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4.3 out of 5 stars
Zombieland [DVD] [2010]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 January 2011
I originally recorded this film on sky+ having seen it advertised during it's release and never thinking much of it or having any real desire to see it... just shows how wrong you can be.
A hugely enjoyable film with some fantastic deadpan comic timing and delivery from its main stars. Woody Harrelson is brilliant in a role that seems to fit him perfectly. For a Zombie Horror/comedy the gore is there in all the right places, though always handled in a comic way.
The cameo, mentioned in most reviews of the film, will bring a huge smile to anyone's face who was born/grew up in the 80s like me and adds some well placed laughs.
For a film I had so little expectation of I cannot recommend the film enough! it's not an Oscar contender, it isn't going to go down as an all time great, but for pure enjoyment, laughs and re-watch value anytime you need a smile putting on your face, this is a fantastic film.
On Blu-ray the picture and sound are top notch.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Zombieland for me was a lot of fun and as much a breath of fresh air to the genre that Shaun of the Dead was.

Rather than the standard zombie horror fest that tries to mimic the classic Romero films, Zombieland is more of a tribute to the video game culture and the classic cliche moments in movies when a character obliviously gets into a car while we know he is going to be set upon by a waiting zombie.

These moments are highlighted throughout the film with on screen messages reminisent to a video game, none more so amusing as when Woody Harrelson is running around trying to create the best zombie kill of the week which involves selecting his weapons of choice and then deliberately goading the zombie horde into attacking him.

In terms of pace the film has some very intense moments and then periods of calm as we get to know the characters, both litered with humourous moments - to me it's more similar to films like Superbad and Rolemodels than it is to Night of the living dead, so anyone who can appreciate that level of humour along with some gruesome moments will enjoy this film.

Overall an enjoyable movie with great characters, look forward to seeing them in a sequel.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 26 February 2011
I am a massive horror movie fan, and I especially love zombie horror. Good zombie movies are few and far between. Shaun of the Dead has always been a massive favourite of mine. I love horror and I love comedy, usually the two don't go so well together but Shaun of the Dead worked perfectly. With loads of clever references etc it was as another reviewer said 'a breath of fresh air' This is the only movie I've ever been to see twice at the cinema and it was worth it.

I went to the cinema to see Zombieland, from the opening credits I was hooked. I loved the slow motion stills set to the backdrop of 'For Whom the bell tolls' by Metallica.

Jesse Eisengberg's character is loveable almost instantly, a blatant geek whose OCD habits and 'rules' such as 'double tap' and 'always wear a seatbelt' seem to be what have been keeping him alive. He is not your typical movie hero.

The biggest reason I love this movie is the introduction of Woody Harrelson better known as Tallahassee in this film. As a massive fan of zombie movies sometimes the best ones are just the ones where zombies get their butts kicked. In the Resident Evil franchise I loved how Milla Jojovich tears the zombies to shreds. Talahassee does the same thing but comically. He summarises who we would all like to be in the event of a zombie apocolypse, with an impressive arsenal of weapons and a hilarious attitude he is my favourite character in this movie.

Although there isn't tonnes of action this movie is purely funny. It is also heartwarming. I will admit to shedding a tear at the end, I loved the characters, I loved the action when there is some. Watching Tallahassee take shears to the neck of one of the 'fatty' zombies was one of the funniest parts of the movie to me. 'Those poor fat B******'. It is a brilliant movie. I would be hard pressed to choose a favourite between this and Shaun of the Dead. Would recommend it to anyone. I recently watched it with a friend who HATES horror movies but he absoloutley loved this movie and rates it as one of his favourites of all time. Although It must have been the tenth time I've seen it I was still giggling all the way through.
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Essentially a video game of a movie set in a funfair, this is not storytelling but meretriciousness masquerading as comedy. This work is about outsiders who always knew that other people were zombies - even before they actually became zombies. However, the filmmakers are the real zombies here since the basic themes of trust and having nothing left to lose remain completely unexplored.

Other movies are referenced in the hope that this might jazz things up a bit: For a Few Dollars More, Deliverance & Ghostbusters, for example. Nevertheless, the present film looks worse by comparison with those other, much better, tales.

The typical horror movie nonsense about viruses spreading like wildfire - even though viruses do not work in that way - never deters the makers of this kind of film from positing viruses spreading like wildfire. Yet, viral infections quickly run out of steam once the survivors successfully separate themselves from the infectees.

Moreover, despite the collapse of United States' civilization, the power supply works just fine - there being enough electricity to keep a funfair fully operational. And this lack of credibility is not compensated for by humor, suspense, compelling drama or emotionally involving characters. Even a mediocre film like Shaun of the Dead was more affectively involving than this.

