of the Dead
I usually heed
my own personal rule that horror movies and sequels don’t mix. But George
Romero is one of the few horror directors who qualify as exceptions. He invented
the zombie movie in 1968 with the horror classic Night of the Living Dead,
and has done a sequel and popped his head in once a decade to offer a biting
social commentary of the times cleverly disguised as a horror movie.
Mr. Romero hasn’t served up one of these gems since 1985's Day of the Dead.
All we’ve really been offered are numerous reissues of his films on DVD. It’s
been twenty years, but Land of the Dead is worth the wait.
The ante has
been upped since Mr. Romero has last made a zombie movie and with Land
of the Dead, he’s kept the pace. Oh sure, the zombies don’t move like
a team of track stars halfway into a crystal meth binge, but Land’s zombies
are definitely more interesting. They can think, reason, and on a primal level
While Mr. Romero’s
precious Dead films have offered statements on racism and commercialism,
Land of the Dead offers commentary on capitalism and parallels a (I
hate using this term) post-9/11 society. Some years after the events leading
up to zombies taking over the world, the living have developed a class system.
Then, of course, we’ve got the zombies, who just want to eat.
As with any
Dead film, there are some ingenious and disturbing ways that the undead
dine as well as some frightening imagery. And of course there’s a scene guaranteed
to make even the most battle-hardened of horror fans cringe with disgust.
I’d say check
out Land of the Dead. It doesn’t exactly stray from the other movies,
but it’s a good watch. And if you’re lucky enough, you won’t have to deal
with some dipshit in the audience wigging out every time someone gets a bite
taken out of them. Round out your evening with a nice rare steak afterward.
I’m going to
skip the foreplay here and start off by saying that Bewitched sucked.
It flat out sucked. It’s part of the new brand of TV show movie remake that
shitcans any semblance of its initial source material and takes it in a completely
different direction, usually south.
of going the route of the domestic housewife who happens to be a witch and
having to endure the ongoing squabbles between her milquetoast husband and
her drag queen mother, we take another direction: A has-been actor is casting
for a TV redo of the “Bewitched” TV show and gets a woman cast who happens
to be—get this—a witch...!
Now the thing
about Bewitched that I find particularly sad is the talent involved.
It seems that since Nicole Kidman, a completely competent actress, won her
Oscar a few years back, she has just decided for the most part to stop trying.
And then there’s Will Farrell, who apparently is doing the same thing. He
seems to have hit a comfort level since he escaped the Saturday Night Live
curse, and decided to save the effort for other projects.
like Bewitched was put through some kind of Lifetime movie machine.
And I swear I saw estrogen oozing out of the screen. This is the kind of film
that makes people in twelve-step programs fall off the wagon. It inspires
nightmares and will probably be labeled as a leading cause of cancer after
a future study is completed.
If you’ve got
to piss money away, do something good with your cash like donate it to a charity
or buy a Drive-By Truckers album. I’d recommend The Dirty South, but
I hear you really can’t go wrong with any of them.
is something that I had to get before I could even think about going to see
this movie. Maybe because it involved watching Matt Dillon begin his downward
spiral and Michael Keaton continue his decent into darkness. At least career-wise.
Or maybe the
need to mix chemicals and a trip to the local multiplex came is the very same
reason that Lindsay Lohan is in the process of transforming herself into an
anorexic albino. You seen her lately? I mean, she was on her way to Wastecase
City before, but she’s fading away at an accelerated rate. Any traces of the
voluptuous, crimson-coiffed nymph that made me realize that I’m turning into
a dirty old man are gone.
sunken into the same state of despondency that I’m falling deeper and deeper
into by the moment because she’s she realized that she’s made yet another
crappy Disney family movie. She was on the right track with Mean Girls,
but I think she took the training wheels off a little too soon.
I recently heard
that Miss Lohan ran into a bathroom and freaked out for a good fifteen minutes
after seeing Herbie Fully Loaded. I wouldn’t say it’s worth the price
of admission to find out why, but if you want to get one last look at her
before she sweeps the Trainwreck Awards later this year, I think this is going
to be your last chance. Or just go and rent Mean Girls.
About two months
ago, I watched the first Batman movie. You know, the one with Michael
Keaton and Jack Nicholson. I was fourteen and saw it at the theater maybe
fourteen times that summer. At that age, I was unable to see the numerous
flaws despite director Tim Burton’s best efforts. All I could see sixteen
years later was over-the-top acting, canned back lot sets, and a reason to
list my DVD copy for sale online.
