Sporadic Scene: Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (2015) – Hit Me Baby One More Time

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Man, this sure was a movie that knew what it was about and how to embrace it. There was tons of silly stuff going on and giggles to be had, but a standout scene from this is hands down the Britney Spears/zombie sing out that happened. Oh man, really now. It seriously cracked me up as everything about the scene is insanely ridiculous, and yet it feels right at home in this movie.

Review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016)

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“My daughters are trained for battle, sir, not the kitchen.”
– Mr Bennet

SYNOPSIS: Five sisters in 19th century England must cope with the pressures to marry while protecting themselves from a growing population of zombies. – via IMDB

Guys. Guys. Let’s just talk about this. I cannot believe that I had so much fun with this movie. I mean seriously. Take a classic and add a ton of zombies to it? Not traditional zombies either, mind. How exactly was that supposed to work out? Super fun, let me tell you that! I am so pleased that Natasha enjoyed this so much and made me watch it, as I had zero designs on checking this out before she insisted. Now I have seen it a few times and still think it is so much fun. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies totally embraces all that is ludicrous about it, and delivers on so many fronts. Like Warm Bodies, this is a movie that has no right to be as good as it is, and yet here we are.

Right off the bat, I must say that I enjoyed the cast. I think everyone was well cast and they all seemed to have a total ball. Sam Riley is an actor I quite enjoy, and do wish he was in more things. He’s an absolutely brilliant Darcy, and there is just no way that you are not in love with the dude when all is said and done. For reals. Riley just sneaks up on you – he delivers a harsh Darcy, a man so reserved and focused, and before you know it, you are like oooooooh… totally get why Elizabeth would fall for him. Then there is Lily James, and she is a wonderful Elizabeth Bennet. Got mad love for this character – ballsy, educated, can take care of herself and is strong? So ahead of her time and a great feminist? Hells yeah. I was rooting for her all the way. I absolutely loved watching her and Riley together, they had lovely chemistry – so contained and yet completely through the roof. Jack Huston is another actor I particularly enjoy, and I so wanted to trust Mr Wickham, but he is a smarmy bastard. Pretty one, but still.

I would like to take a moment to talk about Mr Collins and Matt Smith’s portrayal. It is evident he is having a blast portraying such a total twat, and is beyond exasperating. My inner feminist was just like “wtf” the whole time, and yet his character made me laugh and groan, and that is purely down to how well Smith played Collins. Charles Dance was also great as Mr Bennet, and I had a lot of respect for how he saw his girls as more that just marriage conduits. Well played, sir!

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies totally embraced its weirdness. Right off the bat it has a crazy opening (that elaborate story and animation was really cool), girls with all sorts of weapons in all sorts of places and mad training and a mother who just wants them to marry rich. It’s insane. While being totally out there yet still loyal to the source material, this movie looks good, too. The sets and costumes are really good, and it does not come off as a budget film. It goes all out, and it really helps the cause.

As you can tell, I thought the movie was a lot of fun. Don’t go into this and expect to see the classic as you have come to expect. Why can’t people just accept this as a fun adaptation, not something competing with a classic? Don’t take it too seriously. For reals, it will ruin the experience. It is silly popcorn entertainment that is actually put together quite well, and has a cast that just makes it well worth the watch. It’s funny, it’s ridiculous, it has zombies and manages to convey a classic love story, where you get involved and want to root for Darcy and Elizabeth to just, you know, find each other. So I think in terms of that the movie delivered, and I would say watch it if you are not going to nitpick for issues and can just shut your brain down at the door and have some fun.

Rapid Review: Life After Beth (2014)

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“There’s just like so many things that I wish I had told her.”
– Zach

SYNOPSIS: A hike alone in the woods ends tragically for Beth Slocum with a fatal snake bite. Her death leaves her parents and boyfriend Zach reeling. After the funeral, Zach tries to make friends with Mr. and Mrs. Slocum, but even they reject him, and he’s determined to figure out why. Then he sees Beth. Her parents are trying to keep her resurrection a secret, but zombie Beth provides Zach with the opportunity to do everything with her that he didn’t get to do while she was still alive. But with Beth’s increasingly erratic behavior and even more strange occurrences around town, life with the undead Beth proves to be particularly complicated for her still-living loved ones. – via IMDB

Just sharing some arb scenes from it, I liked it!

