Movie Review: Zombieland 2 Double Tap (2019)

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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.
There is a mid-credits scene and an end credits scene.
Pros:
Cast and Characters.
  • Woody Harrelson as Tallahassee. He is basically the dad in the group lol, he does his own thing. He loves cars, guns, killing zombies and in this movie ELVIS. His relationship with Columbus is the same, they’re a bit antagonistic, mostly Tall to Columbus they trust each other. They are aware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses and work well together. He gets a lot of chances in this movie to be funny, to show how awesome he is, and Woody Harrelson is great! He’s so likable even when he’s being rude.
  • Jesse Eisenberg as Columbus. Of course, you can say that Eisenberg always plays himself and maybe he does but it works for him and I like it. It was great seeing him in a movie where he’s just having fun. Columbus is a bit neurotic, but it works for him. He’s stayed alive all this time! In this, they’re all living in the white house and he and Wichita are still together. He has ideas and plans for the future and is a little upset and sarcastic when things don’t go his way, but he has every right to be how he is lol. I totally get him. I love Columbus because he’s just awkward, sweet and weird but just like everyone else, very capable.
  • Abigail Breslin as Little Rock. Wichita’s rebellious younger sister and she’s the reason why the movie happens pretty much. Her and Wichita run off and then she runs off from her sister and is just stupid lol. She’s a young adult and wants everyone to know she’s not a little kid anymore and wants to find people her own age, she feels trapped in the “kid” role and she doesn’t want that. She also is sick of the Zombieland life. Whenever we see her, she’s with Berkeley and she’s enamored because he’s cute and her age and finally! Other people who aren’t zombies! She was a little annoying and kind of stupid, but she pulls through at the end. I think her relationship with Tallahassee is cute and I totally get her reasonings but come on man, you’re in a Zombieland. Can’t be stupid.
  • Emma Stone as Wichita. Emma Stone is always a win. Wichita is the same as she was in the first one, a bit hardened and sarcastic and she still has an issue with commitment or feeling trapped in a role. She knows how to handle herself but is very protective of her younger sister as well. Her and Columbus have a cute relationship and it’s funny because he’s so weird and she’s so cool. They also have great chemistry. I like her interactions with Madison because they are so different, but I think it’s clear Emma Watson just has fun in this role, she gets to be sassy, as per usual, but she’s more of a rude sassy than her quirky sassy lol.
  • Rosario Dawson as Nevada. She joins the movie a little later, but she runs the Hound Dog Elvis motel and she’s awesome. Rosario is always awesome. She is very similar to Tallahassee in her personality but she’s much cooler than him. She’s badass and comes through in the clutch later in the film.
  • Zoey Deutch as Madison. We meet Madison at a mall and Columbus almost shoots her because she just appeared out of nowhere. But she’s a dumb blonde and that’s her joke throughout the movie and I’m perfectly fine with that. It’s hilarious to me. I’ve never seen Deutch play a role like this before and I quite enjoyed it. It worked for her, she’s funny.
Supporting Characters. We have some supporting characters we meet, some last throughout the movie and others are just cameos. Avan Jogia as Berkeley, Luke Wilson as Albuquerque and Thomas Middleditch as Flagstaff. Avan Jogia was basically a hippie type character. He was pretty annoying lol, but it worked for him. He still cute. Luke Wilson and Thomas Middleditch are basically the same, of Columbus and Tallahassee in how they look and act. It’s supposed to be a funny interaction and I think it was. It worked for me.
For Fans of the First One. I think it’s a given that if you loved the first one then you’ll probably love this one. This one manages to be a continuation of the cult classic Zombieland but also managing to remain fresh and feel like seeing the first one for the first time again. The characters have returned and are as we left them, just older with different people problems, not to mention, new people and zombie problems.
It’s funny. I laughed throughout the movie. Humor is subjective, as I always say whenever I mention the humor in a movie, but I laughed a lot. I also had a nice crowd in my theater so there was a lot of laughter. I think the line delivery really works for a lot of the sarcasm and these actors have a knack for being funny without trying to come off funny. Zoey Deutch’s Madison really was a scene-stealer whenever she was on screen and I really enjoyed her. It was my first time seeing her like that and she got a lot of laughs from me and the audience. Of course, Harrelson, Eisenberg and Stone work well together. Not to mention, the cameo from Luke Wilson and Thomas Middleditch was great too. Great funny scene. Also, Tallahassee’s entire Black Foot thing, like bruh what? lol
Awesome action sequences. Just like in the first, this one has great action scenes with the zombies. Of course, we get an opening narration with Columbus narrating and we get a nice introduction to our characters and the zombies at the White House. Great scene. Then later, the scene near the RV was awesome. Shows just how badass Wichita and Tallahassee are. The scene in the Hound Dog Hotel was great! And of course, the battle at the end had some high moments too.
