Third Tuesday Movie Day

Movie of the Month: The Horde (2009, Yannick Dahan and Benjamin Rocher)

So, this wasn't the best movie I saw this month, but I was on a zombie kick this month, and it was the best zombie movie I saw. So there's that.

The Horde stands out from all the horror movies I've seen recently not because it's French or because it's darker than most of them put together, but because it has the balls to be what so many of the other ones are too toothless to be: unpredictable.

This month, among others, I saw Tucker and Dale vs. Evil and George Romero's Land of the Dead. In both cases, the viewer can guess who's going to live and die and, what's worse, in what order they'll go.

The Horde starts with a bang, as a group of four cops bent on revenge of a murdered comrade storm a drug operation, only to be suddenly met with the threat of zombies attacking the complex. The zombie scenes are brutal and memorable, and not so excessive that the violence becomes meaningless; meanwhile, subjects like loyalty, family, humanity, brutality and ambition are tackled with a surprising amount of class. The actors provide memorable performances, the movie doesn't kill them off in order of their importance to the script and the ending will stick with me for a while. This is what a horror movie should offer, and what so few seem to have the guts to provide.

Anyway, I saw a lot this month, so I expect to prattle quite a bit. What have you seen?

149 thoughts on “Third Tuesday Movie Day”

  1. Is anyone watching Girls on HBO? I find myself being drawn towards it but then when I watch it I am either a) grossed out by some of the things the guys are going or b)bummed out by some of the things the girls in the show are doing.

    I don't think it is shock value for the sake of shock value, I think there probably are some guys who treat their girlfriends like the main character in the show. I just, well, don't know that I want to watch some of those things.

    1. Yes. I've only seen the second episode though. I'll have HBO for at least two more weeks, so I plan on catching up on the few I've missed.

  2. Uh... Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and Ocean's 13 on TV. Not a highpoint for movies this month.

    1. I'm intrigued by Ghost Protocol given Brad Bird. I haven't seen more than bits of the other MI movies. How is it?

          1. I agreed with the assessment that MI:GP was the most team oriented installation of the MI franchise, and I thought that was a good thing.

            1. That is a good thing. Though I don't know if I'd credit GP with being the most team oriented.

      1. I found myself entertained by the plot but bored by the action sequences, which seemed to lack tension for me. At least, after the first couple. Rather than seeming to build in tension, it really seemed to lose it. Worth seeing once and then forgetting about.

    2. Ghost Protocol is easily my favorite Mission Impossible movie. I'm not saying it's a gold standard or anything, but it's pretty good for an action movie.

      1. I'd have to see the first one again. I felt like that one was really good.

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        Also, I have almost no memory of the third one, and I find myself entirely OK with that.

  3. I recently watched Valhalla Rising, and it was awful, art house crap. The only sense I got that any sort of plot was moving forward were breaks for a new "chapter", but otherwise it was incredibly dull. To make matters worse, the description on Netflix was the least accurate thing I've ever read, though it looks like they've since changed it. Walking across landscapes and staring at things is not what I want Vikings to be doing in movies.

    On a more positive note, I started watching The Shield. Now that's good stuff.

    I've also been watching season 2 of Game of Thrones, and I'd say they're still doing a great service to the books and doing a pretty good job of juggling the roughly eight million characters. I also think they have been witholding showing battle scenes this season to save for next week's epic battle. (not a spoiler, by the way.)

    1. Re: Game of Thrones
      How do you feel about a few of the changes they've done so far? The first season had very few deviations, and mostly for pacing purposes. This season, however, has at least one big change.

      1. I'm of several minds when it comes to the changes. On the one hand, I am in support of what they have done with

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        But on the other hand,

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        I placed my spoiler tags to make them as tantalizing as possible.

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  4. Saw Yours, Mine and Ours, bland crap trying to pass itself off as family fare.

    Finally started Battlestar Galactica... I'm halfway through the first part of the two part miniseries premiere. Slowly...

    Want to watch Watchmen after reading the graphic novel.

    Saw MI: Ghost Protocol in the theaters for my birthday.... I thought it was a pretty darn good movie.

    Saw Hunger Games in the theater a few weeks ago. I've read all the books, and the movie was okay. Didn't like the shaky cam. I can understand to a degree why it's popular, but not that it's as popular as it is. It's at least more tolerable then Twilight.

    1. You've probably seen us mention it here before, but the climax of Watchmen was much better handled in the movie than in the graphic novel, and makes much more sense.

      1. yes to this. And I, for one, thought that the filmmakers did a very good job of bringing the book to the silver screen.

