Saturday, October 02, 2004

WCBE 90.5 FM (NPR) "Shark Tale," "Shaun of the Dead," "The Photographer"


“It’s Movie Time” with John DeSando & Clay Lowe
“Shark Tale,” “Shaun of the Dead,”“The Photographer”
Taped: 4:00 pm, September 29, 2004
Aired: 3:01 pm and 8:01 pm, October 1, 2004
Streaming live on the web at


“Shark Tale” is the Grimm Brothers’ “Brave Little Tailor” gone urban . .

"Shaun of the Dead" brings zombie flicks back from the dead . . .

Sebastián Alarcón’s “The Photographer” screens only on Tuesday night at the Wexner . . .


Richelle Antczak
It's Movie Time in Mid-Ohio with John DeSando and Clay Lowe . . .


I'm John DeSando

And I'm Clay Lowe.

John ("Shark Tale")

DreamWorks Animation wasn’t satisfied with the blindingly successful “Shrek”; now it has created the almost as brilliant “Shark Tale.” It’s another anthropomorphic adventure, this time under water with fish voices and faces of movie stars such as Will Smith, Robert De Niro, and Angelina Jolie.

It’s a real UNDERworld world with De Niro as, what else, the don, the Vito Corleone of the sharks, a mafia godfather with a fey son, who doesn’t look like a good candidate to takeover from dad. Anyway, what’s important here are the ingenious adaptations of fish life from human and the allegorical lesson that usually accompanies these colorful animations. While I question whether kids will fully appreciate the parallels, there is enough for the whole family to enjoy.

And with a PG-13 rating there MIGHT be a little sex and violence to keep fathers and older brothers interested.

Clay ("Shark Tale”)
Well, folks, if sex and violence is what you want in a film, best to forget the sharks and wait for Vincent Gallo’s “Brown Bunny.” But if were planning on taking your pre-schoolers to see “Shark Tale,” don’t, because you WOULD be wasting their time and your money.
Not that “Shark Tale” isn’t visually exciting, they would appreciate that. And not that the sound track wouldn’t have them singing and dancing in the aisles (if you’d let them). They might like that too.

But, that’s O.K., leave them home and go see it yourself. You’re bound to find the movie’s dazzling Times Square sequence, set 50 fathoms down, extremely charming and clever. And you’ll find that the movie’s track will have even Republicans in the audience groovin’ on the urban sounds of hip-hop, rap, and Rhythm ‘N Blues.

Dreamworks “Shark Tale” may not be as captivating as “Shrek,” but you’ve gotta love the movie’s sugar-coated attack on slackers, the intolerant, and the unforgiving.

John (“Shaun of the Dead”)

British understatement and an audience’s perfect understanding of slackers mix to make zombie spoof “Shaun of the Dead” both funny and appropriate for a society that fosters couch potatoes and underachieving 29 year olds.

Obviously from the title, George Romero’s “Dawn of the Dead” and numerous other zombie flicks are cannibalized as they rise themselves from the dead heap of old “B” movies to amuse audiences, and in this case, scare them to hell, so to speak.

As in “Harold and Kumar,” the humor is low but doesn't force the satire.

The characters are fully “fleshed” enough to make us sympathetic to them, a remarkable feat for movies where actors are usually like the undead themselves.

It’s funny stuff, so see it in a theater before you turn into a potato watching it on your crumby couch.

Clay (“The Photographer”)
John, there are no potatoes, nor crumbs, on my couch but I did curl up there the other night to preview “The Photographer.”

A new Latino release, “The Photographer” will serve as a reminder that the cinematic roots of surrealism go all the way back to the films of Salvador Dali and Luis Bunuel. Something there is about those wonderfully iconoclastic, Spanish speaking artists.

The Chilean director of “The Photographer” is no exception. Nor is his leading character, Simón. A bored photojournalist, Simon thinks he has dreamed up a new way of capturing reality on film, and for ninety-some minutes we follow him as he bonds with his buddies and falls in love with every woman in sight.

As rowdy as Henry Miller’s “Rooftops of Paris,” and as cock-eyed as “American Splendor,” if you love to be fooled and confused then you’ll want to be at the Wexner Center this coming Tuesday night.

But enough of reality and the search for truth, John, because it’s grading time!



"Shark Tale" earns a "B" for being a BIT like Shrek . . .

Clay (“Shark Tale”)
“Shark Tale” gets an “A” for its AUDIENCE APPEAL to ADULTS, but a “C” for its marginal appeal to CHILDREN. . .

John “Shaun of the Dead”
“Shaun of the Dead” earns an "A" for ATTACKING slackers and ABETTING zombies . . .

Clay “The Photographer”)
“The Photographer” gets a “B” because it’s in the BEST of surrealistic traditions . . .


Clay: Is that sinister figure darkly floating around Studio B our general manager? Or could it be Bill Moss from the School Board graveyard?

Zombie zounds, I'm outta here!!!

I’m outta here.

Nope, it’s just Dan “Science, Science” Mashulko with a five o’ clock shadow. No rolling stones gather moss on his show.

I’m outta here too.

See you at the movies, folks!


The Award Winning "It's Movie Time" with John DeSando and Clay Lowe is produced by Richelle Antczak in conjunction with 90.5 FM, WCBE in Columbus 106.7 FM in Newark, WYSO, etc.


Copyright 2004 by John DeSando & Clay Lowe