Saturday, February 27, 2010

"This is Bootleg Material"

This is not the title I expected for my review of The Crazies.  I thought the title would be something more like "Bubbas Gone Wild," "Don't Drink the Water," or "The Worst Car Wash Ever." But when the older gentleman sitting next to me flinched and turned his body away from the screen during the first "gotchya" moment of the film and announced he didn't like scary movies, I knew I was in for a hoot.  And normally I prefer a seat or two between me and other movie watchers if there are enough seats.  And I'll sometimes move even though I arrived first.  But tonight I was settled and the crowd was kind of boisterous anyway so I stayed put when the man and what appeared to be his teenage family members stepped over my feet to sit down next to me after the previews had started.  And as I expected, the man was mildly annoying, but made me giggle when he looked at me during a scary scene and commented how I hadn't flinched. ( Really I had flinched in my mind, my heart rate sped up, and I blinked my eyes shut a bit longer during the more tense moments.)  But what really had me amused was when the man said several times, "We could have watched this on bootleg."  And towards the end said, "This is bootleg material," noting he could have got the bootleg for $5.

As a lawyer by profession, I can't advocate copyright infringement or movie piracy.  But I can kind of understand his point at $10.50 a ticket and about $15 more for a soda and popcorn. And to be fair, The Crazies isn't the best zombie movie I've seen.  The best in my book is still 28 Days Later.  But I'd say it was better than bootleg material.  For example, I liked the fact that the zombies were not  totally mindless.  Due to a toxic spill that contaminates the water, "the crazies" are people who get sick by first showing dementia-like symptoms and then by turning ultra-violent.  Yet they are still driven by their human traits like vengeance and act somewhat purposefully.  Also, the protagonists not only have to fight off their infected neighbors but have an even more sinister villain that seemingly is always watching.  My favorite scene took place in a car wash and was nail-bitingly tense.  So it's not light on thrills and thrills and has a manageable amount of gore.  If you like zombie movies, you won't be disappointed.

So give your bootlegger a day off and go ahead and see The Crazies at the multiplex.  You can always pay the matinee price.

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