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Shaun of the Dead


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?all right, I admit, he can be pretty funny on occasion?

?you see!?

?like that time we stayed up all night drinking apple schnapps and playing Tekken 2?

?Oh yeah!!!! When was that??

?that was five years ago?.. Now when?s he going home??

 

A little film called Shaun of the Dead opened here a couple of weeks ago. It is co-written by a British comedian/actor who I have liked or about eight years or so now named Simon Pegg who is best known here on home turf for co-creating a late night sitcom here called Spaced, the episodes of which featured many a loving ode to various films, tv shows, comics and even videogames (there is a marvellous Resident Evil inspired episode in series 1). The director of Spaced, Edgar Wright, co-wrote 'Shaun' with Pegg, and also directed the film (together they also bring their excellent taste in music as shown through Spaced on television to the big screen now too) .

 

Take Dawn of the Dead, put it in the London suburbs and you've got a good sense of the zombie side to 'Shaun,' I say "zombie side" because the film tries, and succeeds, to create characters you genuinely like and laugh with early on, and maintains that success until the last frame rolls. For the first act too, the film puts the zombie infestation to the background revealing only the most subtle of hints. The reality is for the story and the viewer, the outbreak isn't even important at this point, in fact in testament to how well written the film is, it's always the characters that entertain you the most. Shaun has fallen out with his girlfriend; his friends are accusing him of going nowhere with his life and being far too attached to his best friend, and layabout Ed.

 

Things don't truly take a turn for the undead until two zombies appear in the back garden at which point it turns into a tale of self defence as Shaun and Ed begin to fling their least important vinyl records at the monsters ("Batman soundtrack?"..........."fling it!"). From here it's a tale of Shaun going to save his ex-girlfriend, his mother and his friends before culminating in an ultimate game of survival as hoards of zombies trap the characters inside the local pub.

 

Pegg has always been exceptional at creating funny and incredibly likable characters, and it's all made better still by the fact Pegg and Wright cast actors and comedians in their productions who are themselves incredibly likable people. Bill Nighy is here, Penelope Wilton, Dylan Moran, Lucy Davis (who I know about five here will know as Dawn from the Office), Peter Serafinowicz (who I think only those outside of the UK will only know as, if anything at all, the voice of Darth Maul) and Spaced favourite Nick Frost as Ed. Kate Ashfield is also wonderful as Shaun's girlfriend Liz. For Brits there are a nice number of cameos from other British comedians for us to get a kick out of.

 

Universal, to the best of my knowledge, have yet to announce a US release date for Shaun of the Dead. I truly hope it gets one later this year though because there's room for the film to do very well outside of the UK (it's gore and language content will ensure nothing less than an 'R' stateside to boot). It's filled with so many likable characters, is funny, and often very charming. I honestly can?t think of a better film to enjoy characters beating the crap out of Zombies to Queen?s ?Don?t stop me now??.

 

Enjoy the website where you can view the trailers, and check out some of the music from the soundtrack and get a far greater sense of the film than I've been able to give in my ramblings above:

 

http://uip.co.uk/romzom/

 

Daniel

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Definitely one I want to check out at some point. I saw the trailers, and checked out the website a few weeks ago after they started talking about the film on what seemed like a daily basis at AICN (probably because I wasn't visiting on a daily basis to realize it wasn't).

 

It looks great, and I can't wait to see it.

 

http://www.romzom.com also works for the site, and it's a much cooler URL.

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The first few times I saw mention of this I thought to myself "Shaun of the Dead? That's a bit of a good typo away from Dawn of the Dead..." :oops:. Anyway, I've definitely seen a lot of good things about it from people, enough to get me interested. Here's to hoping this sees a US release. :D

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http://www.romzom.com also works for the site, and it's a much cooler URL.

 

Yes, indeed. It changes to the UIP one once you get there, I didn't notice then when I cut and paste it into my post.

 

"dogs can't look up!"

 

 

 

This will be getting imported the day it's released in the UK.

 

It may well be the only native Region2 DVD I ever buy and force myself to put up with its PAL speedup issues. It's coming in October according to Edgar Wright, with numerous commentaries and extras. They're all DVD fans; the Spaced DVDs had some great stuff, so Shaun's supplements will only build further upon what we got there. An R1 will be a good five to eight months away from a domestic R2 release, so it will be hard for me to wait (on the subject of the Spaced DVDs, a lot of funny stuff in Shaun has grown from things they thought up during those commentaries).

 

There's nothing I think Universal would want to cut or redub in fear audiences outside of the UK won't understand it, but my worst fear is them changing some things to make it a PG-13. Then language, whilst not constant, goes as far as you can go with swearing (within the first five minutes in fact *it's on the CD*), and some of the gore content toward the end goes to Evil Dead levels. I was surprised it even got away with a 15 rating over here.

