Maggie Movie Review

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A large trend in cinema that has turned most people off to the horror genre is zombies. Yes, zombies. Love them or hate them they are here to stay. However, with any genre it has a possibility of going stagnant. There’s only so many times the general audience can see a cannibalistic undead person eat a puppy before it gets boring. Meanwhile, others out there will skip it all together for anything else. Which is kinda why I’m reviewing Maggie. This is a cross between a zombie movie and a family tragedy movie.

Unlike most zombie scenarios the world doesn’t completely collapse once they show up. In Maggie a rather refreshing approach was taken. The various governments around the world declare a forum of Martial Law and require everyone to be tested and treated. The intro, and everything that follows, I believe is a more realistic approach. There are a few instances in the movie where it shows people coming to terms with the death of their friends, or family, and learning to deal with it. To me this makes more sense since zombies are stupid and slow. So I couldn’t see a fast paced world ever be over thrown by a bunch of decaying freaks. So I kinda enjoyed this different take on this horror genre.

I could see that it was trying to push tragic themes into the audiences head, like movies about cancer. The only difference is that its about a disease that turns people into face eaters. So I kinda felt detached from it and the impact was lost. I felt it was less serious at some points then it could have been. The characters also developed different ways in dealing with the onset illness. Most were grizzly and it added to the overall impact of the situation. A kind of slow sorrow is felt throughout the film despite it being unevenly paced.

The major downfall to this movie is it’s pacing. Yes some of it does add to the theme of “the world is dying,” but it like all zombie movies after a while it’s like “we get it.” The random burning cars and torn apart houses get old after a while. Sure it could just be the background, but a lot of the scenes wouldn’t even involve the characters but random wreckage. These slow scenes kinda disrupt the pacing of the characters development, which other wise are well rounded. This doesn’t add much to the story and to a certain extent I think took away from good areas in the film where they could have simply done something else.

Oddly enough some slow scenes highlight a lot of the actors better abilities. It showed a good dramatic side to Arnold Schwarzenegger, which is rarely scene. Abigail Breslin is back to displaying her best skills as a girl who struggles with the fact that she’s slowly dying. Joely Richardson does a great job of being a cold hearted mother and compliments Schwarzenegger’s meandering about his daughters health. The bit characters do a decent job at adding tension to the film, but are only lost because of how quick they are introduced and then discarded.

Hopefully this will add some variety to the genera. For the tragedy buffs out there, you’ll probably love this. For the zombie fans, well, avoid it. There isn’t that much gore or cannibalism involved. In other words, it lacks action and the adventure elements that are usually in zombie films. The emotional turmoil of the family is enveloping and will draw most to the film. The heartfelt look into deaths in the family is something I hope most writers will consider for future movies in this genre. It’s a decent sad film, but I probably won’t be watching it again since it’s like seeing a rerun of fireworks: you know where the explosions are going to happen and fizzle out.

6.0/10

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World War Z Movie Review

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Some random American family is introduced in the beginning. They eventually find out about the infection and hold up in a apartment complex. They bumble through a few things and are eventually saved form the terror that is now Philly. The father is eventually given the task of helping a group find the a workable cure. A Harvard grad on board has some wild idea that they need to go out and find the origins of the virus in order to make said cure.

This movie is just bland and predictable, if you’ve ever seen any action movie ever. It starts off by a massive outbreak and everyone is trapped in a apartment complex. They somehow make it out via helicopter and to a US Navy rescue ship. Surprise. While on the Navy ship the main character is pressured into helping find a cure. Surprise. He, and a few other people, are shipped out to some dirt hole where it supposedly started only to be told other nations knew about it before hand. Surprise. Well, OK, not surprise, but you should get the point by now.

The cut and dry execution takes away from the realness of the situation, and/or other factors involved. Like there’s one scene where they get to a infected WHO (World Health Organization) building, where they study all the worlds deadliest diseases. In most buildings that store deadly diseases require a fail safe mechanism just in case one of the viruses gets out. Some suck all the oxygen out of the building within minutes and kills all the bacteria by liquid chemicals in the emergency fire system. Some adds a chemical to the air that literally burns everything in sight. In this one, in order to continue on with the story, there wasn’t any fail safe and the protagonists had to rumble through the now infected building to find what they were looking for. So if there was a fail safe they wouldn’t have been able to explore that section of the building and the movie would have ended sooner. I know this is nit picking a little, but anyone who knows anything about WHO knows this is one of their prized things: safety. So this, amongst other things, becomes unrealistic and unbelievable while everything is trying to be rooted in a realistic setting and being completely plausible.

Some of the good things about this film is that the action is rather fast paced, and constant. The splashes of blood are abound as well, without being disgustingly gory. That as well as the decent acting keep most of the audience watching. For a zombie movie I was impressed how they left out much of the gore and was still able to make it tense in many scenes. One thing that carries over from most horror movie is people not thinking and sometimes dying laughably bad deaths. This only happened a few times and how they died kinda added back some of the plausibility of the zombie outbreak.

