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Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)
Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)
2019 | Action, Comedy, Horror
Very funny sequel
Contains spoilers, click to show
So after years of waiting for a sequel to the brilliant original and this year we finally got it and it just about surpasses the original.

All the original stars are back along with new and very funny character madison (played by zoey deutch) who is dumber than a box of frogs.The plot itself is very basic but that doesnt matter because the film runs on all the jokes.Hopefully there wont be such a long wait for a third film.

Oh and there is another hilarious appearance by bill murray this time during the main credits.
  
Why Him? (2016)
Why Him? (2016)
2016 | Comedy
5
6.5 (13 Ratings)
Movie Rating
When an “out of touch” Midwesterner owner of a paper factory (Bryan Cranston) decides to take his family to California to spend Christmas with his college student daughter (Zoey Deutch) and meet her new tech-millionaire, but socially inept boyfriend (James Franco), a typical father vs boyfriend faceoff ensues. For many, Why Him? will be enough to satisfy the comedy itch. Those expecting to find the next gut busting comedy will be disappointed, while those thinking it will be a dull comedy will be pleasantly surprised. This film is somewhere in the middle. A constant stream of chuckles with a few bigger laughs here or there. But ultimately forgettable at the lack of main characters to root for.

The highlights of this film include Cranston who reminds us that he has comedic timing from his years in Malcom in the Middle. His chemistry and timing is played well across Megan Mullally who perfectly delivers a few genuine laughs as a Midwestern suburban wife trying to maintain the niceties. Their son (Griffin Gluck) also adds to the humorous family affair as a teenage brother trying to be taken seriously as an adult but still being treated as a child. Lastly, the always funny Keegan-Michael Key hilariously plays Gustav, the “estate manager” to the tech-millionaire boyfriend and spices up the film every time he seems to appear.

James Franco on the other hand quickly wears out is welcome as the socially inept tech-millionaire boyfriend. At times he is funny, however after the dropping the “f-bomb” so many times you begin to sees him as a basic, depthless “caricature” only going for the low hanging fruit of crude jokes. Still, his crude, repeated, jokes are no longer funny after the first few times we see them. The film tries to give Franco some “mysterious depth” through an eluded troubled childhood and his genuine honesty. Only the film never gives you any payoff, as Franco’s character never actually evolves past his caricature shortcomings. It is a shame, because we actually like the girlfriend character (Zoey Deutch) and want to understand what she sees in Franco’s character, however since he never really evolves, there really is no reason to like or root for them to be together.

I also want to point out that this film acknowledges its biggest flaw. At one point in the film a character points out that there is a war going on between father and boyfriend, only the boyfriend isn’t actually fighting. That’s true, and thus there is no real conflict and no real reason to root for any of the characters. Franco’s boyfriend character never evolves past his caricature. While Cranston’s father character only evolves because the movie devolves into “paint by numbers” territory in the last 10 minutes. Since there is no one to root, we do not really care the outcome as we got our chuckles throughout the film but will forget about it shortly after walking out the theater.

Why Him? Has a solid cast, a few unexpected cameos and delivers constant chuckles throughout, however without giving us a likeable boyfriend or any characters to root for, the lack of memorable gut busting laughs has this film as nothing more than a typical forgettable comedy.
  
Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)
Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)
2019 | Action, Comedy, Horror
It is hard to believe it has been ten years since audiences were introduced to the hysterical yet violent Post-Apocalypse world of Zombieland; but thankfully the crew is back again with the highly enjoyable “Zombieland: Double Tap”.
The story begins with Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), bringing the audience up to speed on what has happened since the last film. The Zombies have evolved into different classes of abilities and Columbus and his ersatz family have taken up residence in The White House.
Columbus and Wichita (Emma Stone) are still dating; well at least as best as one can do in a Zombie Apocalypse which is painfully short on options. This situation does not seem to bother Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), as he is happy to work on his loaded vehicle dubbed “The Beast” but for Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), the situation has become intolerable.

Little Rock is eager to find someone to have a relationship with and when her frustrations combine with Wichita’s insecurities; the girls take off leaving the men to fend for themselves.

While Tallahassee has no issues with this, Columbus is a moping mess and even a trip to the local mall cannot lighten his mood. Things change when they meet the ditzy and clueless Madison (Zoey Deutch); who steals her scenes with her Clueless Pop Culture Princess who is as oblivious to their situation as a person can be.

When Wichita returns to tell them that Little Rock has run off with a guy she met, the crew load up and take to the road to save the day but are blissfully unaware of the new dangers waiting for them.

This is the rare sequel that is as good if not better than the original. The cast works very well with one another and the introduction of new characters brought some additional comedy to the film as well as enhancement to the action sequences.

While the film is at times very gory; it is done in a humorous way that balances the dangers the characters are in with a wink and smile to let the audience know that this is still an Action/Comedy that is light on the darkness and big on the levity.