This scene… oh man!

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Just every scene with DeHaan was awesome, he was so weird.

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This one is for me… #ForScience

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DeHaan and Gubler were exceptionally amusing together.

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Zach and Beth get a second chance… though it is a little dodgy!

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Apparently the sweet things aren’t the same anymore when you’re dead…

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Undead takes fighting to a whole different level of issues to deal with…

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If you thought you had family problems before, date your now-deceased girlfriend.

life after beth matthew gray gubler

GRADE 7

So I know this ultimately came back with mixed reviews and all, but I liked it. A large part of the movie was based on Dane DeHaan’s performance, and he did not disappoint at all. I absolutely loved how it all came together. I really wish Matthew Gray Gubler had gotten more screen time, but just having him and DeHaan in a movie together was good enough for me. He was such a toolbag – and I totally just wanted to have him grow his hair out a little more! He got some extremely entertaining scenes though, even if he was underused. I thought the cast all did a great job with their roles, and they were terribly entertaining. Zach’s extremely mixed feelings over Beth and her return were funny – he had some serious adjustment issues. Aubrey Plaza was amusing and extremely good as Beth, and the dynamic between her and DeHaan was great. The way the story was told worked for it, too, as it was funny and humorous (for me) in a slightly darker and sillier way. Watching Zach’s plight was comical, and Maury’s reaction to Zach’s relationship with Beth as well as how he didn’t want to hush up about it all was also something that gave me giggles. Beth’s disintegration into full-fledged zombie was something to watch, it was a pretty gradual progression. I thought it was really sweet how Zach grabbed at the opportunity to do all the things with Beth he never got around to doing when she was alive, and their relationship decomposed at the same rate that she was, creating even more hardships for Zach. The Orfman family was just plain down bizarre, but it isn’t as though the Slocums were a step up, either. I loved the way the apocalypse so gradually started happening, as well as the zombie types that were featured. The smooth jazz that popped up from time to time cracked me up. Naturally, the movie has flaws, but overall I had a good time. The end is a little bit of a let down, but nothing too serious. Anyway, Life After Beth is a darkly laughable affair, a different look at the zombie romance thing that seems to be popular at the moment, and well worth the watch if you like anyone from the cast, or enjoy that slightly crooked sense of absurd comedy, even if it has moments where it gets a little slow.

IT READS: PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES: DAWN OF THE DREADFULS (2010) STEVE HOCKENSMITH

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PAPAZDOTD

As a little back story to this new feature – I use to be a very avid book reader before I got entangled in the world of blogging and just started reading blogs all day. I even had / have a book review site that I wrote on occasionally that I haven’t updated since January of 2013.  The other day I opened the bureau to get something out of it and I noticed the STACK of unread books I have sitting there and got nostalgic for the smell and feel of printed material and thought to myself, “You know what? I’m going to read a fucking book!” And, since I know Zoë is such a fan of book reading I told her about my new dedication and she was all “YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYA YOU CHOP!!!!” and we discussed posting about it / them out here. Then we discussed my book review site and how I want to turn it down and we thought maybe we could put some of them out here on Zuts, not only to build her library but also to not just throw away all of that fucking typing I did.

So, today we present the first installment of IT READS: and we’ll go with the HIGHLY entertaining and hilarious PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES: DAWN OF THE DREADFULS!

P.S. This was actually written a few years ago so those of you familiar with my style my find this a little different. And – look at all of those quotation marks!

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This is one of my favorite books I have ever read. I know it’s not going to fall on most people’s lists of “favorite books” but it’s on mine. This book is HILARIOUS and so full of satire I wish I had written it. This came out after “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” (PPZ) stormed the New York Times bestseller list and, if you were looking, we saw dozens of copycats come out riding PPZ’s coattails. I read PPZ and loved it – then i read “Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters” – which I liked, but I didn’t love the author of SSSM’s style. Speaking of that author (Ben Winters), now that I finished “Dreadnaught” I am going to start “Android Karenina” another of Quirk Books literary mashups, before the third installment of PPZ arrives, the highly anticipated “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After”, also by Hockensmith (YAY). Anyway, I was in the mood to do a book review, after finishing “Dreadnaught” so I pulled this off the bookshelf and thought I would do a write up about this while i was at it.

