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Army Of The Dead Review: Don’t Watch This Ham-and-Cheese Special While Having Your Dinner

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Army Of The Dead (Netflix)

Starring  Dave Bautista, Ella Purnell, Omari Hardwick, Ana de la Reguera, Theo Rossi, Matthias Schweighöfer, Nora Arnezeder, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tig Notaro, Raúl Castillo, Huma Qureshi

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Directed  by Zack Snyder

Rating: **

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To watch heads being blown off(in slo-mo with brain particles showering  a queasy confetti on the  screen), jaws being ripped off and limbs being severed with  atrophied  severity, requires nerves  of steel. Considering the craze to view Army  Of  The Dead I suppose Covid has got us there already. Insensitivity  is  the  new mantra for  survival. Corpses  of loved ones  are left to their own devices. We mourn in isolation. We  wallow in solitary grief.

In many ways Army Of The Dead  is an unintentional metaphor  of the pandemic. It shows  victims  dying horrible deaths and  being helped to the  other world  by their loved ones , the contagion level  being so high it is  best  to   slay rather than grieve.Next bed , please.

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 This  Zombie  movie trope  used to be fun  for some back in the time  in 2004 when  Znyder made  his directorial debut with Dawn  Of  The Dead.

 Those were the daze!   Now  given the circumstances I am not too sure  bringing  us a flamboyant  gut-wrenching(literally)   film about zombies is not a case  of biting off more than they can chew, if you will excuse the distasteful pun.  Znyder  derives  great  pleasure  in  watching the  zombies devour on human flesh, chewing the meat  to the bone.

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Speaking of which , this 2 ½ hour marathon of mayhem could do with some  of that: meat  on the  table. For a human-versus-zombies tug ‘o’ war the  plot is skeletal , perhaps in  keeping with   the  overflowing  supply  of  skeletons(which look like they have seen  better days) strewn everywhere . There is also a tiger with  an unknown  skin ailment  which  could do  with a bath.The   direction is  selfcongratulatory  with a  look-ma-no-hands kind  of  childlike glee. Snyder has gone berserk with the  mayhem, breathing  a heavy congested  air into  every frame as the  characters try hard to  preserve a touch of  the humane in the  riot  of  barbarism.

There is a father-daughter reconciliation story  between  Dave  Bautista( more wooden and brainless brawn than Sylvester Stallone)  and his cute daughter  Kate(Ella Purnell). There is  a distinctly camp German safe-cracker(Matthias Schweighöfer) forming what seems  like  an emotional bond with  Vanderohe(Omari Hardwick). There is Ana de la Reguer looking  Mr Bautista  straight in the eye  right in  the  middle of  the mayhem to say, “Why do you think I am here?” And then perhaps  knowing our hero’s IQ level,  not waiting for an  answer to say, “It’s because  of YOU!!!”

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  Everything has to be spelt out in grisly  detail. Between  the swirl  of  blood and the  bursts  of  backchat there is  little room  for  any kind of  plot development.

The  actors ham through the cheesy lines relying on a limited  repertoire  of expressions that range from startled to stumped. Whether  these expressions  are for the camera  or for what the actors are made to  go through for  the camera, we will never know. Also  unknown is why this “army”  of  characters  decides to  travel to Los Angeles to retrieve money from an abandoned casino when  the the city is  clearly taken over by zombies .

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 Maybe these characters are adventurous. One woman in the team the pilot Marianne(Tig Notaro)  keeps smoking her  cigar while the zombies  feast on her colleagues’ heads.  I  don’t know  if  the  violence is meant to be  funny. While the savagery  goes on uninterrupted smoky songs  play in  the background. One  of the songs  goes, ‘Don’t go out tonight, it’s bound  to take  your life.’

Don’t say you were  not warned.

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Why On  Earth Is Sushmita Sen Smoking A Cigar In Aarya’s First  Look?

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Aarya

Season 3  of Aarya is being shot as  you read this, and naturally Sushmita Sen is  super-kicked about it, so kicked that she has put  out a  video where she is seen  in the  best Lady Boss version of herself.

Alarmingly, she is seen puffing away at a  cigar, to  complete her Badass Lady Boss image.

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 There was a  time when women smoking  cigarettes  in Hindi cinema signaled vampishness. If a female actor was  shown smoking it meant she had evil designs  over the  hero, and life in general.

 Sushmita being Sushmita, a cigarette won’t do. A  cigar it is, to go with her formidable image. The last Bollywood actor I saw smoking a cigar  on screen was Premnath in the 1970s. Back then so  many  people didn’t die of cancer  by smoking.

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 These are  different far more dangerous  and deadly times.

