World War Z Reviewed

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I was surprised by how much I liked World War Z.

First of all, let me start by saying that I had very low expectations going into this movie. I’d heard the rumors of how the first cut was terrible and they had to refilm huge chunks of it. Plus, I love the book by Max Brooks so I was already wary of it to begin with.

Second, World War Z the movie has absolutely nothing in common with World War Z the novel with the exception of the title and the fact that someone from the UN was a character. Everything else was completely new.

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Third, if you know me or have read the blog for any significant amount of time, then you know that my biggest fear is zombies. Hands down. I thought I’d managed to desensitize myself to them thanks to this past season of The Walking Dead. I seemed to be doing better and was actually looking at the screen during the zombie scenes. Well, Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ, I fully expect to have horrific zombie nightmares every night for the next week. That, and I will likely be very sore for the next couple of days because I was wound up so tight during the whole movie. My friends were laughing at me because I spent half the movie covering my face with my scarf.

***I think I do a pretty good job of not spoiling too much this time but I’m putting up the usual warning just in case***

In the book, a UN Postwar Commission agent is collecting stories from survivors of a zombie war that started 10 years prior. He interviews astronauts, a soldier from the Battle of Yonkers, a Japanese gamer kid turned samurai, a girl who survived cold and starvation in frozen North America, amongst others.

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The movie, on the other hand, focuses primarily on a former UN Crisis Specialist named Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) and his attempts to figure out where the plague began and subsequently, a cure for it. He’s recruited by an old work buddy, UN Undersecretary Thierry Umutoni (Fana Mokoena) and assisted by various soldiers and scientists, most notably an Israeli soldier named Segen (Daniella Kertesz). The only other people you get to know for longer than 5 minutes are Gerry’s wife Karin (Mireille Enos), their two daughters Rachel (Abigail Hargrove) and Connie (Sterling Jerins), and a boy they pick up in Newark named Tommy (Fabrizio Zacharee Guido).

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As competent as Lane is, the scientists around him all seem to be smart but clumsy. An ill-fated Virologist (Elyes Gabel) gives a pretty epic speech about Mother Nature being a serial killer before accidentally tripping and blowing his own brains out. Oops. And the guy in charge (Pierfrancesco Favino) at the W.H.O. research facility in Cardiff is physically incapable of not bumping into anything and everything around him which is super annoying. There are notable cameos by David Morse, Matthew Fox, David Andrews, Ruth Negga, Peter Capaldi and others.

At times the zombies are so obviously CGI that it’s almost laughable, especially in the larger group scenes. Other times, they are so detailed and grotesque that it’s hard to watch even if you’re not completely petrified of zombies like I am. This is most apparent in the W.H.O. facility and featured crowd zombies in Philadelphia and Jerusalem.

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A few nitpicky things: I saw the movie with a bunch of friends and my brother who’s a Marine. He pointed out that the military plane could never have landed and/or taken off from the aircraft carrier (that’s where the movie lost him) and that different planes were used in different shots.  That, and this particular plane never could have reached South Korea from the Eastern Seaboard. It wouldn’t have enough fuel to make it.

I was fine with most of the book not being included in the movie because, honestly, it’s a very difficult book to translate from page to screen, but there are a couple of things I think they could have kept that fans of the book would have appreciated. The Battle of Yonkers, a brief shot of the astronauts watching from the ISS, and some zombies walking around on the bottom of the ocean could easily have been included.

I can’t say much more without spoiling the movie, which I’m trying really hard not to do. But I’ll just end by saying that I’ve never been so inspired by a guy walking down a hallway full of charging zombies. It was a beautiful moment in a movie that was truly horrifying for me to watch. It’s worth it to see World War Z on the big screen; however, if you haven’t read the book, do yourself a favor and read it. Same goes for The Zombie Survival Guide, also by Max Brooks.

3.5 out of 5 Sci-Fives!

Sci Five 3.5

 

Don’t forget to buy a calendar! It’s got every nerdy holiday you can imagine, plus a super handy convention calendar, and some never-before-seen pictures that will never, ever be seen anywhere else. It’s worth it to get the 2013 calendar. Besides, if I don’t sell these, then there probably won’t be one next year so, ya know…buy one :) Since it’s June, they’re super discounted (I promise you I’m not making a fortune off of them) and the price includes taxes and shipping within the US and Canada (if you live outside of the US/Canada then email me at princesstrek@hotmail.com). AND I’ll sign it if you want.

What I need to survive the zombie apocalypse (revised)

HNG Zombification by Brett DeWall

HNG Zombification by Brett DeWall

One of my earliest HNG posts was titled “What I need to survive the zombie apocalypse.” Since then, The Walking Dead has premiered and risen to cult-like status, not to mention I’ve discovered new products and had about a gazillion more zombie-related nightmares (seriously, there are nights when I hardly sleep at all because of them…bastards).

