Posts tagged “Zombies

The Box / Zombie Invasion (On Bicycles)


The Box  -  Front Blu-ray Cover (UK)Press the button and get a million dollars, but someone whom you don’t know will die. This is the offer given to Norma and Arthur, an ordinary decent couple played by Cameron Diaz and James Marsden, by the mysterious Arlington Steward (Frank Langella).  The question “What would you do?” will ring in your ears as you witness that their decision is just the beginning. Based on a short story by the writer of “I Am Legend” and from the director of “Donnie Darko”, “The Box” takes you on a tense, gripping and totally unpredictable ride as the couple realise that they are part of something greater and far more terrifying than they could ever have imagined.

2009  –  Certificate: 12  –  USA
Rating Details:  Moderate horror and psychological threat
7 out of 10

Has some sort of universal death wish descended on the world’s cycling population this week?  Or does a bit of snow render all bicycle lights inoperable and telepathically compel cyclists to wear really dark clothing?  The number of people riding bikes in the dark with no lights or anything reflective on, seems to have skyrocketed this week.  They’ve been everywhere, literally jumping out in front of me as I drive along, like zombies, except on bikes, and faster, and not undead with bits of rotting flesh hanging off them, not yet anyway.  I’m really starting to think that I should take a few of them out with my car, get the issue on the front pages and thus in the long run save many more from getting themselves run over.  I know I know, it’s another opportunity for me to become a national hero; and probably locked away by an uncaring judiciary for my troubles too.  Whatever happened to the needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few? I’ll end up a citizens’ champion, losing my liberty for upholding the teachings of Surak, the subject of many an online petition to have my trial or sentence re-examined. This film offers a not dissimilar choice to people, to sacrifice your own freedom for someone you’ll never met.

This intellectual, sci-fi thriller is a brave attempt to do something a little different; it partly succeeds and the first part is excellent, but in the end it sort of looses the plot a bit, literally.  The idea is great, it looks good and it’s fun enough to watch, but it sort of gets a bit too complicated whilst at the same time being a bit too simplistic and leaving too much open to interpretation.   If you have to listen to the commentary to find out what was going on, then it’s kind of failed.  A second watch would probably be more rewarding, which isn’t such a bad thing.  I also didn’t really warm to the main characters Norma and Arthur.  They had plenty of money, a nice house, son and lifestyle, yet had over-extended themselves financially a little.  However, they didn’t seem to be in any particular difficulty but still choose to press the button.  An “ordinary decent couple” it says in the overview.  They just condemned someone to death.  Geez, I’d hate to meet an ordinary couple that wasn’t decent then.  After that, they did lose what little sympathy I had for their ‘plight’.  The end should have been pretty heart-rending, but I just found myself thinking that the situation they found themselves in served them right.  Maybe that makes me a bad person, but I really don’t think I’d have pushed the button.  The best scenes are the ones with Employee Arlington Stewart in them; an excellent bit of acting and a wonderfully rendered character.  The music is pretty good too.

No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.

Recommended for people willing to concentrate.

Top badass moment?   Cameron pressing the button.  Greedy bitch.

The Box at IMDB (5.6/10)

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Twelve Monkeys: 3.5 Stars


Twelve Monkeys  -  FrontBlu-ray Cover (UK)What’s the point of daylight in winter?  Even on the odd occasion that it’s sunny, it’s so cold that no one really wants to spent time outside.  But most of the time it’s grey, miserable and wet, like today.  By 4pm it’s virtually night.  It’s so cold, the days are so short and it’s so dark all the time, that nothing grows.  Trees and plants have been around a lot longer than humans, so if they think the winter is a waste of time and just go to sleep, I really don’t see that we should be questioning their good judgement.  We should hibernate in the winter and enjoy the summer, when we can actually have fun being outside and it’s light for more than 20 minutes a day.  If I ever get my hands on a time machine, I’m going to grab myself a good pair of scissors and go back to wherever it was in our evolution that we decided that hibernating was a bad thing and snip off that particular evolutionary branch before it goes anywhere.  Trust me, you’d thank me for it.  This film is all about time travel and snipping off our evolutionary branch right here, right now; (well 1997 actually, but who’s counting)?

