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Diary of the Dead [Blu-ray]

 R (Restricted)   Blu-ray
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 13.93
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Diary of the Dead [Blu-ray] + George A Romero's Survival of The Dead  / La survie des morts-vivants  (Bilingual) [Blu-ray] + Land of the Dead [Blu-ray]
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Product Description

DIARY OF THE DEAD - Blu-Ray Movie

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Customer Reviews

2.0 out of 5 stars
2.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh George, say it ain't so! June 1 2008
Format:DVD
"Diary of the Dead" is the fifth installment in George Romero's zombie cannon which started off with 1968's genre-defining "Night of the Living Dead", was updated brilliantly and surpassed by the 1978 sequel "Dawn of the Dead", which was also nearly (but not quite) upstaged by 1985's excellent "Day of the Dead". This trilogy proved that when it came to zombies, George could do no wrong. In 2005 Romero returned with the 20 years in the waiting "Land of the Dead" a film, which was met with very mixed fan reaction. I personally liked Land of the Dead and dug it for what it was. We couldn't expect George to make movies look as though it was still 1985 could we?

Story: In Diary, a group of college students from Pitt University flee from campus after a zombie outbreak. They hit the road in a big hippy-style van so they can go back home and be with their (hopefully still alive?) loved ones. One of the students named Jason decides to film all of the events and broadcast on-line for the world to see. The film thus plays out as a sort of web-cam unfolding of events.

My initial reaction on hearing about the premise of Romero's new zombie opus was not necessarily a negative one. Sure, the shaky-camera, reality thing has been played out for years now but I gave Romero the benefit of the doubt because it wouldn't be the first time he reinvents himself through these films. Although all of them are zombie films, "Night" is radically different from "Dawn" which is radically different from "Land". So in Diary, Romero is not settling but continuing to reinvent himself. But oh, how poorly this is executed! Nearly everything in this film is an absolute mess. The CGI head shots that make us crave for Tom Savini.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I can't hate the man at least he tried May 29 2008
By Jenny J.J.I. TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
I thought the film was okay but I know to myself it will never be my favorite out of the bunch. Though it was a documentary I didn't quite catch it as one or for the majority of the film. In here we have a film crew that made up of different characters: The director Jason (Joshua Close) who acts though he believes that if it didn't happen on camera, then it never happened at all. There's his girlfriend Debra (Michelle Morgan) who gets increasingly annoyed with his filming everybody, Tony (Shawn Roberts) who looks like he is prepared to beat Jason to death, and there's even the drunken film professor Maxwell (Scott Wentworth) who looks upon everything with a bemused attachment. What George Romero succeeds in doing as a writer is give us characters who aren't simple types and break those clichés to become increasingly unpredictable in their actions.

Which is one of Romero's strong attributes is that he gives us strong characters with females and minorities. He started doing this a long time ago with "Night Of The Living Dead," and it continues on with this one. The female character that comes across as the strongest here is Debra, played by Michelle Morgan. She is driven to get back to her family who are back at home, and she is not about to get sucked into watching things through a camera lens. Michelle gives the strongest performance in the movie, and she also narrates the movie within the movie, so you have a pretty good idea of what happens to her character. The group does run into a squad of African Americans who have taken over a small town and all its supplies, and who refuse to leave the town.
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0 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars disapointing movie Aug. 5 2008
Format:DVD
this movie,was aweful shot like the blair witch project,except with zombies,ppl running around with stedicams.so if u liked witch,u are welcome to this garabage movie.and ilike george remero movies,this movie i didnt!
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Amazon.com: 3.2 out of 5 stars  222 reviews
34 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I can't hate the man at least he tried May 29 2008
By Jenny J.J.I. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I thought the film was okay but I know to myself it will never be my favorite out of the bunch. Though it was a documentary I didn't quite catch it as one or for the majority of the film. In here we have a film crew that made up of different characters: The director Jason (Joshua Close) who acts though he believes that if it didn't happen on camera, then it never happened at all. There's his girlfriend Debra (Michelle Morgan) who gets increasingly annoyed with his filming everybody, Tony (Shawn Roberts) who looks like he is prepared to beat Jason to death, and there's even the drunken film professor Maxwell (Scott Wentworth) who looks upon everything with a bemused attachment. What George Romero succeeds in doing as a writer is give us characters who aren't simple types and break those clichés to become increasingly unpredictable in their actions.

