Cinema Dispatch: Army of the Dead

Army of the Dead and all the images you see in this review are owned by Netflix

Directed by Zack Snyder

Considering everything that the guy has gone through in the last few years, I wouldn’t have been surprised if he took several years off instead of going back to making movies.  Still, it does seem to be his passion as Zack Snyder certainly makes film with an enthusiasm and gusto you don’t often see from big budget filmmakers, an d what better way to get back into the swing of things than to go back to his roots and make another zombie flick?  I’m certainly rooting for him, but is this the triumphant return that we’ve all been waiting for, or is he still a bit rusty from working on tent pole superhero movies for so long?  Let’s find out!!

Following a botched military transport, the ZOMBIE VIRUS infects the city of Las Vegas AND NOWHERE ELSE which is convenient because it means the US government can just build a giant wall around the city and leave the zombies to their own devices while also ensuring all the survivors are free from the zombie virus.  The state of things is tenuous at best however as the survivors are kept in camps near the city run by NOT-ICE-AGENTS, and since we’re living in a Capitalists hellscape even in our fantastical zombie films, people are sneaking in and out to try and scrounge up a bit of cash from the many casinos to perhaps make their lives better.  Because of this the US government has decided to nuke the city to kill off all the zombies which means it’s the PERFECT time to pull off the biggest heist of them all as a casino owner (Hiroyuki Sanada) hires a group of mercenaries, many of whom were part of the efforts to save survivors, to go into the city and take ALL the money from his vault mere days before the nuke is launched; money that would have probably would just burn to ashes anyway so it’s practically there BEGGING to be collected!  Our heroes are the ultimate Dad Guy named Scott (Dave Bautista), his friends Maria and Vanderohe (Ana de la Reguera and Omari Hardwick), a safe cracker named Ludwig (Matthias Schweighöfer), some dude who posts zombie shooting videos on YouTube as well as one of his cohorts (Raúl Castillo and Samantha Win), a pilot to get them out of there (Tig Notaro), and a Coyote who helps people get in and out of the city (Nora Arnezeder).  On top of that, Scott’s daughter (Ella Purnell) finds a way to tag along as she is searching for someone who got lost in the city during one of those casino runs, and there’s one dude hired by the casino owner (Garret Dillahunt) to keep an eye on things and perhaps has an agenda of his own.  With this rag tag group of bad asses and scumbags, can they pull off the ultimate heist without getting bit by a zombie or getting a face full of nuclear fallout?  Is this plan as straightforward as they were led to believe, and what have the zombies themselves been up to since being locked up in the city?  Do trained mercenaries just not watch movies, or do they assume that this is the ONE plan that won’t go wrong?

“If things get spicy in there, I’m just gonna call an Uber and get the heck out of there.”     “Yeah, I think the zombie blighted wasteland is outside their service area.”     “Sheesh.  So much for being a market disruptor.”
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Cinema Dispatch: When the Bough Breaks

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When the Bough Breaks and all the images you see in this review are owned by Screen Gems

Directed by Jon Cassar

I really did not want to see this.  The trailers didn’t inspire much hope that this would be all that great and the premise sounded… unpleasant, to say the least.  Still, Morris Chestnut is a national treasure and it’s always good to see Regina Hall get some work, so maybe the people in front of and even behind the camera can make something out of this dopey premise!  We can only hope…

The movie is about John and Laura Taylor (Morris Chestnut and Regina Hall) who have been trying for oh so very long to have a child, but they’ve failed multiple times and are down to their last viable embryo.  I’m pretty sure Regina Hall hasn’t gone through menopause though, so I’m not sure WHY it’s their last egg, but maybe she had some sort of medical issue that made her infertile and I just wasn’t paying attention.  What all of this ultimately means is that they have one last shot to have a child, and so they have to pick the right surrogate to bring it to term.  In walks Anna Walsh (Jazz Sinclair) who’s just volunteered at the fertility clinic that John and Laura are working with, and immediately Laura falls in love with her.  Within days, Anna is pregnant with their child and the Taylors couldn’t be happier!  That is until Anna’s shit head boyfriend Mike (Theo Rossi) beats the hell out of her and she’s left without much options.  Hey, she’s already carrying their kid, so why not let her stay in the guest house?  Well… it turns out that Anna may not be all there mentally, and she immediately develops a crush on John which complicates matters.  Will Anna have her way with John behind Laura’s back?  Just how far from stable is Anna, and what will she be willing to do to get what she wants?  Just how the hell did THIS woman manage to bullshit her way through the fertility clinic’s psych evaluation!?

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Oh I’m sure she’s FINE!  Look how happy she is for them!!

Continue reading “Cinema Dispatch: When the Bough Breaks”