        1. Agreed there. Read the book and couldn't put it down until the ending, which was a bit confusing. Had to read the ending twice to "get" it.

        2. I haven't seen a Zack Snyder movie that I've enjoyed yet. I don't know what my specific issue was with Watchmen, but I didn't particularly enjoy it.

          I had the same reaction to 300.

    2. The shaky cam sort of made sense in the Hunger Games, if for rating purposes only.

      Shakycam'd murdering of a teenager = PG-13
      Non shakycam'd murdering of a teenager = Either lame or R (either would cut box office by a metric ton)

    3. Which Yours, Mine and Ours? Because the old one is awesome. I mean, in an "old movie, that's cute" sort of way. But as someone who comes from an enormous family, I love that movie.

      Haven't read Watchmen but saw the movie. I kind of reject Alan Moore writing on principle, because the guy is so pretentious, but I enjoy his movies well enough. Probably because his writing really needs the editing process that he refuses to subject it to. I can see Zack Snyder complaints, as I've never felt a need to rewatch any of his movies. That doesn't mean I disliked them though, just don't have anything special to bring me back.

      1. Yeah, there were whole side stories interwoven in the Watchmen novel that were totally ignored, because, well, they were overly pretentious. No loss.

    1. Oh yes, my wife did the same to me not long ago. She thought I would like it for some reason. It was... better than The Happening?

    2. Those movies all run together in my head. Now that I've reminded myself which one that is via IMDb, you have my sympathy.

      My wife occasionally digs that type of movie, but she's perfectly content to watch them on her own. We do converge on certain movies and we generally know which ones they're going to be, and we don't force the other to waste time with something they're unlikely to be into. It's a nice setup we have.

  5. Coraline: Beautiful movie. Would have scared the bejeebers out of me as a kid.
    Spiderman 2: Eh
    Children of the Corn (remake): Embarrassing
    The Girl on the Milk Carton: Beyond embarrassing

    The last three were on in the background and were not watched on purpose.

    1. I've got "Coraline" on my list of movies to request from the Library once life gets back to a rhythm where movie-watching is likely to be successful without interruption or falling asleep.

  6. The only movie I saw in theaters was The Avengers, which was awesome.

    The only other movie I can remember watching was a documentary on Netflix called Beer Wars. It was about craft breweries struggling to compete against the Anheuser-Miller-Coors trifecta. It was okay.

    1. We made specific baby-sitting plans (albeit with some eager grandparents) in order to see The Avengers. The movie was good, and it was nice to revert back to being the kind of people who went to movies for a couple hours.

      1. 2.5 years after my first kid was born, my wife and I still haven't seen a movie in the theaters together. ๐Ÿ™

  7. Watched The Avengers. I don't remember what bS said about it, but he's right. Sat in front of a trio of teenage girls that decided to narrate the trailers with comments about how hot whatever actor is. Confirmed hotties are Andrew Garfield and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. There was also some discussion about Tobey Maguire, but they seemed mostly unfamiliar with the previous Spider-man series.

  8. I finished Battlestar Galactica.

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    Land of the Dead was pretty hopeless. It was predictable, and never scary for a single moment. It went for the gross-out, and when movies do that, all I think about is how the makeup was done. The movie also didn't bother to engage the viewer with any of the characters, which made it a little...meh.

    Tucker and Dale vs. Evil had tons of potential but is struggling to be two different movies and therefore failing at both. A story about a bunch of stupid college kids getting killed by accident could be hilarious, and a story about one of them setting those accidents in motion because he's an evil bastard could be good, but the movie attempted to have all the kids get killed accidentally while simultaneously setting up one of them as "evil" for no real reason that serves the plot. It's just there.

    The movie has some real funny moments, but the script is fundamentally flawed.

    I'm three episodes of the way through Downton Abbey. Excellent stuff. There's great acting all around and the show has me caring about nearly every one of the twelve jillion characters already.

    I saw Rashomon for the first time in years, and it's still amazing. It was supposed to be the movie of the month, in fact, but I forgot about that until this moment. Both the film and the (short) extras on the DVD are recommended. Kurosawa was the first to do a lot of things.

    I finally continued with the first disc of the second season of "Deadwood." The language is as gorgeous as ever, but wow, it's moving slowly so far.

    I also started season two of "Flight of the Conchords" after seeing the first season as it aired. The music's less memorable, but it's still pretty hilarious.

    Erik the Viking has some funny moments, but not enough.

    "Lilyhammer" is a Netflix-only series starring Steven Van Zandt as a mob guy who joins witness protection and goes to Norway, and starts getting into trouble fairly quickly. It's funny, dramatic and generally smart. There are a few too-convenient plot devices, but meh.

