Sunday, March 14, 2010


Running Time: 93 minutes
Released: October 2009
Viewed: March 2010
Estimated amounted of movie viewed: 75%

Zombieland is a movie about zombies. But what's confusing and what makes me wonder why I would want to watch it really at all after the first five minutes is that the zombies have already wiped out the entire town, save for Woody from Cheers and a guy who is not Michael Cera.

After the first 10 minutes, I ask aloud, "Where is this movie going? Everyone is already a zombie! What on earth could the plotline actually be from here?"

The answer? "Killing zombies in interesting and novel ways." My friends say this, without taking their eyes off the screen, as if I were retarded.

Okay. I'll bite.

After a Metallica song, followed by a Chuck Mangione tune, the zombie slaughter turns gruesome. The zombies spew innards outwards. Puss-faced people spit up brains and guts, or what looks like chocolate-sauced spaghetti. Zombies with oozing, putrid skin and hair matted with body fluid charge at any non-zombie humans still roaming the vicinity, although they are few and far between. This is not the kind of movie you want to watch while noshing ooey gooey treats. It's hard to to keep my eyes on the screen, but even harder to doze off.

I may have not seen a ton of zombie movies in my days, but one thing I know for sure is that the undead are slow, both figuratively and literally. They're dumb, and even I — the slowest mammal on the planet — could outrun one. But in Zombieland, they know how to truck! Zombies move through the streets like they are the offspring of Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Usain Bolt.

Moving on...

Little Miss Sunshine (here she is slightly older and into her awkward tween years), and a dark haired girl who will later become Not-Michael Cera's love interest, bait Woody from Cheers and N-M. C. and steal their guns and car.

There is some mention of rednecks, but nothing that I'd classify as a joke. It's more like references. Redneck references. Nods to rednecks. This, I do not understand.

Eventually, the two groups (Little Miss Sunshine and the love interest, and Woody and N.-M. C.) team up formulate a plan for what they will do now that they live in a world overrun with zombies: They will drive through the night to California, where they will go to Wally World or Disneyland or Adventureland... something like that. And in order to get some shut eye 'til then, they hijack Bill Murray's house in Beverly Hills.

I'm sorry. Two problems:

1) Why do they assume Bill Murray's house is empty, or at the very least, not rigged with an elaborate alarm system that will deafen them if they try to break in? Or just locked?!?! Worst of all, what if he's home?!?!?

2) I watched No Reservations like two weeks ago, when Bill Murray was a guest on the show, and the episode was about the Hudson Valley, where he lives! He doesn't live in Beverly Hills!

Well, the first problem as I see it turns out to be a valid concern. Team "Escape Zombies by Ransacking Bill Murray's House" find Murray hiding in his house and wearing costume makeup to try and look like a zombie. Camouflage: a unique zombie-combat tactic. Well done.

But after a few unfortunate turns, Bill gets killed. At least his death scene is pretty hilarious.

At this point, there haven't been any legit zombies on screen in like 20 minutes. The gore has been replaced with flirting, bonding, and sharing. Is this the movie I agreed to watch? Given the Bill Murray cameo is squarely over, I pull up a pillow, toss my glasses to the side, and wave good night, making a conscious choice to go to sleep for once.

As far as I know, no one ever makes it to the amusement park. The two kids never hook up. Everyone lives happily ever after, safe from zombies, in Bill Murray's fake Hollywood house.

Monday, March 8, 2010


Running Time: 93 minutes
Released: August 2004 (U.S.)
Viewed: 2004
Estimated amounted of movie viewed: 0.1% but only if you count the credits

The Metreon Theater in San Francisco has the potential to be a snug and toasty environment. Lean back in your adjustable seat, tuck yourself in with your winter coat (even in the late summer, San Francisco is chilly enough for down jackets), and prepare to be lulled into sweet, sweet slumber.

The opening credits to Hero, starring Jet Li, were wonderfully colorful.

The next thing you know, you'll be on the bus home.

The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight
Running Time: 152 minutes
Released: July 2008
Viewed: January 2009
Estimated amounted of movie viewed: 5%

This is one of the "new" Batman movies, meaning there's no Jack Nicholson, no Michael Keaton, and certainly no Tim Burton. But there are a couple of actors I have heard of in this movie, namely Heath Ledger, who died, and Christian Bale, whom two of my old college friends used to adore. He starred in such films as Newsies and Swing Kids, they told me.

Dark Knight is dark. And I think it mostly takes place at night. Hence the title.

I watched this film on a long flight between New York and Rome, Italy.

