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 – Catch-Up 2019 – Y – Yesterday (2019) Movie Review

Director: Danny Boyle

Writer: Jack Barth, Richard Curtis (Screenplay)

Starring: Himesh Patel, Lily James, Sophia Di Martino, Ellise Chappell, Meera Syal, Harry Michell, Vincent Franklin, Ed Sheeran, Joel Fry

Plot: A struggling musician realizes he’s the only person on Earth who can remember The Beatles after waking up in an alternate timeline where they never existed.


Tagline – Everyone in the World Has Forgotten the Beatles. Everyone Except Jack

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Enjoyable Throughout

Story: Yesterday starts as we meet musician Jack Malik (Patel) who when he isn’t performing, works a dead-end job in a cash-n-carry. Jack gets his first festival in Latitude Festival thanks to his manager Ellie Appleton (James), which makes Jack realise he might walk away from music, until on his way home a shocking event around the world sees all power down for 12 seconds and Jack gets hit by a bus, waking up in a world where The Beatles never existed.

Jack uses the ideas that The Beatles never existed to start singing the songs, which sudden thrusts the spotlight onto the young singer, who sudden burst into international stardom, only can he live with the knowledge of the music he is singing is from the most famous band in the world.

Thoughts on Yesterday

Characters – Jack Malik is a small-time musician who only performs in his own free time, while trying to balance a part-time job in a warehouse. He does have talent, only he hasn’t been discovered yet, he is about to give up when he gets hit by a bus in a freak event around the world. He wakes up to discover he is the only person to have heard of The Beatles and decides to use this knowledge to give music on more crack, where his rise to super stardom is sudden and he must learn to adapt to this new career. Ellie Appleton has been the best friend, manager, rodeo and driver for his music career, secretly in love with him, unable to give up her teaching career to follow his new success. Rocky has been involved in music only he tends to let people down, he is however the only person that Jack can turn to for help for his new stardom. We get to meet Jack’s parents who have always supported him, Ed Sheeran playing himself discovering the new talent in Jack and the manager who takes Jack to the next level with his debut album.

PerformancesHimesh Patel is brilliant in the leading role where he handles the singing with ease as well as the troubles that his character goes through in his sudden rise to fame. Lily James as the girl next door figure is wonderful to watch to, never looking out of place in the manager role. The rest of the cast do nothing wrong, you might see a couple of weakness in some of the performances in the film though.

StoryThe story follows a musician that is involved in an accident only to discover that when he wakes up, The Beatles don’t exist, using this knowledge to make himself a mega star, while dealing with his own love problems. This is a story that does work if things are kept just around the idea of The Beatles not being around, where the story does seem to use as a little joke, other major products or bands also haven’t existed either, they are only used for jokes rather than being proper points in the story. Away from that weak point we do get to see the struggling to deal with sudden fame and the guilt for using the songs of somebody he idolises. This story is one that can be enjoyed even if you are not a Beatles fan too.

Comedy/Musical/RomanceThe comedy in the film will get laughs where it needs to, we aren’t given constant jokes either, with the music side of the film playing into the strengths of all Beatles fans who will get to enjoy their favourites. The romance in the film does take centre stage, with how the two are left to wonder what if through their lives, showing how people are tempted to let people go or not for stardom.

SettingsThe film uses the small town where Jack is from, which shows the struggle of a small town musician, LA where things move so fast and Liverpool where the inspiration can be found.


Scene of the Movie – Wembley.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The other random disappearing products, just being a joke, rather than a point in the story.

Final Thoughts This is an enjoyable comedy musical, that will show the importance of love in the world, how music can make people famous and just how far people will go for a chance of stardom.

Overall: Enjoyable

ABC Film Challenge – Catch-Up 2019 – X – Extracurricular Activities (2019) Movie Review

This is under X because of how you say Extra, yes, I am clutching at straws.

Director: Jay Lowi

Writer: Bob Saenz (Screenplay)

Starring: Patrick Fabian, Angela Kinsey, Colin Ford, Darlene Vogel, Gary Hudson, Timothy Simons, Nicholas Cutro, Ellie Bamber

Plot: A mature, intelligent high school student has a side job arranging “accidental” deaths (no 2 alike) of fellow students’ parents. A cop detective notices this student being connected to all the kids of dead parents. Who wins the face-off?