1995  –  Certificate: 15  –  USA

Good, another film about animal rights weirdos.  Seven years before trying to turn everyone into zombies in “28 Days Later”, here they are apparently trying to “erase humanity from the planet”.  They never want to do anything nice, do they?  (The irony being, we seem to be doing a good job of this ourselves, anyway, without any ‘help’).  Bloody hippies; I bet they all enjoy a McDonald’s double flesh-burger with calf-stomach rennet cheese when they think no one’s looking.  So throw in a bit of time-travel and a moody Bruce Wills and what do you get?  A decent, if sometimes confusing, slightly too clever for its own good, sci-fi  film, with a couple of horrendous one-line plot contrivances that appear to have been added in a desperate attempt to stop the story smashing into a dead-end, from which there would be no escape.  Image someone marooned on the Moon, air running out and with no chance of rescue, then suddenly coming across the remains of one of the lunar models from the 70s in which there’s not only a supply of air, but also an engine capable of allowing it to be piloted back to Earth safely, including a manual, in a language the guy understands of course, to teach him how to do this; with none of this being explained other than by something like the guy thinking, “wow, aliens must have done all this, lucky for me.”  I didn’t really like either of the main characters either.  Bruce Willis had a bit of an excuse, his character being a bit distressed and having a somewhat difficult lifestyle and everything, but I really wanted to strangle Madeleine Stowe’s Dr Kathryn Railly.  For someone who was meant to be an experienced and well thought of psychiatrist, she managed to turn into a rambling idiot bimbo at the drop of a hat.  And what on Earth did she like about Bruce’s character; god, there’s hope for me yet.  However, it is a decent film, despite all that, with the secret, special ingredient that Terry Gilliam adds to all the films he makes; I’m not sure if it’s good for you but I could definitely taste it.  A bit like what Colonel Sanders puts into Kentucky Fried Chicken to try to disguise what it is and make it edible, probably.

Recommended for animal right activists.  Not recommended for monkey enthusiasts, as there aren’t 12 in it; in fact I’m not sure they’re any in it.  Sounds like an e-mail to Trading Standards might be in order.

No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.

Top badass moment?  I’m struggling a bit here, but I’m going for Bruce bashing the hell out of a pissed-off pimp with an old-fashioned telephone.  I’d like to see someone do that much damage with a modern, hands-free set or mobile.  It’s good to talk, but clearly even better to bash someone’s brains out with a phone.  That’ll stop the silent calls and salesman ringing.  Finding a way to combat the latter is most certainly badass.

Twelve Monkeys at IMDB (8.1 / 10)


28 Weeks Later: 4.5 Stars


28 Weeks Later  -  Front DVD CoverThis film features a Britain that’s been entirely depopulated by an infection; just about everyone who wasn’t evacuated is now dead.  (And to think it all happened because of some cruel and pointless experiments on animals in the prequel “28 Days Later”).  Most of it’s filmed in London.  It’s set around six months after the first movie and focuses on the repopulation of the country, which has started in and around Canary Wharf.  NATO (mainly the US Army) is in charge of this.  While watching this movie I was struck by just how inexplicably uncomfortable the later felt.  There’s no suggestion in the film that they’re doing this for any other reason than the obvious one, but it made me realise just how undesirable the armed forces from another country might feel if they were in your country and in control of things.  I suppose it’s a feeling of powerlessness and not totally trusting people who aren’t ‘your own’.  Needed perhaps, helpful possibly, but not really wanted.  I think I now understand a little more about the relationship between the West and elsewhere and why countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya (and even Russia) react they way they do to Western involvement in their affairs.  All politicians and soldiers should watch this part of this film.  

2007  –  Certificate: 18  –  United Kingdom

Rating Details: Strong bloody violence and gore

This is a sequel that’s actually better than the original.  It’s an action-horror and possibly one of my ten favourite horror films of all time.  It’s weird seeing so many shots of London entirely empty of people and traffic.  With some great special effects, it works well as both a horror and an action film.  It’s only its MTV-esque fast editing (which gives anyone over the age of 16 a headache) during some of the action scenes that I don’t like.  It has a few classic “oh that’s so stupid” plot moments, but by and large it’s edge of the seat stuff; good music too.  And did I get the very slight feeling that it might just have ended with a set up for another film?  I think I did.  This is a film you should watch.

Recommended for anyone who thinks zombies would be much better if they didn’t tend to stagger around very slowly; and for anyone who doesn’t like banks.

No cats and at least six decapitations.  (You’d need to watch parts of it frame by frame to get the correct number; a helicopter blade can do a lot of damage!)

Top badass moment?  Seeing the City fire-bombed to bits by the US Air Force.  That’ll give us a banking crisis to really whine about.  Bye-bye Canary Wharf Tower; a building that normally contains thousands of people who’re employed to press buttons all day; how constructive.  Far more useful I’m sure, than a plumber, a carpenter, a scientist, an engineer, a teacher, a farmer, a nurse, a care worker…

28 Weeks Later at IMDB