For many, it’s everything the summer movie season was made for. It’s got a high profile star (Brad Pitt), a high concept premise (a global zombie pandemic), a high level of spectacle (these creatures are fast and capable of mass destruction), and apparently, such sentiments are shared with many both within and outside the horror demo. With an estimated $66 million at the box office over the 21 June weekend (and little competition coming from the likes of The Heat and White House Down), World War Z seems ready to beat the odds, to prove the pundits wrong, and walk out of 2013 a sizeable hit.
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There’s been a lot of debate online over the weekend regarding the new Superman reboot, Man of Steel. Most has centered on the quality of the movie itself, which seems to be divided strictly along “love it or loathe it” lines. Few are in middle, though you will get the occasional comic book nerd who defends the reinterpretation of the character while condemning Zack Snyder’s handling of same. But the biggest brouhaha has centered around the last act battle between Clark/Kal-El and the Kryptonian tyrant, General Zod. In order to address this grievance, and the conclusion of their clash, one will have to delve deeply into Spoiler Territory. If you have yet to see the film, we recommend you stop reading now, and comeback once you’ve witnessed what has so many in an uproar.
You’ve been warned…
It makes perfect sense. After all, you’ve seen Marvel muck it up a bit, only to straighten out their artistic agenda and turn their plethora of possible film franchises into a multi-billion dollar international phenomenon. Not that impressed. Think about it for a minute. Five years ago, Iron Man was a nobody, a frame of reference in rumored productions (Tom Cruise once flirted with the comic book character) that few could see holding his own. Now, the latest installment in his stand-alone cinematic efforts has broached the aforementioned nine digit club and fans are clamoring for another Avengers collaboration.
Let’s examine the premise for a moment - it is America, 2020. A mere seven years from now. In the interim, crime, poverty, and disenfranchisement have gotten so bad that, when a future election is held, a group known as “The Founder Fathers” (or, perhaps, “The New Founding Fathers”) are put into power and have created something they believe will cure the ills of an ailing nation. In conjunction with specious scientific studies which suggest many social problems have their roots in the horrific realities of everyday living, and that by letting people act out on their aggressions, the country would be a better place, they come up with a concept. If possible, creating an outlet for such “violent tendencies” would lead to a kind of communal rebirth.
Not long ago Kyle Buchanan published on The Vulture website an insightful look at the age discrepancies between various movie leading men (Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford, Denzel Washington, and others) and actresses who get cast opposite them to play their love interests. He noted, rightfully, that no matter how old these matinee idols seem to get (their 50s, 60s, 70s!), the ages of their leading ladies, in film after film, always remains at least 10 to even 20-plus years younger. In Oblivion, 50 year-old Tom Cruise is paired with the 33-year-old Olga Kurylenko. In Up in the Air, the 48-year-old George Clooney hooks up with the 36-year-old Vera Farmiga. And in the forthcoming World War Z, the 49-year-old Brat Pitt plays opposite the 37-year-old Mireille Emos. And, etc., etc.