Monday, 14 October 2013

DVD review; Bait...

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the seafood section...


Bait follows former lifeguard Josh as he arrives to his present-day job at a supermarket, where he soon comes face to face with his ex Tina and her new boyfriend. Also having a less than great day is Josh's co-worker Ryan, who is fired after his girlfriend Jaime is caught shoplifting - oh, and the police officer called to the scene happens to be Jamie's father.

An awkward day gets more dramatic when criminal Doyle and his accomplice hold up the supermarket, wrongly believing that the manager keeps the previous day takings in the office safe. The two gun-wielding robbers are soon locked in a standoff with the pissed-off officer and there is no resolution in sight...

At which point the coastal community is hit by a tsunami, which completely floods the supermarket. The handful of survivors - including Josh, Doyle, Jamie and her father - gather on top of the shelves to take stock [eyeroll] of the situation, and soon notice that the water level is still slowly rising and inching closer to the now exposed electrical cables. So should everyone simply swim to safety? That option quickly loses it's appeal when he unlucky group realise that they are sharing the flooded and crumbling building with a 12 foot great white shark. So the question becomes whether to stay out of the water and be electrocuted or crushed before eventual help comes, or go into the water and risk getting munched on?

Meanwhile... The supermarket has an attached underground carpark, which is where Ryan was when the tsunami hit. Climbing onto a pile of overturned cars to look for a possible exit, he comes across a young couple who also escaped injury or death and spies a unflooded stairwell. However there is no easy ride for these survivors either, as there turns out to be another shark present - right between the second unlucky group and said stairwell, so they are also left with the same choice as the group in the supermarket.

I didn't pick a movie about a shark in a supermarket expecting Oscar-worthy high drama, and the fact that whenever a shark movie comes out, there are always people crying "it's not as good as Jaws" and "look how fake the shark looks" which, by this point, is just annoying. Do people think that every single shark movie has to be a re imaging of Jaws, and do they seriously expect an indie movie to look the same as a big budget classic? Sorry, but I read the Amazon reviews and everyone really over-thought things and kept repeating the same tired comparisons. If you compare every single aspect of one thing against another, then you're sitting yourself up for disappointment, and not giving things a fair chance.

Bait is a film you watch for entertainment and fun, so as long as you aren't expecting Schindler's List or a Jaws remake you'll be fine.

Julian McMahon [Profiler, Charmed, Nip/Tuck] was the only cast member who I was familiar with, but almost everyone else holds their own too [even the Twilight guy]. I only found the guy playing Kirby to be a bit dodgy - he tended towards Nic-Cage-overselling-it territory. Then again his character is a bit borderline, so maybe that is how he meant to play it? Anyway his character tends to keep quiet most of the time, so I didn't find him distracting and/or annoying.

I don't know much about cinematography and stuff like that, so I can only say that I liked everything, and didn't notice any continuity errors. The sets were very realistic, the camera angle and underwater shots were great, the score was effective in it's minimalism, and the shots of the tsunami flooding the supermarket and carpark were brilliant - a big budget movie couldn't make the effects any better.

I didn't think the sharks looked any less real than they do in any other movie of this type - and yes, I'm including good old Bruce in that observation. I'll also point out that BAIT was filmed to be viewed in 3D for it's Australia and Asia theatre run, so maybe that makes a difference to how the CGI looks on the 2D version?

The only real problem that I had was how the film would suddenly go from serious drama when we focused on the group in the store, then swing to more comedic territory when we checked in on the threesome in the underground carpark. Sometimes this dual effect thing works, but in other parts of the film I found the effect pretty jarring. Maybe the script writers should have allowed a bit more humour to carry through to the store survivors too, as I kinda felt as though I was watching two films at times.

Also, can't we give the poor great whites a break from being the terrorizers in movies? Bull sharks regularly enter shallow water and are highly territorial and aggressive, so I'd have found it the sharks behaviour more believable if the filmmakers had used them instead.


DVD: £5.00
Blu-ray [this edition of the movie is in both 2D and 3D]: £12.10


45 minute making of documentry.
This followed the cast and crew over the course of the filming schedule, and includes inpromto interviews as well as briefly looking at the designing stages for the anametronic shark, and a explanation over how 3D filming works & what the process involves.

Don't watch either of these until after you've watched the actual film - even the trailor shows the deaths of two characters.



Richard Brancatisano: Rory
Xavier Samuel: Josh
Sharni Vinson: Tina
Julian McMahon: Doyle
Dan Wyllie: Kirby
Alice Parkinson: Naomi
Phoebe Tonkin: Jaimie
Damien Garvey: Colins
Lincoln Lewis: Kyle
Cariba Heine: Heather
Alex Russell: Ryan
Adrian Pang: Jessup
Yuwu Qi: Steven
Martin Sacks: Todd

Directer: Kimble Rendall
Written by: John Kim and Russell Mulcahy


Bait 2 is in preproduction. It'll be centred around a bunch of private school students, trapped in their school with a 15 foot great white after a tsunami in LA.

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