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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:16 pm
 


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/re ... z2WtHTkA22

Brainless Brad! Pitt's dumbed-down zombie film World War Z faces box-office disaster

(Rated two out of five stars)

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So, after all the hype and rumours of disaster, what’s World War Z like? Well, even though it’s directed by Marc Forster, it reminded me of the action films made by Roland Emmerich, which range from the nearly sublime (Independence Day) to the totally ridiculous (10,000 BC).

It’s slap-bang in the middle of that quality spectrum, round about the level of Godzilla.

Movies don’t come bigger than this, and zombie flicks usually come a lot smaller. In Shaun Of The Dead, the undead had to content themselves with snacking on a handful of British actors in a deserted pub. Here it’s the future of humanity that’s at stake. This time, instead of Simon Pegg, Brad Pitt is available to save us, and the skies are soon full of crashing helicopters, screaming jets and stunt people being sucked out of aircraft.

The film is impressive in its big set pieces. The initial panic on the streets of Philadelphia is thrilling, as is the fall of Jerusalem to the undead horde and an airborne sequence that might easily have been called Zombies On A Plane.

But the film is horrifyingly feeble when it comes to characterisation. All we know about Pitt’s Gerry is that he loves his family, but no one has given this hero any exceptional qualities. The same goes for the other characters: as uninteresting a lot as I’ve seen in a disaster movie.

We never know why the powers-that-be at the United Nations think so highly of Gerry. He’s resourceful, but doesn’t seem particularly brave, bright or knowledgeable. It is a central weakness that, without any particular expertise, he solves the mystery of how to fight the zombies before anyone else.

Negative reaction: The last 40 minutes of the film where rewritten and reshot while some parts of the movie appear to have been filmed to ensure it gets a family friendly certificate

World War Z had what might euphemistically be called a troubled history, with producer-star Pitt publicly at odds with Forster, who shows here once again that he is more confident with small-scale projects (such as Finding Neverland) than action adventures.

After negative reaction within the studio, the final 40 minutes were rewritten and reshot, at an unprecedented cost of £125  million. It’s hard to know where the money went. The climactic sequence inside a Welsh research laboratory looks about as lavish as the average episode of Doctor Who. Pitt introduced the screening I attended and called the film ‘original’ and ‘genre-bending’. If only it were.

OK, the zombies are not the slow-moving undead of yesteryear: they’re sprightly, aggressive and eager to bite. But they’re not original. They were like that in Zack Snyder’s 2004 remake of Dawn Of The Dead.

If you’ve read Max Brooks’s original book, published in 2006, you will know that Pitt’s character is a UN worker trying to piece together the truth from a variety of sources.

Apparently, the first draft of the script, by J. Michael Straczynski (who wrote Changeling, the classy drama starring Pitt’s partner Angelina Jolie) was faithful to the source material.

Producer Pitt and Paramount junked that investigative structure, which might have turned into a movie along the lines of District 9, All The President’s Men or even Citizen Kane, in favour of a straight-forward hero-to-the-rescue scenario.

That version was written by Matthew Michael Carnahan, who scripted the undistinguished Kingdom and Lions For Lambs. Despite numerous others being recruited to rework the ending — I understand there were seven of them — Carnahan receives the main credit, shared with Drew Goddard (who directed The Cabin In The Woods) and Damon Lindelof, head writer on Lost.

None of the writers is at his best, and the film bears unmistakable signs of having been assembled by a Hollywood studio preoccupied with earning a family-friendly certificate.

Virtually all the violence takes place fractionally off-screen. That’s not going to please the gore-loving fanboys.

Disappointingly, the final product is much more conventional than the book. Brooks’s purpose was to satirise the bungling of government, the excesses of survivalism at all costs and the dangers of corporate power. He took a particularly cynical stance on George W. Bush’s ‘shock and awe’ tactics in Iraq; like Muslim extremists, his zombies are too obsessed with slaughter to be shocked or awed.

In the book, the zombie virus spreads from China via refugees and an illicit trade in human organs. Pakistan and Iran destroy each other in a nuclear dispute over border controls, while Cuba becomes the world’s most thriving economy.

The people at Paramount evidently think all this political stuff is too difficult for a cinema audience. Maybe they’re also nervous about how it might go down in China, Pakistan and Iran.

So they’ve played safe, cut it all out and turned the story into a one-man triumph for an American UN operative blessed with movie-star looks.

World War Z isn’t terrible. Parts are impressive and exciting. But the incredibly long distance it falls short of its source material means it is a woefully wasted opportunity.

It has been estimated that the movie will have to gross £350 million merely to break even. Yet its lack of ingenuity and personality — all avoidable at the script stage — means it has virtually no chance of making that back.