Heath Ledger's Joker is pretty creepy. He sits at a big table. The seats on Alitalia, economy class, are mostly comfortable, and when you recline them with that little button, they become more so.

Some guys get blown up.

If you adjust the volume on the armrest console, you can get The Dark Knight to a reasonable sleeping level.

There's a guy named Harvey Dent, and he's the good guy.

If the flight attendant comes around with coffee, and you've asked your friend to wave her off, you can get a solid three-hour nap out of this film.

The good guy becomes a bad guy. His name changes to Two-Face (wasn't that a He-Man action figure? Oh, no. That was Two-Bad, which is a much more interesting name. It gives me a little more to think about.).

The end.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Where the Wild Things Are

Where the Wild Things Are
Running Time: 94 minutes
Released: October 2009
Viewed: March 2010
Estimated amounted of movie viewed: 65%

"See, this is why I don't have children." That's what I think, and say, at the opening of this movie, when an awkwardly aged boy runs around on the screen, pegging teenagers with snowballs and crying when his snow fort gets trounced. He's angry, he's got pent up frustration about not having any playmates around, and this is some sad stuff. Every scene, except the snowball fight, looks dark and heavy. I don't know what you call this is cinematic terminology, but it's hard on my eyes and I don't like it.

I want the boy to go to Narnia or Never-Never Land, but instead, he takes off on a sailboat and goes to where the wild things are.

After very little persuasion, the monsters decide the boy will be their king.

The wild things look heavy in their gigantic bodies, but they jump and flop around as if they are light as stuffed animals. All the monsters have stupid, human, American-English names, like Douglas. Can't they just call that guy, "Doug" or "Dougie?" They wreck everything in sight, smashing these weird cocoon things that turn out to be other monsters' houses.

And they're all really sad.

Sometimes they are pissy with one another, too. There's no cohesion among the monsters. There's nothing lovely and magical about this place.

The world is quite empty.

Days go by.

There's a beach.

It turns out that the monsters deduce that the boy is not a king and doesn't have any special powers. He gets back on his sail boat and goes back to his mom's house. As he's on his way, he starts screaming and barking again. Didn't this kid learn anything? Gah! He's still the same stupid kid who cries and bites his mom! I bet he's going to bite her right now, after he hugs her.

What a boring movie! I mean, it would be one thing if there were some allegorical parallels between the real world and the monster world. And there's no action. Maybe the writers should have thought about dramatic in there, like maybe someone could have lost a limb or something.

Return of the Jedi

Return of the Jedi
Running time: 134 minutes
Released: 1983
Viewed: sometime between 1997 and 2002
Estimated amounted of movie viewed: 98%

When Boyfriend declared the other night that I had never seen Star Wars, I thought, Okay, picking on me has gone too far! I have seen Star Wars, and I'll prove it!

"I'll have you know that I have seen a Star Wars, thank you very much! In fact, I saw two of star wars!"

"Oh yeah? Which ones?" [Giggling.] "I bet she tells us she saw 'a star war.'"

"I saw Star Wars, the first one, and then I saw the one with the jedi."


"They all have jedis, you idiot!"

"Grr. You know what I mean! Not The Empire something-something, but The Jedi one!"

"Return of the Jedi?"

"Yeah! That's it. Return of the Jedi! I totally did watch that movie!"

"Oh really? Then tell us what happened."

"Okay, so Harrison Ford wakes up and he's frozen in carbon, and then at the end, Darth Vader... his... he... he either dies or he doesn't die."

The Matrix Reloaded with Rifftrax

The Matrix Reloaded with Rifftrax
Running time: 138 minutes
Released: 2003
Viewed: 2009
Estimated amounted of movie viewed: 8%

What in the hell is this?

We watched The Matrix Reloaded, also known as The Matrix 2, with Rifftrax. Rifftrax is kind of like Mystery Science Theater 3000: it's a couple of dudes who overlay their funny comments on a movie, only rather than being it's own show, it's a web-cast that you have to synch up to play with a film, kind of like synching up Dark Side of the Moon and The Wizard of Oz, which I have seen numerous times fully awake from start to finish. Now that's a good movie.

An important piece of background information: I've never seen The Matrix. I tried to watch it once but promptly fell asleep.

The Matrix Reloaded is a total piece of crap, though I don't think you have to sleep through it to know that. However, I found it highly tolerable. It's not really a long movie at all (see Estimated amounted of movie viewed above), and not much happens.

There is a guy who wears a lot of black. There's a female love interest. There's a whole lot of people who either wear hardly any clothes at all or long trench coats.

There's a rave. In a cave. The guy who wears black makes out with the female actor during the cave rave.

As you can see, there really isn't much to this movie.