Pontypool (2008) – A Quick Capsule Review

Pontypool (2008) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
A unique spin on the Zombie thriller, Pontypool ALMOST pulls it off. The problem here is neither budget (of which there was little of) or cast (who are great) it’s more the overall tone.  It doesn’t know whether it wants to be scary or funny, ultimately failing to be either to any great degree.  So what you are left with them is a highly competent, well imagined low budget film that was entertaining enough but promised os much more.

Best Bit: The cure

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Shaun of The Dead, 28 Days Later, Zombie Flesh Eaters

 


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The Dead Don’t Die (2019): Review by Your Opinion Sucks

The Dead Don’t Die (2019): Review by Your Opinion Sucks

A Blog The Blogs Your Opinion Sucks

Here is a completely insubstantial series of unsuccessful tonal shifts, made with the most average tier filmmaking, that makes about as much of a comedic/satirical/whatever-the-hell-this-is-supposed-to-be impression as a biblically long joke without a punchline. I’ve never understood, nor sympathised with, the sheer eccentric aggression the internet culture of today likes to resort to, specifically when someone asks a film’s naysayer if, maybe, they just “didn’t get it”. The Dead Don’t Die does nothing to change this opinion I have, as I can summarise every thought and feeling I have about this film with three words and one letter: I don’t get it. This isn’t the first time I would use this summary either, there have been a few films in my movie-watching life I can say I simply didn’t “get”, and it therefore bewilders me that people who ask this are immediately vilified as annoyingly pretentious; always!

Best not lose my train of thought, The Dead Don’t Die feels like it is about to flip the table and reveal a brand new spin on the very tired zombie genre (would still love a 28 months later though) any second now; but it never happens. And the time and time again that it shifts its tone, from curiously serious to awkwardly cartoonish, is always as smooth and delicate as a dodgy decapitation. I knew nothing of the film’s intentions before commencing my viewing, the poster/DVD cover suggests something along the lines of Zombieland or Shaun of the Dead, but when Bill Murray and Adam Driver sit in a car and emote to the rhythm of something more dramatic, with not even an attempt at humour anywhere in sight, I thought the film might just require me to also make some effort if I want to know what its deal is; nothing wrong with that, and you can’t judge a book (or DVD in this case) by its cover.

But then Iggy Pop shows up as a zombie and I start wondering if I might have nodded off without realising, and someone had changed the discs. Is this film a comedy? What was clearly supposed to be humour seemed way too few and far between for that to be the case. Was it just too subtle in other places for me to notice it was there? I honestly don’t know! Tilda Swinton did have the odd funny line here and there, and the sudden presence of familiar celebrity faces, making random extended cameos with admittedly decent enough performances, did sometimes put a smile on my face, but that’s where the positives put all their feet in the grave for me. Just when I think the film only wants to be rather quirky, it turns into a cartoon, when I feel like I might be getting close to just rolling with it, an actor delivers a performance so serious and legitimately fearful, I feel like we’re suddenly back in straight-faced territory again.

These tonal shifts hit me like a sack full of bricks every single time, and even if it settled down and just picked one for goodness sake, it would still have trouble functioning since none of them work on their own when given a chance. The humour and quirkiness were not very funny, the scenes i’ll call the “serious sounding ones” were just a bit weird, the special effects were awkwardly unconvincing, the cinematography was painfully unimaginative and cheap looking, and a fourth wall break, towards the end of the picture, found itself eliciting only embarrassment-fuelled violence upon one’s self. The Dead Don’t Die is simply a film I won’t remember, everything about feels so incredibly average that my bank has no place for it. I didn’t like it, I didn’t hate it either, but my inability to fully wrap my brain around its constantly rubix-cubing tone, atmosphere and incomprehensible motives leave me with two things:

The first is a question, just what was it about the script that attracted such a colossal cast? Does the director know them all personally? Is he just a really swell guy? Did it play out differently on paper? I would really like to know.

The second is a mere statement – I just don’t get it.

