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“The Crazies”
a review by Darby O’Gill

Welcome to Ogden Marsh, population 1,260, and dropping. I’ve got to tell you, this is one hell of a movie. It hasn’t even opened nationwide yet, and I’ve already seen it twice. It’s a remake of a 1973 George A. Romero film of the same name. I haven’t seen the original, but I’m now really looking forward to checking it out very soon. George A. Romero was an executive producer on this new version as well, which is always a good sign on a remake. The one thing I would however advise you to do before seeing The Crazies, is to not watch all the trailers for the movie before seeing it. The one that I have posted at the end of this review is safe, but this is truly the type of movie that the less you know going in, the better. The second time I went to see it, I brought Shady with me, who watched the trailer right before going, and he said it totally ruined it for him. Now this was months ago, so the trailer he watch was the first trailer they released, and they have since stopped showing it for just that reason. The new trailers are a little bit more vague, but it’s still better to just go see the movie with absolutely no spoilers.

Now, this is where I would normally tell you what the movie is about… But, how can I do that, when I just told you not to watch any of the film’s trailers? Okay, here’s what I feel I can tell you… This is not a zombie movie. Most people hear George A. Romero, and instantly think zombie, which they damn well should! However, this is not about zombies. In this movie, it’s more like a virus with zombie type symptoms. Unlike zombies, the infected in this movie don’t want to feed on human flesh, or hunt in hordes. No, it’s more like a creepy, calm, empty rage, which on film is way scarier than it sounds. Trust me. The Crazies takes place in a small Iowa town just outside Cedar Rapids, where Sheriff David Dutton, played by Timothy Olyphant, tries desperately to save his wife and town from a sudden virus, and at the same time a government quarantine. That kind of sums it up quite nicely, and spoiler free to boot.

I really liked this movie. You can even tell when you’re watching it, that the filmmakers, really knew what they wanted to do with this project. At no point does it try be something it’s not. It’s just a nice clear-cut story that is brilliantly directed by Breck Eisner, and is a perfect example of what I would consider an outstanding movie. Which is shocking because Eisner, son of Michael Eisner, also directed Sahara. What I think really does work for this movie, is that it has this “little movie that could” feel to it that definitely adds to its charm, much like one of my other absolute favorite movies, Feast. If you have not seen Feast yet, shame on you! More on that some other day, but for now back to the movie at hand. The Crazies really does do a wonderful job of mixing the suspense and tension in the film, into a fantastic horror cocktail. The scenes in the funeral parlor and car wash are just so good, truly classic horror movie moments. I can almost guarantee that I will be seeing this again in the theatre real soon. It’s just simply a fun ride. So, to all of you reading this right now, do yourselves a favor; buy a ticket, and take the ride. You’d be crazy not too.

Rating:


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“Surrogates”
a review Darby O’Gill

In the near future people no longer leave there homes, instead they jack-in to a surrogate robot that they operate like a car. The really trippy thing is that surrogates also drive cars, so a person can operate a surrogate and a car at the same time. Did I just blow your minds? The movie is based on the 2005 comic book series The Surrogate and takes place in a world of robots, where crime is almost nonexistent, almost. When an unknown device seems to kill not only Surrogates, but also their operators, Detective Greer, played by Bruce Willis, finds himself investigating the first homicide in over a decade. Surrogates, being machines, are stronger and faster than a normal person. They can also be or look like anything. It’s the internet in everyday life. What looks like a hot twenty-eight year old girl, is really a fat fifty-four year old man. It kind of makes you wonder why there isn’t more crime. If anyone could look like anything, why wouldn’t they be robbing banks or something? I’m getting off subject, but it’s a good point. Back to the story at hand; while investigating the murders, Greer’s Surrogate gets destroyed, and Greer is forced to go out into the world without a Surrogate to continue his investigation, and uncovers a much deeper plot against the Surrogates. It’s really cool the way they deal with this part of the story. Willis’ character is just overwhelmed by his senses the first time out on his own. You really realize these people have been locked up in their houses with no real contact with the outside world, and it’s almost like quitting an addiction. At times you really can’t help but notice just how close we could be to that. Every day something else comes out that keeps us in touch with people, but without ever having to see them. It’s kind of scary. Even as I’m writing this, I’m thinking wow this sounds like a great movie, and I would like nothing more than to tell you that this is the case, but sadly it’s not. The problem with Surrogates is that they had a chance to do something new, but instead just seemed to play it safe, and go through the motions. This truly could have been the next Blade Runner, well okay, maybe not. But, it could have been something great. The ideas are there, but everything you see is something you’ve pretty much seen before. It’s a fun movie and well worth seeing, but I just wish they would have taken it to that next level. Would somebody, please give Hollywood their balls back! We’re so close to getting something good here. The one thing I really did like wasn’t in the movie. Elizabeth Banks! I’ve always enjoyed her performances in movies, but I think I’m an even bigger fan of hers now. She was an executive producer on this film, and yet she doesn’t appear in it. As a producer, she could have easily given herself a role in the movie, but she didn’t. The only time most actors produce a project is to guarantee they can be in it, but not Ms. Banks. It says a lot about her character, and I am now a bigger fan because of it.

Rating:
3 Little People