Deep Blue Sea – First View Movie Review (With YouTube Clips)

deep blue sea team in aquatica lab
Well, the sharks are smarter now, so we’ll be best friends, right?

I just watched 1999s Deep Blue Sea for the first time, during Shark Week 2019. DBS is sort of like Jurassic World if the Mosasaurus started hunting the lab techs. With some Samuel L Jackson on the side — although someone else got his famous line. And there’s a nod to Jaws. (Licence plate, but I’m sure you noticed this right away.)

Did I have fun watching Deep Blue Sea?

You betcha!

Is it realistic?

Um. Maybe some of it could be? But mostly, no — sharks don’t seem driven by vengeance and testosterone, even if they’ve become seven times smarter by evil tech (with the best intentions, actually). Carter’s (Thomas Jane) last minute explanation of the super-sharks’ behavior works far better. I can see how the sharks might have had that plan. Shades of Aliens there — “How could they cut the power, man?! They’re animals!” And the first Jurassic Park itself: “Because we’re being hunted.”

Also, the science is a little dodgy.

I’m getting nowhere without going into spoilers, so let me continue this part and move on.

The Aquatica Set is the Star of the Film

The undersea laboratory Aquatica is an extraordinary  base for action film-making. Deep Blue Sea makes use of the whole design, conceptually. Think about it: in the water, you move around in three dimensions, rather than the two surface dwellers usually contend with. This set design fully uses all dimensions and directions, including the logic of going down to go up.

There’s the above-sea catwalks and the sky tower, set around a Sea-World-type shark enclosure. Then there’s the undersea high-tech lab levels, complete with a pressure-sealed shark bay and the obligatory bank of monitors.

Also, there’s the fancy Five Star stainless steel kitchen. Somehow this place (with only a half-dozen staff I could see) employs a full time chef. Who is also a Preacher. (Go with it, because the kitchen scenes are worth it…and ALSO call back to a certain iconic Jurassic Park scene.)

Then the lower levels feel much like sets from submarine movies — cramped, utilitarian maintenance passageways, full of ladders, bottomless shafts, and Jeffries Tubes. 😉 The story starts above the ocean, moves midway to around 60 feet under the sea, drops you down to the ocean floor…and agonizingly crawls back to the surface. This has to be one of the most creative uses of set concept I’ve seen. (Plus, the shaft here makes actual sense, unlike the ubiquitous chasms in the Star Wars Galaxy of films.)

I’m reminded a lot of the cool little film Escape Room from last year. Each set is a ‘room’, tasking the dwindling group of survivors with puzzles to solve to level up towards freedom.

Getting What You Expect in a Shark Film

Overall: Deep Blue Sea is a lot of fun, and you get what you expect in a shark movie…people torn apart and/or eaten whole, guessing who’s the last one standing (or swimming), wondering how the sharks will die in the end.

IF THEY DO. Is there a shark film out there where the shark kills all the people and gets away?

deep blue sea shark fin
Most of the shark scenes are in darkness like this. Remember, this is 1999. It’s a dodge, like having all the T-Rex scenes at night and in the rain in Jurassic Park.

Spoilers ahead for Deep Blue Sea:

You’ve been warned.

Spoilers ahead.

Really. Who lives and dies:

I absolutely wanted the Chef/Preacher to survive. I didn’t realize he was LL Cool J until the credits rolled: I just really liked his character. J had the best scenes. I loved his rude little parrot, how he hid in his own oven (yikes), and intelligently dispatched his shark.

He should have died in the explosion, but this is a movie, and here’s the thing in film: if you don’t see a dead body, you can’t take assume someone is dead. And sometimes, not even after that. (As with Zombies, decapitation of the head helps. (Unless you’re in an X-Files film.)

I was thrilled with the continuity of the flaming fragments from the kitchen level raining down the elevator shaft. The crew had to worry about hypothermia, burning rain from above, ravenously mean sharks below, and drowning as each submerged level burst open… all while climbing rickety emergency ladders that kept breaking to pieces. It could have felt over-the-top campy, but it just played right.

Who Lives, Who Dies

The deaths we did get were interesting choices. Stellan Skarsgård’s death was well executed, providing an eerie, chilling thrill that stands out as the single best scene. I was sad to lose him so early on.

This scene rocks: 

Also, shall we mourn for Jackson, whose moment we should have seen coming, but never expected (and so unceremoniously)? The A-listers are supposed to survive, right?

