Movie Review: Sex Tape (2014)

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Plot: A married couple wake up to discover that the sex tape they made the evening before has gone missing, leading to a frantic search for its whereabouts. (IMDb)

Acting:5/10

Graphics: 8/10

Sound track: 6/10

Costumes: 6/10

Scenery:4/10

Pacing: 4/10

Time run: 100 minutes: 7/10

Stance within genre: 2/10

Book adaption/Originality: 7/10

Likeability: 4/10

=49/100 = 4.9/10

In yet another unfortunate meeting between Cameron Diaz and Jason Segal, Sex Tape has its moments, but they are far apart. Mostly it isn’t funny at all. I only watched this movie at a girl’s night – we wanted something funny and this fit the bill. It is probably the movie of 2014 I had no inclination to see because I always knew it would be quite horrendous.

The premise of the story is plausible enough – they could have prevented it all very effectively by just not making a sex tape OR not on a device that was connected with the internet in any freaking way #idiots. Thus Sex Tape is very relevant to society today but it must also be noted that the leaking of such material is often traumatic and not even remotely hilarious.

Cameron Diaz as a mother is certainly something new for her, and I mostly enjoyed her in it. Jason Segal is SO thin in here, and it looks odd. He is certainly the type of man who looks okay with a bit of fat, so I am rather sad he lost it all!

This is not as bad as Grown-Ups 2, because they at least didn’t send a Moose through the door within the first five opening minutes. I had some fun with this, but a shallow, unsatisfactory fun, which can be compared to drinking Jägermeister: fun at the time, but you really have no idea why you did it the following day.

Recommendation: If you like shitty movies, or are busy drinking Jägermeister.

Movie Review: The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies (2014)

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Plot: Bilbo and Company are forced to engage in a war against an array of combatants and keep the terrifying Smaug from acquiring a kingdom of treasure and obliterating all of Middle-Earth. (IMDb)

Acting:7.5/10

Graphics:6/10

Sound track:5/10

Costumes: 8/10

Scenery:9/10

Pacing: 3/10

Time run vs. Time needed: 144 minutes vs. 120 minutes6/10

Stance within genre: 5/10

Book adaption: 5/10

Likeability: 5.5/10

=60/100 = 6/10

What I liked:

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Thorin’s decent into madness and his redemption. These were some of the only scenes that felt true and authentic, it was part of the actual literature and Richard Armitage’s portrayal was something I continued to enjoy.

Luke Evans as Bard: The village people couldn’t act if something slapped them in the face, but Evans impressed me as the no-nonsense leader the Lake town needed.

Ken Stott as Balinwas so dignified. I actually enjoyed all the dwarves, but just as a note, dwarves should NOT be so attractive. (hem hem, Fili, Kili, Thorin)

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Azog the Defiler and all his merry Orcs: I can’t remember if he is in the book, but he worked in the movie really well. He was scary and gross and the end of him was actually one of the scenes I thought worked well.

Erebor: SO majestic and beautiful.

The legions of Orc armies – It will always give me goosebumps.

Bless Viggo Mortensen with twenty children for refusing to take part in the Hobbit (hem, hem Orlando Bloom). I knew they would sneak in a mention of Aragorn somewhere, but at least he stayed out of the show like it is supposed to be.

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Ian McKellan as Gandalf, Kate Blanchett as Galadriel, Hugo Weaving as Elrond all stayed excellent casting.

What I didn’t like:

The Graphics: It was jumpy and all over the place. I could not believe that this was a large budget film by the quality of the material – it was obvious that it was fake. It did improve about half way through

Dain: Talk about a character that looks like something from a fairy tale and not real.

The End: Bilbo’s return to the Shire gets at least 15 minutes of unwanted screen time, but you get no peek what happened to Bard, Thranduil, Tauriel and the Dwarves. Furthermore: Bilbo’s return and him finding his stuff being auctioned off? NOT happy with it, it defies everything about Hobbits and their nature.

