
And to ease the suckage of this film
Anyways, in the videos she named the four turtles that her father is experimenting on. First of all, how would a six-year old even know the names of four great famous artists like Michaelangelo, Donatello, Raphael, and Leonardo? I mean I knew them because I watched the Ninja Turtles. It makes more sense to have Splinter choose those names out of a book he found.
It turns out that April spent lots of time there, feeding the turtles pizza. Excuse me, would scientists conducting an experiment and heavily monitoring everything, allow the turtles to be feed pizza and possibly skew the results? And why do they only eat cheese pizza in this, turtles eat meat more than dairy?(My niece has a turtle, so I know.)
“Never feed a turtle dairy products, as their stomach cannot properly digest lactose.”
So if they are radioactively changed to eat dairy, why not let them eat everything else on the pizza like in the original, TV show, and comics?
April decides that this is her in with a story.
Meanwhile, in the sewer the turtles try to sneak in, but Splinter catches them. Now Splinter freaks me out.
I can’t look at him. You guys might not have realized this, but rats are creepy looking. And this version of Splinter is the creepiest. At least in the original he was older, cuddly, cute, and pulled on your heartstrings. You know, an animal version of Mr. Miyagi. This one is a more active rat; mean and more of an instructor than a father. Yes in the original, Splinter was their Ninja instructor/master, but he was also their father and moved between both roles, knowing when to discipline and when to love. In this, Splinter was just cruel and cold, no Fatherly twinges at all. They tell Splinter the truth, and he warns them that April will be in danger, they must go save her.
Plus we have the same old plot of Raphael fighting with Leonardo to be the leader. Blah! Boring!
It was great in the first film, and worked for the second, but again? Jeez, guys. DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT!!! It’s boring to repeat the same thing over and over again.
Back on the surface, April has decided that she will give her story of giant Mutant turtles fighting evil and leaving graffiti to her editor in front of everyone. Like that is the stupidest thing I have ever seen. Did she not hear how crazy she sounds? Would she really bring all this with zero proof? Like why? This is dumber than dumb.
And of course she gets fired, like no duh. What were you expecting?
She then she heads over to see Eric Sacks to tell him the turtles exist, and we have that old cliché of going to see someone for help and they are actually evil.
There Eric shares his back story (Why?) and we find out he grew up in Japan where he was abandoned by his father. He was reared by his mentor/martial arts instructor. This instructor told him an ancient story of Japan and a warlord that took over when crime was running rampant or something. I don’t know. He hands her his card in case she needs anything, and April leaves. Obvious tracker is obvious.
Just stop with these stupid clichés!
After April leaves, Eric talk to Shredder who is his mentor that raised him. Now the Shredder in here is boring.
Originally Eric Sacks was supposed to be the Shredder, but they changed that because fans were upset that the Shredder wasn’t going to be Japanese. They then gave both zero character. Shredder has no real motive, reason, or any development.
The original was AWESOME!!! Why? Well we don’t see the Shredder for most of the figure, just his assistant Tatsu. Then when we are introduced to the Shredder, he is awesome. Taking down people, being scary, evil, all-around awesome bad guy. Then we hear Splinter’s tale of his master being killed by Oroku Saki, and how horrible he was. Only in the end to have it revealed that Oroku Saki and the Shredder are the same person.
So April starts looking online to get more information when Donatello hacks into her computer and tells her to meet them at a certain address. Let me tell you that is the creepiest thing I have ever heard. They sound as if they are going to murder her!!
And she actually goes there alone, without telling anybody, the middle of nowhere. Man this girl is just asking to die.
Just do it already, end here.
They take April to the sewers and it is the first film to bridge the actual distance of the fact that they are in a sewer, you know a place where poop is.
