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3.6 out of 5 stars
Piranha [Blu-ray 3D]
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87 of 99 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
Welcome to Spring Break at Lake Victoria! This year the college students have alot more to worry about than hangovers or STDs. A massive underwater earthquake opens up a mysterious chasm, releasing an ancient swarm of psychotic little fish. These little buggers are super hungry.

Let me just say that hot naked chicks make great fish food. This movie has a ridiculous amount of nudity and the most immaculate gore you'll likey ever see in 3-D! Seriously, these piranha can chomp through human flesh like a lawnmower through grass. Any appendages dipping into the water get instantly devoured down to the bone. Everywhere you look there are chunks of bloody arms, mangled legs, or human carcasses floating around. This has some gruesome effects that are great sick fun. Really it's an absurd, catastrophic mess.

To top off the awesome gore and plethora of topless women, we have a nice ensemble cast providing a good dose of comedy. Jerry O'Connell is especially hilarious as a sleazy porn director. Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future) also does great. Elizabeth Shue, Ving Rhames, and several others lead the way. Eli Roth has a small role. Richard Dreyfuss even makes an appearance in a bit of a Jaws homage. Way too fun!

Director Alexandre Aja struck gold with this one. Piranha 3-D lives up to the hype and then some. It does have some minor flaws and/or cliched developments, but still it was the funnest time I've had in the theater in quite awhile. Don't miss it!
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2010
Format: DVD
The Review:

Piranha 3D is a new film by Alexandre Aja, maker of the 2006 remake of the The Hills Have Eyes. Piranha 3D is unbelievably crude, gory and certainly not the best written film, but you know what? It's also a lot of fun. It's probably a better B movie than Quentin Tarantino's and Robert Rodriguez's Grind House (Death Proof and Planet Terror) of a few years ago.

Piranha 3D takes place over spring break in a picturesque lake town (the film was shot entirely on location in Lake Havisu). Inexplicably an underwater earth quake tears open a rift beneath the lake, revealing a deeper underwater lake (yes, that's probably redundant), which is home to prehistoric piranhas that have survived for millions of years. This setup is appropriately preposterous and we the viewers know the type of movie we're in for when the effect of the underwater quake creates a funnel that looks suspiciously like a toilet flushing. It's a super campy opening sequence that sets the tone for the rest of the film. What passes for the plot is hardly worth summarizing. Suffice it to say this unfortunate infestation by prehistoric pygocentrus nattereri is occurring when thousands of kids descend on the town for spring break. What follows is a series of gory dismemberments and naked frolics--in 3D!

Piranha 3D is a self aware send-up of the gore fests of the 70s and 80s like Jaws and the original Piranha. The stars are clearly having a lot fun with it, especially Jerry O'Connell as soft core porn producer, Derrick Jones, a send up of Girls Gone Wild impresario, Robert Francis, which is a nice segue way into the fact that this movie is a hard R. The fact that this wasn't NC-17 demonstrates the utter ridiculousness of the movie ratings system. Free Willy, this is not. There's as much T&A and probably more frontal nudity than one might see in Girls Gone Wild (alas I've never had the pleasure of seeing any of Mr. Francis' direct to DVD masterpieces). There's an underwater naked ballet featuring Kelly Brook and Riley Steele that goes on for damn near 5 minutes. It's awkward, but hilarious because of it, especially when you realize that they've been underwater long enough to have drowned halfway through the sequence.

Then there is the gore. "Over the top" does not even begin to describe it. Unlike movies like Hostel, which have been described as torture porn, Piranha 3D is so gory and self aware that its portrayal of aquatic violence is comedic. When I saw this movie opening night the audience laughed a lot in a good way. The 3D effects merely accentuated the film's crude humor and its ubiquitous gore. One of the members of the cast meets a particularly ignoble end in what is probably a 3D first, which I won't spoil for you here.

All in all, Piranha 3D is a rousing success at recreating a B-movie. The 3D is surprisingly well done and greatly adds to the over the top feel of the film. This is, however, not great cinema, but that's not the point. See this movie with people that appreciate schlocky horror movies and who have a good sense of humor. Don't see it with your parents and for heaven's sake don't take little children to see it. It is offensive, and it is crude and it is a lot of fun when viewed for what it is, which is a campy send up of the genre.

