Posts tagged “Max Brooks

Must See Movies 2013: A Glimpse So Far

Below are the movies I am most excited about for first half of the year or so. Release dates indicated are for South Africa, and are subject to change. Only movies with trailers and confirmed SA release dates are shown here. Watch my monthly posts for more up to date info. Source for release dates: http://moviesite.co.za/CPR.pdf

 

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January

Django Unchained

Prediction: Damn funny and will rock, plenty of Oscar nominations.

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Also watch out for Argohttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w918Eh3fij0

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February

A Good Day To Die Hard

Prediction: Not really too sure, but should be good fun :)

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Lincoln

Prediction: Gonna be amazing!

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Also watch out for Zero Dark Thirty if only to see what the hype is about - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxC_JNz5Vbg

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March

Oz the Great & Powerful

Prediction: Looks promising

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Red Dawn

Prediction: Probably will be the same old formula, but should be entertaining

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April

Oblivion

Prediction: Even if it sucks, it should be interesting or at least entertaining, it’s win-win

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Seven Psychopaths

Prediction: It’s a winner! Why? 1) Woody Harrelson, 2) Christopher Walken, 3) It’s looks awesome

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Also watch out for the Carrie remake - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaHzUMq8iaM

May

Iron Man 3

Prediction: Looks very dark…

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Evil Dead (Remake)

Prediction: Where’s Bruce? No really… ooh wait this looks kinda freaky actually :)

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Fast and Furious 6

Prediction: Another one? Only the big names are gonna save this one…

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Also watch out for the Texas Chainsaw 3D (yet another scray movie remake) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqCe2pDfICE

And don’t forget about Stokerhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brjtL-2kE9A

June

Man of Steel 

Prediction: Oooh dark… plus Christopher Nolan (producer) and Zack Snyder (300) are involved in it

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After Earth

Prediction: Should be pretty cool, starring Will Smith and son, Jaden

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Star Trek – Into Darkness 

Prediction: Never really got into old Star Trek (*gasp*), so the reboot since the previous film has me hooked :)

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July

World War Z 

Prediction: Bad CGI aside, it should be pretty cool, even if it doesn’t look anything like I’d have pictured the book.

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The Lone Ranger

Prediction: Looks pretty damn cool

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Despicable Me 2 

Prediction: Laughs and fun all around

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August

Pacific Rim

Prediction: Prepare to be blown away…

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September

Elysium

Prediction: Since this isn’t really a trailer, it’s kinda difficult to say, but if Neill Blomkamp bought us District 9 with $30m, imagine what he can do with $120m and Matt Damon?

The mystery around this film reminds me of the mysterious build up and viral campaign of “fakeverts” and the rest that he did with District 9. Less is known about this film that some films coming out in 2014.


The 30 Day Book Challenge: Day 1 & 2

Cover of "World War Z: An Oral History of...

Cover via Amazon

A friend of mine over at The Katalina Playroom put up a challenge that she found browsing around the net. I honestly doubt that I’ll get to doing a post a day, but I thought that I’d do the challenge anyway and do a “day” as I get a chance. I wouldn’t be surprised if it took me 90 days or more.

To get things going, I thought I’d combine the first two days into one post.

Day 1: You Favourite Book

This one is very easy for me really. Of course it involves zombies, and if you know me, you’ve probably already guessed that it is “World War Z” by Max Brooks.

The book is written in a first person narrative as a report from an UN agent who was not satisfied with the official report the UN released to the public. The report is a collection of his interviews with different people of various nationalities, covering most aspects of the decade long war against the zombies. Even my home country is included in the book, which I admit was quite exciting, especially since in the novel it was after an outbreak in South Africa that the zombie plague was brought to the world’s attention.

One of the novel’s greatest strengths is the fact that it doesn’t seem like a novel, but at the same time draws you. It took me less than three days to read this book, compared to a novel like the Constant Gardener, which admittedly isn’t one of my favourites and will probably be my Day 7 book, as I started reading it in February this year.

The book follows Brooks’ previous zombie book, “The Zombie Survival Guide“, and is based heavily on what was covered in this book. What I really appreciate about this book is how well researched it was. In an interview with the Washington Post, Brooks said:

“Everything in World War Z (as in The Zombie Survival Guide) is based in reality… well, except the zombies. But seriously, everything else in the book is either taken from reality or 100% real. The technology, politics, economics, culture, military tactics… it was a LOT of homework.”

As you are probably aware there is a movie that is currently in production starring Brad Pitt. I will keep an open mind with regards to the film, but it has a helluva lot to live up to.

Day 2: Least Favourite Book

I refuse to elaborate too much on why this book is my least favourite, but it probably has a lot to do with being forced to read it in high school, followed by one of the most boring films of all time starring Robert Redford. Yup, its the Great Gatsby…

The fact that it’s referred to as one of the second best novel of the 20th century by the Modern Library means little to me. It is overrated and boring and that is all I have to say about it.


Brains! A Zombie History Lesson

Hawt Zombies :)

I have always been a fan of zombies, but only recently has my interest “risen from the dead” so to speak, and I actually even look for the cheesiest movies out there to satisfy my cravings. Zombies have now become an obsession of sorts for me.

