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Dawn Of The Dead: My take

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Dawn Of The Dead: My take

Old 02-12-04, 04:40 AM
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Dawn Of The Dead: My take

As I post this I'm not sure what to say or how to say it without being a prick and spoiling things. I will do my best to not give any information that would ruin your movie going experience and Give you a fairly clean slate going into it. Though there might be some minor character descriptions or unimportant vauge situations, everything else that would be a spoiler will have spoiler tags.

Dawn of the Dead (2004)


click poster for whole zombie thing reported in another thread.


I've had this taste in my mouth before. Ah yes.. right after seeing Pirates. I'll be glad to be the first to admit that I'm eating crow right now. A nice huge helping of crow and I'll be happy to fiend for more of it much like a zombie with the scent of flesh in the air.

I went to Universal after work with an unexpected surprise. Well no, it wasn't really an unexpected surprise since I was under the impression that I was going to be apart of a test screening of a Universal film coming out in the next three months that would be Horror/thriller and would most likely be R rated. So I knew that the chances were narrowed down to the Chronicals of riddrick or Dawn of the Dead. Since Chronicles comes out in may or june I figured it was still to early for test screenings of that unless they really wanted to get viewer feedback in post for heavy editing, which is never really a good sign. In this case, they were showing it off in one of the final stages. the work left is final music selection (they played a fill in song in the beginning based on the clip I saw at the Sci Fi Convention on saturday where Weezer's "island in the sun" was the song playing on the radio) and minor color correction on some scenes.

When the curtains came up and the Universal logo swinged by I knew by the sound that it was indeed DAWN OF THE DEAD. Blood red on the screen with the STRIKE entertainment logo that eventually blended into a Skull X-ray being held by a docotr next to our main character Ana. The hints are all there that something is indeed wrong in town as a subtle amount of victims walk into the hospital. The next ten minutes grabs you and doesnt let go from there on end. The intro sold me. The level of choas that goes on in those first ten minutes allows the audiance to get to know our lead character in a manner that doesn't stretch out longer then it needs to and sets in motion a chain reaction of attacks and total choas that frankly, left me drooling. I already felt like standing up and cheering. After a turn of events which end the opening scenes and kicks in the opening credits, a series of home video/news roll in's pop up in a static like choas with the film opening credits. Events such as U.N. workers getting mobbed down by zombies. The White house having shootings infront of the lawn, and people dragged out into the streets. Pretty much think of any random behind the battle lines footage ending with the camera getting bashed in. (With holes on screen showing you the level of violence as it goes to static) All the while Johnny Cash being played in the background. The credits even mention "Based on the screenplay by George Romero" which made me smile.

To say the least it picks up with our lead meeting up with our other actors and heading down to the local Mall where it follows the original and adds plenty more to keep this Dawn fan happy. The film was filled with a lot of suspense with a mix of plenty of zombie fodder which I think was an improvement from the original. You have enough characters to care about some of them while having your zombie treats to keep the gore going through the whole film. The main difference is there is no Motorcycle gang thrown in the mix and the twist and turns keep if fresh so that you can watch both the original and the remake back to back and the main thing in common will simply be the mall situation.

Now many of you who have followed my post about this film have notice my biggest gripe before viewing the film as being the running zombies. Now I have talked my talk and bashed them all I could really. Made up silly logic about how the corpse body would be rotting in it's joints and running while having a gapping hole in your leg makes little sense. But after saying all that, I can honestly say it didn't come across my mind at all since I was sucked into the film. In truth, there was very little shambling zombies. It seemed pretty limited to the times when they are being used for celeberity target practice or when a zombies lower limbs were missing. Did this bother me much? I thought it would, but it didn't. I figure the main reason was that there wasn't many wide shots where the zombies were really running at them like I figured there would be. Sure there is moments when they do a hundred meter dash at the actors, but it seems over shadowed by the level of suspense being created while the rest seems to take place in close range each other. As a fan of the shambling zombies, I was pleased never the less. One thing they took out of the zombie survivor guide in book stores now is the whole Animals not being infected, nor zombies wanting to go after them as CHIP, the survivors dog seems safe through the mess and I must say I rather enjoyed the suspense created because of it. Sure it doesn't have the social commentary that Romero had in his version, but it has all the excitement, suspense, thrills, gore, violence and so much more that I was drooling all over it.