The film has some great continuity with the original film without repeating itself as Columbus’s rules for survival still pop up when they are used and we also get some hysterical new updates to the coveted Zombie Kill of the Week.

Director Ruben Fleischer knows what audiences want and does a great job giving them more of what he gave them in the first film without being gratuitous or heavy handed with the material.
The new cast works well with the returning players especially Rosario Dawson and the previously mentioned Zoey Deutch who fit seamlessly into the comedic Zombie mayhem.

You will want to make sure to stay into the credits for a fantastic bonus scene which puts a great capper on the film which was one of the best times I have had at the movies in recent years and one of the better movies of 2019.
Hopefully this is not the last outing for the crew as I would love to see further adventures in Zombieland but hopefully we will not have to wait 10 years for the next chapter.

4 stars out of 5
  
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.
  
Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)
Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)
2019 | Action, Comedy, Horror
Not quite as good as the original
It's been 10 years since we last saw Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Wichita (Emma Stone), and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) and our TV and movie screens have since become even more saturated with zombie content. It's something which even gets acknowledged by Columbus during his opening narration to Zombieland: Double Tap as he thanks the audience for choosing this movie, now that there are "many choices in zombie entertainment."

The opening narration also hilariously introduces us to some of the specific variations of zombies currently being encountered - the Homer, the Hawking and the Ninja - before continuing the comic book violence that we know and love from the first movie. A hugely entertaining slo-mo zombie battle on the overgrown grounds in front of The White House while the opening credits roll. But after that, the foursome setup residence in the presidential home, making good use of the space available and even celebrating Christmas there (even though it's only November!).

Little has changed in the group dynamic, other than the fact that Little Rock is now all grown up, something which forms the basis for the main plot of the movie. Columbus and Wichita are struggling to settle into a routine as a couple, and Tallahassee serves only as an overbearing father figure to Little Rock. Tiring of this setup, and longing for friends her own age, Little Rock runs away with a peace loving boy called Berkeley, to a place called Bablyon, home to a community of pacifists where weapons are not allowed. The others, fearing for her safety, set out on a road trip to go find her.

Something about the humour of Double Tap doesn't seem to work as well as it did in the first movie and much of the bickering and interaction between this makeshift family doesn't feel quite as enjoyable this time around. The constant onscreen reminders of 'the rules' that the group live by becomes tiresome at times and it's therefore up to a number of new characters that the guys meet along the way to try and inject something fresh into it all.

First up is Madison (Zoey Deutch), a young woman that Columbus and Tallahassee meet at a mall early on. Madison is a typical ditzy blonde cliché, forming the butt of many of the jokes, but still managing to be endearing and a lot of fun. Then there's Nevada (Rosario Dawson), along with Tallahassee and Columbus meeting up with their doppelgängers Albuquerque (Luke Wilson) and Flagstaff (Thomas Middleditch). If you've seen the trailer then that manages to cover off a lot of these character meetings and interactions, along with a number of plot beats too unfortunately.

What the trailer doesn't show you though are the hugely satisfying, big action set-pieces, which manage to come along just at the right time in order to inject some serious entertainment into the flagging dialogue. Aside from the slo-mo opening battle that I've already mentioned, there's a wildly fun slapstick zombie fight in an Elvis themed motel and a finale that's packed full of zombie carnage. Not to mention a lengthy credits scene which starts off well, and just keeps on getting better! And the introduction of a more difficult to kill strain of zombie only adds to the fun too.

Overall, Double Tap doesn't quite live up to its predecessor. It's a fun ride though, still boasting some of the best zombie killing action out there, but ultimately doesn't leave much of a lasting impression.
  
Beautiful Creatures (2013)
Beautiful Creatures (2013)
2013 | Drama, Sci-Fi, Romance
7
7.3 (7 Ratings)
Movie Rating
Hollywood has seemed to turn to books these days for inspiration to try and bring audiences the latest and greatest to the big screen. Has the industry turned to teen novels to solely follow in the footsteps of the widely known Twilight Saga success to in turn bring more money to the box office? It certainly wouldn’t be a bad idea to do so. With the success of the over saturated archetype of vampires and zombies, the path through the supernatural teen based stories has now led us to witches, or should I say casters. Based on the best selling American young adult series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, Beautiful Creatures is the first novel in the best selling series. The story is based in a small conservative town of Gatlin, South Carolina and is at first about Ethan Wate (Alden Ehrenreich) a seventeen year old young man who lives with his father that is stuck in morning over the death of his wife and the house keeper Amma (Viola Davis) who is also the towns all knowing librarian. Ethan dreams and hopes that one day he will break free of the small town of Gatlin and go to college far away. Lately though, he has been having a recurring dream of a young woman waiting for him on a Civil War battlefield. Every time he is close to reaching her a lightning bolt strikes just like a gunshot and he dies. Thankfully, it is only a dream but he doesn’t seem to be able to think about anything else other than the woman in his dreams and falls in love with this mystery woman, hoping one day he will be united with the girl of his dreams.