BRAINS!!

Zombies are rooted deep in history, back as far as the 1700s, but the zombie as we know it probably originated in the early twentieth century. Writers such as HP Lovecraft dabbled in tales of the undead, but the turning point in the American version of the zombie culture was the 1932 film, White Zombie. There is a story about how, during  political unrest in Haiti (this was about 1915), a mob of  citizens showed their anger towards the government, which had murdered over 150 political prisoners. They did this by catching a certain general, tearing his limbs from his body and then displayed across the city as a warning. This escalated things which led to USA’s intervention. The possibility exists that these events led to some sort of rumours, all starting from the news that was reaching the US. Sound very zombie?

During the 30’s up until the Great Depression the Voodoo zombie dominated despite HP Lovecraft’s stories of the undead. In the 40’s horror had started to reach its saturation point in film and the comedy zombie tried to rear its ugly head. This is probably due to the war and the fact that woman and children were the target market and zombies didn’t go down too well. During the 50’s the alien zombie and atomic zombie popped up but very few of these films were really worth watching unless you are a huge fan (like me).

Then George Andrew Romero came along and wrote and directed his first movie called Night of the Living Dead, which he independently produced as well in 1968. This movie started the new direction in zombie that took hold in the 70’s ending in Romero’s follow up Dawn of the Dead in 1978. He portrayed zombies as undead, rotting corpses and the idea stuck. While you would recognise the zombies in White Zombie, there is no mistaking the difference between the two. It is well known fact that Romero’s zombie movies were a social commentary on life at the time of their release as well from the chaotic 60’s to the consumerism in the 70’sand so on. Strangely enough io9.com did research a while back which resulted in an article: War and Social Upheaval Cause Spikes in Zombie Movie Production. Of course, as is true with any study done, especially one on the interwebs, results can always show what we want them to. A lot of the zombie films of the late 60′s and 70′s were very cool and worth looking into.

In the 80’s the Italians took over the zombie genre while Hollywood went all slasher-crazy. A conversation with a friend of mine recently though, led to an argument over the idea that Jason Vorhees of Friday the 13th fame was in actual fact, a super-zombie… thoughts? Not to say the 80’s never had it share of brilliant movies, but nothing revolutionary. This went on into the 90’s before zombies decided to shift to video games. In 1996, Capcom released a game in Japan called Biohazard, which became Resident Evil in Europe and the US and Sega also release a shooter called House of the Dead. At around about the same time, a movie called Scream gave horror in general, a shot in the arm and saw renewed interest in the classic horrors including zombie films. As in the 80’s hundreds of movies were made, many good, but more that were plain crap.

In the new millennium, Hollywood seemed to take interest in some big budget zombie-based movies ending up in a new set of Romero films, a series of Resident Evil films based on the 90′s video game, 28 Days Later (which spawned a sequel and comic book) and more like 2006’s Fido and 2009’s Zombieland . The new millennium seemed to like the viral zombie more than any other.

EDIT: As pointed out to me in the comments I forgot to mention 2004′s Shaun of the Dead from Simon Pegg.

To really appreciate the world of zombies you have to watch the good (The Dead series, Fido, Zombieland) with the (not so bad) low budget masterpieces like Zombie StrippersZombies! Zombies! Zombies. They are awesome!!! No matter how cheap or how bad the acting is, I take satisfaction that never ever will Hollywood be able to take zombies and turn it into a romantic piece of crap (think Twilight *vomit*), so I take the bad acting and everything that sucks in it’s stride.

There is a recent gem I came across, the Japanese movie, Kyonyū doragon: Onsen zonbi vs storippaa, or if you prefer its English translation, Big Tits Zombie… I can’t joke about that, even translating the actual Japanese title gives you the title: Big Dragon Zombie Strippers. And let me tell you this one has it all, geisha zombies, schoolgirl zombies, samurai zombies and even a stripper who becomes a zombie with a fire breathing razor toothed snatch.

Zombies in printed media have stuck more or less to the idea of Romero’s undead zombie and the modern viral as opposed to the voodoo zombie. Max Brooks‘ awesome book, World War Z is a crowning achievement for the printed world of the zombie in my opinion, as it actually explores what happens to governments and the average person in a crisis such as the zombie apocalypse and as the full title suggests, is “an oral history of the zombie war”. This is followed closely by Stephen King’s The Cell and Max Brooks’ other novel, The Zombie Survival Guide. There are others, such as the mash up novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but have a look at The Buyer’s Guide to Zombie Books for the good ones.

The most notable printed form of zombie right now, has to be The Walking Dead monthly comic book series, published by Image Comics. It has resulted in a TV series produced by AMC and has secured the rights for a second season with 13 episodes. Reception for the TV series has been pretty good, but as of episode five, aired a few days before this post, has started deviating from the comic book series, which could be a good or bad thing. Time will tell how successful the series turns out to be, but I hope it isn’t screwed up by the writers and producers, because I have recently started reading the comic and it rocks.

While doing some research for this post, I also discovered that World War Z is being made into a movie, starring Brad Pitt.

BRAINS!!!!!

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