The music score: One of the main reasons Lord of The Rings was so successful was thanks to the epic music score in the movies. It moved you, helped run the plot and carried every scene through. The music in the Battle of Five Armies was jumpy and didn’t really help the scenes at all.

Bulky Legolas: I mean 1) what is he doing in the Hobbit, 2) he looks so heavy he could break branches of trees and elves should be tall and slender by definition.

All dat love: I’ve harped on this for ages but WHY DID PETER JACKSON THINK A LOVE STORY WOULD BE APPROPRIATE BETWEEN AN ELF AND A DWARF???

Extended fighting scenes: Meh, not really necessary.

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Lee Pace is a drag queen: Thranduil did not impress me at all. He was too emotionless and callous and his nasal pronunciation of everything irritated me senseless.

Overall impression: Despite the large budget, the Battle of Five Armies is haphazardly composed. Mostly fan fiction and unimpressive. Peter Jackson needs to step back from the Tolkien material now and leave sacred things sacred.

Marvelous Mondays: X-Men (2000) by MovieRob

Hey all!

Rob has been super great during this blogathon… here he is back again today with a review of X-Men that was released in 2000. Thanks Rob!

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“Mutation: it is the key to our evolution. It has enabled us to evolve from a single-celled organism into the dominant species on the planet. This process is slow, and normally taking thousands and thousands of years. But every few hundred millennia, evolution leaps forward. ” – Prof. X

Number of Times Seen – at least 10 times (Theater on opening night in 2000, DVD and 9 Dec 2014)

Brief Synopsis – A group of mutants with superpowers band together to defend the world from other mutants and humans who wish to let their fear of the others rule their actions.

My Take on it – Growing up, I was a Huge fan of comics from the DC universe, but besides GI Joe and the Transformers, I stayed far away from all of the other Marvel titles.

I obviously knew about Spiderman and most of The Avengers from cartoons on TV, but I was never properly exposed to the X-men until I saw this movie on the night it came out in 2000.

What an experience that was for me because it opened my eyes to the possibility that a superhero movie can be more than just fun; the added layers of fear, genocide and accepting those that are different really spoke to me in ways I couldn’t imagine.

This movie does an excellent job introducing and immersing us into a world populated by mutants while at the same time gives us an action packed superhero movie.

This is one of the superhero movies that completely changed the genre and the way moviegoers think about films like this.

Bottom Line - Amazing entry in the series that does a great job of introducing the world with mutants and also gives us an action packed storyline. This movie made me a fan of the X-men. Highly recommended!

Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10)

Movie Review: If I Stay (2014)

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Plot Synopsis: Life changes in an instant for young Mia Hall after a car accident puts her in a coma. During an out-of-body experience, she must decide whether to wake up and live a life far different than she had imagined. The choice is hers if she can go on (via IMDb)

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Rating: 7.5/10

Releasing this within the same year as The Fault in Our Stars was really quite risky, because the movie runs on the same emotional scale as FiOS. No one has cancer, but a lot of people die and you form an immediate emotional bond with the shy and awkward Mia.

This is a book adaption from the book with the same name by Gayle Forman. I haven’t read it yet, so I can’t really discuss how well the adaption went, but I really liked it as a movie. It feels slightly too long at the end, but didn’t really bother me as I was really wrapped up in the story by then. I went in completely blind with no idea what to expect and I’ve really come to love watching movies that way instead of knowing the basics – where is the fun in knowing what is going to happen?

I’ve always considered Chloë Grace Moretz as a bit bratty, not really with sufficient evidence, but she has finally grown on me. Her acting was the most convincing and she carried the story when it was needed. If she continues with movies like these, I can see myself supporting her more and more.

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Adam (Jamie Blackley) is every girl’s dream to have as her first boyfriend. Cute, talented, sweet and devoted, he ticked all the right boxes. I supported him when he fought with Mia because I could see where he was coming from, because most of his fears were based on legitimately losing her in the end. Mia and Adam’s love story had enough cheese in to make it very YA and high school romance, but I was in the mood for it so I really liked their story. Their attraction is unconventional, but they are both talented in their vastly different musical fields and they shared that passion which made them match.