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: By the Book

Story: Extracurricular Activities starts as we see the first deaths of the parent’s, the school comes together to support the students with Reagan Collins (Ford) an intelligent high school student being behind the death, soon after another parent dies and the parent of one of the other students is a detective Cliff Dawkins (Simons) starts to investigate the deaths which seem too close together.

As Reagan’s business continues to gather steam, the number of parents dying increases, forcing Cliff into a true battle of cat-n-mouse to prove that Reagan is behind everything, putting his own career on the line.

Thoughts on Extracurricular Activities

Characters – Reagan is the confident intelligent high school student that is always getting the best grades and he has a business on the side, one where he helps plan and kill fellow student’s parents, he makes them all look like accidents, until detective starts sniffing around deaths, he looks to stay in control of the situations always having a way out of Cliff stopping him. Mary Alice Walker is one of the cheerleaders at the high school, who starts to get involved with Reagan, she comes off like the girl next door. Cliff Dawkins is the detective that starts to believe something is going on with the deaths, he believes Reagan is behind them and wants to prove it, even if it will put his bag on the line. He is determined to get to the truth when nobody else is getting involved in the truth.

PerformancesColin Ford does make this calculated character interesting to watch through the film, while Ellie Bamber makes for a fun love interest, without needing to do too much. Timothy Simons gets most of the laughs with his detective work, which shows how far one detective would go for the truth.

StoryThe story here follows a high school student that has a double life killing fellow student’s parents and soon gets a detective on his trail, while always trying to get the truth, despite the number of bodies piling up. This is a story that is showing just how dark school life can get when it comes to seeing how the kids are willing to look to murder if they get upset by their parents. It plays out in a world where the police are complete idiots, not having a clue about how to solve a crime and does show how calculated people can be in life.

Comedy/MysteryThe comedy in this film comes from seeing how the detective is trying to get to the bottom of the crime, with little mystery around what is going on, because everything is put there in black and white.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show us where the characters would operate in everyday life, with the high school life and party areas.


Scene of the Movie – The envelops.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We are meant to support the wrong character.

Final Thoughts This is a comedy that does the basics well, it shows a twisted idea without being the most engaging story.

Overall: Simple and Effective.

The Aftermath (2019) Movie Review

Director: James Kent

Writer: Joe Shrapnel, Anna Waterhouse, Rhidian Brook (Screenplay) Rhidian Brook (Novel)

Starring: Keira Knightley, Jason Clarke, Alexander Skarsgard, Flora Thiemann

Plot: Post World War II, a British colonel and his wife are assigned to live in Hamburg during the post-war reconstruction, but tensions arise with the German who previously owned the house.


Tagline – In The Aftermath Of War, The Last Thing She Expected To Find Was Love.

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Entertaining Romance

Story: The Aftermath starts five months after World War II, Rachael Morgan (Knightley) is joining her husband Lewis (Clarke) in Hamburg in the post-war reconstruction, taking the house of architect Stephen Lubert (Skarsgard). After struggling to adjust, Lewis suggests letting Stephen and his daughter Freda (Thiemann) remain in the house on the top floor.

Lewis knows the troubles between the two sides will still be there, but is understanding and wants to bring the people together, while Rachael isn’t sure who to trust with reputation of the past, which only leads to her question Stephen more about his past, while the two slowly start an affair that could risk everything for the two.

Thoughts on The Aftermath

Characters – Rachael Morgan is joining her husband in Hamburg, she has suffered the loss of their son during the war and isn’t the most convinced about moving to Germany post-war, she doesn’t like living with Germans, only to learn they have suffered the same as she has because of the war. She does start an affair with the owner of the house, one that will see her want to leave the pain of her marriage. Lewis is the soldier assigned to help out in Hamburg, meaning his family would join him, he does have more patience than many of the British soldiers, knowing that the war being over is more important than who killed who in the conflict. He does come off like a genuine person that wants things to change for the good. Stephen Lubert is the man whose house the couple must live in, a once famous architect who lost his wife in the war, he is thankful for being let remain in the house and must convince the British he had nothing to do with the Nazi party, while falling in love with Rachael. Freda is the daughter of Stephen who has grown a resentment towards the British, she is easily led by the younger fighters who still believe the war to be on, getting caught in a position she should never have been put through.

