Sharknado is one of the few SyFy original movies that actually became a cult phenomenon (SyFy’s motto is: if at first you don’t succeed, trytry again) so when we saw it on Amazon Prime, we had to watch it as connoisseurs of silly SyFy movies. Overall, it was super campy movie that we both thoroughly enjoyed watching for its sheer hilarity.
The movie follows a bar owner, his two friends, estranged wife, son, and daughter as they try to survive first a typhoon and then three tornados that have thrown a mess of sharks into the air and in every available space on the land. There are sharks in the street, sharks in the sewers, sharks flying through roofs, and sharks in people’s houses. Eventually, the only way to save everyone in California is to throw bombs into the tornado, which will make them dissipate because of the warm air…or something.
SyFy had such great success with the shark craze that catapulted movies like Sharknado and Ghost Shark that it decided to branch out to other horrifying things that live in the water. They searched long and hard until finally settling on: stingrays. But because stingrays aren’t really that scary, SyFy made them into blood-sucking, super-intelligent, flying “vampires of the sea.” The resulting movie is pretty damn hilarious.
The Beast of the Bering Sea follows a family of seafaring gold hunters. They have a rivalry with a seafaring mob-like group who are also after undersea gold. However, they are confronted by stingray-like creatures that attack them both in and out of the water. Teaming up with a marine biologist, the family manages to defeat the creatures before driving their boat off into the sunset.
Summary: A woman runs away from a dangerous situation and settles down in a small town. There she meets a handsome convenience store owner and father of two, and they fall in love with a lot of loooooong looks and sloooooow sex. Then her past catches up with her in the last few minutes and is quickly resolved.
Verdict: YAAAAAWN. The main twist was easy to spot, none of the “peril” felt actually dangerous, and all the romantic scenes felt forced and clichéd. There was one twist that A didn’t expect, but that was only because she has never seen any other Nicholas Sparks movie or read any of his books.
Full Recap: Safe Haven begins with a young brunette woman running away from a house in her bare feet while carrying a small plastic bag. She goes to an old lady’s house first, then to a bus station. There, an Evil Cop is following close behind. He stops several buses but manages to miss the one that has the girl on it. We know he is evil because he’s chasing the protagonist.
Summary: Little Black Book tells the story of an insecure woman (played by Brittany Murphy) snooping on her long-term boyfriend by investigating his exes. She discovers that her boyfriend is a lying liar, her “best friend” is a lying liar, and basically everyone she works with is a lying lying liar. This makes them all perfect for her since she, herself, is a lying liar. Then she meets Carly Simon.
Verdict: It’s complicated. On one hand, see above re: lying liars. There’s also the intense frustration that accompanies the main character’s insistence on talking to everyone in the world except her boyfriend, the painful and highly inaccurate climax, and a grown woman’s confusion at a routine gynecological exam.
On the other hand, the end is better than we expected from any romcom. We’re not sure that overcomes the other things, but it at least changes the overall message the movie sends, which is a really, really good thing.
Full Recap: Our main character is Stacy Holt, but we begin with a quote from William Shakespeare’s The Tempest: “Hell is empty. All the devils are here.” Really puts you in the mood for a romantic comedy, right?
We then learn about Stacy Holt’s mother. She raised our intrepid Stacy to believe two things: you must be certain about everything (especially relationships with men) and Carly Simon fixes everything.
SyFy’s Zombie Night has a few more recognizable names than usual in the cast, but is still pretty silly. The main characters make so many stupid mistakes that we basically spent the whole movie yelling “you’re stupid!” at the TV. That said, it’s definitely not lacking in action. In fact, the movie hardly lets up for the entire two hour run.
Featuring Anthony Michael Hall and Daryl Hannah, the plot centers around two families trying to survive a zombie apocalypse. Like Grave Halloween, this one is light on plot so that one sentence basically sums up the entire film. There’s some light drama around trying to get to a safe house and a side plot where we follow the dumbest cop ever, but other than that it’s basically just the two families (and eventually one family) running and hiding and fighting zombies.
Summary: Maid in Manhattan is the story of a working class, single mom falling in love with a rich senatorial candidate and being lifted out of her desperate situation. But first, she must dress up in fancy, stolen clothes and pretend to be a rich person. Oh, and there’s a dog.
Verdict: Rage and Frustration. Between JLo going along with this sure-to-fail ruse (while also being monumentally stupid about it at the same time) and Voldemort’s refusal to take the hint or take no for an answer, we were banging our heads against a wall by the end of this garbage.
Full Recap: In the first few minutes of this movie, we learn a lot about the main character, Marisa, played by Jennifer Lopez. She’s a single mom with a son named Ty. She works as a maid in a fancy hotel. Her kid’s dad is absentee. She has crappy self-esteem, but she’s beloved among her coworkers and good at her job. Among her skills: wound bandaging, lavender placing, pantyhose buying, and grade A sass.
Watching Grave Halloween is a confusing experience. First we thought the plot was too obvious. Then we thought they’d actually made a creative plot. Finally we realized that we were wrong on both counts because the plot did not exist. However, if you’re looking for a movie that kills a lot of people, look no farther than Grave Halloween.
This SyFy original movie follows a group of college kids in Japan who are making a documentary about their friend’s quest to find her mother’s body in “Suicide Forest” and give it a proper burial. They run into terror when a group of pranksters who followed them in steal a dead man’s watch and the ghosts rise up to take their revenge.
Summary: In 13 Going on 30, Jennifer Garner stars as a 13 year old girl who makes a wish to become 30 and discovers that her true love was right in front of her all along. We discover that the sparkly “Wish Powder” that came at the bottom of cracker jack boxes had ACTUAL magic in the 80s! Damn you child safety laws.
Verdict: Meh. It’s not nearly as bad as some other romcoms, but it’s hurt by the wedding day love confession plus the unrealistic portrayal of an insecure 13 year old succeeding in a thoroughly adult world.
Full Recap: Our movie opens with 13 year old Jenna. We immediately see that she is insecure, a little awkward, and desperate to be in the “popular crowd.” Her opportunity comes when she throws a birthday party and invites the most popular girls in school.
We don’t like romantic comedies as a rule. There are some that are less objectionable than others, but for the most part they’re all pretty awful. Nevertheless, we really enjoy writing about them. So, in the interest of having more material for you, our readers, and giving as many romantic comedies as possible a chance at impressing us, we have composed a list of romantic comedies for us to watch and review. As we finish our reviews, we’ll post the link here as well.