23 October 2012

October 23rd

Diary of the Dead (2007) directed by George A. Romero
A found footage film taking us back to the first night the dead got up and began eating people.  This time, we're with a group of film majors who happen to be shooting a mummy movie in the woods when the SHtF.  A couple of them decide to film everything that happens as they flee in a Winnebago.

Rather than exploring the learning zombie angle from Day and Land, Romero is chewing on much more interesting ideas in this one.  How does the fact that there are cellphone video cameras in everyone's pocket, 72 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, and instant access to all of this affecting us?  It's incredibly democratizing, says Romero.  Giant media companies no longer have complete control over our perceptions of what happens the next town over, across the country, or on the other side of the planet.  If we seek it out, we can discover the harsh, unedited truth floating around on the Internet (scary as that may sometimes be).

Also, how important is it to document a tragedy when there's a chance you could help avert it?  People keep telling Jason to put the camera down and, at first blush, you would tend to agree with that demand.  What's that idiot doing?  Throw the camera down, pick up a weapon, and defend yourself and your friends!  But, as Debra says a couple of times, "if it didn't happen on camera, it's like it didn't happen, right?"  If there is no one to record these things as they happen, how are we going to know what really went on and how are we going to learn from these events?  What if no had bothered to snap the famous photo from Kent State, the napalm girl in Vietnam, or Tiananmen Square?  These are powerful, culture-shaking pictures.  This is a question that truly plagues photographers.  See this excellent article from The Guardian.  As one of the interviewees says, "I thought, if I don't take this picture, no one will believe this ever happened."

Outside of this, taken just as a zombie movie, the film is merely OK.  It lacks the action of Land, the awesome Savini gore of Day, and the likable characters of Dawn.  I think the low budget is what hurt the film the most.  But, I'm not going to complain.  Romero can make as many zombie movies as he has in him and I'll watch them all.

Watched: blu-ray from The Weinstein Company.

The Final Day (2008)
Deader Living through Chemistry (2008)
Opening Night of the Living Dead! (2008)
& Teller (2008)
Run for Your Life (2008)

The Walking Dead 2.08: "Nebraska" (2012) directed by Clark Johnson
This episode perfectly captures the tension often seen in the comics when the main characters encounter a new person or group.  The conversation between Rick and the New Englanders in the bar is played perfectly, with the anxiety of Rick and the desperation of the other men slowly increasing until it all explodes in violence.  If I'm not mistaken, this is the first time Rick has to kill regular people.  This is an important step in the development of his character.  Hopefully, the show will continue to turn him into the man who will do absolutely anything necessary to protect his family.

The Walking Dead 2.09: "Triggerfinger" (2012) directed by Bill Gierhart
The shootout in the bar in the middle of this episode was incredible.  The tension of the scene in which they try to rescue the guy impaled on the iron fence while walkers approach: completely awesome.  Definitely one of the best bits in the entire show.  I also love how Glenn, when tasked with running to grab the car, completely falls apart and hides after he is shot at.  I can identify with that.  That would be me.  Much as I hate to admit it, I'm not going to be Rick in such a situation and coolly shoot back at the bad guys.  Nope, I'm probably going to be Glenn and freak the hell out.  But, I hate, hate, hate Glenn's after-the-fact explanation for why he wussed out.  He says he didn't want to die because his death would hurt Maggie.  C'mon, man.  Great line to use on the lady, no doubt, but c'mon, man.  Way to jettison a realistic reaction to stress for soap opera crap.


  1. It's glad to know I'm not the only one who liked "Diary." Yeah, it says its themes instead of implying them, the acting isn't great, and the characters aren't particularly interesting. But I found the movie to be a fairly interesting discussion of Generation 2.0, or whatever the heck they're calling it now. I found it to actually have a fairly negative opinion of us kids today. And the Amish Guy was awesome.

    I liked "Survival of the Dead," too, before you get to it.

  2. Amish Guy was indeed totally awesome. Missed opportunity there to have the non-tech guy start traveling with the youtubers.