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REVIEW: Zombieland

October 3, 2013 2 comments
ZombielandDirected by: Ruben Fleischer
Produced by: Gavin Polone
Written by: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick
Edited by: Peter Amundson, Alan Baumgarten
Cinematography by: Michael Bonvillain
Music by: David Sardy
Starring: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, [redacted]
Year: 2009

 

As a sort of American counterpart to the immortal and Halloween annual favorite of mine, Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland is surprisingly not very derivative of its then-5-year-old cousin from across the Atlantic and managed to carve out its own little niche of fandom (though there are undoubtedly overlaps between the two films). Whereas Shaun (now possibly the most referenced title on this blog) sought to contrast everyday life and troubles amidst the interruption of a zombie apocalypse, Zombieland is rather more about the adaptation to a new way of life post-apocalypse. Rather than take a bleak outlook, however, the film acknowledges that, much like in real life, the horrors and tragedies of the world are often offset by the little things that, more or less, make up for all the crap. Read more…

Review: “Pitch Perfect”

July 17, 2013 2 comments
Pitch PerfectDirected by: Jason Moore
Produced by: Elizabeth Banks, Paul Brooks, Max Handelman
Written by: Kay Cannon (screenplay)
Edited by: Zach Chemberlene
Cinematography by: Julio Macat
Music by: Christophe Beck, Mark Kilian
Starring: Anna Kendrick, Skylar Astin, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow, Adam DeVine, Ben Platt, Ester Dean, Alexis Knapp, Utkarsh Ambudkar, John Michael Higgins, Elizabeth Banks
Based on the novel Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate A Cappella Glory by Mickey Rapkin
Year: 2012

 

Even though this movie is irritatingly responsible for bringing the Ace of Base song “The Sign” into my mind and never letting it get back out, I was surprised when I rented the movie on a whim earlier this year and found something I didn’t totally expect: a movie that I actually enjoyed quite a bit. I mean, I had seen the reviews for it were generally positive, which was a big factor in my curiosity, but I was still skeptical that this movie, which was so obviously, clearly trying to coast on the popularity of Glee in my eyes, was actually worth watching. It’s nice sometimes to be reminded that I can be wrong, however. Read more…

Review: “Stand by Me”

Stand by MeDirected by: Rob Reiner
Produced by: Bruce A. Evans, Andrew Scheinman
Written by: Bruce A. Evans, Raynold Gideon (screenplay)
Edited by: Robert Leighton
Cinematography by: Thomas Del Ruth
Music by: Jack Nitzsche
Starring: Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O’Connell, Kiefer Sutherland, Richard Dreyfuss, Bradley Gregg, Casey Siemaszko, Marshall Bell, Frances Lee McCain, John Cusack
Based on the novella The Body by Stephen King
Year: 1986

 

Based on the Stephen King novella The Body and reportedly being the first film adaptation of King’s work that he fully approved of, Rob Reiner’s adaptation, Stand By Me (renamed due to the producers apparently thinking people would think the novella’s original sounded a little too dark or even perverse) is one of those quintessential “coming of age” films – indeed it may be the coming of age film. So much so that watching it for the first time these days after nearly three decades of imitators may take a little bit of adjusted expectations – you may have seen this done elsewhere. Stand by Me sets itself apart, however, with emotional honesty and engaging performances on the part of its four young leads. Read more…

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