    The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle continues to be the one show that my kids and I love equally.

    I started the current (well, the Christopher Eccleston version) of "Doctor Who." I'm loving the style so far.

    Rango is wonderfully animated, and pretty funny.

    The one other thing I took from looking through my Netflix viewing history is "holy crap, my kids watch a lot of My Little Pony."

    1. "holy crap, my kids watch a lot of My Little Pony."

      your kids. riiiiiight. *cough*brony*cough*

          1. The community has encountered ridicule through trolling, even after moving away from 4chan.

            Imagine that.

            1. It's not one I've paid a lot of attention to, but there are definitely jokes that are meant for the parents, which is a hallmark of the better kids' shows they've watched over the years.

              1. Yeah, definitely. I think it does a pretty good job of appealing to children and adults alike. Lauren Faust previously worked on Powerpuff Girls which was pretty great at the same thing.

    2. We also really enjoy the new Doctor Who. It's certainly a different show (more overarching storylines, etc), but it carries a fair bit of the style and feel of the original show. They really reach some fantastic heights.

      1. I'm only five or six episodes deep, but yeah, I'm impressed with the show's willingness to bring back characters, refer to past events and move the narrative forward rather than write a bunch of mini-movies that just happen to star the same characters in a vacuum.

        1. It really starts to get good after that. Then when David Tennant shows up it gets awesome.

          1. Totally agree. Eccleston was good, Matt Smith is okay, but Tennant's Doctor is the best of the current crop.

      2. I've found that BBC story lines, whether Dr. Who, Sherlock, etc., tend to be more forgiving for plot holes/inconsistencies than US-made TV. That said, I'm starting into "season two" of Sherlock, and I still love the acting and the film style.

        1. Watched the first episode of Series 2 of Sherlock before the computer died. VVG, want to see the rest, but want to see them on a bigger screen.

      3. I agree. They've done an excellent job of keeping the feel of and showing respect for the old series while still doing it somewhat differently.

    3. Land of the Dead was terrible. Linds and I like the old Romero zombie movies, as well as some of the new zombie canon, so when we saw Romero was going to make another, we thought it was a good thing.

      Nope.

      It may as well be law that every zombie movie has at least two scenes where a protagonist is placed in a scene with lots of zombies and you're squirming in your seat knowing what's coming (one miraculously escapes, the other gets messily devoured... both scenarios are awesome). I don't recall a single moment where I was even passingly interested in how a scene would play out. It was a failure in every way a zombie movie can fail. It made the Walking Dead look riveting.

      1. For me, Romero is basically a one-hit wonder. Night of the Living Dead was great, but I don't understand the high place that the original Dawn gets. The pacing was so awful that I got bored halfway through. I wanted everyone to just get eaten so I could move on. The motorcycle gang at the end was just kind of dumb, too. The remake was better, mostly because Ty Burell is great.

        But yeah, I don't completely understand the "Romero is Zombie-God" thing.

        1. Oh, make no mistake, while NotLD is probably the greatest zombie movie ever, I prefer the new Dawn of the Dead and 28 Days/Weeks series to anything after that. I just thought the original Dawn of the Dead was a good zombie movie.

  9. A Separation - 10/10
    Even with my high expectations, this Iranian movie exceeded them. I had no idea what the plot was about other than a divorce and enjoyed the legal battle between the two families. The 27th movie I have given a perfect score.

    Aliens - 8/10

    The Avengers - 6/10
    I really don't understand the love for this movie. It was cool, bombastic, and fun. But after my disappointment I went and watched Iron Man again and affirmed that as a movie, The Avengers is just par for the course.

    Oldboy - 8/10
    The English dubbing was pretty bad on Netflix. Still a very enjoyable movie.

    Lawrence of Arabia - 7/10
    I have a hard time sitting through 4 hour movies, so I wasn't too thrilled with this one.

    Requiem for a Dream - 9/10
    I've never seen an Arnofsky movie I didn't like. Also have never seen The Fountain.

    City Lights - 9/10

    Spirited Away - 8/10

    Duck Soup - 9/10

      1. Agreed. Too many people have tried to make more sense out of it than needs to be. Still

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      2. It's like a jelly bean in a dish of caviar.

        I'll probably see it at some point, but I'm going to finish the IMDb Top 250 first.

