Saturday, May 31, 2008

Review: Fido

From the title of the movie, it might sound as if it's about a dog. Instead, Fido is about a different kind of domesticated pet--a zombie. The film takes place in an era that evokes the 1950s. A great zombie war had erupted and now the world is divided into little towns that are separated from the wild lands by fences. That's not to say the people are unhappy or caged. Instead, thanks to Zomcom (short for zombie comedy, I'm guessing), a corporation that is promoting better living with the undead, the people have their very own zombies to do work for them via little collars that keep them from wanting to eat people.

The town is pulled from the Donna Reed Show and the Robinsons are leading an idyllic little life, save for the fact that the man of the house is obsessed with funerals and afraid of the undead. That makes life a little complicated when the wife, played by Carrie Ann Moss, brings home a domesticated zombie to compete with the neighbors. Timmy, bullied by classmates and relatively shunned, finds a friend in the undead and names the zombie, played by Billy Connolly, Fido. Then the misadventures start.

Fido is a funny and refreshing take on the zombie genre and well worth seeing. The characters are compelling thanks to excellent performances and the budget makes it feel like you're actually in a 50's movie. It's PG13 so it's fun for the whole family and me and the baby liked it a whole lot. If you're looking for a nice fun time with a little blood on the side, then Fido is a movie to check out.

Monday, May 19, 2008

One Sneaky Zombie

Nope, it's not me, but instead the new short I'm posting. Well, ok, an old one that I finally got around to finishing thanks to several factors like time, scrubbing sound and working on it on several computers. Should be good to go now. Thanks to Jarrett for helping me film it.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Supernatural

Supernatural is such a great show. Too bad we only have one episode left for the season. Damn the writer's strike. I'm going to have to rent the earlier seasons to get my fix.

Good comic book haul yesterday. The new issue of The Boys didn't disappoint and is one of the funnier and cruder books on the market but I love it so. Nova kicked quite a bit of ass as well and everyone should be reading that. Props to Buffy and Angel as well.

Got some worklights to help with my custom figure pics and also creation, as it gives me more light to see what the hell I'm doing at night. Hopefully I can finish one off this weekend, but that's looking unlikely as I'll be hellishly busy. Hellaciously even.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Cloverfield

I just finally got around to seeing Cloverfield, the shaky-cam monster movie from JJ Abrams that was released in January. I'm glad I waited. I would have been quite annoyed if I had to spend 20 bucks on this movie. The quick synopsis is that while celebrating a friend's imminent departure for Japan (hur hur Japan hur hur Godzilla), a monster attacks the city and some of the friends try to find their way out of the city while one of them records it with a video camera. You're in for a lot of shaky cam action and not being able to see the monster a whit through the entire film, though you do get plenty of dark scenes and slight glimpses of what might be the creature. There's not much in the answering of what or why during the film, as it's purely from the viewpoint of the survivors. Unfortunately, they're not worth caring about and don't really draw much interest save for the shots they try to get of the monster.

JJ Abrams had said he wanted to create an iconic monster and an insane experience. He and the director fail at both, as it's hardly possible to create an icon that you never get a clear glimpse of, unless you go to the Hasbrotoyshop.com site where they have a picture so you can see what the hell the point of the movie was. Also, shaky camera work doesn't really translate into insane. It mainly just gives people vertigo and annoys them. I was fairly annoyed at the first several minutes of it and it didn't get much better from there. Apparently there's a sequel in the works too, so we might see more badly shot footage from the same night. Yeehaa.

I understand what they were trying to do, focusing on the surivors rather than the scientists and army men deployed. It wasn't handled in an effective way, though, and that hurt the film. You can focus on survivors and not rely on the shaky cam technique. For a movie that does this, look at The Host, a brilliant Korean monster movie. In that film, a man's daughter is taken by a monster that appears and rampages all in the first several minutes. The family is torn and the focus of the film is on them as they try to find the monster and the daughter while she in turn tries to escape from the monster's clutches.

All in all, if you're looking for a great monster movie, you'll have to look elsewhere, as the monster in this film, even at the big reveal at the end, is almost nonexistent. It lacks the dynamic power of a Godzilla film and the shock of an appearance of the creature as well. People don't go to see monster films because of the characters. They want to see a good and scary monster. The characters are there to help the film along. In Cloverfield, neither happens and in the end, you're glad it's only an hour and half you spent on it all.