Thursday, December 17, 2015

Cockneys vs Zombies (2012)

Number Rolled: 67
Movie Name/Year: Cockneys vs Zombies (2012)
Tagline: London ain’t big enough for the both of ‘em.
Genre: Horror, Comedy
Length: 88 minutes
Rating: NR
Production Companies: Kintop, Limelight, Molinare, Tea Shop & Film Company
Executive Producer: Andrew Boswell, Will Clarke, Simon Crowe, Matthew Joynes
Director: Matthias Hoene
Writer: Matthias Hoene, James Moran, Lucas Roche
Actors: Rasmus Hardiker, Harry Treadaway, Michelle Ryan, Jack Doolan, Georgia King, Ashley Thomas, Tony Gardner, Alan Ford, Honor Blackman, Tony Selby, Georgina Hale, Dudley Sutton, Richard Briers

Terry and Andy have learned that their grandfather’s old folk’s home is going to be demolished. In an effort to keep the place open, they decide to rob a bank. Meanwhile, construction workers working nearby uncover a sealed and ominous tomb.

Selina’s Point of View:
Cockneys vs Zombies was awesome.

Don’t’ expect something on the serious side. This film isn’t exactly World War Z (2013) or The Walking Dead (2010-). When you decide to watch this movie, expect something more along the lines of Shaun of the Dead (2004).

Of course, there were a few parts when the guns were introduced that made me think of Snatch (2000) as well.

The characters aren’t super in depth, but that doesn’t matter because the movie is so hilarious that I wound up not caring at all. It’s almost like watching how people in real life would react to the zombie apocalypse. Zombie fiction is referenced by the characters and people make stupid decisions because in times of fear most people are stupid.

None of the actors stood apart from the others for me. Not because they were bad, either. In fact, everyone played their parts so well that there’s nothing that took me out of the story. Even when I ran into familiar faces like Pussy Galore, Ms. Honor Blackman (The Upper Hand, To Walk With Lions, The Avengers)

I can’t say this is my all-time favorite zombie film… but I’ll be damned if it’s not really close.

Cat’s Point of View:
This movie was hilarious.

Harkening back to films such as Shaun of the Dead (2004), this movie didn’t take itself too seriously. For the horror enthusiast that enjoys British comedy, this film is bloody brilliant. (Yes, yes I did. I’m not sorry.)

I think if you threw that movie and Snatch (2000) in a blender – you pretty much come out with something like this flick.

As a matter of fact, one of the key cast members from Snatch appears in this film as Ray/Granddad - Alan Ford (Mission London, Strippers vs. Werewolves, Airborne). That is one well-seasoned Brit that you wouldn’t want to tangle with…at least that’s the sort of role I generally see him in. Some of the funniest quotables from this film come from his performance.

I loved the brothers Terry and Andy, played by Rasmus Hardiker (Magicians, Lecture 21, Your Highness) and Harry Treadaway (City of Ember, Albatross, The Lone Ranger). Their interaction as siblings was engaging, and set up well.

This cast is also sprinkled with quite a few alums from Doctor Who (1963-1989 & 2005-) that span both runs of the series past and present.

One in particular hails from one of my favorite ‘modern Who’ episodes – “Planet of the Dead.”  Michelle Ryan (Huge, Love's Kitchen, Cleanskin) played Lady Christina the jewel thief in that episode; and she does a bang-up job as Katy in this movie. She’s the badass cousin of Terry and Andy, and delivers a strong performance here.

Another Doctor Who alum also happens to be a member of ‘Hollywood Royalty,’ so to speak – she was a Bond Girl. Ray’s retirement home friend, Peggy, is played by none other than Honor Blackman (Color Me Kubrick, Reuniting the Rubins, I, Anna). She was Pussy Galore in the James Bond film Goldfinger (1964). There are a few neat moments in the movie that, I believe, pay a little homage to that classic role.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention ‘Mental Mickey.’ Ashley Thomas (, The Estate Film, My Brother the Devil) did a fantastic job playing that hilariously psychotic character.

