I really liked the first Zombieland. It felt like America’s answer to Shaun of the Dead,, and although it wasn’t quite as clever as that Simon Pegg vehicle, it had tons of personality and a great cast. This sequel, which I’d never expected but was hyped for none the less reunites us with our American-state-named survivors Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Wichita (Emma Stone) etc. during the zombie apocalypse following the discovery of a mutated, even deadlier version of the creatures they’ve become a little too relaxed with despatching.
Clearly the story is a fairly basic excuse to do another Zombieland and although this fails to further build on what came before or flesh out the setting, with barely any exploration of the zombie threat … just being in the company of these chatacters again was good enough. Harrelson, Stone and Eisenberg still have great chemistry and their frequently comical banter is pure joy. Honestly, I dont think i could ever get bored of these characters. Harrelson is especially on brilliant form and steals many of the best scenes. Although, less said about a tiresomely pouty Abigail Breslin as Little Rock and that incrdibly annoying millenial bimbo that turns up, the better.
A shortage of new ideas makes this sequel a bit lazy, but the comedy, some decent zombie killing action and just plain fun characters all sparking off each other, made for solid entertainment regardless – and yeah, I’d welcome a part three with open arms.
I love magic, from the likes of Penn & Teller to David Blaine and Cris Angel, so this was an easy pick for me. Four famed street magicians are brought together by a mystery organization known as The Eye to use their skills at illusion to pull off a series of elaborate heists. Yet an FBI agent (Mark Ruffalo) is hot on their heels, aided by a former magician (Morgan Freeman) who now hosts a TV show exposing the secrets behind so called magic tricks.
This is a very entertaining and cleverly plotted thriller, deftly put together by The Transporter’s Louis Leterrier and with several stand out performances, most notably the always interesting Mark Ruffalo and also Jesse Eisenberg, doing his geek/genius thing to perfection. Also on hand is a sexy Isla Fisher and an enjoyably dead-pan Woody Harrelson. For me the plot got a bit convoluted and some of the twists and turns were a little hard to swallow (especially the ending). Also by exploring a subject many still consider steeped in mystery, the ‘magic’ goes a tad over the top and far fetched, with unnecessary use of CGI. Also the motive for these clearly gifted illusionists turning to crime is not explored which I found hard to understand, especially when they clearly make them selves known for their crimes (?).
That being said the action, including an intense car chase and the illusions themselves make for a gripping and enjoyable experience over all, backed up by some very stylish looks. Just a shame its all a bit too frantic and clever (or complicated?) for its own good.
It would be easy to pass off many animated movies these days as simply more of the same, and although this likable entry has the same old themes, such as believing in yourself, fish out of water etc, it has enough comedy, lush visuals and all round ‘fun’ to make it worth your while. Blu is a rare breed Macaw, who having been captured by poachers as a baby, soon becomes the pet of a young girl. Over fifteen years they become inseparable. Then one day a wildlife expert spots Blu and offers to take him and his owner to Brazil where he knows about a female Macaw, and if they hit it off, it could mean the saving of the species. That is until a band of ruthless smugglers intervene.
From the guys behind the Ice Age movies, this is a vibrant and instantly enjoyable movie. The voice acting, whilst nothing special adds personality, with Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway delivering the goods as the two Macaws. The relationship between Blu and his owner is pretty much the same as that seen in other movies such as Bolt, and as a story, it’s fairly predictable. Thankfully the gag factor is more hit than miss and the increasingly entertaining situations (with a memorable carnival chase) mean it never gets tiresome, and support characters like a rapping bird voiced brilliantly by The Black Eyed Peas’ Will.I.AM. and a salivating bulldog, brought more than a few giggles my way. The Rio de Janeiro setting is also gorgeous and enhances the whole movie, meaning that all in all – this is one to see.
I’ll admit to not being a fan of Facebook. There, I said it. I’ve been on the site as a member and built up a friends list, but something about the artificiality of the social experience it professes to provide feels fake and ultimately isolating. So what excuse would I ever need to see a movie about Facebook? I have just one: David Fincher.
With the advent of the Twilight saga, Kristen Stewart has quickly become a household name and one of the more interesting rising stars. This amiable teen comedy-drama follows a college graduate (Jesse Eisenberg) who is forced to take a dead-end job at a local amusement park to pay for his University scholarship, and there he meets a bunch of likable co-workers who learn him the true meaning of life … mostly by falling for a girl, and learning some hard lessons along the way.
This charming movie is held together by some quality acting, especially from Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart as the troubled girl whose life is more complicated that Eisenberg first realises. Ryan Reynolds is on hand as a cool maintenance engineer come rock musician who gets all the ladies attentions, and along with some comic turns from various other characters – this is very entertaining. I had trouble deciding whether this was trying to be a full on comedy or a meaningful drama, and the movie as a whole sat uneasily between the two, and how things unfold isn’t particularly fresh or original, but the performances alone keep this from turning predictable. It dabbles in some mature themes as far as sex & relationships go, and it’s put together very realistically, capped off with an excellent 80’s soundtrack.
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