Thursday, 16 May 2013

World War Z Official Trailer

I’ve been excited to see World War Z with Brad Pitt since it came to my attention over a year ago. Having heard huge praise for the book of the same name by Max Brookes, I have high hopes for it. I’ve watched all of the trailers so far, so in anticipation of the official release, here is the official trailer and my thoughts. 

I like how this one starts. One of the scariest things about a zombie apocalypse is that the majority of people have someone, and more likely, many people that they love, and the majority of people will lose most of them. To show Brad Pitt in the car with his little girls reminds us just how vulnerable we are to potential chaos. A zombie film is a powerful metaphor for how tenuous society is. It seems that many things could tip us over the edge into oblivion. 
The next thing we see is a huge explosion. Panic and confusion are great for creating tension. We’re then shown a policeman barking orders and seconds later, a truck takes him out. The law, the ones here to serve and protect, have just been rendered useless. 
We then see chaos and a man taking action in a world where there are no rules. In the space of seconds, every social construction is devastated and only the strongest will survive. 
However, where World War Z looks different to other zombie films is that the main protagonist has connections with either the government or a high enough power to equip him with everything he needs. In amongst the chaos, an agency has survived and a level of order is being fought for. 
The zombies - I love fast zombies. 28 Days Later, in my humble opinion, is the greatest zombie film I’ve ever seen. I love how bleak it is and how scary the fast zombies are. Never mind an undead horde that shuffles along in search of brains, these zombies want to fuck you up. It looks like World War Z is the same. The sheer weight of zombies is an interesting idea. In built up areas I suppose a herd would be like that if they were fast. I worry about the cgi. I hate to say it, but the trailer made me think of I Am Legend, which, for me, isn’t a positive association. The film was okay. The CGI was embarrassing, or at least the imagined monsters were.
We see more chaos, but we also see people moved to aircraft carriers. It seems that an element of faith has been placed in the government, thinking that they’ll look after their citizens. This also seems like a fresh approach, which is nice to see. 
Overall I’m still super excited to watch this film. It seems fresh and has the potential to be an amazing take on the zombie genre. Brad Pitt is sure to impress. For me, this all hinges on the zombies themselves. Please don’t be another I Am Legend. 
It looks great. I hope it is.   

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Who would you want with you during the zombie apocalypse? Rick vs Daryl - The Walking Dead

 Rick - He's the decision man, he'll get shit done and make choices. Unless he’s imagining that Laurie's watching him, then he's about as useful as a bag of bricks. Or if you put a disconnected phone in front of him, then he’ll start talking into it like a two-year-old trying to get through to Mummy at work. Or if his son's in peril, which the little brat often is. Or if he's riding a horse. Hmm. Despite his history, are we about to see a new Rick? One with compassion and a level head. One that's making the correct decisions for the sake of the group? Or one that has just crippled himself by taking on a coach full of useless people who couldn't collectively fight their way through tissue paper? One thing that could be said for Rick is that he sees the angles. He sees which play needs to be made and he knows how to shoot a gun.  

Daryl - There's a zombie - Bolt in the head - Boom. Want something done, Daryl sorts it out. He didn't even let his liability brother get in the way when the shit hit the fan. But is Daryl a leader? He’s a great team player, but when a decision needs to be made, can he make it? He stood by while Rick lost the plot and he wasn’t man enough to stand up to him. He could learn a thing or two from Hershel about saying what needs to be said.  

So who do you go for? The slightly unstable decision maker or the ever reliable soldier?

I would have to pick Daryl. Let’s be honest, Daryl’s a badass. 

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

The Walking Dead - Issue One Review

As much as I love Charlie Adlard, and I accept that he is The Walking Dead artist, I have to say, when re-reading this issue, that it’s a shame Tony Moore isn’t a faster artist. Issue one is beautiful - Especially as I’m reading the oversized omnibus version for this review.

Much like 28 days later, this starts with Rick waking up in hospital without the first clue as to what’s happening. The first page shows how he ended up in hospital - he gets shot − and page two is a beautiful full page spread of him waking up. 
Like 28 days later, he’s tired, confused, and weak. He tries to call a nurse but works out pretty quickly that something’s up. 
Robert Kirkman is such a good writer now that it’s interesting to read something he’s written from so long ago. The line ‘Did everyone just take a break at the same time?’ seems like such an unnecessary way to tell the reader that the hospital is deserted. We can already see that. I’m certain that he would edit that out now, George Lucas style, if he could. 
A complaint that is often levelled at TWD is that it’s slow paced. This issue is anything but. Within the first few pages, Rick has been shot, woken up in hospital, seen a zombie, and then walked into a canteen full of zombies. The splash page when he opens the door to the canteen is amazing. 

The next few pages see Rick escape the hospital, find a bike and a rotting corpse that’s still alive, have a breakdown and then ride away. 
He heads home. The detail on these pages is astounding. I wonder if this book would have been as popular if we’d had this level of art throughout but had to be content with 8-10 issues per year?

Rick finds nothing at his home and when he goes out in the garden, Morgan’s son, Duane, knocks him out with a shovel. Introducing other characters this early is a good way to get Rick and the reader up to speed. Rick decides to head to Atlanta to try and find his wife and kid because Morgan tells him that the government advised people to do that.
Before he leaves he gives Morgan a police car and some guns. He then returns to the corpse outside the hospital and kills her. He sheds a tear for her passing and then leaves town.

This is a great issue. The art is beautiful, the story moves at a good clip and it sets up the entire series with minimal exposition. The TV series stayed true to the plot of this issue. 

8 out of 10.