Review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016)

16

“My daughters are trained for battle, sir, not the kitchen.”
– Mr Bennet

SYNOPSIS: Five sisters in 19th century England must cope with the pressures to marry while protecting themselves from a growing population of zombies. – via IMDB

Guys. Guys. Let’s just talk about this. I cannot believe that I had so much fun with this movie. I mean seriously. Take a classic and add a ton of zombies to it? Not traditional zombies either, mind. How exactly was that supposed to work out? Super fun, let me tell you that! I am so pleased that Natasha enjoyed this so much and made me watch it, as I had zero designs on checking this out before she insisted. Now I have seen it a few times and still think it is so much fun. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies totally embraces all that is ludicrous about it, and delivers on so many fronts. Like Warm Bodies, this is a movie that has no right to be as good as it is, and yet here we are.

Right off the bat, I must say that I enjoyed the cast. I think everyone was well cast and they all seemed to have a total ball. Sam Riley is an actor I quite enjoy, and do wish he was in more things. He’s an absolutely brilliant Darcy, and there is just no way that you are not in love with the dude when all is said and done. For reals. Riley just sneaks up on you – he delivers a harsh Darcy, a man so reserved and focused, and before you know it, you are like oooooooh… totally get why Elizabeth would fall for him. Then there is Lily James, and she is a wonderful Elizabeth Bennet. Got mad love for this character – ballsy, educated, can take care of herself and is strong? So ahead of her time and a great feminist? Hells yeah. I was rooting for her all the way. I absolutely loved watching her and Riley together, they had lovely chemistry – so contained and yet completely through the roof. Jack Huston is another actor I particularly enjoy, and I so wanted to trust Mr Wickham, but he is a smarmy bastard. Pretty one, but still.

I would like to take a moment to talk about Mr Collins and Matt Smith’s portrayal. It is evident he is having a blast portraying such a total twat, and is beyond exasperating. My inner feminist was just like “wtf” the whole time, and yet his character made me laugh and groan, and that is purely down to how well Smith played Collins. Charles Dance was also great as Mr Bennet, and I had a lot of respect for how he saw his girls as more that just marriage conduits. Well played, sir!

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies totally embraced its weirdness. Right off the bat it has a crazy opening (that elaborate story and animation was really cool), girls with all sorts of weapons in all sorts of places and mad training and a mother who just wants them to marry rich. It’s insane. While being totally out there yet still loyal to the source material, this movie looks good, too. The sets and costumes are really good, and it does not come off as a budget film. It goes all out, and it really helps the cause.

As you can tell, I thought the movie was a lot of fun. Don’t go into this and expect to see the classic as you have come to expect. Why can’t people just accept this as a fun adaptation, not something competing with a classic? Don’t take it too seriously. For reals, it will ruin the experience. It is silly popcorn entertainment that is actually put together quite well, and has a cast that just makes it well worth the watch. It’s funny, it’s ridiculous, it has zombies and manages to convey a classic love story, where you get involved and want to root for Darcy and Elizabeth to just, you know, find each other. So I think in terms of that the movie delivered, and I would say watch it if you are not going to nitpick for issues and can just shut your brain down at the door and have some fun.

Review: Divergent – Veronica Roth

18

divergent veronia roth book cover

Divergent #1

SYNOPSIS: In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her. – via Goodreads

Years ago, my best friend Natasha was hopping up and down about me getting to this trilogy, so the Distance Book Club was reinstated quickly. Evidently she needed someone to share this with, and so I got onto it. I enjoyed it all those years ago, and recently decided to revisit it again to see how I felt now. The novel directly takes us into a dreadful dystopian future. The children, however, are not necessarily suffering like you would come to expect, though there are some issues.

I enjoyed the concept of them having to choose a faction, as well as what those factions stood for, though it seemed illogical to me that they would not be able to maintain ties with other family members in other factions, etc. I just couldn’t buy into that, though I understand why it was executed this way. Tris is definitely a better leading lady, far less selfish than Katniss Everdeen (who you all know I have some beef with), so reading about her did not grate on me. I actually really, really liked her as the heroine. She is strong, smart, calculating and enjoyable. Then there is Four. Let’s talk about Four. I have mad love for Four. He is strong, he is mysterious (but not in the annoying way), he is just… the more I read about him, the more I adore him. Major character crushing going on here. He’s just a character I understand, and I appreciate that.