FTC Advisory: I purchased my own tickets.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2010
Format: DVD
Piranha 3D is a remake of the 1978 original film Piranha which was itself a parody of the classic film Jaws. The film was made by French producer Alexandre Aja best known for his remake of The Hills Have Eyes. You might be asking yourself: now why would Piranhas come out of seemingly nowhere and kill people? The storyline provides the answer: 1) There is a lake under a lake in which Piranhas have survived by eating their own kind in order to survive in this prehistoric lake and when an earthquake hits the Piranhas break loose 2) This is a "horror" movie (I'd say it's more of a horror-comedy), it doesn't have to actually make sense in order to enjoy. This is a remake of a movie that was really a parody of Jaws, let's put it that way.

I'd say a fun aspect of the film is how it's not that well-written but it makes for a fun B movie. One advantage the movie has is acting, except some characters that were rather goofy the acting in Piranha 3D is pretty good considering how this is a horror movie. The main characters especially were portrayed by good actors in which we actually do see a development to the point that we do care if they survive. The humor of the movie is similar to that of teen aimed movies such as American Pie and Sex Drive, not necessarily a bad thing unless you would consider that sort of humor juvenile. For instance about the humor, watching a penis eaten by piranhas with the 3D effect can only be funny or tasteless, you decide! Now the 3D effect worked very well to a certain degree I'm not sure how well it worked because I have not seen much 3D movies as of yet. Yet there were some pretty good effects and some good thrills resulted out of it. The Piranhas looked amazing and the death scenes (of which there are many) were done in an excellent gory way and looked like an actual death suffered due to Piranhas, it was convincing and not over-exaggerated like you might think it would be. A low point would be the ending as it's a big thrill but ends perhaps too suddenly and surprisingly (maybe a Piranha 3D 3 is in the works? Yes Dimension Films has announced that due to the success earned on the opening weekend by grossing over 10 millions there will be a sequel).

Was I disappointed with Piranha? Not really as I knew what to expect (even though some things were unexpected) and knew what kind of movie I was going into. Should you expect high quality from this movie? The answer is no but you should expect to have some fun watching it, especially with friends. Who would I recommend Piranha 3D to? To those who are looking for a fun mindless movie on a boring night, it's entertaining to say the least. One thing is sure if you think the movie misses the target it achieved (whatever it is) it misses in an amusing way. 3 stars out of 5, flawed but fun in the way that you enjoy a good B movie.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 2010
Format: DVD
Back when James Cameron's "Avatar" was released, there was a lot of talk about the future of 3-D movies - about how much better the process had become with high definition cameras, about how they didn't simply throw things at the screen but actually immersed you in another world. In March of 2009, Josh Quittner of "Time" published an article about the 3-D revolution, particularly in relation to "Avatar," which had yet to be released. After seeing some finished footage, he concluded that the work was so absorbing and detailed that he awoke the following morning with the peculiar sensation of wanting to return to Pandora, as if it were real. "Cameron wasn't surprised," he wrote. "One theory, he says, is that 3-D viewing `is so close to a real experience that it actually triggers memory creation in a way that 2-D viewing doesn't.' His own theory is that stereoscopic viewing uses more neurons."

Given what was said at the time, what would Quittner say now about movies like "Piranha 3-D," a remake of Joe Dante's 1978 film? Hell, what would Cameron say, given that 1981's "Piranha II: The Spawning" was his directorial debut? Would there be any mention of triggering memory creations or neurons or wanting to return to anything? I have my doubts. They might, however, have a thing or two to say about a shot late in the film of two piranhas fighting over a severed penis, the victor eventually spitting out the half-eaten remains directly at the screen. The audience I sat with had plenty to say, although not in words so much as in loud outbursts of disgust and laughter; I clearly heard a guy a few rows behind me say, "Dude, ugh, dude!" This is the future of 3-D, folks. Cameron and Quittner should be proud.

I'm going out on a limb here, but "Piranha 3-D" is about as good as a film called "Piranha 3-D" can possibly be. It's a no-holds-barred celebration of campy horror - bloody, brainless, and bawdy. It cheerfully assaults the senses and spits in the face of decency, not merely with scene after scene of relentless gore, but also with its exploitation of female anatomy, specifically breasts. Oh boy, but there are a lot of breasts in this movie, aided in no small part by real life adult actress Riley Steele and "Playboy" model Kelly Brooke. Director Alexandre Aja might as well have called it "Piranhas and Boobs 3-D."