Cut to June
15th, 2005. Batman Begins opens. All other Batman
movies are officially shit.
Maybe it’s the
decline of western civilization or possibly it’s because Warner Bros. finally
figured out where the hell they went wrong with the first four installments,
but they finally got it right. Batman Begins sheds just about all of
the kids-geared nonsense and makes the Batman movie that is truly deserving
of the cape and cowl.
For anyone who
hasn’t given Batman another thought since 1997's tragic Batman and Robin,
Batman Begins goes into Batman’s origins and asks the viewer to give
the clean slate treatment and forget that any of the previous Batman
films were ever made. And it’s not too hard to do that by the time the credits
For one, the
cast is terrific. Christian Bale is amazing as the young Bruce Wayne as he
becomes the dark knight. Gary Oldman turns in yet another great performance
as Lt. (Not Commissioner yet) Gordon as does Cillian Murphy (28 Days Later)
as the Scarecrow. Michael Caine channels Dick Van Dyke’s character from
Mary Poppins when he’s supposed to be playing Alfred, Wayne’s butler.
Maybe it’s just me, but Katie Holmes wasn’t doing it for me as Wayne’s childhood
sweetheart. Maybe I just couldn’t get over the fact that she’s marrying a
gay scientologist after knowing him for twenty minutes. And when an actor
or actress can’t make you forget such depraved things like that, they’re not
doing their job.
best aspect of Batman Begins comes from its director, Christopher Nolan.
He also directed Memento, one of the best movies ever. He turns Gotham
City from the terrible backlot sets and gives it the look of a war-torn Asian
metropolis. And what he does with the Scarecrow fear toxin hallucination scenes
is nothing short of amazing.
There was a
point a few years back where director Darren Aronofsky (Pi, Requiem for
a Dream) was collaborating with Batman writer Frank Miller (Sin City)
to adapt Miller’s Batman:Year One (which Batman Begins borrows
liberally from) series to the big screen. Obviously, that fell through, but
for fans of the comics as well, this is easily the next best thing. And as
with any movie of this nature, the opportunity for a sequel is left wide open.
And we don’t mind.
As I watched
The Perfect Man, I sat in my seat and silently cursed my editor. “If
nothing else, you’ll get to look at Hillary Duff,” he told me. And I thought
about this as I eventually tuned out the brainless plot involving a level-headed
teen and her flighty mom who looks for love as she moves the family around
I took my cretinous
editor’s advice. I watched Miss Duff and thought to myself—this kid’s not
going to age well. For one, she’s got the shoulders of a linebacker. And that
voice. Oh God, that voice! I remember hearing something about Entertainment
Tonight’s Mary Hart and how her voice would send people into epileptic seizures.
But I only heard one thing from the straw-haired teeny-bopper. Kill the
one responsible, the siren’s song sang.
voice sent me on a murderous rampage. But not the kind of murderous rampage
like in Grand Theft Auto where you’re supposed to grease a lot of people.
I’m talking about the Manchurian Candidate kind where someone’s almost
hypnotized and they’ve got one specific person in mind. And that person?
None other than BEAST editor Al Uthman.
I didn’t have to go too far. I caught the bastard who sent me on this crummy
assignment at the BEAST office, having just finished up the latest issue.
Through a haze, he was finishing up his traditional process of unwinding after
being awake three days straight with spent bong in hand.
I saw my editor
slumped on the office couch. He looked like the human version of a three day-old
cup of coffee that had been used for an ashtray. A milkshake with equal parts
apathy, sloth, and rocky road ice cream. God damn you for sending me to
see The Perfect Man, Al Uthman. God damn you! I thought as I thought
of the most appropriate way to punch this bastard’s clock. I stared at him
for a few moments before he was aware of my presence.
up?” he asked as he took a break from his stupor. As I walked deliberately
across the room, I started feeling strange. I felt like I was walking through
wet cement. My editor covered his mouth as he coughed harshly and held out
the bong as he looked at me through bloodshot eyes. He finished coughing.
“I wasn’t serious
about you seeing that Hillary Duff movie,” my editor started. “You’ve got
that look–that same look I had after I saw Raise Your Voice.” I was
discombobulated. Couldn’t... think... straight. He shook his still outstretched
arm and lightly shook the contents. “Come on. This’ll help.” I was lightheaded
and could barely keep my eyes open. He motioned to the table where many a
BEAST meeting had been held as he started laughing. There was half a pizza
in a grease-stained box. “Eat something before you try to kill me again.”