All in all, I loved this movie and would recommend it in a heartbeat.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 73%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 45%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 5/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 3/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score4/5

The Random Rating: R


Monday, December 14, 2015

Cat Run 2 (2014)

Number Rolled: 69
Movie Name/Year: Cat Run 2 (2014)
Tagline: The chase is on!
Genre: Action & Adventure
Length: 96 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: Lleju Productions
Producers: Bill Perkins, Bic Tran, Keith Perkins
Director: John Stockwell
Writer: Andrew Manson, Matt Manson
Actors: Scott Mechlowicz, Alphonso McAuley, Winter Ave Zoli, Vanessa Branch, Leonardo Nam, Gregory Alan Williams, Brittany S. Hall, Maria Rogers, Lawrence P. Beron, Thomas Tah Hyde III, David Maldonado

Anthony and Julian have settled in New York and are working on getting their restaurant right, though they still have their private detective business on the side. Julian enters Anthony into a cooking competition in New Orleans as a way to get the money to refurbish the building, and they head south to take part. There, they are hired to help one of Julian’s family members clear his name.

Selina’s Point of View:
When I wrote about the first Cat Run, I explained my distaste for the word “derivative.” I still hate the word. Plenty of films are like other films or TV shows. Kids watch their favorite movies and grow up to want to honor the writers or directors. How many films are inspired by, or are out-right imitating, something made by someone like Steven Spielberg (Schindler’s List, Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark) or George A. Romero (Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Land of the Dead)? We don’t need a word that makes people feel bad that they’re influenced by the greats.

The first film was a lot like a very R-rated version of Psych (2006-2014), but the sequel seemed to come into its own.

There was still that buddy-cop Psych-flavored dynamic between the two main characters, but there was less emphasis on the observation skills of Anthony. This is one of those ridiculously rare moments when the sequel is better than the original. It still feels like a near-parody of the cop dramas we’ve come to know, but it adds a touch of other genres and it dials up the humor.

I will say this is not the kind of movie you want to watch when you’re in the mood for a hardcore action film or something more on the serious side. It is very much right on the line between comedy and parody. It doesn’t quite step over into parody, though. It’s a great film to watch if you just want to turn off your brain after a hard day of work and laugh.

Like the first one, the R-rating has to do with a ton of sexual scenes. There’s a thread of plot dedicated to stripping/strippers. Needless to say that leads to a LOT of nudity. Then again, if you see the R-rating and let your kids watch it anyway, what they see is your fault.

There were less plot holes in the sequel than the original and I found myself completely engaged by the film while I laughed my ass off.

Cat’s Point of View:
I remember liking the first movie, and had high hopes for this next installment. I think it fell into the sequel-trap a bit, though. While familiar cast members returned, and hilarity was abundant – it just didn’t seem to have the same spark as the original did.

Now don’t get me wrong, the movie was entertaining.

The action scenes were on point and interesting. The martial arts sequences had me pondering whether or not Winter Ave Zoli (Trust Me, Reservations, The Pagan Queen) had some prior experience and training, or if she just had some great stunt choreography and good preparation.

As a side note, I spent a good chunk of the movie trying to figure out where I’d seen her before. I nearly face-palmed when I realized she was Lyla on Sons of Anarchy (2008-2014).

Scott Mechlowicz (Peaceful Warrior, Eden, Demonic) and Alphonso McAuley (Pride, Walk of Shame, The Submarine Kid) remained an interesting duo. While some of the situations in the film were just silly, they generally made up for it in other areas.

I think one of the things I found funniest in this movie was the subtitling for David Maldonado (The Texas Triangle, 99 Homes, Zipper). He plays a good ol’ boy from South Louisiana that has one of those slurry ‘Cajun’ dialects. (Think Farmer Fran from The Waterboy [1998].)

As a native of Louisiana, with family ‘in the south,’ I can generally understand such things unless someone’s speaking really fast. That being said, the subtitles were hilarious for me because they sterilized what the character was saying. For example, he called himself a ‘coonass’ and it read ‘Cajun.’

I think the first film was far better, overall, but this one wasn’t bad. If someone twisted my arm, I’d watch it again.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 17%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 2/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score3.5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 2/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score3/5

P.S. The final scene continues after the first few seconds of credits.

Movie Trailer: