Land of the Dead, anyone seen it?


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Cesiumsponge
June 25, 2005, 03:07 AM
I went to see the new Land of the Dead movie tonight like any good zombie and Romero fan. I even revisited Night earlier in the day. There is only so much you can do and explore with a zombie film and I felt Land did fairly well given the latest resurgence of the zombie film genre. I'm sure some people unfamiliar with Romero's name and legacy will pass it off as a "ripoff" of 2004's Dawn of the Dead or 28 Days Later. Whatever.

I would have to say this new film played out more like an action film than a horror film. Romero inserted some of his trademark social and political commentary. He sets up and concentrates on a post apocalyptic society with two classes-wealthy and not. There is even a Mad Max-like cage fighting scene in the movie. The ending dialogue bugs me a bit and gives me the impression that we're supposed to sympathize with the braindead horde. I tried to justify it as "leave them alone here and they might not follow us", but somehow I don't think that was the intention of the lone uttered line. Everyone in the theater was chanting "kill them!" at the end of the movie or giving a questioned sigh.

The zombies return to a slow and bumbling demeanor rather than the ultra extreme supercharged marathon zombies we've seen lately. The only downside is that there are no real scenes where I get a genuine feeling where a lone zombie or two were regarded by the film's characters as not very dangerous. The zombies might be slow and meandering like in the old xxx of the Dead films, but they're fairly quick to grab anything that comes near them which wasn't as typical in the older Dead films. There isn't any discussion or revelations on how to kill them (headshot) since in the setting of the movie, they've been around long enough for it to become common knowledge.

Usually, one would have to make a pretty large mistake to get boxed in or had to fall for the "hidden zombie behind a box" trick and that it takes a large group of stumbling zombies to give you that feeling of slow doom. The zombies in Land however slow they might be on foot, have seemingly fast reflexes with occasional abilities to leap and tackle people. However, I think the general slower nature of the zombie gives it a more inhuman quality and prefer it to the marathon zombie of new.

The filming was a bit dark (physically) but the atmosphere works well. There was typical intestines, brains, decapitations, limbs flying, and the usual gore present. There is also the typical dark humor inserted here and there. Those who have seen it will remember Dennis Hoppers "look out behind you!" scene before he pulls out his gun and does his thing.

There were, of course, guns, blunt instruments, cutting implements, and plain punching and kicking. There are also mechanized vehicles with heavy weapons attashed to them. I think there were a few "endless bullets" scenes but I didn't bother trying to count or solve them and instead watched the film for what it was. I know how mistakes bug people but I wanted to absorb it all before going back to nitpick details.

Having seen Night earlier today, there was a large buildup of dread when the zombies started to amass around the farmhouse. This feeling was absent from Land, possibly because large masses of zombies weren't utilized enough, and people in the movie had access to motor vehicles while those in Night were basically stationary. There wasn't emphasis on sticking together in groups, depending on one another for different skills, or surviving on wits and guts alone considering mechanized vehicles were available to mow down hordes. There was teamwork, but it wasn't an essential priority in this film.

As mentioned earlier, it played out more like an action film than a horror, but I still felt it was a fun movie and has plenty of zombie.

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ScorpioVI
June 25, 2005, 03:17 AM
It was OK, I give it 3 out of 5.

It was too cliche as far as those movies go. All the parts that were supposed to make the audience jump, has been done in the last 30 scary movies. The only thing that made it somewhat different from the last 63.5 zombies movies was the gratuitous gross factor.

Not impressed with it at all. If you want to see something this weekend I'd suggest Batman Begins, or Mr & Mrs Smith. Then again I just might be spoiled since I saw the special advance screening of Serenity (http://www.serenitymovie.com) just last night, now THAT's how a movie should be made.

english kanigit
June 25, 2005, 03:58 AM
Am I the only one here who believes that zombies have rights too!? The right to chew flesh that isn't theirs, the right to shamble along in a clumsy fashion, the right to rot and decay with out the stink offending your neighbor and most importantly, THE RIGHT TO RETURN TO THE DIRT YOU ONCE CALLED HOME!!!


