World War Z had to be a meatless kind of zombie flick for fans of that type of horror film that has apparently become a genre unto itself.
It wasn’t graphic. It wasn’t particularly bloody, but World War Z (Released Sept. 17, Rated PG-13 with an unrated cut on some releases, Paramount Pictures, $29.99 to $54.99 depending on version and format, 3.5-of-5 stars) possessed serious smarts, which is why an A-lister such as Brad Pitt probably wanted to bring it to the screen.
For those who aren’t into the blood and gore, it asks the relevant questions about how the human race could suddenly morph into flesh-eating freaks all of a sudden because everyone knows that is an everyday occurrence. Pitt portrays a former U.N. worker, a muckety muck who worked in tough situations, so tough that he’s essentially retired. That soon ends when people start munching on one another in Philadelphia. That’ll mess up a day, huh? His former employer seeks his expertise once again, but his conditions include a safe haven for his family.
From that point, he begins a global jaunt to find the cause of the zombie plague and hopefully a cure. Pitt does some nice work here, but the best aspects of the movie are that intelligence and the action sequences. Some won’t like it simply because it doesn’t build the tension that most horror fans have come to expect, but that’s part of the charm. As for the action sequences, director Marc Forster does some nice work adapting Max Brooks’ novel into an enjoyable adventure that fans are certain to see a sequel to basked on the half billion worldwide gross.
Extras: Other than the UltraViolet and iTunes digital copies, the best extra here is the unrated cut that the disc producers include. There are also some behind-the-scenes featurettes.
In the same mold this week comes a personal favorite in the TV series Supernatural, a CW show that continues on with the story of the Brothers Winchester Sam (Jared Padlecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles). The show’s season premiere arrives next week, but those who fell behind last year still have a shot to catch up with the next week with this recent release.
Supernatural (No rating, Warner Bros. Television, $59.99 to $69.99 depending on format, 4-of-5 stars) re-discovered its groove last season after a seventh season that proved a bit blah. The show won’t likely reach the heights it once did when dealing with the Apocalypse, but in season eight they came pretty damn close with a story about a new prophet, two tablets (one for Heaven, the other Hell) purported to be the words of God as dictated by him to his personal scribe. Of course, there were more than a few standalone episodes that didn’t involve them, and that’s always been the beauty of Supernatural. The producers, much like those of The X-Files, are perfectly willing to go away from mythology episodes and do something risky. In Supernatural’s case that includes time travel shows among others which can often be a nice diversion.
Extras: The extras are sparse here featuring commentary on just three of the season’s episodes, but there are three featurettes with one very intriguing one Angel Warrior: The Story of Castiel, which looks at the history of said angle on the show.
Quick hit: If you want to take a look at something missed on HBO, make it Behind the Candelabra, a biopic about pianist Liberace and his lover. Michael Douglas portrays the legendary performer while Matt Damon his lover. The movie, overall, lacks depth, but you have to admire the two leads for taking a chance on this one.
Coming soon: Look for the home entertainment release of The Conjuring on various formats just in time for Halloween. Warner Bros. will release the supernatural thriller Oct. 22.