The acting. Well it was a nice mix. You care about the characters that are highlighted and as mentioned before, their is plenty of zombie bait mixed in to give the gore fan in all of us some enjoyment. The lead, Ana, shows a range of emotions without selling the drama or being over drawn out. Ving Rhames plays Kenneth which takes over the Foree/black cop character as if it was foree himself in the role. They even threw in a fairly hot red head female.. they must have wanted to make up for the whole running zombies for by throwing in the red head for me.. Scott Reiniger and Ken Foree make cameo's so that is a nice little nod to the original. Even letting Foree say the ever so classic line "When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth". It sent a wave of joy down my back. Tom Savini's cameo was longer then the trailer shows and makes for a good way to explain how to deal with the zombie infestation. To add to the talk about the music selection. Since this was in it's final stages, some songs were missing pending the rights for use to be cleared so I'm not sure what will exactly stay and what will be missing from the final version. The use of Johnny Cash was great with the opening credits as it really set a mood. The Mall music was smooth jazz versions of "My heart will go on" as well as other soothing classics. The closing credits pick must have been reading my mind. "People who died" by Jim Correll.

To conclude, this was everything the original was and so much more. I know for a fact that some songs will be changed for the final release, which pretty much was the only thing left in the process of finishing it up as there were very little/ to none color corrections that were noticeable. Some of the video roll in's blown up to the screen size needed some tweaking, but over all I will be at the theater on March 19 to watch it again. I simply loved it. Dawn of the Dead (2004) is what Resident Evil Should have been like. It is 28 days later (yeah, I know they aren't zombies) and it injected it with more suspense, thrills, gore and a whole lot of bullet shells hitting the floor. The film provides everything you can ever want out of a zombie film and then some.


Now for the semi-spoilers... Not so much spoiler, but not worth taking the risk to not use spoiler tags on

About that kicking baby...
Spoiler:
The zombie baby is there, though it is not to the level of Dead-Alive, but it is certainly freaky.


About the cameos
Spoiler:
Foree is a preacher on the boob tube, tom pretty much goes on about how you have to shoot them in the head and points out some wiggilers. Scott is a general.


STAY FOR THE CREDITS
Spoiler:
If it remains the same as the work print I saw, You find out a little more about the adventures of our survivors and what happens when they reach their destination


To conclude, The film is intense, suspenseful, thrilling, gory, lives up and goes well beyond the original by meeting my expectations and filling me with joy. I wont settle with seeing it again just once. For me, It's gotta be seen multiple times in theaters and if I could pre-order a dvd of it right now, I would. I'll leave you with a picture of the Research group page that I smuggled out with the spoilers they wrote in the character discriptions scratched out.



now, enjoy the japanese poster




Your Zombie Loving Padder asking for a second helping of this crow I'm eating,
Jackskeleton



Discuss, point and laugh, Tell me "I told you so", or make a line to be able to touch me.. for I have seen Dawn of the Dead and I have loved it.

Last edited by Jackskeleton; 02-14-04 at 03:41 PM.
Old 02-12-04, 04:54 AM
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Crap. Now I'm all by myself in the slow zombies debate. Where's the love, Jack?


Despite my refusal to see the Texas Chainsaw remake, I may just buckle and see this. After all, I did see the NOTLD dead remake, and I want to support any good zombie movie, since it appears that so zombie films are being made now, and so few are good.

Thanks for the info!
Old 02-12-04, 05:27 AM
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I say buckle up and see this.. It is so well worth it. Just loved the amount of choas in the city wide shots.
Old 02-12-04, 05:32 AM
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I knew it would rock...
Old 02-12-04, 06:48 AM
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Looking over that test screening survey, being reminded of those very questions just pisses me off once again about that whole stupid process. This is one of the reasons why so few films these days have any real balls.

Which parts moved too slowly?

What, if anything, did you find confusing?

I don't expect this to be anything more than a more pumped-up version of other interchangeable splatter/gorefest/whatever you wanna call them flicks(ie. From Dusk Till Daw, etc.) and unnecessary remakes. Entertaining, trashy, disposable and forgettable.

Johnny Cash, huh? Smooth jazz version of "My Heart Will Go On?" How subversive. How ironic. How "hip".

I'll stick with the original classic.
Old 02-12-04, 06:48 AM
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I expected to open this thread - based on the title - and read "I hate running zombies" or something similar. I'm surprised. I'm glad you liked it. Now go back and watch Resident Evil again and again until you like it too.
Old 02-12-04, 07:16 AM
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When the curtains came up and the Universal logo swinged by I knew by the sound that it was indeed DAWN OF THE DEAD.
I think you might have also been tipped off before the movie even started how the woman came out and told us that we were one of the first audiences to see Dawn of the Dead.....