So here we have the Bay version of the back story. In the original Splinter’s master, Hamata Yoshi and Oroku Saki were rivals in martial arts and in love. They were supposed to fight to the death for the hand of Tang Shen, but as she loved Yoshi and didn’t want to risk his death, they ran off together to America. Oroku Saki doesn’t give up and years later, he tracks them down and murders them. Splinter becomes incensed and attacks Oroku, disfiguring his face. He gets thrown out and winds up in the sewer coming upon four turtles and radioactive ooze. This mutates them and makes them bigger, smarter, stronger, etc. Splinter changes to, and can read, finding a book on painters, naming his adopted turtle children after the people in the book. They find a home in the sewer where he teaches them the secret art of ninja he witnessed his master doing, now not only remembering but able to teach them.
In Bay’s version, April’s father and Eric Sacks were working on some kind of mutagen that will increase immunity, make you stronger, and the rest unsure of what exactly. They experimented on four turtles and a rat. April’s father was a good scientist only wanting to increase knowledge, while Eric Sacks is evil after money. Same old, same old.
When April’s father figures this out, he tries to destroy everything, by burning down the lab. It’s kind of his fault he died. April somehow was there and rescued the turtles and Splinter releasing them into the sewer. Okay, if April’s father was to destroy a lab with fire, why would he bring his six year old along?
That makes no sense
And why do they always have a bad scientist and a good scientist. It’s boring and been in everything from The Amazing Spider-man to The Fantastic Four. And you notice the father that died is always morally upright. I was thinking that is one of the things that makes Star Wars so awesome. They aren’t afraid to go there, they aren’t afraid to have their hero deal with a moral issue of what is right, should I follow in my father’s footsteps, etc.
So in this after being in the sewer, Splinter just happened to come upon a book on Ninjitsu, teaching himself and then the kids. That’s as stupid as when Danny is trying to teach himself karate in The Karate Kid. You can’t learn martial arts from a book. Especially Ninjitsu. Ninjitsu isn’t a real martial art, the Ninjas were assassins, the only way to learn is to be taught. It is the dumbest thing I have ever heard and the dumbest backstory ever!
And if the rat is from America and grew up in a lab how does he know so much about Japan? The culture, the essence, etc? If the film took place earlier, it might work as the ’90s were a plethora of ninja things. But in this version, the film takes place in 2014, the turtles are 15-16, which means that the kids and Splinter start their “mutant” life in 1998-1999, meaning they grew up in the 2000s. That means that Splinter should know nothing about Ninjas, Japan, etc. If anything, they should be obsessed with cops and CSI.
So back on Shredder, Eric Sacks has given him an ugly robotic suit. Just no, no, no, no.
And with Shredder, why do you keep putting his face in shadow? You already showed us his face, why bother?
Get it together!
So the Shredder comes with the Foot to take down the Turtles and kidnap them for their blood. They trip the alarm. And booby traps. Wait no, no, no that is not what happens. In a world where the Turtles have every kind of tech in the world that exists and more that Donatello made, they have nothing whatsoever to protect their hideout?
really? I can’t stand this movie.
In the original it made sense, the only tech they had was cable. They lived off what they scrounged. So they don’t have any booby traps or worries about people finding them. In this, they have a gargantuan amount of tech, but no security system? These boys read superhero comics and watch TV, they should have thought to have something.
This is what I would like to do to the stupid in this film.
So Shredder and Splinter fight. I do like how Splinter is younger and can fight, using his tail to as a weapon. But it was kind of sad too, as Splinter is no longer Mr. Miyagi, but now Jackie Chan. However, there is a weird dynamic between the two. Shredder and Splinter act as if they are mortal enemies, but why?
That makes no sense
In this film they have no connection to each other. They know nothing of each other, really. In the original they fight because Splinter ruined his face, and when Shredder sees him, he becomes enraged. In this Shredder even calls Splinter a “father”. How would he know that?
It is so stupid! It makes no sense!!!!
I hate the Shredder’s fighting style too. In the original he was a master martial artist and we see him actually fight. In this one, it’s more the tech on his suit. BORING!!!
They knock Splinter out (dropping a wall on him), and Raphael. They steal the other three.
As April only has a bike, she calls up Vernon to help them. When he gets there she tells him she needs a ride to the Sacks estate as they need to save the TMNT.
