I've been to thousands of movies in my lifetime and own hundreds of videos and DVDs, so I am a fan but not a bona fide film critic. This is my first online review.
My wife and I saw the original Dawn of the Dead 25 years ago at a midnight show and left wired enough to talk each other down till the morning. Perhaps a quarter of a century has inured us to the violence a bit since we just watched it again (rental video) last week prior to yesterday's venture to the local multiplex to see the remake/"reimagining" and were mostly unperturbed by the revisit.
For some reason, I was hooked on the new Dawn months ago from the teaser and, subsequently, the actual trailer. The Sparklehorse song in the former fit perfectly and the suburban shot followed by killer Vivian and closing with the burned projector film of the latter was intriguing in its own way. So I was primed to see the movie, usually a recipe for disaster since preview expectations are rarely fulfilled by the finished product. This time, however, they were.
The cast was uniformly believable and, more important, empathizable (at least with the good guys who got sorted out along the way). Even the playboy jerk had several relevant lines. Polley was a good, strong female lead (with another great rebuttal -- "No, I'm a * nurse" to a query about her medical skills) and Rhames a cheerable, if reluctant, hero. The camaraderie, such as it was, worked, and visceral me-first survival gave way more often to self-sacrifice.
So, what's not to like? The fundamental premise that a classic got remade? Doesn't wash. These are two different movies with the same name and similar premises but very different attitudes. (Better special effects didn't hurt, either, although this new version was oddly less disturbing sans zombies munching on dismembered body parts.) Speedy zombies (except for the "twitchers")? No problem; hey, they're hungry and, as always, persistent. My attention was held for the better part of two hours; the story was interesting; the outcome ambivalent; the characters arisen to the task at hand, becoming coldly rational to the divisions between life and death and zombiedom; the music weirdly appropriate; the black humor welcome respite. No, Dawn of the Dead isn't Citizen Kane nor is it a sacrilegious assault on the horror genre. It's solid filmmaking that's entertaining and thought-provoking. Otherwise, I suspect Romero would never have put his imprimatur on the remake.
Dawn of the Dead
Action / Horror
Dawn of the Dead
Action / Horror
Ana, a young beautiful nurse finishes her day-shift at the hospital to return home to her beloved husband, they make love and sleep together. The next day, after her husband is killed by her neighbor next door, he suddenly comes back to life. She discovers the chaos happening in her neighborhood and escapes from her home. Soon after coming to her senses in the woods, she encounters a cop and other survivors, they decide to find safety in a mall. Soon more survivors come, and they learn that if they want to stay alive, they should stick together as the world is overrun by an army of undead. Can they survive the horror in this horrific global chaos? When there is no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth
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June 29, 2012 at 3:04 pm