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Serious Zombies Lie About Whipping Capitalism

A zombie hunter, a compulsive liar, a serious Jew, a roller derby rookie, and Michael Moore walk into a bar.  The zombie hunter says: “Are there any zombies around?”

The serious Jew shakes his head and says: “Zombie’s don’t exist.”

The compulsive liar says: “Of course they do.  They’re trying to get in and eat our brains right now!”

The roller derby girl screams “let them try to catch me,” as she skates out the door.

Michael Moore says: “Our greedy capitalist system is the reason zombies don’t have healthcare.”

That ‘joke’ felt like a poor-man’s Aristocrats, where the set up was funnier than the punch line.  Oh well, it introduced the eclectic and surprisingly well-received movies that come out this weekend.  We’ve got the first fall weekend that might deserve your movie dollar, so while you’re contemplating choices, let’s talk about zombies:  Zombieland (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).


“Warts, entrails and all, I had a ball at Zombieland. It’s 81 minutes of my kind of stupid.”  Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

Short, stupid, and filled with entrails doesn’t sound like much of a compliment.

“An exhilarating ride, start to finish. Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg set a high bar for this subgenre with “Shaun of the Dead,” but Reese, Werner and Fleischer may have trumped them. This isn’t just a good zombie comedy. It’s a damn fine movie, period. And that’s high praise, coming from a vampire guy.” Time Richard Corliss

At last, we have a full-fledged vampire movie critic!  I’m sure his opinion on upcoming projects like The Vampire’s Assistant and New Moon won’t suck. So we know this film appeals to vampires, but who else?

“I highly recommend Zombieland to anyone with an offbeat sense of humor and an unnatural craving for Twinkies.” Brad Miska Bloody Disgusting

Twinkie lovers and people who got my Aristocrats reference should get in line now.

“Zombieland is still the funniest broad comedy since “The Hangover.” Its yowling, marching, munching corpses are as scary as grad students and as hilarious as the plot of “G.I. Joe.”” New York Post Kyle Smith

I know a few yowling, marching, munching grad students who will eat that guy’s brains for comparing them to GI Joe.  Or am I lying?

The Invention of Lying movie poster

The Invention of Lying (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic) tells the story of one man who can lie in a world where everyone tells the truth.  Sounds like heaven for the innocents and hell for advertisers, lawyers, and bullshit artists.

“However cheeky and blasphemous, this is, at heart, a rather sweet little fable. Which of course would mean nothing if it weren’t explosively funny.” New York Magazine David Edelstein

Explosively funny ha-ha or funny uh-oh?

Explosively funny ha-ha or funny uh-oh?

“The Invention of Lying deserves to take its place as a modern American comedy classic right alongside such worthy counterparts as Groundhog Day and Idiocracy.” Erik Childress eFilmCritic.com

I wish critics wouldn’t do that.  Calling Idiocracy a comedy classic negates the definition of ‘classic.’  It’s like calling an Axe body spray commercial ‘epic.’ For the record, Idiocracy has a great premise, but is a mediocre movie.

“Proof that when you aim for the stars, sometimes you find a black hole. Hopefully just an anomaly for the usually wonderful Gervais.” Empire Chris Hewitt

And sometimes you find a Milky Way.  Yum.

“Lying is good, but it could have been great. And that’s no lie.” Bill Goodykoontz Arizona Republic

When someone says “this isn’t a lie,” it usually is.  Now then, our next movie wants you to whip it.  For real: Whip It (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).


“Oh my, ladies: how our fairy tales have changed! A league of rough and tumble women, skating, fighting, competing and whipping their art through otherwise terribly ordinary lives.” Joanna Langfield The Movie Minute

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a roller derby fairy tale.

“Clicks on so many levels — heartwarming family story, rough-and-tumble display of grrrl power and a secondary but tender and convincing romance.” The Hollywood Reporter Peter Brunette

Sounds grrrrreat.

