Saturday, 17 January 2009

What I’ve been watching this week...

As you’ve probably gathered the last couple of weeks have been all about me going on a massive reading binge that shows no signs of abating just yet. I did manage to find time to watch a couple of films though (although my ‘Planet of the Apes’ marathon remains strictly in the planning stages, I’m trying to get Sue to withdraw her veto on the ‘Graeme gets a whole KFC bargain bucket to himself’ proposal...)
Here’s what I’ve been watching...

‘Iron Man’



‘Iron Man’ is one of those films where you come out of the cinema feeling like you’re ten feet tall and could take on anyone. Watching it on my TV at home though was an entirely different affair (with the best will in the world, my TV will never be able to do the same job as a cinema screen/sound system). ‘Ironman’ is still great fun to watch but it felt a little muted this time round. When the action is toned down (although it’s still great fun to watch) you realise that this is essentially a film where the main character spends most of his time building one of two robotic suits, the ‘robot action’ doesn’t take up as much time as you think... An upshot to this was that I realised just how cool Robert Downey Junior was as Tony Stark, he pretty much carries the whole thing as far as I’m concerned. The downside to this is that I realised just how annoying Gwyneth Paltrow was as Pepper Potts... I wanted her to get crushed by Obediah Stane...

Having said all that though, any film that has a jet powered man outracing fighter jets and a bone crushing showdown between men in robot suits is pretty damn cool as far as I’m concerned! :o) Bring on ‘Iron Man 2’! Actually, bring on the ‘Avengers’ film as well...

‘Day of the Dead’



For a long time, there has been a gaping hole in my ‘Romero Zombie Films’ collection... not any more! Thursday night was all about watching ‘Day of the Dead’ while Sue was out. I’d still rank ‘Dawn of the Dead’ as my personal favourite but ‘Day’ makes for compelling viewing. It got to the point where I was stopping the film to check on strange noises that I kept hearing outside. Zombies are tenacious creatures so you cannot be too careful!

The zombie uprising has gone way beyond the point where humanity can strike back; with around 400,000 zombies to each human the safest place to be is underground and that’s where our heroes are. An underground research facility houses scientists (looking for a cure to the zombie plague) and the soldiers assigned to guard them. Things are getting desperate though with supplies running low and the soldier’s new commander, Rhodes, deciding that he will take full control of the operation. In a George Romero film there is only one way that this can all end...

As with Romero’s other zombie films, ‘Day of the Dead’ explores the consequences of mankind’s inability to work together in the face of impending doom. Everyone has their own agenda, which they focus on to the exclusion of everyone else, and more often than not there is a dark element to this agenda. The soldiers revert to barbarism (and ‘might takes right’) in an attempt to cope with the demands of this new world while the scientists slip further away from reality by concentrating solely on their task. Dr. Logan, ‘Frankenstein’, is the best example of this (especially when you see inside his lab) but some of the work that he does with the zombie ‘Bub’ shows us that there is a lot more to these zombies than meets the eye.

The tension gets higher and higher, as the film goes on, until things reach their inevitable bloody climax. I’m not sure why Salazar let the zombies in though but it makes for some good viewing (definitely not for the squeamish!) Zombie films don’t get an awful lot better than this :o)

Have a great weekend!

4 comments:

Calibandar said...

Hey Graeme

Will you be reviewing Madness of Angels soon? Haven't seen a review for that yet and it seems like a cool new Urban Fantasy series.

Thea said...

Ahh, Day of the Dead. One of my favorites too! I love Bub the gradually remembering zombie. The human dynamic in this one is I think the best in the "Dead" series (although I agree that Dawn of the Dead is the best in the series overall)--you can see where movies like 28 Days Later get their original ideas from ;) Romero is the master!

And word on Iron Man. I really loved the film in the theater and still think it's awesome--but only because of how perfect RDJ was for the role of Stark. Gwyneth Paltrow is incredibly irritating, isn't she? I felt she wasn't so bad in this movie, but she still just bothers me. And on a rewatch, the last battle between Iron Monger and Iron Man is kinda weak. Still, a damn fun movie though!

Have you seen The Incredible Hulk, and the Stark cameo at the end there? I love the S.H.I.E.L.D. tie-ins these Marvel films are going for! Sweet :)

(This is an obscenely long comment. My apologies!)

Salt-Man Z said...

Oddly enough, though normally Gwyneth Paltrow drives me crazy (in the bad way), I thought she was actually pretty cute in Iron Man.

Graeme Flory said...

Calibander - Thanks for reminding me! I'll get round to 'Madness of Angels' fairly soon...

Thea - I haven't seen the Stark cameo at the end of 'The Incredible Hulk', I haven't seen 'The Incredible Hulk' at all... *shamefaced* I'll have to do something about that!

Salt-Man Z - There was something about that really wound me up. I'm not sure what it was though...