DIE YOU PILES OF ROTTING HAMBURGER, DIE!!!!


Uhhh, sorry. I was day dreaming again. :evil: :rolleyes:

lwaldron
June 25, 2005, 06:33 AM
Mr. Cesiumsponge--

You seem to have enjoyed this movie more than most of the mainstream critics.
And that's a good thing. Heaven knows what Pauline Kael might have said.
That aside, do you think this new movie is better for having "name actors" (like Dennis Hopper), or do you think it would have been better with a bunch of "nobodies" (like the earlier films)?
Dennis Hopper failed to get comfy with guns in an earlier cinematic outing, namely, "Easy Rider". Shoot or get shot, y'know? He did seem to change his tune in "Blue Velvet".

And... zombies get 30-06. 150 grain, FMJ. En bloc clips. Again and again.

Lemon328i
June 25, 2005, 09:12 AM
"Dad, you just killed the zombie Flanders!"
"He was a zombie?"

BryanP
June 25, 2005, 09:29 AM
I just might be spoiled since I saw the special advance screening of Serenity just last night, now THAT's how a movie should be made.

Don't worry, those are flames of jealousy, not hatred. Really.

:fire:

Man I really want to see that movie. I can't believe they delayed it to fall to avoid competing with Star Wars. Feh on the Sith. I saw ROTS in the theater once. I can guarantee I'll see Serenity 3-5 times on the big screen.

Back to the original subject, I'm debating between seeing Land of the Dead and Batman Begins today.

Logan5
June 25, 2005, 11:16 AM
The social and political commentary aspect was irritating to me... Assuming I *got* it the way it was meant to be gotten.

The gunhandling was bizzare. The guy with the M1 Carbine seemed to be the only one who had a clue, punching out the one round headshots every time. Everyone else was constantly ripping off wild, undisciplined full auto bursts for no good reason, I guess to showcase the effects work. Evidently there's no ammo shortage around those parts.
Look for the part where a zombie grabs an electric fence and bursts into flames, then a girl commando, on the other side of the fence, with all the time in the world, unslings her rifle and dumps most of a clip into the zombie on full auto. Why?
The guns were a wierd mix. Lots of M16A1's with the triangular handguards, a random G36K type, the M1 carbine I mentioned earlier, MP5's with lights, an Uzi with a clumsy looking light mount... of course there were more, but things moved kind of fast. The handguns were a kind of motley assortment as well.
I think someone decided that nickle plating shows up well when filming in low light. Lots of it to be seen on SAA clones and I think a Taurus, although there was a 1911 that looked stainless, and Dennis Hopper's PPK/s, "mister clicky". (I guess he needed a DA trigger so he could show us how often it was empty. Click click clickety click!)

Kestrel
June 25, 2005, 12:00 PM
What is Serenity? I watched the trailer on that web site - it looks exciting. What's the background on this movie? (I hadn't heard of it before.)

Thanks.

MechAg94
June 25, 2005, 12:05 PM
I guess I don't watch many zombie movies but the premise of this one I saw on the previews made me wonder why they haven't exterminated the zombies already. I guess I will have to watch one day.

Owen
June 25, 2005, 12:29 PM
SteveW13,

Serenity is a movie based on the TV show Firefly, a cult classic here on THR and elsewhere. Written by Joss Whedon, who also brought us Buffy and Angel.

Check this thread:

http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=86039&highlight=firefly

Werewolf
June 25, 2005, 12:42 PM
I like Zombie movies....
Never seen a bad one - Well - Sean of the Dead wasn't all that good but it was OK.

That said Land of the Dead is the only Zombie movie I've seen where I rooted for the zombies and not the humans. :evil:

Cesiumsponge
June 25, 2005, 12:43 PM
You seem to have enjoyed this movie more than most of the mainstream critics.

