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Definitely, Maybe (2008)
Definitely, Maybe (2008)
2008 | Comedy, Romance
Great cast (0 more)
Heartwarming Rom-com
One of the best Rom-com's in recent years. Not full of laughs throughout, it does have it's more serious and dramatic parts along the way. It does have a great cast with Renolds, the 3 female leads and a good performance by Abigail Breslin as Reynolds daughter. A good story largely told in retrospective segments as a father tells his daughter of his 3 main loves in his life, to see if she can work out which one was her mother. A class above most Rom-coms, with aspects similar to The Notebook and Serendipity!
  
Maggie (2015)
Maggie (2015)
2015 | Drama, Horror, Mystery
4
5.3 (8 Ratings)
Movie Rating
Acting, including Arnold's best in a dramatic role (0 more)
NOT REALLY A ZOMBIE MOVIE (0 more)
Maggie: More Drama Then Zombies In This Zombie Film (4/10)
Contains spoilers, click to show
Maggie is a 2015 Horror/Drama film directed by Henry Hobson and written by John Scott 3. It was produced by Grindstone Entertainment Group, Gold Star Films, Lotus Entertainment, Silver Reel, Matt Baer Films and Sly Predator and distributed by Lionsgate Films and Roadside Attractions. The movie stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abigail Breslin, and Joely Richardson.


Society struggles to function in the aftermath of a zombie pandemic (Necroambulism) barely under control in the present-day Midwestern United States. Maggie's father Wade (Arnold Schwarzenegger) has searched two weeks for her, finally finding her in a hospital for the infected. Maggie Vogel (Abigail Breslin) had left a voicemail urging that he not seek her and that she loved him. Her arm was bitten and knowing she has only weeks before the "Necroambulist virus" turns her cannibalistic, she left home to protect her family. He brings Maggie home to care for her until she must eventually be quarantined.


As far as zombie movies go, this was a big let down. At first I thought the title was a red flag because what zombie movie would be called "Maggie" right? Well, I was right, not much of a zombie movie. And I was excited going into it too because Arnold was the most serious I've seen him in a role, like possibly ever. He did a great job and actually all the actors did a decent job, it's just the movie turned into a complete drama film and not a zombie movie at all. It was more of a coming to terms of the death of a person then about survival horror or anything close to it. If your looking for a really tame zombie movie then this is your jam. For me I was so disappointed because it's an ok movie on it's own and pretty emotional but just not for me. I give it a 4/10. And suggest if your are looking for a good zombie movie to watch, you skip this one.

Spoiler Section Review:
Man, I was so hyped for this movie. Arnold Schwarzenegger in a zombie movie, hell yeah. And that other girl Abigail Breslin from Zombieland, I was like this is going to be cool. From the trailer, I already knew that this looked like it was going to be a more serious tone kind of movie and very emotional but what a let down. I mean I was so disappointed in this movie. I was hoping it would be an "Arnold" kind of movie but it was more of an "indie" film. It was very emotional as it would be because the character's are dealing with death in a very surreal way and having a long time to contemplate everything about it. Very different from most zombie movies and really somber. Not a bad movie but not what I look for in a good zombie movie. That first zombie scene with Arnold and the zombie in the restroom was probably the best part of the movie and it sucked. Arnold kills the zombie by choking it or breaking it's neck from choking it. I mean c'mon, you can't kill zombies that way. Anyways I gave this movie a 4/10 and suggest watching a different zombie movie if you want to see something entertaining.

