Skip to main content

Movie Review: World War Z (2013)

Forget Superman. In World War Z, Brad Pitt's character doesn't have to take his shirt off. He gets things done. How refreshing to have a competent, grounded hero to counteract the empty grandiosity of DC comic book fare.

World War Z is apparently a departure from its book origin. That's fine. It stands up well as a film. The story follows Gerry, a former UN investigator who is sent to track the source of a mysterious virus in exchange for his family's safety. The virus turns people into speedy slavering zombies in twelve seconds. Gerry's mission takes him to South Korea, then Israel, then Wales.

There's plenty of tension throughout the film, starting with an outbreak in Philadelphia during a typical morning commute. The sheer numbers of the infected, and their sensitivity to noise, make it almost impossible to escape their stampedes. Gerry relies on a combination of field experience, observational skill, and of course, luck, to make it. At no point was he sassy, dorky, or tragically conflicted. He's a guy with a job to do, and he gets straight to the point. Like I said -- refreshing!

The rest of the cast do well, particularly Mireille Enos as Gerry's wife, Karin, and Daniella Kertesz, who plays Segen, an Israeli soldier. Fana Mokoena is the government official who works with Gerry; David Morse is great as a prisoner with vital intel; and Pierfranceso Favino, Ruth Negga, Peter Capaldi, and Moritz Bleibtru add more dependable characters to the story.

The zombies are probably the worst thing about the movie. They're terrifying as a crowd -- mindless and unstoppable. But seeing individual zombies up close made people in the audience laugh. It was probably a combination of the PG 13 makeup, and the fact that we've seen much more terrifying infected (c.f. 28 Days Later).

The end of the movie is probably more like what the book is like -- showing the different responses worldwide to the threat. World War Z felt truncated, actually. It didn't feel like a finished story. Gerry himself says that.

So now I will get my grubby paws on the book, and wax poetic about the varieties of creative expression and the impact of one medium versus another.

Or, more likely, I would say something like, "It was good, but where's Brad Pitt? herp derp"

This post brought to you by Apple. Apple: you don't really need it, but it sure is pretty! 

Popular posts from this blog

An International Women's Day Miracle!

Truly, International Women's Day is a special day. No, not because multitudes are out there rallying for our rights and giving voice to the powerless. It is because I won a gift card from a company raffle!

Let me explain why this counts as a minor miracle. You see, I never win anything. I answer every damned survey sent my way, participate in all the raffles, buy lottery tickets -- to no avail. This particular raffle occurred monthly, and I had been faithfully entering my name every month for two years, with no results. Finally, last month, I declared: "No more!" and unsubscribed from the mailing list -- but not before entering one final time, because why not.


There's also some déjà vu at play here. You see, four years ago, I won a gift card from a company raffle. The one fracking time I won anything! I was elated! Shortly thereafter, also on International Women's Day, I was laid off from my job.

Sooooo...since the day's almost over, I guess I'm not…

Paint Nite!

Last night I joined the "Oops" Paint Nite event hosted by the Club Cafe in Back Bay. About 12+ people came to relax and have two artists guide them through painting this original work:

The point was not to slavishly duplicate "Oops" -- we were instructed to make it our own, to relax, and not to utter the words, "Mine sucks," "Can you do this for me?" or "I thought this was paint-by-numbers!"

Speaking of dashed hopes, I had assumed that wine was included. I had done something like this before, only it was in the morning and we all got mimosas. Not so here! While the artists were setting up, I schlepped over to the bar and was rewarded with a generous pour of Cabernet. Now I was ready.

The setup: Everyone got a 16" x 20" canvas, three paint brushes, and a palette (a paper plate) with red, yellow, blue, and white paint. One artist (Brian) had the microphone and would paint with us, while the other was the assistant (Kory) who wo…

Get Out (2017)

Get Out has a charismatic lead, a terrific soundtrack, and damn good cinematography. While it’s described as horror/comedy, it’s more disturbing/cringe-y than scary, and I mean that in a good way. This is an entertaining movie that’s also pretty effective as social commentary.

The film stars Daniel Kaluuya as Chris, a photographer who’s about to spend the weekend at his girlfriend Rose’s (Allison Williams) parent’s house. Naturally, it’s in a secluded spot in the woods. When they get there, the awkwardness that might be expected from a first-time meeting gives way to a series of bizarre behaviors and interactions. While Chris initially takes it all in stride, it eventually becomes clear that there’s something sinister going on behind the scenes.

The acting and dialogue are highlights of the film, as is the camera work. In particular, Kaluuya’s eyebrows and head tilts are so expressive that the audience knows what’s going on in his head even as he politely brushes off eccentricities. A…