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BQB’s Classic Movie Reviews – Shaun of the Dead (2004)

Zombies and humor.

BQB here with a review of “Shaun of the Dead.”

It’s ironic that this film is a comedy as it has stood the test of time to become one of the must see flicks of the zompoc genre.  It’s probably lasted as long as it has due to the fact that is pairs great writing with humor and heart and overall, the characters are relatable and you really worry that they might become zombie lunch.

Simon Pegg, in the first role I remember seeing him in, plays Shaun, a 29-year-old loser who wants to turn his life around but can’t figure out how.  He’s stuck in a lousy electronics store job that’s meant for teenagers.  His girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashfield) is tired of being disappointed by Shaun’s loser-ness.  His flat-mate is fed up that Shaun keeps coddling Ed (Nick Frost) his buddy who came over for a party once several years ago and then just stayed without offering to pay any rent or even lifting a finger to help around the house.  His Mom loves him unconditionally but his step-dad thinks he’s an epic loser.

Enter the zombie apocalypse.  England has become overrun with the undead.  Finally, here is Shaun’s big chance to save the day and prove to Liz that he is responsible, to prove to his parents and the world that he is worth something.  He takes charge, leading Liz, Ed and friends to safety, but, you know, because he’s an average guy of average strength and abilities, he screws up often and in hilarious ways.

That’s kind of the whole point of the film.  Throughout the movie, various people in the party shit on Shaun, telling him he’s a loser and his plans stink and he’s so dumb that he’s going to get everyone killed.  The situation is an allegory for life.  Some people at least get up and try and yes, they fail when they try.  People who never even try will happily point out when someone who tried failed.  That’s why it sucks to be Shaun.  He’s trying, really hard, and no one around him will try and yet they never pull a punch when it comes to telling him what a loser he is.

Also, awesome scene when Shaun goes up against zombies with an old Winchester rifle (and when the gang beats a particular tough zombie with pool cues to the tune of an old song.)

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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Movie Review: Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

Dun dun dun da dun dun dun dun…doo da dooo..do da dooo…doo da doooo…da doo doo!

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, 3.5 readers, is to read this review.

This review will self destruct in 5 seconds….

Also, SPOILERS

Movieclips Trailers – Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

I can’t believe this movie franchise has been going strong for so long, 3.5.  I really can’t.

Want to know how old this franchise is?

Ving Rhames took the role as Hunt’s associate Luther Stickell when he was hot off of playing crime boss Marcellus Wallace in Pulp Fiction.

Time, where oh where did you go?

Cruise, well-preserved, likely due to praying to the alien gods of Scientology (it pays to swear fealty to the Mighty Potentate) is as cool as ever in this one.

To Cruise’s credit, he’s a man who’s lived an extraordinary life, has nothing left to prove and yet, for our viewing pleasure, hooked himself up to the side of a flying plane.

Here’s a CNN article about how Cruise pulled this one off.  It involved special contacts to protect his eyes from flying debris (a piece of dirt flying at high speeds could have blinded him), a safety harness, and so on.

Amazingly, there was all sorts of safety precautions taken, yet the final shot looks as though he was just holding on with nothing but his hands.

Would you strap yourself to a flying plane moving at 185 mph?

I would not.  I would tell the writers they need to rewrite that shit.  Those terrorists need to be foiled on the ground.

So kudos to Tom.  You were married to Nicole Kidman, Katie Holmes, and now you’ve literally flown.

So, the setup.  This go around it’s IMF vs. the Syndicate, an evil organization bent on bringing down the world.

To throw a monkey wrench into the works, Hunt has also cheesed off the CIA and MI6.

Fast cars, exotic locales, insane stunts…it’s an action movie that’s got it all.

I don’t know about you, 3.5 readers, but with these types of movies, I just go for the pretty colors and fancy special effects and don’t waste a lot of time getting bogged down by the plot.  There’s so much explanation of how someone is going to break in to some place and blah blah blah, here’s how it’s going to happen and here’s what everyone is going to do.

Perhaps you sit there with your popcorn, trying to parse out all the details, but to me, it’s all just:

ETHAN:  To break in, we’ll need the thing to do the thing and get past the thing.

BENJI:  You’ll need a thing.  But the thing has to be done with the exact thing or the thing will happen to the thing.

LUTHER:  Nope.  No way.  You can’t do that thing with this thing.  You’re going to need that other thing and when that thing happens, you’d better be ready to do that thing.

ETHAN:  So it’s settled.  We’re going to do the thing.

This is a big role for Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa (not Elsa, no one sang, “Let it Go,”), the British agent who works with Hunt.

Sean Harris is exceptionally creepy as the film’s uber villian Solomon Lane while Jeremy Renner and Alec Baldwin get into a bureaucratic turf war over whether the CIA should absorb the IMF’s functions.

Last but not least, Simon Pegg, a nerd after my own heart, returns as Hunt’s tech savvy sidekick Benji.

It’s worth the price of admission with some awesomeness you have to see on the big screen.

I always look forward to these whenever they’re out.  In this nerd’s opinion, when it comes to spy action movies, MI is second only to 007.

And by the way, there’s a great Spectretrailer before this one.  Can’t wait for it.

Interesting side note:  I noticed this movie was backed by the China Movie Channel and Alibaba Films.  (Alibaba being the Chinese version of Amazon).  Will the Chinese become major players in the American film industry?  Eh, it seems new but then again Asia bridging the gap to Hollywood isn’t all that new.  Japanese backed Sony has been around forever.

STATUS:  Shelf-worthy.

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