      1. Toy Story 3
        Beauty and the Beast
        No Country for Old Men
        Fargo
        Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
        Dark Knight
        Shawshank Redemption
        Inglorious Basterds
        The Departed
        City of God
        Shinderler's List
        Memento
        Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
        One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
        Apocalypse Now
        Pan's Labrynth
        Wall-E
        Casablanca
        Godfather 2
        Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
        Mary and Max
        In Bruges
        Life of Brian
        Catch Me If You Can
        Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

        1. Toy Story 3, Shawshank, Catch Me If You Can... totally agree with

          No Country For Old Men ... couldn't disagree with you more.

          The others... I can certainly understand

          Do you have a database that keeps track of all these?

          1. I have trouble with Toy Story 3. I didn't see it until it had been built way up, so there was a natural let down. But mostly I just didn't think it lived up to 1 or 2, on a plot, humor or emotional level.

          2. I have a huge soft spot for anything Coen Brothers. I actually had True Grit as a 10 but it was an obviously biased rating so I changed it.

            1. Don't back down, MoT. Dude Grit was outstanding.

              and No Country ... I'd like to hear why punman hated it. I thought it was fantastic.

              1. I still have it as a nine. I constantly revise my ratings. What you feel right after watching it is important. But how you feel weeks later is important too.

              1. Actually....I've never seen the whole movie. Nor have I seen the Man Who Wasn't There or Barton Fink. It's terrible since I am such a fan of their other movies.

                1. The Man Who Wasn't There lacks a certain...something. Relatability? I don't know. Normally the Coens are pretty good at putting everypeople in their films, but I'm not sure that was the case in that one.

                  It's still better than most movies that most other directors make, though.

              1. Of course not. But I guess I liked the second so much more that I don't view the other one as highly. I actually liked Goodfellas more than the first Godfather.

                1. I actually liked Goodfellas more than the first Godfather.

                  My jaw has dropped. You sir, are wrong.

                  1. I can accept that. I've even watched the Godfather twice since I knew I was in the minority.

                    1. I don't know about best mob movie ever, because Godfather I/II are pretty awesome. But Goodfellas deserves a lot of kudos. Tremendous flick.

                  1. I guess its just natural for me to compare movies in a series against each other.

                    1. Probably. But this isn't the case for The Godfather. I wasn't impressed and because of this, my expectations for Part 2 were much lower. Expectations probably have everything to do with how much I enjoyed both of them.

        2. One movie that is SO close to being a 10 but I still have a hard time with the dubbing is The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

    1. Oldboy was just sort of 'eh' for me. I know it's the greatest thing ever for a lot of folk, and watching it alongside one of those people surely didn't help, but I never cared about any of the characters. The mystery never really engaged with me, either.

      At least it had that hammer fight in the hallway, that was pretty sweet.

  10. Peter King wants to weigh in...

    Most depressing in-flight movie in the history of in-flight movies: Young Adult, with Charlize Theron. You're too good to play cheesy and creepy, Charlize -- especially when the script drags and the story's lousy. Sheesh.

  11. Just because I now have an office job again (for the time being) I ranked every comic book movie I've seen to see precisely where The Avengers stacks up for me.

    Dark Knight
    X-Men 2
    Sin City
    Scott Pilgrim vs the World
    Batman Begins
    Iron Man
    Spiderman 2
    Kick-Ass
    Oldboy
    Batman
    Watchmen
    V for Vendetta
    The Avengers
    Spiderman
    Wanted
    X-Men
    Road to Perdition
    Superman Returns
    A History of Violence
    Batman Returns
    X-Men First Class
    X-Men Last Stand
    Spiderman 3
    Captain America
    Iron Man 2
    Batman Forever
    Thor
    300
    Batman and Robin
    Wolverine
    Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

    1. I will never, ever understand why anyone would put Dark Knight ahead of Batman Begins. DK had no climax! BB was a tight storyline with resolution. Far superior.

      1. The climax was Batman's sacrifice. The fact that it wasn't a "good guy wins" climax doesn't make it a lesser climax...it just makes it a different kind of climax.

        1. I get it, but I'm saying it was emotionally empty. There was no build to that moment. The first half of the movies is this huge elaborate scheme with the Joker. The second half is this "run about, be scared, nothing actually happens with the Joker" stuff and then after that wraps we get 5 minutes of Two-Face and "the climax." Psh. That's not a climax. That's a separate issue tacked on to set up the third movie.

          1. Looking for a lot of emotional impact in Nolan's movies is a losing prospect. It's the one thing he does extremely poorly.

            Anyway, yes, it's a climax. It's a letdown of a climax, but that's certainly where the screenwriter intended for it to be.

