Shark Week: Jaws 2

Hey all!

I was going to write another movie review when I saw this really great review already written by this fantastic blogger. If you get a moment, you should definitely check out their work.

Jaws 2 being the swift follow up from the masterpiece that is Jaws was always going to garner attention and you can be sure that the reviewers of this flick probably hand their red felt pens at the ready from the moment the opening credits came in.

I do concur with this blogger that Jaws 2 doesn’t live up to the original but then again, it would ALWAYS have been difficult. The original tapped into something that just struck a nerve with the viewing public and did something unique for the time. It also had a fantastic cast and a soundtrack so utterly fitting that it stuck in people’s minds. Of course, there were many similarities between the second and the original but it had all been done before so the novelty aspect was no more. To me though, that didn’t make the film a bad movie.

Interestingly, the film centred somewhat on Brady’s kids but the movie refrained from going down the smutty route that so many current Shark movies do. The movie does have a number of tense moments which are great if not a little unbelievable at times…helicopter anyone? Brody is also a very likeable character as are some of the kids although I kinda wanted the shark to get one girl who looked Carrie-esque every time she screamed.

Overall I would give Jaws 9.5/10 but Jaws 2…maybe as much as a 7. It certainly is a lot better than Jaws 3 and 4. Happy reading!

Late to the Theater

October is Horror Movie month, where we let down our hair and celebrate all things macabre and scary! Not that we don’t during the rest of the year, but still… HORROR MOVIES! People who don’t like horror are encouraged to check back November 1st for less bloody and/or disturbing films. For everyone else, let’s put on our galoshes and WADE INTO THE MIRE!

Hello and welcome to Shark Week here at Late to the Theater! This week’s selections are inspired by a dear friend who used to refer to her special lady time as ‘Shark Week.’ We shared many a laugh over that clever nomenclature over the last year or so. Three weeks ago she underwent a hysterectomy and will never again experience a Shark Week, so this week’s entries are dedicated to her! Let’s put on our floaties, paddle out just a little too far, make a ruckus in the…

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The Color of Night [Movie Review]


Hey there folks! I’m back and so are my photos. So I thought today and get right back into things with a new movie review. Today we are looking at the 1994 erotic mystery thriller Color of Night starring Bruce Willis and the delectable Jane March. So hang onto your draws folks. We are in for a ride!

Some Background:

As I mentioned above, the Color of Night stars Jane March and Bruce Willis (in what must be his most erotic movie ever made). It also stars Lance Henriksen (from Aliens and the hit TV show Millenium), Lesley Ann Warren (Clue) as well as Brad Dourif and Scott Bakula. It was directed by Richard Rush (who also directed 1980s hit Stunt Man). Despite the hype pre-release, Color of Night was a gigantic flop and has the honour of winning the Golden Raspberry Award for the worst film of the year at the 1994 awards ceremony. Much was made about the gratuitous nature of the sex scenes in this movie, which were quite a shock to many a Bruce Willis fan. That’s right, not only Jane March but Bruce Willis also had scenes of full frontal nudity. 

The infamous swimming pool scene that stunned fans of Bruce Willis

So why am I reviewing it? Well, despite it being a box office flop, Color of Night was one of the top twenty most rented films in 1995. It was also singled out by Maxim as having the best sex scene in the HISTORY of cinema. The scenes of a sexual nature were so intense that the lead actress Jane March has frequently stated she was not comfortable with them and had to be convinced by the director to film them.  There is also hearsay that Bruce Willis required a body double in one such scene, an underwater sex scene, because the director felt that Brucie’s member was “too small”. However, it should be noted that I have not been able to or wish to verify this fact but thank IMDb all the same for the trivia. 

I have two questions. 1) is she covering that area for a reason or 2) what is she expecting to hear down there?



The story:

So the next thing I should probably talk about is the story. Yes, believe it or not, there is a story. 

Dr. Bill Capa (Willis) is a New York City psychologist who falls into a deep depression after an unstable patient commits suicide in front of him by jumping from his office window. The sight of the bloody body of his patient clad in a bright green dress causes Capa to develoo psychosomatic color blindness, taking away his ability to see the color red.

