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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

If Zombies Infest the U.S., Sarah Palin May Be the Only Survivor

In case watching World War Z has made you wonder if you live in a state that may survive a zombie apocalypse, check out this article on Estately Blog (Estately's motto: an addictive, easy way to shop for homes): "U.S. States Most and Least Likely to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse." Topping the list? Alaska.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where World War Z opens, was 30th on the list.
Sorry, Brad, the numbers say you probably wouldn't have made it out alive.
The week of the film World War Z:

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Brad Pitt with Gorgeous Hair vs. Zombies Around the World

Back in June of 2013, I was a starry-eyed woman who couldn't wait for World War Z to be released. I'm old enough to have sat in a theater seat to watch Legends of the Fall and I've been holding my breath for years to see Brad Pitt grace the screen once again sporting long locks. With World War Z, I was getting almost everything I wanted. Except, instead of a romantic love story, I'd be seeing Brad Pitt with Long Hair vs. Zombies Around the World.

Gorgeous, even from behind.
Brad Pitt stars as Gerry Lane, a former U.N. investigator who now spends his time making Denny-sized breakfasts for his wife and two daughters. He's driving the family sedan, family included, in the streets of downtown Philadelphia when the zombie apocalypse hits. The parkour-practicing zombies are fast and nimble, and I watched with bated breath as Gorgeous Gerry watches a stranger get bit, jerk around, and turn full zombie in 10 seconds flat.

After some very close calls, with zombies and some ruthless people raiding supermarkets, Gerry signs back on as a U.N. investigator. There are reports that the word "zombie" was first mentioned in a fax from South Korea, so Gerry hops on a cargo plan with a group of navy seals and an infectious disease doctor. The doctor theorizes that the zombie plague is actually a virus, and in order to create a vaccine to protect the uninfected, they need to find the source of the virus--patient zero. The doctor might be book smart, but he's gun stupid: he shoots himself in the head while running from a zombie skirmish. Now, it's up to Gorgeous-Family-Man-Gerry to save the world alone.

The first of the infected in South Korea was torched, so bye-bye evidence. As Gerry's leaving, he's stopped by a CIA agent who claims that Israel finished building a protective wall days before the zombie apocalypse started. Gerry flies to Jerusalem and speaks to a man who says he had intercepted communications from India months before where people claimed to be fighting the "undead." Therefore, construction on the wall was accelerated.

Loudspeaker noises rile the zombies, who use each other as steps on a ladder to get over the ridiculously high wall. Gerry's escorted out of the city by a few Israeli troops. He chops off the forearm of a female lieutenant after she's bit by a zombie, saving her life. When they reach a commercial airliner, the last one to leave Jerusalem, the lieutenant stays with Gerry.

During the flight, Gerry thinks back on the two people he saw the zombies not touch while they swarmed Jerusalem: a skinny, bald boy who looked like he may have had cancer, and a very old man. Gerry uses his U.N. connections to get the plane to head for the nearest World Health Organization, which ends up being in Wales. When the plane is minutes from landing in Cardiff, an unexpected zombie stowaway is released in the back of the plane. Gerry uses one of the soldier's grenades to blow a hole in the side of the plane to save himself and the lieutenant from the newly zombiefied passengers.

The rest of the film focuses on Gerry and the World Health Organization doctors working together to try and save the world. Unfortunately, this is where the film loses some of its momentum. Despite the zombie threats to Gerry's life, the action doesn't come close to the special effect spectacles we'd seen in the Philadelphia, South Korea or Israel scenes.

I think I know why. This is a zombie film. The characters in the movie aren't bothered by killing zombies -- they have to kill them to survive. But for the filmmakers to get a PG-13 rating, the reality of the gore isn't shown. Instead, it's shot above or below the action, sort of like when a XXX film is edited to become a single X film. Watching World War Z for a second time, I noticed these off-action shots that I hadn't noticed in the theater, and it was frustrating. It took me out of the movie and made me painfully aware of the filmmakers.

Brad Pitt said that he wanted to make a film that his boys could see before they turned 18, but really, I think he wanted a PG-13 film because they bring in more cash, something super important when your film budget is close to $200 million.

This doesn't mean I don't recommend this film. I wholeheartedly do. Especially if you're a woman who loved Brad Pitt in Legends of the Fall.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Christian Bale Memes Will Tear You To Pieces

As a disclaimer, I only created one of these memes (the last one), and I softened the profanity on one of the memes I found on the internet, making it suitable for all readers.

If you're seeing this Mr. Bale, please remember that you are my favorite actor. This post is all in good fun.

The week of the film Terminator Salvation:

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Nine Inch Nails Fueled Trailer

Undoubtedly, this is one of the coolest trailers ever. Probably, because of the music.

