Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Zombie attack? They're on it ... plus Quentin Tarantino's favorite movies

I've often wondered what would really happen if the world were attacked by zombies, especially when it helps me to avoid doing some truly thankless task at work, but I had no idea people could get paid for such flights of fancy. I'm in entirely the wrong business.

Some researchers in Canada, according to the BBC, have actually carried out a "mathematical exercise" to conclude that, as any zombie movie fan knows well, "If zombies actually existed, an attack by them would lead to the collapse of civilisation unless dealt with quickly and aggressively."

Well, I'm glad we cleared that up. There's so many things to like about this, but I think my favorite might be that for their book, "Infectious Diseases Modelling Research Progress" (get thee to Amazon right now), they gave the living a chance by only using "classic, slow-moving zombies as our opponents rather than the nimble, intelligent creatures portrayed in some recent films."

Whew! So, what's their conclusion? Humanity's only hope is to "hit them [the undead] hard and hit them often. It's imperative that zombies are dealt with quickly or else ... we are all in a great deal of trouble."

I really wish I had the ability to make this stuff up, but just in case it all has you actually worried, they finished with this reassuring thought well reinforced by zombie movies of all kinds: "My understanding of zombie biology is that if you manage to decapitate a zombie then it's dead forever. So perhaps they are being a little over-pessimistic when they conclude that zombies might take over a city in three or four days."

OK, as fun as that was, enough, because there's some actual movie news out there today, plus a couple of fun videos at the finish.

First up is word of a remake that doesn't immediately make me want to vomit, at least partly because I've never seen the original it will be based on.

If you haven't seen director Michael Davis' "Shoot 'Em Up," you've missed one of the most fun movies I've seen in the past five years or so. Clive Owen and Paul Giamatti star in the bullet ballet that most often plays out like a Looney Tunes cartoon, and there are very few rentals I can recommend higher.

Now it seems that Davis has set his sights on a remake of "Outland," a 1981 sci-fi movie starring Sean Connery that, like I said, I've never seen. Every description I've seen says it's essentially "High Noon" in space, with Connery's character sent to investigate the mysterious deaths of laborers at a mining colony on one of Jupiter's moons.

With "Moon" already one of my favorites this year, and "District 9" (which I'll be seeing this weekend, along with QT's "Inglourious Basterds") getting nothing but raves, it seems we're really in a good place for big-screen sci-fi right now, and to this new addition I can only say bring it on.

Beyond that today, there are just a couple of casting nuggets out there that make projects I was sure to tune in for anyway just that much cooler.

When "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" veteran Jane Espenson was named an executive producer of Syfy (queer, queer, queer!) network's upcoming "Battlestar Galactica" prequel "Caprica," I suppose it was inevitable that she would bring some old friends along with her.

According to Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello, the first "Buffy" player to join the fold will be by far the coolest, James Marsters, aka Spike. Marsters will play a dangerous terrorist leader by the name of Barnabus Greeley in a minimum of three episodes. Here's his rather pithy character description: "Driven by desires both moralistic and carnal, Barnabus is as lethal as he is unpredictable."

That's more than enough to have me tuning in when this finally hits Syfy on Jan. 22.

In even better casting news, it seems that Don Draper himself, Jon Hamm, has joined the cast of "Watchmen" director Zack Snyder's first original work, "Sucker Punch." He joins, among others, Emily Browning, Vanessa Hudgens, Abbie Cornish and (huzzah!) Carla Gugino in the 1950s-set tale of a girl (Browning) confined to a mental institution by her stepfather, who intends to have her lobotomized in five days. She and her friends enter an alternate reality where they begin planning an escape.

No details for Hamm's character are known except this: His name is High Roller. The movie is set to come out March 25, 2011.

And speaking of "Mad Men," which I hadn't yet, I thought the season three premiere was just sensational. The Ken vs. Pete storyline should be great, and that "Can I ask you a question?" moment between Don and poor Sal was just priceless.

OK, after all that, all I have left is two videos, the first of which is just the perfect cure for any kind of workaday blues. I'm an ardent fan of cursing, probably too much so in my own vocabulary, but especially in the movies, and no character has done it better in many years than Peter Capaldi as Malcolm Tucker in "In the Loop." Definitely see Armando Ianucci's razor-sharp satire as soon as you can, but in the meantime, enjoy this highlight reel of some of Tucker's choicest barbs, courtesy of Empire.

And finally today, in honor of "Inglourious Basterds," here's Quentin Tarantino offering his 20 favorite movies that have come out since he started making movies in 1992. I don't want to spoil it for you, but two definite highlights are his passionate defense of Jan de Bont's "Speed" and the inclusion of the seriously funny "Friday." Enjoy, and have a perfectly passable Tuesday. Peace out.


PeterB said...

funny pulp fiction parody

have you seen it?

Chalupa said...

It's always interesting to find out what's going on inside of Tarantino's head. Even if it doesn't make much sense, it's usually interesting.

Reel Fanatic said...

I had not, PeterB, but I have now ... It made for very pleasant viewing during my lunch hour .. thanks!

Mercurie said...

While I loved Shoot 'Em Up, I can't help but think that Outland would be another needless remake. I like the original and I really can't see much being better than that.

As to Mad Men, I think this season premiere was nearly perfect. Like you, I want to see how the Ken vs. Pete scenario goes. Right now, my money is on Ken.

Reel Fanatic said...

I think you're right there, Mercurie, and it will be a blast to watch, because there's really nothing better than seeing weaselly little Pete in complete misery

jeremy said...

Best sign at a protest, ever!

Also, Quentin has reaffirmed my belief that he uses heavy narcotics.

Chalupa said...

Now that's definitely a protest I'll support.

Reel Fanatic said...

It is indeed great to see that at least some American have their priorities straight when it comes to protesting!

Candy Minx said...

Hey great post!

Been a while since I said howdy...been super busy.

I'm going to see Inglorious Basterds tonight and I am so stoked!

I own a copy of Shoot Em Up thats how much I enjoyed that movie. I thought it was so much fun!!!

Hey...taake care...enjoying catching up on your blog!!!


Reel Fanatic said...

Thanks, Candy .. I'm going to see it this morning with a friend of mine who just adores QT, so as long as he doesn't talk through the whole movie, I'm really looking forward to it to

Bob said...

Thank you so much for posting the tribute to Malcolm Tucker. I am just in awe of Peter Capaldi's performance in that movie.

Reel Fanatic said...

As am I, Bob ... It's a shame they didn't expand the acting categories to ten entries for the Oscars too .. If they did, I'm sure he'd have a shot at a nomination

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