December 17, 2013

Sharknado Is Sure To Be A Whirlwind

Sharknado
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If Shark Week can’t possibly come soon enough for you to possibly get your fix of maritime violence, the Syfy channel has something that you should watch RIGHT NOW.

Syfy press release:

Up in the sky. It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No, it’s a … shark! A supersized storm sucks sharks from the ocean and hurls them onto land in the new Syfy Original Movie Sharknado, premiering Thursday, July 11 at 9PM (ET/PT).

Also, if, Sharknado, isn’t the greatest straight to Syfy movie idea you’ve ever seen, then clearly you need to adjust something about the way you watch your straight to TV movies, and video altogether for that matter.   “But what makes this movie so great?”  Well, strap on your big-boy pants, and I’ll break it down for you, whether you want it or not, (you probably do).

The title:

First and foremost, the title reaches out, grabs the viewers, and convinces them that this is not a waste of time, but a necessary endeavor, for science! Or… entertainment, probably not science at all, actually.  Let’s start with the original working title, Dark Skies.  It’s pretty generic sounding, and doesn’t really give you an idea of what could possibly happen, making it suspenseful, but uninteresting.

THANK GOD that somebody decided to change the name to something that gives away the entire movie in one word: Sharknado  No word yet if this word will be added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, but it’s absolutely going to be utilized in my own personal vocabulary as much as is humanly possible.

The Cast:

These are the faces that you’re going to be looking at for the next hour and a half, so the cast absolutely needs to be put together well.  The term, “all-star” doesn’t quite describe this cast list so much as, “mix-n-match.”  There is a distinct formula for success that I think I see in this film.

Start off with somebody big(-ish), someone with a recognizable name and face to bring people in.  Cue Tara Reid.  She’s not necessarily America’s sweetheart, but sweethearts weren’t made for living through Sharknados.  Let her play the ex-wife of the protagonist; maybe a shark will eat her?  From there, sprinkle in actors who have held the limelight briefly, but aren’t too big to save America, and therefore the world, from the worst shark-related weather patterns ever recorded.

Then make sure that their names work for them and the story.  Enter Ian Ziering, playing a bar owner named “Fin.”  See what they did there? Right away, you know the guy named Fin, who owns a bar, and therefore has management experience, is gonna have a pretty huge role in this movie.

Next, throw in another actress to play a bartender/potential love interest to the guy from, “Beverly Hills, 90210.”  Is that chick from the fourth “Bring it On” movie busy?  She’s not? PERFECT!  If you’re wondering, her name is Cassie Scerbo, and she’s apparently insignificant enough for her name to be spelled wrong on the official press release of Sharknado.  How embarrassing…

Now, the cast is looking pretty young, and despite Fin’s obvious leadership skills, a wise older mentor could prove invaluable if the city of Los Angeles were to ever be attacked by sharks from the sky.  Enter John Heard, ever heard of him? He was only the father from Home Alone AND Home Alone 2, THE ONLY HOME ALONE MOVIES THAT EXIST IN MY MIND (Home Alone 3 and 4 were just sad).  But what’s Papa McCallister doing in this beachside bar with those young world-savers anyway?  Drinking away his obvious millions?  Who cares what he’s doing, there’s no time for questions, the Sharknado is coming!

The Plot:

So now that you’ve got Tara Reid, a 90210 regular turned Chippendales dancer, a drunken version of the dad from Home Alone, and an on-screen cheerleader/gymnast/dance revolutionary, the only question is, what can we make them do?  (SEE TITLE)  SHARKNADO?  The promotional poster says, “Enough said!” and I’ve never been one to argue with printed word about tornados overflowing with sharks.

If there is so much as any semblance to a multi-faceted plot in this movie, I will be astonished.  The major storyline of a tornado overflowing with man-eating sharks is more than enough to get the ball rolling.  I’m sure those superstar actors can add-lib the rest of the back-story as they film it.

The Budget:

As important as all other factors are in making a good film, the budget can, but doesn’t necessarily have to, make or break a film.  This film was produced to go straight to the paramount of Syfy’s Saturday movie marathon lineup stardom for years to come.  Yet somehow, they pulled this thing off with just about a $1 million budget, which shocks me.

I mean, I figured a couple of cartons of cigarettes would be more than enough for Tara Reid, but I didn’t think Peter McCallister would get out of bed for anything so low!  For cryin’ out loud, he’s got the whole extended family mooching off of him!  Throw in the Chippendales dancer, who was probably paid exclusively in $1 bills, and I don’t even know how they managed to pay the rest of the crew, let alone the girl from the fourth Bring it On movie.

I assume this is one of those Miami Heat situations, where all parties involved looked at this opportunity and got the idea that money isn’t nearly as important as being a part of a movie in which sharks are swimming through the streets of Los Angeles and literally falling from the sky.  See, money doesn’t always buy happiness.

What have we learned here?

Well, probably not much.  The odds of a Sharknado happening in my lifetime are sadly very low, not that I’m asking for that kind of hell on earth, but because I’d love to see just how close these filmmaking visionaries got their story to the real deal.

But if you would like to have SOME knowledge from this whole ordeal, imagine the reality behind all the sharks going from the ocean to the streets.

No more sharks means no more shellfish at Fin’s beachside bar.  They never said rebuilding would be easy, and it looks like “Turf & Turf” would be the only thing on the menu for quite awhile, assuming there’s a sequel that picks up at the end of this movie.

I hope that there’s a sequel to Sharknado already in the works.  Just to be safe, I’m probably just going to start writing one anyway.

By Kevin Cardoni

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