“Laced with good-natured hipster kitsch and endearingly goofy girl power, director Drew Barrymore’s roller-derby dramedy, Whip It, is a gas.”  Variety Rob Nelson

Was that a gas pun about nitrous oxide whippets?

Like this?

Like this?

“Whip It (which takes its name from a play in which skaters hold hands and form a human whip to propel the last skater forward) is heaven on wheels.” Philadelphia Inquirer Carrie Rickey

Heaven’s got wheels?

“Boisterous, cloying, simultaneously raunchy and innocent, hip and klutzy.”  The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Liam Lacey

Heaven’s wheels are klutzy and raunchy?  Don’t tell Michael Moore, he’s probably in the market for a new documentary topic.


Capitalism: a Love Story (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic) is another tough sell for Moore who has created a product (a movie) he hopes to sell (via tickets), which criticizes the process (capitalism) that we are all engaged in.

“Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story is something else — not a good movie or a coherent exposition of the meltdown but an emotional attack on capitalism as a system, an attempt, literally, to de-moralize capitalism.” David Denby New Yorker

Capitalism won’t have a crisis of confidence until there’s a way to make money off it.

Somewhere, someone is selling this image on a tee-shirt

Somewhere, someone is selling this image on a tee-shirt

“Capitalism is intended to convince Americans that they’ve bought into an economic system designed to screw them over, but the tone is so smart-ass that it’s bound to put a lot of viewers into a default defensive posture.” Noel Murray AV Club

Such as?

“This is a love story, all right, but it has less to do with the flaws of capitalism than it does with Moore’s unwavering fondness for the sound of his own voice, and for what he perceives as his own vast cleverness.” Salon.com Stephanie Zacharek

“Moore’s choice to make “capitalism” his straw man (rather than, say, greed or Reagan-era deregulation) puts him in closer company than he might like with some pretty nasty world-historical bedfellows.” Dana Stevens Slate

And since Moore’s films are know to begin debates, what does the other side say?

“A scathing indictment of modern America’s “me first” approach to the social contract…an urgently important piece of work.” Marshall Fine Hollywood & Fine

“Capitalism will make you laugh, it will make you cry and it will make you angry — in other words, par for the course for a Michael Moore movie.” Scott A. Mantz Entertainment Insiders

“Even if you don’t agree with the answers that Michael Moore suggests, I think you should see this movie.” A.O. Scott At the Movies

Michael Moore seems to have a red-sea-parting ability to divide American audiences.  That was the thought I had right before I read this quote:

“Michael Moore is the Obama of documentarians.” Clay Cane BET.com

And suddenly, I’m seriously stumped.  And speaking of seriously stupid segues: A Serious Man (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic) is a personal story for the Coen brothers who tell the story of a troubled Jewish father who seeks help from various rabbis.  Sure, it sounds odd, but it’s the Coens.


“The always surprising Coen brothers have finally made a very serious movie with A Serious Man. It’s about God, man’s place in the world and the meaning of life, so naturally it’s one of their funnier movies.” The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

“A Serious Man is not only hauntingly original, it’s the final piece of the puzzle that is the Coens. Combine suburban alienation, philosophical inquiry, moral seriousness, a mixture of respect for and utter indifference to Torah, and, finally, a ton of dope, and you get one of the most remarkable oeuvres in modern film.”New York Magazine David Edelstein

It sounds like an introspective exploration of the human condition, but is it any good?

“A Serious Man, like “Burn After Reading,” is in their bleak, black, belittling mode, and it’s hell to sit through.” The New Yorker David Denby

“As a piece of moviemaking craft, A Serious Man is fascinating; in every other way, it’s intolerable.” David Denby New Yorker

Since this roundup is running long and you’ve got weekends to enjoy, let’s wrap it up with a review that wraps it all up.

“If Philip Roth and Franz Kafka sat down to write an adaptation of the Book of Job, the result might be something like A Serious Man.” Alonso Duralde MSNBC

PDJ slslsjdfkajf

If PDJ and a cup of coffee sat down to write this blog, the result might be something like this

One Response

  1. A new Coen brothers movie? Hot damn!

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