Shaun of the Dead

This movie is one of my favorite attempts to render Englishness. The heroes of The Full Monty come through despair and learn how to pull themselves up by their bootstraps through cheek and pluckiness. The heroes of Shaun of the Dead go to the pub, when they manage to get off the sofa. Their mothers don’t want to cause a fuss even when gnawed on. I love how everyone’s a zombie before they become zombies.

Also, it was cool when that irritating guy got pulled apart.

Barbarian Invasions

I expected great things from this (watched it the other night), as normally I like movies in which people talk at length in French and not much really happens. I think this movie attempts to address big questions about life–how to live it to its fullest (be a professorial old bore and have lots of mistresses, or be a professorial old bore’s mistress), and how to deal with approaching death (heroin’s your best option) and other invading barbarians (such as terrorists and people who prefer video games to books). But I couldn’t entirely get past the sense that it was really about how crap a national health service is, and how great it is to have lots of money (or a son with lots of money).

On the other hand I still mildly enjoyed it, for its, erm, unhurried pace, and its various small deceptions and complexities, such as the students being paid to tell the teacher they missed him, and the attraction between the risk management professional and the heroin addict. But is this like admitting to having enjoyed The Big Chill?