The bird getting eated was…shocking. That was in 1999. That kind of thing (pet deaths, unless it’s in a ‘dog movie’) doesn’t happen much these days. Didn’t even the rat survive in The Abyss?

Then, the lead scientist (Saffron Burrows) getting swallowed whole? That seemed like some Old Testament shit right there, based on the  Jurassic Park “messing with nature” theme, and Preacher’s constant commentaries to God, a la LadyHawke.

Normally the alpha female would  be the sole survivor in a shark film. This gal was smart (she took down her shark handily), had a mission that really would have helped people, and had chemistry with Carter, the manly man of the group. I salute the writers for taking the less obvious route. Her self sacrifice redeems her character, if you feel she needed redeeming. She legit wanted to cure brain aliments that devastate millions of patients and their families. She just took some morally dark shortcuts to get there, and the implication is she paid for it with her life.

These sharks don’t act like real animals, but that’s because of Man’s Hubris/Interference, so I’m okay with this. Normally it’s a pet peeve of mine when an animal acts like a “monster.” But these are chimeras, with new rules I guess, and their plan was to escape to the Deep Blue Sea (ahem) more than anything else, and whatever, and it’s not worth working this out.

Should you see Deep Blue Sea?

See Deep Blue Sea if you like action-adventure and don’t mind some mild gore. This barely classifies as horror. I looked away once, and that wasn’t even too nasty (poor Scoggs — Michael Rapaport — he was cool. I like smart people in movies).

If you can handle the Jurassic Park and Aliens films, you’re good to go. Toss in some philosophy about the ethics of “saving mankind through DNA fun”, and you’ve got a super enjoyable B monster movie. I enjoyed this one greatly, as I work my way through shark films over Shark Week, just before 47 Meters 2 premiers.

Recommended!

Movie Grade: B

More of RunPee’s Shark Movie Reviews:

Movie Review – Glass

Movie Review - GlassGlass is one of those movies the fans love and the rest of the world does not. My theater was packed with die-hard Shyamalan fans. There were laughs, and applause throughout the movie. I polled a few fans as they were leaving and it was unanimous; they loved it. And for that, I give the movie a B+.

I’ll begin my own personal review by saying, I was really wowed by the first two movies in the trilogy. M. Night Shyamalan always does an excellent job of developing characters, and his exposition is the best in the business. Just by inserting a well-placed piece of dialog, or one small scene, can reveal volumes about the character.

What do you do when your three lead characters (with giant personalities) have already had their own movie, and now share the screen for a final showdown? That was done well in the Marvel Universe, but fell a little short in Glass.

Honestly, I wanted more Beast and less Glass. Watching James McAvoy change personalities was wonderful. How could you ever be bored watching a one man show up with 23 different characters?

There was so much exposition packed into this movie that at times I was a little frustrated. The dialog was very good, with no wasted words or protracted gibberish. The plot was obvious, thanks to the 95 or so trailers that hit the media a few weeks ago, but the film still managed to throw in a few surprises and twists.

The ending left me totally unsatisfied; I expected one of those scenes that leaves your jaw on the floor, and your knees weak, but all I felt was a bit confused, with one big WTF.

Grade: B+

About The Peetimes: This was a very difficult movie for Peetimes. The action and suspense was just about non-stop, and every scene led into another equally important plot development. I recommend the 2nd Peetime, because after that there’s no other opportunity to squeeze in a 4 minute break.

There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Glass. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Rated (PG-13) for violence including some bloody images, thematic elements, and language
Genres: Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

Movie Review – Split

Quiz – M. Night Shyamalan Movies

Quiz – M. Night Shyamalan & his Cameo Roles

Quiz – Samuel L. Jackson and his Mother “Frakking” Movies

Quiz – Classic and New Bruce Willis Movies

Quiz – Samuel L. Jackson and his Mother “Frakking” Movies

How well do you know Samuel L. Jackson? I’ll bet you’ve seen almost everything he’s done. He can be funny, serious, and even scary at will. I’ll describe the plot: you tell me the movie.

Samuel L. Jackson

I'll describe a Samuel L. Jackson movie, you name the movie.

Thanks for stopping by. If you love quizzes, use the quiz tag to find and take them all!

Why You Need to Care About Carol Danvers – Captain Marvel Facts and Film Updates

brie larson as captain marvel for the mcu
Who is this young woman, and how can she possibly fight Thanos?