            1. I'd say it's a fault. That drops is below Batman Begins on the list of comic book movies. Heath Ledger was fantastic, but just like with Molina in Spider-Man 2, a single performance doesn't put it over the top. The Joker plot went from "absurdly over-the top and choreographed beyond belief, but really really cool" to "kind of lame and not choreographed and nothing happens" while the Two-Face plot wasn't developed enough. Plus the whole wire tapping bit? Ugh.

              1. I felt the pacing was pretty poor, and I agree Nolan didn't give enough time to the Two-Face plotline. The worst parts of TDK for me was the scene where Batman was reassembling the bullet fragments in his computer to pull off a fingerprint, and the idiot cell phone sonar b.s. at the end of the movie.

                I'm still really torn on going to The Dark Knight Rises. I'm not sure I'm up for paying $20 to watch Christian Bale grunt in the shadows for two and a half hours.

                1. And I don't know if I'm up for watching Anne Hathaway be uninteresting (removed for redundancy).

                  1. You may think that. But then remember what people thought when it was announced Heath Ledger was cast as Batman.

                    1. A character is only as stupid as written. If Catwoman was the lamest character in history, it wouldn't matter as long as the screenwriter does well with her.

      2. I don't know why, but Batman Begins just didn't interest me as much. I actually fell asleep in the theater the second time I watched it. Though to be fair it was midnight and it was a study break.

    2. Ah, Scott Pilgrim as a comic book movie. For some reason that had not occurred to me, even though I have all the books. Great movie.

  12. Awful month for movies, other than Ghost Protocol, which I saw and liked a lot.

    Catfish - First half is kind of interesting. Second half is uncomfortable and draggy. Movie on whole feels calculated and exploitative.

    Just Go with It - Abysmal, as it knew it would be. It was my wife's turn for movie night, though, and she insisted.

    Death Race 2 - I thought the first movie was fun enough, and about as close to the live action Twisted Metal movie that I want as I'm likely to get. This one? Mediocre, even by terrible Z-grade action movie standards.

  13. I remembered that I also saw The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. It was alright. I understand the girl with the dragoon tattoo, but I was far more interested in the other storyline, which she only served marginally.

      1. Didn't watch the original. I'm assuming that had more of the cultural criticism, right? That could have been fun.

  14. I watched the first season of The Killing. My wife really liked it, but I was pretty lukewarm about the whole thing, especially so soon after having seen Twin Peaks. It was like TP, but in a big city and without all of the Lynch-ness that David Lynch brought to TP. I also don't think the acting is terribly good, but my wife disagrees there as well. A lot of the place names are true to the Seattle area, but it rarely rains as hard as it does in the show. /petpeeve

    I've also been watching a lot of Nature/National Geographic-type shows on Netflix streaming. I didn't used to watch that stuff a whole lot, generally leaning more towards Nova-like programming, but I find it very relaxing and I am always looking for ways to manage my stress. Also, television picture quality has improved since my youth, so maybe the visuals are more appealing/engaging now than they were in the past. (Of course, a higher-quality image is still subject to the treachery of images.)

    I zipped through Season 17 of Top Gear, though the India special wasn't available on Netflix streaming, so I will have to look for that elsewhere. There's nothing really new there, but it still makes me laugh and is interesting enough.

  15. Saw The Avengers and underperformed in my book. To me, there was too many characters and since IronMan/Robert Downey stole the show, it should have been Called IronMan 2.5:Kicking Ass With My Friends. Maybe I expected bigger things than what the movie actually was. It also hurt that a dudes cell phone kept ringing during the exposition part of the movie so I felt a bit lost when it came to the bag guys intentions.

    Was there a point to having big time actor Samuel L Jackson play his character? They could have given his role and Colbie Smulders role to 'generic actor' and the results would have been the same.

    1. They cast him as Nick Fury way back at the first Iron Man in order to gin up excitement for an eventual Avengers movie.

      Also Colbie Smulders IS a generic actor.

    2. Samuel L. has played a lot of small parts. He's just willing to go in and be a part of it for fun, and for a small fee. I'm not sure how large his role was, but in True Romance he had, what...one or two lines? Blink, and you'll miss him.

      1. One of the few significant quibbles I have with Avengers is the flying f-ing aircraft carrier. Mentally, I was switching eyepatched Samuel L. Jackson with eyepatched Angelina Jolie during the take-off scene.

        and yes, I know that the helicarrier is canon.

  16. I ended seeing Avengers yesterday - and loved it. Not to start talking about this movie for a fifth time, but I could not get over the "let's get dangerous" camera sweep that showed the heroes toward the end...

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    Overall, minor quibbles aside, I did like it a lot. It's a top 5 superhero movie, probably.

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