Sushmita is an iconic  actor.She  needs to be more careful about the image  she projects . Smoking  a  cigar doesn’t  enhance a woman’s(or a  man’s) muscle power. Nor does it make her look cool.

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About shooting for the third season of Aarya  Sushmita says, “Aarya is synonymous with my name.  I have lived as Aarya for two whole seasons and the love received by the audiences has only encouraged me to do more. Walking on the sets of Aarya Season 3 makes me feel at home and gives me  a sense of empowerment. I’m grateful to the entire team at Disney+ Hotstar, Ram Madhvani Films and Endemol Shine India for the vision of creating Aarya and taking it to newer heights with every season.”

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Shah Rukh, Deepika, John Will Meet The Media  On Monday At 4 pm(But There’s  A Catch)

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Pathaan

Pathaan has effectually discredited the  efficacy  of media interactions to promote  a  film. The  film’s lead actors Shah Rukh  Khan, Deepika Padukone  and John Abraham did not conduct any  press or portal interviews  to  promote the  film.

And  yet Pathaan  is  a blockbuster.

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 This  weekend  the Pathaan producer Aditya  Chopra  of  Yash Raj Films  took a call on behalf  of  the Pathaan team  to do one media  meet at the Taj Land’s End in Mumbai  on Monday January 30 at 4 pm.

The  three principal actors  and  director Siddharth Malhotra  will address  the  media.

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 But  here’s the catch: the media will not be allowed to ask any questions. There will be no  Q& A s or  one-on-one  interactions.This  basically means that the  Pathaan  team will  have an opportunity to  say what it wants  to the media. But the  media will have no say.

Make what  you will of this  one-way traffic.

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A  source close  to Yash Raj informs  me that this is  the   pattern  regarding the media that  Yash Raj will follow for  future  releases: no  press meets  no promotional  engagements.

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Fake Projects of Pathaan Director Being Planted In Media

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Pathaan

Siddharth Anand Denies Considering  Any Project With  Deepak Mukut

A  word of caution to those marketing and publicity wizkids  who think  it’s okay to  plant fake stories  on (fake) projects  with the Pathaan director.

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 It is  not.

Such baseless announcements  are meant only to  raise  the equity  of the  producers  with whom Siddharth   Anand’s name is  linked. One  such  producer whose name  has cropped up after the  spectacular success of  Pathaan is  Deepak Mukut.

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There were  reports  everywhere that Siddharth Anand’s next would  be with Mukut.

Turned out to be a false rumour.

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A  source in the  know informs, “Siddharth now has to complete Fighter  starring Hrithik Roshan and  Deepika Padukone  for Yash Raj.Then  he  is   committed to direct the sequel to War 2 for  Yash Raj films.  They will then start  work on the  next film in the Pathaan  franchise. There is no scope  or  room for any outside  projects  for Siddharth Anand. So every announcement  that  you read of a  new film  to be  directed by Siddharth Anand  for an  outside  producer is likely to  be  a hundred  percent fake.”

When I asked Siddharth Anand  about the  supposed project  with  producer Deepak Mukut he promptly replied,  “NOT AT ALL.”

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Pink Director’s Next  Featuring Yami As A Crime Reporter To Stream From February 16

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Yami

Anniruddha Roy  Chowdhury whose  Pink  featuring Amitabh Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu was one of  the  most important  films of  2016, is all set to  release his  next  Hindi film.

Entitled LostAnniruddha’s film , based on true  events, will see Yami Gautam Dhar(that’s  what the actress calls herself after her marriage)  as a crime journalist. LOST is an emotional social thriller that represents a higher quest, a search for lost values of empathy and integrity.

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Inspired by true events, Lost is a story of a bright young woman crime reporter in her relentless search for the truth behind the sudden disappearance of a young theatre activist.

Lost

Lost

Says Aniruddha  “The shoot of LOST has been an incredible journey. I have been eager for the release of our hard-worked venture. The film is a realistic highlight of media in a social context and I am sure that it will give the audience a compelling watch. I am curious about its release and see the responses it shall get. I hope they will welcome it with open hearts.”

Yami Gautam Dhar  who plays  the lead  of  the  crime reporter  says,   “I can’t be happier and more proud of the film’s selection for the opening night at CSAFF. I feel like its one that the people will connect to and will be the one that you cannot miss, especially in the current age and time. I have loved playing this role because it was such a special experience, it allowed me to explore so many layers of emotions as an actor and the entire team has worked really hard on it. I genuinely cannot wait for the film’s release, especially to see the reactions of the audience to it.”

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The crime investigation  drama boasts a stellar cast. Along with Yami, the film will feature Pankaj Kapur, Rahul Khanna, and an ensemble of younger talent, including Neil Bhoopalam, Pia Bajpai, and Tushar Pandey, in pivotal roles.

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