So, tonight was planned to be a double feature. However, due to streaming issues it turned out to only be the 2004 version of Dawn of the Dead (since I own that one). If I have time I’ll get to the other movie I wanted to watch with this later.
I don’t know why I always forget this movie is a Snyder film – it certainly has a feel that his films have. And much like his films, there’s only really a surface film here. Which is fine, if that’s what you are looking for! I find this a to be a good zombie romp, but it is by no means a deep film with any metaphorical context (contrast to last night’s Train to Busan, which had some obvious and well thought through messaging interwoven through its flesh eating action).
I tend to divide movies I don’t feel I wasted my time on into two categories – ‘good’ and ‘entertaining.’ Some movies definitely manage to hit both. This one is firmly in the entertaining camp – what lots of other people would probably refer to as a popcorn flick. The action is slick, got some nice dark comedy moments (I believe this was the film that originally got me into Richard Cheese, with the nice use of his cover of Down With The Sickness inserted over a montage). I rather enjoy the inclusion of the zombie baby, though the entire sequence of Andre tying down Luda despite her quite obviously turning into a zombie is incredibly disturbing for a variety of reasons. Please, if the zombie apocalypse ever actually comes into fruition just put me out of my damn misery.
And the intro to this movie as the world plunges towards death is superb, one of the best intro scenes I can remember – the chaos and confusion, and sense of horror is great. I remember the first time I saw this movie being highly disturbed by a scene very early on, while Ana is in her car and pulls up behind a bus. I’m not quite sure what it was – maybe the way you can’t quite see what’s going on through the translucent but not transparent glass as the zombies pin their hapless victim down, or how long the camera focuses on the poor soul’s struggles. It doesn’t have the same impact now, but the memory remains. What more can you say about it? It’s a solidly executed zombie flick, but just a surface level film. Mindless entertainment, but sometimes that’s exactly what you are looking for.
Tonight’s beer is a large bottle of Boulevard’s Changeling. Billed as a dark sour, it is definitely not lying, with a long and lingering sour punch with each sip. A little funky underneath and a touch malty, with very light fizz. A little pricey but worth it, would absolutely buy again.
I have this thing about zombie movies. Well, several things. I really need them to be fast enough paced to distract me from trying to think about how the zombies work in a particular world, but I also need them intimate enough to keep me from zooming out too far from the action and again thinking too hard about how the zombies work in a particular world (a personal failing of mine, I admit. My brain is sometimes hard to shut off). This movie is excellent in those regards. The action is quick and frenetic when it happens, tension filled in ways that often left me shouting at the TV screen. But it also gives you breathers to catch your breath, to let you take stock of what just happened and watch the remaining cast do likewise.
I dearly enjoyed watching Seok-woo change his perspective from watching out only for himself to trying to save as many as possible. Not to mention watching him come to grips with his actions and accepting responsibility for them. The setting of a train was used to excellent effect – the claustrophobic quarters giving extra edge and panic to the action, using the partitions between cars to break up sections of high action, and oftne used for dramatic effect. I am by no means a professional critic of any sort, but I felt like the editing in this film was very well crafted. The movie was well paced and didn’t feel as long as it was I was caught up in the action.
I watch zombie movies for two reasons – for that panic driven and adrenaline filled action, and to see all the different reactions of the characters when pushed to their limits. My problem with things such as the Walking Dead (and oh how I wanted that, and especially the prequel series Fear of the Walking Dead to be better than they were) is that they constantly have this nihilistic view of the world, and a view that the only survivors will be the terrible people. My opinion on how accurate that may be varies based upon my mood, but I don’t like watching that sorts of stuff primarily because it’s so boring. You have a whole range of human emotion and reactions to play with, whole other strategies that could work, and you default to the same depressing ones over and over. This movie didn’t fall for that – you do truly see a full range of reactions and motivations for survival (even including the obligatory jerk who thinks of nothing but himself and gets worse as time goes on).
Oh, and I’m Team Running Zombies for life. Shamblers can be used well, but for my money runners are far more tension filled. Highly recommend this movie if you are into zombie flicks!
Tonight’s accompanying beer was Voodoo Ranger Juicy Haze IPA by New Belgium. Definitely hoppy, but not overly bitter (and though I have punished my taste buds enough with IPAS a lot in the past I’m currently way out of hoppy beer tolerating prime so I feel that’s well, more trustworthy than usual, heh). Nice and citrusy in aroma and taste, and pretty smooth overall for an IPA.