Yeah, I was there too. I loved the movie. Sooo good. Extremely violent. Surprisingly good acting. I loved it. Really loved it. Can't wait to see it again!
Old 02-12-04, 08:11 AM
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Are you still giving me that poster?
Old 02-12-04, 09:33 AM
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Awesome Jack! All of the reviews I have glanced over have liked the movie. I for one will be at the theater to see it as well.
Old 02-12-04, 03:11 PM
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Originally posted by Seantn
I think you might have also been tipped off before the movie even started how the woman came out and told us that we were one of the first audiences to see Dawn of the Dead.....
yeah, but that's not dramatic enough for a review.

You have to sorta sell it by giving it a little sorta of twist.

Are you still giving me that poster?
that was the wager, you did win. so yeah.

Johnny Cash, huh? Smooth jazz version of "My Heart Will Go On?" How subversive. How ironic. How "hip".
And I'll go on the defensive for the movie now and say that sure it's no Goblin soundtrack but the use of those mainstream easy listening type of songs in the background were well placed to give it that feel that the original had. Left me happy with it and I was one of the biggest opponents of this remake.

Last edited by Jackskeleton; 02-12-04 at 03:34 PM.
Old 02-12-04, 03:30 PM
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Jack, what was the Johnny Cash song that played over the beginning credits? I really like it a lot.
Old 02-12-04, 03:33 PM
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Fantastic to hear Jack. Although I'm very vocal about my distaste for running zombies, I still wanted to see this film, and for it to be good.

I did have hope early on when I heard James Gunn was writing it. I was familiar with his work from Troma not Scooby-do, so I knew he could bring the gore. I guess just as the film started to film, the details that came through didn't sound so hot to me.

Anyway, I will be there opening weekend, and now I can look forward to having a genuinely good time.
Old 02-12-04, 03:37 PM
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Sweet, the trailer looks awesome. Can't wait to see it!
Old 02-12-04, 03:48 PM
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Originally posted by Seantn
Jack, what was the Johnny Cash song that played over the beginning credits? I really like it a lot.
It was The Man Comes Around of the same titled CD. It really worked well with the footage. I'm hoping that it stays in the final edits and wasn't just a song filler.
Old 02-12-04, 03:54 PM
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One of my favorite parts....
Spoiler:


Sign says "Jay Leno"

"Ok, now....Burt Reynolds! Tell him to get Burt Reynolds!!"

"Ohhh!!! Rosie O'Donell! Get ROSIE!"
Old 02-12-04, 03:57 PM
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Were there actual stores/brands in the mall? I remember an article where the director said he was having trouble getting product placement in the movie (both the Gap and Starbucks declined).
Old 02-12-04, 06:35 PM
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Not sure how I'll like the movie (though I'll definitely give it a chance), but I love both of those posters.
Old 02-12-04, 08:09 PM
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I agreed with the complaints/worries you were voicing in the many Dawn of the Dead threads about the remake. To hear such high praise from you gives me a little hope.

I'm starting to look a little more forward to seeing this movie.
Old 02-12-04, 08:19 PM
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Originally posted by Crocker Jarmen
I agreed with the complaints/worries you were voicing in the many Dawn of the Dead threads about the remake. To hear such high praise from you gives me a little hope.

I'm starting to look a little more forward to seeing this movie.

... let go CK the release will free you.
Old 02-12-04, 08:50 PM
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I'll have to go see this. I have only seen parts of the original, but it looks pretty damn good from the previews.
Old 02-14-04, 07:12 AM
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I'll give this film a chance, but nothing will top the original for me. Maybe now they will give George the money he needs to make a 4th Dead film since everyone else seems to be able to get the money needed to make their zombie films.
Old 02-14-04, 01:10 PM
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SHILL!
Old 02-14-04, 03:41 PM
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Though I once worked for universal back in the day, I am not a shill. Just a zombie fan expressing my very surprised for the film. Besides, being one of those who was very scared since the beginning talks of the film.. I figure I woud come out and eat crow now before it's release in theaters.
Old 02-14-04, 05:54 PM
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WOW! that Japanese poster looks super cool!!
Old 02-14-04, 06:43 PM
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you are a lucky, lucky man

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