Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Jaws 3-D

Year 2, Day 89 - 3/30/10 - Movie #454

BEFORE: Eating healthy pretty much sucks - and the people who run my usual breakfast and lunch haunts, who usually provide me with such delights as smothered chicken with mac + cheese, and grilled pastrami on a hero with bacon and swiss, are probably wondering what happened to me...maybe they think I'm on vacation. Do you know how long it took for me to train the staff of a NYC diner to order up a egg, sausage and cheese on a roll as soon as they see me walk in? Another week and they'll probably think I died or moved away...

Tonight I had a couple of tuna fish sandwiches (minimal mayo) to put me in the mood for watching Jaws 3 (too bad I'm not still watching prison movies...) But hey, this is a movie blog, not a diet blog. Still, replacing Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw with Dennis Quaid, Bess Armstrong and Louis Gossett Jr. is probably akin to replacing my regular Tuesday meat 'n potatoes dinner with tuna fish...

THE PLOT: The sons of police chief Brody must protect civilians at a Sea World theme park after a gigantic 35-foot shark becomes trapped in the park.

AFTER: The action moves to Sea World in Florida, which is justified by re-casting Dennis Quaid in the role of Mike Brody, son of Martin. He sure grew up fast, he's building underwater theme parks, living with a steady girlfriend/co-worker, and even his younger brother comes to visit, to remind us that he also survived "Jaws 2". It's an ideal life until a great white shark shows up at the park, and they have to decide whether to kill it, or make it part of the exhibits.

I'm glad they moved the venue out of Amity - after watching all those spoiled New England kids on their sailboats, I was almost rooting for the shark. But the recent tragedy at the real Sea World, the death of a trainer caused by a killer whale, makes this movie all too prescient.

I could use this space to talk about the recent upswing in 3-D movies - I'm sure the technology's come a long way since 1983, but I haven't seen any of the new films in the theater, except for "Coraline". So I'm really not an expert - anyway, I'm watching a film that was meant to be seen in 3-D, but as it aired on cable, without any of the 3-D effects! So the expressionless mechanical shark which looked so fake in "Jaws 2" looks even faker here, without the benefit of the 3-D illusion.

A recent commercial for Samsung 3-D televisions (coming soon?) shows a family watching all kinds of fish swim out of their TV and into their living room. I wonder if this film will enjoy a revival once 3-D technology makes it to America's homes...

Quibble: I know I've never witnessed a great white up close - but do they really make the same sound as a lion's roar when they open their mouths?

Also starring Lea Thompson in her first movie role, as a Sea World water-skier, who always seems to be in either a bikini or her underwear. Good gig...

Hmmm...what should I watch tomorrow night?

RATING: 4 out of 10 harpoons (comin' right at you!)

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