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Shaun of the Dead

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Guest Russell Lucas   
Guest Russell Lucas

Yeah, I've seen it. It's tons of fun. A legitimate zombie romcom. The writers throw some great homages to the Romero films in to complement a much better than average story.

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MattPage   

Bizarrely this came out in the UK a few months ago so that it was in cinemas at the same time as Dawn of the Dead. Our local ran both together for several weeks. It was weird.

Matt

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Don't know what to say about this film, as I have never seen any of the "classic" zombie films. I thought the funny scenes were pretty funny, and the dramatic scenes were very convincing, and the gore effects were few but perfectly done ... and yet I am not sure whether all these things really "fit" together, side by side. One minute we've got apathetic humour of the Futurama sort, the next minute we're supposed to care -- I mean, really care -- about Shaun's relationship with his mom and stepdad.

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Hey, Russell, how did you see this film? I ask because it made its first appearance on the North American box-office charts just this weekend -- where it opened very, very strongly in the Top 10. (It was playing in something like 600 theatres, whereas all the other Top 10 entries were playing in thousands of theatres.) I am curious as to who else might have seen this film, since the things I liked about the film have really stuck with me more than the things I wasn't entirely sold on.

Note, too, that this film ranks higher than any other film in the past few months in terms of the percentage of its grosses that were earned in Canada. We really ARE Anglophiles here.

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twitch   

I saw it at an advance screening a month ago - I had done an interview with the director and he got me in - and again opening day. It's amazing. I really love this film. If you enjoyed it at all you really should track down Spaced, the tv show all the principal cast were involved with prior to Shaun ...

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Clint M   

Don't know what to say about this film, as I have never seen any of the "classic" zombie films.  I thought the funny scenes were pretty funny, and the dramatic scenes were very convincing, and the gore effects were few but perfectly done ... and yet I am not sure whether all these things really "fit" together, side by side.  One minute we've got apathetic humour of the Futurama sort, the next minute we're supposed to care -- I mean, really care -- about Shaun's relationship with his mom and stepdad.

spoilers1.gif

Yeah, the 3rd act of the film seemed quite different in tone from the first 2 acts. We suddenly have to take all of this seriously? Why?

There were some nice little touches I liked - the main one being the Evil Dead tribute through the quick close up shots of events - but the events were just things involved with eating breakfast.

Well, and the brillant "Hey! Didn't I work with you in a BBC series?" meeting.

Edited by Clint M

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twitch   

Part of their goal making the film was to keep the horror legit and seperate from the humor. They didn't want to repeat what Raimi and Jackson had done in the past, so there are never any 'funny zombie' moments in the film. All the humor is based on the characters reacting realistically, but fairly stupidly, to what's happening around them and as the zombie problem spreads and increases they become more and more aware of what's happening and start to take some losses. It's mostly a matter of Shaun's hangover wearing off and reality setting in ...

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True, the parallel threads of horror and comedy seem rather... oxymoronic at times. Some horror films throw humor into the horror, but it is usually black comedy. This is sitcom-type humor placed right next to disembowelments.

Yet somehow it managed to pull it off. The coda felt like the perfect ironic ending to a zombie movie. After all, once the dead come back and eat the living, what's left to do?

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Clint M   
True, the parallel threads of horror and comedy seem rather... oxymoronic at times. Some horror films throw humor into the horror, but it is usually black comedy. This is sitcom-type humor placed right next to disembowelments.

Yet somehow it managed to pull it off. The coda felt like the perfect ironic ending to a zombie movie. After all, once the dead come back and eat the living, what's left to do?

spoilers1.gif

Get Coldplay to arrange a festival in your honor. tongue.gif

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Anders   

I'm going to see this one tonight, and I'm hoping that I'll enjoy it. Sounds like I will. And FWIW, I'm a big fan of the "classic" zombie films like Dawn of the Dead, as well as the recent remake and 29 Days Later (what's with the British and zombies these days?) so I'm looking forward to this.

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twitch wrote:

: It's mostly a matter of Shaun's hangover wearing off and reality setting in ...

Oh, yeah, THAT makes sense ...

WriterJon wrote:

: The coda felt like the perfect ironic ending to a zombie movie.

Yes!

SPOILERS

I mentioned this film at the end of my review of Resident Evil: Apocalypse, but only in the sense that Shaun was a superior zombie movie and it proved that movies ABOUT the undead don't have to feel like they were made BY the undead FOR the undead; it wasn't until after I'd signed off on the review that I realized I could have made a specific comment tying together the fact that Resident Evil is based on a videogame with the fact that Shaun ends with a gag about gamers.

