Archives for posts with tag: zombies

Grade B-

It’s a rare thing to have the sequel of a movie to be equal to or better than its predecessor.  “28 Weeks Later” is one of those rarities.

28 weeks after the outbreak of the “rage” virus that turns people into rabid, maniacal killers, an American led NATO force begins the clean up and reconstruction of England.  Displaced survivors are now filtering in to a large district controlled by the military.  But two children, a brother and sister, will enter the district and set forth a chain of events that will bring back infection, death and destruction.  Two U.S. soldiers (played by Jeremy Renner and Rose Byrne) have the opportunity to minimize the effects of the new outbreak; but their chances are slim when they are going up against hundreds of infected and soldiers ordered to kill everyone on sight.

My most memorable, movie moment of “28 Weeks Later” is **SPOILER ALERT** the scene when Renner gets out of a stalled car to push it — and those inside the car (Byrne and the two children) — to safety, while soldiers behind Renner are getting their flamethrowers ready to burn him and the car.

A few glaring shenanigans destroyed the A grade I wanted to give this movie.  1) a woman who is a carrier of the virus doesn’t have armed guards posted at her door 24 hours a day; 2) the lead infected has thinking abilities that are not present in any other infected, and the movie never explains why; and 3) a glorified janitor has access to the most sensitive areas of the military compound.  Still, “28 Weeks Later” is an above average horror movie.  Very good acting, direction and editing; a fast pace, numerous tense and horrifying scenes keeps the viewer entertained all the way to the last second.

— M

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Grade A-

Four people desperate to survive a virus that turns people into maniacal, rabid killers make a desperate escape out of London.  With a taxicab full of food and plenty of hope, they gamble their lives on a place that offers food, weapons, and protection.  But what lies in wait for them may be a bigger nightmare than the hundreds of thousands of the infected.

My most memorable, movie moment of “28 Days Later” is the scene when Cillian Murphy (playing the lead role) is chased by the infected who were lying in a dormant state in a dark church.  To me, this was the scariest part of the movie, and it shows early on the skills director Danny Boyle has in creating a horrifying and suspenseful atmosphere.

As far as I know, “28 Days Later” is the first movie that has fast moving, non-zombie/infected/seriously angry people who can infect others within seconds, so it gets a special mention for that.  Although technically not a zombie flick, I put this movie in the same category as zombie movies, and it is one of the top 10, best zombie movies ever made.  Yes, it has some shenanigans such as: the taxicab able to ride over a heap of abandoned cars in a tunnel; and the bad guys unnecessarily moving someone miles away from their base to kill them, which leads to an escape (reminds me of those old, corny James Bond movies where Bond escapes because the bad guy wants to be too fancy with the way he wants to kill Bond).  But everything else works very well, and it was all done on a low budget, which makes this movie more deserving of praise.

— M

Grade B +

Manny’s Movie Musings: Simon Pegg and Nick Frost star in “Shaun Of The Dead,” a British comedy/horror about two best friends who are caught in the middle of a zombie apocalypse in their hometown.  First order of business, find a way to rescue Pegg’s mom and ex-girlfriend, then head to a secure place: The Winchester Pub!  But as everyone knows, there’s what you plan for, and there’s what really happens.  Fans of British comedies and zombie flicks will love this great collaboration of the two genres, giving its core audience lots of funny jokes, zombie action and gore, silliness, and a few well acted scenes of drama.  My most memorable, movie moment of “Shaun Of The Dead” is the scene when Pegg’s group runs into another group of survivors led by Pegg’s friend; and both groups are nearly identical!

— M

Grade D+

Manny’s Movie Musings: A watchable, campy, direct to video, zombie movie with enough action and gore to keep one from turning off this movie before it ends…unless you have something better to do.  “Dead Rising: Watchtower” stars Jesse Metcalfe as a reporter who finds himself on the wrong side of a quarantine wall after a zombie outbreak.  Trapped in a city that is about to be firebombed by the military, Metcalfe discovers a conspiracy regarding the outbreak that can both save and kill him.  A surprisingly poignant scene involves Virginia Madsen’s character who finally finds her zombie daughter — she kneels down, opens her arms, and happily gives herself to her daughter…there is no pain, no fear, just complete joy from Madsen who just wants to be with her child…a memorable scene in an otherwise forgettable movie.

