Monthly Archives: June 2012

This was in my Netflix Instant DVD Queue: 2012 – Zombie Apocalypse

2012: Zombie Apocalypse (2011) Director: Nick Lyon Starring: Ving Rhames,  Taryn Manning, Gary Weeks Rating: NR, but has some gory zombie makeup and brain eating fun and games.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years – which is something I do not recommend, believe you me – Zombies are all the rage right now.  Everywhere you turn there are TV shows, comic books, toys, clothing, video games and household novelties devoted to these undead brain eaters.

I haven’t seen this kind of feverish devotion to ugly, horrifying creatures since the Cabbage Patch Kids phenomenon in the eighties!

Of course, zombies are still very popular in the cinema, with movie studios cranking out saga after gory saga about desperate humans fighting to stay alive in a world full of walking corpses. Zombie Apocalypse is one of these movies I watched recently, mostly because it stars super-cool badass Ving Rhames, who at this point in his career has more zombie movies on his resume then George A. Romero.

Zombie Apocalypse opens with a brief prologue describing how the apocalypse went down: a mysterious virus begins mutating the worlds population into murderous zombies. The governments of the world fight back by releasing an electromagnetic pulse which shuts down every electronic device in the world, because everyone knows how useless zombies are without their smartphones, computers, and cars.

The film follows a small band of survivors who are making their way cross country to Los Angeles to catch a boat to Catalina Island where survivors are trying to rebuild civilization and hopefully do some sailing and sport fishing, weather permitting of course.

The group is a motley collection of characters who’ve learned to survive in the zombie wasteland. Let’s do a role call!

Mack (Gary Weeks) – The sort of leader. He’s handsome, rugged, and handsome. He’s got a square jaw and he’s not afraid to use it. He kills zombies with an aluminum baseball bat, which is also handsome.

Cassie (Lesley-Ann Brandt) – The tough hot girl. She slashes away at the undead with a sword and looks gorgeous while doing it. She hopes her husband is still alive, but hasn’t heard from him since the darn apocalypse started.

Julien (Johnny Pacar) – The wiry wisecracker. Every team needs a guy to make sarcastic comments between zombie battles, and Julien fills that position perfectly. He keeps a journal and quotes poetry, so nobody will miss him if he’s eaten by zombies.

Ramona (Taryn Manning) – The whiny new girl.  Ramona was rescued by the others at the start of the movie, so she’s not a seasoned fighter like the others. But she does make up for her shortcomings by being a jittery mess when the zombies come. Major high maintenance.

Henry (Ving Rhames) – Hell to the yeah!  Henry’s weapon if choice is a sledgehammer, which he uses to crush zombie skulls. If Ving used a sledgehammer on his 2005 Kojak series, that short lived show would still be on the air today, and would win the emmy for best show ever every year!

Despite having Ving Rhames wielding a sledgehammer (best thing ever!) Zombie Apocalypse is  loaded with the standard zombie movie cliches: The heroes fight and run from zombies, who are slow and lumbering, yet manage to sneak up on on everyone with ninja like stealth. At least once, the heroes get split up. One group gets trapped by zombies and rescued by the other group at the very last second. One guy gets scratched by a zombie but doesn’t tell anyone until he turns into a zombie. And my all time favorite; the heroes use those magic movie handguns which fire hundreds of times without ever running out of bullets.

2012: Zombie Apocalypse was made by the infamous film production company The Asylum, which makes low budget direct to DVD monster and horror movies that make Ed Wood’s filmography look like AFI’s top 10, so don’t say I didn’t warn you. But if you like your films amateurish and cliched and your Ving Rhameses armed with a sledge hammer, (and I know you do) then sit back and relax as 2012: Zombie Apocalypse eats your brain.

You weren’t using it that much anyway.


More Movie News!

Once again DVD Critics Corner brings you Movie News, featuring the latest stories straight out of  Tinseltown!


Riding high on the success of the action comedy 21 Jump Street and the tearjerker romance The Vow earlier this year, and with Magic Mike expected to clean up the box office later this month, 2012 has been a fantastic year for Channing Tatum.

