The Shallows

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2016 has certainly given us some pleasurable slugfests thus far.  Trump vs Hillary.  LeBron vs the Golden St Warriors.  Stark vs Bolton.  Weekly Sunday Night Chinese Food vs My Aging Metabolism.  And now we have Blake Lively vs Shark.  A matchup that might seem more lopsided than the demographics of the Scripps National Spelling Bee at first glance, but will end up going a satisfying yet brisk 12 rounds.  I won’t say who is LeBron and who is the Warriors in this situation, but I will say that I’ve tended to root for Shark throughout his entire filmography….. except of course when he’s pitted against the lovable Ian Ziering.  (btw – I highly recommend Sam Donsky’s brilliant celebrity profile of Shark on The Ringer.)

This isn’t to say, by any means, that this is a great movie, not even close.  You will not see up close cutaways to Lively and Shark (with a grinning Ryan Reynolds in the background trying to hide his jealousy) during the Oscars telecast next February.  Rather, it’s a savory 87 minute, comfy excursion from DC swamp season.  Yes it’s cheesy, yes Lively has a few too many conversations with herself, but the suspense hits for the most part and I was actually quite impressed with a lot of the under water cinematography (although this may not translate as well on a smaller screen).  Sidenote: shout out to the awesome new spacious, reclining seating at the Georgetown theater.  Had I seen the new Independence Day here, which is the worst movie of 2016, I definitely would have fallen asleep.    Tier 5

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