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Non-Review Review: Army of the Dead

Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead arrives with relatively few expectations.

There’s something very refreshing and very appealing in this, particularly given the way that Snyder has become a cultural flashpoint due to his work on films like Man of Steel and Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, not to mention everything involving the production and release (and subsequent restoration) of Justice League. With all of that in the rear view mirror, it is exciting to sit down and watch as Zack Snyder movie that is… just a Zack Snyder movie.

Warding off evil.

Indeed, Army of the Dead is arguably something of a throwback for the director, marking a return to his earliest work. As a hyper-violent zombie action movie with a satirical edge, Army of the Dead invites comparisons to his first feature-length film, his remake of George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead. However, Army of the Dead is not a belated sequel or continuation. It is that rare modern big-budget genre film that stands as much on its own as it is possible for a high-concept zombie movie.

Army of the Dead is not a masterpiece by any stretch. It’s a little indulgent and overlong, suffering from the familiar pacing and tonal issues that affect many movies produced by Netflix. However, Army of the Dead is a fun and interesting genre if approached on its own terms. More than anything, freed from the constraints of established properties and shared universes and the ensuing scrutiny, Army of the Dead feels like Snyder is actually having fun. It is hard to begrudge it that.

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It’s The End of The World As We Know It – And I Feel Fine

So last week we had the box office dominance of Zombieland, a post-apocalyptic comedy. Over the weekend we had the simultaneous broadcast across US network television of five minutes of Emmerich’s newest disaster flick 2012. We also may have the first post-apocalyptic Oscar-nominee in The Road this year. And that’s just in the last three months of the year. Looking back over the last decade alone there have been a million-and-one end-of-the-world thrillers, chillers, comedies and dramas. That’s a lot of apocalypse for a relatively small planet. So, what gives? is there a greater reason for the zeitgeist’s fascination with the end of the world?

Darth Vader offers an example of what the end of the world might just look like...

Darth Vader offers an example of what the end of the world might just look like...

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Non-Review Review: I Am Legend

I Am Legend was always going to be a tough film to adapt, so it’s a surprise that it works as well as it does for as long as it does. Anchored in a fantastic lead performance, the film manages to be a very subtle, thoughtful and occasionally insightful action movie for the first two-thirds of its runtime. The ending falls down a bit, but it’s an enjoyable journey getting there.

It's a jungle out there...

It's a jungle out there...

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