Zombieland

Ever since the trio of Shaun Of The Dead, Dawn Of The Dead Remake, and 28 Days Later, zombies have seen a resurgence in media that hasn’t really gone away since. We’ve had a number of big budget movies and shows, and an even larger number of low budget and indie titles. Zombieland falls into the former category, and even though I’m a self-confessed zombie and horror junkie I didn’t get around to watching it until 2017. So, how does it fare against the myriad other horror comedy crossovers?

It fairs quite well. Make no mistake – I’m no great fan of Abigail Breslin, Emma Stone, or Jesse Eisenberg but none of them managed to irritate me during the course of the movie, and everything which the cast and crew attempted, worked amicably. There are laughs, both visceral and script based, the gore isn’t overloaded so as to put of sensitive non-horror fans yet present enough and wrapped up in entertaining action to appease those who like a bit of red on them.

The story and structure is all quite tongue in cheek – both mocking and paying skewed reverence to the genre. There has been an outbreak which has led to zombies everywhere, and one geek loner is travelling through the US and surviving following his self-made rules. As any zombie fan will attest – we all have our own rules for surviving our own imagined apocalypse. Along the way he meets Woody Harrelson’s character – a piss-take composite of several prior Harrelson creations and the conniving sisters played by Stone and Breslin. Part Road movie, part Crime caper, part comedy horror, the disparate parts rarely feel like they are pulling in opposing directions and the highlights are of course the Bill Murray cameo sequence and the finale set in an Amusement Park. If you know me, you’ll know I love movies set around or involving Amusement or Theme Parks.

At the time of writing, I haven’t yet watched the sequel but based upon how much I enjoyed this one I imagine it won’t be long before I catch up to it. Let us know in the comments what you think of Zombieland!

Out Of The Furnace

*Review based on a free copy provided by Amazon – by it here

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Another effective slow-burner with a terrific cast which managed to slip under the radar. Admittedly, though the film has many more plus than minus points, it would be difficult to market this in such a way to earn a lot of money. It’s a grim little film, filled with ugly characters screwing over life’s unfortunate losers, it’s a revenge thriller, a tale of brotherhood, a tale of loss, a story of the awful lengths we will go to to make ends meet or to hide oneself from past pains.

Bale and Affleck are brothers in a crumbling industrial town – one a homeboy, happy to follow in his father’s factory working ways, the other a military veteran with gambling problems who refuses to settle for a life like his family. Trouble is already brewing when we start, with Affleck’ s character involved in bare knuckle fights to cover debts, fights set up by Willem Defoe. After a fatal car accident, things spiral out of control and Harrelson’ scumbag gangster type character becomes involved.

Aside from the obvious acting talent on display (including others in smaller roles not mentioned – Saldana, Whitaker, Shepard), the director does a decent job of conveying the helplessness and despair of the situations the characters find themselves in, and handles all the tragedy and anguish without sentiment. The grungy soundtrack gives everything an effective, dated mood, a further suggestion of the people and parts of America who are unknowingly past their sell by date. Well worth watching, but don’t expect a pleasant trip.

Have you seen Out Of The Furnace? Let us know in the comments!

Amazon Vine Freebies – April 2014

The cruelest month sees an odd selection of selections, toys, dvds, and kitchen treats, all welcomed with open eyes.

Hello Kitty Flip Out Sofa: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hello-Kitty-Flip-Out-Sofa/dp/B00HYYMMR4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1416999140&sr=8-2&keywords=hello+kitty+sofa

A big hit in the Spac household, the girls enjoyed sitting on this, and pulling it out to lie on, sofa bed style, but it didn’t last long, sustaining a mortal puncture after a few weeks. We did what we could, patched it up and tried to give it the best quality of life for its final days, but in the end the last gasp of air was puffed, and all that was left was a plastic, deflated rag. Goodbye, Kitty. Goodbye.

Galt Giant Floor Puzzle Farm: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Galt-Giant-Floor-Puzzle-Farm/dp/B00000IVXA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1416999368&sr=8-1&keywords=Galt+Giant+Floor+Puzzle+Farm

A bright and chunky jigsaw, depicting one of the final days of summer, and also ironically one of the final days when Farmer Joe and the animals were happy together – shortly after this scene was drawn, Tesco Joe came long and slaughtered most of the brethren for their frozen food aisle, including the horse. Relive the carnage by completing and destroying the jigsaw!

 

Out of The Furnace [DVD] [2013]: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Out-Furnace-DVD-Christian-Bale/dp/B00I5SMMVO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1416999618&sr=8-1&keywords=out+of+the+furnace

A grim little feature which soared under the radar, sees two grim brothers in a grim industrial town making grim and fatal decisions which lead to some suitably grim conclusions. An excellent cast – Bale, Defoe, Affleck (the other one), Whitaker, Harrelson etc all perform well in a story that won’t leave many smiling.

 

Finish Power and Pure Quantum (Pack of 1, Total 40 Tablets): http://www.amazon.co.uk/Finish-Power-Quantum-Total-Tablets/dp/B00GUEUZ5K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1416999701&sr=8-1&keywords=Finish+Power+and+Pure+Quantum+%28Pack+of+1%2C+Total+40+Tablets%29

These were actually more delicious than I expected – just make sure to only take one at a time as they can cause excessive frothing and death.