Zombie Movies: From A To World War Z

June 28, 2013 at 8:28 am

Zombie Movies: From A To World War Z | World War Z Review 2013

WORLD WAR Z PROMISED A WAR BUT DELIVERS A SKIRMISH

Fans of Zombie movies are much like the undead hordes they adore. No matter how many movies they devour, they always want more.

This is the best time to be a fan of the Zombie genre. With The Walking Dead delivering constant scares and fascinating character moments, the house that Romero built has never been stronger.

It was only a matter of time before a PG-13 Zombie film came along with big name stars and an epic scale unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Zombie movie fans aren’t used to this approach. The classics show you the devastation left in the wake of a world wide infection but the focus on a smaller group trying desperately to survive.

Is it possible to break that formula and deliver a Zombie movie that truly pulls back from the intimate approach?  Perhaps someday another movie will because World War Z doesn’t quite deliver on its epic concept.

My main issue with World War Z is it’s premise.  They set out to make a Zombie movie that shows the destruction a Zombie virus can cause on around the world.  This is definitely a nice change since the majority of Zombie movies are made on a budget and focus mainly on a single city.  The classics usually mention that much of the world is gone to add to the suspense.  Here we finally get to see a Zombie outbreak in multiple countries dealing with a variety of social and political situations.  The opportunities were endless…

My issue is with the film is the sudden abandonment of that premise in the third act.  Once again we find ourselves in a compound with a small group of survivors with an unreachable item they must acquire.  The problem is, they are also bound by the restrictions of a PG-13 rating.  It’s just not the same.

The other frustration I have is Brad Pitt’s mission.  He’s out to find the source and a cure.  In the film’s third act he simply abandons that mission and settles on a creative solution to hide us from the Zombies.  The smaller films can get by without providing these answers because they usually don’t focus on government operations.  They deal with a simple question:

What would you do to survive a Zombie apocalypse?

The ending felt lazy to me because the actual ‘war’ is shown as the final montage.  There are no answers are given for the outbreak, no real war delivered and no suspense due to the Kindergarten scares the film delivers.  I had high hopes for World War Z.  It definitely has it’s moments.  Namely, an airplane attack that could have been infinitely more terrifying if it took place in a film with a sinister rating.

All in all, it’s probably worth a look if you collect Zombie experiences.  That’s why I went to see it.  I was left wondering about all the moments the film hinted at and flew passed on the way to…  nothing.  And seriously?  No human being can be skewered by a piece of metal and run around pain free three days later.

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PS: Matthew Fox!  You think I didn’t see you but I did!  It’s a shame your scenes got cut.

Man of Steel Is The Superman Movie We Wanted Right?

June 17, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Man of Steel Is The Superman Movie We Wanted Right? | Man of Steel Review

ZACK SNYDER’S SUPERMAN THROWS PUNCHES!

I had my tickets to see Man of Steel two weeks before the film’s release.  I’ve written many articles about the film and broken down just about every trailer.  The more I saw, the more excited I became.  Could THIS be the Superman movie I’ve always wanted to see?  To say I was pumped would be a gigantic understatement.

When Superman Returns was released, I was incredibly disappointed in the lack of action as well as Lex Luther’s ‘land’ scheme.  That movie focused on Clark Kent and his integration into society but failed to deliver a Superman worthy of the big screen.  Man of Steel is very much the opposite.  This reboot focuses almost entirely on Kal-El and his integration into society.  Would humanity accept a savior from another world?  What would happen if an alien revealed his/herself today?  It’s a fascinating theme that lays the foundation for a Superman movie unlike anything we’ve ever seen.

I’m going to start at the end and work my way backwards.  The final hour of this movie is as big (if not bigger) than the finale of last year’s smash The Avengers.  The destruction caused by Superman and General Zod’s Metropolis death match is gargantuan.  Buildings crumble, roads are shattered and Zack Snyder delivers some of the most exciting action I’ve ever seen on the big screen.  Finally, the Man of Steel is unleashed with a worthy opponent backed by some spectacular visual effects and direction.

When I woke up this morning and gathered my thoughts for this review, all I could think about was the final act.  I can’t wait to see it again but I don’t think I’ll see it in theaters twice.  Why?  Because it took over 2 hours to get to the explosive finale.

