Friday, June 21, 2013

World War Z

My ViewWorld War Z  (2013)  PG-13   Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) just might be the world’s only hope to stop the zombie apocalypse that is at the brink of destroying all mankind.  Pitt is a former UN investigator who served in some of the world’s worst war-torn areas.  He is given the job to find out where the Zombie outbreak came from and determine if he can find some sort of cure. First, do not pay the extra money to see it in 3-D as the film wasn’t shot in 3-D, and the 3-D aspect gives the film a somewhat muted look.  I did like most of the action sequences with a much different take on the Zombie genre. These zombies are quick, fast moving and if you get bitten by a Zombie, you turn into one in a matter of seconds.  But, the film has quite a few dull moments, mostly where Pitt is trying to get from one location to another, as his character just never connects to anyone in the film, and I just didn’t care about Pitt or his family that he leaves behind on a UN aircraft carrier. Another problem I had with the film, is most of the zombie attacks are shot in long shot, not a lot of close ups, so you never get a feel of what the zombies really look like.  I also felt that the ending of the film was ill-conceived and seemed a little forced.    It's a horror movie that's not scary.  My Rating:  Bargain Matinee    World War Z Website
Family FaireMonsters University  (2013) G  We get to see how the friendship began with Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sully (John Goodman) when they meet up at Monsters University. The guys weren’t always best friends.  In fact, when they first met, they couldn’t stand each other.  The sad thing about watching Pixar films now is that the animation shorts they put before their feature films are far more interesting and creative than the full animated story that follows.  With Monsters University, the pattern is repeated again (as was it with Cars 2 and Brave).  There is a brilliant, beautiful short, The Blue Umbrella, that is an awesome and magnificent little film.  Unfortunately, Monsters University doesn’t live up to Pixar standards of artistic and imaginative film making.  It’s a new storyline, but because we already know the characters so well,  it’s like seeing the first Monsters, Inc. all over again.  This isn’t an awful film, in fact, at times it is enjoyable, but I expect higher standards from Disney/Pixar, and this film just doesn’t live up to what we want in an animated family film.  Disney/Pixar needs to go back and look at their classic films like Up!, Cars, WALL-E and Toy Story and get inspired to create something that is more than just a retread. Do stay through all the credits as there is a fun, clever bonus scene at the very end.    My Rating:  Bargain Matinee
Indiefest:  Much Ado About Nothing  (2013)  PG-13   A modern retelling of the William Shakespeare comedy by the same name about Beatrice (Amy Acker) and Benedick (Alexis Denisof) who are two life-long single people whom everyone else is determined to get together.  I absolutely loved this magical film that was shot in Black and White at Joss Whedon’s home.  Most of the cast are actors who have worked on Whedon’s other films or TV series, and there is a sense that the actors are very comfortable and secure under his direction.  Amy Acker is delightful as the feisty Beatrice, and there are definitely sparks between her and Alexis Denisof’s Benedick.  But, it’s Nathan Fillion and Tom Leck who steal the film as two bumbling police officers who continually mess up things more than they fix.  The film is fun to watch and has great pacing and energy.   My Rating:  I Would Pay to See it Again     Much Ado About Nothing Website

IndiefestBefore Midnight  (2013)  R   It’s been nine years since we have seen Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy). They are now living in Paris with their twin girls. Can love be enough to keep them together? This is the third film in the series about Jesse and Celine but, unlike the first film, Before Sunrise (1995) which was about falling in love with a stranger you have a connection to, or Before Sunset (2004) which was about reconnecting with someone, this film is about the ramifications of a love affair.  In the first part of the film, the couple seems to be happy, but as the story progresses, the conversations between the two get more tense, and the fights get more frequent.  This is probably a more realistic film of these character's relationship, but I missed the superb moments of laughter and discussions that made the first two films so enjoyable.  My hope is that they make another film in nine or ten years with these two characters still together and in a much better place.   My Rating:  Full Price    Before Midnight Website

Forgotten FilmLet The Right One In  (2008) R  This Swedish horror film is about a 12 year-old boy, Oskar (Kare Hedebrant), who is constantly bullied by his classmates.  His world changes when a mysterious girl named Eli (Lina Leandersson) moves into his neighborhood.  Oskar now has a friend, but this friend has a dark secret, one that could threaten his life.  This is a dark, gritty, grim film that doesn’t celebrate childhood as a happy time but one to just survive.  Lina Leandersson gives an intelligent performance as the cryptic Eli in this film about kids for adults. If you like intelligent horror films, then this one is for you. And, don’t bother seeing the bland U.S. remake called Let Me In (2010).   My Rating:  Full Price    Let The Right One In Info

In Case You Missed It (A Film Just Released on DVD):  Jack the Giant Slayer  (2013)  PG-13    I did not like this film about a young man named, Jack (Nicholas Hoult), who discovers a long, lost way to the land of the Giants.  I felt the script was clunky, and it took too long to get to the action sequences.   My Rating:  Cable     Jack the Giant Slayer Website

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Much Ado About Nothing:  Electronic Music Programming

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near YouUnfinished Song  (2012)  PG-13  Terence Stamp plays Arthur, a grumpy old man who is set in his ways.  The lovely Gemma Arterton plays Elizabeth, who runs a local choir and gets Arthur to join the group.  Arthur is in for one bumpy ride.    Unfinished Song Website
Until Next Time!

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