World War Zzzzz: Why I’m Not Excited About the New Brad Pitt Movie

So, recently I did a thing about the movies of 2013.  And on that list, I said I would return to World War Z at a later time to elaborate on the comments I made.  I think now is a good time to do that so if it turns out I am right I can add 2 paragraphs to this column and rerun it when the movie comes out.  That’s called “advanced planning” kids, even if it is sometimes confused with “laziness.”

WWZ

Man I wish I hadn’t eaten that bran muffin an hour ago.

The picture above is the fade-in on the trailer for World War Z.  Please take note of how thick the traffic is, because that will be kind of important in a minute.

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:28 seconds in, Pretty Boy. You DO know this is a Zombie flick, right?

 

WWZ 2

Ooooh, photo op!

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is :25 into the trailer, and as you can see the side-view mirror of the car is missing as a police motorcycle just clipped it as the cop rode in-between the tightly packed cars you saw in the first shot, and can sorta see in this second one.

 

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Did anyone get the number?

No, but we know it was from PWD.

No, but we know it was from PWD.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another cop comes along, this one on foot, to tell Brad Pitt to “Move along, you Lookie Lou!” when he gets plowed into by a goddamn runaway garbage truck.  A garbage truck that is nowhere to be seen in that opening shot of bumper-to-bumper traffic that stretches a mile or more in either direction.  Further, it isn’t slowed down in the slightest by all of the vehicles it had to have collided with on it’s way to the unfortunate police officer up there.  And of course, there is no indication that this nightmare is coming because it is apparently being stealthy as it plows through traffic on it’s way to killing the cop.

Then, about 1:15 into the trailer everyone who somehow managed to never hear about this book learns that it is about zombies when they see this shot.

Live for the SWARM!

Live for the SWARM!

I wish I could have gotten a cleaner screenshot for you, but I assure you, watch that trailer, you’ll see it.  Instead of just hiring human extras, they decided to CGI in some zombies, and guess what?  It looks like they decided to CGI in some zombies instead of hiring actors to do it.

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King of the Hill!

And it is even more apparent in this scene, although I will freely admit it is a little more forgivable due to the sheer number of people involved.  Not because of cost, but because of the possibility of someone getting seriously hurt.  Which, in the early days of Hollywood, was never a concern at all.  Which is why so many older movies are so much more awesome than what you see today.

I don’t want to discount the movie too soon, but the bad CGI and the silliness of the garbage truck scene do not really make me all that confident that this one isn’t going to be a Ghost Rider.

 

 

2013 Box Office Line-Up Part 2

The Lone Ranger

I have always been a fan of the Lone Ranger, and when I heard he was returning to the big screen, I was pretty stoked.  It’s a great character, one I have my own particular views about.  So the idea of a good, solid western sounded great.

 

Instead we get Jack Sparrow in the Old West.  This looks silly to me…and not a good silly, either.  More like a Wild, Wild, West silly.

OPENS: July 3, 2013

 

 

The Wolverine

When I heard they were making another Wolverine movie, I was hoping they were going to reboot and pretend the first never happened.  Instead, they have decided to acknowledge it in marketing, at least.

 

They have excellent source material to work with, Chris Claremont’s original Wolverine series was an instant classic and added some serious depth to the character.  Let’s hope they redeem the franchise.TheWolverine_poster

If they drop the ball again, I am going to be seriously put out.

 

OPENS:  July 26, 2013

 

 

 Elysium

Neil Blongkamp of District 9 fame is back for more sci-fi action.  Matt Damon and Jodie Foster are headlining, so this could be good.  Expect a rush of critiques exploring how it is a commentary on our imbalanced economy.

OPENS:  August 9, 2013

 

 

The World’s End

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This is another outing with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (Sean of the Dead, Hot Fuzz).  Are we pretending Paul never happened?  We are?  Okay, cool.

OPENS: October 25, 2013

 

 

Ender’s Game

This one is going to be big.  I don’t see a franchise here, which is nice, to be honest with you.  Sometimes there is no other story that needs to be told.

EndersGameCover

OPENS:  November 1, 2013

 

 

Thor:  The Dark World

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I enjoyed the first episode in the franchise.  It was uneven, and silly at times, but it was still entertaining.  And Chris Hensworth proved in The Avengers that he could hold his own in an ensemble cast that had some serious dynamite in it.  I’m willing to give this one a glance, see where it’s headed.

OPENS: November 8, 2013

 

 

 

The Hunger Games:  Catching Fire

Since I’m not a teenage girl, I didn’t read The Hunger Games.  However, I do have a Lady in my life who enjoys books like this one, and so I took her to see the movie.  It certainly had it’s problems, but I think some of the criticisms were nit-picky.  It was a fun movie, and I will likely be taking my lady to see Catching Fire.

OPENS:  Nov. 22, 2013

 

The Hobbit:  The Desolation of Smaug

Someone needs to sit Peter Jackson down and have a talk with him.  He needs to understand that not every movie he makes needs to be 3 hours long.  Sometimes that works (The Fellowship of the Ring 178 minutes) because the tale is truly epic in scope.  And sometimes, you get the feeling that maybe things are being dragged out a little longer than necessary (The Two Towers 179 minutes, The Return of the King 201 minutes) in order to highlight some technical artistry, maybe.

Then the director does a completely different movie (King Kong),yet he makes it so long (187 minutes) that you wonder if he left anything on the cutting room floor.