To restart his life, Capa travels to Los Angeles to stay with a friend, fellow therapist and best-selling author Dr. Bob Moore (Bakula), who invites him to sit in on a group therapy session. But one night Moore is violently murdered in the office and Capa is plunged into the mystery of his friend’s death.
Moore would gather his patients every Monday for a discussion of their problems. The police consider them, and possibly Capa, as suspects in the murder. Capa continues to live in Moore’s house where he meets and begins an affair with Rose (March), a mysterious girl who enters his life. he also decides to take over Moore’s therapy group and learns of their pasts and obsessions as the murder investigation takes place. 

Bruce getting all romantic.



The Evaluation:

This movie is an intriguing one. For starters it’s not the world’s greatest film and neither does it shy away from the fact that while it is a mystery and a thriller, there is heavy emphasis on sex. Indeed, Jane March was hired for this role because of her willingness to do nude scenes in her previous work. Needless to say this came back to haunt her later in her career having only acted in 17 motion pictures since her role in this movie. Amazingly though, she is now only 43 years old which means she was 21 when she starred in this movie, while Bruce Willis was 39. Cradle Snatcher!  Indeed, the fact that she was young and beautiful was one of the chief marketing ploys for this movie, along with, of course, a number of female fans also having an interest due to Bruce Willis’s exposure. Literally. 

So he was literally old enough to be her Dad?


Surprisingly though, the movie does try hard to flex its muscles as a mystery too. Unfortunately, this often comes at a cost as early screenings came back lukewarm with a number of twists not really working as well as expected. In fact, there was such debate over how the movie flowed, the Producers and director were at odds with the producers creating their own cut of the movie against the wishes of the director. In fact, the stress got so much for the director that he suffered a heart attack. These days, it’s the director’s cut of the movie that survives with the producers’ cut considered an unmitigated disaster. 

The film does offer a strong supporting cast and did have potential. It just so happened that the film was somewhat poorly executed and one could argue just didn’t live up to it. Today, it’s the sex that people remember it for. If they remember it at all. Indeed, Bruce Willis himself rarely comments on the film stating that it just “didn’t work” when asked. Willis would have to admit that this film took place during a definitely lull in his career where other flops such as Hudson Hawk and Last Man Standing hurt his reputation greatly. Luckily for him, things took a turn for the better not long after with hits including Pulp Fiction, 12 Monkeys, Fifth Element and Die Hard with a Vengeance, at least until recently. 

Overall, this movie is a bit of a bust but yet it somehow deserves at least one watch to see how bad / cheesy it is. I watched it that one and only time because I used to be a big Willis fan. You can imagine how shocked I was! For it’s time, it was porn with a story. But these days, it’s probably about average considering what we churn out! 

I score this a C –

Blair Witch Project (1999) [A Review]

The Blair Witch Project is a 1999 American found footage psychological horror film written, directed and edited by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez. It starred, at the time, three unknown actors filmmakers Heather Donahue (The TV Series, Taken), Michael C. Williams (Altered) and Joshua Leonard (Shark Night 3D). 


What’s the Background?

The film tells the fictional story of three student filmmakers who hike in the Black Hills near Burkittsville, Maryland in 1994 to film a documentary about a local legend known as the Blair Witch. The three disappeared, but their video and sound equipment (along with most of the footage they shot) was discovered a year later; this “recovered footage” is the film the viewer is watching.


The backstory for the movie is a legend that was fabricated by the directors of the movie (in the same vain that the writers did in the movie “The Fourth Kind” years later). The creators went to great length to give the legend credence by creating a mockumentary entitled “The Curse of the Blair Witch”. 

 The legend describes the killings and disappearances of some of the residents of Blair, Maryland (a fictitious town on the site of Burkittsville, Maryland) from the 18th to 20th centuries. Residents blamed these occurrences on the ghost of Elly Kedward, a Blair resident accused of practicing witchcraft in 1785 and sentenced to death by exposure. The Curse of the Blair Witch presents the legend as real, complete with manufactured newspaper articles, newsreels, television news reports, and staged interviews. Pretty cool right?