This movie is wish fulfillment for cultural misfits and a cultural survival skills primer for paranoiacs, rather than the usual zombie metaphor of an empty and materialistic Western culture. The emptiness is inside the moviemakers, not the culture.

Silly, but not very funny.
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The zombie apocalypse isn't exactly fertile fodder for comedy. I mean, everybody is either dead, zombified or in danger of being eaten.

But God bless Ruben Fleischer, he managed to wring some comedy out of a world overrun by brain-eating abominations -- despite the bleak setting, the quirky way it's presented (complete with "zombie rules") keeps it from ever becoming too grim. Also, there is a lot of splattergore, snappy dialogue, Twinkie lust and the occasional Bill Murray cameo.

Two months ago, a strain of mad cow disease mutated into a zombie plague. Ever since his hot neighbor went zombie and tried to eat him, "Columbus" (Jesse Eisenberg) has been traveling to Ohio. But he ends up having to drive with "Tallahassee" (Woody Harrelson), a hot-headed gun-slinging zombie-killer with a deep love for Twinkies and an even greater love for killing zombies.

Then the two men get hijacked by con artists "Wichita" (Emma Stone) and her younger sister "Little Rock" (Abigail Breslin), who are seeking "Pacific Playland" in Los Angeles... which for some reason they think is zombie-free. The little group grows closer while they take shelter in a Hollywood mansion, but are their bonds strong enough to keep them together when zombies attack?

"Zombieland" is one of those rare comedies that takes a really bleak subject and makes it incredibly quirky and funny. Yes, there's a lot of violence -- the climax is basically one big zombie-sploding celebration of gore -- but the movie never loses its quirky sense of humor. Exhibit A: Tallahassee's ongoing quest for spongy cream-filled Hostess goodness.

Oh, Fleischer does address the losses and tragedy of the zombie apocalypse -- Tallahassee has a tragic backstory, and we often see towns left in abandoned ruins except for the zombies. But he never lets it bog down the story, and instead focuses on oddball comedy (Bill Murray! Everything about Bill Murray!) and dialogue ("My mama always told me someday I'd be good at something. Who'd'a guessed that something'd be zombie-killing?").

And the climax is utterly awesome in every way. Without revealing too much, it pretty much encapsulates everything fun about the movie.... but in concentrated form.

And the actors are all pretty perfect -- Eisenberg effectively plays a nerdy, shy guy riddled with phobias (including clowns), who is the last person you'd expect to survive a zombie apocalypse. And he's perfect next to the rough, tough, delightfully eccentric redneck Harrelson, who roars and blasts his way through any zombie zone -- they're a zombiepocalypse odd couple par excellence. Stone and Breslin aren't quite as much fun as their male counterparts, but the "twelve is the new twenty" brashness is pretty funny.

Zombies are chic right now, but "Zombieland" is definitely something special -- a wild, bloody comedy that doesn't let the zombiepocalypse kill the funny.
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on 10 August 2012
Zombieland is brilliant, and worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as the genre-leader, Shaun Of The Dead. That movie, stylish as it was, spent a lot of time grounding the action in reality, which is essentially what made it so great, but Zombieland takes place in an unabashed fantasy world where little old ladies can crush zombies with grand pianos, Looney Tunes-style, and where the zombie apocalypse is merely an excuse for four characters to have the run of America, driving around like they own the place, wallowing in luxury mansions and, occasionally, bumping into, and swiftly dispatching, some zombies.

But, despite the title, the zombies don't really matter in Zombieland. Oh, they're there, alright, occasionally threatening and always ready to be splattered, but the director and his writers, are refreshingly interested in putting flesh on their characters' bones, as opposed to stripping it off.

And what characters they are! Normally in zombie films, the heroes' ranks are padded out by unlikeable future zombie food just treading water until they get munched. But Zombieland's greatest achievement is in presenting four wholly likeable characters in whose ultimate survival you become wholly invested, whether they're gambolling gaily around, or, in one neat road trip sequence, boring each other to tears with arguments about everything from Willie Nelson to Hannah Montana.