Which is one of Romero's strong attributes is that he gives us strong characters with females and minorities. He started doing this a long time ago with "Night Of The Living Dead," and it continues on with this one. The female character that comes across as the strongest here is Debra, played by Michelle Morgan. She is driven to get back to her family who are back at home, and she is not about to get sucked into watching things through a camera lens. Michelle gives the strongest performance in the movie, and she also narrates the movie within the movie, so you have a pretty good idea of what happens to her character. The group does run into a squad of African Americans who have taken over a small town and all its supplies, and who refuse to leave the town. This is because for once, they have power over something that they have never had before, and you could see it as a sort of revenge against the white man for all they have put their people through.

The movie does have its share of good scares, and has that same morbid humor that has been present in all of Romero's "Dead" movies. This does make this film relevant in a way even after four decades after the very first one. The last scene in the movie questions the audience directly as to if we as a race are really worth saving or not. That scene will stay with you long after the movie has ended because the characters have only started to learn how to exist in a post-zombie world (shades of 9/11 do abound here and there).

The suspense was there along with the blood and gore, it was giving to us in a fair dose though not quite on the same level as "Dawn" or "Day." Still, there are some good kills throughout, and the characters make good use of a scythe and a bow and arrow. Romero, after all these years, doesn't skimp on the good stuff. However, it still takes these characters way too long to figure out that the best way to defeat a zombie is to shoot it in the head. Aside from that I was slightly disappointed with this film or documentary. I'm thinking there may be room for another one Romero zombie yet, and there is hope to be had in that even if the world is still falling apart. I wouldn't mind seeing him do one more, but I hope it comes out before the apocalypse hits us.
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The horror of modern technology May 27 2008
By C. Christopher Blackshere - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Good evening. This is Tom with Channel 4 news. The stock market crashed as oil prices hit record highs. The unemployment rate ballooned nearly 10% the past month while crime keeps escalating at an alarming rate. Home equity plummetted, health care plans are becoming invalid, taxes rose, debt skyrocketed, and the soldier's death toll suffers its most jagged increase since the opening weeks of the war. But to heck with all that irrelevant junk, did you watch American Idol last night? Hahaha, that's some funny stuff!

My biggest problem with the latest Dead installment is the seesaw effect between the serious and the comical. Throw in so much cheese and corn, and it's hard to digest all of the social and political commentary. George makes some great points, some important profound statements, and then shows something totally absurd to spoil the moment. I didn't particularly care for that.
I've got some more issues with this one. The acting is pretty bad, but that didn't really bother me. Neither did the CGI. I hated the tone, or the mood of this entire story. George never really establishes a dark, gloomy, foreboding atmosphere. In my opinion, an adequate feel of desperation never settles in, I'm sorry to say.
I did love the idea of the homemade zombie documentary. Romero tries to bring a fresh element to the horror genre, and for that he should be commended. But the camera work was not too convincing. It rarely has a real feel. And I was shocked at how underdeveloped the characters are. Maybe this story is about people as a whole, but some closer connection with some individuals would have been nice.

Diary of the Dead starts strong, but quickly fizzles out in many aspects. There are some nice gore scenes, although it seemed to be lacking in that department a bit. It has some undeniably great pieces from the master, but are bogged down by chunks of disaster. I will say that I'm impressed with Romero's efforts at something original in the zombie saga. Hopefully his latest effort will grow on me.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Good Idea, Horribly Executed Sept. 24 2008
By R. Caverly - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
My wife and I own all of George Romero's "Of the Dead" movies, including Day of the Dead. However, Day of the Dead is no longer the weakest link in the "Of the Dead" franchise. Not even close. We were considering purchasing "Diary" without watching it first, thinking, "It's George Romero. How can we go wrong?" Suffice to say, we are glad we didn't purchase that DVD.

The idea is simple: college students filming a horror movie get thrown into a real one. However, whatever merit the original idea had gets sidelined by the absolute horror of the script, the screenplay, and the acting.

To follow are spoilers:

Let's get this out of the way first: you can't edit your video during the zombie apocalypse. And you don't edit music into a movie in which your significant other dies. Part of the beauty of other first-person movies like The Blair Witch and Cloverfield was their complete lack of music or editing... well, not quite complete in both cases, but neither had music or, God help us all, voiceover. The voiceover by the female lead was monotone, it was trite, and it was quite bad. Any movie that relies on voiceover to accomplish its aims, whether it be a moral message or simply a scare, will fall to its knees(the best example of this was Lynch's Dune).

With this said, you'd think that at least the script or the acting would make up for it.... but it doesn't. The actors say exactly what they are thinking whenever they think it. The script is full of meaningless, cringeworthy lines. Whoever wrote this movie needs to learn the value of silence in a horror movie. Filling the silence is not always a good thing.