With the beginning of the first day of school a newcomer named Lena Duchannes (Alice Englert) seems to be an outcast because of her families history. Capturing the attention of Ethan he becomes more and more intrigued with her, despite the awful things that the other classmates are saying about her. Lena is the niece of Macon Ravenwood (Jeremy Irons), the owner of the one and only mysterious Gothic Ravenwood Manor. Lena has uncontrollable powers proving that some of what her classmates have been saying is true. Lena has until her sixteenth birthday to undergo the Claiming, a process that throughout the years makes a caster go to the light side or the dark side. The film also features an allstar cast such as: Alden Ehrenreich, (“Tetro”), Emmy Rossum, Thomas Mann, Emma Thompson, Rounding out the cast are Eileen Atkins, Margo Martindale, Zoey Deutch, Tiffany Boone, Rachel Brosnahan, Kyle Gallner, Pruitt Taylor Vince and Sam Gilroy.

The film Beautiful Creatures is a supernatural love story with some of the same ideas and themes as most of these supernatural teen movies based off of best selling novels. However, Beautiful Creatures was a refreshing take on the story of two young lovers, one who is human and the other who is a supernatural being. The scenery and use of the deep southern backdrops added to the mystery of the story. I have not read the book though I plan to, I am unable to comment on how close the movie was to the book. The special effects in the film were not overdone or out of place and were appropriate to each specific scene. Some comedic relief is found throughout the film and is not out of place. The flow of the story is also flawless including the music used for the soundtrack.

This film has been rated PG-13 for violence, scary images and some sexual material. I would recommend this to audiences of a variety of ages from young teen to older adult. Yes this film may have some similarities to other teen/supernatural films but all in all it is a film I definitely would recommend to our readers and I can’t wait for the second installment.
  
Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)
Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)
2019 | Action, Comedy, Horror
The best Zom-com since its predecessor!
When "Zombieland (2009)" first came out, I was sceptical about it, as it looked like it would be nothing but a gore-fest packed with silly and cringe-worthy cheap laughs. But then it started and 'For Whom The Bell Tolls' began playing and I knew I was in for a treat!

Fast-forward a decade, and I entered "Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)" with similar scepticism. I was concerned the studios were going to take what had become a modern classic and simply rehash it in a poor attempt to cash in on its previous success. But then it started and 'Master of Puppets' began playing and I knew I was in for a treat!

Picking up seamlessly where the first one left off, both in terms of story and tone, Double Tap begins with the our group of heroes approaching the White House, which they decide is a good place to lay down some roots in the post-apocalyptic, zombie-infested world they find themselves in.

It isn't long before the youngest member of the group, Little Rock, tires of their attempt at normality, desperate for interaction with any survivors her own age. After Wichita and Columbus fall out, the sisters take off, prompting a road trip for Tallahassee and Columbus to bring them back.

This is a masterclass in how a comedy movie should be executed. Laughs are frequent but not forced. The script is well-written and packed with the same sharp, witty dialogue found in its predecessor. And it manages to maintain its pacing for the duration - something few films can pull off. Too often, comedy films start off with an hilarious first act, but then runs out of steam by Act 2 before ruining the final act by trying to be too serious.

Yes, I'm looking at you "Baywatch (2017)"!

But Double Tap doesn't suffer from any of that. It retains the heart that made it stand out the first time around, whilst building on the laughs and relationships between the characters.

I found this film a little more meta than I remember the first one being. Lots of references to Zombie pop culture, like "The Walking Dead" and "Dawn of the Dead" - both of which Columbus refers to as unrealistic, which is ironically funny.

Of course, being a sequel, you need to introduce some new faces. The first one is Madison, played brilliantly by the beautiful Zoey Deutch. When the airhead blonde stereotype first appears, you immediately cringe and worry she's going to be the annoying tag-along that hopefully dies... yet the character is written in such a way that she effortlessly fits into the group and quickly becomes a likeable addition.

Next is Nevada, portrayed by the ever-reliable Rosario Dawson. She's a hard-hitting, Zombie-killing, Elvis-loving beauty who is an immediate and obvious match for Tallahassee.

And speaking of him, Woody Harrelson again steals the show with his incredibly funny, heart-warming and cringe-inducing turn as the violent Redneck. His lines are hilarious, even when they're not meant to be, and they're delivered inch-perfect every time.

The soundtrack is spot-on, and the visuals fit the type of movie this is trying to be. Overall, this film is a real treat. It flies by, provides many, many laughs, and also tugs on the heart strings just a little bit. It has everything that made the first one great, and it adds just enough to make this feel like more than just a remake.

Oh, and without spoiling things, it ain't over 'til the credits stop rolling... just saying! :-)

Not to be missed!
  
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”.