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Remembering George A. Romero

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(Photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Some films, and some filmmakers, strike us in personal ways. This is especially common with horror movie fans, who will defend their favorite films, despite some of their glaring flaws, until they’re blue in the face and out of breath. Why? Because it fucking matters. To them anyways, and to me too. And to me, that filmmaker is none other than the recently deceased George Andrew Romero.

My love for his films, and the way he made them, started at a young age. It was a family member who showed all of us, my family—including our very own Kenton, his living dead films. It’s strange the way we latch onto things at a young age. His shambling, mostly mindless, creatures—don’t say the zed word—immediately bit into our imaginations. We started a zombie hunting club, bit out friends in school, demonstrated how to walk like a ghoul from Night of the Living Dead.

And then we fell in love with the rest of his filmography, which too should be celebrated. Besides his Dead films, it was Martin, Knightriders, Monkey Shines, and The Crazies that really grabbed us. Over the years we began to really understand what made his movies so special: his decidedly non-Hollywood style and attitude. The man did it his way, in his town. When Ridley Scott was taking us to space to illicit a scare, Romero took us to the mall, and not only did he scare us, he showed us why we scare him.

Social commentary is often heavy handed, and although George did sway into that territory with some of his later films, he single-handedly invented that concept in the horror genre. Night of the Living Dead stars a black man, who makes it to the very end, only to get shot and killed by a redneck. To George, it was the assholes taking back over the semi-civilized world. In Dawn, it was our cattle-like consumerism that drove the message. In Day he reflected a myriad of social problems, from our ignorance of science, to our obsession of military, and then to our want to play God.

I have been lucky enough to meet George a few times in my life, and I’m happy to say that he is also a wonderful man. It was like running into an old uncle. It was him who asked most of the questions, and he seemed genuinely interested in hearing their answers.

So to George, I say I love you, and your work. You will be missed.

By: Brandon Patterson

Review: War for the Planet of the Apes

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War for the Planet of the Apes in the conclusion of the “Caesar Trilogy” in the Planet of the Apes film universe. The trilogy is unique in a variety of ways, one being that the all of them are good films; another being that they got better with each new iteration.

The newest one puts at the tipping point of the end of humanity, where war has truly broken out. The film begins with an action packed scene and keeps it foot on your throat. It does let up in the middle, however, to bring a sort of western. Actually, the second act of this movie really felt like a classic western, with Caesar and his gang out for revenge, and on a hunt for the big bad. My favorite scenes where during this stretch.

As for performances, everyone is kind of wonderful. Woody Harrelson has presence, Steve Zahn’s character, who a friend I went with kept calling “Curious George” was hilarious, but the standout is, of course, Andy Serkis as Caesar. Man, what a performance. What a career, which goes to show you that there really are no small roles.

The movie is able to wrap the series up with a nice, touching button, and will probably leave some viewers feeling pretty emotional. Overall, I give the film a 9.0/10.

By: Brandon Patterson

 


Why Shia LaBeouf Should Be Tarantino’s Manson

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News broke this week that Quentin Tarantino, master filmmaker of such films at Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2, Death Proof, etc., is beginning production on a Manson family movie. As with always, casting will play an important part in the success of this film, lets look at who we think could pull off the evil little fireball in the heart of Charles Manson.

The answer is Shia LaBeouf. Yes, a bit of a controversial candidate because of his most recent outburst, which included a drunken, racist tirade. The actor has spoken since, though, claiming that he has been battling addiction problems. And yes, choosing this role would probably not be a very good idea for Shia and his health, as the role would challenge him to play someone who was a central part of the hippie drug culture, as well as someone in a state of deep psychological turmoil.

But what a great performance it would be. Imagine how deep Shia would lose himself into this character, as he does most of his roles since leaving the Transformers franchise. We know he has the talent, as Brad Pitt described him as being “One of the best actors I’ve ever seen.”

I have thought quite a bit on this these past few days, and I can’t think of anyone else better to play the madman than the actual cannibal himself; Shia LaBeouf.

By: Brandon Patterson

 

 

 


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