Make that Chan-tastic!

Now with the news that Paramount Pictures has delayed release of the action blockbuster G.I. Joe: Retaliation to add more scenes featuring Tatum as Joe Team member Duke, other studios are following suit and adding Channing Tatum to their movies; which means Channing Tatum will more than likely appear in every film in 2013!

Warner Brothers President Jeff Robinov could barely contain his glee when he announced the hunky Tatum would be appearing in a wide variety of upcoming Warner Brothers projects, like The Hangover III, the 300 sequel, and at least one of The Hobbit films.

“The people want Channing Tatum, and that’s what they’re going to get,” Robinov proclaimed. “Right now Channing is on one of our soundstages filming scenes which will be seamlessly inserted into our big 2013 tent pole picture Man of Steel. He’s going to be great as Clark Kent’s cocky older brother Kyle!”

Tatum is also scheduled to add his special brand of handsome to The Lone Ranger, Iron Man 3, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, A Good Day to Die Hard, Tyler Perry’s We the Peeples, Untitled Sarah Jessica Parker Project, and The Smurfs II, where he will voice the new character Handsome Smurf.

Why Are All The Nice Girls Cold Blooded Assassins?

Colombiana (2011) Director: Oliver Megaton Starring: Zoe Saldana, Cliff Curtis,  Michael Vartan Rating: PG-13 for bloody violence and assassins assassinating.

In my review of  Drive I said a getaway driver was the coolest occupation to have in movies.

I stand corrected.

The coolest job to have in any action movie is freelance assassin!

Think about it – there’s lots of travel involved, plenty of guns and other cool things to play with, you collect some major buckage (all in cash) and most important of all, you are your own boss.

Okay, there is a downside to this kickass profession. It’s a very physical job that requires a lot of sneaking around and hiding, plus there’s that whole killing people in cold blood thing, which I would imagine can get kind of messy.

But as we learn in Colombiana (and pretty much every other movie about assassins) 99 percent of an assassin’s targets are scum sucking lowlifes who deserve to be killed anyway, so go right ahead and be a freelance killer. And don’t worry your silly little head when your conscience or some law enforcement agency gives you grief about what you do for a living.

Your parachute is whatever color you want it to be compadre.

In Colombiana, a young girl named Cataleya witnesses the murder of her parents by thugs working for local kingpin Sandoval (Beto Benites) and vows revenge. Years later adult Cataleya, played by red hot mama Zoe Sladana (Avatar, Star Trek) is working in Chicago for her crime boss uncle Emilio (Cliff Curtis) as a hit woman who for some reason has to strip down to her undies whenever she kills people. Unbeknownst to Emilio, Catayela has been secretly picking off every member of Sandoval’s organization she can find when she’s not offing bad guys for him.

Aside from wearing next to nothing while on her dangerous missions, the super slender Cataleya’s specialty is sneaking in and out of heavily fortified places via the ventilation ducts, an impressive feat not to be tried by assassins who can’t fit into a size one cocktail dress.

Cataleya’s most recent hit on a Sandoval associate attracts the attention of FBI agent Ross (Lennie James) and really cheeses off Sandoval, who by this time must be getting tired of going to so many funerals and hiring new henchmen. Complicating things even further is Cataleya’s sensitive artist boyfriend (Michael Vartan) who wants to take their relationship to the next level and apparently doesn’t care that the girl he loves disappears for days on end, never tells him anything about herself, and frequently smells of gunpowder. Our super sweet heroine must remain one step ahead of the law and the bad guys if she wants to live long enough to serve Sandoval a piping hot plate of vengeance, which comes with a side of payback and the non-alcoholic beverage of your choice.

Colombiana may claim to be a straight up action drama, but it asks some pretty interesting chick flick inspired questions: Can a strong upwardly mobile woman juggle the demands of a busy professional and personal life while fulfilling her lifelong quest to enact bloody retribution on the ones who murdered her family? The plot is very familiar to Sex and the City 2, except Colombiana has gunfire, explosions, and young attractive women.