So, PPZ took PandP and added the living dead and loads of hilarity. I had never read PandP or seen any of the countless renditions on film, but i don’t think I could ever sit through a reading of that stuffiness. PPZ took the original text and twisted it all up into something very fun, but it still had to deal with Jane Austen’s writing. PPZ DOD didn’t have to. Hockensmith was able to totally drum up his own “Victorian style” and de-Austen it for DOD, which is the satire I am talking about. It is blatantly obvious he is making nothing but fun of the haughty, polite, rich, olde english of the time and using modern words. Then he throws in ninjas, secret pasts, armies of the living dead, dojo training and mad scientists and it’s all just wickedly fun from start to finish. It’s about 300 pages and I think I read it in four days, I couldn’t put it down.

Are you familiar with the Bennet family? Well I sure wasn’t… I could probably say that they’re a bunch of uppity rich English living in the countryside, mother and father and five daughters trying to get married, dealing with societal class. Well, in PPZ they are also trained in the deadly arts of dispatching the “Dreadfuls” as politely and severely as possible. DOD gives us the prequel to all of that business, they day the dead start coming back to life, the Bennet girls’ training (and wooing) under imported Master Hawksworth, the resurrection of the Bennet father’s dignity (and combat skills), a secret tryst between the mother and a Captain with no arms or legs (but soldiers who act as though he does) and zombie battles galore. I don’t think I can do it much more justice except to say this thing is F-ing funny. Just like in PPZ, DOD has awesome woodcut prints scattered throughout, that add to the fun of this book.

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As an update to this post, I thought I would add that this came with a trailer for it. It’s absolutely hilarious and is a must watch:

And to quote: “They may be dead, God Dammit, but they’re still Englishmen!!!”

Signed,

THECHOP

Top Ten Movie Monsters

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I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve grown up on a staple diet of horror movies for years. I love the stuff, though there are so many crappy films in the genre, no character development, and a slew of other problems. Irrespective of, there have been some great monsters as far back as I can remember, a whole bunch that stick with you no matter what.

I decided to do a top ten movie monsters list (how original, I know). Naturally this is going to be one of those lists where there is such a vast array of monsters to choose from it is going to be grossly limited. Naturally this is not the definitive list or anything, just a list of ten awesome movie monsters. Anyway, here goes!

Freddy Krueger (A Nightmare on Elm Street films)

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I am a massive Freddy Krueger fan (but the old and original Robert Englund stuff, mind, not this new age crap). Freddy is just totally the one thing you don’t want lingering or entering any which one of your dreams ever. Freddy plays with his prey before all sorts of bizarre and messed up executions, and everything for him is darkly, comically funny, not to mention that scary glove he runs around with!

Xenomorph (Alien films)

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I honestly don’t think that I need to explain this. These things are scary as hell. Plus two, Alien: Isolation is not particularly helping matters either.

Dr Satan (House of 1000 Corpses)

dr satan house of 1000 corpses

The hell? House of 1000 Corpses is a crazy watch, and it definitely oozes darkness and horror. Something that was in no shortage throughout the film was messed up characters and devilish monsters. Dr Satan is no exception, he definitely gave me the chills! I would have a heart attack if I woke up and he was the first thing I saw!

Sam (Trick ‘r Treat)

trick r treat sam

I am a huge fan of Trick ‘r Treat, and I thought that Sam was one of the coolest creature things in a movie ever. Never talking, always just observing, waltzing around town, Sam is not someone you want to cross, or diss Halloween in front of.

Dementors (Harry Potter films)

dementors

While I was maybe not the biggest fan of these films (at all), and while they screwed the Dementors up more often than not (appearances and what they do), there was one of them that they got it right in, and knowing what I do about those things, they are nasty creatures you don’t want anywhere near  you at any time, ever.

