Saturday, April 10, 2010

The BC Review: Zombieland

At the risk of being ordinary, I've decided to expand my reviews to both currently in-the-theater films and those on DVD. The primary reason for this is there are a ton of wonderful films that do not get the exposure they rightfully deserve. Therefore, I've made it my goal to give them just that; exposure! These posts may vary, highlighting films recently released on DVD and those that have been out for some weeks, months, or even, years. And for those of you with Netflix, seeing these little gems is an inexpensive venture!

So, enough rationale, my first DVD review is below. I hope you enjoy!

When I first heard about Zombieland when it was released in the theaters some months ago I was not enthused to run right out and spend my $11.00 on a movie ticket. I mean, really, with all of the great dramas out there, what would possibly compell me to see a zombie-bashing flick?

So... I waited. I figured if my husband and I had some friends over on a Saturday night and they wanted to see a riduculous action flick then I'd just put it on the Netflix queue. In reality, things didn't happen in that exact order, but I did end up watching it one evening while my husband and his friends were studying in the apartment.

Much to my surpise I LOVED it! And at times, found myself having trouble stifling my outbursts of laughter. From the opening scenes, as told by Columbus (played by Adventureland's Jesse Eisenberg), narrating his key "rules to surviving Zombieland" (to name a few: cardio, the double shot, and beware/cautious of using public restrooms!) I knew, indeed, I was in for a raucous good time in Zombieland.

Surviving in the crazed Zombie-infested United States, now known to those who have actually managed NOT to become murderous Zombies, as Zombieland, we find an assorted cast of characters. The first of which, Columbus, a nerdy-bumbling college student, tells of his heartache surrounding the events of a few weeks prior. The love-of-his life, his attractive next-door co-ed, comes knocking on his door complaining a homeless man tried to bite her, much to Columbus's dismay, turns into - you guessed it - a flesh eating Zombie who in turn tries to take a bloody thirsty chunk out of him!

The second, Tallahasse, (played by a hilarious Woody Harrelson)gives us a refuse-to-quit cowboy character who much in the vein of Robert DeNiro in Goodfellas, enjoys his craft - killing Zombies in the most brutal of fashions. Harrelson's portrayal of Tallahasse is reminiscent of his role in No Country for Old Men, yet with a twist of comedic genius. Indeed, Harrelson steals the show here.

Adding to the mayhem, Tallahasse and Columbus arrive at a Zombie-destroyed grocery store, to find two more survivors - sisters by the names of Little Rock and Wichita -(played by Abigail Breslin of Little Miss Sunshine fame and the coolest girl in school, Jules, of Superbad, Emma Stone). Breslin gives a descent performance as Little Rock, although she's still a bit rough around the edges, at times playing the character a little too serious (this is a Zombie flick afterall!). But, she's definitely growing her craft(as evidenced in her recent role in My Sister's Keeper). Emma Stone plays a role we are familiar with - the too cool, popular, attractive vixen with a touch of humility and a "I'm deeper than I appear" interior. Overall, a fitting role for her.

Much to the viewer's surprise, these sisters take Columbus and Tallahasse on a raucous, and at times, frustrating ride! In the end, an enjoyable cast of characters takes to the streets crushing Zombies wherever they pop up; in their quests to reach a favorite childhood amusement park.

Of course, this review would be remiss without the mention of Bill Murray's surprise cameo. Love him, or hate him (it's definitely a toss up!) Murray adds to the debauchery; playing himself as an inventive Zombieland survivor, until ultimately meeting his untimely demise at the hands of a bumbling Columbus.

Whether an avid fan of the Zombie film genre or a conventional movie-goer, Zombieland comes highly recommended for anyone looking to kick up their heels and go along for the ride!

The Bee Charmer rating: A