Man of Steel Is The Superman Movie We Wanted Right? | Man of Steel Review

THE DARK KNIGHT THIS IS NOT

I think comparing Man of Steel to Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy isn’t entirely fair.  True, they share a similar real world approach but there can only be one Dark Knight.  The one glaring difference between the two is the time it takes to establish the hero’s origin.  With Batman Begins, Nolan created an effective and exciting back story while remaining economical with screen time.

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We don’t even see Earth for nearly 30 minutes in Man of Steel.  From there we follow a broken timeline that mixes in important events from Clark’s youth as we follow his journey as an adult.  All the usual Superman moments are included but several scenes felt better suited as deleted scenes on the Blu Ray.

It’s interesting for such a fast paced movie to feel slow.  Time crawls when you can’t wait to see super speed.

Man of Steel Is The Superman Movie We Wanted Right? | Man of Steel Review

Still, it’s hard to fault a movie for providing such detail as they built up the universe’s mythology.  I think my excitement to see Superman in action worked against me as I waited.  Regardless, this movie definitely feels long in addition to actually being long.

I went in to Man of Steel thinking there was no way the film would earn less than 8/10.  When the credits rolled I was blown away by the action but surprisingly found myself considering a 6.  Upon further review, I decided that Man of Steel is a worth a trip to the theater.  It’s worth it because THIS is the best Superman movie I’ve ever seen.  Years ago, I was angry because there wasn’t enough action in Superman Returns.  Many fans were.  People demanded a Superman that threw punches and the talented filmmakers behind this epic delivered exactly what we asked for.

Man of Steel Is The Superman Movie We Wanted Right? | Man of Steel Review

This is a Superman movie filled with iconic moments and massive action set pieces.  It features a truly stellar cast with scene stealing performances by Henry Cavill, Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, Michael Shannon and Amy Adams.  There are slower moments and an incredibly long build up to the enormous finale but in the end, it was entertaining.  A 7/10.

It may not redefine the superhero genre as many hoped but not all movies can be as big as The Avengers or as complex as The Dark Knight.

THIS IS THE SUPERMAN MOVIE I ASKED FOR

An action packed epic where Superman battles a worthy foe and holds nothing back.  Maybe I will catch it again on the big screen after all.

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Top 5 Moments: The Desolation of Smaug Trailer #1

June 13, 2013 at 9:58 am

Top 5 Moments: The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug Trailer #1

The first chapter of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy was a fantastic return to Middle Earth but not without a few problems here and there.  Still, returning to Middle Earth was inspiring and visually stunning.

In the end, I think my expectations were far too high.  I loved The Lord of the Rings trilogy but, even though I wasn’t blown away by An Unexpected Journey, I’m excited to see more.

Thankfully, if this trailer is any indication, the majority of my minor complaints have been left behind.  The Desolation of Smaug looks awesome.  Here are 5 of my favorite moments from the film’s first trailer:

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5.  THE SCENERY

The sweeping wide shots of this series are breathtaking and they get better with every film.  Middle Earth has never looked so good.

Top 5 Moments: The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug Trailer #1

4.  LEGOLAS

It’s always nice to see an old face especially that of an immortal elf.  I wonder if he’ll have a ‘Leggy’ moment in this film though they can’t top the Mumakil sequence…  Can they?

Top 5 Moments: The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug Trailer #1

3. AZOG

I’m a big fan of this villain.

Top 5 Moments: The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug Trailer #1

2.  WAS THAT AN EARTHQUAKE?

Obviously, this moment leads directly to #1 on this list but seriously, I’m very excited about seeing Smaug in action.

Top 5 Moments: The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug Trailer #1

1. SMAUG!

Finally!  We get a glimpse of Smaug the Dragon.  It’s not the most revealing look but I’ll take anything at this point.  Next step…  Smaug’s voice must be revealed.  With Benedict Cumberbatch behind the beast, Smaug will be menacing indeed.

Top 5 Moments: The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug Trailer #1

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Top 5 Moments: The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug Trailer #1

Top 10 Moments: Game of Thrones Season 3

June 11, 2013 at 11:35 am

Top 10 Moments: Game of Thrones Season 3

Another spectacular season of Game of Thrones has come and gone.  The long wait for season 4 has begun but before we all hibernate for the winter, here is a recap of the best moments from season 3!