These books are written for young adults, and it is evident in the writing style as well as emotions that are described and the flow of the story. There is a large amount of teenage angst (I am so glad that I am so over that ridiculous part of life), but not as over the top as these stories can sometimes get. There is plenty of petty jealousy, childish hissy fits and obsession, though it works eventually if you can just bear in mind it is a book for young people still in that period in life, so I suppose they can identify more.

It took me a while to get into the reading style as it was written in first person, present tense, which is always difficult for me to slot into. I did enjoy the electricity between Four and Tris – it was incredibly painful at times, and at others so sweet, so there was that. It is actually a brilliant romance that Roth hit on here, something I actually looked forward to when I got to the scenes for them. There is also at least only one love interest, which is refreshing. The romance – back to that. It is great. Four believes in Tris’s strength, not that she is some damsel in distress, and the romance isn’t this “if I can’t have the other, I will simply die”. Gosh and the build up damn near drove me wild, loved it.

There are also a lot of places that blatantly show that Roth is a first time writer, plenty of places she tries for too much mystery and executes with too little gusto, but overall it is definitely not a bad read. Her supporting characters can be entertaining (I really like Will and Christina), but ultimately they are not really robust characters. Roth fills out Four and Tris, but the rest are vehicles to carry the story, no more, no less, which is a pity. The first half of the book is very slow and meandering and seemed pretty pointless in places, but the second half catches and snowballs into something rather good. It is also a quick read, in case you are looking for a light filler between books. I was a bit iffy about how some stuff went down at the end, as it really was a bit of a wreck, what with no finesse and proper build up, but outside of that, I think this is a pretty decent read and would recommend it.

JB & The Chop Do: The Amityville Horror (2005)

28

amityville banner

HA! After months of watching some really crap drab Amityville films, we finally get to the one that I have been waiting for… the only film of this entire franchise I had even actually seen before undertaking this project! Anyway, the Chop had never seen this one, and after the road we have come along for this, what did we both think of the remake? Is it one of those Hollywood fuck up embarrassments like A Nightmare On Elm Street or The Wicker Man? Did The Amityville Horror rise above those films? Is it as bad as some people say? Is it worse? Today we delve into these extreme existential questions of the Amityville Horror remake!

amitville horror poster

SYNOPSIS: In December 1975, George and Kathy Lutz along with their three children move into an elegant Long Island house. What they don’t know is that the house was the site of a horrific mass murder a year before. They decide to keep the house and attempt to keep the horror in the past, but are now haunted by a murderous presence. This is until, George starts to behave weirdly and their daughter, Chelsea starts to see people. What follows is 28 days of sheer, unbridled terror for the family with demonic visions of the dead. Based on the true story of George and Kathy Lutz, The Amityville Horror remains one of the most horrifying haunted house stories ever told – because it actually happened. – via IMDB

amityville jb1

Let’s get it out of the way right now. I used to like this film well enough. More than other people, I reckon. But then I started watching this dastardly franchise and let me tell you something… I have come to realise I freaking love this movie!

And no… not just for Ryan Reynolds…

ryan reynolds body

Although, you know… he’s really fucking fine!

ryan reynolds hot

Okay, okay, in a serious light though! Moving on… (ladies, stay tuned 😉 )

The Amitville Horror so does not deserve the hate that is thrown upon it all the time. Really. I liked the original just fine, so it isn’t even because I hated that. I just think that this one came together pretty well plus Ryan Reynolds.

amityville ryan reynolds

There were some creepy aspects to it, though never anything truly horrifying or scary, it really went for jump scares. However, little kid below hauling ass to go pee and hauling ass and jumping into his bed? Totally believable. Hell, I’ve hit quarter chicken status in life and sometimes (especially when I am home alone), I can scurry from my room to the bathroom and back and only feel safe again when I get to my blankies. Don’t even judge me monkeys!

amityville horror guest

The Amityville Horror is not the offensive remake that it could have been. It holds itself in its own right and offers some pretty cool entertainment, provided you do not take it to be a true story.

