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Thread: Dawn 78' Vs Dawn 04

  1. #196
    Fresh Meat Hopegiver's Avatar
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    My two cents worth

    Don't think I ever posted my review....
    When I asked a very difficult question: Which do you like better, this was my review back in 2004.

    As with many movie re-makes, it has its strengths and weaknesses. However, before I answer that question, I want to present this review.

    Zack Snyder’s (Director) version is packed with good action, great special effects and a great adaptation of Romero's script. The first time I walked out of the theatre after watching the movie I was very excited and praising the movie to high heaven. It met all of my expectations and exceeded a few of them as well. After a second viewing, I feel confident in being able to give a thorough review and comparison.

    Now, I like that the movie starts with a lot of action and some audience jumping moments before the opening credits even roll. Ving Rhames does an excellent job as a lead character. Some of the gore scenes were top notch and were the result of fantastic special effects team (lead by David LeRoy Anderson of “Men in Black” & “Nutty Professor” fame), my most favorite being an exploding head due to a shotgun blast. The writer (James Gunn) took liberties with the original script but kept a lot of key elements for the die-hard Romero fans.

    A list of things that are key elements to me as a die-hard fan:

    The mysterious origin of the dead- I am extremely proud that Gunn did not try to improve the script by coming up with a cause. It is so much more powerful to have an unknown cause.
    The mall-One of the most important elements is being able to secure the mall and isolate yourself from the zombie hoard. In comparison; the original characters had to TAKE the mall first, this 2004 group had it locked up before their arrival. Also there is a lot less time spent “enjoying” the mall in this new version.
    Good characters get bit and/or die-There is nothing like having a good character ripped away from you, it makes for good reaction and emotion.
    Comedy-I think the element of comedy is paramount to making a good movie. In zombie films a perfect way to contrast the dark subject. The original had stumbling zombies that came across as goofballs and even one scene with pies in the face, yes I said pies! This new version has more dialogue comedy with such great one-liners as “She died without a name? … Damn.” & “Okay, let’s draw straws and the loser runs across the parking lot with a ham sandwich”
    The pregnancy-One character is pregnant and makes you wonder what will become of her and her baby. In this version we find out, as the mother is infected and will become a zombie and it makes for some very interesting dramatic scenes. You suspect that the disease may affect the baby but you are just not sure until the final moment before it is destroyed. In the original, the mother is not bitten but the fate of her impending baby’s birth is left to your imagination. At least in the final scripted version. Which brings me to my final point.
    Two endings-The original script had two endings. There was the on-screen version where two of the main characters get away and fly off to an unknown future. Then there was the alternate script that has one of the last survivors taking his own life and the final character killing herself. In this new version, the end has the surviving characters sailing off into the sunset as the end credits begin to roll. However, after a few frames of credits there is a jumpy quickly cut shots (a la home cam-corder) of the survivors continuing their journey on the open sea. Through these clips we see the characters making to an island where a zombie hoard awaits them and BAM! you have a not so nice ending revealed amidst the final credits. Wicked cool way to have two endings on the same reel!!
    A word on the zombies. Romero fans are used to the slow shuffling of the classic zombies. Slow methodic zombies are a hell of lot more scary to me than ones that run. Because of their speed, they are a little less believable. Also Romero’s zombies seem to have more depth. There are monsters that will eat you, but you can see how they were once human beings in the way they move and act. Snyder’s zombies seem to be specifically only monsters that will eat you and must be destroyed. On that note, I am also ecstatic that Gunn kept the well-known method for stopping a zombie in this version. The classic shot in the head.

    How great it was for Romero fans to have two great cameo appearances in this version. Ken Foree, who played a major character role in the original version, makes a brief cameo as a reverend touting his classic statement “When there’s no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth”. I’ll bet he never thought he would be saying those same words on screen 26 years later. It was also thrilling to see a quick cameo by Tom Savini. Savini is the master special effects artist who made the Romero film come to un-life with gory and nightmarish zombies and effects.

    For moviegoers who have never seen the original, this is a great movie on many accounts. The acting is good, the special effects horrifically wonderful and the action fast paced & exciting. The new generation of horror fans will love the job that Snyder and Gunn did, even if they miss the classic elements and references.

    *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

    Now I can answer that question. Which one do I like best? The original. This new version is awesome and I love what it does for the horror genre and as a tribute to Romero’s vision. I will of course be on pins and needles awaiting the DVD release, however, as “Dawn of the Dead” it will have to take a back seat to the original.
    "Don't let the name fool you, there is no Hope in a world of the dead."

