PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES (Burr Steers, 2016)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Pride and Prejudice and Zombies:

1. I’ve seen several versions of Pride and Prejudice and my favorite would have to be the one directed by Joe Wright and starred the quintessential Victorian beauty Keira Knightley. It must be said though that Colin Firth in the BBC miniseries is and will always be Mr. Darcy (even my literary twin Bridget Jones agrees). Look for any of these versions and watch them instead.

2. I still haven’t recovered from the awfulness of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and this other genre mashup wasn’t any better. The zombies could have been replaced by vampires or werewolves and it wouldn’t have made any difference since the zombie plague was just a mere backdrop to the story. If anything, it actually felt like a crime to ruin the Jane Austen classic. Why not turn Elizabeth Bennet (Lily James) into a manananggal instead? That would have been more interesting. I hope they also make a Crime and Punishment and Tikbalangs or William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Undin Juliet.

3. James was really lovely so I was confused when she wasn’t deemed the prettiest one among the brood. At least in the Knightley version, Jane Bennet was played by Rosamund Pike so it was a bit more acceptable. (FYI, James must really love wearing a corset because she’s also in Downton Abbey and the lead in the current BBC miniseries War & Peace.)

4. The supposed novelty here was that the Bennet sisters were actually trained in martial arts and swordfighting so they always entered a scene in a Sucker Punch formation (slow motion, of course) ready for battle. Most of the fight scenes involved mere poking (simple tusok-tusok) and some scenes were even too dark to actually see all the action happening onscreen.

5. One of the few sources of enjoyment here was Doctor Who’s Matt Smith playing the bumbling Mr. Collins. He seemed to be aware that he was trapped in a dud so he fully embodied all the silliness required by the role.

6. “If they don’t eat brains, they don’t turn into full zombies.” Ahh, that explains Plants vs. Zombies.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

MOVIE REVIEW: SNOOPY AND CHARLIE BROWN: THE PEANUTS MOVIE (Steve Martino, 2015)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie:

1. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Peanuts comic strip only because I was more of a Baltic & Co. person (age alert!!). I did enjoy their holiday specials and I learned a lot about the human body because of them. When I was around seven, my mom got me this book where the Peanuts gang discussed the difference between the femur and the tibia and the anvil and the stirrup. My favorite part was Snoopy cracking a joke about the funny bone. Good times!

2. Sometimes I still wonder if the phrase “go fly a kite” was because of Benjamin Franklin or actually from Charlie Brown (or neither?).

3. The thing that I really liked about the movie was that it easily captured the charm and sweetness of the cartoon. Although it had a cast of kids, there were so many funny insights (“A comic book? I thought classics need to have hardcovers?”) and grown-up stuff mixed in with the silly gags. Where else can you hear a kid ruminate on self-esteem (and basically life in general) with the line “I came down with a serious case of inadequacies”?

4. I immediately loved the new girl because she nibbled on her pencil. I chewed on mine a lot back in grade school and I could still remember the taste of wood up to now. I always capped it off with a bite on the rubber eraser as well.

5. Who could ever forget the feeling of having a first crush? Although I had always been Lucy (which I’ll explain in a bit), I was still rooting for Charlie Brown all the way. I had my first crush back in third (?) grade and she was a Sophomore that I sat next to in our school bus (more like a van, really). Since we were not in a European film, you know that our love story was doomed from the start.

6. Although the animation in the fantasy scenes with Snoopy and Fifi was really good, I saw it more as a distraction (and part filler) to the main story. I wasn’t surprised that the two Korean girls next to me were sleeping soundly during those bits.

7. As I stated earlier, I was definitely Lucy (not short for Lucifer, I hope). She was mean, crabby, and opinionated, but when needed the most, had a pure heart. Story of my life, the universe rather, right there.

8. Don’t we all have that one dugyot friend in a barkada? The inner OC in me wanted to give Pigpen a bath. And speaking of friends, we all need a Snoopy in our life. I really liked the scene where Charlie Brown accidentally triggered the sprinkler system and Snoopy opened an umbrella for him to which he sadly replied, “Thanks buddy!”. *sniff*

9. I still couldn’t believe that Charlie Brown was able to finish War and Peace (or Leo’s Toy Store by Warren Peace) in a day. I always fall asleep after a few pages. I really need to read that one again.

10. That wah wah wah garbled words when the adults talked was genius. Older people will always sound different to us.

11. Haters can hate but I loved all of Meghan Trainor’s songs in this movie.

12. “Do they like me for who I am or who they think I am?” Was this really a kids’ movie? Good grief!

Rating: ★★★☆☆

(Originally published January 14, 2016.)