Sarah Polley Weekend – Dawn of the Dead (2004)

deadDirector: Zack Snyder

Writer: James Gunn (Screenplay) George A Romero (Story)

Starring: Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Jake Weber, Mekhi Phifer, Ty Burrell, Michael Kelly, Kevin Zegers, Michael Barry, Lindy Booth


Plot: A nurse, a policeman, a young married couple, a salesman, and other survivors of a worldwide plague that is producing aggressive, flesh-eating zombies, take refuge in a mega Midwestern shopping mall.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: One of the Best


Story: Dawn of the Dead starts with one of the best opening scenes in zombie movie history, as we follow nurse Ana (Polley) as she finishes work and goes about every week date night with her husband Lewis. All seems normal until the neighbourhood good Vivian turns up in their house, biting Lewis before Ana realizes she has woken up in the Dawn of the Dead as she looks for some form of safety.

Finding the city in complete chaos Ana must find somewhere for safety first by running into cop Kenneth (Rhames) followed closely by Michael (Weber), Andre (Phifer) and Luda (Korobkina). The answer to their problems lies in the shopping mall which security guards CJ (Kelly), Bart (Barry) and Terry (Zegers) have control over.

When more survivors turn up at the mall the group have to put their differences aside to figure out a way to survive once the mall becomes an attraction for all of the undead.

Dawn of the Dead is one of those remakes that works, the first film was incredible popular and this keeps the base story the same but brings the concept into the modern era of horror. No longer are the days of slow moving zombies we get fast paced none stop relentless zombies that become even scarier. There isn’t much to talk about with the story because it really is just about surviving but where this one really shines are in the brave side story with Andre and his bitten pregnant wife. I can’t see a bad thing in this film and it could easily be one of the most perfect zombie horror films of all time.


Actor Review


Sarah Polley: Ana is a nurse before the outbreak, she is the only character we got to meet before the outbreak but becomes a leading member of the group of survivors as her medical skills and human side shine through the animal like behave of the rest of the group. Sarah gives us a true nonsense performance in the leading role.ana

Ving Rhames: Kenneth is the cop that help Ana get to the mall, he only wants to get to his brother but finds himself being distant from the rest of the survivors but only so he can deal with things his own way. He is the toughest of all of the survivors and the most valuable member in combat. Ving is great in this role where he easily the most realistic in the zombie outbreak idea.kenneth

Jake Weber: Michael becomes the reluctant leader of the group, he hasn’t achieved much in his life but sees this as a chance to make up for his mistakes. Jake is good in this role as the reluctant hero showing anyone can lead when time calls for it.jake

Mekhi Phifer: Andre along with his pregnant wife find themselves in the mall, he keeps his wife hidden from the rest of the group because he knows the truth about her but still wants to have the baby. Mekhi gives us one of the most fascinating supporting characters in zombie films.andre

Michael Kelly: CJ is one of the security guards at the mall, he wants it to himself and the other guards, when the rest of the survivors turn up he sees them as a threat. After he gets taught that they are all after one thing and strength in numbers he becomes the go to guy for solutions with his knowledge of the mall. Michael gives a great performance in a role unlike most you will know him for.cj

Support Cast: Dawn of the Dead has a good supporting cast that are all very interesting characters to add to the zombie survival film.

Director Review: Zack SnyderZack shows that he was going to be one of the most popular directors around with this brilliant reimaging of a classic.


Action: Dawn of the Dead is filled with non-stop zombie killing action.

Horror: Dawn of the Dead brings a brand new look at terror through the zombie being fast and a new level of frightening.

Thriller: Dawn of the Dead keeps you wonder just where things will go, who will die and how they will make it out from start to finish.

Settings: Dawn of the Dead using the mall does work because you would have nearly everything you need there.
Special Effects
: Dawn of the Dead has brilliant special effects from start to finish making you feel like you are part of the world.

Suggestion: Dawn of the Dead is a must watch for all horror fans out there even if you love the original you will love this one. (Horror Fans Watch)


Best Part: Pregnant side story.

Worst Part: One thing I noticed that I didn’t like was that one moment the zombies almost pause and wait to pounce, which doesn’t make sense.

Action Scene Of The Film: Rescue Andy.

Kill Of The Film: Chainsaw.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: This doesn’t have a sequel.

Post Credits Scene: During the credits there is a scene.


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $59 Million

Budget: $26 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

Tagline: 36 billion people have died since the reign of humanity. For the new Dawn, there’s a reunion.

Trivia: Although he had strong reservations about some elements, George A. Romero professed to be surprisingly impressed with the film.


Overall: Breath taking roller coaster ride of a horror film.


