Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Drunk Experience of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (a review)

Preface: This post is extremely biased. And long. I have never read "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" nor do I  desire to do so. Thus heading to a theater to watch the demon spawn offspring that is the "movie adaption" obviously makes this whole thing a little suspect. But, when you love your friends as much as I do; and if for their freaking birthday they want to take me to see what I consider a giant sin against literature for their own entertainment - I will not stop them. I will, however, find a means to endure it. And that is why I was intoxicated when I showed up to the 7:45pm showing of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. It is also why I chose a theater that serves you alcohol at your seat during the film. Am I wrong to choose a form of self medication that would enable the enjoyment of all in my party to witness this experience? I don't think Jane Austen would condemn me. She'd probably tell me to pass the wine. So, without further ado, I give you my experience of Feb. 6th and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Note: You have been warned.
2nd Note - I swear. A lot...
Zombies Bite! Read Jane Austen...
Act 1 - The Birthday Party (present tense)
"I really love zombies", says Jessica, over a birthday feast of lasagna and garlic bread. We are on our 2nd bottle of champagne (which she has had only one glass of) and she says that while looking directly at me. My other two friends snicker.

I have had 3ish glasses myself (Chantra? Danielle? Is that 4 glasses?) so I snort. The reason this is funny is because I am a Jane Austen fan. In less than an hour, I am going to endure 98 minutes of "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies". Obviously, she has been poking me with this since the book came out a few years ago (Maybe "Jane Austen snob" defines my stance a little more honestly). I find this trend with adaptations abhorrent and this one in particular above and beyond the rest. Pride and Prejudice is awesome on its own - why are the undead needed?

She made that statement in honesty, but I'm buzzed and I can no longer take the situation seriously. "I can't believe you just said that," I laugh, "and now that is the first line in my blog post".

Act 2 - A Movie Theater with a Bar (past tense)
Chantra, Danielle, Kendal, and birthday girl Jessica
Since the first damn preview was seen by Jessica, there were two stipulations to this evening. 1. I could drink before the movie 2. I could drink during the movie. We succeeded in both. After running a little behind getting to the theater (we needed to finish another bottle of champagne) and dealing with an awful parking lot (seriously, you'd think it was black Friday) we made our way to the bar to get a drink and head into the movie...which was packed. I'm assuming it was karma to have us front and center in that theater. I've been condemning the book and movie without ever reading it and that is wrong and I know it.

But, who the hell am I kidding? In this case, screw karma! HELLO FRONT ROW! Bartender! Another round for me and my friends!!! Wooo stupid zombies!!!

...and then there was a shhhhh from a row behind us. They are going to LOVE my blog post.... 

Act 3 - The Movie Itself (past tense)
Pen and paper in hand

If I thought I could have gotten away with live tweeting this night, I would have. My friends thought I could... Fortunately, my fear of doing bad things/getting kicked out plus a dull voice of reason in the back of my head saying "you'll lose more followers with your insane rantings that no one will be able to decipher" led to my notebook.
These are the notes of an angry, drunk woman whose favorite novel has been defiled by popular culture. Not even the costumes were Regency accurate!!!
I know you can see a few legible bits and pieces (sort of). Chicken scratch is putting it nicely - but you get the idea. This is actually the 2nd and 3rd page of 4. My first thoughts on the movie include the following:

 "Are you f-ing kidding me??? (in response to the opening line: "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.")
"Ummm - brains? must eat brains?" (which was moaned after said opening line by zombies)
"Well that was interesting..." (in response to the first kill of the evening. Spoiler: Darcy did it.)
"Leave Austen out of this!" (in response to "An Illustrated History of England". A young Jane Austen actually wrote "A History of England" that was illustrated by her sister, Cassandra. I found using this as a device for the movie insulting. Of course, and I repeat, I'm a Jane Austen snob. Please find her original juvenilia for free here
"Snickering  at 'our warrior daughters'" (they don't need to get married Mrs. Bennet!!! Cool your jets!)
and lastly...
"There are no bloomers in Regency society!" (in response to the costumes - very inaccurate. My costuming friends would understand!)

The only comment I had on page four is a little obscure. I believe it's in response to Darcy's second proposal to Elizabeth. My note was "That's not it. He doesn't say that". I'm going to have to go with that.

As I sat there in my seat for that 98 minutes, my birthday friend, Jessica, thought it would be hilarious to document my reactions to various scenes. Being in the front row helped with the lighting and I think you get a good sense of what I was thinking. Though I can not promise these are in the right order...
"I am sitting in the front row - very up close - of Cinebarre. We were 10 mins late and this is what we get. Fun times."
Opening scene...WTF
Oh FFS...
The only scene I actually enjoyed was the Eliza/Darcy proposal scene (1).
And I'm drinking...
Annoyed...need another drink...
Are you fucking kidding me??? Even Chantra agrees!
Annoyed...need more alcohol
Happy Birthday, Jessica.
Act 4 - The End
Ok...obviously, I walked in to this movie predetermined to hate it. And for the most part, I did. Especially when (spoiler alert), they completely changed the ending of the hack of a novel anyway to potentially set up for a P+P+Z 2 (thus the annoyed/angry faces at the end). So I was happy that my predictions were on par for me. But, there were a few things I did enjoy and I am confident enough to admit it for those who are curious.
1. Sally Philips - the actress who plays Mrs. Bennet: I thought she did fabulous in sticking to the character. She appears a bit younger than some of the other actresses who have played that part and I actually enjoyed that.
2. The Elizabeth/Darcy proposal scene: In Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Darcy proposes to Eliza in a very rude manner and they have a verbal sparring match. Well, in this version, it is a physical sparring match - and I thought it was done extremely well. I was laughing - Jessica took a picture as proof.
3. Seeing this with my girlfriends: Jessica read P+P+Z and really enjoyed it. Both Chantra and Danielle were once part of the Jane Austen book club, so have a softer spot for the original work, but aren't as biased. And me - the true blue P+P fan in her homemade "Zombies bite, Read Jane Austen" tank top. If I was going to be "forced" to see this - it would only be for them. As much as I wasn't fond of the movie, I truly had a fun experience.
Last call - reviewing my notes

In conclusion, if you like zombies, aren't too attached to the original ending of P+P+Z, don't have strong ties to Jane Austen, The Regency period or historical accuracy, but enjoy British accents - this movie may be for you. However, if not and your friend(s) really want to go - be over 21, grab a bottle of champagne and make your way to a theater that serves.


One last note - obviously, I was drinking, but I was not driving. Please, please, please always have a DD or a way to get home. Ubers, Lyfts, taxis, your significant other or a friend (hell, your parents or relatives!) can be intoxicated and still be responsible.  

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A Drunk Experience of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (a review)

Preface: This post is extremely biased. And long. I have never read "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" nor do I  desire to do so. T...