PerformancesKeira Knightley in the leading role is great to watch showing us just how great she is in these roles, she is surrounded by two strong supporting roles from Jason Clarke and Alexander Skarsgard too.

StoryThe story follows a wife that must move to Hamburg to be with her husband as he starts to try and lead the rebuilding of Germany after the war, only to fall in love with a local whose house they are living in. The most important factor to shown in this story is the loss the four main characters have suffered because of the war, the British couple lost a child, while the Germany’s lost a mother and wife, they never got a true chance to grieve because of the conflict, which has caused even more tension between the two sides. When it comes to the affair, it does show that people who have been through the worst can be there for each other. Outside of this, we do get to see how people were truly affected by the war and would do extreme things to get their own revenge for the loss in war too. Only we don’t focus enough on this side of the story, instead it is all about the romance, which is everything you would have seen before.

RomanceThe romance in the film does take centre stage, sadly, because this isn’t anything we haven’t seen before and we did have a lot more interesting side arcs we could have invested in.

SettingsThe film is set in Hamburg and does show the devastation of the war, with the destroyed buildings showing us just how helpless the innocent would be even after the war.


Scene of the Movie – The Ice River.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The romance isn’t as interesting as the story that revolves around Freda.

Final Thoughts This is a nice simple post-war romance movie, it has great performances, even if it does focus on the weaker aspect of the story instead of a more interesting one.

Overall: Nice Post-War Drama.

ABC Film Challenge – Catch-Up 2019 – T – The King (2019) Movie Review

This is under T because of the star Timothee Chalamet

Director: David Michod

Writer: Joel Edgerton, David Michod (Screenplay)

Starring: Timothee Chalamet, Robert Pattinson, Lily-Rose Depp, Joel Edgerton, Ben Mendelsohn, Sean Harris, Thomasin McKenzie

Plot: Hal, wayward prince and heir to the English throne, is crowned King Henry V after his tyrannical father dies. Now the young king must navigate palace politics, the war his father left behind, and the emotional strings of his past life.

Runtime: 2 Hour 20 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Another King Fighting Film

Story: The King starts as the war between the English and the Scots continues to rage on, King Henry IV (Mendlesohn) is getting tired of the bloodshed and disloyalty being found in his own soldiers and with his health getting worse he recalls his son Hal (Chalamet) to his side.

As Hal find himself in a new power, he doesn’t know who to trust, so he turns to Falstaff (Edgerton) to help him in battle, with in latest battle being with the future French king The Dauphin (Pattinson).

Thoughts on The King

Characters – Hal is the young prince that would become King, a role he isn’t ready for, he doesn’t want to see large scale bloodshed like his father’s reign, but finds his country in war from all sides, he wants to end the battles and will look for solutions, which don’t always work for him. Falstaff is the man Hal turns to for advice when it comes to conflict, he thought under King Richard and he knows how to outsmart an enemy, first he must give up his drinking problem though. The Dauphin is next in line to be king of France, he is leading the armies into battle and doesn’t want any part of a deal with the King of England.

PerformancesTimothee Chalamet is strong in the leading role, continuing to put himself on the right path to do anything he wants to in the future. Joel Edgerton is always a great supporting star in any movie, this is no different, while Robert Pattinson as the villainous soon to be king does a great job too.

StoryThe story here follows a young king taking his place on the throne while his country is involved in wars that he never started and now he wants to end, hoping to find a more peaceful way to end the battles, forcing him to learn the truth about the bitter war between the nations. This is one of those stories which once again puts our history out there for the world to see with the English being seen as an all-conquering nation that always believed they were right, the spin is seeing how the young king wants to try and find a more peaceful way to end things, but just doesn’t get a chance to solve these problems. The pacing follows everything we have seen before, not making this standout on any means whatsoever, which just leads us to disappointment once again.

Biopic/HistoryThis is a film that claims to tell the story of a real king and how he was brave, just like every single one through the years, we don’t know what he was like or what the battles were like, we only know the outcome.

SettingsThe settings show us how the kingdoms are beautiful and how the battlefields are covered in blood and bodies.


Scene of the Movie – The battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It is the same typical history story.

Final Thoughts This is one of the period piece dramas that does everything it needs to without giving us the complete truth to what is happening with the real history.

Overall: Simple Royalty Film.