Do a Shot: right when the military makes their first appearance
Shotgun a Beer: when you are at the hour mark, you’ll need it.
Down a 32 oz: when the final twist comes and you walk away wondering… what just happened?
By: Jake Turner (Three Beers) –
In this blockbuster, re-imagining, reboot-hungry version of Hollywood, it’s always good to see the little guys continue to make their dreams come true and bring originality on a shoestring budget. I had the privilege to take a peek at Tentacle 8, which felt like someone was inspired by a Tom Clancy novel and brought it to the screen. For the most part, it’s a good watch aside from some glaring issues.
Tentacle 8 cost $195,000 to make and I can tell they used it on cinematography and acting. The cool and slick cinematography is provided by Danny Grunes, with a cinematic filter to it, and the camerawork had its tricks, but the best scenes are the one on one interactions where the camera stays still while the actors do their job. Speaking about the acting, it was really good and it kind of shocked me that TV veteran Bruce Grey made an appearance in a crucial scene. Brett Rickaby (True Blood, A Million Ways to Die in the West) is NSA agent Ray Berry, who has been arrested for treason, and Amy Motta (whom could be a Michelle Monaghan look-alike) was strong as Tabitha, a CIA agent and the love of Ray’s life. Everyone does their job efficiently and I kind of wish that we could get more talent like this to do movies like this.
Even at a $195,000 budget, great acting is always priceless.
However, how am I supposed to get into a twisty political thriller when there is no pulse to it? While I liked the dialogue coming out of the characters’ mouths, I couldn’t get into it because of the inept direction of first time director John Chi, who just aimlessly jumps from scene to scene without giving us a shred of suspense. When you are talking about data breaches, renegade espionage, and ambitious high tech creativity, there has to be a stability in your pacing. Don’t get me wrong, there were some sparks here and there, but just like some big budget films, it never really takes off.
Well, at least it wasn’t Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.
The problem is when you are not entertained the nitpicking begins, and I just had to call out all the twists and turns. There were half a dozen, some that didn’t even make sense and weren’t well explained, and the ending, while it was well-intended, was so abundantly confusing that it just didn’t matter anymore.
This is a true talky and twist-filled political thriller- take notes from Billy Ray.
Tentacle 8 is a well-intentioned and well-acted political thriller whose slick cinematography can’t mask the flat-lined pacing and ludicrous twists and turns that plague this film. I wanted to like it, I really did, but even on a shoestring budget, I expected far more. However, if you want to take a chance on it, it’s worth a watch for the acting alone.