FIRST SHAUN REVIEWS!
Andy and Will over at Spaced Out have been lucky enough to catch a first preivew screening of the upcoming British com-zom movie Shaun of the Dead. Here's what they both had to say about it.
'I?ve never seen a film on the day it?s been finished before. Let alone one I?ve seemingly been waiting ages to see. Anyway enough about me, what about the film.
Well it starts in a pub, the usual Pegg penned swift interchanges and sounds off which will delight any Spaced fan (and I?m assuming that?ll mean you) and it just builds from there. Delightful touches abound, a lot of knowing nods to things I know and to things I may not know but the thing is that, as ever, they?ve been interwoven into a coherent and cohesive whole. The use of music is as great as always though I hope that wasn't a real New Order 12'. It?s gonna be a delight to get this little blighter home and pull it apart but I believe it?s a bigger delight just letting it roll over you on the big screen.
According to Simon they wanted to cover the whole gamut. They wanted humour, horror and romance. Well they delivered it with a generous dollop of pathos as well. I don?t want to give any of it away but it?s good to see genuinely moving parts to the writing along with the wisecracks, much greater than was ever managed in Spaced itself.
The cast generally acquit themselves well. Simon, Nick and Peter all play to form with Simon, scarily, managing to be even better than I've ever seen him, he really can carry a whole film. Kate Ashfield is spot on and I thought Lucy Davis was great. Bill Nighy is class from the toes up. And Jessica Stephenson makes the most of a very small cameo.
I?m not saying this film was perfect, there are one or two characters who do not rise above the two dimensional and the writing is so focussed on the character of Shaun that when he?s not on screen it does seem to suffer. Luckily that?s not very often. But these are minor quibbles, this is a diamond. A genuinely great British comedy which realises that subtlety in humour can work on the big screen. It really is as close to Spaced the Movie as we?re likely to get. Praise be and pass the ammunition, sorry, the shells.'
'Will's covered a lot of the goodness but there's more. I was most impressed by the soundtrack - the film opens with Ghost Town by The Specials, and you can't get better than that.
I was particularly impressed with the way the sense of impending doom was present throughout the first half hour - just little things like snippets of new reports on the radio or TV, army trucks rushing past the window whilst Shaun is in a flower shop and a glimpse of a tramp about to devour a pigeon - it all seems off kilter but nobody notices as they're already in a zombie like state as illustrated by scenes on the bus to and from work, everyone having blank expressions and in their own little worlds.
As to be expected the dialogue is as sharp as Aragorn's sword, and densely packed with those little moments, one liners, and cultural references we've come to expect from Spaced. Fried gold!
The zombies themselves are excellent - Simon said they were going for the Romero look - as homage, not parody - and it works. There are some genuinely gory moments, and some scary ones. One moment in the pub when Shaun is fiddling with the fusebox springs to mind. And I was delighted to see a Big Spade? being put to good use in tackling them ;)
The performances all round are good, though as Will said the focus is definitely on Shaun - the one moment when it lacked momentum was a speech by David (Dylan Moran), but that's a very, very minor quibble. There's a moment of several exceedingly brief cameos which is a delight.
Didn't get to hear the specially recorded Buzzcocks track as Edgar said the end titles hadn't been finished yet - but I daresay I'll see the film again ;)
To conclude, this is a top notch film - Simon said they wanted to show 'little people' in extraordinary circumstances and that's what they've done - it's very, very funny, a wee bit scary, somewhat gory, and a little bit moving. Go see!'
Courtesy of Spaced Out