Have you noticed the Captain Marvel trailers dropping for the upcoming March 8, 2019 film, set within the (admittedly large and dense) Marvel Cinematic Universe? There’s a lot of speculation on who exactly Ms. Marvel is, how she’s going to fit into the Avengers ongoing storyline, why the movie will be set in the past, and what we need to know before we see the flick. Rest assured, you don’t need to catch up on years of Captain Marvel comic books to follow along — we’ll tell you the few things we think will help get you up to speed.

There are some slight spoilers here, but nothing to fret over if you’ve seen the trailers at all. (Skip this post if you want to be completely in the dark.)

RunPee writer Golden Man, of the Oscar-awards oriented blog Etched In Gold, lists these cool details to help you better understand Carol Danvers (AKA Captain Marvel):

— In the comic books, Carol Danvers was known as Ms. Marvel, until taking over the mantle of Captain Marvel in 2012.

— The movie draws inspiration from the 1970s comic storyline The Kree-Skrull War.

— Skrulls are the villains in the movie. They have the ability to simulate other people (like the old lady on the train in the trailer).

— There are rumors this movie will plant the seeds for a future film based on the 2008 Secret Invasion storyline, where Skrulls impersonated many famous characters from the Marvel universe.

— The movie is set in the late ’90s. This basically makes it a prequel to the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe.

— In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Samuel L. Jackson confirmed we will find out what happened to Nick Fury’s eye in this movie.

— A young Agent Coulson appears in the movie. (That is Clark Gregg taking off his sunglasses in the latest trailer.)

— This movie makes the first time Marvel Studios has used de-aging effects on actors for an entire film (for Samuel L. Jackson and Clark Gregg).

— Lee Pace’s character Ronan the Accuser (who menaced the Guardians of the Galaxy in Volume 1) will reappear in this movie.

— Lashana Lynch plays Maria Rambeaux. In the comics, her daughter Monica also takes on the mantle of Captain Marvel at some point. (She is also known by other superhero names.)

— Captain Marvel is confirmed to be appearing in Avengers: Endgame.

— While a sequel is likely, Marvel is remaining super secretive about Phase Four and no movies have been officially announced beyond Spiderman: Far From Home.

Here’s the first Captain Marvel trailer to get you started. It’s less than two minutes long, but packed with great (albeit lightning-quick) details  — things you’ll understand better after reading our tips:

1st Captain Marvel Trailer Finally Drops – Comments and Speculation

Avengers 4 Endgame – First Trailer Review

A Slightly More Than Casual Fan’s Reaction to Avenger 4 Trailer 1

The 5 Movies You Need To Watch Before Infinity War

Movie Review – Guardians Of The Galaxy – The Marvel Movie that Changed Everything


Bio: Golden Man loves comedies, romantic films, superhero movies, and awards bait. He blogs about the Oscar race all year long at Etched In Gold.

Virgin Review – Legend of Tarzan

Hey, Mo Fo, no WAY was I going to lick that gorilla’s butt. I don’t care what you say.

I thoroughly enjoyed this somewhat lightweight movie. It was a different take on the Tarzan story; a more adult version. Clearly, it was filmed on location, and the African settings were breathtaking. I’m going to have to make a trip to the Congo…and I’d be honored to assume a submissive pose to a gorilla troop (heads out of the gutter, folks). The UK settings were lush too. Everything looked just great.

Some good stuff: The night scene with the elephants really stands out — simply beautiful. It made for a horrible juxtaposition with the train barrels full of ivory tusks. We’re barbarians. Also, making slaves out of everyone in Africa? More barbarism. The more so in these cases because taking slaves and driving animals to extinction is historical fact. It underscores our dual nature: we are capable both of horrendous acts and feats of selfless compassion.

I loved how “John” (Tarzan’s Christian name) interacted with, well, everything in Africa. He’s a friend to the native tribes, lions, wildebeests, ostriches, alligators, and of course, gorillas. Although he’s no friend to army ants — those he uses as first aid and snacks. (Hey, don’t knock it. I’ve eaten ants, and contrary to Tarzan’s comment about bacon, they actually taste like Sweet Tarts. Long story. Give them a try, if you dare, but pop off the ant heads first so they don’t bite your tongue.)

I’m not sure if he’s a friend to hippos. I think there was a lost opportunity there.  You’ll see what I mean if you pay attention. They set up the hippos for a payoff that, weirdly, alligators fulfilled. This is a minor quibble.

