Category Archives: shaun of the dead
A Film with Me in It ~ I discovered this flick quite by accident. I was surfing through the channels one afternoon and saw Dylan Moran. I love Dylan Moran. He’s the best part of Shaun of the Dead, and “Black Books” is one of my favorite Britcoms of all time. The film was just at the beginning, so I settled (watched what little I missed in a later viewing) in for what was sure to be entertaining. I was hooked immediately by this dark dark comedy.
Mark, played by this film’s screenwriter Mark Doherty, who lives with his girlfriend and handicapped brother in a flat he’s having trouble keeping. Pierce, his ne’er-do-well friend played by Moran, is a wannabe screenwriter with whom they are trying to write a movie. When Mark’s life begins to unravel, a series of accidents kill several people in his flat in quick succession. As Pierce struggles to ‘fix’ things, very dark hilarity ensues.
High tension, high comedy, dialogue perfect for Moran, direction by Ian Fitzgibbon that apes Hitchcock slyly, this is a fun, but very dark flick. I loved it. This may not be for everyone, but I thought it was great.
Attack the Block ~ Every once in a while a movie comes in under the radar and by pure word of mouth everyone is like, “You have to see this.” Attack the Block is one of those films. Not in theaters, couldn’t find it bootleg, and it took forever to get through Netflix, but I finally got a chance to see it.
Attack the Block has been billed as an alien invasion movie in the style of Shaun of the Dead, and it does in fact have Nick Frost in it and was written and directed by Frost/Simon Peggy/Edgar Wright collaborator Joe Cornish. The premise has aliens attacking South London and a teenage street gang defending their turf. In reality, it’s a theme that dates back to the American 1950s, but Cornish delivers it with flava. The flick begins when the boys kill an alien and descend into the teenage underworld looking for bragging rights and cash.
Once I got my head back in “Eastenders” mode (I’m out of practice, PBS stopped showing it in this area several years ago, and I’m never going to forgive you, channel 12) and was able to understand the thick accents that pass for English, I was all good with these kids, but it did take a while, some concentration, and subtitles. When it turns out it ain’t just one alien out there, the real fun begins. It’s really Shaun of the Dead meets The Warriors meets Red Dawn set in Walford Square under alien siege. Yeah, it’s that much fun.
I really kinda dug the almost Akira-like moped chases, and the aliens are truly frightening – big black furry masses with neon blue jaws of teeth. The colors of this flick are amazing. Intense, scary, brutal, and visually stunning, Attack the Block lives up to the hype, and is a must-see.
Run Fatboy Run ~ You know, if you put Simon Pegg and Dylan Moran where they take turns reading the phone book, I’ll pay to see it. That’s how much I like these guys, and what a big fan of both “Spaced,” “Black Books” and of course, Shaun of the Dead I am. Heck, Simon is so cool I’m hip to him playing Scotty in the new Star Trek flick even though he is so not right for the part. In this flick Simon Pegg is trying to win back the woman he left pregnant at the altar by running a marathon. In a great turn Hank Azaria plays his near perfect competition. The best work I’ve seen Hank do outside of “The Simpsons” since “Herman’s Head.” Now, Run Fatboy Run is pretty formulaic and predictable, but I have no problem with that. Even considering those difficulties Simon and Dylan still shine through and make me laugh. This is full of their unique style of Brit humor even when it descends into ABC Family territory. This rocks. Watch, laugh, enjoy.
Don’t get me wrong, I love these guys. I’m a huge fan of Shaun of the Dead, as well as “Spaced” and even that terrible “Red Dwarf” wannabe that Nick Frost was in. Like I said, I love these guys. That said, Hot Fuzz was not what I expected.
The ads and previews make it out to be sort of like Airplane or “Police Squad!” only in a decidedly British vibe. There is a lot of that, and a lot of Shawn too. Like Almodovar or Robert Rodriguez they is much the same cast, sometimes in almost the same part, like the husband and wife pub owners. The flavor is there as well, but.
Well, in the middle of this police comedy, the flick kinda turns into a vintage Hammer horror. Again, don’t get me wrong. I’m a big Hammer fan, and the boys pull off a great homage, but… I was left wondering, until the movie clicked back into police comedy mode, what the hell it was doing there. It was one hell of a ten to fifteen minute non-sequitor. Not that I didn’t enjoy it, but my bride was giving me that look. You know the look that says, “You said this was a comedy, not a horror movie” and “Boy, are you going to get it when we get home.”
Still, Hot Fuzz was very good, despite the slip into Hammer territory and the over the top gore effects (Timothy Dalton’s fate was my favorite). Check it out, it’s worth it, just brace yourself for a different kind of flick.