The week of the film Terminator Salvation:

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Apologies, All Around

Yesterday, I mentioned Christian Bale's famous rant on the set of Terminator Salvation. And actually, I blogged about it last August (to see that post, including the original, unedited audio, click here).

As long as there's machine guns around, Christian Bale won't be biting the heads off of crew members.

What I bring to you today is Christian's apology regarding this freak out session. Plus, this video includes the added bonus of his co-stars take on why it happened in the first place:

My favorite part of this clip is Moon Bloodgood. She's downright beautiful and just plain awesome.

The week of the film Terminator Salvation:

Monday, April 14, 2014

An Ode to a Sci-Fi Masterpiece

I pulled a film from my personal DVD collection this weekend and watched it on the drive from Brevard, NC to my home in Charleston, SC. I don't own this film because of its post-apocalyptic elements. I own this film because it stars Christian Bale.

Christian Bale as John Connor, Sam Worthington as Marcus Wright.
With this being my fourth or fifth viewing of Terminator Salvation, I saw all of the nods to the original, sci-fi classic that started the obsession to save John Connor, which made me smile to no end. I loved The Terminator when it came out in 1984, falling instantly in love with Michael Biehn, even though he was twenty-eight to my thirteen years.

Terminator Salvation premiered May 21, 2009. With it being part of a blockbuster franchise, McG directed the film's $200 million budget to box office success, bringing in $317 million worldwide. That's quite a return on investment. Some people might have thought those kinds of numbers impossible with the audio tape of Christian Bale berating the director of photography being leaked to the media, but I guess that didn't hurt the film too much.

The film opens in the year 2003. Sam Worthington plays Marcus Wright, a death row inmate on the day of his execution. A cancer-riddled Helena Bonham Carter asks Marcus to give his soon-to-be dead body away to her, for science. He agrees, but for a price: a kiss. After, he says, " that's what death tastes like." Okay, so we understand right off that Marcus maybe isn't the best of guys.

Skipping ahead to 2018, John Connor, played by Christian Bale, heads a resistance unit raiding the main R&D (research & development) lab of Skynet. While John and his men search the lab, the body of what appears to be a dead Marcus Wright lies on a gurney. The raid results in two important discoveries: a signal that jams communication between the machines and a kill list that's comprised of people who will supposedly be dead by the end of the week. Number two on the list is John Connor; number one is Kyle Reese. After John Connor leaves the R&D facility, a naked, mud-covered Marcus Wright crawls from the wreckage.

Marcus walks for hours to Los Angeles, which is a shell of its former self. There, he meets Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin), who saves Marcus from being shot by one of the humanoid machines while uttering the line made famous by the first Kyle Reese in The Terminator: "Come with me if you want to live." Kyle explains what happened to Los Angeles, how the machines destroyed everything and are intent on destroying the last of humanity.

John Connor and his men volunteer to test out the machine jamming signal, which turns out to work, rendering the machines harmless. A full-scale war is planned on Skynet, using the jamming signal, set for two days time. John and his men will bomb Skynet headquarters, in San Francisco.

The next morning, Marcus and Kyle head out of L.A. in search of John Connor and the resistance, but Kyle is captured by a machine transport. Marcus escapes, falling from a bridge to a shallow-looking river, in a cartwheel motion that should break every bone in his body, but for some reason, he's fine. Marcus comes across Blair Williams (Moon Bloodgood), one of the pilots of the resistance planes shot down while engaging the machine transport. She takes Marcus to her base, to meet John Connor, but while crossing the minefield guarding the base, a magnetic landmine latches on to Marcus' leg before exploding.

While trying to provide medical attention, they discover something frightening about Marcus, so they knock him out before hanging his body over a fifty foot drop. Marcus regains consciousness as John Connor walks up to confront him. Marcus discovers that his heart is human, but his body is a flesh-covered machine with a computer-interfaced brain, the type of the human-looking killing machine that John Connor's been telling his followers about for years.

John Connor believes Marcus tricked Blair into taking him to the their base, saying, "We've been at war since either of us even existed. You tried killing my mother, Sarah Connor. You killed my father, Kyle Reese. You will not kill me." That's when Marcus reveals that Kyle Reese was captured by the machine transport, which John knows will end up at Skynet headquarters.

In an unlikely turn of events, Blair helps Marcus escape, but before leaving the base he saves John Connor from a hydrobot. Marcus agrees to help John gain access to Skynet headquarters in order to save Kyle Reese before the bombs are due to be dropped.

Will Marcus keep his word? Will Kyle Reese die and erase John Connor's birth? You'll have to watch Terminator Salvation to find out, but I promise, it'll be an exciting ride.