Last year’s most under-performing blockbuster, John Carter, is said to have lost Disney more than £125  million and resulted in regime change in the studio. If I were a senior Paramount executive, I would be afraid. Very, very afraid.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:17 pm
 


Too bad because I had been planning on going to see this after having read the outstanding original book.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:26 pm
 


Max Brooks got a couple of dumptrucks full of hundred dollar bills as payment for turning away as they gutted his book but kept the title. I have no intention of paying for this one. Just like Star Trek Into Darkness, this summer's other adventure into how loathesome Hollywood can be, I'll torrent it later just to keep some money out of the hands of the c******ers. :evil:


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:32 pm
 


still haven't finished the audio book.....keep falling asleep. If you like audio books try The Heavenfield by I.G. Hulme. It's free and pretty good story about British scientists who create a portal into another reality/plane during an energy/communication experiment dealing with something called zero point. They discover that isn't as it appears....it isn't empty and they are not the first.

Again I'm having a hard time with it because its author reads and he's like Deepak Chopra and Bob Ross to me..... aural valium


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:53 pm
 


Panned in The Atlantic, too:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainmen ... picks=true


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:53 pm
 


Thanos wrote:
Max Brooks got a couple of dumptrucks full of hundred dollar bills as payment for turning away as they gutted his book but kept the title. I have no intention of paying for this one. Just like Star Trek Into Darkness, this summer's other adventure into how loathesome Hollywood can be, I'll torrent it later just to keep some money out of the hands of the c******ers. :evil:

This was my plan from the beginning for this one, it's just too close to the iffy borderline for me to risk $12 on.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:55 pm
 


Apparently Brad Pitt refused to have his character use a gun against the zombies. Now they've totally lost me.
:roll:


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:07 pm
 


That's interesting. Rolling Stone (the reviewer I usually go by) gave it three start. Ill probably go see it anyway.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:10 pm
 


Brad Pitt??? Who is that?


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:37 pm
 


Wow. I've read the book, and it sounds like they seriously fucked this one up. I was looking forward to seeing this, not so much now.


Quote:
Virtually all the violence takes place fractionally off-screen. That’s not going to please the gore-loving fanboys.


This is the worst fail you can make in making a zombie film. I guess they really wanted that family rating, counting on the big bucks and dumb ass assumptions that zombie fans aren't discerning and will see anything as long as there's zombies in it.

BartSimpson wrote:
Apparently Brad Pitt refused to have his character use a gun against the zombies. Now they've totally lost me.


Yup, nail in the coffin.

PITT should of made Eat,Pray,Love II instead.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:34 pm
 


Anyone who was expecting it to be exactly like the book has no clue how Hollywood works. Look at almost every other novel (except perhaps the classics) adapted for the big screen - they are always different from the book.

And that should be expected, as things that are easy in books (like including character's thoughts, back story, etc) are next to impossible to cram into a 2 hour movie and have any sort of coherent plot or interesting climax.

I never expected this movie to be anything like the book, which IMHO, is a good thing. Brooks' book was pretty good, but far from the classic that some fanboys on the net make it out to be. Some of the short stories were awesome (like the kid in Japan who becomes a zombie hunting samurai), but others were boring as hell and totally uninteresting - heck I can't even remember more than a half dozen or so.

I'll admit, I was worried - especially with the rewrites and reshooting - until I saw the trailers. But they showed a zombie film totally unlike any zombie film in history - global in scope, with massive set piece battles and terrifying fast zombies. I get that purists don't like fast zombies, but they are a helluva lot more scary than the shamblers are.

Honestly, if I wanted to watch a character driven zombie movie about some people hiding in a house or mall, I'd watch one of Romero's original movies, not a summer blockbuster starring Brad Pitt.

Despite all the negative publicity, this is still on my must-see list this summer.


Last edited by bootlegga on Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:41 pm
 


BartSimpson wrote:
Apparently Brad Pitt refused to have his character use a gun against the zombies. Now they've totally lost me.
:roll:


Guess you haven't seen the trailer or any posters - he clearly has a bolt action rifle in one of the trailers and carries an M-16 in at least one poster. Of course, whether or not he actually uses them I don't know.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:19 pm
 


I thought the book was terrible. I think the Boy Scouts and avid RTS gamers could plan out the Battle of Yonkers better than the freaking book.

Of course, the movie looked hilariously bad too, so I wasn't planning on watching it.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:27 pm
 


BartSimpson wrote:
Apparently Brad Pitt refused to have his character use a gun against the zombies. Now they've totally lost me.
:roll:


And he never became Zombie Chow? Gotta love Hollywood.

I've been leery of this movie since I first started hearing spoilers on Ain't it Cool News and Topless Robot. I still don't know why they didn't change this movie's name and save the title for the people who actually loved the original book. It's not like the movie is doing anything to impress the people who love WWZ, and the people who want to see an action zombie movie won't have read WWZ anyway. So why waste it?

Of course we live in the era of movie remakes so maybe they'll try something different later.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:37 pm
 


Hollywood's gone from merely not caring about how much they insult the original writers by destroying their stories to also not caring about how much they insult the fans of those stories. Thanks to STID I'm now actively hoping that Star Trek never shows up on a movie or TV screen ever again. WWZ should have gone to HBO so they could do it properly in it's original interview format and they could have had some real fun with it by going head-to-head with Walking Dead on Sunday nights. Instead they turn it into something that looks so awful the only way it could have been worse would have been to have Will Smith in it.


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