World War Z
United Nations employee Gerry Lane traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments, and threatening to destroy humanity itself. I just returned from a screening for it this evening and I have to say it was very good. I have not read the novels purposely so as to not have any bias toward the movie (positive or negative), but after seeing it I plan to read the novels very soon, though I know it will be different. For the movie though, they tailor it towards people who haven’t read the novel so I don’t think you’ll feel like you’ve missed something.
For me it felt like I Am Legend meets Contagion meets 28 Days/Weeks Later in a number of instances (primarily due to the behavior of the zombies), and there were some pretty stupid moments, but every horror film has those I guess, though this wasn’t THAT scary. It was more suspenseful than anything. I was a little annoyed by how the zombies primarily responded to sound as stimuli. There were instances where the environment was very chaotic and the zombies were naturally loud themselves with their grunts, so it was hard to buy that they could hear the slightest of noises made by their potential prey. I do think I would have liked it more had it been rated R. It was very clear to me that they were holding back and just about every zombie film I’ve seen (including those of the comedic variety such as Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland) have been rated R so I’m conditioned to expecting more blood, guts, and gore. Overall though, if this film piques your curiosity I do think it’s worth a watch.
Man of Steel
A young itinerant worker is forced to confront his secret extraterrestrial heritage when Earth is invaded by members of his race. Man oh man oh Superman. This movie completely exceeded my expectations and at this point it’s my favorite big budget film of the year (yes, even over Fast 6 which is my guilty pleasure and I’m sticking to it). I know that the last Superman film, Superman Returns left a sour taste in the mouths of many people. But they went back to the drawing board and found to way to reboot the franchise in a way that it would need for 2013 and beyond.
It just makes the old ones look downright cheesy now, especially the suit. At first I wasn’t sure how I felt about them deciding to ditch his red undies (distraction much?), but the suit looks pretty sweet (and so does the wearer). Henry Cavill is perfect and I’ve been a fan of his since Count of Monte Cristo some years ago. Who’da thunk at that time that he’d be the new Superman? I’m definitely a fan of super hero movies and this one is up there with my top favorites. I’d even say it’s top 3. I really liked the heavier incorporation of the sci-fi aspect. It really makes sense considering that he’s an alien. It adds more depth and realism, as much as you can expect for a supernatural hero anyway. I know that rubs people the wrong way to see Superman flawed by something other than kryptonite, but if they are going to keep retelling this story for the next set of decades I think that something’s got to give. This managed to feel fresh to me, which had to be a difficult task for the creators.
I do think the chemistry is severely lacking between Henry Cavill and Amy Adams as Lois Lane, but it didn’t ruin the film for me. It did make me miss Christopher Reeve/Margot Kidder and Dean Cain/Teri Hatcher.
The film certainly has flaws, especially when it comes to a couple of silly character decisions that led to consequences that could have been avoided, but I was glued to the screen from start to finish. The CGI and effects and fight scenes are probably among the best I’ve ever seen, especially from Faora-Ul (Zod’s right hand woman) who spends a lot of time serving Superman his ass on a platter. I’m all about girl power. So what if she’s got no love for us puny humans?
I could honestly see this one twice…