A Disease Immune to Bureaucracy: Fernando Meirelles’ Blindness

Director Fernando Meirelles has examined desperate pressure cookers (City of God) and institutional corruption (The Constant Gardener) before. Blindness proves perfect to meld both themes, with a science fiction twist imagining the downfall of civilization itself. Blindness is part of a special subset of the horror/sci-fi/disaster genre: the dystopian end-of-civilization nightmare. Whereas the typical entry […]

When Believer Met Skeptic: The X-Files: I Want to Believe

The first X-Files feature film Fight the Future (1998) was so tightly bound to the complex mythology of the original television series that it was mostly incomprehensible to anyone not already a deeply committed fan. I myself had only seen the odd episode over the years, and as such could barely follow what was going […]

The George A. Romero Zombie Cycle Part 5: Diary of the Dead

This is not an opinion you’re likely to find anywhere else on the internet, but we are prepared to argue that Diary of the Dead is one of the best of the entire George A. Romero zombie cycle. It sports the best special effects, is the least repetitive or trigger-happy, and is a welcome return […]

The George A. Romero Zombie Cycle Part 4: Land of the Dead

George A. Romero’s sporadic zombie flicks are sometimes decades apart in production, but nevertheless form a chronological sequence telling the story of the downfall of society from every angle. Night of the Living Dead (1968) is set in the early days, with a few random civilians trapped in a farmhouse. Dawn of the Dead (1979) […]

The George A. Romero Zombie Cycle Part 3: Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead (1985) is the third episode in George A. Romero’s continuing tale of civilization’s collapse in the event of a global zombie epidemic. This and the big-budget Land of the Dead (2005) are tied for the worst entries in the series. What makes the first two (Night and Dawn) of merit is […]

The George A. Romero Zombie Cycle Part 2: Dawn of the Dead

Zombie godfather George A. Romero waited more than a decade to create Dawn of the Dead, the first sequel in his zombie cycle that would eventually number five (soon to be six) installments. Night of the Living Dead was marketed under the tagline “They won’t stay dead,” which beautifully told audiences all they needed to […]

The George A. Romero Zombie Cycle Part 1: Night of the Living Dead

I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing what is now recognized as the first zombie movie ever made: White Zombie (1932), starring none other than Bela Lugosi. But arguably, George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968) is the actual zombie urtext. It preceded the first of its four official sequels by almost a […]

Death Has No Dominion in Steven Soderbergh’s Solaris (2002)

As a huge title card reads immediately at the end of the film, Solaris was “written for the screen and directed by Steven Soderbergh.” This Dork Reporter is a huge admirer, but that seemed a bit egotistical even to me. Perhaps an overenthusiastic end-credits designer is to blame? Or maybe the studio wanted to capture […]

Vertigo in Space: Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solyaris (Solaris) (1972)

The opening credits of Andrei Tarkovsky‘s 1972 film Solaris state it is “based on the science fiction by Stanislaw Lem.” It’s perhaps telling that the term “science fiction” is used in place of simply “novel.” This faint hint of apology may hint at a lack of respect for the original Polish novel or the entire […]

Thinning the Herd: M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening

The Happening is the latest in a long line of Hollywood movies that depict attacks of one sort (terrorist) or another (alien) upon New York City. A mysterious mass hysteria strikes the idyllic Bethesda Terrace (a place I walk through several times a week) in Manhattan’s Central Park, and quickly fans out to the entire […]

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