iZombie (2015-)

Thrown straight into the action when Liv Moore got scratched at a Boat Party by a zombie, ever since then she’s joined “team Z”. Love her ironic name, gets me every time. Liv Moore. Because she’s undead… Sorry. Anyway, she uses her zombie powers for good, unlike some in this programme. If you don’t like the supernatural, well zombies really, then don’t watch this. It’s all about zombies, like the majority of it. But then again I think the title gives that away. But just in case, there’s your warning.

Team Z. Zombie-ism. Not like other programmes or films. These zombies need to eat brains in order to remain functioning. They can’t taste food, only with extra hot sauce. They crave nothing but brains. They see visions of those brains that have been eaten, their memories when triggered, and also develop a personality trait from them. Additionally, they are extremely pale and develop white hair. And if they lose control they go into full zombie mode, and nobody wants that, red eyes, extra strength. Basically don’t irritate a zombie. That is the definition of a zombie in this show. But mostly, with a spray tan and dyed hair, they walk among the living. Yet most people don’t believe they are real and that everything is normal, that their neighbour, or father, or cousin aren’t zombies. Well not everyone is, but the point is, it’s all a secret.

Full on zombie mode

So the programme is revolved around the main character, Liv Moore (Rose McIver). The recently turned zombie. Firstly, there’s her new job at the morgue, the place where she gets her brains from, the already dead. Here is her boss, my favourite character by far, Ravi Chakrabarti (Rahul Kohli). Ravi has to be my favourite, he’s hilarious yet clever, without him the programme wouldn’t be near as good.

morgue in izombie

Then there’s Liv’s other job, which is helping Detective Clive Babineaux (Malcolm Goodwin) with solving homicide cases. This is the part of the programme that involves more of a murder mystery element. In each episode there is a new murder and Liv and Clive have to figure it out, I like these sorts of programmes so this definitely made the programme more interesting and different to other zombie or supernatural programmes as it’s not all about them, even though it kind of is as Liv is a zombie… But Clive doesn’t know that. Only Ravi knows the truth of Liv’s condition in life. Anyway, the reason why Liv is Clive’s partner is because she claims she sees visions that help uncover what happened to the murder victim, this is because she’s eating their brains and seeing their memories, but again, Clive doesn’t know this, he just thinks she’s a very accurate and helpful physic.

Clive and Liv

Of course Liv is not the only zombie, there has to be another in order to turn her. This is Blaine DeBeers (David Anders). A very different zombie to Liv, who tries to help solve cases, whereas Blaine, not so much… More murderous and goes on killing sprees to feed zombies in Seattle, whom he has turned himself. Blaine is truly evil. This is alternatively Liv’s worst enemy, where she doesn’t really want to be a zombie, yet more are turned and she’s scared for the human race; while Ravi desperately tries to discover a cure for zombie-ism. This element of the film is more gory, and definitely stressful and tense. But again cleverly done, that it becomes an addictive show to watch.

Blaine and Major

Moving away from the zombies, there’s Liv’s best friend from before she turned into a zombie. The oblivious Peyton Charles (Aly Michalka), who has to live with Liv’s up and down personalities depending on whose brain she had eaten that day. From suddenly learning how to paint or being able to play the drums, Peyton is thrown about not understanding why the sudden life changes in Liv’s life. However, these personality changes are hilarious in some cases.

liv and peyton

Again, another character lost in this new confusion and change for Liv, is her ex-fiancé, Major Lilywhite (Robert Buckley). His heart broken when Liv got scratched and broke off the wedding, moving her life from being a surgeon to down in the morgue. Major gets the brunt of everything not knowing anything. However, Major definitely has his own difficulties and his own plot to the series, heart broken and desperate, then losing some of his children he’s supposed to look after as he’s a social worker, his life turns upside down throughout the series. I found that he is definitely one of the most loving characters in the programme shown through his affection of Liv, so the audience definitely feels sympathetic towards him.

ravi and major

I wouldn’t say you would watch this programme in order to spot actors you recognise, out of the whole two series so far, I only recognised two, and that was David Anders and Aly Michalka (from Aly and AJ!!). Additionally, I thought I should mention that, even if I’m not aware of the age restriction, I would say that it’s probably not appropriate for young ages. There are some graphic scenes, death scenes, bloody gory scenes, many dead bodies, many murdered dead bodies I should say. Also some may consider a few scenes to be slightly frightening. And there’s a lot of brains. Like loads.