The Witch King of Angmar (The Lord of the Rings trilogy)

witch king of angmar

I think you are all familiar with my love of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I talk about it everywhere, as much as possible. High time to be watching it again, I think. Anyhow, the Nazgûl are terrifying monsters, really eerie, but the Witch King of Angmar takes the crown (he he) for this again because he is badass, scary, strong, powerful, backed by dark magics and forces and relentless to boot.

Lycans (Underworld films)

rise of the lycans lycans

While some were not a fan of Rise of the Lycans, I thought it was a really fun movie, and I loved getting some more back-story on the Lycans. Besides that, I thought they looked really badass and cool in here, and they were awesome overall. An honourable mention here would be the werewolves in Trick ‘r Treat, apparently they were done by the same studios that did the Lycans in Rise of the Lycans.

Bagul / Mr Boogie (Sinister)

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Because what the hell… that’s all. Didn’t expect to get something that packed this much punch from something like Sinister, but hey, I thought it was pretty good!

The Thing (The Thing)

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Any one of the things in this movie. Come on, they were absolutely nasty, and could become anything, though the procedure was absolutely disgusting!

Zombies (Dawn of the Dead 2004 remake)

dawn of the dead running zombies

Because seriously… if zombies weren’t bad enough, let’s make them run like hell. Nope, heart attack waiting to happen.

Review: Warm Bodies – Isaac Marion

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warm bodies book cover

Warm Bodies #1

R is not your usual zombie – something is different about him. R misses things like words and conversation and the ability to read. This is certainly not how the Dead think and operate, but R is different. One day when out “hunting” with another pack of zombies, they fall upon a group of the Living who are on a Salvage mission. While a bloodbath ensues, R murders Perry Kelvin and takes his brain. The brain is the one thing that gives the Dead some memories of the victim’s brain they are consuming – their version of dreaming. While he is savouring Perry’s memories, he sees the romance between Perry and a girl named Julie Grigio “Cabernet”, who happens to be on the salvage mission. Something is triggered in R, and he protects Julie, and takes her back to the airport R and his fellow dead call home.

Julie is initially really freaked out, but soon realises that R is a little different. While he struggles to say much, he can string a word or two together from time to time, enough to tell her that he will keep her safe. Julie grudgingly accepts this, and tries to find a way to live at the airport until R returns her to her father. R finds that he is rather attracted to Julie, something that does not even make sense to him, seeing as he is Dead and she is Living. R is also hiding the knowledge, buried deep away, that it was he who killed Perry. He doesn’t think that Julie will react too well with this.

R and Julie develop a friendship together. One day, this friendship is almost disrupted when Julie attempts to leave the airport and is cornered by a group of the Dead, who are intent on eating her. R saves her, and the Dead seem to allow this. The Boneys, some strange and bizarre leaders of the Dead, are not happy, and make it clear that whatever is going on between R and Julie will not change anything. R is noticing some changes in himself, and realises that he is stringing more words together in a coherent sentence, and is expressing things more than his Dead mind ever allowed. He attributes this to Julie. Eating more of Perry’s brain gives R more of his memories, but it also seems to be making Perry a part of him. R is definitely changing, and he isn’t the only one. It seems that he and Julie have set something in motion, though neither is sure what, or what they will do with it.

What is generating the change in R? Will it affect the other Dead? Is this deadly plague coming full circle? What have he and Julie done, and how will it affect the apocalyptic world the Earth has become? Are they a cure? Is R just weird? Is Julie just too hopeful? Is it just Perry’s brain that R is consuming that is leading him to believe that he loves her, and that he can protect her?

