Author Topic: George A. Romero's Diary of the Dead  (Read 1711 times)

WeRe-nINja

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George A. Romero's Diary of the Dead
« on: May 21, 2008, 05:50:48 am »
Another great installment in the Dead series, Diary of the Dead does not disappoint.  (If you liked Land of the Dead like I did.)
It is gory (of course), well made, great plot (For many zombie movies these are few and far between), and an altogether fun family movie ... okay maybe not.
But if you are a zombie fan and you like George A. Romero, as you should!!!, then you will enjoy Diary of the Dead.

Rent it today at your local Blockbuster.
(Sorry I just had to say that.) :-o
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prezhorusin04

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Re: George A. Romero's Diary of the Dead
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2008, 11:13:44 pm »
Thankfully, it's not a Weinstein Bros "Blockbuster Exclusive" but can be rented elsewhere...

Here's my review anyway...

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So here’s my half-assed review of ‘DIARY OF THE DEAD’ released on DVD May 20th. Like most little horror-head geeks, I’ve been a fan of George Romero’s films since, literally, forever. As a kid of about 8 to 11 years old, I used to watch Night, Dawn and Day of the Dead over and over again (weekends, late nights, no school) and fashion a wide array of home made weapons in the event that zombies should ever take over the world. Baseball bats with knives duct taped to the end, hammers, screwdrivers, nunchucks; I even had a couple of swords that I’d keep close by as I watched these films, heaven help anybody who might have walked into the room unexpectedly. I was ready for zombie war! At least in my immature and adolescent mind (which admittedly, is still kinda my mindset to this day, and I STILL watch Night, Dawn and Day of the Dead at least once a year.)

Romero’s latest entry into the series, ‘DIARY OF THE DEAD’, does not continue in the path of 2005’s ‘LAND OF THE DEAD’, but is a stand alone presentation which hopes to “reinvigorate the franchise” in the era of the Youtube, Myspace and the Internet generation. Instead of giving a summary to the film’s plot, I’ll just state my opinions on what worked with the movie, and what didn’t necessarily live up to the Romero legacy. On the plus side, it did reinvent the genre for an age of Cyber-Surfers, and like all of Romero’s films there’s an underlining social commentary which is both important and relevant. Despite the smaller budget (independently produced for an estimated $2 million dollars, while ‘LAND OF THE DEAD’ had a $16 million dollar budget), it managed some great camera work, scenery, acting, makeup and production values. While seeking to modernize the concepts, it simultaneously gets back to the roots of a Zombie film (instead of the typical 25 mph running zombies who puke infected blood on everybody and can rip off car doors with super strength, such as seen in the ’28 Days Later’ series or ‘Resident Evil’). Who better than Romero to take Zombie films back to their roots and have the legitimacy to lead it where he so chooses?

On the negative end, it was a little too simplistic and typical; not quite having the “cutting edge” approach that Romero might have been going for. Though this is the most expansive Romero zombie film to date, with a cast of characters actually traveling across country instead of being trapped in a house/mall/bunker, there’s less action in this film than in any previous inclusion in the series. The social commentary is thick, as are the characterizations and human interactions, but what is lacking is the kind of zombie carnage which his films are usually known for. There’s no final “showdown” and things are left a little too loose ended. What action does take place in the film is a little underplayed, and most of it is presented as television footage or clips being downloaded from the Internet.

Of course, to make up for this lack of action, there are also voice-overs by Stephen King, Simon Pegg, Quentin Tarantino, Wes Craven, and Guillermo del Toro providing the dialogue for the angst ridden news broadcasters and TV reporters. Romero himself also has a brief cameo as the Chief of Police. Perhaps the best part of the DVD release are the hours of special features and interviews which go behind the scenes of virtually every detail of the film's production.

All in all though, with such a zombie saturation out there, I'm not sure how much 'DIARY OF THE DEAD' will really appeal to the youthful audience that Romero was going for, or how positive a review you'd give it unless you're already a hard core Romero fan. Since its release back in February '08, reviews have been mixed, with many people feeling that the film missed the mark, at least compared to his other horror masterpieces. Personally, the film met most of the expectations I had for it, and maybe even surpassed them. However, I don't know if DIARY has the re-watchability value of Romero's other works and is over crowded by 10 other zombie films released at the video store each week.

In the end, I don't think a bullet to the head will be the death of the zombie film, but dreaded over saturation. You have to admit though; Romero still has a way with worms.

 

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