Big (1988) Film Review

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It’s not a new idea – something magical occurs to cause a body swap, or some kind of crazy change. Josh wants to be big, and makes a wish on a machine at a fun fair. The next morning, he wakes up as a thirty year old, played by Tom Hanks. Remember, though, that it is the era before the internet, computers were new and therefore it takes two weeks for him and his best mate to track down the machine to return him to normal. Meanwhile, Josh needs to find a way to make money and live. Of course, he ends up working in a toy company and he has special skills, still thinking like a child.

It’s a classic and it really holds up. I mean, there are still daggy shoulder pads and many of the other aspects that are totally eighties, but it’s funny and fun. If you’ve got kids, watch it. Hell, if you don’t have kids but have a sense of humour, watch it.

Big was nominated for Oscars for Best Actor in a Lead Role (Tom Hanks) and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen (Gary Ross and Anne Spielberg)

Sharknado (2013) Film Review

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When I heard of this film, a made-for-television movie about waterspouts that pick up sharks and take them inland into Los Angeles, I though it would be fabulous. Terrible fabulous. So-bad-it’s-good fabulous. Snakes on a Plane fabulous. Something that I would enjoy for exactly what it was;  a ridiculous concept. I didn’t think it would matter how it was executed, that I would just love it. I didn’t.

It does fulfil the basic requirements of a disaster film; a reluctant hero, sexual tension, a kooky character, a character who needs to see the worst before they will believe it and even a dog trapped in a car. I didn’t expect any decent plot – this is a film with the tagline “Enough Said!” There was never going to be much plot.  I didn’t mind how ridiculous the story got, that was fine. I did not expect any character development (not let down there either) and I did not expect to have my heart touched – no chance there, not even with the incredibly moving story of why the pretty girl hates sharks.

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What I did expect was awesome special effects and I was let down here. Yes, there are some cool teeth, and the bits where the sharks are flying around in the waterspouts look ace. But there was a lot of laziness and corner-cutting that lost it for me. I Not even the wonderful company and fabulous B-list (B-list? C-list? Probably closer to E-list) cast could keep me engaged. (Ian Ziering from Beverly Hills 90210, Tara Reid with more clothes on that you could expect, perpetual character actor and all around awesome guy John Heard. Actually, I liked his performance as drunken barfly, George)

By all means, watch it for the spectacle. Watch it with friends, watch it somewhere you can shout at the screen and laugh and hopefully rewind great moments, like when (*SPOILER ALERT*) someone falls from a helicopter into the mouth of a flying shark.  But lower your expectations as low as you possibly can, or you’ve got no change.