Zombieland (100 Films in 2011)

by Jamie Sanford on August 2, 2011

45. Zombieland (Not available to stream on Netflix – available to buy digitally on Amazon Instant Video)

Here is the trailer for Zombieland.

[youtube 071KqJu7WVo]

Spoiler alert! I saw Zombieland in the theater in 2009 when it arrived in theatres, and meant to watch it again on Netflix but then it disappeared from the Instant Watch list.  Luckily, Encore Action came to the rescue.

Zombieland is the tale of 4 survivors of an apparent zombie invasion.  They meet up, and after getting through some trust issues, band together to fulfill goals to get a Twinkie, get to an amusement park and maybe get to Columbus, Ohio.  The film stars Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin.

I would almost want to survive a zombie apocalypse, if only for the no-guilt looting opportunities.

A lot of this movie is about timing, delivery and action, so I can’t talk too much about it without being a Spoilerfest, and while I know I warned about it, I know that people keep reading even when they haven’t seen something yet.  I can say that as someone who isn’t a big horror fan, I LOVED this movie. I can definitely recommend watching it, and I think there are many people who would be happy to add this to their DVD collection.

Zombieland is available on DVD from Amazon for $15.99.

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Monster (100 Films in 2011)

by Jamie Sanford on July 28, 2011

44. Monster (Not available to stream on Netflix – available to buy and rent digitally on Amazon Instant Video)

Here is the trailer for Monster.

[youtube xrCUIY6er2U]

Spoiler alert!  Monster is a slightly dramatized story of the life of convicted (and later executed) serial killer Aileen Wuornos, played brilliantly by Charlize Theron, who rightfully won an Oscar for her performance in this film. She gained 30 pounds and wore some heinous prosthetics and fake teeth in order to embody AW, and it is a disturbing transformation. Christina Ricci co-stars in this movie as Selby, Aileen’s girlfriend (a dramatization of Aileen’s real-life girlfriend).

Not surprisingly, this movie is DARK. I love documentaries and after seeing this film the first time, I watched 2 documentaries on Netflix about Aileen Wuornos, both containing interviews with her.  It turns out that Charlize Theron was constantly watching these documentaries as well to best portray Wuornos. She does quite a good job, as I was just as freaked out by the movie as the documentaries.

The story is such that it shows a slow descent into near madness as Aileen feels that she has no choice but to murder potential clients (AW was a prostitute) to rob them and steal their cars.  She eventually is caught and has to watch Selby turn against her and work with the police and the prosecutors to convict her of the murders.

This movie is really well done, but doesn’t give the warm fuzzies.  I recommend watching it but be prepared to be disturbed.

Monster is available on DVD from Amazon for $8.49.

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Robocop (100 Films in 2011)

by Jamie Sanford on June 20, 2011

Oh boy. I haven’t posted a movie in 2 months.  I am only on #25 and I’m supposed to watch and write about 100 movies in 2011!  I don’t know how I’m going to work this out, maybe I should try to get back on track with watching some movies this summer.

25. RoboCop (available on Netflix Instant Watch)

Here is the trailer for RoboCop.

[youtube clqK5OC3BWE]

(Spoiler alert!) I have somehow managed to avoid this movie since 1987. I haven’t seen it and I clearly didn’t know that much about it, because I ended up being mentioned in a tweet by my husband.

I had no idea that the rookie cop we just met in the movie would die and then be the RoboCop.  Score one for me having no clue about anything in this movie, including anything about the actors.

Speaking of actors, RoboCop stars Peter Weller and Nancy Allen, among others. When I saw Nancy Allen I recognized her from other movies, but I had no idea who Peter Weller was.  I researched him and found a list of other movies I have not seen.  He was recently on Dexter but I don’t watch that either. I know, I’m super helpful.

RoboCop was directed by Paul Verhoeven, who has directed AWESOME movies such as Showgirls, and he is Dutch. Isn’t that veerd?

Here’s the recap – attempts at creating robotic law enforcement officers have failed in a big way, so another option is pursued, to create RoboCops.  We meet Officer Murphy in the first few minutes of the movie on his first day at work, and he ends up getting killed in the line of duty on his first day.  He then “wakes up” and he’s been transformed into this big robotic supercop.  He’s very impressive and apparently totally controlled by those who created him.  However, as the time goes by, he starts to have more memories of his human life and the circumstances of his death, and ends up pursuing those that killed him, with the help of his partner of a single day from his time on the force.  He wins at the end.

The movie was quite choppy.  It didn’t flow very well, all of the pieces fit together and that was fine, but there was not a smoothness between plot points.  OK this happened, now this happens, there isn’t a ton of character development.  We get some feeling when Murphy/RoboCop and his partner are sort of hiding out and he talks about his wife and child and is obviously sad about what happened to him.  It doesn’t feel particularly real to me because the emotion seems to be on a timeline.  I know that I’m talking about an 80s action movie, so perhaps I am expecting too much, but this is my review.

I would not purchase this movie, but there were good action sequences and a touch of emotion.  I would watch it again if I was just hanging out and it was on television.

RoboCop is available on DVD from Amazon for $6.99.

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