Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


World War Z (2013) UK/US Unrated Version

I love it when my husband decides to help me with reviews. We have one of "those" conversations:

He: You said you weren't going to watch that.
She: (Shrugging) It's on Netflix so I might as well.
He: You said it sucked.
She: It does.
He: Then why watch it?
She: (Attempting to point to name of blog, realizing blog is nowhere in sight, puts finger down.) Because it's here and I admit I'm kind of curious as to why so many people were so pissed at this movie.
He: But Brad Armpit is in it.
I like this one...
She: Yeah, I know.
He: He can't act.
She: (Sighs)
He: He's got two expressions and that's it.
She: I know, I know. He has smooth forehead and blank expression or wrinkled forehead and blank expression.
He: So what's the difference between the unrated and the PG-13 versions?
She: About six minutes.
He: You said CGI'd zombie movies were...
She: I KNOW!
He: (Sits down and gets comfortable.) Well, start it up.

Nice matte painting...
For those who say the movie is not anything like the book (and it's not - the only thing that the two have in common is the title and some zombies) - the movie The Shining was not Stephen King's, it was Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. AND since Max Brooks sold the rights to his book to Brad Pitt's production company 'Plan B Productions' instead of overseeing a screenplay, it's not his anymore either. 

So here is BRAD PITT'S WORLD WAR Z, both PG-13 and unrated versions currently streaming on Netflix. And don't whine about the freaking thing having no REALD 3D (whatever the hell that is) - this was so bad that even though Netflix only costs $7.99 a month, I was tempted to demand my money back.

I put the title all in caps 'cause PITT is in almost every scene and it's obvious this is merely a massive ego trip. And we begin: The movie isn't even on for a single minute and already it's trying to make us feel guilty and responsible for the Zombie takeover - we ruined everything enough for the dead to get pissed and decide to take us out. In ONE MINUTE.

The "crowded" street look a la CGI
It's horrible from the very beginning - with good reason. And don't believe what you read in the IMDb about what happens and who says what - they had almost more mistakes than the movie did. Some things were obviously wrong or couldn't be verified, other mistakes they just plain missed. In fact, this freaking review took so long because of all the errors that I could have written a whole new screenplay. I should have - it would have been a hell of a lot better. 

PITT (I refuse to give character names, this is the PITT show) is driving his wife and two kids (one with asthma so you know at some point she's not going to have an inhaler, because that's a movie rule) through a packed Philadelphia street (which is nowhere in the US but in Glasgow, Scotland - like we wouldn't notice the UK traffic lights). 

View from back of PITT's silver car...
Then the continuity errors and just plain stupid stuff start instantly. Even without my husband there (he's got an eye for errors and is very helpful with that sort of stuff) it was plain that they didn't even TRY to make things right. Traffic is stopped cold, the whole street is a parking lot. But when a cop on a motorcycle stops to talk to PITT he's mowed down by a garbage truck speeding through... apparently the fourth dimension because there certainly ain't no room for it in the third.

...aaaaand the nice clean front view...
This garbage truck continues without slowing down or sustaining any damage to the front and supposedly continuing to plow its way through cars, although there was no way it could even get that far. Even though it knocked the cars to the side, since this is Scotland, I guess people were too polite to leave it that way, because looking back at PITT's car we see all the cars are neatly parked, none have been squished or moved, and traffic still fills the entire street. Nice and tidy.

Why does her phone show a whole different street?
And the truck, whose driver is inexplicably pumping the gas peddle (if he can't stop, why isn't he pumping the brakes or at least turning off the engine?) continues to flip cars right and left with the engine wound to the nuts (at least in the Foley studio) and yet they come back down perfectly and are still in their designated lanes. This is not an auspicious start to this horrid thing. FIVE MINUTES HAVE NOT EVEN PASSED.

PITT, in movie wisdom, also winds HIS car to the nuts (in the Foley studio) and drives five miles an hour behind the garbage truck. There is now not a single car on the road, no people, no crashed cars, no debris, only those parked diagonal (they were parallel before) on each side of the road.

As PITT continues this mad ride of 5 mph, the garbage truck continues to plow through the cars - as long as you look one way, because when the camera shoots from the opposite angle, there is NOTHING. On the sidewalk is a woman with her smart phone recording this non-emergency - or it would have if she'd been on the SAME street 'cause nothing matches up.

Ladies and gentlemen... the battery powered fish tank!
Why am I describing to death the first five minutes of the movie? BECAUSE THIS IS EXACTLY WHY THIS MOVIE SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN MADE IN THE FIRST PLACE. They got a book that they ignored, made up a ridiculous story, were given millions of dollars to dink around with, and we get crap. IT. SHOULD. NOT. HAVE. BEEN. MADE.

