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Author Topic: 100Nights: Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep  (Read 618 times)
100Nights
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« on: January 10, 2011, 12:13:58 AM »

from  100nights . org
I've been at this since the beginning of October. I think I finally have a format I like, and feel like my voice is developing. Of course always happy to hear suggestions. This is just my latest review, there are 40 some posted at the site.

The Suggested Reading: The Kraken, Alfred Lord Tennyson –
Below the thunders of the upper deep;
Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea,
His antient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee
About his shadowy sides: above him swell
Huge sponges of millennial growth and height;
And far away into the sickly light,
From many a wondrous grot and secret cell
Unnumber’d and enormous polypi
Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green.
There hath he lain for ages and will lie
Battening upon huge seaworms in his sleep,
Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;
Then once by man and angels to be seen,
In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.

The Suggested Listening: I Crush Everything – Jonathan Coulton

The Synopsis: A treasure hunter is searching for a death mask and an opal, another less scrupulous treasure hunter wants it. A boring film ensues. There may or may not have been a giant squid in it.

Plot (2): I am tempted to give this a one, but the writing isn’t bad per se. I mean it is bad, but not worthy of a 1. What it is, is uneventful and hackneyed. So we have one treasure hunter, who is involved with another treasure hunter. They have never been or are no longer on good terms. The first one, who wants to seek treasures for education and museums is on the verge of finding something big. The other treasure hunter who is in it for money or power, gets wind of this. The other treasure hunter has much better business acumen and as a result is much better equipped and staffed. What they lack is that critical piece of information. They cajole and threaten and coerce the first treasure hunter until they give up that information. Then when they find the treasure, hubris kicks in the second treasure hunter, die, has a change of heart, of has a change of heart then dies. The first treasure hunter escapes, more times than not without said treasure. I mean really how many films have used this exact plot arc? Too many. The problem is more than a dull story is a dull presentation. If one was to take all the scenes that do not advance the plot in some way, or trimmed out the parts of scenes that don’t advance the plot, the film would be about 1/3 the length it is now. I honestly almost suggested we turn it off and move on to the next film, but if Sara Jeff and I can suffer through Vampires vs Zombies, I am confident we can make it through any other film known to man or sea god.
Also the characters are all idiots, a giant sea monster is attacking the dad in beginning, maybe the mother should get the rescue hook in those few moments before he is attack. Instead she waits panics gets the flare gun (which does nothing) and then is eaten herself.
When the bad guy is trying to escape he gets in this super tiny dinghy as if this not going to be immediately capsized by the kraken.
After they kill the kraken, who do they not immediately go to retrieve the opal? They know where it is, or at least real damn close to where it is.

Effects (1): Good god are these effects just awful. I mean by comparison Eyeborgs looks like (dont say Avatar, dont say Avatar…) The Spirits Within (whew). The squid looks super fake the entire time. The animators did an awful job with CG object interaction. Also this is suppose to be about THE Kraken, I expect a giant squid. Largest recorded squid clocked in at about 14m (46ft for you not so metric savvy), I am going to give a generous estimate here and call the squid somewhere in the range of 10-12m. This is not to make mention of the frequently changing scale of the stupid thing, but in the average scene, and with good points of reference that is my estimate. They couldn’t even come up with a squid that beat the known world record. Look if you want to be in the realm of possibility, and not go for like the 30m squid at least go for like 20m. If they really thought they were making a genuinely enormous squid then they did not do the research.
I am going to include the opal here. There is nothing opalescent about it. It looks like a giant sapphire. I  get that opal is fairly morphic in appearance, but one thing doesn’t change and that is that is opalescent across the surface of the gem, especially as polished as that one is. Besides if they wanted a more appropriate gem, Aquamarine, Lapis Lazuli, Tourmaline, Turquoise, Coral or Pearl carry much more water/ocean symbolism than opal (which according to my sources has more of a air/fire connotation).

Risque (2): I think there is a couple who makes out on a boat before being eaten. The two interns have some sort of relationship going on, and there is a super awkward almost but not quite romantic subplot with the two leads.

Frights (1): I have nothing about any suspenseful scenes, and in fact have more notes indicating, this is the opposite of suspense or the opposite of tense. Within two min of meeting each character we were with 100% accuracy able to predict who would still be alive at the end of the film.

Entrails (2): There was a little bit of blood, nothing really too much.

Comedy (*): I would not say there was an intended comedic element and this film wasn’t even really unintentionally funny, so i am going to give it a *.

Time-worthy (1): I would like to normally reserve 1s for the absolute dregs of cinema I watch. While this one is not unwatchable, it is so absolutely unremarkable and derivative and dull that I will not recommend you watch it. There are far better giant monster films out there, and ones that actually have giant monsters in them, and ones that when the monster is in the title the monster is actually a major component of the film.
*It occurred to me a couple hours later, that I have the skull rating for the true dregs. This is just a rating of 1.

The Movie Night Pairings: Peter Benchley’s The Beast stands out, and is a much better film about a giant squid attacking people. It has William Petersen which is way better than an O’Donnell in my book any day. Lets throw MegaShark vs Giant Octopus in there too, at least that film has two giant sea creatures fighting. I think the original Clash of the Titans would be a good one considering how much the Kraken is used in that film. Of course we can not forget about the film Dagon. I found in my searchings of cephalopod movies one called Octopus that sounds amazing.

The Take Home Lesson: When you make a film about a giant squid, maybe it should have to do with giant squid. Just saying.
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« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2011, 12:00:24 PM »

from  100nights . org
I've been at this since the beginning of October. I think I finally have a format I like, and feel like my voice is developing. Of course always happy to hear suggestions. This is just my latest review, there are 40 some posted at the site.

