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Hello and welcome to the movie blog of author John DeFrank - FilmZ and Guy Sobriquet Malone - Researcher

Zombieland: Double Tap


Zombieland: Double Tap -- a Review by Guy S. Malone, Researcher

If you don't have to be told what "double tap" means, you're probably going to like this sequel to the 2009 cult hit, and that's because you probably saw the original.  If you haven't seen the first film, it's not a big deal; there's a half-a$$ed explanation to catch you up.  But still, you know, if you want the full experience see the first one.  The original gang is back, their egos intact, even after a decade of achievement--Emma Stone has won an Oscar and is content to hang in the background, as Wichita (yes, every character is still named after a US town), playing behind the two male leads, Jesse Eisenberg (Columbus), the love interest, and Woody Harrelson (Tallahassee), the leader of the band and involuntary father figure.  Abigail Breslin (Little Rock), as Wichita's sister, rounds out the group of Oscar-nominees who decided to have a blast crushing Zombie skulls.

Just like the first edition, there's a lot of self-awareness but not much plot.  The gang has discovered, for example, that zombies fall into several categories, ranging from humorous (called "Homers") to horrifying ("Ninjas").  The film is nominally about family, the conflict between the natural need to assert independence and the security of having a family--even one that's not related by blood.  But don't expect schmaltz.  Serious, touching moments never last long amidst gags flung by the armful to see what sticks and zombie brains splattered by the skullful to, erm, see what sticks.  New to the fun are Rosario Dawson as Nevada, a badass so badass that even Tallahassee is impressed; Luke Wilson (Albuquerque) and Thomas Middleditch (Flagstaff) as eerily familiar zanies, and Avan Jogia (Berkeley) with whom Little Rock becomes smitten.  But the revelation is Zoey Deutch (Madison).  She plays the dumb blonde, but her take is so energetic and delightful that she transcends stereotype and steals every scene in which she appears.  She is central to the best bit in the film when she comes up with the idea for a Lyft/Uber invention that is scoffed at by her more intelligent fellow travelers.

Ruben Fleischer returns as director, and Dave Callaham (Wonder Woman: 1984) joins Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, co-writers of the Deadpool films to pen Zombieland: Double Tap.  All knew they weren't going for Gone With the Wind, but then neither were FilmZ, Captain HE, and I.  We were looking for the product of a bunch of good actors having fun together.  Mission accomplished.
7.5 out of 10

Scorsese, Coppola, Spielberg Get Cranky


A Note from the Management
-- Introduction by FilmZ, Dialogue between Guy S. Malone, Researcher and CG Bear

Not long ago, Martin Scorsese said Marvel movies are "not cinema," that he tried to get through one and couldn't finish it. He added: “Honestly, the closest I can think of them, as well made as they are, with actors doing the best they can under the circumstances, is theme parks. It isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.”

 Francis Ford Coppola joins his buddy Scorsese in putting down the Marvel franchise  "When Martin Scorsese says that the Marvel pictures are not cinema, he’s right because we expect to learn something from cinema, we expect to gain something, some enlightenment, some knowledge, some inspiration…I don’t know that anyone gets anything out of seeing the same movie over and over again,” ... Martin was kind when he said it’s not cinema. He didn’t say it’s despicable, which I just say it is.”

Steven Spielberg doesn't think "Netflix" movies deserve consideration for Oscars.  He plans on petitioning the Academy, arguing that films must have a least a four-week theatrical run in order to be considered for Oscars.

We truly respect the directors named above for their contributions, especially those they made during the golden decade of the early '70s through the early '80s.  And we understand Spielberg's argument to the extent that he is concerned with preserving the theatrical experience.

These three venerated filmmakers went too far, though, when they upset Guy S. Malone, Researcher.  Joining in his umbrage the even more ornery screenwriter and Emmy winner, CG Bear.  They fire back with both barrels, making that four barrels in all, to our reckoning, and the three filmmaking legends in their own time get taken down a few pegs by two rumors in their own time:

GSM, R:  We love Martin Scorsese, but the guy who made Wolf of Wall Street, a movie that glorified Jordan Belfort, a predatory capitalist who happily robbed poor and aged people of their worldly possessions, has no room to question the value of the Marvel franchise.  (Cue all Scorsese cult members to tell me I "didn't get" WoWS)

CG Bear: (Posts a Twitter notice wherein Scorsese, Coppola, and Spielberg are paraphrased, as noted above, and another source notes, George Lucas' disappointment with Star Wars: The Force Awakens visuals.)

GSM, R:  Somewhat hypocritically, I think there have only been three good Star Wars movies in the series, and the rest have ranged from mediocre to awful.

CG Bear:  "Right? These guys, some of them, responsible for the concept of "blockbusters," which is actually what destroyed what they so sanctimoniously call "cinema," turning around and criticizing the very thing that's STILL BRINGING AUDIENCES TO MOVIE THEATERS as something not just less than (what they call) art, but "despicable"?  Jesus wept, here's the tiniest violin in the world. You know? *facepalm*

(Guy Malone, Researcher nods in agreement whilst rubbing his chin sagely, in hopes of imparting an aura of something resembling wisdom.)

CG Bear:  If it's not their jam, fine. They don't have to publicly disparage other people's work. Especially when they know how much work goes into it, how hard it is to get anything made.
And all this is *before* I actually think for five seconds about any of them saying this to Captain America's face. 🤣🤣🤣

GSM, R (chuckles sagely) Excellent points all, CG, especially the one about how these guys helped destroy the viability of original content, stand-alone films.  (And critics don't help; they squawk about how much they want original single-story films, but then they almost always hatchet them--I see you, Rotten Tomatoes lemming bro-bloggers.)  Let me add one more point to the ones you mentioned above: Scorsese admits that he never even watched the films he so disparages. He says he tried to watch one and couldn't get through it.

(CG Bear smiles uneasily, taken aback as Guy S. Malone, Researcher's voice rises and he wildly waves his index finger in the general direction of his computer screen.)

GSM, R: And another thing, though a bit off-topic Spielberg has never, ever featured a female as the protagonist in his films. In fact, he has had films in the works that featured women and he dropped them for blockbuster-type films.  Some will say, how about The Post? Meryl Streep starred as Kay Graham. Nope, no, no! If you watch the film, yes, Kay Graham had to make a momentous decision, but Tom Hanks Ben Bradlee is on the screen a lot more. Furthermore, Spielberg has Bradlee dominate Graham face-t0-face, even though she is his boss.

CG Bear: Re: the Post, I think you may be ascribing to Spielberg stuff that was in the script written by Liz Hannah.

GSM, R: True, but I'm making the point that some have given him credit for having a female as the featured protagonist. Besides, as director, he has the power to reshape a character's tone. That dinner table conversation where Bradlee tells Graham to basically f-off could easily be redirected to make her more forthright.  And furthermore, who is Spielberg to disrespect Netflix movies? Wasn't it a little TV movie named Duel, starring Dennis Weaver, that made his name for him?

CG Bear: Yeah, he disparaged streaming right before he signed a big deal with Apple to stream, so... I don't listen to his opinion anymore. Also re: your earlier point--I'm not sure a single one of his movies would pass the Bechdel test, which is the lowest possible bar. I still love his movies, but to claim he's focusing on women is, like... *shrug*

Hey, Gang, FilmZ here again.  I'm not sure how or why the dangling conversation.  Perhaps, Simon and Garfunkel can help.  So, as Porky Pig might say, "Abba-de, abba-de, that's all folks,"



 
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