Retro Week In Cinema: July 04-10, 2013

orphan

Count me out from adopting a kid from a foreign country, thank you very much!

Another week full of retro horror reviews,

Dawn Of The Dead (Director’s Cut, 2004, Zack Snyder, Canada/France/Japan/United States Of America) ***1/2

Zack Snyder knows that he can’t hope to make a film with the social commentary of the original Dawn Of The Dead, so he goes in the opposite direction. He fills the screen with cool characters, excellent visuals, an engaging story, a well created world, and most of all he makes sure this remake is balls to wall fun from beginning to end. That’s really what makes this version of Dawn Of The Dead, it is so, so much fun, every time I watch it I have a blast.

Tôkyô Zankoku Keisatsu (Tokyo Gore Police, 2008, Yoshihiro Nishimura, Japan/United States Of America) *

I realize what the director, Yoshihura Nishimura, was going for. I got the nods to Paul Verhoeven’s work, the satire of Japanese horror and certain aspects of Japanese culture, but in his attempts to satirize Nihismura-san commits the cardinal sin of never showing restraint. This movie is at a fifteen on the bizarre, perverted, gore and intensity level from the word go, and that isn’t a good thing. Because Nishimura-san shows his hand right from the start Tôkyô Zankoku Keisatsu ends up pretty darn boring and repetitive. Whatever fun Nishimura-san may have wanted the audience to have is lost, whatever he wanted to commentate on is lost, everything he was trying to do is lost because he plays his cards too early and ended up boring me to tears with scene after scene that were pretty much the same.

Pet Sematary (1989, Mary Lambert, United States Of America) 1/2*

Stephen King is a writer I fancy, he is not however a screenplay author who I like, at all. This movie is chock full of crap, bad scene after bad scene, and most of it appears to me to be the fault of Mr. King and his terrible script. Sure, the direction sucks, the acting is horrendous, and all that, but c’mon Mr. King, you’re a great writer and you did this? Shhhh, on this review though, this happens to be one of my girlfriends (read that as wife in the present tense) favorites, so my dislike is being kept on the downlow.

Orphan (2009, Jaume Collet-Serra, Canada/France/Germany/United States Of America) ***1/2

The girlfriend and I both really liked this one. It’s a familiar story for sure, but this film speaks to what quality direction, writing and acting can do to put a new shine on a well worn story. I loved the slow build, the methodical nature of the entire film, and while it did have a few jump scares they were sparse and thus never felt that cheap. The twist may seem far fetched, and heck it is, but it worked for me, probably more than others because I didn’t view it as a twist. The movie never hides the fact that Esther is messed up, it’s just a question of why and if the film will explain why. The film chooses to explain and I bought into their explanation within the context of this story. All in all, a fun flick, one I’m glad I finally got around to seeing.

The Long Goodbye (1973, Robert Altman, United States Of America) **

Typical Robert Altman, it felt like a bad TV movie (in look at least), it’s full of characters that never drew me in and thus I never cared about. It meanders far too much and never really goes anywhere or says anything that I found interesting. Elliot Gould was kind of okay, but yeah, another bad film from Mr. Altman.

Wrap-Up:

Only two movies in contention this week, and for reasons I can’t completely explain I’m going with the one most people won’t expect me to pick. I love Dawn Of The Dead, but Orphan takes home retro movie of the week honors. I’ll be back next week with five more retro capsule reviews!

Cheers,
Bill

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