All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006)

All the Boys Love Mandy Lane took forever to arrive in North America.  I think it finally got its US theatrical release two years ago? I can’t remember.  Of course, it didn’t hit a lot of theatres near me or I was incredibly busy, either/or, I can’t remember.  But some blogging buddies in UK were raving about this back then so I was really intrigued by this.  It finally  hit Netflix a few months ago and I had planned on seeing it a little earlier but it didn’t make the highest votes back in October for the Halloween marathon and then I typically take months of break from horror afterwards so that’s what I did.  I have no idea what happened to me during the cruise but I started craving watching horror movies while on vacation so here we are…I have a review for Honeymoon coming up as well.

Enough rambling, let’s check this out!!!

All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006)

all the boys love mandy lane

Director: Jonathan Levine

Cast: Amber Heard, Michael Welch, Anson Mount, Whitney Able, Edwin Hodge, Aaron Himelstein, Luke Grimes, Melissa Price, Adam Powell

 Mandy Lane (Amber Heard) is an orphan and the pretty teenage girl and a virgin that all the guys want but she avoids them and hangs out with the not so popular, Emmet (Michael Welch).  However, after an accident at a party, she stops talking to Emmet and befriends Red, Chloe, Marlin, Jake and Bird. When they all decide to head out to Red’s family ranch for a weekend away, they meet the ranch hand Garth (Anson Mount).  As the night progresses and the boys want to get Mandy’s attention, things start falling apart as their group starts dropping one by one.

all the boys love mandy lane

I don’t have quite the same good vibes as I’ve read about All the Boys Love Mandy Lane.  Its a little mixed.  The question I keep asking myself between finishing the movie and writing this up is: Does a really good finale make up for a not so enjoyable beginning? That’s a valid question, right? While I try to decide on how I feel, let’s take a deeper look at this.

There is no doubt that Amber Heard has a sweet and sexy look, I guess.  I have girl crushes and she’s not one of them but her role as Mandy Lane was pretty good.  She definitely was a plus in this one.  My biggest issue with All the Boys Love Mandy Lane is the fact that it exaggerates (at least I hope) the high school/teen phase stupidity.  I didn’t like any of the characters and pretty much all the deaths were well-deserved because A) stupid choices and B) asshole, jerk, douchebag, bitch component. I’m not being mean and I normally don’t have an evil heart that wishes for bad things to even the worst people.  These characters were downright annoying and the fact that it bothered my boyfriend a whole lot made it even worse because I had a whiny viewer right next to me who was complaining about the stupidity even more.  Its hard to like a movie where it works so hard to make these characters horrible and well, Mandy Lane just so sensible, in contrast?

Although, I think I’m getting the purpose of that right now as I write this. Hmmm….

all the boys love mandy lane

But, the film doesn’t trick us.  Fairly soon in this, we start seeing the plot unravel.  The first reveal is definitely no surprise and there’s even one creepy moment that might take some creepiness, even though it was expected if you watch enough teen slashers or slasher in general.  One thing, I do really like is the location itself.  The secluded ranch location might not be completely original but the way its filmed and the tone is done rather well. There is no denying that I enjoyed that aspect.

Now, the ending.  It was unexpected and if you think back, you’ll see that the questions you might have asked as to why certain characters made certain decisions suddenly seemed to piece together.  Much like, how I liked the contrast in the characters developed here, as shallow as they are and ridiculously illogical at times but isn’t that the essence of slasher flicks? While I’m talking about character development, the pacing of the movie was done pretty well also as to how they set up the whole movie to help us connect a little more with who Mandy Lane is and this girl that all the boys are obsessing over. Another aspect of slasher flicks are the kills.  While I thought there were some creative ideas here, some of them are still rather predictable.

Overall, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane comes up right down the middle for me.  On one hand, I didn’t like the characters in the beginning and it kind of made me dislike the movie.  Luckily, I made it through the first half, as the plot started revealing clues to build up to that final reveal, it started to get better and the best part of this movie was how they chose to end it.  That ending was unexpected and just out of the world good.  However, conclusion in this is that: while I didn’t dislike All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, just for an epic plot twist ending, I probably wouldn’t visit this a second time.  But, it is worth it to check out for that ending, at least once 😉

Have you seen All the Boys Love Mandy Lane? Thoughts? Did you like or dislike it?

