Blood Violence and Babes: Wading into shark-infested sorority waters

Finally, a shark movie with actual bite and a comedy sequel that's actually funnier than the original.

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The final 15 minutes are ridiculously intense and include one of the coolest, if not best, underwater shark versus blonde in a bikini face-offs ever put on film.

It’s always sad when summer ends.

No more drum circles on the beach. No more waking up face-planted in the sand. No more…sharks?

Of course there’s always sharks.

Those big teeth, that devil gaze and the relentless zeal to consume heartbroken surfers. Why wouldn’t there be another predatory serial sea killer movie coming out on home video so soon after Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre and In the Deep?

But here’s the thing, friends, BVB: Blood Violence and Babes is here to tell you The Shallows is honestly, seriously good.

As in, it deserves to be up there with Jaws, The Reef and Deep Blue Sea good. (Come on, Deep Blue Sea was fun. Admit it.)

Unlike Open Water, which was basically two people, then one person, bobbing in the ocean for 81 minutes, The Shallows puts Blake Lively on a rock in the middle of a bay about 200 yards from a hidden, nameless beach that no one knows she went to by herself with only a 20-foot killing machine between her and shore.

Lively — Ms. Ryan Reynolds to some, Gossip Girl to others — owns the movie. It’s her best work in a string of solid work, including The Town and Savages.

click to enlarge The Shallows Blu-Ray - Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
The Shallows Blu-Ray

It’s also the best work yet from Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra following three sub-par action thrillers with Liam Neeson. Collet-Serra and writer Anthony Jaswinski get major kudos for taking their time introducing Nancy (Lively), an aspiring doctor and avid surfer still reeling from the death of her mother.

The nameless hidden beach somewhere in Mexico was her mother’s favorite spot on Earth, and Nancy has traveled there to consider dropping out of med school. After surfing the afternoon, she foolishly paddles over to a floating whale carcass and suddenly comes thigh to mouth acquainted with the big beast eating the dead whale. She survives the first attack but winds up stranded on a rock with only a wounded seagull that she nicknames Steven (get it?) for company.

Collet-Sera and Jaswinski put Nancy through hell for most of the 87-minute runtime. They slowly ratchet the tension with each near-fatal encounter, as the shark devours several would-be helpers and Nancy quickly loses blood. The final 15 minutes are ridiculously intense and include one of the coolest, if not best, underwater shark versus blonde in a bikini face-offs ever put on film.

If you love shark movies and hate that most of them are terrible, it’s time to wade back into the water for The Shallows.

The Shallows

Genre: Thriller

Rated PG-13. Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra.

Format: Blu-Ray, available now.

The Stuff You Care About:

Hot chicks – Blake’s bikini wins the day.

Nudity – No.

Gore – Bloody shark bites.

Drug use – No.

Bad Guys/Killers – Um, the shark, man.

Buy/Rent – Buy it.

Released – September 27, 2016

click to enlarge Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising Blu-Ray - Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising Blu-Ray
Speaking of girls in bikinis, did you hear about the college co-eds who just wanted to party so they decided to form their own sorority right next door to Seth Rogen?

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising is not only one of the funniest comedy sequels in recent memory (and trust me, BVB looked and there are not a lot of great comedy sequels), but it’s a superior film to the original, which was the funniest film of 2014.

What Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron and director Nicholas Stoller have managed to do here is tremendous. They took the solid premise of the original, which explored relatable themes like aging, parenthood and nostalgia, and added even more depth to a well-defined cast of characters you actually like. This is smart comedy done well. Sure, there’s plenty of potty — and pot — humor to go-round, but “Neighbors 2” excels at the small details, such as Efron’s existential crisis about fraternity brotherhood and friendship. It doesn’t just bring back the gang for a collective paycheck. Every character’s story arc has actual value. And big, big laughs.

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising

Genre: Comedy/Sequel

Rated R. Directed by Nicholas Stoller

Format: Blu-Ray, available now.

The Stuff You Care About:

Hot chicks – Yes.

Nudity – Brief.

Gore – No.

Drug use – Gratuitous.

Bad Guys/Killers – There’s no bad guys here. Everybody just wants to party, man.

Buy/Rent – Buy it.

Released – September 20, 2016

For a complete rundown of all new releases from September, plus movie news, interviews and more, visit BVB online at Blood Violence and

About The Author

John W. Allman

John W. Allman has spent more than 25 years as a professional journalist and writer, but he’s loved movies his entire life. Good movies, awful movies, movies that are so gloriously bad you can’t help but champion them. Since 2009, he has cultivated a review column and now a website dedicated to the genre films...
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