World War Z and Man of Steel: bonus double reviews

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Typically when I write up a review of a movie or show I’ll type it up all nice and neat in paragraphs, sometimes with spoilers sometimes without. But when I saw World War Z and Man of Steel last weekend, I just jotted down random notes and observations, and there’s really no rhyme or reason. The following is taken from my notebook. (I had to embellish sometimes when I’d only written down a word or two, like “zombie makeup” and a smiley face. I also cut down on the gushing over Henry Cavill’s sexiness, because it’s well-documented in my previous post.) (Also, SPOILERS AHEAD)

WORLD WAR Z (Grade: A-)

-Movie math: Contagion – star-studded cast x (Brad Pitt + zombies) + plot / Outbreak – monkeys.
-Between This is the End and WWZ, I’m feeling like I better stock up on emergency supplies.
-Best fx in the movie is, hands down, the entire “escape from Israel” sequence. Between the zombie ladder, the zombies bringing down the helicopter, and the terrifying plane crash, it’s pretty darn impressive.
-Speaking of the terrifying plane crash, if I ever fly again, I’m wearing Kevlar. All over my freaking body.
-In the whole Brad Pitt/zombie epic staredown, all I kept thinking were “that teeth chattering is creepy” and “damn, that’s good makeup.” On the zombie. Not Brad Pitt. He doesn’t need makeup.
-Intentional or ironic that one of the infected lab techs resembled Michonne from Walking Dead? Right down to the dreadlocks.
-Finally, this is just an observation of the movie as a whole, I loved that it focused more on the thriller aspect of the movie than the zombie aspect. It could easily have become a movie about “look at these zombies tear these people apart” but it really wasn’t gory at all. Plus, the bit with Brad Pitt going through the quarantined part of the lab, while trying desperately not to attract the attention of the zombies, was one of the tensest segments I’ve seen in a long time.

MAN OF STEEL (grade: C+)

-Movie math: (Batman Begins x Wolverine) + Then She Found Me / (Transformers – robots) x every explosion ever
-The Krypton intercom thingies are kind of creepy when they transform into peoples’ faces.
-The camera pans down to Henry Cavill’s bare midriff as he’s holding up the oil rig: gratuitous or necessary? (For the record, I say hilarious but necessary.)
-Not enough shirtlessness…
-Couldn’t Clark have pushed the bus out of the water from underneath? He’d save the kids and keep his secret.
-The cutting back and forth between childhood and adulthood kind of got to me after awhile. Just decide already!
-I think Zack Snyder took lessons from the JJ Abrams School of Lens Flares.
-HC does the sexiest furrowed brow I’ve ever seen. He’s better at it than Ewan McGregor.
-For a town with “small” in its name, Smallville has a lot of retail stores.
-Dumbest line (and I’m sorry, I have no idea the context): “Release the world engine.” O_o
-I’d love to see a version of Superman where Perry White starts fighting bad guys too. Like maybe he’s ex-Special Forces or an ex-Navy SEAL and he, Lois, and Superman team up. (This would only work with Lawrence Fishburne as Perry.)
-So, when Zod is suffering from the “Earth adjustment period” where he’s getting more powerful from the sun’s radiation and is therefore distracted by his sudden x-ray vision, Superman decides to tell him exactly how to overcome it? (“Focus on what you want to see.”) Cocky much?
-Definitely too many fights – after awhile it seemed like a “let’s see what other stuff we can blow up with the fx.” That’s the “Transformers – aliens” part of the equation.
-If you’re going to have Superman kill Zod anyway, why not save millions in the budget and a good half hour from the run time ,and please fans more, by just laser-eyeing Zod? (The answer probably lies in “they had to bring Superman to his breaking point” or something, but whatever. That’s crap.)
-As reflected in the math equation, this movie had some really weird pacing. It literally felt like two different movies. The first half is Clark trying to find himself and who he is and why is he different and where does he fit in this world. Then Zod shows up (why is he so angry and aggressive?) and all of a sudden it’s fight fight fight explosion explosion destroy all the buildings.
-Best exchange:
*Superman and Lois kiss*
Lois: “You know they say it’s all downhill after the first kiss.”
Superman: “Pretty sure that’s only if you’re kissing a human.”
-Best standalone quote that’s also an extreme understatement: “I just think he’s kinda hot.”

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