 

 


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One Cut of The Dead (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

One Cut of The Dead (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
One Cut of The Dead is a Japanese Zombie film with a massive difference. And to discuss that I need to go into a few spoilers.  So I’ll say this first: One Cut of The Dead is really good and, if you love Zombie movies, this is a VERY clever and unique take on that.  Reading on from here? There be SPOILERS.  Probably not since Shaun of The Dead has a Zombie film subverted the genre quite as well as One Cut of The Dead does. Okay so it’s not THAT good (Shaun is a true masterpiece) but still One Cut is super clever with it’s three act structure that pulls the rug from under you more than once.  No doubt you’ll start by going “Wait… what the hell is he talking about. This shit is CHEAP” but I urge you to let that play out because pretty quickly you’ll see all isn’t quite what you think. It’s VERY are you get something unique in this genre but One Cut of The Dead really is something you haven’t seen before.

Best Bit: Oh wait. Oh Nice.

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Dawn of The Dead, Return Of The Living Dead, Shaun of The Dead

 


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Worst Film of 2019: The Dead Don’t Die (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Worst Film of 2019: The Dead Don’t Die (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

2019: In Review Best & Worst Quick Review Year In Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Dead Don’t Die is a total waste of time. More than that it’s pretentious approach, intolerable fourth wall breaking and pretentious direction make it one of 2019’s worst films.  Don’t worry however it still cant beat Holmes & Watson.  Thing is… a film starring Bill Murray & Adam Driver (as well as many others) should be better than this just BECAUSE they are in it but Jim Jarmusch’s  direction just saps the life out of the performances.  I could go on but I couldn’t finish this mess so it just wouldn’t be fair…

Best Bit: Turning it off

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Avoid

If You Liked this Try: Shaun Of The Dead, Zombieland, Dawn Of The Dead

 


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28 Days Later (2002) – A ’31 Films Of Halloween’ Quick Capsule Review

28 Days Later (2002) – A ’31 Films Of Halloween’ Quick Capsule Review

Hall of Fame Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Tense, scary and raw 28 Day’s Later for me is one of the best horror films ever made.  Even 17 years later it remains one of the most unsettling films ever made.  Danny Boyle, coming off a run that included Trainspotting and The Beach once again showed that he is a director not bound by genre.  Handheld, shot on low fi digital video and with a limited budget, Boyle creates a film that feels as real as it get that adds visceral gore, an epic score and a compelling twist on the then very worn Zombie film.  Add to that career making performances by Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris & Christopher Eccleston as well as an impressive debut by writer Alex Garland and you have a near perfect storm.  Essential viewing.

Best Bit: ‘Hello’

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: 28 Weeks Later, Trainspotting, Dawn Of The Dead

Hall-of-Fame

 


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Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) – A ’31 Films Of Halloween’ Quick Capsule Review

Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) – A ’31 Films Of Halloween’ Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Zombieland: Double Tap is a much belated sequel to a film I always considered to be good but far from essential.  That it now has a cult following does confuse me somewhat but hey different strokes, right? Double Tap  picks up 10 years after the original (we know this as 2009 is oft referenced) and pretty much delivers more of the same with slighter returns.  Occasionally funny, occasionally gory… Double Tap is exactly what I expected it to be.  This isn’t a bad thing… it’s still entertaining but the world has moved on and a cast brought back by a big truck of money will never capture the lightening in a bottle that the original (apparently had).

Best Bit: The end credits

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Zombieland, Shaun of The Dead, Shed Of The Dead

 


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Dawn of The Dead (2004) – A ’31 Films Of Halloween’ Quick Capsule Review

Dawn of The Dead (2004) – A ’31 Films Of Halloween’ Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The 2004 remake of Dawn of The Dead is the template for HOW to remake a classic film.   Rather than just copy beat for beat, Snider (never known for his subtly) flips the tone, landing on a film that is as much action as it is horror.  And it works.  Yes for sure it has horror moments (Zombie baby anyone) but it’s in the action horror beats that the film really shines.  The cast do well (Rhames and Polly especially) and the fast zombies really helps the film keep a pace and sense of dread that older Zombie movies don’t always have. As a lover of Zombie films and Dawn of The Dead I was possibly the most cynical about this film.  But Snider delivered and the film remains highly watchable all these years later.