Admittedly, Emma Stone's cynical Wichita and Abigail Breslin, as her little sister, are somewhat underwritten, but in the fantastic Woody Harrelson's ice-cool Tallahassee, a man with an innate talent for turning the undead into the just dead, and Jesse Eisenberg's Columbus, propelling the story with a witty voiceover and his list of paranoid, survivalist rules, the director has a classic buddy movie team at his disposal. The result is a zombie flick that stands, shoulder-to-decomposing-shoulder, with the best the genre has to offer. Recomended.
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VINE VOICEon 23 June 2010
A good friend of mine is always lending me B-Movies & they can be quite hit & miss.
Boy, is this a hit!
I was dreading a cash-in tacky zombie flick with lots of gore, cliches & corny gags. Happily, this has none of these (well, possibly gore) & the director seems to have deliberately gone out of his way to make something original and fresh.
This film even dispenses with the tawdry horror movie cliche where most of the cast get wiped out (bar 'the couple') & there are many interesting parts of this film to discover:
First, there are the rules (of which I counted 14 of the #33). These are a useful plot device, but not overused or overstated.
Second, there is the 'Zombieland' ideas - things that people would do in a Zombie-infested world that most film-makers wouldn't think of (e.g. smash up a Santa Fe tourist shop, have a 'Zombie Killer of the Week' Contest or find an A-list Hollywood Celeb's house to stay in till it blows over).
Third, there are a number of morals to the story (which I won't plot-spoil here), which is something that is exceptionally rare in all but the best films.
There are other elements (such as the film-trailers & Woody Harrelson's fine performance), but I think the above is sufficient to make this better (& certainly more overlooked than) Shaun Of The Dead.

Yes - Shaun Of The Dead started the genre & was utterly amazing but sometimes comedy is better when it is understated & where a film has a different take on the subject to what's expected.

Plus, in hindsight, Shaun Of The Dead did glorify in a number of unused, though obvious, Zombie-cliche's (e.g. scoring scenes with songs like Panic by the Smiths, Ghost Town &, of course, Zombie Nation).
That said, if you haven't seen either film, then do see both & avoid films like Dawn of the Dead [2004] (the remake) in its stead. The Zom-com genre may seem overplayed, but it is not without its classics...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 January 2011
This is not typical Zombie movie with the dead rising and attacking the living film and the Zombies are not the classic George A Romeo shambling Zombies. They are the new breed fast, can climb and think!!

The characters are well thought out and very well acted. The Rules are a real nice touch as most Zombie films do not bother. The Zombie attacks are violent and although well spaced out the final twenty minutes are great. The film could have been a bit longer as at 84 minutes it is short but worth the money.

You will either love this film or hate it!!
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on 22 July 2011
Zombieland is comedy about how America looks 2 months after most people are mutated, the place is deserted & only zombies habit the earth, can the remaining few survive? Or are they just going to be another one to be infected?
Two months after a mutated strain of mad cow disease has turned most humans into zombies, college student "Columbus" (Jesse Eisenberg) is on his way to Columbus, Ohio to see if his parents are still alive. Columbus is a shut-in who has spent most of his life inside playing World of Warcraft. He loses his car in an accident and encounters "Tallahassee" (Woody Harrelson), who is on a quest to find the last Twinkies on Earth. They travel together and when they stop at a grocery store, they meet two sisters, "Wichita" (Emma Stone) and "Little Rock" (Abigail Breslin). The sisters are not as sweet as they seem however.

As they travel through America they must deal with several problems, mainly the zombies. In a last ditch attempt to escape zombies they go to Hollywood where they spend time in Bill Murray's home, assuming he is dead, when Murray appears looking like a zombie, everyone panics until he explains why he looks like that.
We discover that there is a certain click between Columbus & Wichita & we also learn of a heart breaking truth about Tallahassee.

All of this while packing a hell of an amount of laughs goes nowhere any zombie film has before & it just works. 5 stars all round for this one.
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VINE VOICEon 17 March 2012
I love this film :) It scratches an itch I can barely define. Somewhere in me there is the occasional need to see great violence meted out to the undead with a sense of flare and humour. Not as poe-faced as Dawn of the Dead, not as silly as Day of the Dead. Zombieland is a comedy, but with some horror thrown in too.

Woody Harrelson continues to build a case for one the greatest action/comedy actors of his generation who never really got the exposure or roles he deserved. Jesse Eisenberg's one note song as a nerdy weakling who has at least some inner strength is just right in this setting. Emma Stone is the perfect object of desire (for both Eisenberg and the hungry dead) and Abigail Breslin is just innocent enough to give her survivors something to fight for and tough enough to be believable as one of that tiny group.

In one of the (slightly anemic) extras, the writer/directors say they wanted to include lots of things in the film - horror, comedy, drama - but deliver them all completely and in depth. Mission accomplished then. Just enough horror, just enough horror, just enough drama. And the greatest cameo in the history of comedy and zombie movies. If you've not seen it already, I won't spoil it for you. Suffice to say one of the greatest comedic actors of all time does a great shambling dead :)

I love this film and wish for a sequel!
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