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Finally, a female friendship that wasn’t riddled with bitchiness and insincere gestures! The friendship between Kim (Liana Liberarto) and Mia was sweet and sincere. Can this happen more often???

Parents are often misrepresented in cinema: they are either uber cool, cruel, incredibly indifferent or stupid by Hollywood’s standards. I did enjoy Mia’s parents, but they came off as too cool and relaxed to be very realistic. I found what her father did to further her training in the Cello beautiful and a sign of true love though. I liked her grandfather as well, his admittance of how he made mistakes praising his own son’s talents, his determination to support Mia’s as a result, and his heartfelt acceptance that it was Mia’s choice to make whether she would continue to fight for her life.

Overall, the movie was cheesy and predictable but was once again about choosing to live when life completely sucked, so I enjoyed it.

Recommendation: I can see how this won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is a surprisingly feel good movie while still having some tearjerker moments.

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Favorite quote from the movie: “But the you who you are tonight is the same you I’ll be inlove with tomorrow”

Book Review: Bridget Jones’s Diary (Helen Fields)

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Plot:

Bridget Jones is on the verge of thirty. She has the normal issues: weight, work, her relationship status and her worries that all her vices are addictions and that she is in trouble. She is also faced with the decimation of her parents’ marriage, and her mother’s midlife crisis. After yet another Christmas nightmare of being bombarded with “when are you getting married?” and “your biological clock is ticking”, Bridget decides to change her life by losing weight, becoming glamorous and getting a man. Her delicious boss starts taking notice of her, and a relationship develops, but Daniel is also a man affected by the “fuckwittage” Bridget and her friends witness in London – men in their thirties completely mind fucking the ladies and the women just taking it as it comes. Although she takes him on about it, he still messes with her and she is eventually heartbroken when she finds him with a skinny, gorgeous girl, cheating on her.

Bridget still has to deal with Mark Darcy, the man her mother wants to hook her up with. Determined to dislike him on principle, she is soon confused by Mark – although he acts very odd sometimes he also has a kind nature about some things. He obviously dislikes even the mention of Daniel, and Bridget struggles to understand why.

Can Bridget sort out her life? Why does Mark dislike Daniel so strongly? Who will Bridget end up with, if she ever manages a relationship?

Rating: 7/10

I chose this book at my favorite second hand book shop for one reason: I needed something light and fluffy to read on the beach. Well, it was a successful choice because it certainly was light and fluffy, and hilarious as well. I really laughed out loud at a few places and had some much needed giggles while I associated with Bridget. I think most twenty somethings will find something in Bridget they associate with – she is obsessed with her weight, neurotic about her love life and constantly finds new addictions or things to obsess about. Her life doesn’t make sense, she is surrounded by a balanced mixture of horrible people and true friends. Bridget messes up constantly, she’s insecure but still determined to somehow make something work, and she’s not giving up. Her very embarrassing and awkward life makes her immediately identifiable, and I really understand why this book became an instant hit.

I loved the character a whole lot and will definitely read this again. The book is well written and very easy to read, but you must be willing to adapt to the whole diary format the book is written in. I am planning to watch the movie again soon, to see if it is a good adaption.

Recommendation: Light and fun, for those who needs a happy book.

Movie Review: The Mockingjay Part 1 (2014)

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Katniss: “I have a message for President Snow: You can torture or bombed us, blasted our district to the grounds. But do you see that ? Fire Is Catching… If we burn, you burn with us!”

