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DVD Talk review of 'George A. Romero's Diary of the Dead'

Old 05-24-08, 06:30 PM
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DVD Talk review of 'George A. Romero's Diary of the Dead'

I read Cameron McGaughy's DVD review of George A. Romero's Diary of the Dead at http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=33339 and...

Awesome review, you hit every note just right. I wonder what Romero should do next... Island of the Dead?
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Old 05-24-08, 07:16 PM
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Thanks Abe! Appreciate it!

I think there are actually two films in the pipeline for 2009...a sequel to Diary (what that's called, I have no idea) and a sequel to Dawn of the Dead--the 1978 one, not the remake, apparently (could be wrong). I think Tony Todd has signed on...although Romero is not directing that one, called Escape of the Planet of the Apes...er, Living Dead.

I always liked the Island idea (wouldn't that make sense for a sequel to the Dawn remake?). I thought that's what we were gonna get last time when we got Land instead. I'll be eager to see 'em all!

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Old 05-24-08, 11:04 PM
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Old 05-25-08, 09:01 AM
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I'm a longtime fan of Romero's. I grew up outside of Pittsburgh and was very exposed to his films and the locations he used. Perhaps its my love of those first three films that makes it incredibly difficult for me to get on board with his newest work.

I understand the reviewer's point of view, but I disagree with most of his points. I'll quote one particular passage:

Early into the director's fifth foray into the zombie universe--a genre he virtually gave birth to--a group of student filmmakers becomes frustrated with their horror movie shoot in the woods. The senior project of their aspiring director runs into a few glitches, prompting crew member Tony to vent his anger: "Stupid fucking mummy movie!" His sentence is quickly finished by their professor, who enthusiastically chimes in: "With an underlying thread of social satire!" I was expecting a wink at the camera, but Romero doesn't want to be too obvious, right?
That particular line of dialogue from the film sums up almost entirely my issues with Romero's latest films: the original trilogy certainly had social commentary and were damn fine horror films to boot. You can watch those films with or without analyzing the "what does it mean"; and Romero knew how to push the hot button issues and get the message out! Great films, great commentary.

The big difference today: He's nearly beating us to death with the point. Mr. McGaughy says "I was expecting a wink at the camera, but Romero doesn't want to be too obvious, right?"; I was expecting a wink from Mr. McGaughy there. Of course that's a wink at the camera, one we don't need. The first three films were intelligent and interweaved the point into the plot; here we're left with poor actors telling us exactly what we're supposed to get out of it. Don't worry if you didn't catch the deeper message or meaning in any particular scene - someone will surely appear on camera or in voiceover to explain it for you.
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Old 05-26-08, 11:14 AM
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Hey Rocket!

Centreville, huh? My brother lives there! I'm an Arlington man...grettings from a fellow Northern Virgininian. :-)

I see your point, and understand why some people don't like the film. It definitely requires that you accept the tone it's delivered in. To some degree, it's not even a horror film first. It didn't bother me...I dug the whole self-awareness of it--I feel part of that is intentional, mocking the institutions (esp. broadcast news and reality TV) by using the same methods they do. To each their own!

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Old 05-27-08, 07:55 AM
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It was a clumsy, silly movie that didn't seem to believe anything it was selling. Even the inauthentic and distracting "videographer" look of the film failed. Why not actually use a camcorder, if that's what you're doing, Romero?

The dialogue, the acting, the direction...garbage. Really, really awful. I feel better knowing that the characters in the movie were about as frightened and alarmed by the zombies as I was. We all had a snooze together.
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