October 30, 2005

GEORGE A. ROMERO'S LAND OF THE DEAD (UNRATED DIRECTOR'S CUT)
George A. Romero (USA 2005)

6.5
wow. what. the. fuck. happened.
seriously. there are no traces of George Romero on this film. well, there is, but the brilliance of the first three flicks are nowhere to be found. this looks like a direct sequel to last year's action remake of Dawn of the Dead. there is no tension, no suspense and, most depressingly, no fucking creepiness! the only cool element thankfully brought back from the first films are the amazing on-camera KNB makeup and effects. but sadly, they even managed to fuck that up by using loads of fake CGI blood spurts and brain chunks. bor-ing. a goddamn yawn is what this is! god, George - what the fuck happened? the creepy, foggy black and white intro to this film was good, but then it cuts to what looks like the Dawn remake and everything just falls flat. i was so ready to love this film!! the cinematography is what tipped me off to the non-George factor. it was just all over the place. i don't remember it moving everywhere like that in the other films. Miroslaw Baszak was responsible for the cinematography. holy shit: i was just checking his imdb resumer and guess what? Miroslaw was director of photography on the second unit on the Dawn remake!!! what did i tell you? what the fuck did i say??? fuck! the camera moves along way too much and pans all the fuck around. there's just no point and no tension being built up. ohmyfuckinggod. you my man, are one of the big reasons i didn't enjoy this film and feel it has been spoiled. the other big reason, though, is attributed to Romero himself. the story. it's just awful. there are no characters, stars look like they're just there to be in a Romero film, and the dialogue, which was at the very least down-to-earth before, is just plain silly this time around. and George makes the mistake of putting the story right in the middle of a complez society. the first films worked best because there were simple, straightforward and claustrophobic. but here it's just like every other shoot-em-up with a few renegade loner groups out to fend for themselves and the big bad rich folk. yeah. like a straight-to-vhs '80's flick. but there are a few saving graces that made the film bearable - Simon Baker and Asia Argento. and thank god Baker is the lead so we at least have him to watch throughout this sad attempt of a film. he (and Asia too, for her alloted screen time) brings some much needed human touch. (oh! the music! the fucking horrible techno-driven, action film music. shit.) oh, okay. i can think of one last great element -- head zombie Eugene Clark. i have no idea why the zombies' makeups were more colorful than before, thus giving Clark a bit more human quality than hoped for a zombie. but, having said that, it didn't take anything away from his perfect portrayal of an "intelligent" being. and he was the only menacing aspect of the film. once again - thank god he was a lead. (i guess Romero or whoever casted this film did a great job on the leads.) although the film didn't feature zombie Bob from Day of the Dead, Clark's Big Daddy was an amazing and worthy addition to the series. he was able to bring so much emotion and sympathy to thhis character. and the man's resume is somehow filled with made-for-tv movies. i hope someone took notice and will put him in bigger stuff. he's certainly made for it. kudos to the casting directors for finding this man. but, in the end, there are just no words for hos disappointed i was in this flick. George, you really let me down. hopefully you the film was rushed into production (for a long time the Dead films were always gonna be a trilogy. period) and you didn't know what you were doing. or maybe Miroslaw really did fuck it up (ah, no - the script). well, let's move on and forget this little bump and be thankful you brought Simon Baker and Eugene Clark to our attention. oh, before i forget - one of the best things about the trilogy, for me, was the social commentary. so, what with this one, you may ask. well, it is there, if you're familiar with the previous films and George's writing and are willing to look for it, and it's a damn interesting idea at that, but i felt the spirit of the Dawn remake just trumped all of that and buried it rather quickly. so the film actually reads like a normal action zombie film. point a, point b, do this, do this. oh, and shoot 'em up because we have the firepower now. yeah, there's a lot of tension in that. sigh. the film isn't bad, you can easily watch the whole thing, but it's not a really good film. it should have been (and could have been; there is a promising story buried under all the Aliens wannabe posturing - ps. James Cameron made sure he had full, believable characters before heading into the macho stuff - and he had macho stuff, instead of this paper-thin straight-to-vhs yawn) so much more. but sadly, it simply falls flat. hopefully, though, there will be a next time for George and he will redeem himself (in my eyes, at least) as the legendary filmmaker he is.

Posted by Sam | 11:43 AM |