SCOUT’S GUIDE TO THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE (2015)

Directed By: Christopher Landon
Written By: Carrie Evans, Christopher Landon & Emi Mochizuki
Story By: Lona Williams, Carrie Evans & Emi Mochizuki
Cinematography By: Brandon Trost
Editor: Jim Page

Cast: Tye Sheridan, Logan Miller, David Koechner, Cloris Leachman, Joey Morgan, Sarah Dumont, Halston Sage, Patrick Schwartzenegger, Missy Martinez


Three scouts, on the eve of their last camp-out, discover the true meaning of friendship when they attempt to save their town from a zombie outbreak.

The film delivers the title, but when you see the advertisements. You expect a squadron or at least Boy Scouts. Who are at the least 12 years old or younger. Which is horrifying and unique. Yet funny.

The screenplay for this film was featured in the 2010 Blacklist; a list of the “most liked” unmade scripts of the year.

Here it is three teenagers and a cocktail waitress. So it becomes more of a teen movie with respective gross, low class sense of humor that tries to be explosive, but never goes fully to its capacity and tries too hard with no enthusiasm as some zombies are capable to think to a degree that leaves the film just seeming to revel in what it thinks is cool or what it believes the audience is after. Rather then tell it’s story with confidence and skill.

Though the film feels small scale and a bit scattershot with the throw everything and the kitchen sink type of plotting. The film seems more mainstream and wanting to tell a joke and get the audience to laugh with it. Though the jokes seem innocent they come off more as raunchy, but seem to want to have heart.

The film just ends up feeling like a cheery caffinated cheeerleader when you just want to watch asimple game.

Though strangely the film is scored like a Steven Spielberg film. Though not as skilled and knowing how to make the score work for the film and the emotional current of the scenes. Not using it for it’s strength or depth. Especially as Spielberg seems to be one of the masters of incorporating it as a desired ingredient and needed thread to his films. The soundtrack songs seem More like outdated music cues that one wonders if for recent nostalgia? Or for how pathetic they are and in bad taste? Or did the filmmakers really think it was still hip and was doing it as an audio version of product placement.

The film tires to do what it can with the premise that you would think would leave some opportunities for comedy and some originality to a familiar tale. Though it ends up going the more crass and uninspired route. That plays like a teenage sex comedy to a degree. That happens to have the threat of zombies at it’s center.

The film had very few inventive or innovative additions to the genre. Then again this isn’t a film that was made to do that or further cinema. Luckily the film doesn’t make the mistake of trying to incorporate any zombie film homages.

What happens here in this film is that it sounds like the tons of cash-in low budget films that fill the V.O.D. Market that end up making a quick buck out of general wonder if the audience and the late night crowd looming for something generally fun but entertaining. Studios see this and attempt to do the same with a film and title like this and though the film plays up a juvenile attitude and humor it still feels like a safe film that fits more into blockbuster entertainment for the masses. It feels too inside of the joke to really let loose and be the oddball curiosity type film that the title might imply. It lacks a certain explosive zeal the title seems to hint at. In other words, it fakes the funk. Just as when rich kids try to make themselves look of the people or poor. Yet they can afford extravagant things while having no job and their parents pay for everything.

The film is an average time waster that keeps your interest to a degree. Even after the initial appeal has worn off. Rather quickly and the premise plays itself out, to only be another zombie surviving another zombie attack film. That time to time reminds you that the main characters are boy scouts. Though really the film at heart is just a teen comedy with zombies. That typically happens all in one night, which leads to the truth that has an Initial betrayal but leads the main characters to bond and learn lessons whole overcoming their fears and problems.

It seems like the horny character keeps getting piss and blood sprayed on his face as sort of a punishment for his character’s behavior and overall attitude that comes across as a money shot (facial) at least.

The film also offers the violence, Sex, and nudity that a teenage or audience that really looks for that in films. (Which includes a revealing Cameo from an adult movie star Missy Martinez) Which seems to be making a comeback recently. Though this isn’t necessarily a film where you would expect it. Just a lot of talk about it.

The film is easily forgettable, but it interested as long as your hopes aren’t high. You might actually enjoy it. Though if not you definitely can skip it and not really miss anything.

 Grade: D+

HALLOWEEN 2 (2008)

Robzombie

Written & Directed By: Rob Zombie
Cinematography By: Brandon Trost
Editor: Glen Garland & Joel Pashby
Music by: Tyler Bates 


Cast: Scout Taylor-Compton, Tyler Mane, Sherri Moon Zombie, Danielle Harris, Malcolm McDowell, Brad Dourif, Caroline Williams, Octavia Spencer, Margot Kidd
er, Richard Riehle, Sean Whalen, Brea Grant, Mary Birdsong, Angela Trimbur, Howard Hesseman, Duane Whitaker, Mark Boone Junior, Daniel Roebuck, Chris Hardwick, Weird Al Yankovich

Michael Myers is still at large and no less dangerous than ever. After a failed reunion to reach his baby sister at their old home, Laurie Strode is immediately taken to a hospital to be treated by the wounds that had been afflicted by her brother a few hours ago. However, Michael isn’t too far off and will continue his murdering ‘Halloween’ rampage until he gets his sister all to himself

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THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL (2015)

diaryofateen

Written & Directed By: Marielle Heller
Based On The Novel By: Phoebe Glockner
Cinematography By: Brandon Trost
Editor: Marie-Helene Dozo & Koen Timmerman 


Cast: Bel Powley, Alexander Skarsgard, Kristin Wiig, Christopher Meloni, Anthony Williams, Madeline Waters, Austin Lyon, Abby Wait, Miranda Bailey

A teen artist living in 1970s San Francisco enters into an affair with her mother’s boyfriend

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EXTREMELY WICKED, SOMETHING EVIL AND VILE (2019)

Extremely

Directed By: Joe Berlinger
Written By: Michael Werwie
Based on the book “The Phantom Prince: My Life With Ted Bundy” By: Liz Kendell
Cinematography: Brandon Trost
Editor: John Schaeffer 

Cast: Zac Efron, Lily Collins, Angela Sarafyn, James Hetfield, Jeffrey Donovan, Terry Kinney, Haley Joel Osment, Kaya Scodelario, Dylan Baker, John Malkovich, Brian Geraghty, Jim Parsons, Grace Victoria Cox 

A courtroom frenzy ensues and sweeps 1970s America when a young single mother meets Ted Bundy.

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NEIGHBORS 2: SORORITY RISING (2016)

neighbors-2-movie-review-01Directed By: Nicholas Stoller
Written By: Andrew J. Cohen, Brendan O’Brien, Nicholas Stoller, Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg
Based On Characters Created By: Andrew J. Cohen & Brendan O’Brein
Cinematography By: Brandon Trost
Editor: Zene Baker, Peck Prior & Michael A. Webber 


Cast: Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron, Chloe Grace Moretz, Dave Franco, Jerrod Carmichael, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Kiersey Clemons, Abbi Jacobson, Ike Barinholtz, Clara Mamet, Selena Gomez, Hannibal Buress, Carla Gallo, Kyle Mooney, Billy Eichner, Lisa Kudrow, Kelsey Grammer, Jacob Wysocki, Awkwafina

When their new next-door neighbors turn out to be a sorority even more debaucherous than the fraternity previously living there, Mac and Kelly team with their former enemy, Teddy, to bring the girls down.

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