Jeez April, Vernon hasn’t been spending every moment with her, he doesn’t know what’s what. You need to give it to him a bit slower. You sound like a psycho.
Raphael reveals himself, and they all head off to the Sacks estate.
At the Sacks estate, Eric reveals his evil plans. They want their blood to make an antidote for a virus they created and will be releasing onto the world. The reason? MONEY!!! People dying will pay through the nose for it. Even though Eric is a gazillionare, he wants more. Like world domination would make way more sense than money?
really? I can’t stand this movie.
April and Vernon crash into the estate and go in to save the turtles. As they are fighting, they manage to release the turtles giving them shots of adrenaline. Now I tried to discover of this would really help, and it seems adrenaline can reduce blood loss, but there was nothing there on bringing people back after massive blood loss. I’m saying, they died. The end.
The group hijacks a truck and makes there way down to save the day. Now this scene has some stupid parts, but it was pretty cool. The only thing I hate, they made Donatello more than the nerdy one, they downright Urkeled him. I hate that.
really? I can’t stand this movie.
The elevator scene, probably the best part in the whole series. Cute and funny.
They go to do the final fight with Shredder and I hated it. It was boring, cliche, and there is no way they would have survived.
April manages to secure the mutagen. She later attacks Shredder trying to channel Indigo Montoya but failing.
The Turtles then band together with a maneuver that allows them to push Shredder off the roof. Donnie goes to stop the toxin’s release as Shredder pulls himself back up. Leo, Raph, and Mikey continue to hold him off, and Donnie is able to stop the release with a second to spare. Shredder then tries to knock the top of the tower down, and the Turtles try holding it back as April gets to the roof and shows off the mutagen to Shredder to distract him. The top of the tower comes crashing down as Shredder lunges at April and throws them both off.
What was the Shredder’s plan here? Run toward crumbling architecture?
They hang on for dear life, and the Turtles try to save April. Shredder tries to finish them off, but Leo throws his katana at him, causing Shredder to lose balance and fall to the ground.
We know he doesn’t die as you can’t really kill the Shredder. He’s always needed for the sequel.
Get it together!
The top of the tower comes loose, taking April and the Turtles with it. Then we hear this really boring thing from Raphael, blah blah blah. I’ve already checked out.
And when everything is done, EVERYONE HAS SEEN THE TURTLES!!! WORST NINJAS EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
In the end Vernon still trying to put the moves on April, and failing. We end with Happy Together a sad song about hoping you aren’t dumped instead of the awesome and pumping turtle power or Go Ninja or anything.
It pretty much it sucked and was absolutely horrible. Once again, Michael Bay trying to destroy everything I love.
Why did they ever have to remake it?
And to ease the suckage of this film
But there is one good thing to come out of this: How It Should Have Ended
Jaws really is revolutionary movie. It is an amazing piece of cinema that breaks a lot of previous horror film rules. It focuses on both the people and the creature they are trying to kill. The camera uses are unparalleled. Instead of constantly being shown the shark (as it malfunctioned a lot) it is filmed from the shark’s point of [something down later in Friday the 13th (1980)] which adds to the terror of the film.
This also was the first “summer blockbuster” film. It opened on 409 screens nationwide (unusual for the time) and quickly became the highest grossing film of all time. Previous to Jaws, they would show the film on a few screens and then move the picture around. This mass-screening, all-over at the same time became so popular that it set the standard for what film companies do today. Jaws lost its place as the highest grossing film of all time in 1977 when Star Wars IV: A New Hope came out.
