Skip to main content

Movie Review: Dawn of the Dead (2004)

I needed a shot of a good ol' zombie apocalypse while waiting for the next episode of The Walking Dead. Fiancé assured me that Zack Snyder had made a superior remake of Romero's seventies classic. I also spied Mekhi Pfeifer's name on the cast list. Count me in!

Dawn of the Dead tells its terrifying story with stylish flair within a crisp 100-minute running time. A nurse goes home on the night that a bitten patient puzzles hospital staff, and wakes up to a zombie child standing in their bedroom doorway. Her husband gets chomped, nurse escapes, and starts her adventure with other survivors at Crossroads Mall. The group initially consists of a man and his pregnant wife, a former Marine, and a guy who I thought was Tim Roth but turned out to be fellow Middlebury alum Jake Weber. Well, they're both English, okay?

The small group gets bigger. First, they encounter mall security, 2/3 of whom are jerks; then they see a man who runs a gun shop across the street with whom they communicate via whiteboard and binoculars; a brave woman who picked up other survivors smashes her truck against the mall; and finally, they find a dog in the parking garage. CHIPS!!! Little Chips becomes a plot point later on, because obviously a character plunges into danger to save the furry guy.

Anyway, the characters mill together in the mall for a little while and represent, in no particular order: the tough healthcare worker, the tough dad, the foreigner, the weak one, the tough cop, the tough old lady, the young lovers, the sarcastic rich guy, the clueless guy, and the guy who redeems himself in the end. Romero's Night of the Living Dead expressed clear themes, and I'm sure his 1978 Dawn of the Dead did, too. Here Snyder limits himself to just a few broad thematic strokes, namely -- dubious exclusion in the name of safety, misguided attempts to save loved ones, and the importance of staying together. Because you know if you separate from the group you're dead, right?

Snyder directs his debut film with aplomb, the characters do a great job, and the writers came up with a plausible screenplay. Dawn of the Dead will satisfy your zombie craving while you wonder excitedly what the next wringer will be for The Walking Dead characters. Recommended.

In other news, we have a Halloween party to go to tonight. I'm dressing up as Shameless Employee, R version, and Fiancé is excited about the Captain Kirk costume he found at the Garment District. We're so made for each other.

Popular posts from this blog

An International Women's Day Miracle!

Truly, International Women's Day is a special day. No, not because multitudes are out there rallying for our rights and giving voice to the powerless. It is because I won a gift card from a company raffle!

Let me explain why this counts as a minor miracle. You see, I never win anything. I answer every damned survey sent my way, participate in all the raffles, buy lottery tickets -- to no avail. This particular raffle occurred monthly, and I had been faithfully entering my name every month for two years, with no results. Finally, last month, I declared: "No more!" and unsubscribed from the mailing list -- but not before entering one final time, because why not.


There's also some déjà vu at play here. You see, four years ago, I won a gift card from a company raffle. The one fracking time I won anything! I was elated! Shortly thereafter, also on International Women's Day, I was laid off from my job.

Sooooo...since the day's almost over, I guess I'm not…

Paint Nite!

Last night I joined the "Oops" Paint Nite event hosted by the Club Cafe in Back Bay. About 12+ people came to relax and have two artists guide them through painting this original work:

The point was not to slavishly duplicate "Oops" -- we were instructed to make it our own, to relax, and not to utter the words, "Mine sucks," "Can you do this for me?" or "I thought this was paint-by-numbers!"

Speaking of dashed hopes, I had assumed that wine was included. I had done something like this before, only it was in the morning and we all got mimosas. Not so here! While the artists were setting up, I schlepped over to the bar and was rewarded with a generous pour of Cabernet. Now I was ready.

The setup: Everyone got a 16" x 20" canvas, three paint brushes, and a palette (a paper plate) with red, yellow, blue, and white paint. One artist (Brian) had the microphone and would paint with us, while the other was the assistant (Kory) who wo…

Get Out (2017)

Get Out has a charismatic lead, a terrific soundtrack, and damn good cinematography. While it’s described as horror/comedy, it’s more disturbing/cringe-y than scary, and I mean that in a good way. This is an entertaining movie that’s also pretty effective as social commentary.

The film stars Daniel Kaluuya as Chris, a photographer who’s about to spend the weekend at his girlfriend Rose’s (Allison Williams) parent’s house. Naturally, it’s in a secluded spot in the woods. When they get there, the awkwardness that might be expected from a first-time meeting gives way to a series of bizarre behaviors and interactions. While Chris initially takes it all in stride, it eventually becomes clear that there’s something sinister going on behind the scenes.

The acting and dialogue are highlights of the film, as is the camera work. In particular, Kaluuya’s eyebrows and head tilts are so expressive that the audience knows what’s going on in his head even as he politely brushes off eccentricities. A…