I would however recommend this programme if it sounds like a programme you would enjoy. Each episode has a new case that needs to be solved. As the show goes on you discover more of Liv’s life and her complications, also some of her personalities that she goes through are brilliant and hilarious, have to mention excellently acted by Rose McIver. Also, the knowledge of zombies increases, new threats arise, and secrets becomes harder to hide. I was definitely hooked watching this programme non-stop until sadly finished and got to the end of series two. But hopefully there will be a new series. Also all series are on Netflix. But anyway, if you enjoy watching some murder mysteries and throw in a bit of zombies, then join team Z with Liv Moore in iZombie.

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Central Intelligence (2016)

‘Central Intelligence’, a film with Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart. Two very well-known actors; like in the trailer and advertised, it’s a “Little Hart” and a “Big Johnson”. These two actors are brilliant and they bond well in the film and they just work well together overall. But the main thing is that these two are clearly chosen and important for their roles in this film. ‘Central Intelligence’ is clever in how they use the actors to add to the comedy of the film. Especially their heights, being such a drastic difference, Dwayne Johnson being pretty muscular and massive, yet Kevin Hart quite small, put them together and many comedic lines can be created and they definitely were. Kevin Hart definitely plays the most comical character, his whole persona and his acting is brilliant in creating Calvin Joyner who is thrown into a life he didn’t want, but has no choice in the matter, because they all think he’s “in” when he’s definitely “out”.

Compared to the trailer I have to say that I was a little let down. I still thought the film was great and I liked the story. But I felt the trailer portrayed the film to be more of a comedy than it actually was. This meant I watched the film having a perception of a good comedy film, but I would definitely say there wasn’t as much comedy in it as I would have hoped. Nevertheless that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a good film, it just was a misleading trailer and not what I expected at all. I also found that the best comedy parts were in the trailer as well, but there were still some others, but I wasn’t howling in laughter at the film at all. But on the other hand, as an action film, as it is about Bob Stone a CIA agent, it was good, cleverly done, and full of moralistic views.

Central Intelligence

So the film starts in high school, Robbie Weirdicht (Dwayne Johnson), quite overweight, singing in the shower is bullied and thrown out in front of everyone naked. Laughed at and ridiculed, the only person that helps him is Calvin Joyner (Kevin Hart), the student of the year, the one who was going to go far in life, the “Golden Jet”. 20 years later just before the school reunion, Calvin is living as an accountant disappointed where his life is at now and feels that his life peaked in high school. Whereas Robbie Weirdicht, now known as Bob Stone, has lost all weight and has become a spy. Johnson plays Bob Stone excellently by creating a man that is still scared of his past yet has tried to change and fight for himself against bullies. Here is where the film gets more moralistic. Bob is a character that is trapped in that one horrifying moment in high school and grips onto the fact that Calvin was the only one to help him, this is the moment he has framed his whole life off. I didn’t expect this at all in the film, it was definitely hidden in the trailers. But I still thought it was a nice touch to the film.

Bob and Calvin

The moralistic side of the film pulls on friendship, faith and trust. This is shown through the fact that the film is from the point of the view of Calvin, who after 20 years doesn’t really know this Bob Stone and doesn’t know what is the truth. I don’t want to give too much away, if I haven’t already, but there are moments in the film which leaves the audience confused in who to trust, along with how Calvin is feeling. Although, I do have to say, I guessed the ending correctly, I won’t say what, but I was pretty proud that I was right. Anyway not the point… The point was that the film is clever in confusing the audience through the character Calvin as he is pulled from side to side being told different things, one thing from the CIA wanting to capture Bob Stone and then Bob Stone saying he’s innocent, yet Calvin struggles to discover which one to believe, therefore the audience feels the same.

Calvin and Bob

So even though ‘Central Intelligence’ was definitely not what I expected it to be, I still thought it was a good film. It was a good plot and is a good action film; there are comedic elements, even if not as many as I wanted. So I would recommend ‘Central Intelligence’, however just don’t get your hopes up massively that it’s funny, because it might be considered overrated. Although, I am saying I would recommend it, because I would watch it again. So I would join Johnson and Hart in this film, why not?

