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Fear the Walking Dead: So Close, Yet So Far Away


FTWD So Close

The brilliance of the pilot episode of Fear the Walking Dead may be that it set the bar for the series so low that the second episode couldn’t help but feel like a massive improvement.  Just by virtue of the fact that So Close, Yet So Far Away was 30 minutes shorter, it was tighter and less bloated.  Were there problems with then episode?  Is this a Walking Dead TV show?  Of course there were.  But at least this episode managed the minimal task of holding my attention for the duration of its run-time.

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Fear the Walking Dead: Pilot


FWD - Pilot

The premiere episode of the spin-off series, Fear the Walking Dead, was titled Pilot.  Autopilot would have been more appropriate.  Zing!  The parent series, The Walking Dead, does one thing really well: zombie gore.  For five years, the creative genius behind the series’ practical effects have found new and creative ways to give audiences goose-flesh.  Where The Walking Dead tends to fall down a lot are areas like plot, pacing and character development.  The pilot episode of Fear the Walking Dead demonstrate what happens when the creators of The Walking Dead dedicate an hour and a half of television to all of their many weaknesses while barely teasing their strengths.

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Post Apocalyptic Movies Bracket Game Winner!


Night of the living dead

We’ve seen a lot of different ways the world could end during the month of May.  Floods, apes, infertility, roving gangs of leather-clad mutants.  But ultimately, it came down to zombies.  It almost had to come down to zombies, didn’t it?  Night of the Living Dead was crowned by readers as the king of the post apocalypse beating out The Road Warrior by a slim margin.

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Review: Maggie


Schwarzenegger - Maggie

 

If I say the words “Arnold Schwarzenegger” and “zombie movie”, you probably imagine a very specific sort of movie.  But Maggie is not the movie you would expect from the action movie icon.  Instead of blowing away zombie hordes, Schwarzenegger takes on his most personal role to date.  He plays a father coming to grips with the fact that his daughter is dying.

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Post-Apocalyptic Movie Bracket Game: Shaun of the Dead Vs. Zombieland


Shaun of the Dead vs Zombieland

It’s the end of the world as we know it.  And I feel fine.  In celebration of Mad Max: Fury Road, we’re getting post-apocalyptic.  So get ready to fight off zombies, scavenge for goods and run for your life!  And maybe spend some quality time in an abandoned mall or Bill Murray’s house.  We’re looking at what happens in movies when society crumbles.  Are we replaced by apes or pod people?  Is Kevin Costner a fish person or a postman?  Our dystopian future is up to you.

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Post-Apocalyptic Movie Bracket Game: Night of the Living Dead Vs. Dawn of the Dead


Night Vs. Dawn

It’s the end of the world as we know it.  And I feel fine.  In celebration of Mad Max: Fury Road, we’re getting post-apocalyptic.  So get ready to fight off zombies, scavenge for goods and run for your life!  And maybe spend some quality time in an abandoned mall or Bill Murray’s house.  We’re looking at what happens in movies when society crumbles.  Are we replaced by apes or pod people?  Is Kevin Costner a fish person or a postman?  Our dystopian future is up to you.

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Post Apocalyptic Movies Survey


Fury Road

Mad Max: Fury Road is set to open right around the time our current Marvel bracket game wraps up.  So we’ll be looking at post-apocalyptic movies next.  As I prepare the brackets for that game, I’m looking to you guys for a little feedback.  Obviously, there’s going to be zombie movies.  There’s going to be apes.  But with so many movies to choose from and varying tastes, I want to know which movies you guys think should be included.

After the jump is a survey asking you to rank several different kinds of post-apocalyptic movies.  There are certain movies that aren’t included because they have already made the cut.  These are mostly movies on the bubble.  Also, feel free to provide any direct feedback on the topic in the comments section.

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The Walking Dead: Conquer


Walking Dead Conquer

There were two ways a 90-minute season finale of The Walking Dead could have gone.  On the one hand, there could have been a massive showdown at Alexandria paying off all of this season’s building tensions and dangling plot threads.  An explosive conclusion to a better-than-average back half of the season.  That would have been something.  Instead, we got a few payoffs and a lot of repetition of story beats that have already been beaten into the ground in previous episodes.  And yet, despite the lack of fireworks, it was still better than most season finales on The Walking Dead.

(It should be noted that season finales on this show tend to be among the worst episodes.  So being the best season finale really isn’t something to brag about.)

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The Walking Dead: Try


Walking Dead Try

I think we can all agree that Rick Grimes owes his buddy Shane an apology.  Shane was prone to ranting, plotting, making decisions based on his own interests and lusting after married women.  Now Rick is stealing his act.  In season two, that made Shane a villain who had to be put down.  In season five, it makes Rick an anti-hero?

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The Walking Dead: Spend


The Walking Dead Spend

Okay Walking Dead.  I’m impressed.  This back half of the season is the best run of episodes the show has had since the first season.  I have taken a couple of weeks off of writing Walking Dead recaps.  Usually, that’s an indication that I am losing interest in the season.  But not this time.  The last couple of episodes have been relatively quiet.  But they have done a really good job building things for this episode and what is to come in the remaining two episodes this season.

The group has found relative safety in the Alexandria community.  The last couple of episodes have been filled with great moments that illustrate how the characters are adjusting to their new environment and how the citizens of Alexandria are dealing with the new arrivals.  For example, Michonne hung up her sword over her mantle.  Carl has started playing with kids his own age.  And Carol has gone undercover by playing up her pre-apocalypse personae.

This episode, some of the conflicts that have been percolating come to a boil.

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The Walking Dead: Distance


TWD - Distance

So, what’d you think of the Oscars?  Too long, right?  And Birdman?  Whatever.  Overrated.  But hey, at least it’s over.  Unlike The Walking Dead which is still going.  I watched both shows last night more out of obligation that desire.  Of the two, The Walking Dead was easily the less onerous.

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The Walking Dead: Them


The Walking Dead Them

I have said it before and I will say it again.  The Walking Dead works best when the characters shut the hell up.  The show has a lot of strengths, but dialogue definitely isn’t one of them.  And yet, most episodes of The Walking Dead are wall-to-wall dialogue.  Fortunately, this episode avoids the writers’ Kryptonite which allows a lot of the shows’ strengths to really shine.

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The Walking Dead: What Happened and What’s Going On


The Walking Dead - What Happened and What's Going On

The title of the mid-season premiere of The Walking Dead is “What Happened and What’s Going On?”  Despite some film school flourishes and the death of a major character, the answer to both questions is “Not a lot.”  I think the title is supposed to reflect what The Walking Dead creators hope audiences will be asking themselves as they watch the episode.  It’s filled with misdirection.  But when you strip away some experimental story-telling, this was just another mediocre episode.

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