The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time

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I don’t care what they call that damn movie, I really doubt it’s the last one. (Are you sensing a certain cynicality in me, when it comes to franchises? You’re goddamn right you are!)

As the last film ended, everyone on the planet was dead I think, except Fin. His son showed up with a time machine…and that’s right where Sharknado 6 picked up. Fin ended up in the Jurassic period and oh look! There’s Tara Reid riding a Pterodactyl. Or was it a “Tara-dactyl”?

As the shark-fighting team travels through history fighting Sharknados, they also travel from continent to continent. Not sure where they started in Dinosaur-land, but they make appearances at King Arthur’s Court (Excalibur was really a chainsaw), the American Revolution, wherever Billy the Kid was hanging out at, then San Francisco in 1996, and then…the far off future full of Tara Reid Clones wearing tinfoil hats. We truly had no idea what the fuck was going on. And I don’t mean that in a delightful way.

The cameos were fast and furious this go-round. And weird…very, very weird. Alaska Thunderfuck as Morgana (le Fey?); Deanna Troi; Neil deGrasse Tyson as Merlin; The Offspring (the band), literally telling the American Revolution Cavalry to “Come out and play”; Leslie Jordan as Benjamin Franklin; Darrell Hammond as George Washington (but doing his Bill Clinton impression…so weird); Ben Stein as Alexander Hamilton; Dee Snyder; Murr from Impractical Jokers; Gilbert Gottfried (again); Tori Spelling and her gross cheating/anal sex-obsessed husband as Fin’s parents; Peter Brady as Nova’s grandfather; Doc from The Love Boat; LaToya Jackson as Cleopatra; James Hong as Confucius; and Al Roker (also again).

I take it back, this really has to be the last one. There’s no where else to go, right? RIGHT?

Divergent

So, “Teen Dystopia” is its own genre now? Back when I was a teen, I was quite sure that “the man” was out to get me…by stamping out all free thought, individuality and creativity. Turns out, it was just my mom. I kid, I kid – she likely wasn’t any worse than any other mother in the 90s. But that’s the thing. Most (American) teenagers feel oppressed by school, home, work, society…by someone. (I parenthesize American because that’s what I know…I’d like to assume that aboriginal teens are just as over dramatic, but…)

After seeing a smidgen of the film at my in-law’s house – probably a year ago – I got interested in the films. But first, the books. When at all possible and/or practical, I try to read the books before the film. I borrowed the books from my son and got to it. I tore through the first two books in short order…and I liked them. Sure, they were simply written and not geared to a 40 year old woman, but they were entertaining and thought-provoking. Sure, I wanted to slap the shit out of Tris, but flawed characters are fun to read. She wasn’t just an empty vessel for the reader’s desire (see Bella/Twilight). The film aligned fairly closely to the book. The changes in characters and motivation made sense in the context of the film. There was a bit too much Jeanine – they should have made her more mysterious – but that is my only major book-based criticism.

I didn’t even know who Shailene Woodley was until Divergent, but she IS Tris to me – to the extent that I really can’t see her as anyone else. Woodley is getting lots of roles and hype, so maybe she’ll be able to break free of the label.

So…this film is why I hate Miles Teller. I know it’s totally nonsensical, but his character Peter is such a dick that now he will ALWAYS be a dick to me. Kind of like how Tony Goldwyn (also in this film) will always be a dick after Ghost and how Gwyneth Paltrow will always be a cunt after ANY film she has been in. Teller is a great actor, but I just want to punch him in his smirk.

I admit it. I’m not a teenager, but I liked Divergent. Maybe I’ll like those Hunger Games movies, too. I guess I need to read those so I can watch the films. Is there some sort of support group for this kind of thing?

The Matrix

This film is so green. And as Kermit would say, it ain’t easy being green.

When I say this film is green, I literally mean that the color green permeates the film. Not only is green the dominant color of the sets and background, but even the lighting in many scenes is green. The Matrix is a leprechaun’s dream. There is the bright neon green of the computer screens, the mangy bluish green of the real world hidden beneath the Matrix and the chartreuse of the oracle’s abode. Green symbolizes many things. It can symbolize envy, such as the envy that Cipher had for the poor souls living in the dreamworld of the Matrix. Green can symbolize life and fertility, which ironically, is something that crew of the Nebachadnezer was seeking to restore to the human race. Green also symbolizes money, which this film is going to make a lot of.

Besides color, two major themes appeared throughout The Matrix. One was a Messianic theme – Neo as the savior of the human race. The word ‘Neo’ means new and Neo was always referred to as ‘The Chosen One.’ My boyfriend noted that it more relates to the story of Moses than Christ, because Neo is to lead his people out of bondage – a people that were born into slavery. Also, when Morpheus reveals the real world hidden beneath the Matrix to Neo, he says, “Welcome to the desert.”

The other theme running through this film was a drug parable. Beginning with the obvious statement to ‘follow the white rabbit,’ it is as much of a drug story as Alice in Wonderland or Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Neo is searching for Morpheus (enlightenment), which of course affects him professionally and socially. When he finds Morpheus, Neo is given a choice to take the blue pill (naive, ignorant sobriety) or the red pill (ugly reality). He chooses the red pill and his eyes are opened forever, a process which cannot be reversed. He will never look at the world the same way again and now feels compelled to save the world from the fake layer of surrounding it. Sounds a lot like the Acid-induced Hippy philosophy of the sixties to me…

I was not looking forward to seeing this film. I was expecting a rehash of Johnny Pneumonic, which by the way, sucked a great deal. I was pleasantly surprised to find that someone had put a great deal of thought into this film. Keanu is still Keanu – he invoked the memory of Ted ‘Theodore’ Logan more than once in this film. But I must say, this is the first time that I have watched a Keanu Reeves film and wanted to bone him afterwards…