Archive for the ‘ zombies ’ Category

sdcc.

As has been the case every year of my life, I did not attend Comic-Con this year. Alas, that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it from afar. Here is some of the things I’m excited about, for now… as always, in no particular order.

1. The first image of Daniel Craig in Jon Favreau’s Cowboys & Aliens

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2. A new trailer for Tron Legacy

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3. Mark Ruffalo is the new Hulk!

It’s still far away, and we get Captain America and Thor in 2011, but news and rumors have still been trickling out steadily for months for The Avengers. First, in terms of strictly Avengers casting news, it was Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, but then the rumors started to surface of Whedon directing, and now Ruffalo as the Hulk… Mark fucking Ruffalo! Who doesn’t love that guy? (If you say “me,” I will reach through this computer and bitch-slap you.)

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4. More and more people are seeing Scott Pilgrim vs. The World… and more and more people are going ape-shit!

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5. Another new trailer for Let Me In

It doesn’t suck. I still have mixed feelings, but, you know, the trailer really doesn’t suck! Plus, the great cast is going a long way in winning me over.

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6. Trailer for The Goon

I know, lately everything is zombies and vampires. This isn’t anything new, it’s just more mainstream right now… especially concerning zombies. Sometimes, things are just too awesome to be kept for the fanboys and fangirls… especially concerning zombies.

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7. The new poster/first full cast shot for AMC’s The Walking Dead

I’ll be writing about the Robert Kirkman graphic novel at length soon, if you haven’t read it, trust me, it’s awesome.

The cast looks great, and as Frank Darabont guides this baby to (un)life in October, I am as excited for this as I’ve ever been for the premier of any television show.

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plants vs. zombies.

Like most awesome people, I’ve thought a lot about things that would come in handy during a zombie apocalypse. Little did I know that all this time, my plans have been way off base. While I was mentally listing things like bottled water and a deadly but easy to wield melee weapon, I have been totally unaware of how important plants are in staving off the undead legions.

Thankfully, those wonderful folks at Pop Cap have released a game to make clear that plants won’t just make Z-Day survivable, they’ll make it downright fun.

The title is as straightforward as they come, there is no wondering about what you are going to get out of a game called Plants vs. Zombies. Although, for those concerned about gore, you will find none, so play away!

I’m telling you, you should play this game. It is loads of fun. Insanely addictive.

Basically, you need to stop the zombies from making it across your lawn and into your house. You do this with a variety of plants. To grow new plants, you need to collect sunshine. Basically, it all comes down to creating an effective strategy with your with your army of greenery; some plants are purely defensive, some plants shoot spores of various kinds, and some plants give off extra sunshine to give you an added advantage, and that’s just to name a few.

As the game progresses, you need to fight various kinds of zombies as well, from zombies with traffic cones on their heads to zombies driving zambonies. There is even a Michael Jackson zombie.

The difficulty also progresses as you play in different sorts of environments, a backyard with a pool offers new challenges, especially when some zombies ride dolphins (that’s right, some of the zombies ride dolphins!).

That is only sampling of what this game has to offer, I have seen lots of variety and I’m only on level 4-6(ish).

If you have an iPhone or iPad, just go download the game from the app store immediately. It only costs $2.99, and it is worth every penny. If you don’t have either of the aforementioned devices you can play the game on your computer as well, but the price tag is a bit heftier, at $19.95. However, you can play the game for free for a bit on the website to see if you like it before you fork over the dough.

However, while I give the game a hearty seal of approval, to be fair I should make clear that there is a downside. That is, of course,  the lost relationships, jobs, etc. caused by the neglect stemming from you becoming addicted to fighting the good fight against those damned zombie bastards.

world war z. [the as yet untitled book posts.]

I just finished World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. It was hugely entertaining! Written by Max Brooks, son of legends Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft, the work is obviously modeled after Studs Terkel’s The Good War: An Oral History of World War II. The book is a series of “interviews” done by a UN researcher ten years after humanity’s victory in the Zombie War.

Clearly, there is a great risk that the book will be pure genre blood and gore with little or no compelling narrative, or it could become so tongue and cheek that it loses all meaning. Brooks manages to avoid both of those potential pitfalls, creating a really engaging read. It is in turns hilarious and moving and there is real humanity to be found within the gore.

Brooks did some amazing research, and thus his narrative is tight. WWZ works really well as an imaginative exercise in how actual global socioeconomic and political realities would shape a real zombie apocalypse. Brooks also does a great job keeping his zombies consistent. Often, a book like this can grow to have too many moving parts and the zombies would manifest whatever traits needed for the story at a given moment. This happens constantly in film, television and fiction. Brooks seemed to set a clear physiology of his zombies first, did loads of research about various nations, economies and governments of the world, and then imagined what would happen if Z-Day were to arrive.

Each of his interviewees, from scattered locales all over the world, told stories that felt like genuine fragments of the larger story he had created outside of our view. Brooks did the work so well that many reviewers have favorably compared it Orson Wells’ “War of the Worlds.” Much of what Brooks did worked as a skewering of bureaucracy, militarism and institutions, showing how each was practically organized to fail at any attempts to prevent letting the zombie outbreak turning into a worldwide apocalypse. The fact that he never left the ground level, always letting the characters truly tell their own stories, was what kept it from feeling like there was an agenda.

If I would make a critique it would be that there were times where characters seemed to lose an individual voice, instead sounding more like Brooks himself. This was especially true in that all of his true heroes shared his disregard for faith of any kind, something that would simply be impossible in the actual religious make-up of the world, thus it comes across as a short-sighted misunderstanding of the reality that not all people of faith are extremist Muslim terrorists and lunatic Pat Robertsons or Glenn Becks. Most likely, as it has been for every single calamity in world history, faith would be a part of the problem and a part of the solution in responding to WWZ. Yet, as I write that, understand that this is a tiny critique of a book which truly was a genuine pleasure to read.

The zombie genre can be quite a bit of fun, and this book would be a great introduction for those interested in entering the zombie milieu. It is a remarkably unique sub-genre in which we can explore our fears of the end of the world, can wrestle with the reality that when the world ends it will probably be humanity that pulls down our own curtain, and where we can engage in a hodgepodge of other fun little mental games. I could go on talking about how much I love the zombie genre for a while, so I will end that conversation here… for now.

This book is a fast, engaging read, and I recommend it to all you great folks out there in the internets.