World War Z is something of an anomaly. For starters, it’s a zombie movie rated PG-13, which means no blood, gore or foul language. Secondly, it stars Brad Pitt, from the top of the A-list. Then, it’s directed by Mark Forster, known for dramas like Monster’s Ball, the heartbreaking Finding Neverland, the offbeat comedy Stranger Than Fiction, and the worst James Bond movie of recent memory (Quantum of Solace). It’s extremely loosely based on the otherwise unfilmable book by Max Brooks (son of film-comedy genius Mel Brooks), and had more behind-the-scenes troubles than I could even relate here, involving reshoots, rewrites, and an ever-inflating budget.
All of that is superficial, however, because where World War Z really stands out is its scope. Continue reading →
Last year for my birthday I had a movie marathon. I saw Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Brave and The Avengers in the theater in one day. Yes I paid for a ticket for every film. I decided to do it partially because it just seemed like a fun idea, but also because I wanted to break my previous record of 3 films in a day in the theater. I picked the day in advance, knowing which films would be available for viewing and waited for the showtimes to be posted. It all worked out, I was able to schedule everything in what I anticipated to be an ascending level of quality (I had already seen The Avengers by this point). Everything went smoothly and I had a great time and some friends even joined me for Brave.
So, naturally, I decided to repeat the event this year, making it an annual birthday tradition. I decided on having it this Saturday at the newly refurbished theater that is the closest to my house (a different theater than the one I went to last year). I chose a range of movies that would give me a variety of styles and hopefully a good scattering of showtimes. Continue reading →
It seems a bit silly for me to review a film that came out over a year ago, just because I finally got around to watching it. So instead of a traditional review, I’m instead going to offer up some disorganized thoughts about The Cabin in the Woods. (For the record, I give the film an A.) I didn’t see it in the theaters mostly because we generally don’t go see horror films, both out of personal taste and a general lack of quality. I’ve never been one for the sort of “jump out and get you” scares, but prefer more cerebral horror. Give me Hitchcock or The Exorcist over Saw any day. (We also don’t see a lot of comedy in the theater, but that’s a story for another time.)
Obviously I should have known better, considering the script was by Joss Whedon and one of his frequent collaborators, but the trailers didn’t help the situation. They presented it as a standard “cabin in the woods” type thriller with a sci-fi/conspiracy twist. That sort of thing has been done before. So after it was released I read the plot on wikipedia and it seemed more creative than I had originally supposed, but still not enough to get me to go see it. However, I recently read the script online out of curiosity which changed my mind, and I finally rented The Cabin in the Woods. Here are my thoughts: Continue reading →