Montreal Film Journal


Dawn of the Dead 70
[ Right from the get-go, this seems to have less to do with the George A. Romero classic than with "28 Days Later", what with the super fast zombies and everything-goes gore and mayhem. There's also kind of a John Carpenter thing going on, in regards to the badass cast of characters that features Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Mekhi Phifer and even Tom Savini! First time at the bat, Zack Snyder already proves to be quite the efficient little filmmaker. We never really care about any of the characters, but the thing moves and there are a lot of gripping bits. ]

300 68
[ 480 B.C. Leonidas and the 300 bravest Spartans are about to take on the army of Xerses, which is a million man strong. It's a suicide mission, but they fully intend to give the Persian one hell of a fight before they die. Or, in the words of William Wallace: "They may take our lives, but they'll never take our freedooooooom!" Because let's admit it, it's impossible not to think of "Braveheart" while watching "300". Even though the Battle of Thermopylae took place many centuries before the First War of Scottish Independence, in movie terms, there's no doubt that Mel Gibson's film influenced Zack Snyder's. Alas, whereas Gibson, in all his marvellous madness, really orchestrated epic mayhem involving thousands of extras clashing iron and making (fake) blood spurt, Snyder mostly relies on CGI and we can tell. The action sequences are still exciting, but they make us feel more like we're in a videogame than on a battleground. At its best when it contents itself with recreating the imagery and the gallows humor of Frank Miller's graphic novel, "300" suffers when it cuts away to unnecessary, dull scenes involving the Spartan queen and the Senate. During those, we just long to return to Leonidas, who's played with brash bravado by a bigger than life Gerald Butler, who might be the best thing about the whole thing. ]

Watchmen 92
[ review ]

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole
[ Have yet to see it... Will probably catch it on DVD. Maybe. ]