This film also brought a huge interest in sharks and marine biology. Now previous to this film you had monster movies and horror films that were about sea creatures attacking. Films such as The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms were you have some radioactive created creature that is ginormous and attacks the world. Or the mythological fishman from TheCreature from the Black Lagoon. Godzilla, being another radioactively changed creature that is trying to destroy or protect the city. It Came From Beneath the Sea a giant octopus that causes havoc and destruction. The Monster that Challenged the World where giant mollusks come out of a crevice in the ground and try to kill everyone. But have you noticed something? All of these are large creatures, most of the time accidentally or purposely genetically altered. Or fake, such as the fishman. None of these were an actual creature that you could come into contact with…like a great white shark. Not only is Bruce (the shark in the film, named after Steven Spielberg’s lawyer) something real and normal-sized; but he’s just freaky! The book and the film both present actual data (although more studies proved some of the behavior previously associated with great whites are false) and an actual creature you could come upon. I mean great white sharks have over 300 teeth, they can get to be over 21 feet long, they are pretty fast swimmers, can jump out of the water, and are constant eating machines. How could you not be afraid?
But just like Spielberg’s other film Jurassic Park made dinosaurs the “it” thing (and they have been ever since, although never as on top as in the ’90s) Jaws made sharks really cool. And they remain so. I remember back in grade school sharks were just so awesome! We had a guy come to our class that did a whole presentation on sharks, and everyone was riveted. And people still remain so. Sharks will never stop being cool. I mean after all, ever summer we have a week devoted to them, Shark Week, on the Discovery channel. Buzzfeed even did a quiz on “What Type of Shark are You”. And did I take this quiz you may ask? You bet I did!
Yep, Jaws is pretty amazing. So I’m sure you are now ready for the review, but I’m not about to go there just yet. So Jaws is based on the book by the same name, authored by Peter Benchley. The book was okay, but I preferred the movie. Unlike the book Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton; Jaws the book doesn’t hold a candle to the film version. This mostly has to do with the way they create the characters in the book. Hooper in the film is a an arrogant-rich kid, but you like him because he really gets involved in his work, and loses some of that stigma as the film progresses. In the book he is always annoying and he has an affair with Brody’s wife. The whole affair took away from the storyline and seemed tossed in, rather than attempting to flow.
Now the film on the other hand, follow the story pretty closely, but takes out the extra action not really needed. Plus the people they chose where just perfect. Roy Scheider was an amazing Chief Brody, balancing being a tough police chief, with a scared i-don’t-know-what-to-do everyday person. Richard Dreyfuss, as I mentioned earlier, smoked it as Hooper the marine biologist/rich kid. And Robert Shaw. No one will ever hold a candle to your Quint, no matter how the world may try.
So now let’s get back to film review-wait, wait wait. Let me say one last thing. So it feels really weird to be talking about this film without mentioning a few more memories. So let me say I have seen every Jaws film created, even the incredibly horrible ones (as pretty much each sequel was). I actually watched them all at a really young age with my older sister Paige. They were doing a movie marathon and we sat down and saw them all (which took a long time as these are not short films). When I was older, I actually couldn’t remember the finer points of the film, the biggest thing that stuck in my mind was the SeaWorld underwater tunnels and shark attack in Jaws 3-D.
Now every 4th of July I used to do the same thing. I would watch the Twilight Zone marathons that they would show on the SciFi, now SyFy, channel. (I know, I know. I’m a huge fan, but have yet to review any episode for a Horrorfest. I promise I will do at least one next year.) SyFy stopped doing this for a while (they have since brought it back but every year is iffy). Now AMC does some movie marathons on the 4th of July that usually had some patriotic feeling (like Rocky). One year they did a Jaws marathon, as the 4th of July plays a huge role in the film. I watched it that year and loved it all over again. Now my tradition trades off between Twilight Zone and Jaws every 4th of July.
So now we are seriously back on to the film review.
First let’s set the mood. It is the summer of 1975. Many families, young adults, teens, etc. are vacationing at beaches. Amity Island (where our story takes place) is one such beach. It is located on the east coast (a sort of Martha’s Vineyard that poor and rich can afford). On this particular night there are quite a few college age kids having bonfires on the beach. They are drinking beer, toking up (it is the ’70s), etc. One guy, Tom Cassidy, spots a blonde, Chrissie. The two run off away from the crowd to “be alone”.
As they get far from the crowds, Chrissie begins stripping and invites Tom in for some moonlight skinny dipping. She dives in right away and Tom tries to follow. However, he is far too bombed and collapses on the beach.
