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Forums Index -> The Shiver Shack -> The Crazies
Floydian Trip
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 5:40 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 10 Aug 2008
Posts: 6478

I'm not interested in this movie. I already saw Shutter Island and I have to think that as far as crazy people go that movie is superior. Ebert's review just cracked me the fuck up though. I love it. This is another example of a bad Ebert review where he makes it sound like it might be worthwhile to see it in theatres.




The Crazies


BY ROGER EBERT / February 24, 2010


Cast & CreditsSheriff Timothy Olyphant
Judy Radha Mitchell
Deputy Joe Anderson
Becca Danielle Panabaker
Deardra Christie Lynn Smith
Bill Brett Rickaby
Nicholas Preston Bailey
Mayor John Aylward

Overture presents a film directed by Breck Eisner. Written by Scott Kosar and Ray Wright based on the 1973 film by George A. Romero. Running time: 101 minutes.Rated R (for bloody violence and language).

"The Crazies" is a perfectly competent genre film in a genre that has exhausted its interest for me, the Zombie Film. It provides such a convenient storytelling device: Large numbers of mindless zombies lurch toward the camera as the hero wreaks savage destruction; they can be quickly blown away, although not without risk and occasional loss of life. When sufficient zombies have been run through, it's time for a new dawn.

I know there can be good Zombie Films. I've seen some: "Dawn of the Dead," "28 Days Later," "Shaun of the Dead" and so on. If I saw another one like those, I'd like it. But all depends on good living characters, and a director with something new to say about zombies, who are a subject easily exhausted.

Are the zombies in "The Crazies" real zombies? Maybe, maybe not. Is there an agreed definition of what is a zombie and how they get that way? Not that I know of. I think zombies are defined by behavior and can be "explained" by many handy shortcuts: the supernatural, radiation, a virus, space visitors, secret weapons, a Harvard education and so on. I suppose it would be a "spoiler" if I revealed why the Crazies are on the lurch, but come on, does it matter? What if I revealed they got that way because of, oh, say, eating Pringles? Would that spoil things for you? What difference does it make? All that matters is that they got to be zombies somehow. Before that, they were your friends and neighbors. Then they started in on the damn Pringles.

The protagonists of course have to be healthy. I cannot imagine a zombie as a leading character. Vampires -- now that I grant you. Werewolves. But a zombie doesn't bring much to the party. So we start in sweet little Ogden Marsh, Iowa, described on its Web site as "the friendliest place on Earth," and no wonder. Its sheriff is so good-looking, he could be the star of this movie. Must be a quiet town. The sheriff's office is open only from 8 to 5, Monday through Friday.

One day after work, Sheriff David Dutton (Timothy Olyphant) and his deputy, Russell Clank (Joe Anderson), are watching a local school baseball game when the town drunk comes lurching into the outfield holding a shotgun. When the autopsy shows he had a 0.0 blood alcohol level, that's the first signal something is wrong in Ogden Marsh. For one thing, their town drunk is a slacker.

The sheriff's wife, Judy (Radha Mitchell), is the local doctor. She starts treating some strange cases. I don't want to spoil anything, so I'll simply say Sheriff Dave and Deputy Joe discover the probable origin of this plague, but of course can't get the mayor to declare an emergency, because he learned the mayoring trade from "Jaws." Meanwhile, it's up to Dave, Judy and Joe to defend themselves from zombies, and survive after the town is isolated and quarantined and the cure seems worse than the disease.

That requires many scenes involving people and objects that jump out from the sides of the screen with loud noises and alarming musical chords. I'm thinking, so what? The last thing I need is another Jump Out/ Loud Noise/Alarming Chord Movie. Even a well-made one -- like this one, directed by Breck Eisner. It was inspired by George Romero's 1973 movie of the same name, although I can't tell you if the zombies match, because that would be a spoiler.

What I can say to aspiring young screenwriters is: Movies like this are fairly simple to write. You need zombies. You need heroes. At first there's mystery, and then the horror. You describe lots of Jump/ Noise/Chord situations. When you figure you're up to around 90 minutes, the sun can rise. You'll get an R rating, so throw in a little nudity. Not too much, because if there's a combination that gives me the creeps, it's zombies and nudity. Especially when -- but never mind. That's enough for today.
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nonserviam03
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:36 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 07 Jun 2009
Posts: 1702

I actually kind of hate this review. It's funny, but it just really shows his prejudice against the genre.
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Floydian Trip
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:49 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 10 Aug 2008
Posts: 6478

I don't know I think it shows, as do all his horror movie reviews, that deep down he is a fan though he may be reluctant to admit it. I agree with him in that the zombie genre has been played out for the most part if this is indeed a zombie movie which is debateable. I do think that despite Romero's output the zombie is making a comeback. I was surprised to have liked Zombieland and even more surprised to really enjoy Dead Snow. These come after Shaun of the Dead which is all kinds of brilliant.
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Permafrost
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:17 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 08 Jan 2008
Posts: 3374

All I can say about Ebert is that I remember him tearing apart "The Fog" when it first came out. That's stuck with me for some reason.

Yes, it's his opinion, I would say that most genre fans consider that to be a classic, no?

Anyways, that doesn't really have anything to do with the topic at hand. Just felt like chiming in...
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nonserviam03
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:37 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 07 Jun 2009
Posts: 1702

Permafrost wrote:
All I can say about Ebert is that I remember him tearing apart "The Fog" when it first came out. That's stuck with me for some reason.

