Frankenstein: “It’s Alive!”

I rarely get out to see new films for a variety of reasons. First and foremost is my lack of disposable income but my desire to see new films is also limited by my tastes as well as geography. I simply have little interest in what’s currently playing at my local multiplex and very few options to see foreign and independent films. So what finally … Continue reading Frankenstein: “It’s Alive!”

A Decade of Fear

It’s taken me a year but I’ve finally managed to compile a list of my Favorite Films of the Decade: 2000-2009 so I thought I’d share it. My introduction echoes some earlier thoughts about fear and cinema that I shared during Halloween and wanted to expand upon. Besides my alphabetical list of Favorite Films of the Decade I also compiled lists of some Favorite Documentaries, … Continue reading A Decade of Fear

Modern Mondays: 28 Days Later (2002)

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I make no apology for my sincere admiration of British director Danny Boyle. Since I first sat through a late night showing of Shallow Grave back in 1994 I’ve been impressed with his frenetic and edgy directing style as well as his ability to get incredibly nuanced performances from his actors. I believe Boyle is one of our most interesting modern directors and 28 Days Later is one of his greatest achievements.

28 Days Later tells the story of young Jim (Cillian Murphy) who awakens from a long coma in an empty London hospital surrounded by a seemingly deserted city. While Jim was sleeping a powerful virus swept through the country turning its victims into murderous monsters that resemble zombies. Throughout the course of the film Jim becomes a reluctant hero who helps other survivors try to stay alive in a situation that becomes more desperate and bleak by the hour.

The film was impressively shot by cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle using digital film for most of its running time. Instead of it being a distraction, the use of digital film in 28 Days Later actually adds to the grungy feel of the urban landscape and gives the city of London an extremely menacing look. Writer Alex Garland wrote the script, which makes many references to other movies such as The Last Man On Earth (1964), The Day of the Triffids (1962), Omega Man (1971), A Clockwork Orange (1971) and George Romero’s Dead Trilogy. But in a decade that was littered with tired ‘reimaginings’ and lackluster remakes Danny Boyle was able to revitalize familiar themes and turn 28 Days Later into one of the decades most frightening, creative, entertaining and thought-provoking horror films. 28 Days Later managed to make zombies interesting again and it also made Cillian Murphy an internationally renowned star who has developed into one of our best working actors.

Continue reading “Modern Mondays: 28 Days Later (2002)”

The Award Season

2009 is shaping up to be an unusual year and for the past couple of months I’ve been on a roller coaster ride that shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Between job losses, car accidents, births, deaths, watching my neighborhood disintegrate due to the crumbling economy and doing battle with some mysterious illness, I haven’t had much free time for blogging. With Cinebeats … Continue reading The Award Season