he was chrome and he said

WilcokickingtelevisionSo I got the new Wilco CD, Kicking Television: Live in Chicago. It sounds great, and has one of the most incredible version of Spiders (Kidsmoke) I’ve ever heard, but it’s not much different from any other soundboard recording from the same tour earlier this year. I’m not ashamed to admit that I have a pile of recordings from that tour, because I am that big of a Wilco geek. I even picked up the actual CD, rather than buying it from the iTunes Music Store, hoping for a booklet or something inside, but there wasn’t anything that made me glad I’d driven all the way to the store for it. Still, it’s a great recording that Wilco geeks will probably enjoy, and the best reason to buy this CD is because you love the band and want to support them.

28daysI finally watched 28 Days Later last night. I enjoyed it, but I think it had been built up way too much by my friends, because it didn’t blow me away like I was expecting it to. I wouldn’t consider it a zombie movie, at all. First of all, I don’t consider it a true zombie movie. That’s not to suggest that it’s a bad movie, it’s just the zombie elitist in me snorting from behind a too-tight sweaty T-shirt: When the infected die, they’re dead. The end. If they were traditional zombies, they’d be coming to get you, Barbara. They also don’t eat the living, they’re just out there trying to kill everything that moves and spread the infection. I really liked that, and I think the zombie comparisons aren’t necessary. (Yes, I know that Danny Boyle called it a "reimagining" of the zombie films, so I’ll defer to him on this point, but like a good nerd, I’m needed to snort and argue about it a whole lot, first, to feel important.) 

I really loved the way the movie looked, and I loved the score. I thought the performances were all fantastic, and the movie was truly scary and suspenseful . . . but when they got to the whole thing with the soldiers, I felt like the story took an unexpected turn, jumped onto a different track, and became and entirely different movie. Actually, now that I think about it, I suppose it could be an additional examination of how different people reacted to the epidemic . . . but it didn’t feel right to me in the context of the film. I watched all the alternative endings, and I really liked the one that ends with the two girls walking down the hospital corridor, without the coda.


15 thoughts on “he was chrome and he said”

  1. Though it’s certainly a good movie in its own right, I think 28 days really stood head and shoulders above most other offerings nowadays because so many recent movies have been complete and utter dreck.
    There’s another British movie (I think it’s British?) coming out in a few days, “The Libertine.” It sounds like it’ll potentially be pretty good, though I haven’t been able to find anywhere around Pittsburgh that it’s showing.

  2. Wil,
    So, I’m sitting at my desk, listening to the new Wilco album and doing a little work and I think to myself, “self, you should check in on Wil and see what he has to say today”. So I do. I always listen to myself. Anywho… what do you know – the first thing you’re talking about is the very album I’m giving a listen to. Neat.
    Personally, I like a good audience recording over a soundboard – but hey, that’s me. The sound is good and at least they kept in a little of the audience noise to add to the live feel.
    Thumbs up.

  3. I first heard about 28 Days Later from some friends who excitedly told me, “Jessica!! Zombie movies are back!!” So, of course, I ran out to the theater and watched it eagerly. I must say that I was quite impressed with it, however, it was not a true “zombie film”. Thank (insert religious figure here) for George A. Romero’s comeback shortly thereafter. Though the zombie freak inside of me will never be satisfied, it has become somewhat content. :)

  4. But you have to admit it is at least a zombie-styled movie. I really enjoy the beginnings of these types of disaster movies more than the middle or end — 28 Days included. The whole military angle in the last half left me a little cold too. But then I felt the same way about The Stand and Dawn of the Dead.

  5. Oh man. I saw this movie a couple of years ago and was bored out of my mind. People told me how exciting it was and how it’d keep me on the edge of my seat. It was entirely too slow and I have to say it was just downright terrible.

  6. I’ve been lurking for a few days now, but the Wilco commentary drew me out of hiding. A fan of Mike Doughty and Wilco? My God, Wil, you’re even cooler than I anticipated!
    I can’t say I’m a fan of the AGIB version of Spiders, yet I was blown away the first time I heard it live, so I’m glad to hear the Chicago version is up to snuff. I’ll have to pick up a copy sometime soon.
    What do you think of Doughty’s “The Gambler” EP?

  7. I haven’t heard the live CD yet, but as a Wilco fan (and staff member of the Vic Theatre), the two nights they taped the concert (that I worked), I can say that Wilco puts on a great live show, especially in front of a hometown crowd. My only complaint (and I talked about this in my blog when it happened) is that Mr. Tweedy doesn’t like to sign autographs…he thinks “they’re stupid”. Even so, I can’t wait for the live DVD.
    As for ’28 Days Later’, I’d love to see the ending altered. When the fighter jets fly over the second time they should have been American planes dropping bombs on the survivors…a nice dark, ironic ending.

  8. In case you haven’t seen it already – Shaun of the Dead should be watched. Seriously. I don’t think I’ve laughed that much since I saw the South Park movie. Or possibly since I first saw Blackadder.

  9. I know Wil’s seen Shaun of the Dead… I believe he gave it 4 Brains up. Or maybe 5 Chainsaws? Anyway, I really loved both Shaun of the Dead and 28 Days Later. I do have to agree that the ending to 28 Days Later was slightly different than what I was anticipating but it was still a far, far superior movie (horror or otherwise) than what I’ve seen in recent days. I consider myself a pretty damn picky movie critic and if I like a movie enough to want to own it, it has to be pretty good. And I want to own 28 Days Later. Did all that sound big-headed? Hope not!
    I don’t even want to own Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The new one. It was good but not that explosively good, know what I mean? It didn’t blow me away.

  10. Shameless plug for Say Hello Productions and my brother-in-law, Chris Howard. If you want another zombie movie to add to the list of must-sees….”Locked Away.”
    But remember, “good” is in the eye of the beholder.

  11. Yes the score and the look were great. It just was not a zombie movie. It was more a movie about the human condition, and how being isolated can reduce men to mere savages. Just think Lord of the Rings or Heart of Darkness.

  12. Boo :) Meant Lord of the Flies on that post. Sadly Lord of the Rings has been permanently etch a sketched into my brain and it gets typed out there even if I dont want it to be. Excuse the momentary lapse of reason.

  13. When I saw 28 days later I walked into the theater late and started watching just as the lead character was waking up in a deserted London. I missed all the silliness with the monkeys being infected by “rage”.
    I was a bit pissed at the circumstances of arriving late but when I finally got around to seeing the movie on DVD and caught the first 5 or 10 minutes I wished I hadn’t. It was a much stronger movie without the added exposition.
    The only thing that I gained from knowing about tham thar monkeys was being able to have a good laugh at a news report in “Shaun Of The Dead” that referenced it.

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