Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse

[1.5 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

I can't say I'm proud of having watched this. Only excuse: Mrs. Salad was out of the house, and I didn't want to watch anything that she might possibly want to watch down the road. No problem there.

It's not exactly thought-provoking. About the only thought provoked, in fact: shouldn't there be an apostrophe in the title word Scouts?

Anyway: Ben, Carter, and Augie are the few remaining scouts under the reign of "Scout Leader Rogers" (David Koechner). Ben is the normal one, Carter the world-weary cynical one, and Augie the gung-ho one; Carter has convinced Ben to ditch Augie and Rogers and go to a hot teenage party instead. Unfortunately, everyone's plans are waylaid due to (guess what) a zombie outbreak, thanks to carelessness at a nearby lab.

What follows is R-rated zombie comedy, as the kids try to rescue their peers and escape with their non-zombified lives. I laughed occasionally, but there's considerable smuttiness, including genitalia gags (one male, one female, only one graphic, both disgusting). A complete waste of time, yet it held my interest better than Inferno for some reason.

Last Modified 2016-11-12 4:39 AM EDT


[2.5 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

Mrs. Salad loooves fellow Granite Stater Dan Brown, devouring his books as they come out. And we've always managed to see the resulting movies in the theater. So …

Brown's hero, Robert "Mary Sue" Langdon (Tom Hanks), wakes up in a hospital with no memory of how he got there. In fact, he guesses he's at Mass General Hospital, and he's astounded to find he's actually in Italy. He has a head wound apparently caused by a bullet graze, and his only link to sanity is that plucky rebel from the Rogue One trailers, Felicity Jones, here playing his attending physician.

Before you know it, there's another attempt on Langdon's life, and he and Felicity are off on a Europe-spanning cat-and-mouse chase. It turns out that a madman has developed a nasty bioweapon that threatens to take out most of humanity; the madman is a dedicated Malthusian who sees this as a good thing. Langdon disagrees.

There are a number of shadowy people with various motives involved, enough to keep Langdon and Felicity on the run while they track down various inconveniently-placed clues to determine the location of the weapon. Beware, movie-watcher: all is not what it seems. At least I'm pretty sure it's not, I really got lost at times in all the convolutions.

There's some first-rate acting talent here, not the least because the actors are asked to spout some pretty lunatic dialogue. I think there should be a special Oscar for that. Tom Hanks is always good. I especially liked Irrfan Kahn as an unflappable, deadly, and ambiguous menace. But I liked him in The Lunchbox even better.

Veterans Day 2016

Veterans Day 2016

… thank a vet near you.