Chrissie is unaware and continues to swim. This is the last swim she will ever take.
The next day we are introduced to Martin Brody, the new Chief of Police. Brody is a native of New York City, but he and his family moved out to take over the Amity Island police force as they thought it would be easier, simpler and less deadly.
Anyways, we’ll get into that later. So Chief Brody (Scheider) has been called to go looking for Chrissie. He and his deputy Hendricks, go down to the beach to search for clues. It doesn’t take them long until they discover her corpse.
Back at the police station he gets asked to deal with the usual cases of the day; kids karate chopping down fences and other stuff. It seems to be business as usual until the report comes back. It states Shark Attack.
Immediately, Brodie runs to the hardware store to pick up materials to make sign to close the beaches.
However, the Mayor doesn’t like that. He knows that if word gets around that there are sharks in the water he can say good-bye to all those summer dollars.
Without that money, the winter will be hard on everyone. These people depend on the summer dollars to keep the island going year round. The Mayor convinces the coroner to “take a second look” of which causes the coroner to determine he had made “a mistake”. There was no shark attack, just a boating accident as she swam into a propeller.
Since that is the decision, Brody can’t do anything but allow the beaches to remain open. But this is all against his better judgement.
But hey, he is a newcomer that lives in a small town. He has to play the politics. Even if they have dire consequences.
So as time goes on more tourists come to the island. The beaches are stock full of visitors. Brody is worried and nervously scans the water. Everything is fine…until it isn’t.
I just love that scene when they zoom into Brodie’s face. It is fantastic. So Bruce sure did a number.
After her son’s death, Mrs. Kitner issues a $3000 reward for the capture of the shark. The town holds a meeting in which Brody lets them know he contacted someone from the Oceanographic Institute for advice. Brody wants to close down the beaches, but no one will listen. The fighting is interrupted by Quint, in one of the best scenes.
So great it was spoofed:
Brody goes home and orders his children to go nowhere near the water, even though his son Michael just got a new boat. Brody’s wife Ellen thinks he is overreacting, that is until she looks at the pictures in his shark book. She then firmly decides that staying out of the water is a great idea.
With such a high bounty, everyone wants to kill the shark. Expert fishermen from all over. Average joes. Everybody.
Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) comes to town, as he is the person from the Oceanographic Institute. He has an interesting background. Hooper was a rich boy that was into science and became a marine biologist. This can often be something that is hard to fund, so his parents + trust fund really come in handy.
Anyways, once Brody finds out who he is, has has him take a look at the remains.
“[Hooper is examining the remains of the first victim – describes the post-mortem into his tape recorder]
Hooper: The height and weight of the victim can only be estimated from the partial remains. The torso has been severed in mid-thorax; there are no major organs remaining…Right arm has been severed above the elbow with massive tissue loss in the upper musculature… partially denuded bone remaining…[to the m.e. and Brody] This was no boat accident! [to Brody] Did you notify the Coast Guard about this?
Brody: No. It was only local jurisdiction.
Hooper: [continues post-mortem] The left arm, head, shoulders, sternum and portions of the rib cage are intact…[to Brody] Do not smoke in here, thank you very much. [lifts up the severed arm] This is what happens. It indicates the non-frenzied feeding of a large squalus – possibly Longimanus or Isurus glauca. Now… the enormous amount of tissue loss prevents any detailed analysis; however the attacking squalus must be considerably larger than any normal squalus found in these waters. Didn’t you get on a boat and check out these waters?
Hooper: Well, this is not a boat accident! And it wasn’t any propeller; and it wasn’t any coral reef; and it wasn’t Jack the Ripper! It was a shark.
Meanwhile, out on the ocean, some fishermen have caught a large shark. Everyone is happy to see it and that the reign of terror is over. The monster has been slain.
Hooper steps up to investigate the shark:
And tells everyone that it is the wrong shark. It is a tiger shark, not a great white. The bite radius is all wrong. They decide to keep the beaches closed until they can cut him open and see if the remains are inside it. Before they leave, Mrs. Kinter arrives and slaps Brody across the face. She heard about the deaths and how they suspected sharks were in the area and blames Brody for everything.
