REVIEW: 47 METRES DOWN

Starring

Mandy Moore (Saved!)
Claire Holt (The Originals)
Chris Johnson (The Vampire Diaries)
Yani Gellman (Jason X)
Santiago Segura (Scream: The Series)
Matthew Modine (The Dark Knight Rises)

Mandy Moore and Claire Holt in 47 Meters Down (2017)Lisa and Kate are sisters on vacation in Mexico. Lisa’s boyfriend broke up with her because “she made the relationship boring”. Kate tries to cheer Lisa up and takes her out drinking and dancing, where they meet a pair of local men at a bar who convince them to go out with them to watch sharks from a diving cage. Lisa hesitates, but Kate argues it would show Lisa’s boyfriend that she isn’t boring and make him regret breaking up with her.Mandy Moore in 47 Meters Down (2017)The sisters arrive at the boat dock; Lisa is immediately wary of the boat and its owner, Captain Taylor. The captain asks if the sisters are experienced divers; Kate is certified but Lisa is new to diving, so they lie and say they are both experienced. The dive cage is old and rusty and hangs from thin chains on an old crane, adding further to Lisa’s apprehensions.Mandy Moore and Claire Holt in 47 Meters Down (2017)When they reach the diving spot, Captain Taylor baits the sharks. Lisa is skeptical about the entire dive, but Captain Taylor dismisses her concerns. The locals dive first in the cage. Unbeknownst to everyone on the boat, the cable supporting the cage starts to fray. The men return to the surface and Captain Taylor prepares to send Lisa and Kate down. When Lisa and Kate are in the cage, the cable breaks and the cage sinks to the bottom, some 47 meters below the surface and out of communication range with the boat. Kate swims up seven meters to resume communications with Captain Taylor, who tells her Javier will be coming down with a spare winch to attach to the cage. He also advises them to stay in the cage as the sharks are circling. Both women are quickly running out of air, but they wait in the cage until they see a flashlight in the distance. Lisa swims out to get Javier’s attention, as Kate’s air is lower due to the previous swim. Lisa swims towards the light, close to the bottom to avoid shark attacks from below. A shark tries to attack Lisa but she swims into a small grotto to avoid it.Mandy Moore in 47 Meters Down (2017)Lisa finds the flashlight but not Javier. While looking around for him, she becomes disoriented about her position and Kate’s location. Javier appears and attempts to usher her back towards safety, but he is attacked and killed by a shark. Lisa takes Javier’s spear gun and the spare winch, and swims back toward the cage. After the spare is attached, Lisa swims up and notifies Taylor to pull them up; however, the replacement winch line also snaps and the cage sinks back to the bottom. The cage lands on Lisa’s leg, pinning her. Lisa and Kate panic as they realize they are now both out of options and air.Mandy Moore and Claire Holt in 47 Meters Down (2017)Kate swims back up to communication range to tell Taylor they are low on air and that Lisa is pinned. Taylor sends some air tanks down and tells them the coast guard is an hour out. He also warns her that the second tank may cause nitrogen narcosis which can lead to hallucinations. Kate finds the air tanks just as her original tank runs empty. She also finds three flares to signal the coast guard.47 Meters Down (2017)As she returns to the cage, Kate is attacked and presumably killed by a shark. Lisa, still pinned and running low on air, uses the spear from the spear gun to pull a spare tank toward her. In the process, the spear cuts her hand. She dons the new tank, and then hears Kate over the radio. Kate is injured and low on air, and her blood is attracting more sharks. Lisa says she will find her, and uses her BCD to lift up the cage, freeing her leg. After Lisa finds Kate, Taylor tells them the coast guard is still some time out and they need to get back in the cage. Lisa adamantly refuses due to the nature of Kate’s wounds, and they decide to swim to the surface. As they swim to the surface, they use one of the three flares to scare the sharks. At the 20-meter mark, they are reminded by Taylor they must wait five minutes to decompress and avoid the bends. As the first flare burns out, Kate tries to light the second flare but drops it and it sinks to the bottom. As she lights the third flare she sees three sharks close in front of her. The sisters are now surrounded by sharks and must rush to the surface.Mandy Moore and Claire Holt in 47 Meters Down (2017)Taylor yells for them to drop their gear and make a break for the surface.They swim as fast as they can toward the boat. One of the sharks bites Lisa’s leg and pulls her back down into the water. Lisa manages to escape and starts to swim towards the boat again. Both women make it to the boat and reach up to get pulled in. As they are getting pulled in, a shark jumps out of the water and grabs Lisa by the leg, pulling her down again. Lisa hits the shark and gouges its eye out, and the shark releases her. Captain Taylor and the other men pull Lisa and Kate onto the boat and begin administering first aid. However, as Lisa stares at her hand on the deck of the boat, she realizes she has been hallucinating due to nitrogen narcosis. She realizes she is still at the bottom with her leg pinned by the cage. Coast guard divers arrive to rescue her and carry Lisa to the surface. Lisa comes out of her hallucination and realizes her sister is not with her.Claire Holt in 47 Meters Down (2017)This could have been a cliché shark movie, but it’s not. In some shark movies, the creatures are so unrealistic that the plot loses any credibility. In this, the sharks are just there, where they should be, and doing what they normally do, and the film is very much more terrifying for that. The real horror here is running out of air. The cinematography is superb. I’d say this is one of the best shark movies out there. Highly recommended.