Thoughts on this movie

You cannot undersell what this movie did exactly for the movie industry. The Blair Witch Project grossed $248.6 million worldwide. After reshoots, a new sound mix, experiments with different endings and other changes made by the studio, the film’s final budget ended up between $500,000 and $750,000.


The film’s “found footage” format received near-universal praise by critics and, though not the first in the found footage device, the film has been declared a milestone in film history due to its critical and box office success. 

The back story is also rather eerily effective. I mean by this, that it doesn’t seem all that far out of the realms of plausibility in that in quiet towns in the middle of nowhere, you get these weird folklore stories. And while you might pass off these stories as just that, would you go camping out in a woods that is plagued with freakish lore of witches and curses. I doubt I would. At least not without holy water ha ha. 


The acting in itself is pretty good and the filming, while done on handheld device which often gives somewhat of a shaky feel, is pretty cool and appropriate in that it only adds to the authenticity. It also spurred on the creation of many more films of similar type. Remember also, this was done before camera phones were around and before anyone and everyone could film a HD recording at their leisure. 

I will always remember being a school kid hearing about the curse of the Blair Witch and thinking that it was so freaky. I was also pretty scared to watch it given its hype as being the most terrifying film ever. And while it probably isn’t close to the scariest, it is pretty damn unforgettable. 

Rating: B+

What are your thoughts?

Electric Dreams (1984) – Movie Review


Way before Spike Jonze’s “Her” came a movie called “Electric Dreams”. Actually, this was way before people freely explored the internet and before people thought that computers were cool. 

Electric Dreams is a 1984 American-British science fiction romantic comedy-drama film set in San Francisco, California, that depicts a love triangle between a man, a woman and a computer. It stars Lenny Von Dohlen (Twin Peaks), Virginia Madsen (Sideways and Candyman), Maxwell Caulfield (Grease 2), and the voice of Bud Cort (Braindead) and was directed by Steve Barron, who also directed Mike Bassett – England Manager. It also has the honour of being the first film released by the Virgin Films production company. It’s designed in your typical cheesy 80s fashion but don’t let that fool you. This film is all kinds of funky. 


Miles Harding is an architect who envisions a brick shaped like a jigsaw puzzle piece that could enable buildings to withstand earthquakes. Seeking a way to get organized, he buys a personal computer to help him develop his ideas. Although he is initially unsure that he will even be able to correctly operate the computer, he does what every good technology geek does and buys numerous extra gadgets that were not necessary for his work, such as switches to control household appliances like the blender, a speech synthesizer, and a microphone. When Miles attempts to download the entire database from a mainframe computer at work, his computer begins to overheat. In a state of panic, Miles uses a nearby bottle of champagne to douse the overheating machine, which then becomes sentient.

If a sentient computer wasn’t enough to set your appetite, as mentioned earlier on, a love triangle soon ensues between Miles, his computer (who later identifies himself as “Edgar”), and Miles’ neighbor, an attractive cellist named Madeline. That’s right! 


Obviously all hell breaks loose and the movie comes to one hell of a climax. 

The movie scores a 6.5 from IMDB which is possibly a little bit unfair but don’t let that put you off. It actually is a pretty cool film. I mean,  look at this way. This was way before computers had gained such a big foothold in every day life. The idea of having a computer that could control your home with a few clicks was something of crazy science fiction times yet look where we are today with things like Apple’s HomeKit. The idea that people could converse or ask computers question too seemed the stuff of fantasy yet today we have Siri or Cortana. I’m not saying that your latest phone or Xbox is going to get the hots for your next door neighbor. Personally, I’d be pissed if mine did because I really don’t need anymore competition as I’m already struggling but I still think it’s quite funky to see people’s ideas of computing and how far we have come in the 32 years since. 


The film also boasts a pretty kick arse soundtrack which no doubt was influenced by Richard Branson’s influence (He is the owner of Virgin).  The soundtrack features music from prominent popular musicians of the time, being among the movies of this generation that actively explored the commercial link between a movie and its soundtrack. 

The main song of the movie was called “Together in Electric Dreams”. If you like 80s music, you really should check it out (It’s by Philip Oakey and Giorgio Moroder). Here it is!

Remember. We’ll always be together. However far it seems! We’ll always be together. Together in Electric Dreams.