  2. #197
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    The Dawn remake was not as bad as I imagined it would be, but as should be expected from most remakes, it is not as good as the original. It just does not have the same charm as the original with its quaint 1970s environment and the then still developing "shopping mall culture" it seeks to critique. Very rarely does a remake match or actually surpass the original movie. One such rare example of this happening was Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The brilliant 1978 remake is actually even better than the 1956 original.

  3. #198
    Fresh Meat Hopegiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    ...One such rare example of this happening was Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The brilliant 1978 remake is actually even better than the 1956 original.
    I agree, the '78 version of IOTBS was outstanding!!
    "Don't let the name fool you, there is no Hope in a world of the dead."

  4. #199
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopegiver View Post
    I agree, the '78 version of IOTBS was outstanding!!
    The first 10 minutes or so of the remake had some good elements. But the insta-contacts/dyno roars on death annoyed the hell out of me...
    Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there--on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. [click for more]
    -Carl Sagan

  5. #200
    Chasing Prey shootemindehead's Avatar
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    I'm runnin' this monkey farm now Frankenstein.....

  6. #201
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    Quote Originally Posted by shootemindehead View Post
    One of the best movie endings ever.

  7. #202
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    78 version no doubt hate the fast moving zombies

  8. #203
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    I hear ya'

    Quote Originally Posted by rees1977 View Post
    78 version no doubt hate the fast moving zombies
    Even now, when I watch the re-make I have to remind myself that it is not so much a re-make as it is an homage to the original. That the zombies are faster is at Synder & Gunn's liberty;their way to expand on the way the crisis progresses and unfolds.
    "Don't let the name fool you, there is no Hope in a world of the dead."

  9. #204
    Just been bitten LivingDeadGuy's Avatar
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    The way i feel about it is the 1978 version had some poor quality special effects but it gave a message about how the world is going to hell due to mankind's selfishness. The 2004 remake on the other hand had better quality special effects but lacked the social commentary that Romero had given about our society.

    Also I dont mind the fast zombies at all i admit that there were times when they were scary. But i personally like the slow zombies better because they are eerie.

  10. #205
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    Quote Originally Posted by LivingDeadGuy View Post
    The way i feel about it is the 1978 version had some poor quality special effects but it gave a message about how the world is going to hell due to mankind's selfishness. The 2004 remake on the other hand had better quality special effects but lacked the social commentary that Romero had given about our society.

    Also I dont mind the fast zombies at all i admit that there were times when they were scary. But i personally like the slow zombies better because they are eerie.
    Gore-wise, the original film is also way superior to the remake. I found the remake to be rather "tame" in that department. The remake only has better makeup, that's it. Everything else is better in the original.

  11. #206
    Just been bitten LivingDeadGuy's Avatar
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    Personally I felt like Day of the Dead and Lucio Fulci's Zombie had better gore effects than Dawn of the Dead.

  12. #207
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    Quote Originally Posted by LivingDeadGuy View Post
    Personally I felt like Day of the Dead and Lucio Fulci's Zombie had better gore effects than Dawn of the Dead.
    Yes, but certainly not the Dawn remake. It was very tame in comparison to pretty much any of those 70s and 80s films.

  13. #208
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    'Dawn of the Dead' ('04) is an abysmal and abhorrent piece of celluloid. No comparison! Upon seeing '78 for the first time; renting it from the local video store in a clamshell VHS case, I was never quite the same. So, of course, there's a bias on my part.

  14. #209
    Just been bitten LivingDeadGuy's Avatar
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    My main problem with the Dawn of the Dead remake was the offensiveness of it. Like the part with the televangelist claiming that God was punishing mankind with zombies for having 'men on men' relationships and abortions. Not because of the fact that humans are always murdering and hurting each other out of pure selfishness or the fact that we are slowly destroying our entire planet to the point of it eventually not having enough resources left for anyone to survive on.

    I think Romero's reasoning behind the world ending makes more sense than Snyder's reasoning.

  15. #210
    Fresh Meat Hopegiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by halepauljeff View Post
    ...Upon seeing '78 for the first time; renting it from the local video store in a clamshell VHS case, I was never quite the same. So, of course, there's a bias on my part.
    Fair enough. Again, the original is still my all time favorite movie. Now is there anything you liked about the '04 version?
    "Don't let the name fool you, there is no Hope in a world of the dead."

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