Now that I have your attention, shall we get to the plot? In the sleepy little town of Lake Victoria, seismic activity ruptures the lakebed and unleashes thousands of carnivorous prehistoric piranhas from an underwater chasm. They swim to the shores of Lake Victoria, where hordes of loud, drunken, horny teenage tourists are in the thick of Spring Break tomfoolery. The local sheriff, Julie Forester (Elisabeth Shue), and her deputy, Fallon (Ving Rhames), try to solve the mystery of how a half-eaten body washed up on shore; they join forces with a specially trained underwater research team, and as you can probably guess, the divers will not like what they find when they reach the chasm. Meanwhile, Julie's teenage son, Jake (Steven R. McQueen), is drawn into the world of Derrick Jones (Jerry O'Connell), a sleazoid Joe Francis parody filming his newest porn movie on a boat.

Julie manages to bring a live piranha to Mr. Goodman (Christopher Lloyd), the eccentric fish store owner and convenient piranha expert. This particular species, he claims, was supposed to have gone extinct millions of years ago; apparently, the ones that escaped the chasm kept themselves alive by feeding on themselves. Okay, I'll give him that one; we know that cannibalistic species can successfully procreate. But what about the fact that they have emerged from complete darkness and extreme pressure, meaning they would not be able to adapt to the light or to the shallow waters, meaning they wouldn't be able to reach the human flesh they so hunger for? Evolution has taught us that, in all likelihood, these fish wouldn't even have eyes.

But what a minute. Why am I applying logic to this film? It's not about scientific accuracy. It's about people being eaten alive. It's about severed limbs floating in the water. It's about moments of blood-soaked absurdity, like when a girl gets her hair caught in the propeller blades of a boat, pulling her scalp and face clean off her skull. It's about naked girls repeatedly shaking their chests. I wish it wasn't about severed penises and the fish that enjoy eating them, but I guess you have to take the good with the bad. I can't bring myself to say that "Piranha 3-D" is a good film, but it certainly achieves exactly what it wanted to achieve. You will laugh. You will scream. You will cringe. Assuming you're a straight male, you will be aroused for much of the time. It's sordid fun. All the same, I can't help but wonder if James Cameron, who revolutionized the 3-D experience, isn't somewhere right now sulking in shame.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 2010
Format: Blu-ray
If you see this movie with the right crowd, you'll probably leave the theater thinking you've just witnessed the best thing ever put to film. If you pay $8.00 to view something called Piranha 3-D, I'm sure you know better than to expect anything more than a cheesy horror delight. This takes Snakes on a Plane to a whole new level. There is no getting around the fact that Piranha 3-D delivers everything you could possibly want in a carnivorous fish movie. Way more so than the late 70's original is a understatement. In a little under 90 minutes you get huge doses of nudity and some extremely sick and well done gore effects. The story is as simple as an earthquake waking up thousands of piranhas who have been feeding off each other in an underwater cavern for millions of years. They swim up through the crack in the earth and find themselves in the middle of spring break. Whoa, deep huh? To be fair, the acting is way better than what you would expect. The main kid wasn't annoying and Jerry O'Connell turned in a crazy performance, while Elisabeth Shue, Ving Rhames, and Adam Scott made the silliness believable by at least trying to act serious. Did I mention there are fun cameos by both Richard Dreyfuss and Christopher Lloyd? Dreyfuss even sings "Show Me the Way to Go Home" from Jaws and seems to be wearing the same outfit.

The CGI fish looked good and the use of pratical make-up FX really did this film wonders. The carnage during the main attack has to be seen to be believed. The director, Alexandre Aja, says there are around 6 minutes or so that were cut to get this an R rating. I will be looking forward to the Director's Cut on Blu-ray.

This is the first 3-D film that I've seen done after the fact (I know it was shot with the format in mind) that manages to look okay. You don't really feel the depth of being in the movie like with Avatar and How to Train Your Dragon. It mostly relies on vomit, ugly fish, or body parts flying at you, but it didn't hurt my eyes or look too blurry.