High Stakes. I think this movie really showcases some high stakes in that Little Rock runs off with some Hippie and everyone is worried about her, not to mention, the zombies have evolved and are better hunters and harder to kill. Plus, people are turning around them left and right lol, I was stressed out watching this movie because I was worried about how many people were going to make it to the end. I think the movie does a good job in making those stakes feel important and make you think that they’re going to kill people you care about. The entire last act of the film was one big tense but awesome sequence.
Cons:
A Real Story? Meh. In ways, the first one is kind of like this, but it feels like a series of events more than a singular movie. I know that Zombieland was supposed to be a television series before the movie and after the movie but never seemed to make it there.  I think even here, it seems like it could have been a show with how much it feels like characters go from place to place, meet new people and things happen. I find this to be very noticeable and it breaks up the flow of the film a bit.
Ending Battle. I think overall, it was okay. The entire movie is leading up to this final battle where our main four must show they’re awesome and save a bunch of other people and while the first part of the battle was great, the monster truck stuff was great, it didn’t end with the same tension or awesomeness as the first part.
Overall, I loved the first one, so I had hopes that while this one won’t be as good, I’ll love it too and true words. It’s great! It’s almost just as good as the first one because it has the same energy and feeling as the first one did, we’re just more comfortable in this world since we’ve already been introduced to it. I think it allows for viewers to just dive right back in and you don’t feel like you’ve missed anything. All the characters are still great, the returning ones we know and love, are still hilarious and work so well as a family even with their issues. The actors are having fun and they’re all great. The new characters, no matter how small or large the roles, also are great. There isn’t anyone we meet that I dislike, who are important characters. What we learn about zombie evolution is super cool and the movie is funny and it’s a fun adventure with high stakes. However, there isn’t much of a story, I mean it’s there but it’s not a focal point. Also, the end battle was underwhelming. With everything else we got beforehand, the climax fizzles. But the movie fun and if you like the first one, I’d imagine you’d also like this one.
Rating: 3.7 out of 5 stars. Honestly, I would give this a higher score for pure entertainment value, but I think this is fair.
Have you seen Zombieland 2: Double Tap? What are your thoughts?
What is your favorite zombie movie?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
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Movie Review: Shaft (2019)

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Summary: JJ Shaft, a cyber security expert with a degree from MIT, enlists his family’s help to uncover the truth behind his best friend’s untimely death.
Pros:
Samuel L. Jackson. He’s always good. I don’t know if I’ve seen his Shaft movie, I feel like I have, a long time ago, not sure but his character is cool. He’s a badass, as always, he’s flirty, especially whenever he’s interacting with Regina Hall’s Maya and I liked his rapport with Jessie T. Usher because he clearly knows who his character is and how he would react to his son being “raised by his momma” but then turning around and being proud of him when he shows “Shaft tendencies”. He’s a cool dude and boy that red jacket they all wear at the end, dope.
Chemistry between Shaft and JJ. The biggest thing for me in this movie is how these two worked together. When they first meet, it’s a little awkward because Shaft left when JJ was a baby and he doesn’t have a great ideal of the man. We see this for a while but as the movie goes, we begin to see them trust each other and really care about each other. Sure, there are some cliched moments of betrayal that happens but they worked so well together. The seasoned badass with the dorky rookie who needs to learn he too is a badass. Lol it was fun to watch, especially when JJ got to be a badass. That scene in the club was cool and the one in the restaurant for both of them was really good.
It’s pretty funny/A Good Time. I think it’s funny overall. There are problematic jokes and I can imagine people being upset/offended by it but there are some that sneak up on you and I laughed. I didn’t full out laugh but I chuckled in a lot of places. Most of the time, it’s the chemistry between Jackson and Usher and their interactions and then JJ’s reactions to situations being so different from his dad. When Roundtree joins in, there are some good humorous moments. I also think this movie is a good time. If you’re looking for a film where you can see black actors have fun, eff some stuff up and you liked the previous Shaft movies, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy this one.