Then he gives us The Hobbit, as a trilogy.  And each installment promises to be an Epic (An Unexpected Journey was 169 minutes), which is pretty unfortunate, because we know he is really stretching the source material thin.

OPENS:  December 13, 2013

 

 

Looking Ahead to the 2013 Box-Office Line-Up

This is a short list of the big movies that are coming out this year.  Some I have high hopes for, others not so much.  Here they are by release date:

Gangster Squad

I don’t know about you, but I love a good gangster picture.  And this one looks like it’s going to be one of those really stylish L.A. Confidential types that we all love so much.

 

I hope this one is as good as it looks, I really do.

 

 

Hansel and Gretel:  Witch Hunters

The title immediately reminded me of “Abraham Lincoln:  Vampire Slayer” and that is not a good thing.  The trailer itself reminded me of Van Helsing, and that is also not a good thing.

 

This could be fun, but somehow I doubt it.  And that makes me sad.

OPENS:  January 25, 2013

 

John Dies at the End

I’ve already seen this one over a streaming service, and you can too.  If you like it enough, feel free to see it again in theaters.

 

I’ve already reviewed it, here.

OPENS:  January 25, 2013

 

Warm Bodies

I got tired of the zombie thing years ago, to be honest with you.  I still have love for the genre, don’t get me wrong, but I am tired of it being everyplace I go.  The one genre that I truly do hate, however, is the “friendly monster” thing that seeks to turn every terror into a misunderstood friend-to-be.  And when I first heard about this movie, I was prepared to hate it based on the concept.

It looks like fun though, doesn’t it?  Except, based solely on this trailer, I can see someone making a kids cartoon where zombies and humans co-exist and wacky hijinks ensue!  And if that is your thing, you are welcome to it, because I don’t want any parts of that nonsense.

I might check this one out though, for Valentine’s Day with my grrrl.

OPENS:  February 12, 2013

Carrie

I loved the Brian de Palma original, and this one looks to be pretty grim.  Director Kimberly Pierce (Boys Don’t Cry) isn’t shy about showing how young women are victimized, and this remake could give the original a run for its money in terms of dramatic tension.

OPENS:  March 15. 2013

 

G.I. Joe:  Retaliation

Hey, remember a few years ago when you heard they were making a live-action G.I. Joe movie and how excited you got?  Then you saw the trailer for it and you were all like “Um…what is this?  Why did they call the Crysis movie G.I. Joe?”  Well, this time it looks like they got it right.

Originally, Channing Tatum’s character (the only link to the original movie, apparently) was killed in the very first scene of the new one.  As punishment, I suppose.  This seemed to confuse test audiences, however, so scenes had to be reshot and re-edited, delaying the movie to it’s current release date.  And let’s be honest here, how many times does Hollywood release awesome action movies in…March?

OPENS:  March 29, 2013

 

 

The Evil Dead

I own the original Evil Dead trilogy, but the only one I won’t watch with the lights off in an empty house is the first one.  And it just got a lot scarier.

I will totally go see this in the theater, especially one of those old-school theaters with a balcony.

OPENS:  April 12, 2013

 

Iron Man 3

I was thrilled about the first episode in this series; it was a thrill ride with Robert Downey Jr. stealing every scene as he became the Tony Stark that a film audience needs.  The sequel, despite the addition of Don Cheadle to the cast, didn’t hold up the franchise well and seemed more like a guest-written episode of the comics.

Jon Favreau knocked it out of the park in his first outing, but didn’t deliver with the second.  Maybe a change of directors can help recapture the magic of the original.  Count me in.

OPENS:  May 3, 2013

 

The Great Gatsby

This one is a serious date movie.  Meaning:  You don’t take someone to see this on your first date.  You need to be settled and comfortable with each to see this one, then go out for coffee and pie to talk it over afterwards.

OPENS:  May 10, 2013

 

Star Trek: Into Darkness

J.J. Abrams pleasantly surprised me with his reboot of this franchise.  It looks like Abrams has reunited the cast, and that works for me since they worked well together the last time.  I’m hoping that lightning can strike twice, but this trailer doesn’t do a lot for me.  Aside from the snippets of dialogue used in voice-overs, it seems to be a series of explosions, and two separate scenes where someone has to jump from a great height (:38 and 1:38).

I’ll wait and see what the reviews are before I commit myself either way.

OPENS:  May 17, 2013

 

Man of Steel

I’d be lying if I said I was a Superman fan.  He looks cool and all, but the charm wears off rather quickly when you realize he really can’t be beaten.  This makes him a really dull character, and that is part of the reason his film franchise has been a steady series of disasters.  Then they let Zack Snyder (Watchmen) direct the latest reboot because, why not?  He would certainly have to work overtime to make it worse than the last one.

Then I heard that Snyder told an audience at San Diego Comic-Con that he approached the project as if he were the first one to ever do a Superman movie.  And personally, I think that was the only correct approach.  I might actually check this one out.

OPENS:  June 14, 2013

 

World War z

When I heard this was going to be a movie, I thought “Okay, that could be cool.  The book is extremely popular, so maybe they will do a good adaptation.”  Then I heard Brad Pitt was starring and I said “Sweet.  I like his work, this should be good.”  Then I saw this trailer.

I will talk about that trailer at length at a later date.  For now, let me just say that I think I will catch this one streaming, if at all.

OPENS:  June 21, 2013      

 

Monday I will go down the rest of 2013s coming attractions, from July to December.