Skip to content

Cargo

With the current deluge of zombie stories, it’s rare to see the zombie archetype used anywhere near as effectively as George Romero did in the original Night of the Living Dead. The concept of using some form of “zombie” was originally intended to highlight a growing “all consuming” pastime or behavior that (at least in the writing team’s view) has ingrained itself in the current zeitgeist. For the original Living Dead series, that was consumerism and the pursuit of material comforts; for Cargo, the behavior echoes Romero’s intent while also hinting that people have forgotten how to communicate effectively. But Ben Holwing and Yolanda Ramke add a surprisingly effective and uplifting bit to the archetype: a parent’s undying love for their child. Past these facts, Cargo stands strong as a film in its own right. While this is rare for a genre piece, it’s even rarer for a film that’s distributed almost exclusively through Netflix.

While Cargo is an expanded version of a short film of the same name, the additional time is largely well spent. The story is changed fairly significantly, as would be expected when expanding seven minutes to fill a feature-length time. The addition of Martin Freeman was an odd choice, but one that also added to the impact, as we see his character struggle to adapt to the surrounding reality of apocalyptic Australia. One of the few gripes I have with the film is actually with Freeman’s presentation of mixed emotions. While believable enough and understandable for the circumstances, his acting in particular can come across as somewhat forced. Nitpicks aside, the acting of the cast is still impressive, especially from newcomer, Simone Landers.

Not only does the film accurately tell its story while drawing the audience in, but even avoids many of the all-too-common pitfalls of more recent zombie tales; chief among those, the over embellished focus on the grotesque. Mr. Howling and Ms. Ramke manage to use the violence and gore that is necessary for this type of story in a measured manner and focus more on the actual plot in a way that implies innocence and struggle, rather than comfort and complacency. So much so that it almost gives the film a “feel good” air, which tends to be a running theme with Cargo: keeping hope alive, even in the darkest of circumstances.

Even if you’re one who is growing weary of all the zombie tales that are releasing now, I would encourage you to at least watch the short film for a taste of what zombie films have to offer.

RATING: A-

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

Follow us on Instagram

FILM 9: From one of my favorite director’s, Robert Altman, comes tonight’s #Seventies flick, “McCabe & Mrs. Miller” (1971). Plot involves a charismatic #gambler John McCabe (Warren Beatty), who arrives in a mining #community and decides to open a #brothel. The local residents are impressed by his #confident #demeanor and fast talk, but crafty prostitute Constance Miller (Julie Christie) sees through McCabe's words and realizes he isn't as sharp as he seems. Film critic A.O. Scott (@nytimes) listed it as one of his five favorite films. #theseventies #RobertAltman #McCabe #juliechristie #warrenbeatty #western #cowboy #the_education_of_gortnacul
“The King” documentary from Eugene Jarecki takes a #musical road trip across the U.S. in Elvis #Presley's 1963 #Rolls #Royce during the 2016 #presidential #election, comparing #Elvis's transition from #country boy to "The King" to #America's transformation into an empire. In summary: “A provocative argument, but even those disinclined to be persuaded by it can enjoy the mode through which Jarecki presents it.” Our short review available now. #TheKing #nowplaying #documentary #politics #Trump #Clinton #roadtrip #folk #blue #music #americandream
It’s hard to describe just how incredible the opening scene of Social Network is: #Fincher, #Sorkin, Reznor/Ross - what a combination. Now consider the cross-layering of the life of vanity (bottom) versus the life of study (top) within the laboratory of the #Turing Test & ask yourself the question [re: self-determinacy & #Artificial #Intelligence] whether any of your independent decision-making is anything more than a social behavior instilled in you by #culture? Routines, sure. But is it worse? Maybe you’re stuck in proverbial @westworldhbo loops? Next time your date gets boring, spice it up with some #metaphysical quandaries. Or just check your #Facebook, again. 🆘
Of all the potentially great films premiering at the #Venice #FilmFestival, a @boyerased may be the most timely. Based on Garrard Conley's memoir and starring Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe and Joel Edgerton (also directed & wrote), the #film follows the son of a #Baptist #preacher who is forced to take part in a #gay conversion program.
%d bloggers like this: