Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Sharknados

I'm not entirely sure what I just watched. It might have been an Indiana Jones homage. It might have been a classic sci-fi creature. It's possible it's a weird rom-com. Or maybe a long-form advertisement for extreme sports. It's very possible it's a religious movie that also involves time travel. A lot of things happened in the space of this movie and we've been set up for more. But I still have no idea what I just finished watching. I was treated to a nice little interview featuring the creator and director of the Sharknado films, Anthony C. Ferrante, last Friday and on top of proving he is the nicest human being in the film industry, he basically confirmed that we will be watching Sharknado movies for the rest of our lives.

I'm torn on this. On one hand, I love the Sharknado movies. They're ridiculous, campy, completely unbelievable, and a wonderful testament to the power of social media to drive fandoms. The cast and crew seem dedicated to making these movies and from what Ferrante says in the interview, they commit to the most ridiculous ideas because they're enjoying being part of this franchise. Many of them, most notably Ian Ziering and Tara Reid, have salvaged their careers with these films. On the other hand, I don't actually believe we need any more of these movies. Five was way too many despite the fact that there are some delightful things in the fifth one (we'll get to these shortly). I'll continue to grapple with my love/hate/love/hate relationship with these movies and provide the service I always promise you: I watch these movies so you don't have to BUT you can feel like you did.