GRADE 6.5I recently watched Warm Bodies and had no idea that it was based on a book, until Cara of Silver Screen Serenade asked if I knew that. I said no (obviously), but offered to give it a test run and see what I thought. Warm Bodies was quite a fast read, I will give it that, and not a bad one while we are at it. There were things that I did not like about the book (some characters weren’t really that well developed) and the plot was a little slow sometimes, but overall it was definitely not a bad read. I loved the pictures at the start of all the chapters (yes, I know that has nothing to do with the content, but it is worth noting cause it looked really cool). R was still great in here, very entertaining. The humour that was sprinkled throughout this was enjoyable, too. I was not a particular fan of Julie. She had her moments, but there was also something about her that set my teeth on edge, so that naturally put me off of her a little bit. Perry was such a broken and damaged individual. I liked the way that Marion worked Perry into the story without him actually being a character, but more of like… a moral compass and/or voice in R’s head. One thing that annoyed the hell out of me was the lack of question marks. Half the times those were questions, not statements. It means it closes with a “?” – just saying. I would love to call it a minor thing, but it really wasn’t for me. I think the writing style was just a little off. Marion certainly provided another outlook to the zombie myth that there is, and I actually had a pretty good time with it. R’s thoughts were interesting to read, and I absolutely adored the way he communicated with snippets of music, it was lovely. I must admit that the first half was more entertaining for me than the second half, which seems to be a common complaint here. However, it is pretty sweet. As much as I enjoyed this, I cannot see myself rushing to read it again, but I can say it is worth the read if you don’t have anything else that needs your immediate attention.

Review: Warm Bodies (2013)

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“So much for dreaming. You can’t be whatever you want. All I’ll ever be is a slow, pale, hunched-over, dead-eyed zombie.”
– R

SYNOPSIS: After a highly unusual zombie saves a still-living girl from an attack, the two form a relationship that sets in motion events that might transform the entire lifeless world. – via IMDB

I thought R and his way of expressing things was so dry but entertaining.

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Some of the best conversational skills of all time, no two ways about it.

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His desperate attempts at being human and normal were painful and hilarious.

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R and Julie were so sweet, it made me laugh how he was just so out of touch with most normal things, but he really tried.

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R and Julie certainly had completely different ideas about what she was doing there.

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M always had R’s back, and as a zombie, dropping the “bitches” line? Priceless.

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A sentiment I can totally identify with too much sometimes.

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A Polaroid camera provided some sweetness and amusement all round.

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This was just… yes. I really liked it.

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My reaction, decently summed up.

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GRADE 8So I finally had to watch this after both Abbi and Natasha insisted that it was fresh, new, and most certainly not Twilight. I decided it was time, and popped it in. What followed was a total surprise to me. While not my favourite zombie movie of all time (and I am with Mr O on the zombie purist thing most of the time, sorry Abbi) – I was willing to suspend all the beliefs I had about zombies to see this. I actually really enjoyed it. It really isn’t Twilight with zombies, so give it a shot if that is what kept you from looking into it. It was shot well and the acting was relatively good. R really made me laugh at times. He was lost, lonely, sad, desperately didn’t want to be what he was, and he was most certainly different from your average zombie. The message he carried across was cool, too, and his humour and outlook was really dry and drab, but it was both amusing and touching. He was very impressive in here, and I think he is an under-appreciated actor, he’s pretty good. There was a lot to like in this one. However, this was one super cutie zombie to come from the zombie apocalypse! The score worked well, too, though it is certainly not my favourite soundtrack of all time. I had a lot of fun with what the movie was saying, and John Malkovich played a real tool, really. Also, Dave Franco went from being such a nice guy to a real idiot, though when you see the history you can understand that, too. Teresa Palmer was good as Julie, she never actually started working on my nerves. She was not a barbie and she was in touch with what was going on around her, yet still she wanted love, life, and freedom. She also had nice chemistry with Nicholas Hoult. I really liked the friendship between R and M, gave me quite a few giggles. Overall, Warm Bodies is sweet, funny, and not a horror, so don’t go in watching that if you are expecting a Dawn of the Dead or Night of the Living Dead. If you watch it with no preconceived notions, and just accept it for what it is, then this will be a great little watch.

