The Mixed Tape

Trevor’s Top Ten Favorite Films of the Year 2009 by jedismith89

-by Trevor Smith-

1. District 9

Newcomer Neil Blomkamp really impressed me with his compelling storytelling in District 9. Amazing performances by an unknown cast and a great Special Effects Department who made the most out of a small budget.

2. UP

Pixar never disappoints and with another addition to their perfect track record, Up is  a must see adventure movie and an Old man and young boy.

3. The Road

Viggo Mortensen gives an Academy Award worthy performance for this tale of father and son set in Post-Apocalyptic America

4. Adventureland

Set in the 80’s Greg Mottola’s follow up to Superbad takes a more dramatic tone and draws from his past to bring a version of himself stuck at a lame summer job

5. Star Trek

J.J. Abrams doesn’t disappoint with the best reboot of a series ever. He brings a fresh look and feel to a dying universe

6. Up in the Air

Jason Reitman, in his third feature, shows some major directing chops with this gem starring George Clooney.

7. Avatar

James Cameron’s 12 year in the making epic adventure starring Sam Worthington suffers from a weak script but might be the most visual appealing movie of all time.

8. Inglourious Basterds

Hitler in a cape, violence, and Quentin Tarantino. Do I need to say more?

9. Moon

Be on the lookout for another young director, Duncan Jones, with his sci-fi dramatic thriller starring Sam Rockwell. His performance is worthy of a Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor nomination.

10. Zombieland

I had to squeeze this movie in. I have never had so much fun in a theater. It had likable characters, engaging and hilarious dialogue, and of course zombies.

Honorable Mentions:
A Serious Man
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Hurt Locker
The Informant

-Trevor Smith


Zombieland. by matthewgoodnght


This film takes you to the world of Zombieland, post-zombie-epidemic America, following the story of an unnamed college student, nicknamed Columbus, as he travels from Austin, Texas to Columbus, Ohio in search for his family. He comes accross a fellow survivor (Woody Harrelson), nicknamed Talahasse, and they team up with two others, Little Rock and Wichita, in search for a zombie-free haven.


Zombieland was some of the most fun I have ever had in a movie theatre. Sitting in a nearly packed-out midnight showing of Zombieland, we all “OOOH!”ed and belted-out laughing at the same moments.

The action is relentlessly brutal, ever-so-satisfying and is everything you would ever dream of doing in a zombie-infested world. From roller-coaster rail shooting to zombie  baseball, every kill is responded by an “OH” or an “AWW” of excitement, shock, enthusiasm from the crowd.


The humor is witty and the one-liners are memorable, there was the occasional “sort of funny” part, but nothing that sticks to memory and nothing to slow it down. Another part of the story is the drama, suprisingly some of the characters revealed more sides of themselves than you thought. Talahasse was a suprising character for me, in the trailer he seemed to be a cocky, shallow zombie-slayer, but he won over hearts more than I predicted. The romance between Columbus and Wichita was well-constructed, it wasn’t extremely deep, it wasn’t drawn out, and wasn’t over dramatic. It fit into the film well. By the end of the film I actually cared about the two and wanted to see them get together, a crucial element when writing in a romantic tangent between two characters.

As much as there is good, the film had room for improvement. In a couple of spots, the acting was sub-par, and one or two special effects shots would make you recognize that it was special effects. The zombies characters, however, had top-notch makeup and special effects, as all zombie films should be! Using CGI for zombie-like characters subtracts from the believability of the antagonists, what I like to call “I Am Legend Syndrome”.

Zombieland is a fantastic addition to the Zombie-Comedy (or Zombie-Dramady) subgenre, it stays true to the vicious action and savage gore expected in a zombie film, and still succeeds at developing characters and making you laugh all throughout. It’s hard to find flaws in the film, but given its horror-comedy nature you don’t take it seriously enough to look for flaws. Zombieland is a must see if your stomach can handle the gore…and clowns… if you can’t, nut up or shut up!

(3.5 out of 4 stars)

– Matt Perdue

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