'The Walking Dead's' drama: When a show features visual delights such as a decaying zombie torso dragging itself across a field, it's easy to say AMC's new series drew a crowd by honoring the form. But for all the grisly scares, it's writer Frank Darabont's deft hand with the human element that has us coming back for more, as exhibited by the opening-night scene of a man racked by the emotional impossibility of euthanizing his infected wife.
'The Secret of Kells' (2009): Even though this animated import earned an Oscar nomination, finding it in theaters was a bit like learning a secret in its own right. Recently released on DVD, this enchanting little film is colored by a hand-drawn visual style that references the illustrated medieval gospels at the story's center. Full of enough surreal wonder and imagination to fill two movies, this hidden gem is also — dare we say it? — even a little educational.
FOR THE RECORD:
Overrated/Underrated: In the Overrated/Underrated column in the Nov. 7 Calendar section, an item about the death of General Motors' Pontiac brand said the song "Little GTO" was performed by the Beach Boys. The original chart hit was performed by Ronny & the Daytonas. —
FOR THE RECORD:
Overrated/Underrated: In the Overrated/Underrated column in the Nov. 7 Calendar section, an item about the death of GM's Pontiac brand said the song "Little GTO" was performed by the Beach Boys. The original chart hit, titled "G.T.O.," was performed by Ronny & the Daytonas. A correction on Nov. 11 failed to note the error in the title. —
The death of Pontiac: We can't help but feel a tad wistful about GM's recent decision to shutter this brand, but from a pop cultural standpoint we're comforted knowing that its many muscle cars will live forever. Who will forget the real star of "Smokey and the Bandit" or the GTO that starred in Monte Hellman's "Two-Lane Blacktop" and inspired the Beach Boys' "Little GTO"? R.I.P., Pontiac. Wish your recent memories could have been so good.
Too much of a good Galifianakis: Let's be clear: We're big fans of this well-bearded comic, and Zach Galifianakis' breakout success is a welcome sign that every now and then Hollywood gets it right. That said, as much as we appreciate striking while the iron's hot, we're disappointed that quantity is starting to outweigh quality with his films, particularly with this weekend's very average-looking "Due Date." Isn't it time to film another stand-up movie (please)?