November 10, 2010

Walking Dead 1:2

Something that's been bugging me since the first episode reveal that Officer Dipshit's slut wife was doing Ponch somewhere in the Georgia wood is the timing of everything. Let's say that the assumption was made for whatever reason that our moron hero died when the hospital was overrun - and let's say that people can survive for about a week or so without water. And then let's say that his IV ran out probably later the same day that his unit nurse got lunched on by the shambling horde... doesn't that mean that he couldn't have remained in a coma for much more than a week, and doesn't that mean that his wife decided to do the ol' protein exchange survival strategy not much more than a week after her husband maybe died?

That's maybe why the opening of episode two, in which the wife gets doggy-styled in the wilderness while we look at her wedding ring in extreme foreground, left such an ugly taste in my mouth. Either this fucking whore was already cheating on her husband or she's doing what she's doing to provide for her kid and really misses Officer Doofus. You can't have it both ways, Frank Darabont.

Anyway - the fact that none of these characters are worth a shit is the least of the "Walking Dead's" problems. Not when there's a speech in eps. 2 in which we're told that there's no such thing as "black" and "white" anymore, man, it's just the living and the dead. Not when ace B-man Michael Rooker is wasted completely as some slavering gomer who's the punchline to the worst CGI "oops" since that hot conehead girl ate a Subway sandwich in a few bites to the delight of Chris Farley. Not when there's a Short Round character dropping one-liners and no-time-for-love-Dr.-Jones bon mots before descending into the sewers for no good reason but that whatever dunce directed this episode wanted their very own matchbook-in-a-stairwell sequence.

My fave, though, is when our heroes stand around slack-jawed as they smash into a zombie corpse (but not before Sheriff Andy delivers a soulful speech over it) and expect not to get any zombie gristle in their chops. They do that, see, because they want to roll around in it so the other zombies can't smell their freshness. And then it rains.


Stupid bullshit, besides.

And what's the deal with the racial representation? It's like the friggin United Colors of Bennetton up there on the rooftop of the Only Department Store in Atlanta.

I'm done. This show has gone from pretty godawful to unwatchable in two weeks, and, folks, life is short.


Patrick said...

I'll be watching the third episode if only to see how they frame the reunion of husband and cheating wife and how many more women will fall in love with Captain Hero, that is maybe this show is a trainwreck worth watching for its awfulness – though I strongly suspect it's too "serious" for that.

You know, I always thought adaptations or sequels couldn't harm the original text, but these two episodes have already soured me on the comics as they highlight how flawed they are; flaws I ignored before but now they're made obvious.

corym said...

Finally got around to watching 1.2 and wow, that was bad. Just... really bad. As I said last time around, my feelings on the first episode were mixed. I was hoping they'd start to hit a better groove as the series went on. But damn, episode two was like Saturday afternoon on Syfy. What a waste.

Jason said...

I know I had my say in the last thread, but whenever I think about this show, I think about something new I hate and it gives me an aneurysm. Like, with Officer Doofy's "no more black and white" speech, that's a pretty profound statement to be leaping to for a guy who's on Day 2 of this Zombie Apocalypse. And, while I can try to set aside Deputy Dipshit's momentary lapse into profundity, they immediately follow this up with the revelation that zombies can't smell... and he's mystified!

It's fucking stupid, and it goes back to that ridiculous yo-yoing that is Grimy's understanding of the world around him. It changes not just from scene to scene, but seemingly from moment to moment, based on whether he needs to be "dumbfounded audience surrogate" or "condescending voice of wisdom" and it just doesn't work.

Oh, and one more thing: The "raining while the heroes wander around in zombie guts" was stupid enough. But then one dude on the rooftop says "Oh, it's the standard 5 pm shower. It'll be done in a minute." If you knew the rain is consistently punctual, why the fuck didn't anyone think to wait five minutes before letting your one shot at escape wander out the door into the zombie-filled street?!

Justin B-H said...

Talking of bad-any review of Skyline coming? (I take it there were no critics' previews for a reason)

Jefferson Robbins said...