Plot synopsis: With the Games now destroyed and in pieces, Katniss Everdeen, along with Gale, Finnick and Beetee, now end up in the so thought “destroyed” District 13. Under the leadership of President Coin and the advice of her friends, Katniss becomes the “Mockingjay” and the symbol of rebellion for the people (IMDb)

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Rating: 8/10

Although not as entertaining or jaw dropping as Catching Fire, I really did enjoy Mockinjay Part 1. It didn’t contain so many filler scenes as I thought it would. I consider the “filler” scenes really as part of the story here – remember, The Hunger Games is written in first person so it is only natural that there would be parts where the other characters showed what they were up to, because it wouldn’t have been in the book. The movie ended where I thought it would – the only place that makes sense when you read the book and realise what happens. It is also a wonderful, true adaption – I really didn’t catch much changed, and if it was, it wasn’t significant. A major plus is that the movie didn’t feel stretched out or too much, and I was worried about that. There wasn’t too much real action, but the first part of the book is mostly sadness and not guns blazing. The uprisings in the Districts particularly touched me, and I wouldn’t have minded seeing more of that. The bombing at the trees and the hydro electrical plant gave me such chills. It will always move me when people rise against injustice. I liked that they included the Hanging Tree song; it was beautiful, chilling and authentic.

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Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth) has so much screen time and I was EEK about it. He is responsible for saving so many lives after the bombing of District 12, but he is still carrying scars from what he saw, a weight on his shoulders to be a proper soldier to the District that saved him and pain because he knows that Katniss will never return his feelings. Liam isn’t as charming as his dear brother Chris (you may have heard of him), but I do like him as an actor and as Gale. He does slightly resemble Katniss, something that was essential in the books to pass them off as cousins for his safety, and he is very much as I would have imagined him if I ever read HG before the movies. Just as a note, I would have chosen Gale over Peeta any time of day and think Katniss is rotten for playing with Gale’s feelings just because she is unsure about her own. Liam Hemsworth and Jennifer Lawrence have enough chemistry to make this relationship very intriguing.

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Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) is in the hands of the Capitol and being tortured for his possible role in what happened in the Arena. He keeps sending out anti uprising propaganda, and is not the most beloved person in District 13. However, Katniss knows it is not who he really is, and notices his deterioration.

Like I just said, I wouldn’t personally choose Peeta over Gale, but I love the character. He is so sweet and loyal, and just wants to love Katniss and have her safe. Josh Hutcherson does well because he has a kindly face that seems to smile even when he isn’t, and he impressed me again in here with his portrayal. It is eery how physically worsens, and how bad he eventually looks.

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Sam Claflin impressed me as Finnick Odair. He isn’t the biggest part of the series, and I loved how his role stayed relative to that in the book – there, but not overwhelming. Claflin does the portrayal great, because I really felt his intense pain at knowing Annie was at the mercy of the Capitol. I understand everyone was upset with the cutting of Sam’s underwear scene, because it would have been fun and would have lightened up the movie a bit, but I think most of Finnick’s scenes were well executed.

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Donald Sutherland as President Snow was AMAZING. He is incredibly well cast and he is chilling and really charismatic at the same time. Snow loves playing games with Katniss – it seems as time as the uprisings in the Districts are insignificant to him compared to the continuing fight he has with Katniss.

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Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence, didn’t plague me as much as in the books. Lawrence makes her real, shows that the thorny exterior hides a terrified interior. The books sometimes only reflect her selfish behaviour and demands, but Katniss in the movie makes you understand that she is a product of her surroundings – maybe her indecisiveness to choose between Peeta and Gale isn’t greed but a desperate attempt to have more things to love and to be loved by. Not right at all – but sympathy can be had.

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Margaery Tyrell certainly looks different!

Lastly, I thought that Boggs, Cressida and the entire crew was well done, Elizabeth Banks shined once again as Effie Trinket, and Julianne Moore as Alma Coin was also a good choice. Woody Harrelson continues his role as Haymitch Abernathy, who is sober under the stringent rules of District 13, and that doesn’t make him nice at all. I like that he is always the one who tells Katniss where to get off, because she really deserves it.

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Recommendation: Hell’s yeah!

