Rapid Review: Life After Beth (2014)

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“There’s just like so many things that I wish I had told her.”
– Zach

SYNOPSIS: A hike alone in the woods ends tragically for Beth Slocum with a fatal snake bite. Her death leaves her parents and boyfriend Zach reeling. After the funeral, Zach tries to make friends with Mr. and Mrs. Slocum, but even they reject him, and he’s determined to figure out why. Then he sees Beth. Her parents are trying to keep her resurrection a secret, but zombie Beth provides Zach with the opportunity to do everything with her that he didn’t get to do while she was still alive. But with Beth’s increasingly erratic behavior and even more strange occurrences around town, life with the undead Beth proves to be particularly complicated for her still-living loved ones. – via IMDB

Just sharing some arb scenes from it, I liked it!

This scene… oh man!

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Just every scene with DeHaan was awesome, he was so weird.

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This one is for me… #ForScience

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DeHaan and Gubler were exceptionally amusing together.

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Zach and Beth get a second chance… though it is a little dodgy!

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Apparently the sweet things aren’t the same anymore when you’re dead…

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Undead takes fighting to a whole different level of issues to deal with…

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If you thought you had family problems before, date your now-deceased girlfriend.

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So I know this ultimately came back with mixed reviews and all, but I liked it. A large part of the movie was based on Dane DeHaan’s performance, and he did not disappoint at all. I absolutely loved how it all came together. I really wish Matthew Gray Gubler had gotten more screen time, but just having him and DeHaan in a movie together was good enough for me. He was such a toolbag – and I totally just wanted to have him grow his hair out a little more! He got some extremely entertaining scenes though, even if he was underused. I thought the cast all did a great job with their roles, and they were terribly entertaining. Zach’s extremely mixed feelings over Beth and her return were funny – he had some serious adjustment issues. Aubrey Plaza was amusing and extremely good as Beth, and the dynamic between her and DeHaan was great. The way the story was told worked for it, too, as it was funny and humorous (for me) in a slightly darker and sillier way. Watching Zach’s plight was comical, and Maury’s reaction to Zach’s relationship with Beth as well as how he didn’t want to hush up about it all was also something that gave me giggles. Beth’s disintegration into full-fledged zombie was something to watch, it was a pretty gradual progression. I thought it was really sweet how Zach grabbed at the opportunity to do all the things with Beth he never got around to doing when she was alive, and their relationship decomposed at the same rate that she was, creating even more hardships for Zach. The Orfman family was just plain down bizarre, but it isn’t as though the Slocums were a step up, either. I loved the way the apocalypse so gradually started happening, as well as the zombie types that were featured. The smooth jazz that popped up from time to time cracked me up. Naturally, the movie has flaws, but overall I had a good time. The end is a little bit of a let down, but nothing too serious. Anyway, Life After Beth is a darkly laughable affair, a different look at the zombie romance thing that seems to be popular at the moment, and well worth the watch if you like anyone from the cast, or enjoy that slightly crooked sense of absurd comedy, even if it has moments where it gets a little slow.

Review: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)

“History prefers legends to men.”

This was something that I had wanted to go and see in theatre but never got around to, and I am thinking it might have been for the best. Last night, after studying, I figured it would be nice to chill out and watch something. I am always on this mission after I see an awesome movie (my last being The Amazing Spider-Man), like the quest to see another great one is highly tangible. Very seldom, however, do you find that next elusive one.

So it began. It did not look like a particularly low or a high budget movie, but it was watchable. I found the acting to be particularly stiff. Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who played Mary Todd Lincoln, for instance, should have stuck to multicoloured hair and a blasé attitude. The role was very unbecoming for her, and her acting abilities certainly did not escalate in my eyes. It frustrated me that there was no real character growth, and the story was a little bit scattered, and the plot was just ridiculous. Nothing one could not follow, just not something you would like to. The amount of CGI in the movie was also insane.

The thing that got under my skin the most? The way all vampire lore and mythology was completely desecrated, but at least not yet to the point of glitz, glam and sparklies. I guess if you are not particularly clued up on it, it will be fine to watch. But it all got to me. Daywalkers, sunglasses and sunscreen, the inability to kill one another… oh my, the worst is how they are turned! No blood exchanged, nothing as intricate as that!

I felt that this could seriously have been executed better. I have yet to read Seth Grahame-Smith’s book (I decided to only read it after the movie, I wanted to see this as a first time viewer). The concept was interesting (to me, anyhow). I liked the idea of an excellent president by day, advocating for freedom, fighting war, yet turning into the slayer of evil by night. That they didn’t quite get to gel properly. They did, however, get Benjamin Walker to look quite Abe-like as he aged. I understand that this was supposed to be slightly comedic, but I missed that mostly due to other disastrous elements.

I loved how the action scenes were done, particularly the fight sequences. I thought it was excellent how they took Abraham Lincoln into battle, and captured the essence of the cloak billowing fiercely and axe shining and moving as though an extension of him. That was selectively done and it was done well. In those scenes you can distinctly see the input of Timur Bekmambetov (who directed Wanted). For instance, the fight scene between Lincoln and the undead when he went to save his oldest school friend, Will, was an impressive one to watch, although I would love to know how you do handbrake turns in a carriage!

I would score Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter 4.5/10. The movie was a bit of a let down, considering the poster’s speak of greatness, the artwork was well done, and the previews looked decent. The story was dreadful, the acting atrocious, there was no real chemistry between any of them… I don’t know, it just didn’t impress me, and was really not worth checking out at all. I really could have utilized this movie’s time on something far more productive.