Happy Halloween! Watch These on Netflix

Okay, you parents are probably out tonight trick-or-treating with your young’uns. I know I will be taking my adorable granddaughter Dorothy out and about. Those without children may be attending parties, especially with it being a Friday.

Dracula Untold

For the rest of you, there are slim pickings at the theater. Since there is no new Saw movie, they are re-releasing the original for one week only. New horror movies would be Horns, Ouija, Annabelle, and Dracula Untold. Ouija and Annabelle have very bad reviews and are watered down PG-13 ratings anyway. Dracula Untold wasn’t good but was at least passably entertaining.

Netflix only has two Halloween films and they are definitely bottom of the barrel. Halloween Resurrection was based on the thought of hey, why go out on a high note with a definite ending like Halloween H20? Why not pit kung fu fighting Busta Rhymes against Michael Myers? At least the other one (Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers) gave Paul Rudd his start in films.

You're Next

Still Netflix has plenty of wonderful horror films you might have missed. Try Cabin in the Woods, You’re Next, Evil Dead 2, World War Z, American Mary, Event Horizon, and Tucker & Dale vs. Evil and I doubt you will be disappointed.

New Netflix Streaming Releases for the Week of 6/17/14

I guess the big title here is World War Z. Watch the unrated version so you aren’t going huh? during the apartment sequence.

Action: Fractured

Comedy: Someone Marry Barry

Bible Quiz

Documentary: Bible Quiz, The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia, The Current, One Direction: Clevver’s Ultimate Fan Guide, Doc of the Dead, This is Not a Ball

Bonnie & Clyde

Drama: Bonnie & Clyde, Devil’s Knot, I Do

Fantasy: Curse of the Dragon Slayer

Foreign: The Detective, The Detective 2, The Missing Picture, Omar

Horror: Haunt, Jug Face, World War Z (regular and unrated)

My Little Pony

Television: Amish Mafia and new episodes of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and Doctor Who

Thriller: After the Dark

The Summer of Meh

I love summer blockbuster season. I am marginally a film critic and I do enjoy good, prestige movies. I watch innumerable independent films as well but I love a big action movie and summer is the season for those. I had high hopes this year but it has not panned out very well.

Iron Man 3: The Disneyfication of Marvel. Forget Pepper Potts, Happy Hogan, the Black Widow, and War Machine, let’s give Tony Stark a cute kid sidekick. Can we call him Short Round?

The Great Gatsby: A film adaptation of a book where the director honestly didn’t understand what the book was about.

Star Trek: Into Darkness: The plot is utter nonsense but this was a lot of fun just the same. I mean really just the same.

Fast & Furious 6: The World’s Longest Runway. I’m just saying.

Epic: Generic

After Earth: Hmm I already used Afterbirth for Asylum’s take on this film so maybe Crash & Burn. Sorry Will – people like you but are apparently not so keen on your forcing your son on us. Another nail in Shyamalan’s career.

Man of Steel: The Anti-Superman movie – way to Kryptonite the franchise yet many people enjoyed it and the sequel will feature a non-Bale Batman.

World War Z: IF you can forgive it for not having anything to do with the book (hope you enjoyed the payout Mr. Brooks) and don’t mind a PG-13 zombie movie, it was pretty intense and intelligent.

Monsters University

Monsters University: Fun but not the classic that Monsters, Inc was.

White House Down: White House Dumb, Olympus Has Fallen part Deux

The Lone Ranger: Actually Tonto – the movie would have been a lot shorter if Tonto had let him die.

Despicable Me 2

Despicable Me 2: Fun but not as good as the first PLUS I had to endure innumerable McDonald’s Happy Meals to get the toys for umm my granddaughter – yes my granddaughter wanted them.

Pacific Rim

Pacific Rim: Godzilla Meets Transformers but I still love monster movies. This could have been a lot better but was a bright spot this summer.

Red 2: More nonsense from folks who did not really understand what made the first one kind of, sort of, work. Still I love watching Helen Mirren kick butt.

R.I.P.D.: Men in Black 4, only supernatural instead of science fiction and poor CGI.

Turbo: Generic Cartoon 2: Electric Boogaloo

The Wolverine:X-Men 6 minus all the X-Men save two, and one of those is dead for the whole movie. The saving grace is the post-credits scene.

This was pretty much a summer with no new ideas. Of course the twelve-year-old boy inside of me enjoyed going to all of these movies even if the half-century old man knew most of them were duds.

FREE Movie Tickets from Target

Normally Best Buy rules in the world of FREE movie tickets but Target has jumped in with both feet in their latest ad. Please note: all promotions require a sticker on the front of the movie – don’t buy if the sticker isn’t present.

