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Non-Review Review: Walking With Dinosaurs – The 3D Movie

You never really grow up past the love of dinosaurs. Sure, you are probably never as relentlessly fascinated with the gigantic reptiles as you were when you were a kid, but those prehistoric creatures still garner affection from children of all ages. That was, after all, the basic premise of Jurassic Park, which got a high-profile 20th anniversary re-release this year. It was also the driving force behind Walking With Dinosaurs, the ground-breaking CGI documentary broadcast on the BBC in the UK and on Discovery in America.

So adapting the show to film seems like a logical step, and Walking With Dinosaurs: The 3D Movie is a bit of a no-brainer for a holiday family release, especially with families that have children too young to watch The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug or Anchorman: The Legend Continues and who have already seen Frozen. It’s a concept that really sells itself, which makes it incredibly frustrating that Walking With Dinosaurs: The 3D Movie goes out of its way to sabotage itself.

"It was a night like this, forty million years ago..."

“It was a night like this, forty million years ago…”

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Non-Review Review: Land of the Dead

Welcome to the m0vie blog’s zombie week! It’s a week of zombie-related movie discussions and reviews as we come up to Halloween, to celebrate the launch of Frank Darbont’s The Walking Dead on AMC on Halloween night. So be sure to check back all week, as we’ll be running posts on the living dead.

Zombies, man. They creep me out.

– Kaufman

Land of the Dead is something of a delayed epilogue to Romero’s “dead” trilogy. The first three films were produced roughly once every decade, with The Night of the Living Dead appearing in the sixties, Dawn of the Dead in the seventies and Day of the Dead in the eighties. There was no zombie movie from Romero during the nineties (save a remake of his original film – and even then Romero didn’t direct it – his frequent collaborator Tom Savini was behind the camera. Land of the Dead is a somewhat more controversial film than the first three films Romero produced, perhaps because it’s the first time that it feels like Romero gives his zombies more development than the human survivors. It also plays with the audience’s expectations a bit more than the first three films – and, whiel I’m not convinced that this sort of toying around with the formula works, you have to give the director credit. It isn’t as strong as the earlier films, but it still feels like a director who has something to say about the state of modern society. And that is about good enough for me.

Hopper-ed up...

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Non-Review Review: Executive Decision

Are you manly? I mean really manly? In a way, Executive Decision is kinda what I was hoping for when I heard about The Expendables. It’s not an excellent movie, or even an exceptional one – in fact, it can be cynically described as Die Hard on a plane” – but it’s a perfectly serviceable action movie that gets bonus points for never trying to be anything more than what it is. There’s not tangential romantic plot or half-hearted attempts at characterisation: the movie is all business. And that business is attempting to give its audience testosterone poisoning. 

Not quite plane sailing ahead...

 

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Non-Review Review: Romeo + Juliet

I’m baaaaack!

Is it a spoiler to say that Romeo + Juliet is a tragedy? You never know these days (I’m reminded of that great Simpsons’ quote, “It started out like Romeo & Juliet, but it ended up in tragedy” – I remember a few people being surprised when I laughed at that, leading me to explain the joke). Still, the opening monologue lays it all out on the table, as does the fact that Shakespeare only ever wrote comedies or tragedies – and this ain’t a comedy. Anyway, I must confess I hate the play, as I hate hell, all Montagues and thee. Okay, not really, but it was drilled into my head for my Junior Certificate exam (as Macbeth would be drilled into my head for the Leaving Certificate). I remember my English teacher – a very nice old lady, by all accounts – steadfastly refusing to show us the Baz Luhrmann ‘reimagining’ of the play. To this day I’m not sure if she made the right call. 

Get used to those wings...

Get used to those wings...

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