Cons:
Acting sometimes. We see a lot of Jessie T. Usher and there are times where he’s good but there are other times, other times where I was like oooo boy, you clearly aren’t as good when he’s on screen with Jackson. I think particularly in the beginning. I think he’s very funny but some of his line delivery was too “try hard”. I have a love/hate relationship with Alexandria Shipp, I want to like her because there are times I do (Love, Simon) but she also comes off “try hard” and I can’t quite put my finger on her just yet. Also, minor issue, but why do they keep casting these darker skinned actresses to play the younger version of a much lighter skinned actress? It just made me pause in the beginning. ANYWAY, I just found some of our leads aren’t that strong and it’s noticeable. Oh also, those army dudes lol, man sit down. Also, I love Regina Hall and while I don’t think she was bad, her character was annoying. She was nagging way too much. I get it but sit-down ma’am.
Predictable. Predictable. Predictable and cliché/Meh Story. This can go along with the above it, but I don’t care about this story lol. I guess they needed some reason for JJ to seek out his dad and then for Shaft to seek out Shaft Sr. but I don’t think the story itself was that interesting to make a movie off of it. I wasn’t that invested in it; I was just invested in the relationship between Jackson and Usher. I mean, it’s a kid who’s estranged from his parent, in order to get them back together, the kid needs the parent for something that’s in their expertise and they end up having to figure out the mystery together. We’ve seen it and they didn’t add anything new, not to mention, it hits a lot of the same beats we’ve seen in movies like that. So, I was able to call almost everything that happened.
Dated? I wasn’t sure how to label this but there are times when the jokes, the references just don’t fit. I think when you have a character like Shaft who was big a while ago, with two different actors playing him, putting him into 2019 is a little jarring. He drives this old car, and his ideals on things are clearly out of place and the humor that comes along with it might be a little problematic. I mean, I laughed at some of it but other times, I was like “alright, move on, y’all not that clever” and I feel like if you watch this movie in 5 years, it’ll be like “dang this movie is dated” because it felt that way watching it now.
Overall, I think Shaft is a fun movie with some positives, mostly being in Jackson leading the charge and his interactions with Jessie T. Usher as his son. They worked well together and when Richard Roundtree joined in, all of them looked and worked really well together. They had great chemistry and a great rapport. It felt like they were a family. Oh! I also liked that as JJ became more “Shaft” he started to wear more turtleneck shirts or he would relax in his posture a little. I’m not sure if that was Jessie’s choice or the director but that was a nice little nod I thought. I also think it’s pretty funny and it’ll get some chuckles or even some laughs from you. While some of the humor is good, I think people will be find it problematic and I can imagine they would complain, I don’t think it’s meant in bad taste but who’s to say. The story is mediocre and very cliché and PREDICTABLE. It’s not hard to figure it out pretty early. It also might come off dated, even now when it’s set in this time. But that may be just me. Otherwise, it’s a fun movie and I’d probably watch it again.
Rating: 2.7 out of 5 stars. 
Have you seen Shaft? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!
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My Thoughts: Live Action Aladdin

So, listen, I’ve wanted to do a piece on what I thought about Disney’s live action trek through our childhood memories. I did one a couple of years ago when Beauty and the Beast was coming out. You can read Disney Remakes Thoughts and the Beauty and the Beast review.
It’s no secret that I am optimistic for these remakes. I don’t have a problem with it and I will get into all of that when I talk about that. This piece is to specifically talk about the live action Aladdin movie before it comes out and I do my official review. These are my thoughts SO FAR. There isn’t much to really talk about since it’s not out yet but I’m going to touch on the casting and the costumes mostly because that’s what the promo photos have been for.
The Casting
So obviously I thought it was important to have a cast full of people of color for this movie because of where it’s set. Sure, Agrabah is a fake country but it is based on real places. I remember back when they officially announced it, everyone wanted Avan Jogia to play Aladdin.

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Obviously I get it, I mean back in the day, I would have been like yasss, but I like the guy they got to play Aladdin.
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I think he’s super cute and I follow him on Instagram and he seems to have great energy for the role. I just hope the direction and the writing allows him to be great. Sometimes actors can’t shine when the material won’t let them so I’m hoping it does because the animated film is so great. I think Mena Massoud is a fine choice physically, so we’ll see how it is acting wise.
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Now when Naomi Scott was cast as Jasmine, there was a lot of backlash because she’s not brown enough. Listen, I get it because representation is important, and I agree. It would have been nice to have someone who is browner to play such an iconic princess who is the first Disney princess of color. I get it completely. However, my issue came with the fact that people had such a problem with her when she is of Indian descent on her mother’s side, but everyone wanted Avan Jogia to play Aladdin when his father is British-Indian. It was so crazy to me. I often defended her casting whenever it came up in a conversation because it’s not like she not a person of color at all. But that’s over and done, I think she looks great in the role. I’ve only seen her in Power Rangers and a few episodes in shows. I think she’s a fine actress. I just hope they allow Jasmine to have a bit more character growth. She is my third favorite Disney princess, but I never really thought she had the best writing in the animated film. She’s a great character but she’s a flat character, which is why I hoped they took notes from the Broadway show. She has a lot more character in that and I think it’s important that we get to know Jasmine as more than just “I don’t want to marry someone I don’t love” just like we get to know and love Aladdin.