Word of advice to those who haven’t read the books yet for Mockingjay Part Two: Suzanne Collins didn’t pull a Veronica Roth, but she got REALLY trigger happy at the end of the series. #cries

Marvelous Mondays: Man-Thing by The IPC

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Today I have the pleasure of hosting my favorite IPC with his second Marvelous Mondays post. You can check his first review (of Elektra), here. Pappy, thanks so much for taking part, but after thorough review of secretary’s behavior, firing can not happen due to a number of reasons BUT: #pappyComeBack

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When Natasha’s agents first called my people to see if I would be interested in meeting her to do a piece about the movie Man-Thing, I was hesitant. Not because I was afraid of Natasha (she’s actually very sweet) (and short) but because I didn’t want her agency to have to shell out all of that money to fly me over there and then I turn into a pumpkin because I don’t know anything about the movie or the character. I didn’t ever really read those when I was a kid because he didn’t appeal to me but I do remember him looking like this:

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I remember not caring about his Environmentalist Hippie bullshit subtext and having someone teach me a lesson about preserving the ecology and being green and toxic shit and all of that, but I did buy the first one – as a collector – and read the first two and soon he was travelling to other dimensions and stuff that I didn’t care about so I quit reading:

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Anyway, I did the usual thing and prophesied my future by reading tea leaves and chicken bones and made the decision to commit to the travel and agreed. While I was recuperating from the rounds of VERY painful inoculations (vomiting, aches, constant pooping – you know) I gave this a watch and have to admit that it’s really pretty fucking terrible and I hated almost every second of it. You know – I’m not going to rag on the acting but from the opening scene, before I went and looked it up, I could immediately tell these were foreign people doing deep south American accents à and they were doing them very badly. Giving it a look…. yep:

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Have you ever been to the deep south of America? Well – I have and some of those assholes really are as hard to understand as Boomhauer from King of the Hill. But I pressed on because I had signed a contract and kept listening to these people bruise and destroy the English language and, aside from general malaise and a lingering side effect from my shots, I did not enjoy any of it whatsoever and it made for a miserable companion on my 20 hour flight to South Africa. Eventually the movie got to the part where it was going to do its Money Shot all over the place and show us the Man-Thing and this is what we got:

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What the fuck? That’s worse than what we got in Pumpkinhead 3 and 4. Really? I just sat through an hour of this:

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For that? No thanks, you Australian bastards. UGH. And, for real, this is how this shit went. Some Australian guy is being pontooned down a river by a toothless hillbilly. “Why’s  you heah??” Asks the toothless dude. “To get away from it all” says the city slicker. Psych, turns out he’s the new sheriff. K. In his first minutes on the job he gets a call and has to go shut down a protest at the local power plant. When he gets there, he gets on his loudspeaker and tells everyone to go home or he’ll have to issue some arrests and the leader of the group – a blond with a terrible attempt at an American accent – says no and kicks him in his balls. Somehow – about thirty minutes later they are in:

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And are kissing and crying all over the place and hunting down a psychotic American Indian in the swamps, trying to avoid the gigantic Man-Thing. This movie was absolutely miserable and Marvel should be ashamed of itself for having been a part of this but the most important thing to take out of this adventure of mine was that when I got to Natasha’s office, her receptionist:

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Was quick to point out this particular sign on the wall:

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I thought that was pretty weird since that’s not typical office behavior here in the States, but I signed in anyway – as a guest – and sat down in the reception area. It seemed like it had been a few hours that I sat there playing Kingdom Rush: Origins on my iPad before her personal Admin:

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Emerged from her office and politely told me that Natasha was “Occupied for the rest of the week”:

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And that I should “return to where I came from”. I wasn’t hurt or offended so much as I was aggravated that I had to get back on a fucking airplane for another twenty hours so, after the secretary had excused herself, I turned to the receptionist and:

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excused myself.

And there you have it!! The world’s FIRST EVER review of Man-Thing that devolves into fart lighting!! Seen right here on Life of this City Girl!