Jane gets her own little “Gandalf” scene with a blue butterfly (recall Gandalf with the moth on top of Orthanc).  And she can happily handle herself perfectly well in the jungle, thank you. She’s no damsel in distress, as she pointedly tells the bad guy.

The lead characters did a fine job, although Jane stole every scene with her affable, brave, and amusing portrayal. She even outdid Samuel L Jackson — no mean feat. Tarzan was stuck playing the straight man, but he pulled off what could have been a very dorky role, with likable aplomb. Jackson, as George (of the jungle?) provided the most laughs, and was also a receptacle for exposition. Any film with a lot of backstory needs a character who things must be explained to. It worked.

Much of the narrative is told in flashback style. I think they handled it deftly, for the most part — a straight origin story would have been boring, and the flashbacks were restrained and appropriate. My main problem is that it’s hard to tell the flashback scenes from the current timeline in many places. Using a trick, like adding sepia tone, or a blue tinge, would have helped greatly. Or a different length of hair for Tarzan and Jane. Both my mother and I were confused a few times.

The climax was thoroughly enjoyable, albeit predicable. I’m not going to hold predictability against the film. It’s what we’d expect in a story about Tarzan. He’s not “King of the Jungle” for nothing.

This 2016 movie qualifies as a Bladder Buster, at 2 &1/2 hours.  Just saying. Since you’ll be watching this at home, you probably won’t need Peetimes (although we have three).

Overall Recommendation: This is a nice home movie to watch. The violence isn’t that graphic, the good guys win, and the setting is so damned pretty. Harry Potter Director David Yates pulled off a new take on the Tarzan story, and you’ll feel good when it’s through. Don’t expect an epic tale and you’ll have a good time.

Movie Grade: B-

Read RunPee’s Original Review of The Legend of Tarzan.

Movie Rewatch – The First Incredibles

This movie is really good! I hate using such an imprecise term, but I’m sitting here shocked at how good this animated superhero film is.

I’d seen Incredibles when it came out in 2004, and certainly liked it, but now, in 2018, I have a different mindset. Back then I had no idea how…well, GOOD superhero movies were going to get. [pullquote]Remember, 2004 was still a few years away from Iron Man and the start of the massive Marvel Cinematic Universe, which really defined and perfected the superhero experience. [/pullquote]I think back then, all we had were some Spiderman movies of various quality, some Batman movies that really didn’t age well, and early X-Men. And Fantastic Four. Which is a perfect segue to my next point.

It’s clear that the Incredibles are a remake/rebooted version of the Fantastic Four, which is interesting: Fantastic Four tried twice to make their series work, and both bombed terribly. I mean, they were simply awful. So who would think that tweaking it into an animated film would be  a good bet?

Well, the answer is Pixar, now owned by Disney. [pullquote position=”right”]Using the magic Pixar formula —  irreverent humor,  outstanding animation work, attention to character traits, well-known and respected actors for voices, and a real plot with actual jeopardy — Incredibles really showed it could be done. [/pullquote]

Incredibles is good enough to be a Marvel movie, quite frankly. It may as well be one, maybe in an alternate universe. You forget you’re watching cartoons about ten minutes into the film, which starts quite charmingly with an “old news reel” and a flashback to Mr. Incredible and ElastiGirl in their heyday.

The movie picks up at a place that would not seem too far from the X-Men Universe: all the supers have been relocated and retired by public demand, due to traumatic collateral damage done in the name of “helping mankind.” The Incredibles family has to hide their powers and try to live normal lives in suburbia. Mr. Incredible works in a dead end insurance job, and ElastiGirl is a stay at home mom. Their kids have to hide their superhero status as well, which chafes them to no end. How can you try to “be your best” when your best can never be tested? How can Mr. Incredible be “normal” when he breaks everything he touches, and has to be constantly vigilant against his own strength? We see him mourning for the good old days, and listens to police scanners at night with best friend FloZone (voiced by Samuel Jackson, clearly enjoying himself), sneaking out to do clandestine hero work.

These are mature themes, and shows why adults flocked to see Incredibles, and will flock again, in 2018, to see Incredibles 2.

