Beer. Video games. Zombies. Sounds like Buttonhole to me.
Fri, 15 April 2005
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This movie was billed as â€śA romantic comedy. With zombies.â€ť That alone was enough to make me keen to see it. Iâ€™d also heard and read plenty of praise for the British film, which seemed to take forever to reach Australian shores. When I finally did see Shaun of the Dead, I was pleased to find that I enjoyed it even more than Iâ€™d expected to. Now that the movie is available on DVD I can watch it whenever I want!
Shaunâ€™s (Simon Pegg) life is stuck in a rut. Heâ€™s 29 years old and works as the assistant manager of an electrical store, which is a job he has absolutely no real interest in. He spends the majority of his spare time with his slob of a best friend and flat-mate Ed (Nick Frost) either hanging out at the local pub or sitting at home playing video-games (hmmâ€¦sounds familiar). Shaunâ€™s girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashfield) is at the stage in her life when she wants to make the most of her opportunities and become successful. Even though she loves Shaun, Kate doesnâ€™t believe she will be able to achieve her goals with him dragging her down, so she dumps the bastard. When they find themselves in the middle of a zombie epidemic, the remarkable (and hilarious) circumstances are enough to shake Shaun out of his apathetic state. Can he keep his friends (and Mum) alive, save the day and win back his girl?
Shaun of the Dead was written by Pegg, along with Edgar Wright who also directed the movie. These guys have plenty of experience as a team; they worked together on the excellent comedy series Spaced, which also featured Nick Frost. Also appearing in the movie are: Dylan Moran (who played Bernard Black in the series Black Books) and Lucy Davis (Dawn from The Office), amongst many others- it is like a whoâ€™s who of recent top quality UK comedy. Another amusing bit of geek trivia is that Peter Serafinowicz, who plays the character Pete in the film, did the voice of Darth Maul in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.
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As the filmâ€™s title should make perfectly clear, Shaun of the Dead is a parody of Dawn of the Dead and the â€śzombie movieâ€ť genre in general. If you have seen flims such as Dawn of the Dead, Evil Dead, Night of the Living Dead and 28 Days Later you will definitely notice and appreciate all the references and gags packed into this movie. But even if you havenâ€™t seen any of those flicks you could still watch Shaun of the Dead and find the experience thoroughly enjoyable. It features solid acting, a really clever and well paced script, easily relatable characters, witty dialogue and some great slapstick comedy. The zombie stuff is not all there is to the movie, not by a long shot.
Some of the sequences in Shawn of the Dead are fantastically clever and they are all meticulously shot too. I donâ€™t want to go into too much detail about them, because seeing them the first time for yourself is not something that you should have spoiled in any way. Just trust me on that one. I have to say that the movie looks better than many recent films I have seen with far larger budgets, which just goes to prove that hard work, talent and creativity can still go a long way. I didnâ€™t notice any problems whatsoever with the DVD transfer.
The soundtrack is implemented as expertly as every other aspect of the film. Every song or piece of music is superbly fitting, some times to great comedic effect. Iâ€™m pleased to report that the quality of the DVDs sound remains excellent.
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Shawn of the Deadâ€™s included DVD extras are:
Commentary with Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright.
Deleted Scenes With Commentary.
The Man Who Would Be Shaun.
Epic Adventure Featurette.
35mm Make Up Tests. SFX Before And After.
Funky Pete. Trailers.
Plot Holes x 3. Photo Gallery.
2000AD Strip (There's Something About Mary).
I think youâ€™ll agree that is a more than satisfying amount of bonus material. I havenâ€™t checked it all out yet to be honest. I did check out the commentary track though and I can certainly recommend that you do the same, it was a beauty.
Shawn of the Dead is a refreshingly different style of romantic comedy and just a whole lot of fun to watch. It is also one of those movies that you can happily watch multiple times, which makes it an easy recommendation for purchase.
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One of the funniest movies I have seen in years!