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Thoughts on 'Zombieland' . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Worth Full-Price, Matinee or Rental: Matinee or rental. 'Zombieland' is an enjoyably light comedy that still delivers some unruly flesh-eating zombies, but there's simply not enough meat on the cinematic bones of this project to pay full price for at the theater, and really, it would be just as good as a rental, maybe better.

Will I Own It On DVD: No. I'd watch it one more time, but that's not enough to justify buying it on DVD.

Overrall Grade: B-

1) 'Zombieland' is exactly the kind of movie it sounds like from the title, and from the plethora of previews on the television. It's a consistently funny - though not hilarious - movie where a group of rag-tag survivors from a massive zombie infection ban together to make their way across America while killing a hell of a lot of the undead along the way and laughing about it while they go.

2) The tone and pacing of the film never wavers, and the cast delivers performances that mesh perfectly with the humor and the occasionally gruesome decapitations. Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg ('Adventureland'), Emma Stone ('Superbad') and Abagail Bresnin ('Little Miss Sunshine') all bring different attributes to the group with Harrelson and Eisenberg being my favorite players. Harrelson is casually hilarious as a Twinkie-loving, dim-witted Zombie killer extrodionaire and yet Eisenberg's nebbish survivor mentalilty rivals him for laughs, especially when he constantly introduces the rules of Zombie survival to the audience.

3) There is also a totally unexpected cameo from a big star in this flick. I won't spoil the name since most reviews go out of their way to avoid even hinting at it, however, I will say that it's one of the best uses of this device I've seen during a movie in several years.

4) One of the finest things about 'Zombieland' is that it realizes exactly what kind of movie it is, and the purpose it serves. Consequently, the running time clocks in at 80-something minutes, and I rejoiced at a film that can edit itself based on the content it delivers, and doesn't feel the need to bloat the running time with unnecessary nonsense.

5) That being said, I've got nothing else to add about 'Zombieland' because it is so inconsequential, which isn't a bad thing. It's as light and airy as a popcorn fart and equally as enjoyable and you could do worse than attending a quick matinee on a lazy Sunday when the NFL games look particularly lame.



  1. TROLL Y2K Says:
  2. You can go ahead and tell me who the cameo is. I'm not seeing it anyway.

    "Scary" Zombie movies were big as "midnight shows" for drunks at my Alma Mater and treated as comedies. Wonder if that's what inspired all these intentionally funny zombie flicks.

  3. JLee Says:
  4. No! Don't tell us. lol
    I think this looks like fun. Maybe I'll get drunk and then go see it. ha

  5. Linda Says:
  6. Only way I am even mildly interested in zombie movies is when they are funny. This was an entertaining one, mostly due to the humans. Eisenberg and Harrelson nailed it. Fun stuff, and will definately be fine in DVD.

  7. Troll Y2K - I'll wait until the Friday post & then re-comment since I hate to spoil it. As for Zombie films in general, even the scary ones are kind of funny though I'm far from an expert on the genre.

    Jlee - I'll hold back, and I planned to see it at the Drafthouse to consume a few beers, but plans fell through and I saw it without any . . . it was still pretty good.

    Linda - I agree completely. Generally, the zombie genre doesn't do much for me either way, but I thought the actors nailed this one and it didn't try to do too much, so it was a reasonably fun ride.

  8. Boxer Says:
  9. Better cameo than Tom Cruise? I never did get to this, the Husky/Notre Game trumped our planned viewing and then I spent last weekend with The Nephew working on costumes. I still want to see it, however. I always like your movie reviews.

  10. kmwthay Says:
  11. hummm. I totally dig Woody. So, I'll go see it just for him.

    But I'm not much of a scary movie or gory movie person - and I don't know if this movie is either one - so I don't know if I'll make it the whole way through.

  12. Gypsy Says:
  13. Sometimes it's just good to see a movie that doesn't take itself too seriously and at 80 minutes, at least it isn't a great time waster.

  14. Boxer - Thanks, and I don't know it's better than Cruise, but then again, I consider Cruise in 'Tropic Thunder' (I guess this what you are referring to?) as more of an actual part versus a cameo. The line gets blurred between cameo vs. small parts in my mind though . . . Regardless, Cruise was great in that movie and I consider the actor/actress in 'Zombieland' more of a traditional cameo. Whew. Long-winded, but there you go. Ha.

    Kmwthay - Then go see this one or rent it. It's not super-gory, and Harrelson is a lot of fun. It's a lot more funny than scary . . .

    Gypsy - Exactly. Sometimes, all you need is a quick 80-something minute movie with no agenda except so light comedy & zombie killing. Not often, but sometimes. Ha.

  15. kmwthay Says:
  16. I'll try to make it out this weekend then. Maybe tomorrow when we make it to Ft. Worth.

    I'll have a good culinary throwdown entry up around noonish. So be sure to stop back by.

  17. Kmwthay - Have a great weekend even after the game. Ha. And I'll defintely check out the the throw-down.

  18. BostonPobble Says:
  19. I'm really looking forward to this one. Wonder if they will show it in Kuala Lumpur?

  20. Bostonpobble - What? You're going there . . . I need to get over to yr. blog, but safe travels regardless . . .


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