Matt Zoller Seitz, God bless him, keeps trying to make this series a relevant thing. I've followed for three episodes now and I just can't feel the depth he's detecting in it. If it's there, it's been done better before.

Walter_Chaw said...

So - saw both Black Swan and Harry Potter 7.1 the last few days... any hopes? Fears?

Arlvy said...

Major fear that Black Swan will be a overblown mess and hoping Yates has found his Order Of The Phoenix form after HBP being a basic teen romcom.
Having said that I'm kinda resigned to Black Swan being an interesting failure and HP a by-the-numbers blockbuster.

DJR said...

I'm gonna guess **** for Black Swan, * for HP 7.1.

Daniel said...

@Walter-I hope for Black Swan that it's as interesting as the trailer. I fear that HP 7 will be over 5 hours long when it's all said and done.

Oh by the way, that was a great review of Due Date by Ian. My theory for why so many people didn't like it: they weren't sure how to react to Zach Galifianakis's character not being a one dimensional punching bag like in The Hangover.

Rick said...

Oh by the way, that was a great review of Due Date by Ian. My theory for why so many people didn't like it: they weren't sure how to react to Zach Galifianakis's character not being a one dimensional punching bag like in The Hangover.

People did not react well because the film wasn't verse-chorus-verse enough for them, Phillips experimented with the traditional tone and expectations for this type of comedy, so they auto-rejected it. I thought The Cable Guy received the same kind of unfair responses as Due Date did, for the same reasons.

corym said...

Can't wait for Black Swan. I've loved all of Aronofsky's stuff so far, but I can't shake the feeling that some Southland Tales-level disaster is always lurking around the corner. Hell, a whole bunch of people thought The Fountain was that disaster, but I loved that, too. He's gonna release some horrendous turd and no word of mouth will convince me until I've seen it myself.

As for HP 7, I've only ever liked the series for the parts focused on day-to-day Hogwarts school life. The whole Fight Against Ultimate Evil just isn't interesting.

Anyone still interested in talking about The Walking Dead? Walter, you may not be surprised to know that the series has added additional tension by giving us two more crazy rednecks. Nevermind that in a real zombie apocalypse the rednecks would probably inherit the earth.

Walter_Chaw said...

No shit, Cory - I mean, living in Colorado all my life, it actually makes sense to me now to own a gun and shop at Bass Pro Shop. After playing through Red Dead Redemption, I wanna own a horse and watch NASCAR. In a real way, I can't wait for the zombie apocalypse so I can start shooting my neighbors with impunity. I have the third Walking Dead on the DVR... not having trouble resisting so far.

Interesting predictions/prognostications for Black Swan and HP7.1. Would be interested in hearing more, actually.

Ryan said...

I hope Black Swan and HP7.1 are both four star affairs. I really do.

What else have you played of note this year, Walter? Tried Mass Effect 2?

DaveA said...

Harry Potter: Don't really care. Not since I saw the first one in cinema and was greeted with the most disgusting caricature of a Jew I've ever seen in a blockbuster movie, and every HP-lover just defended this with "but it's like that in the book!". I still caught most of the others on DVD and was mostly bored, also by the much praised Azkaban. They all look the same to me - I still think people can only distinguish them through "it's the one with Kenneth Brannagh". And I'm awfully tired of "this one will be *really* dark". I'm hearing someone might actually die - oh gosh. I'm predicting two stars by Walter.

As for Black Swan: Classical Ballet, 'The Fly' body horror, Pots&Kunis - I think Walter will have to extend the star rating for this one. Or maybe not. I'm going safe and say 3.5.

On another note: I sincerely hope Ian will review the upcoming 'Season of the witch' as part of his ongoing Cage Odyssey. The trailer looks just... over-awesome.

Dan said...

The thing that confused me about HP is Voldemort. Maybe the books explain all this better (I've never read them), but nearly every movie seems to involve him wanting to come back to life, through various means. I seem to recall he *achieved* that in HP4 (the graveyard rebirth), but then the subsequent movies go back to treating his "return" as something less substantial.

Was he defeated again in HP4? I can't remember.