Review: World War Z (2013)

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“Mother Nature is a serial killer. No one’s better, or more creative. Like all serial killers, she can’t help but have the urge to get caught or what good would all those brilliant crimes do if no one takes the credit? So she leaves crumbs.”
– Andrew Fassbach

Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) is retired from the UN. He now lives at home with his wife Karin (Mireille Enos) and their two children, Rachel (Abigail Hargrove) and Constance (Sterling Jerins). He is a stay at home dad and loves it. However, the news is sounding bad when it reports of terrible disease spreading like wildfire. In traffic in Philadelphia morning, there is an outbreak of vicious proportions and attacks that Gerry cannot explain. It seems to take about twelve seconds for the bitten to turn into whatever launched the attack. The Lanes take off, and Gerry is contacted by Deputy Secretary-General Thierry Umutoni (Fana Mokoena), who is an old friend. He is going to do what he can to rescue Gerry, whose family in the meanwhile has picked up a new addition, a young boy named Tommy (Fabrizio Zacharee Guido).

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“If you can fight, fight. Be prepared for anything. Our war has just begun.” – Gerry Lane

Gerry and his family are finally picked up, but it seems the relationship is quid pro quo. The family is transported to a fleet of U.S. Navy vessels, and space is limited. The only way to keep his family safe and on the boat means that Gerry needs to work with the government. Gerry needs to assist virologist, Dr Andrew Fassbach (Elyes Gabel), to discover the origins of the virus. As soon as he knows that, he can develop a vaccine. Gerry leaves to a military base in South Korea, where it is rumoured to have begun. It was the first transmission that mentioned zombies, at any rate.

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“Your Secretary here says you were his best investigator when you were with the UN. I wanna send you in, with a team. Help Dr. Fassbach find whatever it is he needs.” – Naval Commander

When there, the team is attacked and Fassbach accidentally shoots himself and dies. Gerry and the remainders make it inside, where they learn more about these zombies. Noise attracts them, head shots are the sure-fire way of taking them down, and that if possible they should be burned. Captain Speke (James Badge Dale) introduces Gerry to a seemingly crazy former CIA operative Gunter Haffner (David Morse), who is a prisoner and a survivor who is pulling his teeth as the answer to stop the infection. He tells Gerry to go to Jerusalem, where a safe zone seems to have been erected prior to the outbreak becoming an official problem. Thinking they may have insider and special knowledge, Gerry moves along there.

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“Most people don’t believe something can happen until it already has. That’s not stupidity or weakness, that’s just human nature.” – Jurgen Warmbrunn

Mossad Director Jurgen Warmbrunn (Ludi Boeken) explains to Gerry that they had no prior knowledge of the zombie outbreak, but had an intercepted communication from an army general in India. The troops were apparently fighting the undead, and they prepared. Gerry is desperate to find out where the virus originated as well as establish a way to end it all. When the sanctity of the safe haven is compromised due to the loud, joyous singing of the rescued Israelis, Gerry makes an escape with Segen (Daniella Kertesz), of the military. He cuts her hand off after she is bitten, and after that and some other observations, he feels that he may very well be seeing the chink in the zombie chainmail. Following his escape in an airliner, he wishes to go to a research facility, but the plane crashes and Umutoni and his people take Gerry for dead, and throw his family and the new kid, Tommy, out.

Will Gerry be able to figure out enough about the virus to tell the people with the know-how what he saw so that they are able to fix it? Will he find the origin of the outbreak so that they will be able to manufacture an antivirus? Will his family be safe from the outbreak now that they have been kicked off of the safe haven of the U.S. Navy vessels?

I would rate World War Z a 7/10. I was looking forward to this movie. I think that I was one of the few people that were not dreading it, but was actually excited to see what the film brought, and I was not let down. I thought Brad Pitt was again excellent. I think he is a wonderful actor that gets underestimated too often. A lot of people blow him off as his success being directly related to his appearance, though I find that grossly unfair. He is very talented. The zombies in this film were most definitely a fresh and new variety, and not the type that I want to come in contact with ever. This is quite a vicious zombie apocalypse, and the spread thereof is so fast. Gerry having to look into where the disease started and how it spread was interesting – finding patient zero. These are such dangerous times and such an important task at hand that needs some serious dedication. I had a friend who said that the end disappointed him a little, and I must say that while it did not disappoint me as terribly as it did him; it sort of left a little to be desired. It went from being incredibly smart, and quite clever, to just suddenly and unexpectedly drawing to a close. This is a very solid and decent entry to the zombie genre, and definitely worth checking out.