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Flash Movie Review: The Shallows

Since I have seen it happen before I wonder or more accurately worry that the memories in my mind will slowly dissipate like deflating balloons, ever drifting downward towards a black abyss. I have read the latest studies about diet and exercise; I hope following them will, if the air in my memories has to leave at some point, at least slow down the leakage. When it comes to remembering loved ones both deceased and alive, I know there are many different ways people honor and maintain their memories of the person. Some make visits to the cemetery to replace previously left flowers with new ones. Other people make a donation to a charity or acquire something of significance to remind them of the person. I am not a believer in cemeteries or burials so my methods of remembering may not be conventional. I believe I have mentioned before the ceramic vase I have that is my memory about a deceased friend; for another friend I bought a few shares in the utility company that services the city of my friend’s birthplace. Every 3 months I receive mail that provides an update about the company. In the brochure there are always pictures of the city that remind me of my friend, keeping their memory active in my mind. The city looks beautiful and one day I hope I can go visit it to walk around the neighborhood where they grew up. Recently while talking with a relative, when they asked what I would want done with my ashes, I mentioned a few places I would like some of my ashes to be spread. With a straight face they asked if I expected them to do a year long tour of all the cities I wanted them to visit. Maybe I will have to narrow my list down; at least I would not ask them to visit a place like the beach that was in this dramatic, horror thriller.   WHEN visiting a faraway secluded beach that had special significance for her family Nancy, played by Blake Lively (The Age of Adaline, Green Lantern), wanted to take in the location’s beauty. Sadly the place could become her last memory. This movie was pretty much all about Blake’s character; the other actors such as Oscar Jaenada (Cantinflas, The Losers) as Carlos and Brett Cullen (Red Dawn, Person of Interest-TV) as Nancy’s father were very minor characters. Luckily, Blake put in a strong performance that kept me interested in the story. Now as for the story, it was farfetched almost to the point of silly. However, for cheap thrills and good tense moments this picture provided these elements along with a couple of bloody scenes. Honestly I do not feel one has to run out right away to see this film; but if you have some free time with nothing to do, then this movie would do. If nothing else I thought the scenery was gorgeous; I would not mind seeing such a place in person. For now that is the most vivid memory I have of the movie, but it is not like I am going to frame my movie ticket to keep the memory alive.

 

2 3/4 stars

 

 

Flash Movie Review: Chasing Mavericks

Not only can I appreciate a person’s determination, I understand it. In fact, I live and breathe it. When I was 7 years old I spent 1 1/2 years pleading with my parents to get me a piano. At every available opportunity I would remind (some would say nag) my parents that we needed a piano. Since two of my mother’s sisters had pianos, I cannot count how many time I sat at their pianos teaching myself how to play. Finally my parents rented a piano for me. I did not disappoint them since I took lessons for 8 years. With a similar determination, I understood the main drive displayed through this movie that was based on a true story. Jonny Weston (Under the Bed, Sugar) portrayed Jay Moriarity, a boy who simply wanted to be in the ocean and ride its waves. Before he even understood the ocean’s power, his fate was cemented when his neighbor Frosty Hesson, played by Gerald Butler (The Phantom of the Opera, Coriolanus) came into his life. Because of Frosty, Jay’s passion for surfing accelerated as he discovered mythical Mavericks (massive waves) not only existed in the world, but were found near his hometown of Santa Cruz. He wanted nothing more than to conquer these gigantic waves, but would he be able to do it on his own? With his mother Kristy, played by Elisabeth Shue (Hope Springs, House at the End of the Street), dealing with the breakup of her marriage and Frosty’s reluctance to take on the responsibility, Jay would have to go to monumental lengths to achieve his goal. As I said, I understood Jay and wished this movie went deeper into his psyche. My disappointment came from the bland dialog and predictability of the scenes. It seemed as if the writers just threw in things like an antagonist or love interest because it would make for a good story. It did not; instead, it came across like an afternoon special on television. In its favor the photography was amazing in some scenes. I only wished the studio worked on this movie with the same determination as Jay had in his life.

 

2 1/4 stars

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