ABC Film Challenge – Animation – Z – Zombillenium (2017) Movie Review

Director: Arthur de Pins, Alexis Ducord

Writer: Arthur de Pins, Alexis Ducord (Screenplay) Arthur de Pins (Book)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Emmanuel Curtil, Alain Choquet, Kelly Marot, Alexis Tomassian, Mat Bastard, Emmanuel Jacomy

Plot: Zombillenium, the Halloween theme park, happens to be the one place on earth where real monsters can hide in plain sight. When Hector, a human, threatens to disclose the true identity of his employees, the Vampire Park Manager has no other choice but to hire him. To see his daughter, Hector must escape from his Zombies and Werewolves coworkers.

Runtime: 1 Hour 18 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Fun Animation

Story: Zombillenium starts when city inspector Hector looks to investigate the local theme part Zombillenium, only to learn the big secret about the park, the employees are real monsters, forced to work there, with Hector finding himself forced into the becoming the latest employee, with his daughter Lucie being forced into boarding school.

As Hector needs to learn to deal with the fact he is now dead and in fact one of the new monsters, he finds himself breaking more of the rules of the park, putting everyone else in danger, including his own daughter.

Thoughts on Zombillenium

Characters – Hector is a city inspector that hasn’t been the best father, putting his career ahead of his daughter, he does strike fear into the businesses in his city, with his latest inspection being on a horror theme park, where he ends up being turned into one of the employees, here he must help the park survive the changes in demand, which sees his ideas bring the love back to the park. Francis runs the park, needing to find a way to keep the business flying and the staff employed. Gretchen is the intern that is meant to be watching Hector around the park, teaching him about the rules, with her own desire to become one of the main attractions in the park, with her own powers. Steven is the star attraction in the park, the vampire who gets frustrated with the attention spiral out of control, looking to regain his fame.

StoryThe story here follows a city inspector that gets forced into working in the horror theme park as the latest attraction, with his ideas helping the park become stronger even if it does unsettle the system left in place with years of experience in the park. This is a nice spin to how the animated stories are created, with have a horror theme park filled with different creatures looking to remain employed, each monster has the trait that you would expect to see from the era, with plenty of messages about treating people equal in life.

Comedy/HorrorThe comedy in this film comes from the different monsters following or going against the known traits which have surrounding them for years, with the horror shows us how the monsters would look to make more of their abilities without being killers.

SettingsThe film creates a fully functional theme park for the main setting, it shows us how different monsters would run their own rides through the film.

Animation The animation brings us a style that feels fresh and unseen, with it following the style used by Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse.

Scene of the Movie – The concert.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The vampires are not interesting.

Final Thoughts This is an entertaining and enjoyable animation that brings to life a whole new selection of monsters in a modern point of view.

Overall: Enjoyable Animation.

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – Z – Zama (2017)

Director: Lucrecia Martel

Writer: Lucrecia Martel (Screenplay) Antonio Di Benedetto (Novel)

Starring: Daniel Gimenez Cacho, Matheus Nachtergaele, Juan Minujin, Lola Duenas, Rafael Spregelburd


Plot: Based on the novel by Antonio Di Benedetto written in 1956, on Don Diego de Zama, a Spanish officer of the seventeenth century settled in Asunción, who awaits his transfer to Buenos Aires.


Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Simple Look at History


Story: Zama starts with Spanish Colonel Zama (Cacho) who is ruling over a small community, waiting for his transfer to a bigger city, he looks after the local from the trouble makers which include Vicuna (Nachtergaele), while trying to win the heart of the most beautiful woman on the island Luciana (Duenas).

We continue to follow Zama go about his everyday routines, which sees him control the slavery side of the island, protecting the woman and just trying to prove he can handle to pressure coming his way.


Thoughts on Zama


Characters – Colonel Zama has been placed by a small community in Asuncion, he wants to move to Buenos Aires believing he has done everything he can for this small community, he has kept the peace within the community, dealing with the problems and treating everybody fair, he will face his toughest test that goes with the wait. Luciana is the beautiful woman that Zama is constantly trying to impress in the community Vicuna Porto has caused problems before and is one of the reasons why Zama needs to remain in control with his nonsense ideas. We do get to meet the different people around the community which does show the difference between the natives and the Spanish that were invading this land.

PerformancesDaniel Gimenez Cacho is the strongest member of the cast here, he brings us a character which is stuck in a position he hates, but must make the most of it too make it through to the next stage. The rest of the cast are strong supporters in the film without hitting the highest levels of what to expect from the film.