Warm Bodies (2013)

I’ve been raving about Warm Bodies since forever.  Probably even before all of you started talking about it, because well, it was filmed right outside my office building.  They closed off streets, warned us that if we heard gunshots or explosions, saw cows and goats, it was all good and safe.  Talk about a calming notice for a few days.  They may have piled on the streets with dirt and then put up boards and damaged cars, and after some research, they actually filmed in other parts of Old Montreal as well.  It makes this movie so much more exciting.  So much so that I went and picked up the book and reviewed it HERE. I liked the originality even if the concept was new and slightly bizarre.  Enough rambling…lets check out the movie!

warm bodies coverDirector: Jonathan Levine

Cast: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, John Malkovich, Dave Franco, Analeigh Tipton, Rob Corddry

R (Nicholas Hoult) is a zombie who lives at the airport with other zombies.  When he goes out to feed with his fellow zombies, they run into a group of apocalypse survivors out from camp to help replenish supplies.  This group includes leader Perry (Dave Franco) and his girlfriend Julie (Teresa Palmer).  Unfortunately R kills Perry but becomes attracted to Julie and takes her back to his home to protect her.  Little did he know that something in her sparked a change in him and he started becoming more human.  Was there a cure to turn the undead back to living?

warm bodies julie and r

I’m going straight to saying that I liked how this movie was adapted.  One of the main reasons is because they chopped off the part that I found really off the charts weird in the book.  But, it still isn’t a perfect adaptation as having read the book, I felt like this was slightly choppy.  I read it a while back so the book is also a bit foggy in my mind and I don’t remember a lot of details but I couldn’t help but feel that the flow wasn’t great.  To me, it still worked fine.

warm bodies city

Normally, I don’t go talking about setting because thats not my forte unless it really peaks my interest. Well, I live in that beautiful city up there, minus the fake wall they put up as dividers.  As cool as it was that it was shot totally and completely in Montreal, in my opinion.  That is my city right there, I live there.  So, when the movie ended with that shot and I was feeling a bit uneasy and started thinking, so, this is what my city would be like if there was a zombie apocalypse.  You know, at least make changes to the scene.  I’m staring at Montreal, probably viewed from Mont-Royal.  Just makes things a little awkward.  So at home and yet, not really…

warm bodies john malkovich julie

Moving along because most of you won’t feel that way about it as you don’t live in Montreal.  I haven’t had much knowledge of the two main characters.  Nicholas Hoult is completely  a new face to me.  Looking at IMDB, he was in Clash of the Titans but I don’t remember anything from that piece of garbage. I rarely feel so strongly for a movie so I don’t want to think about that.  Nicholas Hoult is pretty good as R.  It fits how I pictured R would be.  Very zombified and slowly going human.  Teresa Palmer is rather new to me also.  I’ve seen her before in I Am Number Four and I actually was impressed with her in that, not so much certain elements of the movie but just her.  In this one, I loved her as Julie.  She was pretty sassy and fun, pretty awesome all around. However, the character that I really thought was pretty hilarious was R’s friend, M, played by Rob Corddry.  There is really just one big name here (at least to me) and that’s John Malkovich as Julie’s father who also leads the army protecting the survivors.  In the trailers, he made me feel like he could be irritating but he actually was awesome.  I don’t even know why I doubted it. 🙂

warm bodies boneys

I felt like there should be a little mention on our baddies here.  Nope, not our reviving corpse but instead, its these fellas here, known as Boneys.  Those undead that has been in that state for too long and just can’t turn back.  They sense the living and sense threat to their being what they are.  There were moments, I have to admit they were a bit chilling and creepy.  This movie is categorized as horror but I’d say its more comedy and romance so it wasn’t a huge dose of it.  Nothing too intense, which is good also 🙂

Thats really all I have to say.  I was looking forward to checking this out to begin with but I also had some reservations.  I enjoyed the movie quite a bit.  The romance was cute, the story was adapted not flawless but relatively good, the cast put life into the characters and it was a nice time.  Its nothing like my favorite movie or anything but I’d gladly sit through it again eventually. Its a new take on the zombie apocalypse so I’d recommend it.  Give it a shot 🙂 It might turn into a pleasant surprise. I mean, my boyfriend’s dad was the one who encouraged us to watch it (much to my surprise)!