The Suggested Reading: The Kraken, Alfred Lord Tennyson –
Below the thunders of the upper deep;
Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea,
His antient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee
About his shadowy sides: above him swell
Huge sponges of millennial growth and height;
And far away into the sickly light,
From many a wondrous grot and secret cell
Unnumber’d and enormous polypi
Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green.
There hath he lain for ages and will lie
Battening upon huge seaworms in his sleep,
Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;
Then once by man and angels to be seen,
In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.

The Suggested Listening: I Crush Everything – Jonathan Coulton

The Synopsis: A treasure hunter is searching for a death mask and an opal, another less scrupulous treasure hunter wants it. A boring film ensues. There may or may not have been a giant squid in it.

Plot (2): I am tempted to give this a one, but the writing isn’t bad per se. I mean it is bad, but not worthy of a 1. What it is, is uneventful and hackneyed. So we have one treasure hunter, who is involved with another treasure hunter. They have never been or are no longer on good terms. The first one, who wants to seek treasures for education and museums is on the verge of finding something big. The other treasure hunter who is in it for money or power, gets wind of this. The other treasure hunter has much better business acumen and as a result is much better equipped and staffed. What they lack is that critical piece of information. They cajole and threaten and coerce the first treasure hunter until they give up that information. Then when they find the treasure, hubris kicks in the second treasure hunter, die, has a change of heart, of has a change of heart then dies. The first treasure hunter escapes, more times than not without said treasure. I mean really how many films have used this exact plot arc? Too many. The problem is more than a dull story is a dull presentation. If one was to take all the scenes that do not advance the plot in some way, or trimmed out the parts of scenes that don’t advance the plot, the film would be about 1/3 the length it is now. I honestly almost suggested we turn it off and move on to the next film, but if Sara Jeff and I can suffer through Vampires vs Zombies, I am confident we can make it through any other film known to man or sea god.
Also the characters are all idiots, a giant sea monster is attacking the dad in beginning, maybe the mother should get the rescue hook in those few moments before he is attack. Instead she waits panics gets the flare gun (which does nothing) and then is eaten herself.
When the bad guy is trying to escape he gets in this super tiny dinghy as if this not going to be immediately capsized by the kraken.
After they kill the kraken, who do they not immediately go to retrieve the opal? They know where it is, or at least real damn close to where it is.

Effects (1): Good god are these effects just awful. I mean by comparison Eyeborgs looks like (dont say Avatar, dont say Avatar…) The Spirits Within (whew). The squid looks super fake the entire time. The animators did an awful job with CG object interaction. Also this is suppose to be about THE Kraken, I expect a giant squid. Largest recorded squid clocked in at about 14m (46ft for you not so metric savvy), I am going to give a generous estimate here and call the squid somewhere in the range of 10-12m. This is not to make mention of the frequently changing scale of the stupid thing, but in the average scene, and with good points of reference that is my estimate. They couldn’t even come up with a squid that beat the known world record. Look if you want to be in the realm of possibility, and not go for like the 30m squid at least go for like 20m. If they really thought they were making a genuinely enormous squid then they did not do the research.
I am going to include the opal here. There is nothing opalescent about it. It looks like a giant sapphire. I  get that opal is fairly morphic in appearance, but one thing doesn’t change and that is that is opalescent across the surface of the gem, especially as polished as that one is. Besides if they wanted a more appropriate gem, Aquamarine, Lapis Lazuli, Tourmaline, Turquoise, Coral or Pearl carry much more water/ocean symbolism than opal (which according to my sources has more of a air/fire connotation).

Risque (2): I think there is a couple who makes out on a boat before being eaten. The two interns have some sort of relationship going on, and there is a super awkward almost but not quite romantic subplot with the two leads.

Frights (1): I have nothing about any suspenseful scenes, and in fact have more notes indicating, this is the opposite of suspense or the opposite of tense. Within two min of meeting each character we were with 100% accuracy able to predict who would still be alive at the end of the film.

Entrails (2): There was a little bit of blood, nothing really too much.

Comedy (*): I would not say there was an intended comedic element and this film wasn’t even really unintentionally funny, so i am going to give it a *.

Time-worthy (1): I would like to normally reserve 1s for the absolute dregs of cinema I watch. While this one is not unwatchable, it is so absolutely unremarkable and derivative and dull that I will not recommend you watch it. There are far better giant monster films out there, and ones that actually have giant monsters in them, and ones that when the monster is in the title the monster is actually a major component of the film.
*It occurred to me a couple hours later, that I have the skull rating for the true dregs. This is just a rating of 1.

The Movie Night Pairings: Peter Benchley’s The Beast stands out, and is a much better film about a giant squid attacking people. It has William Petersen which is way better than an O’Donnell in my book any day. Lets throw MegaShark vs Giant Octopus in there too, at least that film has two giant sea creatures fighting. I think the original Clash of the Titans would be a good one considering how much the Kraken is used in that film. Of course we can not forget about the film Dagon. I found in my searchings of cephalopod movies one called Octopus that sounds amazing.

The Take Home Lesson: When you make a film about a giant squid, maybe it should have to do with giant squid. Just saying.

      I bought this in a four film compilation set; actually, it was the best of the four, which wasn't sayin' much. I concluded it was a SCI-FI Channel product, and put it on a shelf....I just recently donated it to the local library.
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« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2011, 01:20:48 PM »

I bought this one strictly for the girls in bikinis.  The plot is just so unoriginal, and the bad guy...he didn't seem to know what he wanted to do.  The two female leads were moderately entertaining. 
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