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Belinda Moore's commentary on Shark Tale

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Belinda Moore's commentary on Shark Tale

Review Copyright Belinda Moore, 2004

Shark Tale

Shark Tale
Directed by:
Bibo Bergeron, Vicky Jenson, Rob Letterman
Stars: Will Smith, Jack Black, Robert De Niro, Renée Zellweger, Angelina Jolie
Official site: http://www.sharktale.com/

What do I think of the movie Shark Tales? Was it a movie? I'm sorry I had mistaken it as an ad for MTV promoting Hip Hop/Black culture which is the "thing" now. A cut and paste of all the tired old stereotypes about urban black culture, the Italian Mafia and whatever they think will sell. Lets face it, this was not a movie this was a quickly thrown together, poorly done moneymaker for the studio.

From beginning to end it was like being in a foreign language film without subtitles. If you did not understand hip-hop slang you would have missed half of the dialogue between the characters and if you had not watched Italian Mafia movies like The Godfather and Scarface you would have missed the significance of other parts.

Portions of the movie that made an attempt to have a message were overwhelmed by all of the overly “hip” fast-talking, music and sexual overtones. And by the way, what does ‘Pimped out' mean? And is this something my child should know?

Children are not interested in seeing sexual tension between characters until it is stuffed down their throats. In this move it was especially offensive because they showed the female money hungry fish as being shapely with big breasts and hips and long flowing hair; as she appeared with her own theme song, “Gold-digger." How about that as a positive image to our boys about women? (Again is this a term my child should know?)

I think the movie was supposed to be about a vegetarian shark being different because he didn't like meat. And about a poor fish (Oscar) who didn't want to work at the same dead-end job that his father did and eventually gained fame and fortune by lying. But, who knows? The point gets lost.

How about having the shark talking more about why he was a vegetarian. Or about why Oscar wanted to rise above his neighborhood. Was it just because some kids laughed at him one time in school because of his father's job? That's what they implied.

I was waiting for them to go deeper, maybe say that after winning award after award for being the best tongue scrubber at the Whale Wash (like a car wash) the company fired him or hired someone younger, that he lost his job after all the hard work and years he had put in with the company, died poor and destitute, …something…, anything…, to make the movie have substance.

Then we could see why Oscar was motivated to make quick money. Understand the feelings of bitterness and despair of working hard and it not paying off in the end. But, nope they didn't get any deeper. Nor did you see him really learn his lesson or redeem himself at the end, what little they did was again, lost.

But alas, I expect too much. And maybe that's my problem that I expect a movie to actually make me think or have some relevance if I am going to take two hours out of my life, to watch it. Even when I'm in the mood to just escape I would rather not escape into trash like this. The description of this movie gives you the impression that it will have a positive message about real issues, which is totally misleading.

To sum it up, it amazes me what we let Hollywood get away with. It reminds me of blackface comedy, or the old comedy where blacks were always portrayed as stuttering big eyed and simple minded. It wasn't amusing then, it's not amusing now. Please feel free to email your comments to Belinda Moore at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..




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