StoryThe story here follows a Spanish Colonel that is stranded looking after a small community, trying to keep things in order, hoping that one day he will get a transfer to a better location, only to find himself at the mercy of the locals that no longer want the Spanish invaders. This does paint the ideas of how any invading nations that could upset the land, we see how some people are just forced into the location who do want to do good without being accepted, with conflict being the only option for the locals.

SettingsThe film does put us in the island location which does show us just how lost Zama is being left in this location.

Scene of the Movie –
Vicuna shows his true colours.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The pacing isn’t the best.

Final ThoughtsThis is an interesting look at how the invaders treated and were treated by the locals who wanted to stop losing their land.


Overall: Interesting look at history.




ABC Film Challenge – Catch-Up 2019 – Z – Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) Movie Review

Director: Ruben Fleischer

Writer: Dave Callaham, Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick (Screenplay)

Starring: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, Zoey Deutch, Rosario Dawson

Plot: 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.

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Sitcom in the Making?

Story: Zombieland: Double Tap starts ten-years after the events of the first film, Tallahassee (Harrelson), Columbus (Eisenberg), Wichita (Stone) and Little Rock (Breslin) are now living in the White House feeling safe, while Little Rock is starting to feel left out, with the couple together and Tallahassee with her car.

When Little Rock leaves, the three remaining must go on a road trip to rescue her, meeting Madison (Deutch) and Nevada (Dawson) along the way, where they learn they might be facing a new threat from the zombies.

Thoughts on Zombieland: Double Tap

Characters – Most of the original four are just how you remember them, Tallahassee is busy trying to make his new car the Beast the reason they go out, but slowly turning into the father that doesn’t want his daughter Little Rock to leave, caring more than he will admit, he will lead the rescue pretending it is a reluctant idea. Columbus wants to take his relationship with Wichita to the next level, only this doesn’t go as planned, where he spends time trying to re-assess his new life. Wichita doesn’t react well to the proposal, she must spend the film wondering just what she wants from her life and whether Columbus is for her, while wanting to rescue her sister. Little Rock has grown up now, she wants to be loved like her sister and with lack of options, she wants to go out into the world in search of somebody, often treated like the daughter to the family, with her actions only making them react like disapproving parents. The new members of the cast include Madison, who has spend the 10-years living in a freezer, surviving somehow, she talks too much and is as dumb as they come. Nevada is in Graceland the one place Tallahassee wanted to go, she is the first person that he meets around his age that could offer him something more in life now.

PerformancesWoody Harrelson continues to steal the show in this film, playing the typical over the top version of an America, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone both are strong, but never reaching the levels of the original, while Abigail Breslin does have a lot more to do, she doesn’t get as much screen time as you would think. Zoey Deutch balances the most annoying person in the scene, with the funniest extremely well. Rosario Dawson is great addition to the cast too.

StoryThe story here follows the group ten-years into the zombie apocalypse where they have become safe and must bring one of their own back and come up against a new dangerous form of zombie. The story does step away from the basic surviving ideas of a zombie film which is great because it does show how the human side of life would become different and how human contact would become important to the people. The problem with how the story unfolds, is that it does feel like a sitcom for the most part, never really having a deep enough story for a film, while being cut up into nice chucks for something to happen within.

Comedy/HorrorThe comedy in this film does work very well, we have it play out like a commentary to everything that has happened and that will happened, while the wildly over the top reactions and the addition of Madison works to add so much more in the film. The horror does take a step back though, because we open the film with a how zombie introduction, only to end up not using them to any involvement.

SettingsThe film does iconic locations with the White House being the home, Graceland being a place they are travelling too, outside of that we get the usual zombie locations.

Special EffectsThe effects are not the most important part of the film, but when they are used they are not as strong as they should be.

Scene of the Movie – Tallahassee reaction to everything.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The story does seem like there isn’t anything to it.

Final Thoughts This is a nice enjoyable sequel comedy, it is self-aware enough to laugh at itself, while not hitting the heights of the original.

Overall: Simple Sequel.

ABC Film Challenge – Thriller – Z – Z for Zachariah (2015)

Director: Craig Zobel

Writer: Nissar Modi (Screenplay) Robert C O’Brien (Novel)

Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Margot Robbie, Chris Pine


Plot: In the wake of a disaster that wipes out most of civilization, two men and a young woman find themselves in an emotionally charged love triangle as the last known survivors.

Tagline – What remains after the world ends?..

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Starts Promising, Ends Slow


Story: Z for Zachariah starts as Ann (Robbie) goes about her daily routine in a disaster hit world, living on a farm with her dog, she does everything she can just to survive, until she sees a stranger wondering through the mountain range, John (Ejiofor) who was underground during the incident.

Ann and John start trying to put a life together using his knowledge of engineering to help with the work around the farm until another stranger, a miner Caleb (Pine) turns up on the land, which starts to create a new problem, a love triangle.


