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edgar wright vs. the world...

Posted by Brad Schelden, November 12, 2010 02:05pm | Post a Comment
I have had a long love affair with zombies. Since I can remember I have always been obsessed with them. There is just something about the undead! I have been a long time horror fan and zombie movies have always been my favorite within that genre. They are a bit scary but I always thought they were a bit hilarious as well. The original Dawn of the Dead by George Romero was released in 1978. The movie is nothing short of brilliant. It combines my two favorite things...shopping malls and zombies! It remains my favorite of all time. There were many great zombie movies throughout the 70s and 80s but I had pretty much given up on the zombie movie in recent years... That is, until Edgar Wright came around and released the brilliant Shaun of the Dead in 2004! This was my first introduction to Edgar Wright but he had already created the amazing British TV series Spaced. I highly recommend that you check out this DVD -- it is really some amazing stuff -- but Shaun of the Dead is really Edgar's masterpiece. I still don't think I have met anyone who doesn't love this movie. I just don't know how you can't. Comedy zombie films don't always work but Edgar Wright just got it perfect. I really can't ever get enough of this movie and I usually laugh throughout the whole thing! The movie stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. This was also my first introduction to them as well. Edgar's take on the buddy cop film came out a couple of years later in 2007. Hot Fuzz was highly anticipated for me. I couldn't wait to see what Edgar would come up with next. It was amazing, just as I had hoped. You can read my review of the Hot Fuzz DVD from a couple of years ago right here.
shaun of the dead
Both Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead are also now available on Blu-ray. I am huge fan of the director's and actors' commentaries. It was one of my favorite things about DVDs when they first started adding them to the releases, although some are, of course, better than others. Shaun of the Dead has an amazing commentary from Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg together. I could really listen to this without even watching the movie! You will learn a lot about this movie but mostly you'll just hot fuzzlaugh along with them as they laugh at each other. The Hot Fuzz ultimate edition Blu-ray actually comes with 5 commentaries! Both these movies are two of my favorites of the decade. I just can't express my love of Edgar Wright enough! I love horror movies and the buddy cop action movies of the 80s and Edgar Wright somehow managed to reinvent both of these genres and make them his own. He ended up creating two of the most hilarious dark sort of comedies of the decade. I really was not sure what Edgar could have done next to impress me. I was waiting in anticipation for his next move for what seemed like forever...

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Only Women Bleed? The Expendables, Salt, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Posted by Charles Reece, August 22, 2010 09:11pm | Post a Comment
Over the past couple of weeks I've watched the latest action films: Phillip Noyce's Salt, Sylvester Stallone's The Expendables and Edgar Wright's Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Each is sort of aimed at a particular target audience, at least to the degree that one accepts that we like to identify with an action hero who's more like us. Respectively, that means woman, man and teenager/young adult. I'm not so sure about that, since I just like to see people beating each other up, regardless of demographics. And I'm still hoping for a gay action film, but not one made for video or that takes place in prison. That is to say, I don't much care how close I am to the protagonist. But I still find it fascinating how these three films reflect age and gender.

expendables machine gun

expendables steve austin stunt double

expendables airplane

The most old-fashioned of the bunch is The Expendables (if the 80s is considered old), not just due to the waxy countenances of its stars or to Stallone's preference for building sets and then destroying them with real-life explosives, but because women in his film are not to be hit. This rule isn't so much a moral one, but an effect of the way the women characters are used. Since we're dealing with a group of mercenaries, and killing for money isn't exactly a sympathetic endeavor, the script provides women for the star members -- Stallone, Jason Statham and Jet Li -- to care about. Although we never get to see Li's wife and kids, we're made aware that he kills in order to support them. Statham has a girlfriend (played by my favorite ex-Buffy cast member, Charisma Carpenter) who's shacked up with a new boyfriend due to the former's tendency to mysteriously vanish for months at a time. Her new beau is a yuppie who beats on her. In the scene that received the most cheers from the audience, Statham exacts punishment on the yuppie and his bros on a basketball court while the girlfriend watches in admiration. His comment to her is something like, "you should've waited for me." Using Rambo's moral calculus, bruising one woman's eye is far more evil than murdering a bunch of anonymous individuals for cash. As former Expendable turned tattoo artist cum team guru Mickey Rourke explains, if he had just saved one woman's life, his soul could've been saved. Thus, Stallone finds redemption in rescuing a Third World dictator's daughter (Giselle Itié) from being tortured by Eric Roberts' rogue CIA agent and his henchman, Stonecold Steve Austin. In order to do this, the Expendables have to lay waste to the imaginary Latin American country's capital, which will probably have disastrous effects on the country's infrastructure for years to come. But what's possible mass starvation and the death of who knows how many innocents when it comes to a man's soul? Perhaps if you feel bad about killing, you just shouldn't kill.

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August 13, 2010: Scott Pilgrim vs The World

Posted by phil blankenship, August 13, 2010 11:43pm | Post a Comment
Scott Pilgrim vs The World movie ticket stub