‘The Walking Dead,’ Season 3 Is (Finally) On Netflix!

The Walking Dead For awhile I was wondering if the Third Season of “The Walking Dead” was ever going to show up.  The first episode, “Seed” is a particularly strong entry, as Rick and the gang discover an abandoned prison.  I have noticed that whenever an episode is directed by Ernest Dickerson, as ’Seed’ is, you know that you are going to get a strong entry.

For awhile I was thinking that I would re-watch the first two seasons – as I have become accustomed to binge-viewing – but I have waited too long for this season to turn up to spend my time covering territory I have already covered.

And while Season Three just arrived, here’s the Comic-con trailer for Season Four.

I really hope that George Romero directs an episode or two because, as essentially the Father of the genre, it would be good to see him helm a few.

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‘The Possession’ Trailer

Sometimes it’s difficult to be a horror fan because, to paraphrase Rodney Dangerfield: “We don’t get no respect.”

I don’t know what what other conclusion to reach when studios are turning out drivel like “Hellraiser: Revelations.”

We want nuance. We want character development.  We want pathos.  And sure, we want some gore and violence accompanying that nuance and character development, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t want substantial, weighty movies (at least sometimes).

And there are directors out there that know what we want, and take us seriously.  A few personal favorites are Stuart Gordon, Ernest Dickerson, George Romero, David Cronenberg, and Frank Darabont.

And while it’s too early to tell if Ole Bornedal will join such august company, at least his latest film, “The Posession,” looks like it at least has the potential to generate a few scares.

Even if it doesn’t, at least it has Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who’s a great character actor and isn’t afraid to tackle genre (which is why it surprises me that “The Resident” was barely watchable despite Morgan AND Christopher Lee in the mix).

‘Think Like A Man’ Trailer

Here’s the trailer for Tim Story‘s “Think Like A Man,” which I am interested in seeing–not because it looks entertaining–it does–but because it’s directed by Tim Story.  Story directed “The Fantastic Four,” and “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer,” among others, two films that weren’t that great, but whose weakness was due more to the writing–I will never forgive the ‘Galactus cloud‘–and the casting, which was almost pitch-perfect, till you get to Jessica Alba as Sue Storm, that is.

What bothers me is that, as an African-American director, it feels sometimes as if they’re quick to get “exiled” into doing films that cater primarily to an African-American audience.

There’s nothing wrong with making films for a select audience; and some people, like Spike Lee and Tyler Perry, have managed to turn it into a lucrative career.

But it’s somewhat limiting, and way beneath what most African-American directors are capable of (Spike Lee has begun to expand his repertoire, with films like “Clockers,” and “Inside Man,”) but it almost feels like it’s something that he has to continually earn, as opposed to what he has already proven.

That being said, there are some African-American directors that manage to transcend being typecast, such as Ernest Dickerson, who was formerly Spike Lee’s cinematographer before he went on to direct films like “Surviving The Game,” “Bones,” and becoming the go-to director for “The Walking Dead.”

The Walking Dead – “18 Miles Out”

Spoiler below:

THEY KILLED DALE!!!!!

End spoiler.

“18 Miles Out,” last week’s episode of AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” was directed by the typically reliable Ernest Dickerson, though I still had a problem with the episode.

It had nothing to do with Dickerson or his directoral chops; those were always top-notch.  No, what bothered me was that they killed off–to me, at any rate–one of the most engaging characters on the series.

They killed Dale (Jeffrey DeMunn).  I was bothered because he struck me as the voice of reason on the show.  When everyone appeared to be losing their moral moorings, Dale was always nearby to help someone navigate some emotionally turbulent emotion.

Sure, he tended to be talkative, and wasn’t exactly a man of action.  Then again, not everyone can be ‘John McClane,’ though that’s not to imply that he was a coward.  He contributed to the group the best way he knew how.

He was also at the time the only person able to repair the trailer that was a primary transport for the group, a most useful talent.

That’s what I guess was the best thing about him:  He appealed to everyone’s better angels, which is a good thing when you have someone like Shane in your group, who has been on the crazy train for quite a few episodes.

Dale will be missed because he not only elevated the show beyond being a zombie of the week show,  he reminded viewers like me that just because the world around us is insane, doesn’t mean that we have to follow its example.

The Walking Dead, Episode One, Season Two

Nothing in the way of spoilers, so read with confidence

I have been watching the second season of “The Walking Dead,” and beside certain odd beats (Why was the smell of the dead on the highway a non-issue, while a rotting corpse in a tent makes everyone gag?  These are some of the same people who covered themselves–literally–in the entrails of the dead in the episode, “Guts,” so you’d think that they would be somewhat accustomed to the way corpses smell by now.  Then there’s the convenience of finding an assortment of bladed weapons just when it’s the most efficient way to kill a zombie come to mind.  I understand that television is full of “coincidences” like that which I just mentioned, but the best television makes those coincidences seem natural.  I am by no means saying that “The Walking Dead” isn’t good television, though if it wants to touch greatness, it needs to watch the deux ex mahina.) I like what I see.

That being said, I noticed that there’s an executive producer credit for Frank Darabont during the opening, when it’s common knowledge that he was fired as showrunner.

I understand that he and his title are (probably) contractually obligated to be there, but it still smarts.

I also saw that Ernest Dickerson worked on the season opener with Gwyneth Horter-Payton (I assume to clean up whatever problems existed, which gave AMC a reason–which I suspect that they were looking for all along–to release Darabont) as well as directing “Bloodletting,” the second episode in its entirety.