 

REVIEW: THE FINDER

Starring

Geoff Stults (Wedding Crashers)
Michael Clarke Duncan (The Scorpion King)
Mercedes Masohn (Fear The Walking Dead)
Maddie Hasson (Impulse)
Toby Hemingway (The Covenant)

Geoff Stults in An Orphan Walks Into a Bar (2012)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Jaime Murray (Gotham)
Amy Aquino (Moonstruck)
Roy Werner (Power Rangers Time Force)
Mitch Pileggi (Stargate: Atlantis)
Ryan Cutrona (Bones)
Blake Shields (Heores)
Mario Van Peebles (Highlander 3)
Katie Garfield (Legacies)
Jodi Lyn O’Keefe (The Vampire DIaries)
Ian Reed Kesler (2 Broke Girls)
Wilson Cruz (Star Trek: Discovery)
Lance Gross (Sleepy Hollow_
Jake Busey (The Predator)
Chris Johnson (The Orville)
Jonathan Slavin (Santa Clarita Diet)
Joshua Leonard (Bates Motel)
Eric Roberts (Heores)
Jason Beghe (Home Alone 4)
Peta Wilson (La Femme Nikita)
Sumalee Montano (10 Cloverfield Lane)
T.J. Thyne (Ghost World)
Juliette Goglia (Mike & Molly)
M.C. Gainey (Lost)
Laura Wiggins (Rings)
Salli Richardson-Whitfield (I Am Legend)
50 Cent (Spy)
Charlene Amoia (How I Met Your Mother)
Shane Edelman (Flightplan)
David H. Lawrence XVII (Lost)
Alex Fernandez (Devious Maids)
Mercedes Colon (JAG)
John Francis Daley (Game Night)
Yara Shahidi (Salt)
Kelly Carlson (Nip/Tuck)
Patrick Fabian (Better Call Saul)
Michael Irby (Barry)
Mageina Tovah (Spider-Man 2)
Chris Browning (Agent Carter)
William Stanford Davis (A Lot Like Love)
Mike Starr (Ed Wood)
Jose Pablo Cantillo (Crank)
Lorraine Toussaint (Selma)
Michael Des Barres (Posion Ivy 3)
Nestor Serrano (Bad Boys)
George Stults (Necrosis)
Annette O’Toole (Smallville)
Patrick Fischler (Birds of Prey)
Anne Ramsay (Mad About You)
Karina Logue (Scream: The Series)

Geoff Stults in An Orphan Walks Into a Bar (2012)I honestly didn’t expect to like The Finder. I wanted to like the show, of course. It has an intriguing concept — a former military man, now suffering from brain damage, is capable of finding absolutely anything — and comes from Hart Hanson, the man who made the weirdness of Bones possible. But I was not convinced. Fortunately, I was wrong. The Finder has flaws, but they are not enough to take away the show’s fun.The Finder (2012)Viewers got their first peek at The Finder, when the show and its characters were introduced during an episode of Bones. That back-door pilot wasn’t a complete fiasco or anything, but it did indicate that The Finder might just be a clunky, non-murder version of Bones, only without the romantic chemistry.In its series debut, the central characters and setting of The Finder remain the same — Walter Sherman (Geoff Stults) hangs out in a Florida Keys bar with his mammoth-sized sidekick, Leo (Michael Clarke Duncan), when not actively looking for a bizarre assortment of people and possessions.Michael Clarke Duncan, John Sanderford, and Geoff Stults in The Finder (2012)But there are changes. The character of Ike, a bartender and pilot played by Saffron Burrows, is gone. In her place, we get two new characters — Isabel (Mercedes Masohn), a US marshal with a casually semi-romantic interest in Walter, and Willa (Maddie Hasson), a felonious teen dropped at Walter and Leo’s bar by the juvenile justice system. The crux and plot-generating device of The Finder is Walter’s almost-supernatural (and possibly brain damage-caused) ability to locate things. In the premiere episode, “An Orphan Walks into a Bar,” Walter manages to locate: a) John Fogerty’s guitar b) A bank robber attending a cock fight c) The father of an orphaned teen who had crashed his plane and disappeared.Geoff Stults in The Finder (2012)Walter’s method and madness are both a lot of fun to watch. The central mystery is just twisted enough to provide solid entertainment throughout the hour. Geoff Stults and Michael Clarke Duncan are obviously having a great time with their characters, and that joy translates well on the screen. Mercedes Masohn’s Isabel is also a useful addition — not only does she have believable chemistry with Stults’ Walter, but she provides a much-needed connection to actual law enforcement.Geoff Stults and T.J. Thyne in The Finder (2012)Like its main character, The Finder is pleasant but a little bit awkward. The show is easy to watch, has an interesting mystery at the center and is well acted. It’s just going to take awhile before everything feels smooth. But a few bumps are not enough to derail the fun of The Finder. The show does crossover twice Bones, first Lance Sweet appears on the show then, Hodgens shows up for an episode.Geoff Stults and T.J. Thyne in The Finder (2012)As the show continued, it became a nice companion to Bones and a highly enjoyable show, sadly it was another show cancelled all too soon, with a cliffhanger leaving things unanswered. With the death of Michael Clarke Duncan it is unlikely we will ever see a conclusion of the story.

