Film Review: The Shallows

The Shallows

Jaume Collet-Serra’s The Shallows is a fun, and at times tense, shark movie. The sillier aspects of the film can be forgiven for the overall entertainment…

Pleased to find the secluded beach where her mother visited, Nancy is looking forward to a day of surfing. Not far from shore, Nancy is attacked by a great white shark. The short distance to safety becomes a near impossible feat…

Director Jaume Collet-Serra has created an enjoyable thriller with The Shallows. The film is swiftly paced, and very watchable as a result. Protagonist Nancy is introduced quickly and the action gets under way without undue delay. The filmmakers know the audience will anticipate the attack, thus some delayed gratification is employed.

The premise of The Shallows is fairly simple; it is a survival story. Nancy is tantalisingly close to safety, but it is just beyond reach. Over an hour of a single character being stranded on a rock does not sound like it would make compelling viewing. Nevertheless, Collet-Serra offers his protagonist slivers of hope as the film progresses. There are the necessary red herrings; these function well to keep viewers engaged. What really captures attention, however, are the very tense moments involving the shark. Shaky cam is employed to hurtle viewers into the action.

Some of the film’s dialogue is rather banal. The Shallows must give its protagonist some depth, but her story feels lazy. Some some events in the film are silly, but the film is likeable. The seagull sidekick is a nice touch. The ending of the film is outlandish. The climax is ridiculous, yet very entertaining. Blake Lively delivers a decent performance as Nancy. The role is not much of a stretch, but the actress does well in action sequences.

The Shallows is not a classic shark movie. Nevertheless, the film is an enjoyable addition to the genre.

Previews: Star Trek Beyond Featurette, Cafe Society and More!

This week’s preview of coming attractions includes a new Star Trek Beyond featurette, Cafe SocietyLa La Land and more…

Star Trek Beyond Featurette

This new Star Trek Beyond featurette introduces a new character to the franchise, Jaylah. Played by Sofia Boutella, Jaylah is introduced as an ally of Scotty, played by the film’s co-writer Simon Pegg. Justin Lin directs the latest instalment of the series, with J.J. Abrams on board as a producer. Star Trek Beyond hits UK screens on 22nd July 2016.

Cafe Society Trailer

After its debut at Cannes, Woody Allen’s latest feature Cafe Society gets a UK release date. The film is set New York and Hollywood in the 1930s; a perfect backdrop for star Blake Lively’s classic Hollywood glamour. Also starring Jesse Eisenberg, Steve Carrell and Kristen Stewart, Cafe Society arrives in UK cinemas on 2nd September 2016.

La La Land Trailer

Here is the first trailer for La La Land. The film has a lot going for it; it is the follow-up from director Damien Chazelle after his brilliant Whiplash. It also reunites Ryan Gosling with Emma Stone after Crazy, Stupid, Love and Gangster Squad. The pair star as a musician and an aspiring actress who fall in love in Los Angeles. La La Land will be released in early 2017.

Finding Dory Featurette

This featurette for the upcoming Finding Dory reveals the background to the sequel. A follow-up to Finding Nemo, Finding Dory concentrates on Marlin’s sidekick, voiced by Ellen DeGeneres. The film hits UK screens on 29th July 2016.

The Shallows Featurette

Will this be as tense as Jaws? There certainly have been some memorable shark films, so it will be interesting to see how The Shallows measures up. Blake Lively discusses her character in this featurette, which includes footage from the film. The Shallows slinks into UK cinemas on 12th August 2016.

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Clip

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is a comedy featuring Zac Efron and Adam Devine. After putting an online ad for dates to their sister’s wedding, the brothers get more than they bargained for with Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza. Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is out in cinemas on 10th August 2016.

Power Rangers Poster

Power Rangers poster

Here is one of the latest posters for upcoming film Power Rangers. I never watched the show, so I don’t have the “stop remaking everything” attitude to this. The film’s cast includes Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Banks, and Naomi Scott (pictured above). Power Rangers is scheduled for release next year.

Previews: X-Men: Apocalypse Clip, The Nice Guys and more

Lots in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including a X-Men: Apocalypse clip, Our Kind of Traitor, The Nice Guys and more…

X-Men: Apocalypse Clip

Here is the latest X-Men: Apocalypse clip. Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique watches Ben Hardy’s Angel take on Kodi Smitt-McPhee’s Nightcrawler in a cage fight. It is unclear where this fits in with the plot, but the 1980s setting looks fun. X-Men: Apocalypse is out in UK cinemas on 18th May 2016.

Our Kind of Traitor Featurette

The cast of Our Kind of Traitor discuss their roles in the film in this short featurette. Directed by Susanna White, the film is based on John Le Carré’s novel of the same name. Starring Ewan McGregor, Stellan Skarsgård, Naomie Harris, and Damian Lewis, Our Kind of Traitor is released on UK screens on 13th May 2016.

The Nice Guys Poster

The Nice Guys poster

Here is one of the new poster’s for Shane Black’s The Nice Guys. The film is set in the 1970s and revolves around a hired enforcer (Russell Crowe) and a private investigator (Ryan Gosling) teaming up to solve a case. Also starring Kim Basinger, The Nice Guys hits the big screen on 3rd June 2016.

The Neon Demon Trailer

The Neon Demon has a UK release date. Nicholas Winding Refn’s latest film will hit cinemas on 8th July 2016. The Neon Demon stars Elle Fanning as an aspiring model who moves to LA. Her youth is noted by a group beauty-obsessed women, desperate for what she has. The Neon Demon also stars Jena Malone, Keanu Reeves and Christina Hendricks.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows Trailer

Here is the latest trailer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle: Out of the Shadows. A sequel to 2014’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, this new film features some familiar faces from the popular cartoon series. Starring Megan Fox and Will Arnett, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is out in UK cinemas on 30th May 2016.

The Shallows Trailer

Here is the trailer for upcoming thriller The Shallows. The film stars Blake Lively as a young woman who takes a surfing trip to a deserted beach. Only metres from shore, she is obstructed by a great white shark. The Shallows is scheduled for release in cinema in August 2016.