We saw “World War Z” tonight in a sneak preview, and I will in the next post tell you what I thought.
It was about 5% like the book, if that. There was a line at the start of the movie that said, “Based on the book by Max Brooks,” but it wasn’t. It was a good zombie movie, and I enjoyed it, but don’t expect it to have much at all to do with the book, because it doesn’t.
The addition of the family to the main character added absolutely nothing to the movie. If his family had died in the first scene, I think it would actually have made a much better movie. We didn’t need extra drama and a sense of danger from having kids screaming and being stupid; the whole world was being overtaken by zombies - I think that’s enough danger, don’t you?
I know people have said disparaging things about it ahead of time, but I found the visual spectacle of the crawling mass of zombies piling up into towers against the city wall to be really arresting. (This is a comment about the preview I saw.)
Oh, the zombies were pretty awesome, unless you’re a George Romero slow zombie purist. They were fast, and they swarmed - it was very intense!
ETA: The visuals were spectacular. The movie was in 3D, however, and it really didn’t need to be. That was just distracting.
I think the film will have a PG-13 rating - it wasn’t a terrifically gory movie, but it was intense. A 13 year old who can handle “The Walking Dead” would have no problem with this movie, I think.
I can’t speak to the movie’s faithfulness to the novel, but it offends my sense of right and wrong to hear that it basically only shares a title with the source material.
The family arc really pissed me off and added nothing to the story whatsoever. All it did was cost the movie valuable minutes that could have been spent developing the main storyline about fighting the zombie menace.
I felt that this movie, like most Hollywood fare, was always way too quick to opt for the flashy-but-forced plot complication rather than advancing the story in a manner that might require the screenwriters to do their jobs and compose a convincing script. I don’t know what Max Brooks has to say about the final product, but my guess is that he was likely not entirely happy with what they did to his work.
Overall, though, I found the movie more entertaining than not. When they were dealing with the primary storyline and dealing with the zombie plague, it was mostly interesting and compelling, even given the shortcomings of throwing in superfluous action sequences whenever the writers thought there had been too many consecutive minutes of plot.
Probably stupid question belaying my zombie ignorance, but from the previews showing those masses of zombies I kept wondering, what would the zombies eat after they killed the last human? Would they then “die out”? Do zombies need to eat in order to continue their undead existence?
There was a lengthy cover article in Vanity Fair a month or 2 back about this movie. Apparently the cost overruns were lengendary, and they said there were major issues with the script being rewritten. Did the movies as released hold together satisfactorily? Will be interesting to see what kind of business it does.
In the book, no. Zombies don’t need to feed. They can also survive underwater or underground.
The book is really good, and honestly disturbing enough, but would be hard to turn into a movie since its a series of character vignettes. But I bet there is no blind Samauri gardener and his video gaming partner.
May be asking too much of this fantasy genre, but how are they able to expend energy if they taken none in? Or is this just a niggling detail everyone chooses to ignore since zombies are so fun?
Most of us file that under “who cares?” We’re talking about a formerly living thing that no longer practices respiration, has forgotten how to get its heart beating and has an irresistible urge to sup upon the flesh of those who yet live. There’s just no plausible explanation for the undead variety of zombie.
Yeah, after hearing about all the problems the film has had during production, I was wondering how good the movie would be and how successful it would be. Also they are offering “Mega Tickets” at a few theaters, which would include the following:
The Mega Ticket thing sounds like a desperate attempt to drum up buzz, but they also must have some confidence in the movie to have high profile advanced screenings like this.
Honestly, the best way to do World War Z right would have been to do it as a Ken Burns-esque documentary miniseries - the Journalist as narrator linking interview clips and found footage sort of thing.
Since I have absolutely no intention of seeing the film, would anyone be willing to give a brief summary of how the plot unfolds?
I liked the book for what it was, but I don’t think I’d like a faithful movie adaptation at all.
For a movie to capture the “spirit” of the book, I’d want it to focus on the world-wide aspect of the infestation and just how massive and scary it was to all of society. Almost every single zombie movie I have seen has involved a small group of people “surviving” and while that was obviously a part of some of the characters’ stories in WWZ, most of it was about the societal involvement, government solution, military and whatnot.
If the movie focuses on those themes, I’d call it a success. If it’s just about a family trying to survive, then it’s a failure and definitely an example of only sharing a name with the book and nothing else.
I think the zombies were to be likened to a virus - it only wants to reproduce, and isn’t really interested in what happens to the human host afterwards. **Dread Pirate Jimbo **and I were undecided about this - if the zombies were actually eating humans, or if they were just biting and infecting.
I thought it did, as a zombie Post-Apocalyptic film.
No, there sure wasn’t.
Heh - Dread Pirate Jimbo and I had a discussion sort of like that on the way home - on the one hand, yeah, zombie movie - your disbelief is already suspended, but on the other hand, the movie has to set its own rules and be internally consistent.
The movie does actually focus on the larger picture, so I guess it does share that with the novel.
I mentioned that on the way home, too - that I’d love to see the novel done up right with a mini-series or tv show that was one vignette per episode kind of format. I think that would be fantastic, if done right. The book managed to be very good in a very unusual format - any tv adaptation would have to be handled by the right people who don’t just turn it into a brainless CW-channel kind of crapfest.
As for the plot, Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) is a former UN investigator who has retired to be with his family. They get caught up in the zombies over-running New Jersey, he gets a call from his former boss, and next thing you know they’re on an aircraft carrier in the ocean somewhere, and he has to investigate the zombie plague or his family gets kicked off the boat (space is at a premium). He runs around the world trying to solve the zombie plague, hijinks ensue everywhere he goes. This is really a huge spoiler - he gets a brilliant idea, he tries it on himself, it works first time out of the gate, and everyone lives happily ever after.
If you like post-apocalyptic films (which I do), I’d recommend seeing the movie. I was able to enjoy it by just telling myself that it shares a title with a very good novel, and that’s it. I want to pat Max Brooks on the shoulder and say, “There, there. You wrote an awesome book, and it’s not your fault that Hollywood did what Hollywood does to it.”
I’m not planning to see the movie so if anyone wants to post some more detail on the ending it would be appreciated.
If you like the original book there is a very well done audiobook version that uses different voice actors for each roll (IIRC Mark Hamill plays the soldier at the Battle of Yonkers and later at the first action to retake the US).
I was thinking about getting this one on audible.com (though, like seeming all the audio versions, it’s abridged). I read the original, and could tell by the previews that it wasn’t going to be anything like the book, but I’ll probably go see it anyway.
That’s the least of Brooks’ scientific sins. The man’s a fiction writer, not a scientist, and if you can’t get past it, you won’t enjoy his work. Some don’t, and honestly, I entirely understand why.
I think the a movie faithful to the book, done in the style of an old History Channel documentary could work really well. Splice in lots of interviews with found and recovered footage, that sort of thing. It might even work better as a miniseries, with one or two interviewees per episode. I wonder how long the producers tied up the name rights for.
Apparently there is a new version that adds the few chapters that were left out of the original release.
Add me to the list of people that is disappointed that the movie will not be like the book.
When I read the book, I envisioned an awesome movie in documentary style, and thought it could be pretty chilling done that way. I was excited about the movie, until I saw a preview.
Then I was very sad.
(I’ll see the movie regardless, though. Sigh.)