I'm really surprised that most critics are taking a liking to it, but I guess even they can't resist pretty girls being torn to pieces by B movie creatures. Either that or they just enjoyed the decapitation of Eli Roth.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on March 8, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
Ok some background first. I own a Panasonic 54VT25 plasma and a Panasonic 3D blu-ray player. I have seen so far open-season 3D, avatar 3D, Deep sea 3D, cloudy with a chance of meatballs 3D, despicable me 3D, Alice in wonder land 3D that are here listed in order regarding 3D quality with a lot of them being at the same level. I, like many others, even if not a huge fan of horror movies bought this blu-ray for the 3D content. It is such a disappointment, I cannot understand how some people and even blu-ray.com comment on the 3D content saying that the quality is good considering that the 3D was added after the fact during post processing. The 3D is so bad, I couldn't believe my eyes, the movie it self is already really bad, but the 3D .... Between the almost non-stop blurry image + ghosting and parallax poblems + some wired effects (leading to wired deformation of heads or hairs in their depth for example) that I don't even have the word to describe. Even if I hated seeing literally 10th of people getting killed and swimming in what can be described as a blood bath, I guess some people will certainly like it .... But if you are looking at a good 3D movie for your HDTV stay away from this one. You will notice that the first 5-10 minutes of the film are probably the worst in term of 3D quality. It is a miracle I didn't get a headache before the end. I obviously do not recommend this 3D movie. I'm not even sure I can recommend the 2D version, as others already said; you'll have to love a no plot, full of blood and boobs kind of movie to enjoy this one.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2011
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
POST-PRODUCTION 3D (converted from 2D to 3D)

My ratings are based mainly on the QUALITY OF THE 3D, not the video content.

There are over 15 out of screen effects that extend 10% of the way, from the screen to the viewer. Another 7 neared 25%. At 25 minutes a boat anchor at 40%, 30:00 coral at 35%, 57:45 a cord whips to 40%, and at 66:50, up to 50%, a motor-slicing fish-flying 30 second scene.
This movie contains Blood, Skin, Gore and Nudity.

*** Nicely Done For A Post Production (FAKE) 3D Film . ***

MY 3D RATING = VERY GOOD (poor, fair, good, very good, excellent)

Note: As far as the percentages go, everyone's eyes are different. What I see at 25% you may see at 15% or 35%. To fully realize how far something is out of the screen for you, pause on an effect and direct a partner with an extended finger to the tip of what you are seeing. You may be surprised.

Click on `See all my reviews' for the lowdown on other 3Ds
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Blu-ray
I have been interested in seeing this ever since I saw the trailers way over a year ago. I was a little leery of the CGI fish I saw in them, but fortunately they look more convincing in the film. What's not to like here? From the start we get Richard Dreyfuss in full Matt Hooper gear and singing the famous drunken sailor song from Jaws("show me the way to go home....") paying homage to the greatest animal attack film of all time, sitting in a boat on the water....you just know this is not going to turn out good!

The film starts off running and never lets up and even though the first piranha attack looks too cartoon-ish for my taste, it soon turns into a bloody good mess with tons of T and A thrown in for good measure! The film is very funny with lots of nods to Jaws down to the way certain scenes are shot. I say this is a funny film, but don't think you're going to get off that easy because this film is extremely gory with some very convincing gross out FX! Fortunately(for the guys), there is lots of nude chicks to take our minds off of such unsettling horror! :-D!

I really enjoyed this film and for what it is and it deserves a lot of praise, but......it could have been so much more if it had been played straight at times. It has that kind of potential, to be something truly memorable. This is a good film to grab some beers and a bunch of your friends and have a great time! Babes, booze and blood!...a nice combination if you ask me!

The Blu Ray looks fantastic with an excellent transfer, the extras include deleted scenes etc. and a feature that is 40 minutes longer than the film itself!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2010
Format: Blu-ray
"Piranha 3D" is great! This is how the story goes: Every year the population of sleepy Lake Victoria explodes from 5,000 to 50,000 for Spring Break, a riot of sun and drunken fun. But this year, there's something more to worry about than hangovers and complaints from local old timers; A new type of terror is about to be cut loose on Lake Victoria. After a sudden underwater tremor sets free scores of the prehistoric man-eating fish, an unlikely group of strangers must band together to stop themselves from becoming fish food for the area's new razor-toothed residents.