  
Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
2006 | Comedy
Adorably heartwarming
Film #17 on the 100 Movies Bucket List: Little Miss Sunshine

Little Miss Sunshine is a quirky gem of an indie film from 2006 that whilst a favourite of mine and Oscar nominated, has likely flown below the radar for many mainstream viewers. Which is a huge shame as this is such a fun, heartwarming and enjoyable film

Directed by husband and wife team Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, Little Miss Sunshine follows the life of the dysfunctional Hoover family from New Mexico. The Hoovers are a family of unfortunates, misfits and losers, and probably one of the most realistic family depictions you’ll ever seen on screen outside of reality TV. There’s Sheryl (Toni Collette), the harassed mum who keeps her family fed on fast food. Dad Richard (Greg Kinnear) who’s trying to peddle a failing business that focuses on teaching others the secrets to success. Grandpa Edwin (Alan Arkin), an ageing hippie with a drug habit that has been kicked out of his retirement home. Sheryl’s brother Frank (Steve Carell), a gay man currently recovering from a suicide attempt after his partner left him. Son Duane (Paul Dano) who’s goal to get into flight school has led him to take a vow of silence. And finally there’s young daughter Olive (Abigail Breslin), who’s obsession with beauty pageants leads the family to take a cross country trip in an ageing VW van to help her compete in the Little Miss Sunshine pageant. Along the way, the family encounter a variety of mishaps and events that can potentially change their lives.

The Hoover family for the most part are ridiculously lovable and this is entirely down to their flaws that they are so likeable. Aside from Dad Richard who has a number of questionable ethics and morals that demean others, the family and their unique quirky personalities are the main reason why this film is so enjoyable. And the fact that the entire family are all brought together by young Olive across the span of the film makes this incredibly heartwarming. Olive is an underdog and being realistic, not the type of girl who you’d see in your typical American beauty pageant, but you still find yourself rooting for her all the same.

The cast are fantastic and while you can always rely on Toni Collette, Alan Arkin and Greg Kinnear, it’s Steve Carell and Abigail Breslin that shine brightest. Until this, I didn’t think Steve Carell could do serious and especially not a role that like. But he excels, bringing a sad, intelligent air to Frank and personally I think this is his best role to date. And then there’s Abigail Breslin, a 9 year old who steals the show and pulls the entire cast and film together. Together with a clever, well written script, the cast pull together a heartwarming and surprisingly funny film where emotions and family are key to an eventful road trip.

What I enjoyed the most about Little Miss Sunshine is that while the journey the family take is obviously most important, we do at least get the joy of seeing Olive enter the beauty pageant and this is such a fitting end to the story. There may be some slightly unbelievable or predictable events that occur across the journey (the police traffic stop being one), but ultimately you come out of this feeling incredibly satisfied and rather warm and fuzzy inside. One of the most enjoyable family road trip movies I’ve ever seen.
  
New Year's Eve (2011)
New Year's Eve (2011)
2011 | Comedy, Romance
8
6.0 (3 Ratings)
Movie Rating
If you ask me, holiday movies have lost their way over the past few years. Not that there haven’t been any good holiday movies recently, but let’s face it… “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas” is no “It’s a Wonderful Life.” I think that New Year’s Eve brings us back to the feel good holiday movies that the film industry has been missing.

The cast in this is huge. Michelle Pfeiffer, Zac Efron, Robert De Niro, Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Seth Meyers, Carla Gugino, Katherine Heigl, Jon Bon Jovi, Sofia Vergara, Ashton Kutcher, Lea Michele, Sarah Jessica Parker, Abigail Breslin, Hilary Swank and Josh Duhamel are all players in this film. This is only the tip of the ice berg too as there are many smaller roles with cameos from big names.

New Year’s Eve follows several different story lines that are all connected in some way, whether small or big, the stories do intertwine. Michelle Pfieffer plays a meek, timid office worker who finally has had it with her miserable job. She enlists the help of bike messenger Zac Efron to help her complete all the tasks on her “bucket list” type resolution list. Robert De Niro plays a dying cancer patient whose wish is to see the ball drop one last time, and Halle Berry is the nurse that is attending him. Seth Meyers and Jessica Biel play an expectant couple who are in a race with another couple to have the first baby of the New Year in order to win the Hospital’s contest and receive $25,000.