Now Brody just takes this as he blames himself, but I always hated that. It wasn’t his fault! He wanted to stop them from keeping the beaches open. It was the greedy, evil mayor who wouldn’t listen.
Mayor from Buffy the vampire slayer
Well, I guess he could be much worse.
So Hooper joins the Brody clan for dinner. Now in the book, Ellen knew Hooper’s older brother and the two just spent the time reminiscing. They later had an affair. Luckily Speilberg was smart enough to cut that out, and they instead discuss the situation. Hooper explains that a rogue shark will often claim territory to an area where the feeding is good and will remain there until the food source is gone. In order to protect the town, they decide they need to get down there and cut that shark open.
No human remains means that the real shark is out there. Bruce? Where are you hiding?
Here I am!
Hooper decides they have to go out that night as the Great White Shark is a night feeder. Now Brody hates the water, as we mentioned earlier, but goes out with Hooper. Using Hooper’s fancy equipment, they pick up a fishing boat, that Brody recognizes as Ben Gardner’s. Hooper dives under and finds one big surprise.
The next morning Brody and Hooper try to get the Mayor to listen to them, but all the Mayor is thinking about is the graffiti on the Amity Island billboard.
Sign from Universal Studios Backstage Tour
Hooper has figured out that the shark that is attacking is a great white. The evidence all points to it and they need to close the beaches down. But the mayor won’t listen to him. Hooper lost the Great White Shark tooth he found and the Mayor sees it as tooo convinent. He believes that Hooper is just trying to spread a sensation as he wants to be written up in the National Geographic or something. However, that’s not the real truth. To be honest, the Mayor is just thinking about making money over saving lives.
Bad things happen when you don’t listen
July 4th the beaches are flooded. This is not good, not good at all. Brody, Hooper, and the cops are constantly patrolling the beaches, but all are on edge as they are waiting…waiting for the shark to attack.
Michael, Brody’s son, wants to go in the water, but Brody won’t let him. He tells him to go to the estuary instead as it is safer.
You never learn
Suddenly a shark fin appears in the water
But it turns out to be just a prank. Some stupid kids decided to dress as a shark. Seriously guys, what were you thinking?
While everyone is watching this and dealing with it…not too far away something happens.
A girl painting down by the estuary see’s a shark. She starts crying out the word, but most think it is a hoax. Brody starts to head over, but when he hears his son is down there he runs like crazy.
Now this is a great scene but I can’t find a good clip of it online. You’ll just have to watch the film! So Michael and his friends get capsized along with another guy. The shark devours tons of people, including the man that tried to help them.
Here I am!
Michael makes it out okay, but suffers severely from shock. Brody takes him to the hospital and yells at the Mayor, demanding that he pay all of Quints commands and let’s him kill the shark.
So the three set out to catch that fish, even though they face some issues. Quint wants to go it alone, but Brody insists that he and Hooper have to come along. Quints dislikes Hooper as he sees him as some rich boy having fun with daddy’s money, not a real fisherman or worker like Quint. Quint also dislikes having Brody as he knows nothing about fish or fishing, but at least he’s not afraid to get his hands dirty. Hooper is tired of the all the “you don’t know nothing, kid” crap he is getting from Quint and also annoyed at Brody. Brody has a fear of the water that he is trying to overcome, managing two grown men who are acting like children, and is afraid that he might not make it home to see family. There is a lot of stuff going on.
Once at sea they start getting ready for the hunt. Baiting lines. Chumming the water. And that is when we have the most famous lines from the film uttered. (You know it wasn’t even scripted. Scheider just uttered it in the heat of the moment.)
And that is when the real hunting begins!
That night the guys get drunk and start bonding. Singing drinking songs. Comparing scars and wounds. You know, the typical guy stuff. But that’s when things get serious and Quint describes his hatred for sharks.
At this moment, its not about the money. It’s not about the fame. Quint has become Captain Ahab, and he wants his whale…or shark in this case.