Let's dive into Sharknado 5: Global Swarming (pun intended).
  1. There are an incredible amount of movie references in this one. I can only assume Ferrante was watching Stranger Things between movies and was like, "I'm going to do my homage to everything ever because I can! With sharks!" We've got, and these are just the ones I caught, Indiana Jones, a Godzilla reference, Back to the Future, James Bond references, an Infinity Stones/Marvel inspired plotline, the Brendan Fraser Mummy movies, and possibly a veiled Terminator reference although I may just be projecting that one.
  2. Remember nothing good ever comes of repelling into cave or spelunking. Nothing.
  3. Nova! She's actually back this time (seriously she was what was missing from the entire second and fourth movies). Nova belongs to the single greatest creation of the sharknado universe (yes, I just typed that sentence): the Sharknado Sisterhood. Seriously, why are we only now learning that they exist? More on the sisterhood shortly. "Please tell me you've started a band not a cult." Funniest thing Ian Ziering has ever said in his entire career.
  4. I don't think they know how NATO or British people work. No one says "chap" that much.
  5. Of course the sharknados are from the past and there are basically Infinity Stones at certain places around the world (Stonehenge, the pyramids) to keep it all in check. Of course this is why these things happen. It's not the Shepard family despite the fact that they are always in the middle of it. I know I said before that I don't blame them but now I'm not so sure.
  6. Don't touch anything you find in a cave under Stonehenge, especially if it's surrounded by sharks. Haven't you ever watched a movie in your life?
  7. "Don't aggravate the sharks." Say it in a delightful British accent for the full affect.
  8. Took 15 full minutes for a "London Bridge is falling down" joke.
  9. Normally the cameos make me laugh but we have to talk about Bret Michaels (which may also be the title of my first memoir for no apparent reason but that it's a great title). What is this even about? Why is he in London? Why is he randomly walking down the street? Why does he randomly have a guitar and starts playing once attached to the bus? Does he die? I missed it if he did. Why is Bret Michaels here? Vince Neil made sense in the one he was in; he was in Las Vegas which is basically the only place Vince Neil can feel like a normal human. There is literally no reason for Bret Michaels to be in London.
  10. I still really dislike April and spent most of this movie cringing every time she speaks...which is often. Oh and she flies. Remember, she's a cyborg now.
  11. So Gil, the youngest Shepard child, gets sucked into the sharknado, Fin rides a shark into Buckingham Palace so he can stop it from killing the Queen, and Charo is the Queen of England. All of this happened before the opening title sequence.  
  12. Slow motion running = tragedy has occurred.
  13. "We should have never gone into that cave." Understatement of the year.
  14. Y'all, Nichelle Nicols is in this movie. Uhura is in this movie. But so is the Dance Moms woman, Chris Kattan, and Geraldo Rivera so maybe her appearance is negated by Geraldo. I don't know if there's some form of cameo math at work here. For everyone that's cool and amusing, there are six that are stupid.
  15. And suddenly we're in Switzerland because now the sharknado is actually a transporter and people who are sucked into it just end up in another country. Maybe the sharknado isn't all that bad if you don't have to deal with the airlines anymore.
  16. Meanwhile back in Kansas (literally), the other Shepard son is preparing a bunker of sorts with a weird old guy and foreshadowing his ultimate demise. The Shepard kids get the short end of every stick in these movies.
  17. How does this movie even work? They're in Australia now and there are sharks in the water (where they belong) and April is injured even though they all jump in punching sharks in the face. I really thought she would die at this point and then Fin and Nova would end up together as the Goddess of Inappropriately Aged Co-Stars intended. 
  18. Wait, is this movie actually about women running the world? Is Beyonce going to burst in and save the world by dropping a new album, having triplets, and having flawless hair all at the same time? The Sharknado Sisterhood is the part of this movie that I was expecting the least but love the most. It's like every 90s movie involving a woman in a cat suit met up with Wonder Woman and the Women's March and this is what we got. Olivia Newton-John is here making both Grease and Xanadu references and making April over in a way that would make Sandy proud but makes me rage-ful. She also says, "Don't get too physical."
  19. Tony Hawk! My favorite cameo of this film because obviously skateboarding will save the world.
  20. "The Paxton Initiative" - is that a reference to Bill Paxton? I really hope it is.
  21. So now we're in Brazil and we've learned that the stone they took is one of several (See? Infinity Stones.) that allows a person to control the sharknados. And of  course a shady dude (played by Greg Louganis) steals it so we get a car chase through sharknados via Italy.
  22. Which leads us to Downtown Julie Brown and Pope Fabio. Apparently, Downtown Julie Brown is an emissary of the Pope. Nothing makes sense anymore.
  23. The sharks have gone nuclear and are heading to Japan because of course they are.
  24. "Clear your mind of all thoughts." Shouldn't be hard with this movie.
  25. They've created a Sharkzilla! I repeat, they've created a Sharkzilla!
  26. There's the Xfinity plug I was waiting for. It took almost the entire movie for it to appear. Crazy.
  27. Followed closely by our required "Today Show" appearance. Thank goodness for Kathie Lee, Hoda, and Al. I enjoy every instance of Al beating sharks to death with a baseball bat.
  28. The Sisterhood arrives in Japan dressed for battle like they're going to either a stripper convention or a very dark bachelorette party. Nova jumps into the Sharkzilla/sharknado to save Gil (yes, we're still trying to save him although I've made no reference too him because too much is going on). And then Nova dies. Yes, of all the people to die, Nova dies. Fucking Shepard family ruins everything.
  29. The only thing missing from this movie is Gilbert Gottfried. Oh wait, there he is, introducing us to "safarinados." If he had only screamed "Damned, dirty sharks" this movie would be complete for me. 
  30. So they try to go back to Stonehenge to right the wrong of removing the stone but end up in Egypt at another temple to sharks (sure) located in a pyramid. Have we not learned anything, remaining members of the Shepard family? Don't touch anything. Don't go in the secret tomb you opened when you touched stuff. And don't turn on the ancient machine that you think might stop the sharknados. You'll just mess it up like you mess up everything else. 
  31. And then...April dies. She sacrifices herself to save the world. Or something. Her somewhat grief-stricken husband picks up her cyborg head, ties it into a hobo pack, and starts his journey to find any survivors. 
  32. Just when you thought we were at the end of these movies, Dolph Lundgren appears in a time machine/truck claiming to be future Gil Shepard. He's come back to save the world and bring everyone back from the dead (because all of the Shepards except Fin are dead). So they're going back in time because now we're in Back to the Future (they even used the same font). "Where we're going, you don't need a license." What I don't "understand" about this part is this: if he's gone back to the past and to the future to stop the sharknados, is Gil going to write himself out of history? Because if the first sharknado doesn't occur, his parents never get back together and he doesn't exist. Is that what the next movie is going to be about? 
There are about fifteen things I excluded from this list because as I was writing it I was thinking to myself, "this might be why I'm still single." I love suspending disbelief, particularly for campy, ridiculous sci-fi movies but at some point, the logical side of my life takes over and I'm back to where I was at the beginning of this post...I have literally no idea what I just watched.

Like all good things, it may be time for this one to come to an end.

Although, if Anthony C. Ferrante wants to make spinoff series of movies about the Sharknado Sisterhood, I'd be on board with that. I'd even send some suggestions to you about how to be better when it comes to creating strong female action heroes. I'm helpful that way.

Coming soon: I try StichFix and let some stranger on the internet select clothes for me. Let's see what she comes up with my first "fix." I'll also share my distrust of Pinterest and how to wear dinosaur themed clothes at work. We also need to tackle the glory that is GLOW (series and documentary) and tackle my fourth attempt at getting my meal planning act together. This time, it features chia seeds. All coming your way this August on the Island!!

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