— M

Grade B-

A remake of the 1968 classic, “Night Of The Living Dead” (1990) tells virtually the same story in more modern times. Co-written by George A. Romero (the filmmaker of the original movie) and directed by make-up/special effects artist/longtime Romero collaborator/actor Tom Savini, “Night Of The Living Dead” gets off to a quick start when a woman (Patricia Tallman) visiting her dead mother’s grave site is attacked by zombies.   She barely escapes being eaten and runs into a farmhouse where she meets a handful of people trying to survive the zombie apocalypse.  Tony Todd plays the natural leader and best fighter of the small group; but his abilities will be tested to their limits when night falls, the walking dead surround the farmhouse, and one member of the group is so uncooperative that he is as much of a threat as the hungry, dead mouths that lays siege to the house.

My most memorable, movie moment of “Night Of The Living Dead” is the scene when Tallman first notices how few and slow the zombies are, and tells her companions that they could just walk past by them easily instead of staying in the house where they could get surrounded and trapped.  Tallman’s idea is probably shared by many Romero-zombie fans; but keep in mind it’s easy to make rational decisions in the safety of your couch while eating potato chips.  It’s a whole different matter when you’re actually in the s@#t facing off smelly, dirty, dead people who want to eat you.  Just one dead person coming back to life and trying to break into your house to eat you alive is a terrifying thought– most people would completely freak out in that situation.  Now imagine hundreds of those things walking around in your town…it’s not so easy to just say “Hey, they’re slow, we’ll just walk past them.”

With the talents of Romero and Savini, it’s no wonder that this is a good offering of a zombie flick.  By no means is it great — no bits of great dialogue; shenanigans like a character who shoots the lock off a gas pump and causing horrific consequences — but it should satisfy the appetites of zombie movie fans.   And so, as of 1990 and today, the original “Dawn Of The Dead” (written/directed by Romero) still reigns supreme as the best zombie apocalypse movie…and it was made on a low budget!  Amazing.

— M

Notice how Matthew Fox is in this movie?  Well, you could easily miss the star of one of the most loved and discussed t.v. shows of all time (“Lost”) in “World War Z” because he’s barely in it.  Maybe a total air time of 30 seconds, and I’m being generous here.  Fox isn’t even given a proper name for his character, instead he’s credited as “parajumper.”  What the hell?  Did Fox get into an argument with the director or studio head?  Well, my snooping around the internet revealed drastic changes to the story during production, so Fox’s role was eventually whittled down to almost nothing.   Oh, well, back to the movie.

“World War Z” has the world as we know it turn into one big, s*@t sandwich, and we all have to take a bite.  Some type of plague turns people into rabid maniacs — ha, sounds like the logline to my screenplay, “The Plague” — who attack people, and those who are bitten by the “zombies” turn into “zombies” within seconds.   The disease spreads so fast that most of the world didn’t have the time to contain it.  Survivors form groups, large and small, all throughout the planet, hoping to live through this nightmare.

Remnants of the U.S. military, along with U.N. personnel, seek the help of Brad Pitt to find the origin of the disease, and with that information, possibly find a way to cure it.  Of course, Pitt wants no part of being separated from his family and be dropped into an area teeming with rabid maniacs; but if he doesn’t cooperate, he and his family will not be given shelter and protection by the military.  Given that ultimatum, Pitt accepts the offer that he really can’t refuse; and we are taken on a wild ride to Asia, the Middle East, and Europe as Pitt battles the human monsters while he searches for information that will help the world combat this disease.

