Monday, May 12, 2014

Main Page

I'm back!

    It has been a crazy couple of weeks.  I have been getting lots of hours at work, and on top of that I have been in the middle of mid-terms.  Thankfully I'm just taking the one class, but it still took a lot of time out of my week.  Anyway,  during these last couple weeks I worked up a hankering to write more movie blogs, and with some help from a friend I decided on a new format.

     I am going to use this as my main page (hence the name) where all my posts will be linked to it so you can find a particular blog post about a particular movie.  As I write new posts I will update this post with the link.  Something else I am going to do has to do with spoilers.  Yes, that dirty word.  I want people to go and watch these movies and enjoy it being spoiled by me.  So what is it then, you ask? I am going to create a 2nd post of each movie that goes into greater detail but is full of spoilers.

I am doing that because I want to talk more about these movies and talk about particular scenes, but these scenes are deep into the movie and would definitely spoil it for you if you read it.  However if you have seen the movie, or go see it after reading my first post about that movie, then feel free to click on it and read my further thoughts!

Without further ado, enjoy my blog site!
If you're wondering about the dead links, those are movies I am planning on blogging about in the near future.

Zombie Movies
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Dawn of the Dead (1978) vs Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Day of the Dead (1985)

80s Nostalgia Movies
Monster Squad (1987)

Romantic Comedies
The Wedding Singer (1998)

90s Awesome Movies
Gross Pointe Blank (1997)

Dawn of the Dead (1978) - expanded

Dawn of the Dead Spoilers

Last chance to back out before I talk about the movie in greater detail!

While I was writing the first post I read a couple of other bloggers thoughts on the movie and they had some good points.  The rampant commercialism is a strong theme in the movie.  That even during the zombie apocalypse the zombies flock to the mall because it was familiar to them in life.  Not their parents house, not the post office, the mall.  This theme goes even deeper after the group sets up in the mall.  They start to see it as theirs.  It belongs to them, and no one else.  Sharing is out of the question.

I wonder: if the people that came weren't raiders, and instead were people who tried to communicate and ask for supplies, would the group have shared?  I'm guessing no.  At least not the men, Francine probably would have.  Is this the point at which it becomes acceptable to be greedy? It makes you wonder if mankind has any chance at that point.  If everyone is going to greedily hold onto everything they have and never share, is trade possible?

The other thing I found interesting was the thought of being invincible during a time like this.  You have guns, armor, and have survived longer than 90% of the population, you must be doing something right.  When Roger is messing around when they are moving the trucks, it's obvious that he feels invincible. Well, until he gets bitten because he wasn't watching his back.  The raiders do the same thing: they charge into the parking lot, move the truck out of the way, and then charge in guns blazing and go on a shopping spree.  Many of them end up getting killed by zombies because they weren't watching their backs either. 

I definitely felt like the moral of the story was to let go.  If you are in mortal danger, let go of your possessions.  They are just things, no matter how dear they are to you.  Don't let these things distract you from the higher goal, in this case surviving.  Francine and Peter were the only ones who learned this lesson and were able to escape.  Stephen couldn't let go, and instead fought the raiders for his stuff and he died because of it.  Not only did he die, but he came back as a zombie with the memories of their secret tunnel, so he leads the other zombies into their safety zone.

Another important message was self-reliance and anti-sexism.  At first the men won't teach Francine anything because they're protecting her: she's fragile in their eyes.  She disagrees, but they persist until finally a situation comes up where a zombie they had missed confronts an alone, unarmed, and inexperienced Francine, and she doesn't know how to fight it.  Thankfully she's able to hold out until help arrives, but she does the right thing and convinces them to teach her what she needs to survive.  She learns to shoot, and even becomes their back-up helicopter pilot.  I would say that was some foresight right there, especially after Stephen screws the pooch.

This movie was full of morals, messages, and really made me think about what I would do in the zombie apocalypse.  I hope you enjoyed it too, and I would love to hear your thoughts on the movie!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Dawn of the Dead (1978)

Dawn of the Dead (1978)

The long-awaited sequel to the horror classic, Night of the Living Dead, it follows a group of survivors who take up shelter in a mall during the zombie apocalypse.  Sound a lot like the 2004 version? Think again.  Unlike the 2004 version, these survivors can escape.  That's right, they stay because they feel its their best shot, not because they feel trapped.

I liked this movie because it gets into the "what would you do?" of the zombie apocalypse. Where would you go? How would you live?  Who would you take?

The story follows 4 survivors: Stephen, Francine, Peter, and Roger.  Stephen is a news helicopter pilot who decides he's getting the hell out of town, and asks his girlfriend (the news anchor) to come with him.  He also asks his friend, Peter, to come with because he's part of a SWAT team.  Peter asks his friend and fellow SWAT, Roger, to come with them after they finish a mission clearing zombies from an apartment building.  They both can see that they're losing this war, there's just too many zombies, so they go with Stephen and Francine in the news chopper.

One of the main themes of this movie is Greed.  1978 was near the beginning of the rampant commercialism that defined the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s, and still affects us today.  Zombies greedily feasting on the living, the living envying what other survivors have, and no one willing to part with what they think is theirs.

Why should you watch this?  It is an iconic zombie movie, and it helped form the Zombie genre as we know it today.  It created the now cliche mall scene, but it did it with intelligence and purpose, not bumbling into a mall and trying to make it work.  It has some very powerful themes and gets us thinking about how, or if, we would do things differently than the characters.

Spoilers!  Click this link to hear my deeper thoughts on the movie. Just be warned that it involves me talking about things in the movie that will spoil it for you if you haven't seen it yet.