U-571 (2000)

logoDirector: Jonathan Mostow

Writer: Jonathan Mostow, Sam Montgomery, David Ayer (Screenplay) Jonathan Mostow (Story)

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton, Harvey Keitel, Jon Bon Jovi, David Keith, Thomas Kretschmann, Jake Weber


Plot: In the midst of World War 2, the battle below the seas rages. The Nazi’s have the upper edge as the Allies realise this is their chance to seize the ‘enigma coding machine’. But masquerading as Nazi’s and taking over the U-boat is the smallest of their problems. The action really begins when they get stranded on the U-Boat.


Verdict: Submarine Thrills


Story: When you look at some of the war based films they are all inspirational as we get to see the heroics shown by all the men who fought during the War. This shows how one group of soldiers beat the odds to survive and change the direction the war was going. Yes it does make the Americans out to be the heroes like too many Hollywood films, but once you see past that it becomes a real suspense ride. (8/10)


Actor Reviews


Matthew McConaughey: Lt. Andrew Tyler the man who has to step up and lead the remaining soldiers against the impossible odds, he shows great leadership skills and his unconventional strategy helps wins the battle. Good performance from Matthew as he puts in a solid serious performance before he ended up doing his rom com stage. (8/10)


Bill Paxton: Lt. Cmdr. Mike Dahlgren the captain on the submarine on the mission, holding Tyler back from a promotion, but never makes it to see how Tyler leads a crew when it is most needed. Good supporting role playing the authority correctly to make sure we know he is doing the right thing even if we feel it might be the wrong way. (7/10)


Harvey Keitel: CPO Henry Klough the older member of the crew who offers plenty of advice to his younger captains, he puts the men in order to make sure they respect him. Good supporting role from Keitel who lets the surrounding actors shine without looking out placed. (8/10)


Director Review: Jonathan Mostow – Good direction to create a suspense thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. (8/10)


Action: Great combat action, which slowly builds up before unleashing. (8/10)

Thriller: Keeps you at the edge of your seats throughout. (9/10)

Settings: The settings are mostly on submarines with nowhere to go, and the only option is to fight. (10/10)
Special Effects
: Great effects used to create the battles. (9/10)

Suggestion: This is one for all the thriller fans out there, it will keep you on the edge of the seat, it may not be for all the casual fans who would like a laugh or two to break up the action. (Thriller Fans Watch)


Best Part: The suspense throughout.

Worst Part: The Americans are the heroes.

Action Scene Of The Film: The final battles against the destroyer.

Believability: This type of battles would have happened through the war and going after the enigma coder did change the war. (8/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: Nominated for two Oscars winning one for Best Sound

Box Office: $127,666,415

Budget: $62 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes

Tagline: You won’t come up for air until it’s over!


Overall: Submarine Suspense Thriller

Rating 81

Chained (2012)

logoDirector: Jennifer Lynch

Writer: Jennifer Lynch (Screenplay) Damian O’Donnell (Original Screenplay)

Starring: Vincent D’Onofrio, Eamon Farren, Evan Bird, Julia Ormond, Conor Leslie, Jake Weber, Gina Philips


Plot: Bob (D’Onofrio) a cab driver who also is a serial killer picks up a passenger and her son. He takes them back to where he does his kills, he kills the lady and keeps the young boy Tim who he renames Rabbit. Years pass and Bob keeps Rabbit (Farren) hoping to one day turn him into his protégé, will Rabbit follow in his footsteps?


Verdict: A very good serial killer story

Story: I have to say I was surprised just how good the story was here. The story itself is very simple but is told in a way that you just will be hooked from start to finish. It also offers some very original angles in the story that turn out very interesting. The build up to whether Rabbit will follow in Bob footsteps is the best element and it will keep you guessing right up to the conclusion. (9/10)


Actor Review: Vincent D’Onofrio – Bob the serial killer who kidnaps Rabbit. This is a stunning performance that many people will have missed and should check out. Star Performance Award (10/10)


Actor Review: Eamon Farren – Older Rabbit who has to make a choice to be a serial killer or not. A good performance which is more about the reaction as the character has very little dialogue in the film. (8/10)


Director Review: Jennifer Lynch – Great direction proving that the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree. (9/10)



Horror: Good horror elements proving how a simple taxi ride could change a young boy’s life forever. (9/10)

Thriller: You will be sat at the edge of your seat from start to finish. (10/10)

Believability: The haunting part of this is just how real it could actually be. (5/10)

Chances of Tears: (0/10)

Settings: Most set in a house in the middle of nowhere showing how hard to escape it would have been. Also gives isolation to the victims. (9/10)


Suggestion: I love a horror gem and this is one so you should watch it and see how good you think it is. (Watch)


Best Part: A shocking twist you don’t see coming.

Kill Of The Film: Drunk girl

Trivia: Jennifer Lynch wanted the film to be name Rabbit.

Oscar Chances: No, but Vincent D’Onofrio could and has one some horror awards.

Chances of Sequel: I think it could but I don’t think it should.


Overall: A brilliant horror thriller that you will be amazed that it didn’t become a bigger success.

Rating 86