June 30, 2013

World War Z (2013)

After watching the trailer for this movie I was convinced it would be a huge snore. And I am forced to admit that I was wrong, sometimes you can't judge a movie by its trailer.

Brad Pitt plays Gerry Lane, an ex-UN veteran investigator who has left his job to raise his two girls with his wife, Karin. The beginning of the movie starts off with a series of predictable events, including taking special effort to mention that the eldest daughter has asthma and needs to pack her inhalers before they all hop in the car. The family relationships are all a bit cliche and wooden to start off with as they open with the kids waking the parents up, pancakes all round, lots of jabs at each other. Oh my aren't we a happy family. Meh.

But don't walk out before the first ten minutes is over, because it gets exponentially better after the opening scenes. The fear builds as the city is rapidly infected with zombieness around them from the slightest bite wound and the family is forced to flee.
Ultimately he is rescued via helicopter to a carrier ship where a bunch of (only useful) people are residing and ends up leading a mission to find the origin and cure for the disease.

Brad does a good job of playing the concerned father/family man and hardened UN vet/army man- a role his is probably well experienced with now. And we're all happy when he gets his family to safety so he can concentrate on killing more zombies.

Suspense, check. Shooting, stabbing and blowing shit up, check. Gory zombie goodness, check.
Aside from the beginning of the film, I really loved this movie. I thought the worldwide reaction and the individual reactions were realistic for an apocalyptic adventure. There are even a few events you won't see coming, and some that will be glaringly obvious.

4 Stars!

A few flaws (spoiler alert)
1. Zombies are suddenly faster than humans, despite being, uh, dead.
2. If the camouflage were to work in the way they say it does, that the body is no longer a health host, why wouldn't all the people injured (as he is later) be ignored by the zombies? And how do they know they are sick?
3. Zombies turn in 8 seconds, if I remember correctly, that is some seriously fast infection.
4. Zombies, dead, with skin dropping off, cataracts and looking like shit, are attracted to sound. You're telling me that their eardrums remained intact? vibration would have been less of a stretch. And how can they see through that milky lens?

Man of Steel 2013

Henry Cavill gets serious about Superman on the backdrop of an epic soundtrack.

Let me just start by saying, holy-cow Batman, where did they find this beautiful, manly, built, chiseled, broody, kind-faced, amazing, perfect, scrumptious man?
... Oh wait, he was in Immortals, but this hair-style really suits him, and unbelievably he's managed to bulk up more.

Ignore the critic reviews and go watch this on the big screen.
The story development behind his launch into space from Krypton includes an impressive (actually likeable) portrayal of Jor-El by Russell Crowe, and is just the right length to develop the context that shapes his powers, his fathers role in the rest of the movie, and to show some pretty cool alien technology.

 I've read a few articles saying that Cavill lacks emotion, and is too serious, but I think these critics lack the necessary sections of their brain to read between the lines and interpret his non-verbal actions in context. I think he has realistically portrayed an intelligent Superman who makes a selfless decision to reveal himself to the people of Earth, with all of his misgivings in tow, and manages to eloquently insert himself into a paranoid government-controlled situation with his dignity and privacy intact. This is a man who has tried for his entire life to hide his differences, been forced to distance himself from others and still can't help saving people even at risk to himself. The stoic facial expression described by several articles is spot on with the character he is playing. And he mixes it perfectly with his gentle I'm-not-going-to-harm-you smiles.
Now we come to the inevitable fight scenes where Superman and the bad-guy Kryptonians smash each other through buildings and blow things up. Lots of explosions and punching and shooting.

There are two things I didn't really like in this movie
1) The fighting did seem to involve repetitive flying into building scenes
2) Lois Lane and Superman kiss was no where near as hot as it could have been

But these weren't enough to over-shadow the best Superman movie ever made.
All hail the lack of red undies.
And someone get me this guys number.

5 stars.

January 3, 2013

Three bedrooms, one corpse Charlaine Harris

Written in 1994 and one of the 'Aurora Teagarden Mystery Series', I picked this up at the Subiaco Elizabeths Bookstore simply because any book written by this mistress of mystery needs to be on my shelf. This is the first I've read in this series, and it's not the first of the series, but it wasn't hard to follow at all.

Roe Teagarden has recently come into some money and quit her job as the local librarian, she doesn't have special powers like Charlaine's usual female characters, but she can solve a good mystery. Anywho, she decides to have a look into the real estate business her mother runs to see if she'd like to join in, next thing she knows she's showing a house and there's a dead naked real estate agent propped up in one of the rooms like a budget BDSM porno.

Add a dash of sexy romance with a new, older, man who has a smidgen of danger about him and the question of 'is he the murderer?'... but he's so hot! What about that creepy guy down the road? Probably a red herring. As per usual, the characters have depth and the killer might surprise you.

Four stars!