Thanks dear Pappy!!

PS: If you are still interested in reviewing something for this blogathon, see the list here and drop me a line. (If you’ve already chosen one and it isn’t marked with a strikethrough on the list, let me know to do my job and update the list!)

5 Things Friday: Five Things I am completely excited about

Happy Friday all!! Today is my last day of holiday (sad sigh) so I am cheering myself up with things I am completely excited about that is upcoming soon (or not so soon). Enjoy!!

1) Mockingjay Part One

When will this happen? Hopefully I will get to watch this Saturday. Even though reviews have been mixed, I am still excited to see what Katniss Everdeen gets up to.

Expected Rating: 7/10. I’m very sure that people are probably complaining about the correct things.

2) The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies

I love the Lord of the Rings so much I haven’t yet reviewed it yet on this blog – I don’t want to screw it up, you see. I have enjoyed these movies OKAY – they are long, I disagree strongly with the presence of a Dwarf and Elf love saga and am amused by the fact that they could make three movies of that teensy book. BUT it is the only movie my dad sees in cinema and can’t wait to watch it with him – he and I are the true fans in the family and can discuss this for hours afterwards.

When will this happen? Within this month

Expected Rating: 7/10. Very sure the length of this movie will irritate me.

3) Jurassic World  

When I heard the imminence of another Jurassic World I was like erm, really? Wasn’t there about fifty million installments, each a bit worse than the previous? I loved the first movie a lot as a kid! I have to say, this is looking very good because 1) Graphics, 2) Chris Pratt, 3) DINOSAURS + SCIENCE.

When will this happen? South-Africa doesn’t have a release date yet on IMDb, so hopefully within 2015.

Expected Rating: 8/1Looking good!

4) Avengers: Age of Ultron

Despite he fact that the filming on the South-African highway gave me an hour delay in my plans a few months ago, I am ridiculously excited. I CAN’T WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When will this happen? 2015

Expected Rating: 8.5/10 EEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5) Sherlock Season 4

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There is not a lot out on this yet, but it is apparently expected within 2015. I need this to happen very soon because I have been Sherlocked for months now and it is not stopping. I actually I think I will rewatch this within the next few weeks. .

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I had to put this in because it is so cool!!

When will this happen? (hopefully) 2015

Expected Rating: 275/10 (not even a typo)

What are you excited about?

Movie Review: Zombieland (2009)

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Plot: A shy student trying to reach his family in Ohio, a gun-toting tough guy trying to find the last Twinkie, and a pair of sisters trying to get to an amusement park join forces to travel across a zombie-filled America. (IMDb)

Rating: 7.5/10

This is about the fourth time I’ve seen this movie and it has yet to grow old for me. I have enormous amounts of fun every time because it is just so, well, AUTHENTICALLY funny. The humor isn’t overly silly, it’s not forced, and it genuinely original and fun. The story is about as realistic as every other zombie movie out there, so not at all, but still enjoyable. Humanity is obsessed with its’ own demise, but this movie makes a lot of fun with the end of the world.

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I really love Emma Stone and she is her hilarious self as always. Jesse Eisenberg is not a most beloved, but Columbus was a character well enough written that the actor wasn’t such a factor. I absolutely enjoy Woody Harrelson and his love for Twinkies in here is so understandable. Who doesn’t like the soggy, yellow delicious bastards? Tallahassee is a funny, kick-ass guy who is the perfect contrast to Columbus’s little boy behavior.

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Hmmm, what else did I enjoy about this? Wichita and Little Rock being able to so skilfully dupe the guys. It is funny and original and everyone is obviously having a blast in there. The Zombies aren’t scary at all. There are some hilarious one liners said by every character. The story is simple and it doesn’t try to be all serious, or suddenly switch between genres. The movie isn’t ridiculously long.

Recommendation: If there is the off chance you haven’t seen this yet, I suggest you do because it is tons of awesome!