In fact this is one of the most dramatic scenes in the film as you get the underlying reason why this is so important to him. Of course as it is one of the most famous scenes, it has to be parodied.
Back to the film. The next day the hunt continues. They try and take the shark but Bruce proves to more powerful than they expected. They tried to reel it on, but it nearly capsized the Orca. Hooper decides to be lowered down in a shark cage to shoot Bruce with a harpoon filled with strychnine nitrate.
Hooper manages to escape the shark. This was were he was supposed to die, but then Speilberg changed his mind. After attacking Hooper, Bruce decides to go after the ship.
Pic of the shark from the Universal Backstage Tour ride
He crushes it and causes it to lean toward him. Brody and Quint struggle to hold on, but Quint loses his grip and finds himself in the belly of the beast.
Brody takes on killing the shark all by himself. This is why Brody is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
One Shark Week on Discovery channel they actually tested out everything in the film. They discovered that if you shot a tank from the 1970s you could blow up a shark. You just have to shoot it right.
Hooper finally gets his act together and meets up with Brody, the two creating a raft and swimming off in the distance.
“I used to be afraid of the water,” Brody admits.
“I can’t imagine why,” Hooper replies.
But that’s not the end of the post. Oh, no we still have a bit more to cover. 🙂
So for my 20th birthday, my parents told me we could do whatever I wanted. It was the last time they were going to throw a party for me. I really wanted to go to Disneyland as the last time I had gone was when I was 12 (I went recently and will do a post on what it was like later). I decided on Universal Studios as it was much cheaper, and they were having a special for their anniversary that you buy a pass, you get in free for the year! Sweet!
So as we entered the gates, I was asked by a worker to fill out a survey for a free gift. You know me and free.
So I did and we got to skip the lines for the Backstage Studio Tour! Whooooooooooo!!!!!
So you see all kinds of cool things on that tour, but I’m not going to speak on everything. We gotta stay Jaws focused here. So at one point we drive to Amity Island.
Sign from Universal Studios Backstage Tour
We see the fake shark that they thought was Bruce but wasn’t.
Then we things get intense. Bruce attacks!
There were actually three Bruces created for the film. The first one is passed along museums, the second is at Universal studios, and the third privately owned. After Bruce attacks, they blow him up!
It’s so intense! The flames feel so close! It’s AWESOME!
Later I got to see Brody’s actual costume in the Universal Pictures Museum (that’s where I saw the Marty McFly one from Back to the Future: Part III).
But that’s not the end! So the other day a friend and I were discussing Jaws and Bruce’s motives.
Anjelica: Is this a horror movie? Or is it an animal, drama/history movie about a misunderstood shark that only wants hugs from others, but his eating disorder and anger issues gets in the way?
Me: Horror film. He is purposely hunting down Brody and his family, as seen in the sequels.
Anjelica: “Hunting down” or passionately pursuing the family he always wanted to have. Jaws should just befriend, Orca: The Killer Whale. lol
Me: I have changed my view on Bruce the shark. So Quint was in a shark attack but survived. He was supposed to die in it but somehow cheated death. Bruce is a supernatural entity (that’s why he can’t really die and comes back in the 3 sequels) in the guise of a shark that has been hunting him down to right that past wrong. He finally succeeds in killing him and is supposed to take Hooper too (as he dies in the book and original draft of the script) but Brody gets in the way. In fact Brody manages to destroy his “earthly form”. Then Bruce becomes angry and falls from his post (like Davy Jones in the Pirates films) and starts hunting for Brody, along with taking down all of his family.
So there we have it. I have officially joined the dark side. I have fully become a tumblr with that last comment.
So there we go. One of the best horror films that have affected us as people so strongly. People are afraid to swim because of this movie. Ever summer one week on the Discovery Channelis devoted to sharks. The theme is so AWESOME!!!!! I mean every time you go in water you have to hum it.
It is one amazing film. If you haven’t seen it, watch it. If you have seen it, watch it again.
And that’s the real end. I swear. Hope you enjoyed it!