5 ideas about a movie: Zombieland: Double Tap

Movie reviews

Hello!

And welcome to a review of an unexpected but highly appreciated sequel. This is Zombieland: Double Tap.

IMDb summary: Columbus, Tallahassee, Wichita, and Little Rock move to the American heartland as they face off against evolved zombies, fellow survivors, and the growing pains of the snarky makeshift family.

  1. The original Zombieland from 2009 is a modern cult classic that brought new life into the zombie genre back when it first came out. It overtook the 2004’s Edgar Wright’s Dawn of the Dead as the highest-grossing zombie movie and certainly helped to boost The Walking Dead’s initial popularity (the show premiered in 2010). World War Z took over Zombieland’s box office record in 2013. Can Double Tap return the franchise to no 1 spot? Subjectively speaking, I think it deserves it.
  2. Double Tap was written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (the duo wrote both Deadpools) and Dave Callaham (who is writing the WW1984 film). Similarly to the first film, the sequel had self-aware writing and a tonne of references to pop culture. It also paid homage to the first film a lot (there was a whole special sequence during the credits).
  3. Character-wise, the stories of the 4 main leads were continued nicely. The film also added some new characters for a cool sequence involving some doubling. The movie also featured some new quite stereotypical characters but they were knowingly stereotypical and borderline cartoony which fit the vibe of the picture. Thematically, the movie celebrated dysfunctional families and people as home. While that is not an original theme by any means, there is a reason why we keep coming back to it. Can’t deny its universal appeal.
  4. Ruben Fleischer returned to direct the sequel to his debut film (he also directed Venom just recently) and did a great job. The film was paced well and had a good mix of sarcastic and quite stupid humour. The action was gory, over the top and cartoony – exactly what it needed to be. The film also had some nice visual transitions, especially in the opening.
  5. The original film kickstarted or re-invented a lot of the cast members’ careers, so it was nice to see them all return. Woody HarrelsonJesse EisenbergAbigail Breslin, and Emma Stone were great. Rosario Dawson was also an amazing new addition. Zoey DeutchLuke Wilson, and Thomas Middleditch worked well in their supporting roles too.

In short, Zombieland: Double Tap is a fun sequel that is worthy of checking out if you enjoyed the first film.

Rate: 4.25/5

Trailer: Zombieland: Double Tap trailer

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Movie review: Wonder

Movie reviews

Hello!

In honor of the World Kindness Day, the cinemas all over the UK put on special preview screening of Wonder and I got a chance to attend one of them. So, let’s review it!

IMDb summary: Based on the New York Times bestseller, WONDER tells the incredibly inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman, a boy with facial differences who enters fifth grade, attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time.

Writing

Wonder was written by Jack Thorne (a playwright and a TV writer), Steve Conrad (the writer of The Pursuit of Happyness (one of the most hopeful movies I’ve ever seen – no surprise he got this gig) and the director of the film Stephen Chbosky, based on the children’s novel of the same name by R.J. Palacio. I enjoyed the film’s writing quite a bit. I loved how the movie focused on multiple characters and had separate vignettes centered on each of them. The characters, who were chosen to be spotlighted, were not the typical ones. For example, the former friend of the main character’s sister. The typical thing would have been to turn her into a shallow bully rather than explore her backstory, which was what Wonder did. I only wish that we would have gotten more development for the parent characters and seen their struggles outside their relationship with their children.

The themes that Wonder explored and the messages it tried to spread made the picture the perfect fit for the World Kindness Day. The movie encouraged its viewers to value true friendship and family, to give people a second chance, to be the bigger person and to be kind at the same time, to be proud of one’s scars, to learn to listen and to be empathetic. Wonder’s story was heartwarming and hopeful, while still remaining grounded in the real world – not shying away from its problems, but encountering them with goodness in the mind and in the heart. The plot was also full of funny moments. I, personally, loved all the Star Wars references. I wonder whether they were in the original book or whether the film just included them because Jacob Tremblay (the actor who played the main character) is quite a fan of the franchise himself.

Directing

Wonder was directed by Stephen Chbosky – the author of The Perks of Being a Wallflower (he also wrote and directed the movie adaptation of that story) and the writer of the movie musical Rent and Disney’s live-action juggernaut Beauty and the Beast. I though that he did quite a good job with directing. I loved the visual metaphors and how science and astronomy were used to express the emotional state of the character. The vignette structure was also handled well and the film wasn’t choppy. It was a bit slow, though, but a story like this needs to evolve organically, so I wasn’t too annoyed about the pacing issues.

Acting

Wonder’s lead was played by Jacob Tremblay – one of the best young actors, in my mind. He was absolutely stellar in Room a few years back and as good in this film. He also did an incredible job acting through the make-up and the prosthetics. Julia Roberts (Money Monster) played the mother of the main character and was a pure joy to watch. Owen Wilson (She’s Funny That Way, Cars 3) starred as the dad and was appropriately funny (sometimes his roles go from comedic to stupid and I’m so glad this one wasn’t an example of that). Izabela Vidovic was really good as Tremblay’s character’s sister, while Noah Jupe, who I saw less than a week ago in Suburbicon, was great as the main character’s friend from school.

In brief, Wonder was a wonderful little film with a nice message.

Rate: 4/5

Trailer: Wonder trailer

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My summer holidays in Lithuania 2014

Sightseeing

Hello!

How are you feeling today? Since it is the last day of summer, I decided to tell you all about my summer holidays and what I have been up to.

You have already read about swimming and running marathons that I have participated in this summer as well as my trip to Berlin. You can check those posts again here: Multi-sports, Festival, Swimming 1, Swimming 2, Swimming 3, Swimming 4.

But that is not all what I did this summer:

In the middle of July, me and a bunch of my friends went camping for a couple of days. We rented kayaks and rowed 20 km down the river Dubysa (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dubysa). In the evening we went swimming and relaxed in a sauna, then spent all night talking by the fire and went to sleep to our tents in the early morning. The next day, after late breakfast, we played football and volleyball and then went home. It was a nice little trip that helped us bond even more.

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At the end of July, me and my dad went to Klaipėda (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klaip%C4%97da) and spent a couple of days by the Baltic Sea. On Monday, we went to resort town Smiltynė (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smiltyn%C4%97) by ferry, walked in a pine forest for a bit and spent the rest of the day by the sea, sunbathing and swimming. On Tuesday, we rented bikes and took another ferry to Nida (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nida,_Lithuania) (we went by Curonian lagoon http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curonian_Lagoon) and then cycled back to Klaipeda. We cycled 50 km in 5 hours. The same day we walked around the harbor, saw a sculpture for people who died at sea. On Wednesday,  we went back to Smiltynė and relaxed for a bit before going back to the city.

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In the middle of August, we did another cycling trip from Kaunas to Kačergine. We cycled about 30 km there and back. Kacergines forest (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ka%C4%8Dergin%C4%97) was amazing and perfect place for calm recreation.

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And just today me and my family went to the park by Kaunas lagoon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaunas_Reservoir_Regional_Park )  and walked around, visited Pažaislis monastery (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pa%C5%BEaislis_Monastery).

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I hope that you had an amazing summer and that you have enough energy to get back to school,work or whatever you are doing.Bye!