Now You See Me 2 (2016)

Well where do I start with ‘Now You See Me 2’? Well to begin with, if you haven’t seen the first film I would advise you to not read my review on this film, but can read the first one, and I would definitely advise that you watch the first film before this one anyway as they couldn’t more lead onto each other. I am a fan of the first film, love it. And I have to say, I am definitely a fan of the second film. I don’t know if it’s just because I’ve just seen it at the cinema and I get that first time seeing it feeling after and cinema feeling, but the film was just great! There was another great magic scene fight, just like the first film, this one involving Agent Dylan Rhodes and it was brilliant, perhaps not so successful as the one with Jack Wilder in the first film but still pretty impressive. Also, there was a brilliant tense card scene that is just one to remember and probably the best part of the film in my opinion. 

Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Lizzy Caplan, Mark Ruffalo, Daniel Radcliffe, Morgan Freeman. Love love love!! At first before seeing the film, I was a bit disappointed that Isla Fisher wasn’t going to be in it again, whatever the reason for her leaving was. But after watching the film I have to say Lizzy Caplan was a great replacement, she played such a different character, Lula, for the fourth Horseman that it worked really well, plus she definitely gave a more comedic element to the film. Who doesn’t love good ole Janis from ‘Mean Girls’ anyway? All the actors are excellent, but of course they are, you don’t need me to tell you that! And I love that Daniel Radcliffe was in it, even though he wasn’t the most happiest or sensitive character in the film, but I just love that Daniel Radcliffe played such a big part in it and of course played it brilliantly. Daniel Radcliffe back with the magic again, who doesn’t love that? I like how more involved Mark Ruffalo’s character, Dylan Rhodes, was in with all the magic this time, especially after the big reveal in the first film, so he definitely had to be, and there were no disappointments. There was also an introduction of a new character, Merritt McKinney’s twin brother, Chase, even though he was on the wrong side of the Horsemen and a supposed enemy for the audience, he was quite comical and a good addition to the film.

Now You See Me 2 - Walter

Additionally, I loved the plot of the film. It sure was one that throws you in confused, parts you were watching actually misleading you. There was a lot of things in this film that I really didn’t see coming. You get to the point in the film where you just start guessing random conclusions to anything, yet still don’t seem to get the right answer, or know whether the things that are happening is going to the way of the Horsemen or actually they are just screwed this time. You don’t know until it is over, and that is what is really clever of the film, how gripping it is. That there are so many unanswered questions and so many things happening at once that the audience just needs to know all the answers, and they don’t reveal themselves until the end. And the ending… Well that was a good ending. No spoilers though, I promise I won’t ruin it.

The plot was more based around Dylan Rhodes and his past, especially around his magician father, Lionel Shrike, which in the first film we discover died after failing at a magic trick. This gave a more emotional route for the film, explaining to the audience why Dylan had spent 30 years of his life planning a magic trick that will ruin the man he believed to be responsible, Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman). This of course being the plot of the first film, however the second film expanded this on a more emotional trial for the audience, this started with a flashback at the beginning of the film of when Lionel Shrike did his trick where he died, with his young son watching the whole time and slowly discovering that his father was never going to appear again. I like how this was done and think it was very clever of the director, as not only have you got to watch the first film to understand, but also it leads on from the first film and answers questions that were not fully answered, giving closure to that film and opening more new questions for the second film. Perhaps there will be a third and the same will be done again? This second film was a journey of Dylan Rhodes finally letting go after 30 years of his father’s mysterious death and taking his life into a different journey with the Horsemen. While the Horseman discovered their true place in the Eye, by working together and discovering things on their own as things go wrong from the beginning.

Now You See Me 2 - 4 Horsemen

Another great thing about this film is that there are so many elements of different genres. I would definitely say that this film is primarily a mystery, with the magic and all… But there is comedy, with just simple great lines or just the way in which tricks turned out. Also, there was slight romance, obvious from the word go with Lizzy Caplan’s character. And of course, action. There wasn’t a car chase scene like the first film, but why would you want them to be the same. Instead there were motorbikes, though that didn’t last long; and some aggressive fist fights too. Just a bit of everything for everyone to love, in my opinion. Unless you just really hate magic… Then I wouldn’t say this is the film for you.

So in conclusion, there are many elements of this film that were just great and I really don’t know what I could say that would have made the film better as it was so good. So I would recommend this film to anyone that likes to be thrown into a confusion yet thrilling film, unsure what will happen, and get a surprise that you’d never see coming in the end, once again.