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As for Will Smith, I’m okay with this casting overall. I was a little skeptical when it was first announced, and I am not necessarily skeptical but curious now. I like Will Smith, he’s a likable guy but I can never see him as his character… he’s Will Smith. I think the only time I was like “wow that’s the character and not Will Smith” was probably Hancock just because that guy was a jerk and a bit different from the characters Will Smith plays that I have seen anyway. I know no one can fill Robin Williams’ shoes but I hope they don’t try to copy that iconic character but allow Will Smith to make it his own. Now, in the trailer, the way he started talking sounded like The Fresh Prince and I was like ummm… so I just hope it’s not too jarring outside of his physical appearance. I think he’ll be fine overall, but I’m just like… okaayyyyy.
The Costumes
I think they are beautiful. At least all the Disney remakes have had beautiful costumes, no matter what you think of Cinderella’s huge blue dress or Belle’s yellow dress. I think they’re both fine. I didn’t care for Cinderella’s dress at first, it grew on me but overall, it’s fine. I’m in the minority but I really liked Belle’s dress but ya know, whatevs lol.

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But I think the costumes in Aladdin look so good so far.
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I like Aladdin’s look mostly. Mena Massoud has great hair and it just looks weird, I don’t know if it’s because he’s supposed to be “dirty”, so his hair is greasy, I don’t know but that’s what throws me off the most. I mean, I know in the pictures he looks really “clean” as I have seen people say but I mean promotional pictures aren’t technically stills from the film. I think he looks better in the second photo with the genie. I can’t WAIT to see his Prince Ali look because it’s iconic and I can imagine the detail on it. *heart eyes*

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Jasmine’s costumes are so beautiful! I think her clothes are my favorite of our live action heroines so far. The attention to detail, the colors, how the blue outfit resembles her iconic outfit but puts a new twist on it. I think she looks amazing. The picture with the Sultan is a new one I discovered, and that yellow is everything. LISTEN, I don’t care, I think Naomi Scott looks great. The Sultan also looks good in that picture.
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Jafar’s costume also looks nice. I think his hat is a bit big lol, but perhaps he’s a young guy who moved up quickly in the ranks and obviously wants to be Sultan. I mean, in the animated film it was gross because he was a smarmy old man and he wanted Jasmine to be his queen lol. So, with this younger actor, I hope he acts super smarmy so make up for being a beautiful man lol.
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As for The Genie. I already said what I had to say on the casting, but I think the blue is a bit jarring. Perhaps when I see the movie it won’t be as weird because I’ll already be immersed in the world and when it happens, maybe it’ll look better. Maybe they’re still putting some work on his final look. I think the second photo looks better than the first photo. Maybe him being large helps this look. I don’t know but I prefer the more “human” look like in the picture above with Aladdin. Apparently, the human look is his disguise when he’s out in the world, but I wish he looked like that all the time. I mean, perhaps his hands turned blue, or maybe whenever he used magic it was blue to pay homage, but I’m not really feeling it. This is probably the first time I’m like…
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But I’m still optimistic. Update: I started writing this on 2/12/2019 and I have to say the blue look is growing on me. It’s still jarring but it’s growing on me.
The Music
This is the last thing I want to touch on. We know and love the songs from the animated film and I can’t wait to see how they do them in this version. I’m excited. I am however curious about these new songs. There is a new solo for Jasmine and Aladdin and Jasmine have a new duet, which is called “sweet”. I really wanted the two original songs from the Broadway show in the film, “Proud of Your Boy” which Aladdin sings in his home and “A Million Miles Away” which Aladdin and Jasmine sing together (but not together). I really wanted both of those in the movie, but I guess they’re not, instead there are two new songs. So, I’m curious to hear those and I’ve never really heard either lead actor sing, I know Naomi Scott was in Lemonade Mouth, but I never saw that, so I’ll just be waiting for the film.
Overall, these are my thoughts right now for the upcoming Aladdin movie. I am excited. As I said, I am generally optimistic about these live action remakes, I don’t think they’re useless, I think its kind of cool and I’m interested to see what they continue to do. I hope Aladdin does a great job!
Thanks for reading my quick thoughts on the upcoming Aladdin movie! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Are you not impressed? Why not? Are you excited? Tell me why! I’m interested in hearing from you!