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twitch   
twitch wrote:

: It's mostly a matter of Shaun's hangover wearing off and reality setting in ...

Oh, yeah, THAT makes sense ...

Hey, they've said it themselves in interviews ...

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Lest there be any confusion, I should note here that I meant "Oh, yeah, THAT makes sense..." in the sense of a dawning awareness on my part, not in the sense of sarcasm.

Ah, if only these typed words came with vocal inflections ...

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Mark   

Lest there be any confusion, I should note here that I meant "Oh, yeah, THAT makes sense..." in the sense of a dawning awareness on my part, not in the sense of sarcasm.

Ah, if only these typed words came with vocal inflections ...

That's where I find those annoying emoticons exceedingly helpful.

Vive le difference:

Oh yeah, THAT makes sense ... idea.gif

wink.gif (Another annoying emoticon to display my intent)

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Anders   

Saw it last night. Thought it was hilarious. And as a big fan of quality zombie films, I think this one is up there with the best.

spoilers1.gif

Speaking of homages to other zombie films, did anyone catch the part during the end TV bits (which I loved and thought was especially well done throughout the film) where the newscaster says "...denies reports that the outbreak was caused by Rage infected monkeys..."? I thought that was clever.

Oh, and Bill Nighy was pretty funny as Phillip. "I'll be fine. I ran it under some cold water."

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I use emoticons as rarely as possible, at least in this forum, where they're taller than the words and they screw up the leading (or whatever the official term would be).

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Clint M   

spoilers1.gif

Speaking of homages to other zombie films, did anyone catch the part during the end TV bits (which I loved and thought was especially well done throughout the film) where the newscaster says "...denies reports that the outbreak was caused by Rage infected monkeys..."? I thought that was clever.

I though he said "reports that the outbreak was caused by Rage infected monkeys were boll(ocks)..." and then the TV shuts off.

Funny either way.

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Anders   

You're probably right Clint. I'm terrible for remembering exact wordings in things unless I've seen them multiple times.

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opus   

Finally saw it tonight and hearing so much of the hype, and enjoyed it quite a bit. Having just watched some of Spaced, I guess I was expecting something a bit more, well, over the top. And I was pleasantly surprised... especially by just how fleshed out (npi) the characters become, especially considering it's a zombie movie. There were a couple of scenes that I found quite, well, heartbreaking. In another movie, maybe not so much, but this is a flippin' zombie movie.

As much as I like watching zombie fodder get what's coming to them, I like zombie movies that have characters you actually root for and care about, and Shaun and Co. fit the bill. And yes, the more I think about the ending, the more I like it.

All that being said, I think this is very much a group movie for me, much like other zombie/splatter flicks (not saying that Shaun is merely a splatter flick) like the Evil Dead movies. Can't wait to see it in the theatres with some friends...

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David   
Don't know what to say about this film, as I have never seen any of the "classic" zombie films.
Edited by David

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Shantih   
Is postmodernism,no? tongue.gif

(shudders) Sorry, I'm allergic to that word.

Anyho, I saw Shaun quite some months ago now and very much enjoyed it. Enough to go straight home and order both series of Spaced. The one thing which always bugged me though was Nick Frost's Ed. I couldn't *stand* him and just can't see why so many folks seemed to love the character. I mean, even his friendship with Shaun is based on his selfishness and irresponcibility. There's nothing endearing in the character and that really bothered me.

Sometimes these sorts of 'dead weight' characters, who sit around being jokey whilst the movie carries on aorund them, can be hilarious (Father Jack in the sitcom Father Ted being one of the better ones) but Ed just didn't work for me. Which surprised me when I went back and watched Spaced as Frost's character there works extremley well.

Phil.

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opus   

I just posted my review.

Edited by opus

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jcc   

Good review.

I saw Shuan last weekend and thought it to be the funniest movie I've seen all year. Despite my entery into middle-age, it is the first Zombie movie I've seen and, as a record collector, I loved the scene where the hero and sidekick were debating which LPs to throw at a pair of advancing zombies.

Out of the blue, I was loaned a copy of "28 Days Later" last night. This movie made a much different impression. In addition to the zombie dreams last night (never pleasant), I keep thinking about the idea that rage (anger) is so contagious. Or on another take, the uninfected humans were just as destructive as the infected humans.

Two very different zombie movies over two weekends. Both very well done in my opinion. And I don't feel the need for more.

Clive

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opus   

The Region 1 DVD is due out on December 21, just in time for Christmas! biggrin.gif

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