“How’s my hair?”
Most horror fans would rather take an undead bite straight to the junk than see a PG-13 zombie thriller – especially one where the zeds themselves are largely rendered in fast-moving, bloodless CGI and Brad Pitt plays the scruffy savior of humanity. They can pass on this Max Brooks adaptation if they want to, but it’s their loss. It is in no way faithful to the book, but simply takes it’s cue from the idea of “zombie apocalypse on a global scale” and goes in it’s own, well-executed direction.
Brad Pitt plays Gerry, a former UN investigator who, after the zombies hit, gets pulled back in to the mix by his former cohort. they want him to find the source of the infection, and possibly a cure – anything, really – that could turn the tide against the threat of “Zeke.” It does feel like a somewhat slim excuse for a globe-trotting narrative; it results in perhaps one too many close-call plane takeoff sequences, à la Roland Emmerich’s 2012. It does achieve a sense of urgency on a grand scale; the zombie-proof* wall around Jerusalem is certainly a site to behold, as is the commercial plane where it certainly pays to be in first class.
For the last month or so, the marketing team behind the film adaptation of David Wong’s John Dies at the End has been crushing it. They’ve been doing a lot of cool stuff for Facebook fans, like giving out posters and t-shirts, linking special trailers and promotions. They even put up little templates for papercraft characters! The latest effort is a great alternate poster (after the jump). After checking out the movie on VOD (out in theaters Jan. 25) I have to say, I wish this much effort had gone into the film itself.
Don’t let the severity fool you; she’s totally good to go.
[NO SPOILERS HERE]
Back in 2000, a little movie called Mission to Mars came out, was quietly panned by critics, and slinked out of theaters before anyone noticed or cared. I saw it in theaters and, being 15 and a huge sci-fi dork, I quite enjoyed it. Later I realized I had been taken in by the trio of talented lead actors (Gary Sinise, Tim Robbins, and Don Cheadle), and a fantastic score by the legendary Ennio Morricone. It was resoundingly mediocre, but had some cool ideas. Shortly after watching Prometheus, I couldn’t help but picture screenwriter Damon Lindelof catching Mission on HBO and thinking, “I would like to see this, but better, slightly more confusing, and set in the Alien universe.” Mostly because that’s largely what Prometheus is.
I don’t want to go into plot specifics (if you want those, go see the movie), but I will say this: it isn’t Alien. And, I don’t mean that in terms of quality; if you even entertained the idea that this would be as good as that, you haven’t been watching enough movies lately. I’m talking about genre. Alien, masterpiece that it was, was a low-key haunted house movie set in space. This is epic sci-fi about exploration and discovery. It certainly has it’s share of jump-scares and intense moments (there is a scene inside a surgical machine that damn near reaches chest-burster levels of terror), but don’t go into this looking for a horror-movie experience.