REVIEW: THE ORVILLE – SEASON 2

Starring

Seth MacFarlane (Sing)

Adrianne Palicki (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)

Penny Johsnon Jerald (Star Trek: DS9)

Scott Grimes (American Dad)

Peter Macon (Shameless)

Halston Sage (Goosebumps)

J. Lee (Family Guy)

Mark Jackson (The Royal Today)
Jessica Szohr (Piranha 3D)

Seth MacFarlane and Adrianne Palicki in The Orville (2017)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Will Sasso (Mom)
Mike Henry (The Cleveland Show)
Chris Johnson (The Vampire Diaries)
Jason Alexander (Shallow Hal)
Rachael MacFarlane (American Dad)
Chad L. Coleman (Arrow)
Lesley Fera (Pretty Little Liars)
Candice King (The Vampire Diaries)
Robert Picardo (Star Trek: Voyager)
John Billingsley (Star Trek: Enterprise)
Kerry O’Malley (Annabelle: Creation)
Patrick Warburton (Ted)
Molly Hagan (No Good Nick)
Norm MacDonald (Dr. Dolittle)
Michaela McManus (SEAL Team)
Fred Tatasciore (Hulk Vs)
Ted Danson (The Good Place)
John Rubinstein (Angel)
Kevin Daniels (Atypical)
Wren T. Brown (Whoopi)
Bruce Willis (Glass)
Nick Chinlund (Training Day)
Mackenzie Astin (The Magicians)
Leighton Meester (The Roommate)
Tim Russ (Star Trek: Voyager)
Sarah Scott (The Artist)
F. Murray Abraham (Amadeus)
Rena Owen (Siren)
Kelly Hu (Arrow)
Tony Todd (Candyman)
Marina Sirtis (Star Trek: TNG)

The Orville has really surprised me in how great it has become. Already at Season 2, the show has totally found itself. I was skeptical at first I remember… thinking, meh, comedy in space? Yeah that’s been done before, and it’s failed. But while the show has comedic elements, I don’t really think I would classify it as a comedy sci-fi as much as I would a sci-fi built on a comedic base which somehow successfully delivers complex science fiction ideas with sometimes very serious overtones.Seth MacFarlane in The Orville (2017)While it does not take itself seriously at all in the broad sense, it actually does to a degree in other areas. It explores complex philosophical topics. It delivers nail biting action sequences. It has a sense of humor that’s really casual and easy to digest, and sometimes awkward but overall positive. Perhaps the best thing about the Orville are the characters. They are all quite fascinating, and I feel that they are explored in a way that brings depth and keeps me wanting to know more about them and follow them on their journey. I think that while it is largely influenced by Star Trek the next generation, the world it explores seems fresh and interesting.Penny Johnson Jerald and Mark Jackson in The Orville (2017)The storytelling is episodic so you can enjoy one show and one show only, but there are several threads that weave their way through multiple episodes. Again, the show really succeeds here in being episodic yet really glued together as a complete whole. They didn’t spare budget too… in Season two, you can clearly see they’ve gone all out in the special effects budget. While it is ‘made for TV’ quality, it’s very good ‘made for TV’ quality.Seth MacFarlane and J. Lee in The Orville (2017)Overall, I would recommend this series with great enthusiasm to anyone who loves science fiction. Orville, while heavily influenced by Star Trek, has become its own thing… a unique blend that just works. Watch it and enjoy!