Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Pondering: World War Z

I was soooo out voted on this one- usual scenario- kids home from college, day over the mountains in Durango to hit a good place to eat  and see a movie. This time it was 4th of July and the movie, that everyone else wanted to see was WORLD WAR Z. Me, the mom, usually does not "do" horror movies- but alas, we got our tickets early, stood in a long line and actually got pretty decent seats- better coordinated then at Christmas seeing SKYLARK.
Everybody knows what I usually think of this kind of movies, so when the light went up, the four people beside me- all leaned in to see my look of disgust and got a lot of "Well I'm sure mom didn't like..." or "What does mom think about that..." all the way to the car and at the restaurant.
Having a reputation to uphold and not want to open the flood gates to most of the bad movies in this genre, I kept my look stern and my mouth shut. But since no one in my family reads my blog ( test, test)...
I got to say, WORLD WAR Z was a pretty good movie!
First because , well...Brad Pitt is in it...

There are some actors for me, that could just sit in the cockpit of a jet, or a submarine or the belly of a bomber and wave for two hours and I would be happy, Brad Pitt is one of them.
In Radio Science- yes there is such a thing- certain songs are called "sticky", that people might claim they do not like but never change the channel when one is playing, believe it or not Celine Dion songs- in movies, Brad Pitt for me is "sticky"- if he is in something, I will go watch it, apparently even when it has zombies.
What was really surprising about this "walking dead" movie is that it really had a lot of heart. How could it not with "dewy eyed" Pitt as a loving dad, just trying to raise his kids and forget his previous life as a "bad ass save the world kind of guy," but alas to save his family- or in story writing jargon- he is invested- he also has to save the rest of the world too! Apparently real motivation counts- Hollywood!
Amazingly, WORLD WAR Z was actually not as disturbing to me as some other recent offerings like..
Where I got sick to my stomach watching car after car being smashed on the interstate with no remorse for the people inside. Apparently callousness is part of being cool, these days.
In WORLD WAR Z, much is put towards the human condition. FAST AND FURIOUS was more like pantheistic gods battle against themselves with little regard for the underlings beneath them.
In WORLD WAR Z, there is actually realistic consequences to actions, Pitt declaring in such a crisis, "you don't move, you die." And many people, as in real life, chose poorly. Nicely,  there are many reactions, all of them human, to dealing with such a world wide pandemic, highlighted in the film.
Actually read once that there are zombie classes in college to study how a pandemic would take over the world.
Nicely as well, many realistic hurdles are thrown up making it difficult for Pitt to-  not save the world, that will come in the next offering of his now franchise, but to survive and keep his family safe, their time as the family of "essential personal" on a military ship not secured and dependent on Pitt's own survival- many hurtles like wounds not instantly healing and logistics getting in the way, keep the action at a high point.
Another thing that made WORLD WAR Z bearable to watch- where I was dreading whole movie of scenes like this...
was how it was filmed- the zombie hordes felt more like one  whole mass instead of singular zombies constantly startling you. Only a few zombies are signaled out and these have been people first and there is an emotional attachment. There is not a lot of gore, or blood, or disgusting body parts being hurdled in WORLD WAR Z, there is just a lot at stake and one can not help but imagine "what if I was there?"
Seeing WORLD WAR Z and FAST AND FURIOUS so close together, it made me realize how a movie can certainly be written towards either compassion or callousness no matter what it's story content. Never really thought about how a zombie movie could really show humanity under such a microscope, but why wouldn't it- because it is in times of crisis, we show our best humanity.

For another zombie movie that has some heart check out...

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