I never really read those reviews. Movies are supposed to be fun, especially the summer blockbusters. I took that at face value. There were things I didn't like and liked in the film.

the premise of this one I saw on the previews made me wonder why they haven't exterminated the zombies already.

Mayhaps its because humans are now the minority instead of a majority, with no access to nuclear weapons? They're depicted in the movie (at least those living on the streets) as a hodgepodge group of untrained people surviving by raiding surrounding areas and trading aquired goods. Those in the tower are plain useless.

That aside, do you think this new movie is better for having "name actors" (like Dennis Hopper), or do you think it would have been better with a bunch of "nobodies" (like the earlier films)?

I think it would be great if Romero kept more of his original format with unfamous actors. However, being a summer blockbuster, I think he had to attract a larger crowd back to the genre using known actors he could advertise and try to paint it as unique to the latest revival of zombie films. I also think its easier to get larger budgets when you use famous actors?

The gunhandling was bizzare.
I think once people organized and ended up in a stationary location, there was enough resources from the area and raiding parties that each shot didn't have to count as much as it did. The people responsible for raiding parties seemed to be no more than loosely organized, undisiplined groups of ordinary human beings with no military training which might explain poor fire control and why your priorities include smashing and grabbing booze and cigars for resale. Charlie (M1A guy) was the only one who seemed to have reasonable past experience with a firearm, enough to turn down one of those tactical carbines (H&K G36k?) when offered one for something he was already comfortable with.

"military personnel" were stuck manning checkpoint stations. Also they mention military training...military training in a post-apocalyptic environment might not quite be up to par as training as it exists today. It might simply be "pull the trigger" and you get fatigues and a rifle. They didn't seem overly well trained either. I would guess the odd mix of firearms is supposed to depict that they scavanged what they can. They happened to have some oldies, and some newer firearms as a result.

Unfortunately the film didn't have as large a "survival" factor as the previous films. They've already basically walled up and have a defense outpost so we don't see the actual efforts it took beforehand to get to that point in time. It's more of a standoff near the end.

Its going to get progressively harder to make a completely fresh horror film, even if Romero did create the zombie film and attempted to top it off decades later. I haven't seen anything in years that hasn't been done or used to some degree in a previous film. There are only so many ways you can startle or scare the audience. Even movies in general have to recycle some ideas used in the past. It's been a while since I've been completely blown away by any movie.

My biggest gripe about the movie is it revolved too heavily around the tank and not enough around the people surviving. But it does have some (not all) of Romero's trademarks in it, including the unmatched gore, commentary, and an African American male as a main actor, albiet as a zombie this time instead of a hero...though given the mixed bag of zombie sympathy, he might be a twisted hero in this case. I wouldn't call this his greatest film, but at least its a watchable action film.

Back to the original subject, I'm debating between seeing Land of the Dead and Batman Begins today.

Go see both, I did :D And I usually watch a movie in theaters once every year or two and wait for the videos to come out.

Owen
June 25, 2005, 12:45 PM
doubletap

Justin
June 25, 2005, 01:59 PM
Am I the only one who has found Romero's social commentary to be clumsy and ham-fisted? And it seems to get worse the older he gets.

I haven't seen 'Land of the Dead' but I plan to, simply because I love the genre, as well as Romero's original three zombie films, despite my disagreement with his general assesment of the human condition.

ScorpioVI
June 25, 2005, 03:03 PM
Oh, I forgot to add, re: Land Of The Dead

There was a couple of things I enjoyed heartily in the movie. Without spoiling the movie too much here....

1) An idiot, an M1 carbine, and a midget. Each on it's own wouldn't be funny but the way they come together in the movie, hilarious!

2) Doughboy was hilarious!

"What do you know about stealing cars?"

"I'm Samoan. Samoa... 50,000 cars stolen every year."

"Big deal! I'm from Detroit!"

"Detroit has 50 millions cars. Samoa.... 50,000, all stolen!"

