Tag Archives: zombies

Now you see it, now…

Dear Walking Dead director:

walking deadYou are so successful, you don’t have to listen to anyone, let alone a sticky blogger.

But I think you could learn a lot from the methods employed by the director of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

True, it’s a costume drama first and a zombie movie second, but zombies are its reason for being…although any Pride and Prejudice fan will recognize dialogue and plot lines that have been carried forward from the original text.

Except the zombies. They’re new. But they’re not in-your-face gory.

pride-and-prejudice-and-zombiesWell, their faces are half gone, and some limbs are missing, and your standard bloody-gutty zombie fare. But when the Bennett sisters expertly slay the zombie hoard — they trained in China — it primarily occurs off-camera.

Instead of watching blood and guts and gore spew forth, we get to see their expert swordplay and marksmanship. It’s really very fun.

And I for one didn’t miss feeling queasy one little bit.

 

 

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Funny business

What is the funniest joke of all time?

Easy.

Two cannibals are eating a clown. One cannibal turns to the other one and says —
“Does this taste funny to you?

My all-time favorite.

What brought this to mind?  I found a sculpture online — a modern take, if you will — of two zombies eating a clown that was inspired by that classic vaudeville joke.

two zombies eating a clownI don’t know…from where I’m sitting —

Clown looks pretty tasty.

Snow shuffle

It’s a blizzard out there.

So I did what the weather demanded — saw a triple feature at AMC Theatres: Warm Bodies, Identity Thief and Side Effects.

My favorite?

warm bodiesWarm Bodies

Hands down.  No competition.

Zombie movies normally aren’t my thing.  But this is no average run-of-the-mill zombie flick.

Sure, there are zombies shuffling about, covered in gore, on the lookout for brains to eat.

But Warm Bodies is a love story — how meeting one girl helps a zombie learn how to become human again.

It’s sweet and laugh-out-loud-funny — although not everyone in the theater today seemed to get it — and an obvious metaphor about society’s ills.  But what really killed me is that the oh-so-cute zombie I was jonesin’ over was portrayed by Nicholas Hoult, who played the little kid in About a Boy.

Sick.

No zombies for the zombies

The 2013 Oscar nominations for Best Director had just been announced — the words were still hanging in the air in a cartoon word balloon — when Steven Spielberg announced his plans to suspend production on Robopocalypse.

Surprised?  Not me.
Robopocalypse-Movie-570x805I’ll bet Anne Hathaway, who was nominated for Best Supporting Actress and slated to star in the long awaited sci-fi extravaganza, seconded the notion.

No doubt she and Spielberg — both frontrunners for their work in Les Miserables and Lincoln respectively — remember what happened to Eddie Murphy a few years back.

He was considered a sure thing for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in the movie Dreamgirls…and then Norbert happened.

And the Academy said, “No way, no how.”

The nominations this year have shown what a old group of fuddy duddies the Oscar voters can be.  (No Best Director nod for Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow — are you serious??)

Steven Spielberg is just playing it safe.

For your consideration

I watched the season finale of “Men of a Certain Age” last night on TNT.

I hope you did, too. Because, simply stated, it’s the best thing on television.

Prepare yourself if you do watch.  There are no police officers, forensic units or personality plus crime-solving sidekicks.  No one is a vampire, zombie or even remotely undead.  There is no competition for cash or prizes, no celebrity judge at the ready with praise or pith.

There isn’t even a man in a dog suit.

No, Men of a Certain Age just follows three friends turning 50 who are all at turning points in their lives.  Jobs, relationships, kids, health, addiction, dreams — it’s not Everybody Loves Raymond comedy, it’s real life.

I want everyone to see this show.  I hope you’re all that lucky.

You gotta give me one thing.  I’m a scary judge of talent. — Al Pacino, “The Recuit”

Sinister strings

Vampires.  Werewolves.  Zombies.  They are all over television and film these days.

(Hey, I’m not complaining.)

But have you encountered…The Violin Monster????

I have.  He was playing in the subway yesterday afternoon.

Now, it’s not that unusual to see musicians playing for change on the train platform.  But a guy wearing a monster mask playing the violin?

It caught my eye.

He is a smart Violin Monster, too.  Next to his open violin case — where the money was piling up — he had a sign advertising his website, ViolinMonster.com. It’s a fun read.  The writing is straightforward and hilarious in spots.  I recommend it.

And if you’re headed to New York City this spring, I hope you get to see the Violin Monster.

Heck, he might have his own reality show by then!

No contest

Television is wimpy.

If movies and TV shows met in a dark alley, movies would kick their butts…easy.

Just take a look at the subject matter of the top movie box office for this past weekend alone:

  • a band of zombie fighters
  • a machine that turns water into food
  • the first man to ever tell a lie in the world
  • people using surrogates to live their lives
  • a roller derby league for women
  • a documentary on capitalism
  • a performing arts high school
  • an executive who turns informant
  • a motivational speaker who doesn’t practice what he preaches

Would any of those story lines ever be a TV series?  No.  (Well, maybe the last one…and that’s because it’s the worst of the lot.)

For some reason, television executives have decided that the only dramas that audiences want to see revolve around hospitals, police stations and courtrooms.  This year they got all excited and found a new angle — nurses.  Awesome…that totally changes things.

In comedy, it’s all about the non-traditional family.  Which version do you prefer?  Courtney Cox in “Cougartown?”  Julia Louis-Dreyfus in “The New Adventures of Old Christine?”  Or the male equivalent in “Gary Unmarried” or “Two and a Half Men”?

Even reality shows are just giving us the same thing over and over again.  “Dancing with the Stars”  and “So You Think You Can Dance” co-mingled with “The Biggest Loser” to begat “Dancing Your Ass Off.”  Kill me now.

Why can’t series television show a tenth of the creativity and risk-taking of movies?  Sometimes it does…in series like “Glee” and “Mad Men” and “True Blood.”  And in case the networks don’t get it — that’s why audiences have gone crazy.

Hey, look — television series about something different…a high school choral group, and an ad agency set in the 1950’s, and a New Orleans town inhabited by vampires and shape shifters.

Not a doctor or lawyer or cop in the bunch.  And we’re still watching.

Stings, doesn’t it?