Katherine Heigl plays a chef for a catering company that has landed a huge gig at one of the largest parties in New York. Sofia Vergara is her sous chef who is humorously fanatic over Jon Bon Jovi. Jon Bon Jovi plays a version of himself (a musician) who happens to be Katherine Heigl’s ex-boyfriend. Ashton Kutcher is very anti-New Year’s and during his protest of the holiday ends up becoming stuck in an elevator with Lea Michele, a new tenant in his building who is on her way to a new job as a backup singer.

Sarah Jessica Parker is a single mother who gets to spend the New Year with her daughter, played by Abigail Breslin. But Abigail has her sights set on spending New Year’s Eve in Times Square. Hilary Swank plays the newly appointed Vice President of the Times Square Alliance, which for the intents of this movie means that she’s in charge of the Times Square ball dropping and runs into a few problems along the way. Josh Duhamel is desperately trying to make it from his cousin’s wedding to New York City in time to give an important speech at his company’s party, as well as make another very important meeting.

I found this movie to be a great date movie. It’s cute and funny, but without being overly obnoxious as some holiday movies try to be. It is very clever in its story telling, and makes great use of the stellar cast. Though I personally could have done without the Robert De Niro story line, I really enjoyed the film overall. It is great to see a wholesome Holiday movie that does not have to rely on gags and clichés (not too much anyway).
  
Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)
Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)
2019 | Action, Comedy, Horror
Contains spoilers, click to show
Not going to lie, Zombieland: Double Tap had me from it's opening minutes, where the four familiar main characters storm the White House in search for a new home, smacking the shit out zombies in slow motion, all whilst Metallica's "Master of Puppets" blares out of the screen. Well played Zombieland, well played.

The four main characters - Columbus (Jesse Rosenberg), Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Wichita (Emma Stone), and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) - are a huge part of what made the first film work so well, and thankfully, the chemistry between them all is still intact.
It takes a minute to show though.
After the gratuitous opening scene, Double Tap struggles to find its feet somewhat.
It's not until the main plot kicks off that things get rolling again, and from there, it's great gory fun.
Zoey Deutch is great as Madison, a stereotypical blonde bimbo character who didn't really grab me in the trailers, but is actually pretty damn funny in the finished product.
Rosario Dawson is also here this time around and I'm pretty much guaranteed to love her in anything she's in, so thumbs up there.
The climax to the film feels a little out of nowhere by the time it's rolls around, but it's pretty spectacular to say the least, not too unlike the first film.

Honestly, Double tap is best explained as more of the same, and that's not a bad thing.

On a final note, I found the film to be a solid 7/10 throughout, but Bill Murray battling zombies during the initial outbreak whilst promoting the fictional Garfield 3: Flabby Tabby pushed it to a well deserved 8/10. Well played Zombieland, well played.
  