ROFLMAO

det.pat
June 25, 2005, 03:28 PM
the movie may get 2 stars out of 5 [more like 10] i love zombie movies and this one is expensive and slick but clumsy, poorly written and has numerous plot holes. not to mention a guy like romero, who presumably has been to pittsburgh [ he is a resident] has no idea of the geography and the way the rivers are in pgh. [btw one of my uncles put up a very significant amount of the money for the original notld.
pat

Kestrel
June 25, 2005, 04:29 PM
Serenity is a movie based on the TV show Firefly, a cult classic here on THR and elsewhere.

Owen,

Thanks. I guess I'm out of step with mainstream culture - I don't even know what "Firefly" is. (I don't really watch much TV, though...)

Thanks.

The Grand Inquisitor
June 25, 2005, 04:39 PM
I'm excited to see Land of the Dead, not only because I was a huge Gore film fan when I was younger, but because there is a STEYR AUG in the preview!!!!!!

Zombies and AUG's...my fantasy.


Also, was anyone else disappointed that in the Dawn of the Dead remake they never made it to the gunshop and the gunshop owner (who seemed pretty cool) was killed? The gunshop owner (Andy?) was the only other guy besides Ving Rahmes who I thought should have lived.

Biker
June 25, 2005, 04:48 PM
They made it to the Gunshop-that's where they killed (re-killed?) Andy.
BTW, I've lusted after a Steyr-Aug for years.
Biker

Cesiumsponge
June 25, 2005, 05:46 PM
The local gun store here has a Steyr AUG for $3000. If I had the money, it'd be on my wall right now. There is something about that ugly Austrian bullpup that screams "pick me up and take me home".

33-805
June 25, 2005, 10:06 PM
Saw it today at a matinee. I liked it okay but I agree with a lot of the posts here so far. Here comes my personal soapbox rant, however, given as we left the theatre. "In this story they have been dealing with zombies for three years before the movie's timeframe. Yet they still waste ammo spraying all over and NOT hitting them in the head. They know they have to hit the head to kill them and yet they just keep on spraying......" I guess fire discipline and accurate shooting have to be limited to the guy with the M1 carbine or the movie would be over way too quick. :mad: :fire: :banghead:

R.H. Lee
June 25, 2005, 10:09 PM
Seen it? I work there.

Actually, my workplace is a cross between 'Land of the Dead' and 'We are the Borg'.

The Grand Inquisitor
June 26, 2005, 01:28 AM
AUG? UGLY?


That's enough for a severe beating....

Go to the Steyr forum and tell everyone about your impertinance so you can be flogged for your insolence.

Cesiumsponge
June 26, 2005, 01:37 AM
Dare I voice my aesthetic opinion on Glocks? :D

Just 'cause something be ugly don't mean it don't work. :neener: I'd be happy to own either.

cslinger
June 26, 2005, 01:43 AM
Haven't seen Land of the Dead but for the folks who have inquired about Serenity and have not seen Firefly, save your Land of the Dead ticket price and put it towards the Firefly DVD box set.........you will not be dissapointed.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled thread.

Chris

bigun15
June 26, 2005, 01:44 AM
I've already made plans to go see the movie. We're going to watch it at 10:30 pm. Should be lots of fun.

No_Brakes23
June 26, 2005, 04:22 AM
To the people that complain about running zombies, I feel compelled to point out that 28 Days Later is NOT a zombie movie.

It is about a pandemic, not the undead. They run, they climb, they talk, they don't need headshots to die, etc.

50 Freak
June 26, 2005, 06:14 AM
just saw Land of the Dead. I was disappointed especially after waiting for so long for the final chapter in Romero's zombie flicks.

I personally thought last years remake of Dawn of the Dead was fantastic and that this would top it. Oh well. :( :(

enfield303
June 27, 2005, 12:24 PM
Saw it Friday. Not bad. Seen WAY better. A zombie with an AUG..... Everyone know that AUGs are way to complicated for a Zombie. :D

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