Maybe it's me, but I just don't think there's been a consistent story covering his plan to be resurrected. And now it's all about his soul being split apart and stored in various horcruxes? When did that happen? Was that the case in HP1, when he was spliced with that teacher who wore the turban?

I don't know - I think the film's have done a poor job with him. He was fighting Dumbledore in the climax of HP5, right? So where was he in HP6?

Patrick said...

Harry Potter – I suspect 3 stars even though I expect this to be a cash grab, but you never know, and it's not like FFC has universally panned those films. On the other hand, I think most of the film will be about the kids on their own, so that might be painful to watch.

I think Black Swan will be at least a film where you aren't sure whether you like it or not, but sure as hell know it's something. I expect either a glorious failure that is still more interesting to watch than most standard fare, or the rare alchemical mixture that is not only explosive, but works.

KayKay said...

Dan, as someone who has read the HP books albeit quite a few years ago, you're right in the way the film's have mucked about with Voldermort.
Thing is, Order Of The Phoenix was the longest book, strangely enough adapted into the shortest film in the series (so far), which meant excising a whole chunk of the Bad One's mythology which started to get fleshed out there. Order of the Phoenix The Book actually revealed why Voldy's been itching to off Harry since his birth.
Order Of The Phoenix The Film chose not to do that, most likely saving it as The Big Reveal in these last 2 installments.
Result...Mucho Confusion most likely for those who haven't read the books.
Think of Voldy like Sauron...dude's on charging mode and he hasn't hit full bars yet.

James said...

That's a fair review, Walter - just have a request:
"It takes the time to tell an entire fable through an animation done in the style of Guillermo Del Toro's preamble to Hellboy II"
Tell me about that fable. It pissed me off in the book as I feel it is subtext-free, worthless and doesn't really make any sense, especially not as something that literally happened in the past in that universe, as is implied. I don't get it.

emmitt said...

Off-topic but after watching the trailer for Your Highness, I'm still confused as fuck by weird turn David Gordon Green's career has made

KayKay said...

Off Topic No.2: Just want to say I really enjoyed Bill C's review of The Kids Are All Right. Will probably check this one out, as I liked Chodolenko's Laurel Canyon.

Based on reading your review and feedback from a friend who saw it, seems this is yet another film written by a woman that sees the need to procure happiness for it's female characters for the price of shafting it's male ones.


Paul is sought out, seduced, brought into the fold, only to be told to fuck off for daring to rupture the bonds of this nuclear family.

I see parallels to Juno, where the Jason Bateman character is the one finally tarred with the Asshole brush for daring to change his mind about wanting the child.

I suppose it's a counter-balance for the still rampant misogyny littering action movies, but still interesting to me nevertheless.

Patrick said...

Yeah, see, and I read it as a film that needs a lesbian couple to hook up with men – or the same man – in order to become happy.

Bill C said...

@KayKay/Patrick: In the Blu-ray extras, Cholodenko says they didn't want to make Paul the bad guy, but who's kidding whom? He's certainly the scapegoat, at least. His shunning is treated as a crowd-pleasing moment.

Anyway, the movie's reach really exceeds its grasp. It seems to be saying that penis trumps lesbianism, but I confess I talked myself out of talking more about this, because it's from a lesbian director and because I have been told in the past by gay women that I don't understand the fluidity of human sexuality or some such.

But the premise is really interesting, as well as the kind of thing you can't pack into a narrative without offending just about everybody, I suspect. If Paul's great for the kids, it suggests that children need a father; if he's a scumbag, it's propaganda. So, like I say, the movie takes fatherhood off the table, rather cleverly and rather cowardly.

I brought the film's rating down at Rottentomatoes from 96% approval to 95%, by the by. I get the impulse to rate it highly, because it's deliriously entertaining. But then, so was JUNO.

Patrick said...

Bill: and for things like bringing this film down a percent, or for not buying into Juno, I love filmfreakcentral.

I am quite probably influenced by a couple of gay women *I* know who are furious with the film, so there you go. Personally, I just think if you have the chance to do a film about lesbian mothers, why not do so with a less stereotypical complication? It's not like films like this are everywhere.

alcoholism treatment centers said...

i am also very confuse about Voldemort in hp