Stillwater (2021)
Stillwater (2021)
2021 | Crime, Drama
1
5.8 (5 Ratings)
Movie Rating
The film Stillwater is based upon and exploits the Amanda Knox story. Swapping Italy for the town of Marseille, France, Allison (Abigail Breslin), an American university student is convicted of killing her girlfriend, Lina. Bill (Matt Damon), Allison’s estranged father, visits her regularly in prison, and is convinced of her innocence.
The majority of the film focuses on Bill’s quest to prove her innocence. Bill is a roughneck (oil driller), good ol’ boy Okie from Stillwater. After delivering a letter to Allison’s lawyer with new information, he takes it upon himself to find the main suspect, Akim, with the help of Virginie (Camille Cottin). This is completely against Allison’s wishes, because she sees him, and herself, as a ‘fuck-up’.
Bill develops a relationship with Virginie, and her daughter, Maya (Lilou Siauvaud). After Allison refuses to see him anymore, Bill stays with Virginie, as a friend, helps with Maya, and goes native. Honestly, the subplot of this relationship with Virginie that progresses to a romantic relationship, and the fatherly relationship to Maya, slow the film down to a snail’s pace. The story finally picks up again, when Bill takes Maya to a football game, and he captures Akim. Bill collects DNA from Akim, hands it to an ex-cop, then finally learns the truth of what happened with the murder of Lina. This situation ruins his relationship with his new French family, and he goes back to Stillwater, quickly followed by Allison, after she is released after the DNA matches what was left at the crime scene.
I was originally pretty excited to see the film, but then I read a Vanity Fair interview with the director, Tom McCarthy. McCarthy mentioned that he wanted to be in the shoes of Amanda Knox, or something like that. Knox, who was found not guilty for the murder of Meredith Kercher, was probably very available. Knox came out after the article was published and voiced that her story was being exploited. Reading her responses made me have really icky feelings, and I almost didn’t go see it, because they’re profiting off her story. To be fair, Knox is profiting off her own story as well, but it still isn’t right. This situation hurt the film, in my opinion, and I think the box office numbers in the US reflect that as well. I would have rated this film higher, and enjoyed it more, had I not seen the press surrounding it. I don’t know whether that’s a good or bad thing.
Damon did well in his portrayal of an Okie roughneck, and you could tell he really did study to nail the role. Breslin was neither here nor there, and I didn’t necessarily sympathize with her at all. So, I didn’t really care in the end if she got out of prison or not.
This film clocks in at 2 hours and 20 minutes, and it felt like a 2 hour and 20-minute film. I didn’t like the subplot, at all. It made the movie so bloated, and I kind of just wanted it to end. I don’t think this film is going to do well outside of the US, at all.
  
Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)
Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)
2019 | Action, Comedy, Horror
I ended up enjoying this film
I really enjoyed the 2009 Horror/Comedy ZOMBIELAND - a truly unique and original film that blends the trendy (at the time) Zombie genre with really smart comedy populated by some truly charismatic comedic performers and a GREAT surprise cameo.

So...I greeted the news that there would be a sequel - 10 years later - with a shrug. Why would they want to revisit this tired (at this time) genre with performers that have (for the most part) gone on to "bigger and better" things (including a few Oscar nominations and 1 Oscar win). But...I enjoyed the first, so I figured I'd check it out. And...for the first 20 minutes or so of this film, I sat there with my arms folded across my chest thinking "they are just trying too hard to replicate the first film". And then an interesting thing happened...

I chuckled to myself. Then I chuckled some more, and then I started laughing out loud and at about the 1 hour mark, I realized, "I'm really enjoying myself".

Credit, I think, has to go the charm, charisma and chemistry between the 4 returning leads - Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg, Abigail Breslin and Woody Harrelson. It was like running into 4 old friends and old, comfortable, patterns re-emerge (kind of liking eating comfort food). These are ably assisted by good, fun turns by the likes of Rosario Dawson, Luke Wilson and Thomas Middleditch. Special mention has to be made of Zoey Deutsch's turn as blonde air-head, Madison. This could have easily been a one-note, annoyance. but she brings something more to role that makes her endearing, not cloying.

The original creative team - Director Ruben Fleischer and Writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick - are back as well, so the style and humor are similar to the first film - not really bringing much new to the proceedings, but not just "getting a paycheck" either.

This film is "nothing new", but I enjoyed it anyway - so if you liked the first Zombieland, you'll like this one as well. ONE NOTE - there is a "credits scene" as well as a "button scene" at the end of the credits that are MUST WATCH. So stick around for those, you'll be glad you did.

Letter Grade: B+

7 1/2 (out of 10) stars and you can take that to the Bank(ofMarquis)
  
Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)
Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)
2019 | Action, Comedy, Horror
Ten years is a long time in Hollywood. Ten years ago, to this day Avatar was yet to be released to the unsuspecting masses, with Titanic still reigning supreme over the global box-office and debutant director Ruben Fleischer surprised the cinema-going public with Zombieland.