Did I like this movie?  Oh, yes.  And this is coming from a guy who has been watching zombie movies since the early 1980s.   I’ve been planning on surviving the zombie apocalypse long before the term “zombie apocalypse” was coined, long before zombie movies and planning for the day the dead would walk the earth became fashionable.  My friend, Ed and I.  Countless hours spent talking about how we would fight off the undead hordes and ruthless gangs of survivors.  What weapons we would use.  What type of cartridges.  What type of flashlights, food, and other emergency gear we would carry.  Yep, conversations that would end only because we had to turn in early to go to school the next day.  Ha ha!  Fun times.

Well, enough of me reminiscing like an old woman in a Nicholas Sparks novel.   “World War Z” is a damned, good, zombie movie.  It’s not the best, but it’s damned good.  There are lots of intense,  zombie action for the die hard, zombie movie fans.   And although the movie is rated PG-13, it contains a good supply of violence and gore.  Of course, I believe the studio should have had the balls to make this rated R…I mean, it is a zombie flick.  Screw the damned kids.  They have their retarded cartoons, let the adults have their horror movies.

One of my most memorable, movie moments of “World War Z” is the scene that shows us an aerial shot of Jerusalem, with its 100 feet high walls to keep out the rabid hordes who are ever on the lookout for any way inside.  Of course, the monsters do find a way in, which is only because the Israeli soldiers weren’t vigilant enough in keeping tabs on what was going on outside the walls.  What?  Israelis not vigilant enough, especially in that dire situation they were in?  Yeah, I call shenanigans!  The director and screenwriter were a bit lazy in that part.

My most memorable, movie moment of “World War Z” is the sequence when Pitt and his family are in Newark, NJ, looking for a drug for Pitt’s asthmatic daughter.  We see a society that has completely broken down: looting, fires, shootings, cops out to get food and supplies for themselves, men looking for any opportunity to rape…if you don’t have a gun to protect yourself and your family and your property, you’ll be in a world of hurt.

So, zombie apocalypse planners, stock up on guns and ammo, build up your supplies, create multiple, exit strategies; then watch “World War Z” as you wait for the next disaster to happen.  And be good to your doggies.

M

The fifth movie of the “Resident Evil” series, “Resident Evil: Retribution” is what I call a “rice cake” movie.  On the outside, there is volume, but there’s really not much there; there’s some texture, some flavor, but little substance.  Why does Hollywood keep making these movies?  Because dumb asses keep paying to watch them!  Maybe you’re one of them.  I’m not — I saw this movie for free (thanks, library!).

So, here’s the plot: Milla Jovovich wakes up in a huge, underground lab in Europe.  While her friends topside come down to rescue her, Jovovich has to go through several sections of the lab (like levels in a video game) in order to rendezvous with her friends.  Oh, Jovovich has a little girl in tow, played by Aryana Engineer (if I was her I’d find a way to engineer myself into better movies).   Engineer is one of many clones that populate the lab; and her specific clone has been imprinted with memories that she is the daughter of a Jovovich clone.  So, Engineer thinks that the regular Jovovich is her mommy.  Silly, over the top, non-engaging action sequences litter the movie.  And that’s it.  That’s the movie.

Runner up to my most memorable, movie moment is the scene when Jovovich and Engineer see the long lines of clones of themselves and others.  Engineer starts freaking out, and asks Jovovich what the clones are, then asks her if she is her real mommy.  This is memorable because it shows how well Engineer can act; and it shows that this little girl is the best actor in this movie.

My most memorable, movie moment is the last scene.  No, I’m not being a smart ass.  The last scene is purely a scene out of the deepest depths of hell.  Worse than being molested by the TSA.  Worse than being stopped and frisked because your skin color is too dark.  Worse than banks being bailed out by their politician friends using your tax money, and having those same banks come roaring back with increased fines and fees for you and moi.  Worse than the government curtailing your rights supposedly to keep you safe.   And what is this scene?   A very famous building with remnants of the military holding off tens of thousands of monsters.

M

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