But PITT is saving his family, right? Umm, no. See, the street in Scotland they decided to use has very recognizable storefronts, plus way back at the intersection is another very recognizable building. In other words, according to the landmarks, they have gone NOWHERE.

By the time they FINALLY GET ONE BLOCK AWAY we see police officers just standing around, and police cars clearly parked to keep people out of the filming area. Wow. This is the worst beginning of a movie I've ever seen in my life. We have TWO HOURS of movie to go. My hubby says it was like watching a steaming pile for two hours. Envision that how you wish.

The first zombies finally show up, snarling and biting. In a convenient plot device (this is PITT's ego trip after all), PITT's daughter has a stuffed toy that counts to twelve, just the number of seconds it takes a bitten human to turn into a zombie. How convenient. These are your sprinting, parkour zombies that are only interested in running, jumping, knocking people down and biting them. Not eating, just biting. No blood, no gore, no taffy pulling in THIS piece of crap.

Hmm... where did PITT go? And why
is that ambulance driver wearing stunt clothes?
PITT shows off his impressive driving skills as he weaves through traffic that isn't there while turning around constantly and yelling at his kids (Don't make me pull over or...) - pfffft. Their car is hit on the driver's side by an ambulance - which appears, disappears, then appears again during the scene, then takes off without even slowing down (we think - if it was still there). Then the scene is finally, thankfully, over.

PITT is called back from retirement by somebody important (we assume) back to duty because apparently they want him out of the country to stop doing all of this dumb shit stuff. PITT, as it turns out (or as they wrote it), was a former UN Investigator. What the hell is that? Did he investigate war crimes? Violation of civil rights? Teaching forehead wrinkling 101?

Even PITT's boss doesn't get the
 concept of a satellite phone...
The government, or United Nations, or whoever the hell is in charge now, tells PITT if he doesn't do what they want, his family will be dropped right back into Philly (The sandwich? Great, now I'm hungry.), instead of lounging on the U.N. Command Ship, U.S.S Argus. The name of the ship apparently changed several times through several scripts but the Argus it is.

Wait a moment, I'm getting a little verklempt. Here, I'll give you a topic: The Argus is neither an aircraft carrier, nor a command ship nor an American ship. It's officially used as a hospital/mortuary ship by the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary. Discuss.

Okay, I'm feeling better now. He's given a satellite phone so he can keep in touch with his wife. His family are given the magic blankets so you know they will be all right.

This guy lives for about five minutes...
And we finally begin the movie (maybe). They've decided to send PITT on a tour around the world to find patient zero I guess, or at least a way to kill what is already dead. DUUUUUUH. Uh oh, PITT is worried, his forehead just wrinkled. PITT is put on a plane (don't even ask me to tell you all the things wrong with the plane please, I think my computer's about to crash from the DUH) with somebody who's supposed to be a leading authority on world diseases - and who will help them find a vaccine. This is Dr. Fassbach, an inexperienced virologist from Harvard. 

Dr. Fassbach's main argument for explaining zombies and the presence of a virus is the example of the Spanish Flu, a nasty wave of pestilence that swept the world. Now he gives figures, which were misquoted everywhere I looked so first I wrote down what he said, then started hunting. I had to - my brain was shutting down from an overload of DUH and looking at PITT's forehead.

So. Different sources (colleges, wiki, etc.) give different dates on when the Spanish Flu was active. The consensus is from 1918 (the end of WWI, how nice) to the beginning of 1920. Statistics on how many died were difficult - this was world-wide and they didn't have the reporting and recording capabilities of today so the total population that perished is anywhere from 3% to 5% of the world.

So Dr. Fassbach's data is a bit off - he says the Spanish Flu didn't exist in 1918. Um, yes it did. He then says by 1920 it killed 3% of the world. Okay, close enough. He bores us with the story of how this zombie outbreak is Mother Nature's fault. Wait a second - they just spent the first part of the movie saying WE did this - WTH? But he explains: "Mother Nature is a serial killer. No one's better. More creative. But like all serial killers, she can't help the urge to want to get caught. What good are all those brilliant crimes if no one takes the credit? So she leaves crumbs (clues). She's a bitch."

The infamous wall climb, pre-CGI...
Nice guy. Real compassionate. But that's okay, because as soon as they land in S. Korea (uh, don't ask why please), this idiot who was specifically told to keep his finger off of the trigger of his pistol doesn't so he slips, falls, and shoots himself in the head. First good thing to happen in the whole movie. 