Made on a tiny budget of just over $20million, it went on to gross over $100million globally and received unanimous praise. A sequel was widely expected in the years that followed but never materialised. That’s probably down to a few things; one being Emma Stone’s meteoric rise to fame, Jesse Eisenberg starring in some of the biggest and most celebrated films of the decade that followed and Woody Harrelson, well, being Woody Harrelson (that’s not a dig, we love you Woody).

Fleischer meanwhile went on to direct 30 Minutes or Less, Gangster Squad and Venom among a couple of other projects. The time for a Zombieland sequel came and went with the film’s core fanbase hoping that one day they’d get what they desired.

That day is now here with the release of Zombieland: Double Tap. With a cast of returning characters and the original director at the helm, things certainly look promising from a technical point of view, but has the ship sailed on getting this franchise off the ground?

Zombie slayers Tallahassee (Harrelson), Columbus (Eisenberg), Wichita (Stone), and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) square off against a newly evolved strain of the undead as well as combatting their own personal demons in an effort to survive the ongoing zombie apocalypse.

Despite the popularity of the film’s actors since its predecessor, it’s nice to see all of the lead cast slot back into their roles seamlessly. Granted they’re a little older than we last remember them, and a little wiser too, but these characters still retain the charm and humour that made the last movie such a success.

Harrelson remains the standout and that’s mainly down to a nicely written script, penned by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick and Dave Callaham. Between them they’ve worked on films like Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla, Ant-Man, Deadpool and its sequel and Life. That’s a pretty impressive roster of films it has to be said.

Eisenberg and Stone are also nicely written with a good character arc that means we get to see opposing sides to their roles. Unfortunately, Breslin is underused throughout, reduced to a part that feels much more like a support role. Of the new characters introduced, Rosario Dawson and Zoey Deutch are thinly written but reasonably entertaining.

The movie makes a big deal out of introducing some new breeds of zombie flesh-eaters, but doesn’t really do anything with them
Thankfully, the script remains a real highlight over the brisk 99-minute run-time with some genuine hilarity. The screenplay’s attempts at emotion work reasonably well but fall flat on a couple of occasions – the basis of the previous film was its humour and no surprises, this is where the sequel excels.

It’s a nice film to look at too. While some of the landscapes look a little too artificial, the sweeping shots of desolate buildings and roads add a sense of scale that was sometimes lacking last time around. The opening sequence inside the White House is great to watch and sets up the rest of the film well.

Zombieland: Double Tap works best when our band of characters is bouncing off each other and it’s a good job as the zombie action is fleeting. Some action pieces are well choregraphed but for a film about the world being overrun by the undead, there’s a distinct lack of them. The movie makes a big deal out of introducing some new breeds of zombie flesh-eaters, but doesn’t really do anything with them until the final act and that’s a bit of a shame.

Nevertheless, Zombieland: Double Tap remains easy-to-watch and likeable throughout with a cracking cast of characters. Unfortunately, the world has moved on from 2009 and zombie films, TV shows and books are ten-a-penny nowadays (something nicely referenced at the beginning of the film) and while Zombieland 2 does an awful lot right, in the end it’s a decent sequel to a great film, and nothing more than that.

Stick around for a post-credits sequence that follows on from the predecessors “greatest cameo ever”.
  
Zombieland (2009)
Zombieland (2009)
2009 | Comedy, Horror
Great Cast Makes For the Perfect Movie
Four strangers have to learn to survive together during a zombie apocalypse. Talk about a movie that checks all the boxes, Zombieland does just that! It’s got a little something for everyone.

Acting: 10

Beginning: 10
The first ten minutes is a perfect setup for what you can expect throughout the movie. This isn’t your typical zombie-survival romp and I thought writer Rhett Reese did an amazing job of establishing that early. You meet and fall in love with the main character as he tries to survive a simple trip to the bathroom. You also learn how his “rules” have kept him alive so long.