For the most part the acting was OK. Most of the characters seemed OVER the fact that everyone they knew and loved had turned into bloodthirsty creatures. So it felt a little strange. You don’t know if they’re still in shock or took a second after fighting and sat there and said “screw it.” and don’t care about anything anymore. David Morse was a good surprise to see in the middle of the film and did bring a creepy vibe to the ‘oh what’s happening behind the political scenes’ conspiracy paranoia that follows the film. Peter Capaldi and Pierfrancesco Favino come later in the move, but provide a better, and more on edge, roles then seen in earlier parts of the film. They legit seemed more tense the some of the other actors who have claimed to see their loved ones eaten in front of them. Brad Pitt was alright, but I’d still say some of his best works are his more weirder roles like Cool World, or even Tweleve Monkeys. This is more or less a fun movie to see and not really one you can immerse yourself while watching the characters.

I don’t really know how to recommend a movie that’s this predictable. It is entertaining. It does have a few dozen tense moments. However it’s missing a few dozens things from it to make it that would make it scary. So it seems like “Zombie-movie-lite” for those who aren’t use to the genera yet or don’t care for gore. I will say that the ending is one of the more different ones I’ve ever seen in a zombie movie to date. So that was pretty neat to see. If you want to see this wait for Netflix or rent it somewhere.

5.5/10

7.3/10 – IMDB

63/100 – Metacritic Critic Reviews

6.8/10 – Metacritic User Reviews

Warm Bodies Movie Review

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In some alternate future a zombie virus sweeps the world for unknown reasons. Eventually it leaves more then half the world devastated while the rest struggle to survive. Some zombies eventually learn, or try, to maintain a normal life and try to reform themselves. Some eventually learn to talk while others turn into more violent zombies, known as Boneies. A zombie named R (Nicholas Hoult), while narrating all of this, saves a girl named Julie from the rest of the people his group is eating. He eventually develops a relationship with her while trying to keep her from being eaten.

This is a really cute alternate love story compared to what’s come out recently. However, the movie comes with some mild irritations along the way. Like there’s once scene where R is telling Julie that he won’t eat her. He show’s his horrid mangled zombie teeth and then the rest of the film they look completely fine. Then there’s various discrepancies with the script.

The whole love story behind the couple is interesting, but it doesn’t show them develop much. It shows them basically running and trying to survive half the time. After that they do cute things together, but nothing too big. I know they don’t have much of a dialogue because ones a damn zombie, but it feels like it needed to be beefed up a little since he did learn how to talk. I guess it’s more of a focus on how love “heals all” but it’s really dorky in it’s approach. Also the whole process, and how zombies show their humanity again, is unique to the zombie genera and will probable deter some people from wanting to watch it. However despite all the dorkiness it does bring a warm feeling to the whole movie considering how many characters help bring the two together.

Some of the stronger moments of the film would be cliché if it wasn’t how they carried them out. Like there’s one part where M (Rob Corddry) tries to convene R to eat Julie. Eventually they are loud enough that it calls the attention of Bonies that can hear/smell/see humans better then the average zombies. Now instead of being a complete stereotype and trying to eat her anyway M eventually helps them escape. Then Nora (Analeigh Tipton) instead of freaking out at R she has a really long funny montage trying to help R blend in with the humans.

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Most of the cast does relatively well acting. Nicholas Hoult (R in the movie) does relatively well, but looks incredibly stoned sometimes. Also some of his monotone narration might grind on you after a while. I want to say he narrates more then half the movie. He’s a nice addition to Hollywood due to his different facial aesthetics and his ability. Teresa Palmer was OK but I mostly found her acting mildly bland, but I can’t really hold that against her since I think that’s mostly how her character is writen and despite the fact that this is a ROMANCE movie more then half the movie is about Nicholas Hoult‘s characters struggles rather then her.

However the two that stood out were Rob Corddry and Analeigh Tipton. Corddry brings a softer tone to the horror movie, especially in some scenes. He does really well delivering some of the funnier moments in the movie which take skill since they’re very subtle jokes. To a certain extent I’d like to see him in a Bro-mance, like some of Paul Rudd‘s movies, due to his performance in this. Analeigh Tipton does a really decent job playing the nerdy girl side kick to Teresa Palmer. The only reason I was disappointed with her was due to the scripting. She was only in maybe less then a third of the movie and after being rather impressed with her performance in Crazy, Stupid, Love I thought I’d see more of her. Also John Malkovich does a really decent job as the authoritative father figure, but it’s a role we’re all familiar seeing him in. For whatever reason he brings a touch of ‘smart & crazy’ to the character which is almost one of his trade marks.

If you want something that’s funny, and not some cheesy crap like Twilight, then watch this. It maintains the true elements of a zombie film while still catering to the romance crowd and neither story elements overwhelms the other. Also the side stories don’t take up too much time to explain and don’t get in the way of the main story. It’s really heart warming and light despite some mild gore and violent scenes.

8.0/10

7.3/10 – IMDB