Plus, Ryan Reynolds.

amityville horror 2005 ryan reynolds

I swear, he isn’t the only thing about this movie that is appealing! Besides strutting his stuff looking sexy as hell the whole time, he also happened to be pretty damn good in the role. See… Reynolds can do more than just comedy, though he is incredibly adept at that 🙂

ryan reynolds rose

Okay, okay. Uhm, let’s see… there was also the awesome concept of him losing his shit and wielding an axe and stomping around and freaking out (Lauren, I know that this worked alright for us – well, the appearance and minimal clothing, at least).

amityville horror going home

I think this person missed the point of which way to take “George” out of the bathtub for a hug… wrong way tub arms!

amityville horro bath

Okay, okay, seriously. The story has obviously been pimped and changed up so that we get more of a “horror” film and does not work on atmosphere like the original. There are plenty holes and stuff, but I think… I think… more Ryan Reynolds makes the world a better place…

amityville horror more ryan reynolds

This was the first of these films in a really long time that didn’t leave me with this reaction:

amityville horror screaming

AMITYVILLECHOP1

Like I said two months ago, I had never seen this because I was scared shitless by the original back when I was a kid. When this came out I was also not really into Ryan Reynolds (although now I am a big fan) and JB was 15 years old. Feel old yet???? So, as we watched these in order and it came time for something modern I REALLY liked this movie and……………………… RACHEL NICHOLS and MELISSA GEORGE?????????????????????????????????????????????????? WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME THEY WERE IN THIS???????????????? I mean, I know this next clip is from P2 but….. OMG OMG OMG

a2005a

I’ve been a big fan of hers since I saw her in THE WOODS so long ago. And by big fan I mean – no wait. Let’s not go there. This isn’t my site. Did someone say G.I. Joe???

a2005b

So – back to the movie. This time around Reynolds and George play the heads of the family that move into the fateful hou-

a2005c

Sorry. ~the house and the demons start to get up in Reynolds grill and he starts chopp-

a2005d

*shakes head to regain composure*

~ starts chopping up firewood and there’s a ghost running around and sticking her finger in the hole in her head and there’s some flies and Reynolds yells at-

a2005e

*loosens collar*

*wipes handkerchief across back of neck*

*wonders where this fucking handkerchief came from*

~starts yelling at everyone and Chloe Grace Moretz is on the roof and why did they have to kill the dog and I wonder if Marley Shelton will show up in this post and there’s two piece bikinis and libraries and someone nee-

a2005f

HUH WHAT HUH HUH HUH What’s going on here?? I really liked this movie!!

a2005g

*goes outside*

Banshee: Season 2 (2014)

10

banshee season 2 poster

*CONTAINS SPOILERS*

What I liked:

  • Hood and Siobhan finally getting their thing on. Seriously, I am so freaking over anything that is Carrie related it is insane, so to have him moving on in life is really good.
  • Watching Gordon’s collapse after Carrie left. That poor dude so didn’t deserve what he got.
  • Matthew Rauch as Clay Burton. I know that I have mentioned him before, and I can see myself mentioning him again time and time again, but this is just something amazing. I don’t think I will ever get over it. I absolutely adore the man, and I would. He is all messed up and creepy and gives me chills. As if this wasn’t bad enough, there was the episode, Armies of One, and he just capped his terrifying iceberg. That whole scene was a thing of pure beauty – the kill, the clean up, the music, the flashbacks…
  • The intro. I still really like it, and the hints it gives and the story it tells. It is nice and different and I like that.
  • The Banshee Sheriff’s Department. I think the characters are great and were wonderfully cast there, and I think it is really entertaining to watch the way they are totally being changed by Hood.
  • Watching Burton observing Rebecca, having no faith.
  • Job got so much time in this one, and we got more of a look at him and it was just awesome. Plus there was quite a bit of time dedicated to how unsuspectingly badass he can be.
  • Nola Longshadow. I really wish she got more screen time, because she really is quite the complex character with all the potential in the world to be super interesting, and they are working well with that so far.
  • Methodic Doubt’s score. It works well with the show and is suiting.

