World War Z movie FAIL


#301

Probably trivially easy at this point. $350M and counting in the theaters, and it will almost certainly sell well as a DVD/BluRay and rental. Though I won’t see it in the theater, I’ll be one of those that buys the disk.


#302

Always remember that the box office gets split. The studio doesn’t see anything close to all of that. Theaters and distributors can get up to half.


#303

And the Hobbit would be made into 3 movies lasting nearly 8 hours.


#304

Movie math is just so convoluted.


#305

What a misstep this movie was. The one thing I liked about World War Z is that expanded scope, the use of short vignettes across the globe. Not only did that structure keep the tension that the normal small scale zombie movie has but it tried to show how different cultures adapted to it. Particular I remember was the discussion on how South and North Korea dealt with it differently, the paranoia among the Chinese submarine crew about their own government, the swamping of the various island nations.

The movie was basically Contagion, but with zombies. It didn’t deal at all with how certain cultures adapted to the problem or dealt with it. Instead it was basically Brad Pitt running around looking at zombies, something he could have done in Philadelphia, were the movie starts. I mean really what did Pitt learn by traveling that he couldn’t have learned at home?

If there is any silver lining it might be that this debacle will stop Hollywood from milking the zombie sub genre the way it continues to milk the super hero genre.


#306

What debacle would that be? All I see is a movie that made a shitload of money, which is the only thing that determines whether a dozen projects will hop on its coattails.


#307

Uh yeah it did. Did you watch the movie? What did the North Koreans do? What did the Israelis do again? What was the US/UN doing?

So yes, it did depict cultures doing different things. Whether or not it made sense or ultimately effective is another point entirely.

— Alan


#308

Aside from assembling a crisis team on an aircraft carrier and launching Pitt on his journey, I don’t think we were ever shown what they were doing.


#309

It seems to me that Ray’s point was that the book’s structure – short stories – was uniquely adapted to showing how different countries reacted. He’s pointing out that this element was missing from the movie, which had to anchor the story to one character. Sure, David Morse mentions the North Koreans pulling teeth and someone at one point says something vague about Russia. But the book had unique narrative opportunities that were missing from the movie.

BTW, I think that one thing the book and the movie had in common is that they both sucked. Zing!

  -Tom

“Keep your finger off the trigger.”


#310

I listened to the audiobook and the only thing I remember is Alan Alda.


#311

The only other culture it showed was Israel and they basically built a big wall and called it a day. Sure they talked about North Korea but we never saw anything. In the book it made sense to show how all the different cultures in the world adapted because those adaptations built up to the winning strategy for retaking the planet.

In the movie Pitt learns that the zombies don’t attack terminally ill people and from there devises a camouflage. Why did he need to go anywhere besides Philadelphia to learn that? The only reason for Pitt to go around the world is so we can see zombies pile up like ants and swarm through Jerusalem.


#312

In the movie Pitt learns that the zombies don’t attack terminally ill people and from there devises a camouflage.

Are you fucking kidding me?


#313

He also drinks a soda. That part was pretty good.


#314

As I recall, the zombie virus wants healthy hosts, as many parasitic thingys do. Therefore terminally ill are unseen by the zombies. However ANYONE, terminally or not, who also looks ‘unhealthy’ enough to the zombies also is invisible to them. That’s the camo, not making everyone terminally ill, but creating a vaccine that gives the appearance of such. The travel was necessary because the initial plan was for a more conventional cure. It was only during the travel that Pitt’s character slowly began to gather the information that would add up to an alternate approach.


#315

Ah, so the movie is predicated on a bizarre warping of the selfish gene theory. I may not even watch this on HBO.


#316

Oh I understand you don’t actually have to be terminally ill. But why didn’t anyone notice that terminally ill cancer patients were surviving in all those hospitals? I would think it would stand out like a sore thumb that all of these terminally ill people in hospitals or with close contact to hospitals are being ignored by a ravenous horde of zombies. What about traveling the world gave Pitt the unique ability to get that insight? The whole structure of the film just didn’t seem to fit with the plot at all. Nothing was learned by visiting the countries visited that couldn’t have been learned by observing outbreaks in the US. The movie never really shows how different cultures adapt to the situation except for the giant Israeli wall. Sure they have brief mentions of NorKor pulling teeth and military mutinies (or something) in Russia but those references never tie into the plot and Pitts solution. Which is in stark contrast with the book which, despite being written with the abilities of a high schooler, actually ties its globe trotting to the larger narrative.

To Ginger Yellow: No I’m not kidding, wasn’t that Pitt’s big epiphany after seeing a young boy in Jerusalem get ignored and remembering the old guy in Philly? Or was his epiphany not to give a scientist a loaded weapon?


#317

Well, true, it could have just been in Philadelphia and there didn’t need to be globetrotting, but it’s not called World War Z because it takes place in Philly. They wanted to show other countries with the main character, as well as different (ie. scary) situations. I can’t fault them for that, though there is plenty else to fault.

As for the “key” of the story, it’s very much an exposition of how virii mutate to survive–essentially they adjust themselves to the environment and search out for ways of having viable hosts. This is how a virus can spillover from animal to human after a time when humans were apparently immune (and perhaps not even a carrier), or when a virus burns out its host species (for any number of reasons, such as the available pool of hosts is limited). The faulty logic here is that the virus will distinguish between healthy and unhealthy hosts of the exact same species, which would difficult in the extreme (though it can be argued that certain sicknesses give off a particular smell or odor).

Being a mindless, rabid extreme form of rabies, it’d make no sense for the WWZ virus to do this, as it’d rapidly try to infect as many people as possible, because the only manner of transmission is by bite (and not even direct exposure to infected blood). Not infecting terminally ill people makes no sense, because the host needs to bite to spread the infection–it doesn’t need a body to gestate the virus or anything, and transmission is near immediate. And these zombies didn’t really eat anything, so apparently they didn’t crave sustenance of any kind.

— Alan


#318

Because Lindelof!

-Tom


#319

I hope that catches on as the excuse for why any Hollywood movie has major inconsistencies/plot holes.


#320

I hope it catches on as a reason Damon Lindelof’s career in scriptwriting flames out.