I think about the zombie apocalypse a lot. Way more than I should. And despite my massive fear of zombies, I’ve watched every episode of The Walking Dead (and Talking Dead) religiously. I’m a glutton for punishment, apparently.

When it comes to the zombie apocalypse, some people get it and some people think that I’m completely ridiculous and insane. I’m of the opinion that it never hurts to be prepared for a disaster, regardless of whether it’s a plague of the undead or an earthquake. You just never know.

So I’m updating my list of must-have items. The original listincluded:

– Two Japanese swords (katana or tachi – although I would totally take a couple of tsurugi’s) … this was long before I knew of Michonne, by the way.

– Some grenades (in case I get surrounded)

– One really good pair of running shoes (uhm, self-explanatory)

– Five ponytail holders (in case some get lost and because rubber bands are really damaging to your hair)

– One kinetic water resistant watch (doesn’t need batteries and can handle some rain)

– One really amazing sports bra (YOU try running around with 34DD’s)

Water purification tablets (alas, I doubt I’ll have easy access to my beloved Arrowhead)

– One pair of Maui Jim sports sunglasses (preferably with one of those landyards that hold them to your head)

– One baseball hat (can’t have sun in your eyes while you’re fighting the undead)

This is one of my faves

This is one of my faves

– As many MRE’s and meal replacement bars as I can carry in a light hiker’s backpack

That’s a pretty darn good list if I do say so myself. But I’ve come to realize that there are other things I’ll be wanting and/or needing. The Zombie Research Society recommends packing items like maxipads and pantyhose. They serve multiple functions and are definitely good suggestions; however, they don’t make it to my list (sorry, Matt Mogk…I still heart you). Remember, I’m a rather petite chick and plan on carrying as little as possible.

So here’s what I’d like to add to my list:

– A sturdy Buck knife (I have a trusty one that my Dad gave me when I became a Brownie Girl Scout…cause my Dad is awesome…and I’ve learned from Andrea that having a knife on you at all times is a life saver)

Thanks Dad!

Thanks Dad!

 

Pocket knife (also trusty, also given to me by my Dad when I became a Girl Scout)

Brass knuckles (when all else fails, PUNCH the zombies in the head)

– A roll of Duct Tape (because it fixes everything and can be used as improvised light body armor)

– A length of chain and a carabiner (For scrambling up fences or walls or whatever. I’m not sure how long a length I could practically carry but the longer the better. I’d settle for some rope if I had to)

Eye Drops (nothing puts a damper on zombie killing more than getting crap in your eye or having dry eyes. It’s a luxury item, but one I’d like to have)

Chapstick with sunscreen (to protect your knuckles, nose, eartips, and lips from sunburn and chapping)

– Bar of deodorant (not necessarily for body odor, but to prevent chafing. It can help prevent blisters if your shoes don’t quite fit, or if something like, I dunno…a gun holster rubs you the wrong way)

Baby powder (can also be used to prevent chafing and can be used in lieu of shampoo/soap to absorb oil and grease)

Hand or baby wipes (I’m Obsessive Compulsive and my hands must be clean as much as humanly possible. In fact, throw a toothbrush in there too)

– Extra socks (every military guy I know, most of whom are related to me, recommend having extra socks. Plus, I know it’s been mentioned in a ton of movies)

First aid kit with antibiotics and an EpiPen (Duh, this should have been on my original list)

Electrolytes (these bad boys come in handy when you get a muscle cramp. I take them when I go hiking and it helps prevent muscle soreness later as well)

Electrolytes FTW!

Electrolytes FTW!

Night vision goggles (couldn’t hurt to be able to see in the dark)

– Collapsible canteens (a no-brainer and I really prefer them over the condoms the ZRS recommends carrying around)

– A Keeper or Moon Cup (see explanation below)

That last one might be TMI for the guys reading this, but we girls need to think about these things and there’s no guarantee we’ll have a Glenn who’s willing to risk his life for a box of tampons. The Keeper/Moon Cup is a fantastic little gizmo. You can leave it in all day and just rinse and reuse. Plus, it literally lasts for decades. I have yet to find a better alternative for dealing with Aunt Flo during a zombie apocalypse (or a day at the beach). You’re welcome ladies.

If possible, I’d like to throw a gun and a decent amount of ammo on the list but since I don’t currently own a gun, I’d have to pick one up along the way. Luckily, I have a few Dad’s that taught me how to use guns so I’m familiar with them and can pretty much handle any one I manage to grab.

Hopefully I’ll never have to worry about this stuff but I’m tougher than I look and could probably lead my Zombie Apocalypse Annihilation Team (ZAAT) without going batshit crazy a la Rick.

Ready to kick some zombie ass for realz yo

Ready to kick some zombie ass for realz yo

Have anything you think should be added to the list? Let me know in the comments!