Thoughts on Z for Zachariah


Characters – Ann is a farm girl that has been with just her dog since the incident that has wiped out most of the population, she is keeps the land together preparing for the harsh winters which she barely made it through before, she does have the lonely feeling until she meet John and Caleb who help show her life after people. John I a scientist who was underground when the incident happened, he decides to come to the surface in search of a life up there, which sees him stumble into Ann’s land, the two might have difference of opinions when it comes to religion and science, but they do try to help make a life together, he uses his skills to help make the farm work easier. Caleb is a miner that ends up on the land, he becomes competition for John in search for attention from Ann, being much more laidback about life and where it will go next.

PerformancesThe performances are the highlight of this film, Margot Robbie, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Chris Pine all give us wonderful performances, showing the difficult moments they would have been through in this world, we see guilt and hope coming through strong through the performances.

StoryThe story follows three people living in a world destroyed by an incident (which we never learn what it is) that has left most of the population dead, with most of land being unliveable and then we get thrown into a love triangle. The side of the story that explores the world that has been through an incident because we start to explore what could have caused it taking science version religion, as soon as we start getting to the love triangle things just get dragged down because we don’t need this, as we do have the complex side to the story already in place.

Sci-FiThe world that we enter shows us the sci-fi side of the film by seeing just how difficult surviving would be in this world, only it would be nice to have learnt what happened to cause the incident.

SettingsThe film does take us to a beautiful location which give us stunning shots, making it a lovely place to live in a world like this.

Scene of the Movie –
The water system.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not learning what has happened to the world.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that starts so well, only to fall into a bland love triangle which only drags all the potential away from this story.


Overall: Doesn’t live up to potential.




ABC Film Challenge – Crime – Z – Zulu (2013)

Director: Jerome Salle

Writer: Julien Rappeneau, Jerome Salle (Screenplay) Caryl Ferey (Book)

Starring: Orlando Bloom, Forest Whitaker, Conrad Kemp, Inge Beckmann, Tinarie van Wyk Loots, Regardt van den Bergh


Plot: Policemen Ali Sokhela and Brian Epkeen investigate the brutal murder of a young white woman, apparently provoked by the availability of a new illegal drug and somehow connected to the disappearance of black street children.


Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Gritty Crime Drama


Story: Zulu starts when a young woman is murdered, police officer Ali Sokhela (Forest) and his team that includes the washed up Brian Epkeen (Bloom) and rookie Dan Fletcher (Kemp) must start to investigate the case.

As the investigation deepens Brian must hold himself together while Ali must face his demons from his past which becomes deadly as they fall into an illegal drug dealing ring with a new devasting drug on the market.


Thoughts on Zulu


Characters – Brian Epkeen is a washed-up police officer, he is great at solving crimes, he tends to have a different woman every night, which has made him distant from his son. He never looks professional but will always do the right thing for his team. Ali Sokhela is scared by his childhood in the racial torn country, now he is a captain in the police force which sees him needing to forgive the men his father fought against to work in the same team, he does have connections which helps him through the city, with his own demons he must locate the killer. Dan is a rookie officer that is part of the team, his innocence isn’t ready to be in the field with the seasoned vets. Ruby is Brian’s ex-wife that hates him and that Brian hassle when he feels like it.

PerformancesOrlando Bloom does show us that he can still be a leading man, an edgy side to his character is a big plus too, we could happily watch more of his work here. Forest Whitaker is great too, he has the darker backstory which pushes him into his decisions and hits the accent. The rest of the cast don’t get as much screen time as he does, but you do feel like they hired a lot of local talent which helps make the film feel authentic.

StoryThe story follows two cops, one with a dark past because of his skin colour as a child, the other lives in darkness because of his addiction that must use their skills to solve a crime which starts simple enough until things get out of hand to a much bigger problem running through the city. This does feel gritty with how we investigate things, it doesn’t hold back with what happens to the characters and shows us just how far the criminal underworld will go to keep a secret. While this doesn’t rely on twists to get the final outcome, it does show us just how far these two would go to solve a crime and bring the criminals to justice.

CrimeThe crime world we enter here shows us just how both sides in a drug war are waging against each other, we get bodies piling up that will only increase the battle with a racial tension that just increases the tension between the twos.

SettingsThe film is set in South Africa, we get to see how difficult the drug war is with the racial tension still between the people in the city.

Scene of the Movie –
Brian’s escape plan.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The scene where the head turns up, there is such a pointless line here.

Final ThoughtsThis is a gritty crime drama that shows us the harsh reality of the drug world, the two cops must overcome demons that will put them through a major test to get to the bottom of a crime.


Overall: Crime fans surprise.