I didn’t notice at the time, but in this rewatch, knowing there’s going to be a sequel out soon, I saw how clearly the film demanded a follow-up. When you watch it again, take note of how nothing has actually changed for this family. Well, except for Jack Jack, but we wont go into that here. Basically: at the end of their adventure, the family goes home and back to their “Witness Protection” style life. The supers are still not welcomed by the public, the government, or the world. It’s back to suburban hell. We don’t see that in the movie, because they ended the film on the high note of putting their masks on (which is more symbolic than useful, but just go with it). Their family unit maybe stronger than ever, but now the fun’s over and it’s time to put the leash back on.

So it does demand another film. How has the Incredible family unit been managing, back at mind numbing jobs and public school?  From the trailers it looks like (SPOILER ALERT)….scroll down or not…

 

 

 

Okay, from the trailers it looks like ElastiGirl is back on the job and in the public eye. Mr. Incredible has to be Mr. Mom. So maybe the supers are accepted again? Or is using ElastiGirl a way to slowly ease the public about reintroducing supers? I’ll go with the latter.

Anyway, the sequel looks pretty good, and I know it will pack the theaters, as we’re just not saturated with superhero movies. It’s pretty much a Golden Age for hero movies and we keep lapping them up and asking for more. I’m fine with that.

Incredibles is a fine film, with a lot of heart and humor, charming characterizations, surprisingly good chemistry in a voice-over medium — it’s just enjoyable on every level. The Big Bad is a bit annoying, but creating a great villain is a sticky point for almost every superhero film. You can just ignore whathisname, and get back to marveling at the amazing visuals and snappy banter/bickering.

I recommend seeing Incredibles again, before catching Incredibles 2, just to get back up to speed with these great characters and their family dynamics.

Movie Grade: A

Here’s a link to the blu-ray of the original Incredibles movie, and the logo tee shirt. I’ve seen entire families wearing this shirt, and not just for a family Halloween theme…places like Disneyland, so it’s easy to find each other, or on any family outing to show they are a family unit. It’s fun. 

Movie Review of Kong – Skull Island

There have been many King Kong movies over the decades, yet people are still fascinated by the idea of a gargantuan gorilla. This movie at least has some original themes, focusing entirely on Skull Island, and forgoing the New York plot entirely. Neither is there much ado between Ape and Girl – which, honestly, was fine by me. It’s been done. This outing is pretty non-offensive fare.

It also rips off Apocalypse Now to the point past being an homage, but honestly, whatever.

While things move along at a good clip, and most scenes are creatively staged, *Kong: Skull Island* falls short of being more than a mildly enjoyable episode in the King Kong oeuvre. John C. Reilly is the stand-out here, playing the only genuinely amusing character (as you could probably tell from the previews anyway). John Goodman is totally wasted, and Samuel L. Jackson’s hollow role is beneath his skills (although he seems to relish a reprisal of his Jurassic Park line, “Hold on to your butts!”). Tom Hiddleston is lovely to watch, as always, but has almost nothing to do in this story. I liked this film during my viewing, but am already relegating it to the “Only Okay” bin. There are big monsters; there are fights; lots of people die.

What is exciting to us here at RunPee HQ is that the 2005 King Kong film started it all. Watching Peter Jackson’s 3 hour/7 minute devotion to the giant ape gave Dan and Jill the idea to start an app where we would tell people exactly when to pee during a long movie. Jill wanted to shout to everyone in line at the theater to “go” during the unnecessary Valley of the Bugs scene…while Dan bravely squirmed his way through to the end, thinking, “Die, ape, die!” (So, yes, we included a giant bug Peetime in this film for honor’s sake.)

Dan took our rather genius but casual idea, and turned it into an actual phenomenon – resulting in worldwide acclaim and millions of downloads. We wanted to thank you all for being a part of the ride, and supporting this small family business. And thank you, Big Monkey, for being the reason RunPee happened at all. 🙂

Grade: B-

Movie Review – Turbo – Faster & Funnier Than a Snail’s Pace

Movie Review - TurboTurbo was a charming little movie about dreams and perseverance.

There was lots of laughter from the children in the audience, and more than a few chuckles from the parents. The characters were cute and interesting.

Samuel Jackson, as the voice of Whiplash, and Paul Giamatti, as the brother Chet, were outstanding.

The plot was easy to follow, and there were a few tense moments near the end to keep the kiddies on the edge of their seats.

Grade: B

About The Peetimes: The first Peetime is best. It’s one long, continuous scene that is very easy to sum up.

There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Turbo. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Rated (PG) for some mild action and thematic elements
Genres: Adventure, Animation, Comedy

Buy the movie from Amazon.com on DVD or Blu Ray