Susan Granger Reviews - 05/10

ZOMBIELAND - Silly Slapstick

By Susan Granger - It's pointless to expect too much from a slapstick/teen romance horror satire and, if that's your attitude, you won't be disappointed.

Bookmark and Share

Zombieland (Columbia Pictures/Sony)

With America ravaged by the virus-infected, flesh-hungry un-dead, survival strategies are a necessity - at least according to Columbus ("Adventureland's" Jesse Eisenberg), named because he hails from Columbus, Ohio, so that's what a post-apocalyptic, zombie-blasting, redneck road warrior, Tallahassee ("Management's" Woody Harrelson), calls him when he picks him up in his yellow Hummer. According to Tallahassee's credo, people should go by place names to avoid emotional attachments, particularly since everyone's now an orphan. But before long, they're hoodwinked on the road by a couple of clever con-artist sisters, seductive Witchita ("The House Bunny's" Emma Stone), and 12 year-old Little Rock ("Little Miss Sunshine's" Abigail Breslin), en route to California's fabled Pacific Playland, supposedly a zombie-free zone where Tallahassee can find an edible Hostess Twinkie. But before the resilient foursome arrives there for a climactic theme park finale, a #90210 detour is on Tallahassee's agenda, using a map of movie stars' homes to locate the Beverly Hills mansion belonging to Bill Murray, who makes an extended cameo.

"Who's Bill Murray?" inquires Little Rock but, then again, she doesn't know who Gandhi was either. And when Tallahassee quizzes Murray, 'Do you have any regrets?" Murray quips: "'Garfield,' maybe." (But this in-joke doesn't play as funny as it should.)

That's illustrative of the way screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, aided and abetted by first-time feature director Ruben Fleisher, fire gags like a blast of buckshot; some land, some don't. Their most imaginative scam surfaces when Witchita buys gas for their car at a service station and 'loses' her engagement ring. And their least funny is when they have the quartet gleefully destroy a Native American curio shop. Cinematographer Michael Bonvillain does the hand-held thing and special effects make-up designer Tony Gardner goes for raunchy rancid. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Zombieland" is a smarmy, silly 6. For a far funnier take on the same subject, rent Edgar Wright's "Shaun of the Dead" (2004).

By Susan Granger © 2009.

Comment Using Facebook


Latest Movie Reviews
By Harvey Critic

Member NYFCO
New York Film Critics Online members held their 15th annual awards meeting on December 7, 2014, at the Furman Gallery inside Lincoln Center.

Richard Linklater's Boyhood won three awards for Picture, Director and Supporting Actress Patricia Arquette, while Alejandro González Iñárritu's Birdman also won three for its Screenplay, Cinematography and Ensemble Cast. Actor Eddie Redmayne was honored for his performance in The Theory of Everything, while Marion Cotillard received an award for her performance in Two Days, One Night, which also won for Foreign Language Film. J.K. Simmons won for Supporting Actor in Whiplash.

Arizona Newsroom
Pushing the boundaries of classical ballet, Spain's emerging choreographic powerhouse Alejandro Cerrudo presents Off Screen, a dance inspired by film. It's sexy and modern with eccentric moves. Ib Andersen showcases the elegant and intricate Symphonie Classique with costumes by Tony Award-winning designer Martin Pakledinaz,and Indigo Rhapsody, an arresting and athletic ballet danced to Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department will host six public open houses where constituents may review and ask questions about the 2014 spring recommendations for turkey, javelina, buffalo and bear.

Finding Arizona Reporter

Sponsored Links
Arctic Cat Parts | Hyosung Parts | E-Ton Parts | CFMoto Parts