Meewella | Critic

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Tag: Steve Buscemi

QuickView: The Dead Don’t Die (2019)

The Dead Don't Die

“This is really awful. Maybe the worst thing I’ve ever seen.”

Chief Cliff Robertson

Not quite as mangled a mess as those corpses, The Dead Don’t Die is still a deeply disappointing waste of talent. Given his original take on the vampire genre with the exquisite Only Lovers Left Alive, I was excited by the prospect of Jim Jarmusch turning his talents to a zombie movie with an exceptional ensemble cast led by Bill Murray and Adam Driver. Sadly, the best cast ever to grace a zombie movie cannot combat a flat and uninspired script with little to say. Sure, the undead are drawn to their addictions in life so we are treated to moans of “Chardonnay” and “wifi” rather than “brains” but the social satire is stale for a genre that was built upon it — a voiceover about consumerism seems laughably derivative three decades after George Romero popularised that parallel. There is some humour to be found in the small town residents’ laid back attitudes leading to less panic than one might expect; however that same lack of energy does little to aid the viewing experience. Driver manages to inject a little charm as does Selena Gomez, but nothing here is memorable once the heads and credits roll.

3/10

QuickView: The Death of Stalin (2017)

“Nod as I’m speaking to you. People are looking to me for reassurance and I have no idea what’s going on.”

Georgy Malenkov

Mining the aftermath of Stalin’s death for comedy may seem an unusual choice, but the interpersonal relationships within the resulting political power vacuum are perfect for an Armando Iannucci farce. The film begins slowly, its pace gradually ramping with the characters’ paranoia, coming to a head at Stalin’s funeral. Steve Buscemi’s quietly scheming Khrushchev stands out, along with the wonderful excess of Jason Isaacs’ Field Marshall Zhukov. Like Veep, it lacks the bite of Iannucci’s television masterpiece The Thick of It but this is intelligently absurd cinematic comedy.

8/10

"A film is a petrified fountain of thought."

(CC) BY-NC 2003-2023 Priyan Meewella

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