Characters: 10
His name is Columbus, played by Jesse Eisenberg. He’s such an unlikely hero that you can’t help but root for the poor guy as he moves from one scene to the next. Many of the scenes would have played out much differently if it weren’t for his quirky personality.

The other three mains, Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Wichita (Emma Stone), and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) add their own flare to the film as well. Tallahassee is a badass to the point where it gets extremely comical. His character motivation of searching for a Twinkie (literally!) is priceless. The ladies share a fun backstory that make them an intriguing pair. You throw all four together and you have a perfect combination.

Cinematography/Visuals: 10

Conflict: 10

Entertainment Value: 10
This apocalyptic adventure is a blast across the board from beginning to end. Even the backstories are exciting to watch. The characters help drive the story as you can somehow manage to get on board with each of their motivations for survival. The action is a blast and the slower moments are underrated gems.

Memorability: 10

Pace: 10

Plot: 10
Zombie movies have been done over…and over…and over…It’s a rare treat when they get it right and try to think outside of the box. I love that the film manages to take a familiar theme and make it fresh. Not only is the movie original, but it harbors some of the most memorable scenes in film.

Resolution: 10
Always nice when a movie doesn’t overstay it’s welcome. Zombieland ties up its story in tidy fashion, ending with a heartfelt bang. It immediately makes you want to watch it again.

Overall: 100
I have the utmost respect for the sheer creativity in Zombieland. Sometimes movies try too hard while others don’t try hard enough. This movie never feels forced and always feels in control of its own destiny. Even the small scenes are impactful, like the night scene where they are taking turns driving and getting to know each other in the car. Zombieland is a cinematic treat.
  
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JT (287 KP) rated The Call (2013) in Movies

Mar 16, 2020  
The Call (2013)
The Call (2013)
2013 | Mystery
7
7.1 (8 Ratings)
Movie Rating
Good performances (0 more)
The odd familiar cliché (0 more)
Don't Hang-Up on The Call
Brad Anderson directed one of my favourite horrors, Session 9, a film that is not particularly gory but is extremely unnerving in a variety of ways. It’s a film that leaves chills down your spine and fixates you to the screen, Anderson has a great way of building tension to almost breaking point, and with The Call, he’s achieved very much the same.

Halle Berry is 911 operator Jordan Turner who takes hundreds of distressing calls each day and generally manages to keep a cool head when the going gets tough. One particular day she takes a call from a young girl who has an intruder in the house, things don’t go well and as a result, Jordan takes a back seat from answering the phone to training the next generation of 911 operators.

It’s not long before she’s called back into the fray to face her fears and a familiar foe on the end of the phone, using her nerve and judgement she must help another young teenage girl from facing a similar fate. The acting is generally pretty good all-round, nothing wooden about these performances as everyone gives their all in making the situation as believable as it can be.

The film holds itself well, for the most part, maybe only wobbling when bog-standard clichés are introduced into the mix, but it’s not detracting at all and I genuinely cared about what the outcome would be. We know that suspense is driven through genuine fear, and there is no fear like being trapped inside the boot of a car which is what happens to young Abigail Breslin after she’s abducted.

During that part of the film where she is frantically on the phone to Jordan looking for a way out, we do wonder if it is going to be the end for her, and that every chance she gets to raise the alarm is thwarted as is always the case in these types of situations. The killer has a pretty good motive and the backstory is somewhat disturbing, it’s left to the audience to deduce just what his reasoning is for undertaking the horrific crimes.

The film then sets about racing away to the conclusion and it does feel a bit rushed, some have been harsh in their reviews of the way it ended, but I enjoyed it. There was a distinct nod to the original Saw which if that is correct, was a nice touch, although I think that is just me reading into it. Overall its a hell of a lot better than some other mainstream thrillers and is definitely worth the time.