Saturday, June 25, 2005

George A. Romero's Land of the Dead

Ok, I saw this shit now, baby!

I'll be interested to see the final box office. It was relegated to one screen at the Pacific Place, but they were sold out for the day after the 2:50 showing I saw, which was a pretty solidly full weekday afternoon screening.

Ok, the question everyone asks is, how does it compare to the first three? To say that it's not the best of the series is, for me, a pointless question. Night of the Living Dead has long sat comfortably in my Top 5 movies of all time, and this was never likely to topple that. It's certainly more crowd-pleasing fun than Day of the Dead, but what that will mean after I've lived with it a while, I'm not sure.

What I do come away with, more than anything, is that while the first three movies are renowned for their social subtext, this one plays as a straight-out call to arms. Some are calling that too much, but I must say I admired it a lot.

Here's, I think, the most important quote I've seen, it's from Manohla Dargis of the New York Times, "With Revenge of the Sith and Batman Begins, Land of the Dead makes the third studio release of the summer season to present an allegory, either naked or not, of our contemporary political landscape. Whatever else you think about these films, whether you believe them to be sincere or cynical, authentic expressions of defiance or just empty posturing, it is rather remarkable that these so-called popcorn movies have gone where few American films outside the realm of documentary, including most so-called independents, dare to go."

The cast rocked, all around. I've seen complaints about a few, but I didn't have any issues at all. I loved Simon Baker and John Leguizamo. Asia Argento, who in a different mood would have made yesterday's list on a coast (instead of just linking her boobs, though, here's the Images page from her website, you can see how stunning and evocative she is instead), was not only hot but quite compelling and I only once caught her accent.

The most common complaint I've seen was that it was too short, and I can't disagree. I hope the promised DVD director's cut contains more than just added gore. I suspect there's even more to this to be enjoyed, but I think that's a minor complaint in a movie that just rocked the house for me. I'm really looking forward to living with this and seeing it again and again, as I have the others.

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