10. DAENERYS NEGOTIATES | The Bear and the Maiden Fair

9. CAT & JON HAVE HISTORY | Dark Wings, Dark Words

8. GO TO BED KING JOFFREY | Mhysa

7. THE VIEW ATOP THE WALL | The Climb

6. TYWIN VS TYRION | Valar Dohaeris

5. WHITE WALKERS! | Second Sons

4. THE KINGSLAYER’S HEART | Kissed by Fire

3.  NEED A HAND JAIME? | Walk of Punishment

2. DAENERYS CAN DEAL! | And now his watch is ended

1. THE RED WEDDING | The Rains of Castamere

CATCH UP:

Episode 1 Moment: Valar Dohaeris

Episode 2 Moment: Dark Wings, Dark Words

Episode 3 Moment: Walk of Punishment

Episode 4 Moment: And now his watch is ended

Episode 5 Moment: Kissed by fire

Episode 6 Moment: The Climb

Episode 7 Moment: The Bear and the Maiden Fair

Episode 8 Moment: Second Sons

Episode 9 Moment: The Rains of Castamere

Episode 10 Moment: Mhysa

Click here for more Movie Countdowns.

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Top 10 Moments: Game of Thrones Season 3

Game of Thrones Moment: Mhysa

June 11, 2013 at 11:26 am

Game of Thrones Moment: Mhysa | Season 3 Episode 10 Review

SEASON 3 EPISODE 10
MHYSA

Let’s face it.  The season finale didn’t have a chance to live up to the high standard set by last week’s penultimate episode, The Rains of Castamere.  However, at it’s core, this show is all about defying expectations and crashing through the barriers of traditional television structure.  Main characters die while others disappear for multiple episodes.  Why not accept that the big moments of Game of Thrones occur in the second last episode?  Rather than save everything for the finale, allow for an extra chapter to wrap things up.

That’s exactly what Mhysa felt like.  An episode used to sum up the events of The Red Wedding while setting the stage for next Spring’s fourth season.  I suppose I accept the fact that the big moments already happened but part of me was still hoping for another jaw dropping moment.  It didn’t happen and this episode was difficult to narrow down to a single moment.

I could have gone with the looming threat of the White Walkers.  Specifically when Davos hands Stannis the note proclaiming that a giant undead army marches south.  Almost immediately, Stannis switches his focus to the White Walkers, allowing Davos to live in the process.  It’s always nice when characters discuss events occurring elsewhere in Westeros.  There is a very real threat scaling The Wall and even though the White Walkers were barely mentioned this season, their existence is still a fascinating part of this show.  Winter is coming indeed.

I was going to select the titular scene featuring Daenerys.  It was a fantastic moment to see another army of freed slaves cheer for their Mhysa (Mother).  In the end, I didn’t select it because we saw a similar moment in ‘And now his watch has ended.’

There were also many reunions including Jaime’s return to King’s Landing and Jon Snow’s return to The Watch with several arrows piercing his body.  There was Arya’s brutal attack and… ahem…  D**ks in boxes…

But seriously, how could I not select Tywin who literally dominated the King we all love to hate.

“Did you just send the most powerful man in Westeros in bed without his supper?” (Tyrion)

send the most powerful man in Westeros in bed without his supper.

Beyond the hilarity of the situation, Tyrion’s threats won’t go unchecked much longer.  I thought that scene was brilliant.  Finally, Joffrey is beginning to realize he is truly powerless.  That spells doom for those who mock him.  Either that or he will be killed off.  I wouldn’t be surprised.

It’s hard to imagine Game of Thrones continually raising the bar but they managed to create another unforgettable season of television regardless.  There were so many spectacular moments throughout the complex story lines they weaved together so seamlessly.

Next season is so far away…

Game of Thrones Moment: Mhysa | Season 3 Episode 10 Review

COUNTDOWN | Best Moments: Game of Thrones Season 2

XTRA | Screenwriting & The Game of Thrones Theme

CATCH UP:

Episode 1 Moment: Valar Dohaeris

Episode 2 Moment: Dark Wings, Dark Words

Episode 3 Moment: Walk of Punishment

Episode 4 Moment: And now his watch is ended

Episode 5 Moment: Kissed by fire

Episode 6 Moment: The Climb

Episode 7 Moment: The Bear and the Maiden Fair

Episode 8 Moment: Second Sons

Episode 9 Moment: The Rains of Castamere