 

The Angry Birds Movie (2016)

I’m guessing everyone must have heard of the Angry Birds game, flinging birds that have their own unique style at green pigs. This film is an excellent representation of the game, so even though it is a children’s film, there are clever similarities between film and game that other ages above children may enjoy. I am one of the first people to admit that just because a film is a children’s film, doesn’t mean that it is only for children, and this is no other exception.

Firstly, compared to the trailer it is quite an honest film. The trailer clearly shows the outsider Red, voiced by Jason Sudeikis, trying to fit in with society but his anger issues takes it to a new level. Significantly, the trailer also shows the main plot where the evil green pigs steal all the birds’ eggs. Additionally, it shows where the film will go and the ending might be considered predictable, but hey, it is a children’s film. It shows that the film is a comedy, so people that have seen the trailer go into the film knowing what they are getting. But the great thing about the trailer is that it doesn’t show everything, there are still some elements in the film that you didn’t expect and there are still some comical moments that haven’t been seen before. I think the trailer is well done and intriguing enough to want to watch and it surely made me want to.Angry Birds

Basically ‘The Angry Birds Movie’ the plot is quite a simple one as it is a kid’s film, but that doesn’t mean it is a bad one, far from it. Notably, very different to other kids films as it tells a different story, one where sometimes a “hero has to get a little angry”, one perhaps Disney or other well-known children’s films probably wouldn’t advertise. But it’s cleverly done in a comical way, and also that the angry main character still learns that he can’t always be angry, of course. When the green pigs dominate the angry birds land, all the birds welcome them with open arms, except one, Red, but no one will listen to him. Of course, then later on in the film Red is proven right as the green pigs steal all the birds’ eggs. Personally, I thought it was quite evil of the pigs, the fact that they were stealing the birds’ children to eat, but then again, maybe it just gives a sense of urgency and understanding to why Red is angry. Or it’s just the circle of life and I’m reading way too much into that small section…Leonard Anyway, at the beginning of the film, which is quite hidden from the trailers, shows Red being cast out of his society and demanded to an anger management class by Judge Peckinpah (Keegan-Michael Key). This is where he meets speedy Chuck (Josh Gad – voice might be similar to some people as he’s in films like ‘Pixels’ or most popular as voicing Olaf in ‘Frozen’), one of my favourite characters Bomb (Danny McBride) who explodes when nervous, surprised, stressed, just anything really… But not able to on demand. Also meet Terence (Sean Penn), the large bird who says nothing but growls in an intimidating manner; and finally the anger management teacher, Matilda (Maya Rudolph – possibly recognisable as from films such as ‘Bridesmaids’ and ‘Grown Ups’), who the audience recognises must ironically have anger issues herself. All the characters are extremely different, yet loveable for children in their own ways and all have their comical moments.

Poor Red, the orphan bird with different eyebrows to all the others. Picked on for the way he looks, so he turns out to be an angry bird. The story is brought into his angry life, his past shown to the audience through flashbacks throughout the beginning of the film. The main character is loved by the audience; the way in which flashbacks are used to create reasons behind his actions and create sympathy is very clever. Also the flashbacks are used to show the cuteness scale of little Red as he was adorable, which is what many children would love, I can only guess. But as the Red is cleverly created in this movie, the film becomes more likable with a character that the audience are willing to support.Red

I actually loved this film, a great children’s film definitely, and I thought it was quite comical. There was some moments of light adult humour that would pass over children and I mean like one thing, but most of it was children based, obvious humour, that even though I’m not a child, still enjoyed. This film is also very clever in how it uses links to modern social media or links to society as we know it now. But cleverly changes them to make it more relatable to the angry bird world, for example “Instaham” for the green pigs. Something just as small as that made a difference to how I saw the film as it made it more relatable to a nowadays audience but also adds to the comedy of the film. This is also similar with the music. There is a mixture of ages and genres of the music, some popular that many will know, but also some new music, but all is fun which blends in with the film; especially as many characters in the film start dancing or singing along, which also adds to the comical aspect, especially with some of the strange dance moves of the green pigs which were brilliant. As this is a new film, out this year (2016), the graphics are amazing, down to the delicate feathers on the birds, all the detail was perfect; not any annoying graphics issues at all, which is definitely key for an animation.

Overall, you can probably tell that I would recommend this film. Most primarily for children but then again, I’m not a child and I enjoyed it. Although I wouldn’t recommend for adults to go flocking to see it, it’s obviously not everyone’s humour. But why not watch the film if you enjoy the game?