Eagle vs. Shark

April 7th, 2009

Eagle vs. Shark

S: So I heard from A, and she was planning to watch Eagle vs. Shark sometime soon. I saw it a few weeks ago, and wanted to do a blog about it. This small New Zealand film is worth going out of your way to see – getting the DVD from Netflix or setting your TiVO to snag it. You won’t be sorry. The hardest thing to get used to is the accent. However, as you watch it, you ear gets in tune with the dialog, and you can really enjoy the quirky story.

The story is about poor Lily, who is nursing a huge crush on Jarrod (played by Joel Tobeck one of the stars of HBO’s Flight of the Concords) as she slaves away at the burger joint “Meaty Boy.” He comes in every day to get a free upgrade to biggie fries on the house, but doesn’t notice her. Lily is shy, but is eternally optimistic and willing to go after what she wants. When Jarrod hosts an “animal party” where you come dressed as your favorite animal, Lily crashes it dressed as a shark. Jarrod comes as an Eagle, hence the title. When Lily beats all comers at a fighting video game, Jarrod finally notices her. After a brief interlude, she goes to meet and stay with his family, and tries to weather a rocky, rocky romance while working her charm on one of the funniest, most dysfunctional families I’ve seen on film in a long, long while. (One of my favorite lines in the film is what Jarrod says when he dumps Lily, “I’m just to complicated.”) LOLĀ  Jarrod spends most of the time preparing to get even with a high school bully, and watching him “work out” had me spitting beer out of my nose.

In some ways Lily triumphs because she just won’t give up and can see the winner in every person. At some point I think Jarrod begins to realize that Lily has become more at home at his home than he is.

We have all gotten used to pulling for the nerdy underdog, ala Napoleon Dynamite, and even though parts of this movie are just as funny and outrageous as ND (one of my favorites) Lily and Jarrod manage to capture quite a bit of sensitivity and emotional depth in a story that is as funky and funny as any offbeat comedy you’ve seen lately. There is some really nice animation in the movie and it certainly shows a less EPIC view of New Zealand than Lord of the Rings did (though it makes me want to visit there even more šŸ™‚ )

A: Okay, I’ll start off by saying it was no Pillowbook, but this one didn’tĀ impress meĀ as I expected. It maybe was the mood I was in. I think I was looking for more humor and less ofĀ  neurotic love story. I agree that Lily’s character is endearing, and I liked how she won everyone over. But overall, I spent about an hourĀ just wanting to thump Jarrod on the head. He annoyed me so badly! But maybe that’s because he ended up feeling like aĀ caricature of guys I’ve known…without the mole of course. šŸ™‚ Okay, the moles were funny. As was the scene where Lily moved her sleeping bag over by the fence and Jarrod moved the whole tent over there claiming that he was only doing it because something stunk over in the other spot, maybe a dead possum or something. Heh-heh, okay, I’m laughing again just recalling that scene. But alas, this one didn’t strike me like Napoleon Dynamite and only managed to tickle my funny bone a few times. I’m certain it was more my frame of mind than the movie. At least I didn’t watch it while doped up on pain killers after a tonsillectomy. site whois . šŸ˜‰

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