job club banshee season 2banshee season 2 job fightjob church escape banshee season 2

What I didn’t like: 

  • Again, so much sex all over the show. It does nothing to contribute to the plot or anything like that, it is just there.
  • There are still so many fault and inconsistencies laced throughout the show, which is annoying. It is the one thing that really keeps throwing me back off of this.
  • Nothing is ever getting done about Hood. Nobody seems to bust him, he is never getting reprimanded, nothing.
  • Carrie. Still, nothing changes here. It was great to see less of her, and when we did it was strategically used, which was better. But still, every time she opens her mouth I want to throw something at her for how selfish and silly she is. Ugh.
  • Rebecca’s uneven character growth. Sometimes she’s crying, sometimes she misses home, sometimes she thinks she’s badass. It could have just been done so much better and believably, instead it just irritates you quite a bit.
  • The ridiculous amounts of cross-cutting that went on here. Don’t abuse that! Do it from time to time. It is like every other damn scene that carried some weight was laced with another one. I was so over it by the end of that. Not cool.

banshee season 2 neo nazi attack

Rating:
GRADE 7.5I must say that I definitely thought that this was an improvement over the last season, though there are still plenty flaws within it to deal with. For once, when they brought in FBI Special Agent Jim Racine, I thought that someone was seriously going to turn up the heat. Obviously that didn’t happen, which was a disappointment. But oh well. I suppose we will just have to see what happens thereafter. Naturally, another someone would have to crop up to jeopardize Hood’s identity. This time it was Jason Hood, the real Lucas Hood’s son. It was just weird that Jason was not bothered whatsoever about his father being dead, and got into some shady business with Hood, who just wanted the kid gone. Instead, of course, there was some more extreme crazy drama for us to deal with.  Clay Burton thrilled me endlessly, as always. We get to see quite a bit more of him in this season, with some extreme flashbacks that are quite horrific. The more you see of Clay Burton, the scarier the guy becomes. Job and Sugar still entertain me with their sniping at one another the whole time. More subplots started making their appearance here, and I liked that. The show is finally broadening from the Hood/Carrie story and moving on to other things, which means less irritation and more interesting aspects being explored. Hood is definitely quite different since the last altercation with Rabbit, but he is still adamant that he will not leave town. The Neo-Nazi plot that came in concerning Emmett later was cool, and really got me pissy. Argh! I mean seriously now, people drive me insane. I felt so bad for Emmett, and I could totally understand why he did what he did, and all of that set a seriously hardcore chain of events into action. Rebecca and Kai are getting really close, and he is bringing her into the family business – something that I like and dislike. Things are moving way too quickly there, and can we mention that slightly-too-incestuous thing going on between them? The competition between Alex Longshadow and Kai Proctor is just awesome to watch, definitely a very entertaining part of the season. The rivalry is great, their conversations and fights as well as the mad things that they are doing at each other to get one another out of the way and in trouble and payback and all is heavy. Then there is the fact that it is so much better in this season to not see Lucas Hood so ridiculously hung up on Carrie… he is moving on, and it has finally come to pass that he is hooking up with Siobhan, the deputy that works for/with him. I have been waiting for this since season one. And good for Gordon for not just letting Carrie come home and carry on as she pleased, she is actually being held accountable for the crappy way she treated her family, and she still hasn’t told them everything. Each and every time some headway seems to be made, she goes and messes it up again royally, and offers exactly no explanation for it. Goodness, I have no idea why Carries are such central characters to shows and do nothing but irritate the hell out of me. The effects were alright here, but I really think the Carrie and Rabbit story arcs got a little bit convoluted towards the end, and I just wanted to reach through the screen and slap Gordon. I know he is having a really bad time, but he has a family that he needs to care for. I loved finally seeing what went down with Rabbit/Carrie/Lucas, but I must admit that I was extremely underwhelmed after the intense build up that it received. Either way, there were worse ways that it could have gone. It was just a really big deal for nothing. Flaws and all, it seems that the longer you watch Banshee, the better and more entertaining it becomes.

banshee season 2 hood and siobhan