Friday, October 2, 2009

This is not a review of "Zombieland"

Post rated R for foul fucking language

This is not a true review because I don't think I can give an accurate, reasoned opinion of "Zombieland right now because I wasn't totally in the movie. I was far too distracted by the motherfucker sitting to my right.

Look, I'm all for being enthusiastic at the movies. I have clapped before, during and after movies. I laugh loud when warranted (although I often bring my Sox cap with me to the theater to cover my mouth, lest I get a bit too carried away). I sometimes get so caught up in a great movie that I make a quick, quiet comment to the person(s) I'm seeing it with.

But the fucker sitting next to me at the AMC 30 tonight was basically doing play-by-play for his girlfriend and, by my estimation, my row, the row behind me and the entire floor full of seats. "OH LOOK THEY FOUND GUNS!" "OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH LOOK AT THAT HUMMER!" "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH IT'S A FUCKING CLOWN!"

And then he started telegraphing jokes. It's bad enough that the entire audience can see an obvious joke coming, buddy, we don't need you to loudly warn us and then laugh at how "smart" you were. Jesus Christ. The only thing I can compare this to is my first viewing of "Good Will Hunting" at the AMC Randhurst, where I first encountered a play-by-play moviegoer. His shining moment came after Matt Damon asked the douche how he liked dem apples: "OH I GET IT! THAT'S FUNNY!"

His reactions were so loud, so over-the-top that I started wondering if he was a studio plant, put in a big theater to help convince the crowd around him how good the movie is. If so, it didn't fucking work for me.

Yes, "Zombieland" has big laughs. The first ten minutes are damn near perfect, as Jesse Eisenberg's loner gives us a zombie survival primer. ("Rule No. 1: Cardio ... the fatties were the first to go.") The opening credits show super-slo-mo scenes from the zombie apocalypse scored to Metallica's "For Whom the Bell Tolls." That got me pretty revved up, as you might imagine.

But the rest of the movie just sort of ambles along, and comes to a dead stop about 35 minutes in -- not a good sign for a movie that only runs 81 minutes. Then, halfway through the film, comes a much-buzzed-about scene that's so funny that I dare not say anything more -- everyone else has already said too much, even Roger Ebert.

But it's all downhill from there, leading to a climactic zombie showdown at an amusement park that, I'm guessing, was actually Disneyland in the script. (There's really no other reason to call the movie "Zombieland," so I'm just assuming ...)

I probably would have enjoyed all of this much more if it weren't for the amateur Joe Buck sitting next to me ... but even without him, I still would have been put off by the film's seemingly endless product placements. The most annoying are for the movie studio itself: In the film, the Graumann's Chinese is showing "2012," coming this fall from Sony Pictures! That's about as shameless as it gets.

But in fairness to "Zombieland" and director Ruben Fleischer, I will hold off final judgment on this zomedy until I see it again in more ideal conditions. I hate to sound like a broken record, but CAN'T YOU FUCKING PEOPLE LEARN HOW TO PROPERLY BEHAVE AT A MOVIE THEATER?!?!?!

OK, I feel better now. Ahhhh.

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