All this would be redeemed, as in Day of the Dead, if the movie had some serious gore! However, it doesn't. There is an incident with a farmer, but that is about it. The zombie on the gurney spilling its guts out is done once again, after being done in Day of. It seems as if they ran out of on hand cash for special effects, however that's another issue - what's with the CGI gore? The acid on the head CGI was absolutely atrocious, and completely unbelievable. Most of the gore was computer generated, and it showed. Advice to the producers: stick with the makeup artists. They served you well.

Basically, this movie had some promise in an abstract sense, but failed to deliver. It had no subtlety, no gore, and no acting. The narration, music, and fortuitous editing sealed the coffin, but this one ain't waking up any time soon.

We will never again watch this movie, unlike the rest of the Of The Dead franchise which have an honored position on our DVD stand.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DIARY a surprisingly fresh, thoughtful and strange entry Feb. 26 2010
By Brian Ridgway - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Hello, and THANK YOU for reading my reviews. Despite my deep respect for George Romero as a filmmaker, I've waited until this week (over 2 years after it's release!) to see DIARY OF THE DEAD. Mainly it's because I was somewhat disappointed with his last big horror feature LAND OF THE DEAD, but following my recent screening, I have to say that I found DIARY to be an unusual, entertaining feature. Filled with interesting content, reasonably solid dialogue and good characterizations, DIARY is an unusual choice for Romero in that it 'compresses' the zombie world he's created, in effect moving the events of the original NIGHT to relatively current times, as well as placing the followup DAWN OF THE DEAD in a time frame as to suggest that it occurred only weeks ago. Strange as that sounds, Romero makes it work by filling the screen with haunting images of violence, an unsettling tone of despair and a modern pace that compares (and transcends) most contemporary thrillers. Although the film starts out a bit 'stilted', it's relatively easy to fall into line with the pack of survivors he creates here. The actors are all unknown but deliver solid performances. If I had one major complaint with the film though, it's that Romero's decision to shoot on HD video (not only as a budget constraint, but as clearly as part of the in-film story) it's that there are a few TOO MANY scenes where the screen is too dark, losing character detail and confusing the action. HD video seems to be good for relaying vibrant color, but the blacks seem all too FLAT and the lens range doesn't seem to compensate well when going from indoor to outdoor environments. Having said that, I found the film overall probably the most effective ROMERO ZOMBIE entry in terms of maintaining an effectively creepy tone throughout, as well as a terrifically bizarre ending shot that's as shocking and oddly thoughtful as anything he's committed to film. All in all, after TWO viewings, I feel that DIARY has achieved a position directly behind DAWN OF THE DEAD and NIGHT as my THIRD FAVORITE zombie effort.I wasn't crazy about Romero doing another zombie film, but with DIARY, he's shown considerable growth and energy as a filmmaker and cultural commentator.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Adds little to genre May 22 2008
By Mark Roberts - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
As a fan of Romero's past zombie films, I was pretty let down by "Diary of the Dead". It has three pretty significant flaws in my humble opinion.

1. No shock: Nothing new or even effective here in terms of scares, effects, or mood. In fact, it falls far short of ever conveying a sense of menace or threat to the cast. Once you've seen one take of fake intestines falling out of a corpse, really, you've seen them all, and we've seen all this before.

2. Fails to get the "first person" perspective: Like them or not, films like "Blair Witch Project" and "Cloverfield" succeeded, in my opinion, in creating a look that made you believe they were being filmed hand-held... that you were getting a live, "as it happened" view. "Diary of the Dead" drops the ball on this in many places. Dialogue is stilted and unnatural. The performances fail to convey the sense that they are living the events, and are pretty flat in general. The shots look too staged and lack any sort of visceral feel. While the narration indicates that the footage has been edited and had music added, the result is a poorly constructed mash of two styles. The narration, music, and edited shots ruin the first person feel, while the attempts at first person come off stiff and unnatural. All in all, really ineffective.

3. Just plain dull: First person pictures have to engender some suspension of disbelief to overcome the obvious thought "why don't you drop the @#$%!! camera and run?" The set up feels really contrived in this film... more so than others. The attempts at social commentary... e.g. government is trying to cover up what's really going on, hunters shooting zombies for fun... are ham-fisted, blunt, and feel tacked-on rather than part of an integrated theme. When the narrator actually asks "Are we really worth saving?" at the end, it was too silly for words. This was the kind of theme Romero put forth excellently in the original "Dawn of the Dead" without having a character blatantly cry out "why do we destroy each other??"

The result is a pretty bland film, with uninteresting performances and boring gore effects. In the special features, Romero makes reference to going back to the original "Night of the Living Dead" with this film. Perhaps he should have done so more literally, 'cause that film still holds up as a masterpiece of terror.
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