Written by: Wayne C. Rogers
Let me just first say that I watch all of movies on regular DVD. I seldom go to the theater anymore because the seats are uncomfortable, the popcorn stale, the Diet Coke flat, and occasionally I have the stupid person who sits down right in front or behind me when there’s an entirely empty theater of seats to choose front. I’d rather stay home by myself and watch the film on DVD. It’s less hassle and more fun for me.
Second, I do own a new Blu-Ray DVD player. I just can’t get it hooked up to the big clunker of an old television that comes with the apartment. They’ll be happy to supply me with a Blu-Ray television for ten bucks a week, but that comes to nearly five hundred dollars a year. I can buy one cheaper. I just have to stop buy books and DVDs for a month or two. Other than that, I have a great Sony player for regular DVDs and the movies look fine when I watch them.
I never read the novel, World War Z, by Max Brooks. Brad Pitt, however, must be a zombie fan because he bought the movie rights in 2007, which was way before The Walking Dead appeared on AMC television. It took Brad Pitt five years to make the film at a cost of $190 million dollars. The movie has internationally grossed over $540 million. It broke even. It didn’t make a profit. A film has to make three times its cost to break even, which is divided amongst the studios, the distributors and the theater chains.
Now, because I was unable to see the Blu-Ray edition, which was the extended version of the film with a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff on it, I had to settle for the theatrical version on a regular DVD. Still, I got it for $7.95, along with the Blu-Ray edition, because Amazon was having a huge sell at the time. Supposedly, the Blu-Ray edition with the added footage (30-to-40 more minutes) makes more sense than the original film that was shown in the theaters in June of 2012. Having seen the regular DVD, I found the movie to be understandable and entertaining. In fact, I was glued to the television set for the entire length of the film. Brad Pitt is now the king of zombie movies. Long live the king.
The film pretty much starts right into the action with Brad Pitt (an ex-United Nations investigator) and his family getting caught in a traffic jam in Philadelphia. The zombie epidemic has already spread from Europe to the United States with blinding-like speed (in fact it only takes twelve seconds for a dead person to change into a killing zombie). Brad’s character, Gerry Lane, calls his friend at the United Nations so that he and his family can be air-lifted out of the city. That does happen, but only after being chased by a horde of zombies to the roof of a building in downtown Philly. If Brad wants his family to be protected, he has to do what the military tells him, which is to fly into Russia and try to find a cure for the decease. This is the rest of the movie. Brad flies to Russia and then to Israel and then to a decease outpost where the most infamous deceases known to mankind are studied.
Is a cure eventually found for the humans still alive? You have the movie, but a sequel is already in the works.
Let me tell you that these zombies aren’t slow walkers. No, sir. These fellows can move fast and take no prisoners. The special effects of the movie are awesome in my opinion as thousands of zombies pile on top of each other to climb over the wall surrounding Jerusalem. Remember, zombies can’t be killed, unless you shoot them in the head.
I certainly enjoyed the pacing of the movie. It didn’t really give you time to think, but I liked what Brad Pitt’s character was able to discover and the shootouts with the zombies. A female Israeli commando is bitten in the arm, and Brad cuts the arm off without any hesitation, leaving her alive, but with one arm. Fortunately, she’s a tough cookie and can shoot with that arm, too.
One thing I liked (or didn’t like) was how our government was portrayed. It seemed very believable to me. When Brad reached a point where he thought he wouldn’t be able to find a cure, the military removed his family from the ship and sent them to an island with other personnel. If you’re of no use to the government, they don’t hesitate to throw you and your family to the wolves. So much for ObamaCare!
Being a big fan of the early George Romero zombie movies and The Walking Dead television series, I found myself impressed with this film and Brad Pitt’s acting. The whole movie more or less is on his shoulders, and he carries the weight without any problems, displaying his ultimate skills as a truly excellent actor. He makes this movie happen, and you believe in him and his love for his family. Mireille Enos (she stars in the TV series, The Killing) is the perfect actress of his wife in the movie. If Angelina Jolie had been in it, you would have expected her to go after the zombies and kick butt. Not so with Mireille. She’s the perfect mother hen who watches out for her children, praying her husband will return alive to protect them.
Because I couldn’t watch the Blu-Ray disc, I can’t comment on the extended version of the film, or the extras that are on the disc. I do want to see them, but I need to buy a television for my Blu-Ray player so the disc will show.
All in all, I was surprised at how much I loved this movie. The question is will I immediately watch the film again on a regular disc, or wait until I can get a Blu-Ray television and watch the extended version of it? If only life was so easy.
I highly recommend this movie to all zombie fans, especially if you haven’t read the novel.