Look like cheap plastic army guys, right?
Apparently PITT wanted to be the only hero so the other guy had to go. Oh well, they'll just keep flying - even though there's no real airports, gas or... shit, never mind. Their next stop: Jerusalem, because they built a freaking huge wall around the entire city a week before the outbreak. They knew it was coming? That's some pretty fast work. And impossible. And stupid. And why does PITT have to fly there to look at it?

Nope, still looks fake...
We figured that there could only be so many zombies that weren't CGI'd so they'd do some recycling - and they did. We had some mild amusement pointing at the screen every time we saw a zombie we'd already seen get mowed down pop up in another scene.

And it just keeps getting stupider. While PITT is there, some woman (thanks a lot, blame it on us) grabs a microphone and starts singing a song of thanks (...all in all we're just another brick... no wait, that wasn't it). Well gee whiz, in this version zombies go absolutely bat-shit crazy when they hear loud sounds so... ever seen a bunch of ants try to get across water? Hundreds die so that others can climb over them and get across safely. Yup, that's what we have here. On a computer somewhere. And if I ever find that IT Tech dropout that did this CGI work I'm going to kick his ass.

See? Smooth forehead - he's not
worried. I think. It's hard to tell.
Oh, speaking of zombie piles, you know the plastered-all-over-the-entire-damn-world movie poster of WWZ that shows the pile of zombies taking down a helicopter? Never happened. Ever. A helicopter did crash - it was near a roof and some zombies jumped on the runners. DUH.

So here come the Rakshasas. Hmm? Oh, small lesson for today to put some smarts back in since the DUH has ripped so much out... Rakshasas are Hindu demons that sort of have backward hands who eat human flesh. Meh, close enough to a zombie. To show a bit of a human factor and interest (WAY TOO LATE), PITT saves and drags along a female soldier he had to slice one bitten hand off of to keep her from becoming infected, through the rest of the movie for no discernible reason. And the script writers create a clue... the zombies want fresh, healthy meat - just to bite, not to eat. This is a kid-friendly movie (Pfffft!) so there will be NO TAFFY PULLING ALLOWED. They pass the sick and the elderly. YAY! Empty out the old folks home and... sorry, just kidding.

...must be afraid of heights...
PITT has to make another trip to Cardiff, Wales where the last remaining WHO (World Health Organization) is, even though there's no way the plane... never mind. Somehow zombies got on the plane, so PITT does the only natural thing - he throws a grenade. Natch. It causes the plane to crash, and in the realm of incredible coincidences, not only are PITT and the female soldier the only survivors of the plane full of people, they crashed in Wales. They make it to the WHO (Behind Blue Eyes is MY favorite), listening to the sound of cicadas. There are no cicadas in Wales. Bugger.

While at the fake-cicada filled Wales, PITT recovers from a wound from blowing up the damned plane. Meanwhile, PITT tries to maintain contact with his wife with the satellite phone. He's in some WHO bunker, she's down inside the fake command ship. Do we see the problem here? Do I really have to explain this one? SATELLITE phone? Anywho, when PITT disappears, the mucky mucks in charge say okay PITT family he's dead so you're worthless - off you go. Nice guys.

Uh oh, wrinkled forehead, I think we're in trouble...
Then they find out PITT is still alive dammit. Whoops. They have to tell him they jettisoned his family (sorry 'bout that dude). He's pissed but still has a job to do. They wrote him a way in the script to figure it all out. So PITT's big plan is get everybody really sick with diseases so the zombies don't eat 'em, kill the zombies (Again?), then heal themselves. Oooh, I would soooo want to do that. PITT volunteers to go into the zombie-infested area where all of the world's diseases are conveniently kept in one small room.

How come the zombie looks more alive than PITT?
One dried apple of a zombie checks him out so he's gotta inject himself now with something (I hope it's nasty). He uses a needle out of a drawer that has no packaging and looks like it's made of metal. How old is this thing? He'll die of tetanus before the pathogen hits. But the zombie no longer wants his body. Neither does anybody else. Except maybe Brangelina - for now.

Nice of 'em to include the boy,
considering they got his parents killed.
He gets back to the others and dammit he'd injected himself with a pathogen with a cure (and gets a tiny sterile needle too) so... yeah. We have a happy ending as he's reunited with his family in Nova Scotia as they set it up for the inevitable sequel - there's still zombies to fight, humans to save and, of course, more PITT expressions to not see. Because you saw the two of them. And that's all there is. Always.