Best Bit: Gas canisters

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Dawn of The Dead, Day Of The Dead, 28 Days Later 

 


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The Dead Don’t Die (2019) – A ’31 Films Of Halloween’ Quick Capsule Review

The Dead Don’t Die (2019) – A ’31 Films Of Halloween’ Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Dead Don’t Die is a total waste of time. More than that it’s pretentious approach, intolerable fourth wall breaking and pretentious direction make it one of 2019’s worst films.  Don’t worry however it still cant beat Holmes & Watson.  Thing is… a film starring Bill Murray & Adam Driver (as well as many others) should be better than this just BECAUSE they are in it but Jim Jarmusch’s  direction just saps the life out of the performances.  I could go on but I couldn’t finish this mess so it just wouldn’t be fair…

Best Bit: Turning it off

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Avoid

If You Liked this Try: Shaun Of The Dead, Zombieland, Dawn Of The Dead

 


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Shed Of The Dead (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Shed Of The Dead (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Shed Of The Dead  tries hard to be very like a certain other ‘S’ of the Dead.  Hell, it even references the classic Edgar Wright film (and many others) in the rather knowing animated title sequence.  Yup it’s aspirations to be the latest in a long list of Zom-Com’s are set out right from the start and, happily, for the most part it works. Avoiding the pitfalls of other independent Zombie films (mostly trying to do too much with too little), director Cullingham makes the smart choice to focus down hard to the characters rather than the gore, with the money splashed at the right moments and the bad taste humour picking up the slack throughout.  Shed also drags together icons from franchises such as Friday the 13th, Hills Have Eyes and Texas Chainsaw for extended cameos in what turns out to be a clever gimmick – enough screen time to get bums on seats but not enough to distract.  With this and it’s Shaun-esk feel, brisk run time and clever use of budget you have what is a pretty enjoyable Zombie romp. In short: Shed Of The Dead has a great cast, is slick, sick and funny.

Best Bit: Shed Zombie

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Shaun of The Dead, Anna And The Apocalypse, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse

 


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Podcast:  Phil And Drew Talk… Shed Of The Dead (Guest host Drew Cullingham)

Podcast: Phil And Drew Talk… Shed Of The Dead (Guest host Drew Cullingham)

Ross and Phil Talk Movies The Podcasts

On this episode of the podcast Drew Cullingham replaces Ross in the co-host chair as he and Phil re-team after many years (*they used to co-host Filmsploitation/ All Things Film podcast back in the day) to talk about Drew’s new film Zom-Com Shed Of The Dead.  They also break down their favourite ‘Zombie’ movies (well this is a Zombie themed podcast after all).  All this and more.

Hosted by filmmaker Drew Cullingham and blogger/writer/failed filmmaker Phil Hobden.

Films & People Discussed: Shed Of The Dead, Shaun of The Dead, 28 Days Later, Dawn of The Dead, Kane Hodder, Michael Berryman, Bill Moseley, Brian Blessed, A Nightmare On Elm Street. Devils Rejects, House Of A Thousand Corpses, Friday The 13th, Army of Darkness, Evil Dead 2, Dead Snow, REC, Night of The Living Dead, Day of The Dead, 28 Days Later, Dawn Of The Dead, Shaun of The Dead, Zombie Flesh Eaters ( Zombi 2), Dawn Of The Dead (2004),Train to Busan, Paranornan

For more on Shed Of The Dead check out the website at shed of the dead.com or follow the film @ShedoftheDead on Twitter.  Shed Of The Dead is released on Demand on the 20th May 2019. 

For more on Ross Boyask search @RossBoyask on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. Also check out @EvoFilmsUK online.

For more on Phil Hobden check out www.philhobden.co.uk , Twitter (@PhilQuickReview) and Instagram (RossAndPhilTalkMovies)

#RossAndPhil #RossAndPhilTalkMovies #MoviePodcasts #Podcasts

 

 

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