Despicable Me

* Buy Hop, The Lorax, ParaNorman, or Despicable Me on DVD and get a FREE 2″ Minion figurine as well as $7.50 movie cash for Despicable Me 2

Madagascar 3

* Buy Madagascar 3 or other DreamWorks animation (Shrek, Kung Fu Panda) and get $7.50 movie cash for Turbo

MI: Ghost Protocol

* Buy Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra, Top Gun and get $7.50 in movie cash for World War Z

* Buy Columbiana, Black Hawk Down, The Patriot, District 9 and others and get $10 in movie cash for White House Down

* Buy The Bourne series, Jurassic Park series, Battleship, Savages, End of Watch and receive $8 in movie cash for R.I.P.D. or Kick-Ass 2. Note: This is Fandango cash so you must be able to use Fandango for this one.

* (Not in ad but seen at Target) Percy Jackson: Lightning Thief, the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, Night at the Museum, Eragon have $8 movie cash for Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

* (Not in ad but seen at Target) X-Men ($10-15) and Wolverine ($10) Blu-Rays have $10 movie cash to go see The Wolverine.

* (Not in ad but seen at Target) Braveheart, Gladiator, 300, Clash of the Titans, Troy, The Matrix have $8 movie cash ($5 for DVDs) for Pacific Rim, The Conjuring, and We’re the Millers

 

 

World War Z

Upon my return from the Mister White premiere, I promptly met my eldest daughter to go see World War Z.

One Line Review: World War Z isn’t World War Z but is tense and fun.

World War ZWorld War Z (2013) – Rated PG-13

United Nations employee Gerry Lane traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments, and threatening to destroy humanity itself.”

I have to stress that this is not World War Z in any significant shape or form. Beth and I decided to enter into this putting aside our preconceived notions. Anyone who has read the novel and seen the trailer immediately suffers from cognitive dissonance. If you love the book, and there is much to love there, then you will need to disconnect or you won’t enjoy the movie.

One of our local critics has argued that it doesn’t matter if the film diverges from the book as long as it is a good movie. On the other hand, it would not be unreasonable to expect that a movie titled World War Z would be based on the book, World War Z.

Due to the trailer, the PG-13 rating (for a zombie film, are you kidding me?) and occasional news reports of how troubled the production was, I walked into World War Z with significantly lowered expectations. As a result, I was very pleasantly surprised.

The book told dozens of individual stories with only a small amount of overlap. Brad Pitt anchors the film as the protagonist everyman, Gerry Lane and is in every single scene. He is resourceful but not superhuman. Pitt has enough cinematic weight to carry the film and thankfully keeps his performance grounded.

The supporting cast is light on names but does well. Mireille (The Killing) Enos does well with a somewhat thankless role as Gerry’s wife. Daniella Kertesz does better with a rather juicy role as Israeli soldier Segen. David Morse steals the show with his brief role as a C.I.A. operative.

The film moves at a very brisk pace. Makeup effects are nice and while there is almost no gore (due to the PG-13 rating), there is still a great sense of urgency. World War Z does a good job of capturing the global scale of the pandemic. I was thankful that characters in this film appear to have heard of the term zombie – I resent movies that take place in a fictional vacuum where no one has ever heard of movies.

Scenes that I thought looked particularly silly in the trailer, namely the zombies climbing the wall, actually work quite well. World War Z is a fun big budget zombie movie – just don’t mistake it for World War Z. The biggest drawback to the movie (besides not adapting the book) is that Pitt has to be front and center in every scene. This would have worked better as an ensemble piece.

People Watch: I didn’t realize that Matthew (Lost) Fox was the parajumper until after the movie.

Z is for Zombie, S is for Subtitle

World War ZMax Brooks’ World War Z is a very good book. The oral history concept is wonderful, allowing you to experience the zombie apocalypse from many different viewpoints. Previews for the movie version appear to focus on Brad Pitt so it would seem that World War Z the movie is not an adaptation of the book. Also the behavior of the zombies appears to be completely different. Because of this, I’m going to try and judge World War Z on its zombie and not literary merits.

Netflix is kind enough to provide an actual zombie category here. There are two lesser efforts from George Romero – Land of the Dead and Survival of the Dead. Here are my zombie film picks on instant Netflix for your perusal (sorry for the subtitles):

Dead Snow

Dead Snow (2009) – Not rated

A group of Norwegian friends get the scariest history lesson of their lives during a weekend getaway to the snowy town of Øksfjord, where the party is interrupted by throngs of Nazi zombies who once occupied the area. Armed with a machine-gun-equipped snowmobile, the gang fights for survival in director Tommy Wirkola’s quirky horror, shot on location in the mountains of Norway. The film had its U.S. premiere at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.”

Rec 3

[REC] 3: Genesis (2012) – Rated R

The third chapter in the blood-chilling REC franchise begins with protagonists Koldo and Clara about to be wed, when several guests begin falling ill. The scene quickly turns ghoulish as those infected by a demonic virus begin to go lethally mad.”

Rammbock

Rammbock (2010) – Not Rated

“Hoping to reunite with his ex-girlfriend, a lovesick young man drops in to see her but instead finds a brash teen plumber — and before you can say “the undead,” the twosome must barricade the door against a legion of insatiable zombies.”