Overlord movie screening is complete with a surprise visit from some of the cast

Overlord poster on the movie screen before the movie starts. Photo credit: Alex Behunin

Overlord poster on the movie screen before the movie starts. Photo credit: Alex Behunin

By Alex Behunin

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A fan screening of the movie “Overlord” in Burbank, Calif. shook all in attendance, with a surprise appearance from the director and some lead actors.

On Wednesday, Nov. 7 at the AMC Burbank 16, there was a special early IMAX screening of the new Bad Robot which produced the movie “Overlord”. With over 300 people in attendance, the atmosphere was at an all-time high. All advanced movie screenings are on a first-come, first-serve basis, and this “Overlord” screening was no different.

Ryan Greenhill, a movie screening regular, drove 51 miles from Long Beach to see “Overlord”.

“Long Beach sometimes has movie screenings, but Burbank has movie screenings every week,” Greenhill said. “I would drive five hours to see ‘Overlord’, that is how excited I am.”

At the “Overlord” screening in Burbank, movie-goers stood in a line that wrapped around the building. This specific screening had a photo-op, with a poster of the movie as its background. There were also free t-shirts and coupons for a small popcorn and beverage.

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Beverly Hills resident Jessica Edwards, arrived three hours before the movie scheduled show time, to ensure a good spot in line.

“I like to sit in a certain spot in the theater, so I chose to get here early,” Edwards said. “Movie screenings are fun, and I try to attend as much as possible, plus movie tickets in Los Angeles are $22.50, so seeing them for free is a plus.”

“You should try and get to the screening at least an hour before to make sure you get a seat so you don’t get turned away,” Edwards said.

At 7:25 the theater let people in. All cell phones were requested turned off, with two security guards closely monitoring. An employee came out and said they had a special guest who wanted to say a few words. The stars of the movie Wyatt Russell, Jovan Adepo and director Julius Avery stepped out.

“This movie was a very special experience for me so I hope you enjoy,” Adepo said.

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“Are you guys ready for a crazy time?,” Russell asked. “We had a great time making this film, and I hope you have a great time watching it.”

“Overlord” is set on the eve of D-Day. American soldiers are dropped behind enemy lines to execute a mission to ensure D-Day is a success. When the soldiers get behind enemy lines, however, they learn the Nazis are creating something evil with their own soldiers.

Th film is bloody and pulls no punches with its brutality. The story itself is very original, but it definitely draws from other movies and video games, like “Saving Private Ryan”, “Inglorious Bastards”, and “Call of Duty: Zombies”. “Overlord” is a thrilling movie with horror elements, but it is also a war film, first and foremost. The opening scene sets the tone for the entire movie.

Russell does a great job of playing the arrogant war commander, hellbent on completing the mission. Adepo plays the character that we follow for most of the movie and gives a performance that is sympathetic, but relatable. While the main villains are obviously the Nazis, Pilou Asbaek plays the Nazi commander who is evil and leads the force of horrifying creations. His performance is very good, even terrifying at times. It reminded me of Ralph Fiennes in “Schindler’s List”.

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The real star of the movie is the director Julius Avery. Before the production of “Overlord”, Avery had only directed one full-length film in 2014 and seven short films. He sets the movie up as a war drama but quickly switches to a monster movie. The way he sets up the shots is eye candy, which is very appealing and with the war scenes, one would think it was an experienced war director like Steven Spielberg. Because of the praise of this movie, Avery has landed the job of directing the remake of “Flash Gordon”.

The sound and set design in “Overlord” is incredible and you are fully immersed in the film’s crazy plot. The cinematography is gorgeous, and the editing is masterful.

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Although “Overlord” is a fun ride, but it is not a perfect movie. The story does take some time to get rolling because most of the time the characters are in one location. While the story is clever, it is a bit cluttered and can get confusing with some story points not making any sense.

Movie-goer Jennifer Taylor loves horror films and was curious about the movie.

“I appreciate the originality of ‘Overlord’, that is what kept me intrigued,” Taylor said. “Overlord” felt like a cheesy B movie trying to be great. The special effects were great, I just felt it got cheesy and a bit convoluted.”

Getting in to a free movie screening is not difficult and anyone can go. Visit www.advancescreenings.com or www.gofobo.com and enter your zip code to see if there are any screenings nearby.

“Overlord” opens nationwide November 10, 2018 and is rated R.

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