 

If Universal knows what's good for them, they will have it out by October in the US, identical cut to the UK version with an 'R' rating. If it's promoted right (and I detest AICN, but all the press I heard they gave it there will surely help it amongst a specific crowd), they will have a cracking little underground hit on their hands.

 

It's a film destined to be embraced by LCVG members because I think there are very few here who can not relate to the film's loving nods to classic zombie films, videogames and music. I just sat there thinking how much so many here would love it.

 

Daniel

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I really want to see this, but just haven't managed to get to the cinema to do so yet - I'll have do before it disappears, though. Looks brilliant.

 

By the way, Mark Fuckwit Knopfler wouldn't let them use Brothers In Arms for the vinyl-flinging scene. Bastard. Sade thought it was hilarious, though.

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  • 4 weeks later...

2005? phhhhhp to that. I'm glad it's getting a release, but that's far too far away. I've heard it's been getting some test screenings in the US already, I hoped it would get released around Halloween.

 

Guess it'll be getting bought on UK DVD then.

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  • 1 month later...

The PAL Region 2 DVD Has been announced for release on the 6th of September.

 

Audio commentary #1 by Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright

Audio commentary #2 by Pegg and co-stars Nick Frost, Dylan Moran, Kate Ashfield and Lucy Davis,

Audio commentary #3 by stars Bill Nighy and Penelope Wilton

Audio commentary #4 by the zombies themselves!

 

The disc will also feature extended bits with commentary, outtakes, a Man Who Would Be Shaun feature in which Simon Pegg and Nick Frost impersonate Sean Connery and Michael Caine and a new Funky Pete sequence in which Pete's swearing sequence is re-dubbed.

 

Plus, three comic strip sequences will fill in some of the plotholes (such as how did Ed get from the cellar to the shed) and a TV Bits feature which carries extended versions of the TV shows within the movie (Coldplay on T4, It's a Knockout Zombies, Trisha etc). Completing the set will be A Raw Meat making of featurette, five trailers and TV spots, three Zombie pic galleries, a storyboard comparison and a Zomb-O-Meter trivia track.

 

Be nice if Focus bother to match the spec for the eventual R1. This could well be the first domestic R2 I ever cave in an buy though. Great supplements!

 

Dan

 

PS: The US Theatrical release date is the 17th of September.

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  • 1 month later...

With the US release date days away (the 24th), I wanted to resurrect this thread to show the film some love and make sure the lot of you go and see it if it's headed your way (the release seems fairly limited).

 

The R2 DVD has been out a few weeks now, and I've yet to see the disc and it's unlikely I will unless Iain grabs it since I don't buy films on domestic R2 DVD. That said, the DVD is out in China this month and is NTSC (Region 3) which is somewhat tempting for me. Whether it will retain all the R2s extras I am unsure.

 

Here is something to note however. Director Edgar Wright has said that the R1 US DVD, which could come as soon as January, will have more than the domestic PAL R2 release due to elements in the extras and commentaries that our censors board forced them to remove/dub to retain a 15 rating on DVD (our MPAA equivalent, the BBFC, insists on rating supplements). So, this may be something to keep in mind if you're considering importing the PAL R2 or Chinese R3 anytime soon.

 

 

I've heard a nasty rumour that the film has seen some changes for its US/Canadian release, some slight redubbing and *gasp* references to Cornettos removed because no one would know what they are. a) I hope this isn't true, B) if it is, I hope at least the R1 DVD will be the UK theatrical cut. Hopefully some of you guys can let me know on that front.

 

Dan

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Fans of the film should be watching "Spaced" on Trio - it's the TV series that spawned Shaun of the Dead. It's very funny, very British & filled with lots of media references from geek films & games. I was very pleased to find it on the schedule, as I didn't expect a US cable channel to pick it up.

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For those who catch Spaced and enjoy it, we in the UK have a new revised three disc special edition of the show due out next week. The initial releases of both series 1 and 2 were loaded as it is, but now they've gone back and added more material to those discs, and now produced a third disc of new extras.

 

B0002LXU6I.02.LZZZZZZZ.jpg

 

If you can playback PAL R2 material, the new release of it I'd say will be well worth picking up.

 

Dan

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Watched Shaun of the Dead at home on Friday night with the GF. Had it for a little while just hadn't gotten around to watching. Certainly ranks as one of my favorite movies of the year so far.

 

I normally don't listen to the commentary tracks, but I'm going back for a few of these. Sure enough, there are the Zombies at the bottom. :)

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Managed to squeeze in a screening of it last night and had a *great* time. I think it's easily one of the best movies this year, a great example of a movie being hyped to the moon and actually living up to it on every level :) I also think the comparisons in tone to American Werewolf in London are pretty apt as the movie has a similar mixture of humor and horror elements - it's funny but the threat is real and that keeps it from turning into an all-out farce in which nothing matters. Also, the lineup of British sitcom stars got a huge ovation from the audience :)

 

I wish I still had satellite tv so I could watch Spaced. Oh well...

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