Yes, it's his opinion, I would say that most genre fans consider that to be a classic, no?

Anyways, that doesn't really have anything to do with the topic at hand. Just felt like chiming in...


Ehhhh... I don't know if I'd call it a classic. It's leagues better than the remake, obviously, but without Carpenter's name attached, I think it would just be a fun little movie that nobody would remember any more. It's not Carpenter's best by any means.
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Floydian Trip
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:56 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 10 Aug 2008
Posts: 6478

I'm with Perm thinking The Fog is a classic. Not Carpenter's best but it's a testament to how good of a director he is that Tom Atkins didn't suck.
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nonserviam03
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:11 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 07 Jun 2009
Posts: 1702

Floydian Trip wrote:
I'm with Perm thinking The Fog is a classic. Not Carpenter's best but it's a testament to how good of a director he is that Tom Atkins didn't suck.


Tom Atkins never sucks.
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MethRattle
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:11 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 25 Aug 2008
Posts: 1180

Floydian Trip wrote:
...it's a testament to how good of a director he is that Tom Atkins didn't suck.





(it bears repeating)
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nonserviam03
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:12 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 07 Jun 2009
Posts: 1702

MethRattle wrote:
Floydian Trip wrote:
...it's a testament to how good of a director he is that Tom Atkins didn't suck.





(it bears repeating)



NEVER!!!!!
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MethRattle
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:28 pm  Reply with quote



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JudgeWopner
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 12:22 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 17 Feb 2010
Posts: 10

Now that "The Crazies" finally opens today, I will hopefully disagree with Roger Ebert when I finally get to see the movie tonight (as most of the other film critics have, judging from the movie's excellent 70% Fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes)... but I've gotta admit, the man is fun to read, even when I don't agree with him.

"...because he learned the mayoring trade from 'Jaws'." - that's a damn good line, I've gotta give Ebert credit. Razz
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Sonny
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 5:31 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Posts: 534
Location: North Dakota

The movie ROCKS And it rocks HARD man.

There's gags in this I've NEVER seen before...and I've seen a lot of them. The car wash alone is worth the price of admission, the movie does EVERYTHING right, nothing is wasted and the acting is some of the best I've seen in a horror movie in a lloonngg time man.

This is fantastic stuff, blows the original out the water in every way. I was happy it wasn't a zombie movie...these crazies shoot, tie people up, set fires.

The best thing about it is you actually CARE about the characters, I can't remember the last time an audience cheered for the heros instead of just waiting for them to die.

This isn't teen horror man, this is adult horror, with adults making adult decisions.

GREAT horror flick. SEE IT.
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Permafrost
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:52 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 08 Jan 2008
Posts: 3374

Sonny wrote:
The movie ROCKS And it rocks HARD man.

There's gags in this I've NEVER seen before...and I've seen a lot of them. The car wash alone is worth the price of admission, the movie does EVERYTHING right, nothing is wasted and the acting is some of the best I've seen in a horror movie in a lloonngg time man.

This is fantastic stuff, blows the original out the water in every way. I was happy it wasn't a zombie movie...these crazies shoot, tie people up, set fires.

The best thing about it is you actually CARE about the characters, I can't remember the last time an audience cheered for the heros instead of just waiting for them to die.

This isn't teen horror man, this is adult horror, with adults making adult decisions.

GREAT horror flick. SEE IT.


What he said. Bad-ass fucking movie all around. Not a shit note to be found.
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ajburton29
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:50 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 06 Jul 2006
Posts: 878
Location: Midian

I saw it and liked it.
But WAY too much like the videogames Resident Evil 2 and 3.
Just replace the military with Umbrella. Instead of Racoon City you get farm fields and barns.


SPOILER!!!



It even had the ending of Resident Evil 3, the videogame.
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kiddcapone
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:00 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 27 Jun 2006
Posts: 932
Location: Gizmonic Institute

Really? Not a bad note?

The Crazies is as cookie cutter cliche as you can get. It's straight up by the book horror amature filmwriting 101. I knew everything that was coming and the foreshadowing of shit was eye-rolling.

You want some "bad" notes...here you go. The fact everyone who came in contact with the "poison" took different amounts of time to show signs of infection made no sense. The fact the sheriff figured it all out so quickly. The crazies want to kill people, so it makes absolutely zero sense that the wife/son of the first victim took the time to tie up the sheriff's wife rather than just kill her. That entire scene was horror jumpscare 101. The cliche corny deputy's speech about he's "already dead" so he'll do the noble thing and sacrifice himself to cause a distraction to help the others escape. The ridiculous random foreshadowing of the sheriff randomly picking up a lighter in the gas station for no reason. You can almost count down the seconds in your head until you know it will come into play. If the town was going to get blown up, then why didn't the helicopter blow up the entire carwash instead of just the car when clearly people were inside....or blow up any cars that were driving. Why didn't the two survivors show any symptoms what-so-ever? How did they slip past the army so easily to escape? Let alone survive an atomic explosion. Wouldn't it had made more sense to kill everyone off and let the army kid spread the disease since he took off his helmet? The army kid that simply had to alert everyone to the infected people in the barn as soon as he left but chose not to.


I'll think of more...break is over.
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