The cast led by Elisabeth Shue (as Julie Forester) & Adam Scott (as Novak) is great! The story & screenplay by Pete Goldfinger & Josh Stolberg (both of them wrote the screenplay to "Sorority Row" (2009) is great! The directing by Alexandre Aja (also produced with frequent collaborator, Gregory Levasseur) (who also directed "High Tension" (2003, also wrote the story and screenplay with Levasseur, who also did the art direction), "The Hills Have Eyes" (2006, also wrote the screenplay with Levasseur, who also did the art direction and did second unit directing) & "Mirrors" (2008, also wrote the screenplay with Levasseur, who also produced and did second unit directing), he and Levasseur also wrote the story and screenplay to "P2" (2007, both of them also produced, as well) is great!

The music by Michael Wandmacher (who also did the music to "Cry_Wolf" (2005), the TV show remake of "Night Stalker" (2005), "Punisher: War Zone" (2008), "My Bloody Valentine 3D" (2009) & the upcoming "Drive Angry 3D" (2011), both which were written, directed and film edited by Patrick Lussier) is great! The cinematography by John R. Leonetti (who also did the cinematography to "The Mask" (1994), "Mortal Kombat" (1995), "The Scorpion King" (2002), "Dead Silence" (2007) & "Death Sentence" (2007), both which were directed by James Wan) is great! The film editing by Baxter (who has been working with Aja & Levasseur since "High Tension") is great! The casting by Alyssa Weisberg (who also did the casting to "Cloverfield" (2008), "Star Trek" (2009) & the upcoming "Mission: Impossible IV" (2011) is great! The production design by Clark Hunter (who also did the production design to "Sling Blade" (1996), "Road Trip" (2000), "Old School" (2003), both which were directed by Todd Phillips, "Feast" (2005), "The Astronaut Farmer" (2007) & "Carriers" (2009) is great! The art direction by Marisa Frantz (who did the art direction to some episodes of "Breaking Bad", she also was the set designer on "The Astronaut Farmer", "Terminator: Salvation" (2009) & "Love Ranch" (2010) is great! The set decoration by Marcia Calosio (who also did the set decoration to "One Eight Seven" (1997), "Eight Legged Freaks" (2002), "The Astronaut Farmer" & the upcoming "Everything Must Go" (2010) is great! The costume design by Sanja Milkovic Hays (who also did the costume design to "Blade" (1998), "Star Trek: Insurrection" (1998), "Mission To Mars" (2000), "Along Came A Spider" (2001), "Big Fat Liar" (2002), "Cheaper By The Dozen" (2003), "Gridiron Gang" (2006), "The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor" (2008) & the upcoming "Battle: Los Angeles" (2011), she also did the costume design to "XXX" (2002, which stars Vin Diesel), "XXX: State Of The Union" (2005), & all of the "Fast And The Furious" movies (2001, 2003, 2006, 2009 & the upcoming 2011 sequel, the 2001, 2009 & the upcoming 2011 sequel also stars Diesel) is great! The make-up effects by Howard Berger & Gregory Nicotero (both of them have been working on films for the last 25 years, along with former collaborator Robert Kurtzman, when they formed KNB Group in 1988, Berger & Nicotero started on George A. Romero's "Day Of The Dead" (1985) & Kurtzman started on "Night Of The Creeps" (1986) is excellent! The creature design by Neville Page (who also did the creature design on "The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe" (2005, for which it won Berger an Oscar for Best Make-Up), "Cloverfield", "Watchmen" (2009), "Star Trek", "Avatar" (2009) & the upcoming "Tron Legacy" (2010, for which he did the concept design) & "Green Lantern" (2011) is excellent!

This is a fun (funny at times, as intentioned), fast-paced ride that keeps you on the edge of your seat and your heart racing, as well. This is a great remake that is faithful to its original without taking away its spirit. Alexandre Aja has got another remake hit on his hands. This is one of the best horror movies in years and one of the best horror remakes in years.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
PIRANHA is director, Alexandre aja's (HIGH TENSION, THE HILLS HAVE EYES) idea of fun in the sun. From it's opening rip on JAWS (including a doomed Richard Dreyfus!), to the drunken aqua-orgy that is spring-break USA, to the hungry little monster-fish, this is grade-A, mindless entertainment done right! I mean, how many films offer both naked, underwater ballet AND a topless, para-sailing mutilation scene? I rest my case. If you're looking for a romantic comedy, costume drama, or serious Oscar contender, forget it. However, if you want BBB (Boobs, Buns, and Blood), then you have just found nirvana...
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