I loved World War Z. It’s got everything I want in a Zombie film, without all the slow-paced dread. As in every Zombie epic, when you get bit, you’re baked. Pretty Standard. Gerry Lane (BRAD PITT) is an EX-United Nations Investigator. When the UN-explainable outbreak goes global, Gerry’s ex-boss offers his family safe harbor aboard an aircraft carrier miles out at sea. It’s then when Gerry sets out to trace this virus all the way back to the identity of Patient Zero.
The locales were not as they seemed. The Philadelphia outbreak sequences were actually shot in Glasgow, Scotland. All the signs, billboards & automobiles were switched out to American. In the center of the city, an abandoned bank, which was about 50,000 square feet, doubled as Zombie Headquarters. This abandoned, Old Bank of Scotland was gutted & transformed into 4-floors of film crew catering, rotting wardrobe & intense Zombie make up applications. Another huge sequence in Jerusalem was actually shot in Malta.
What’s interesting to me is the the way each zombie had it’s own story. Mayes Rubeo, the costume designer says, “If you look at every zombie we have, every one of them has a specific design, including the aging of wardrobe, the condition of their clothes & the amount of blood. We wanted to portray each one as an individual in a certain stage of the epidemic.” I kid you not, there’s even a zombie inspired by the very creepy & cold movements of Anton Chigurh, the villain from “No Country For Old Men.”
The next challenge was applying mass behavioral traits to this strain of zombies. Director MARC FORSTER employed a ‘Swarm Theory,’ which is basically a pattern of movement seen in nature…..Forster added, “It’s the way flocks of birds, (schools of) fish or (Armies of) ants move together. There’s almost a swarm intelligence to it. I thought it would be interesting to see these zombies, who have no intellect since they are the walking dead, react in this swarm mentality. ….as a whole, there is an unconscious conscience.” There are scenes that will have you gasping for air & jumping right out of your seat. Perfect Summer Popcorn fare.
“World War Z” is really not that gory at all. In fact, it’s rated PG-13. Brad Pitt said, he did the film so his young sons could enjoy it. Follow Leo on Twitter @leoquinones. It is truly the best way to prepare for a zombie apocalypse.
CARY ELWES joins Leo in-studio to talk in-depth about his new indie feature film. “She Loves Me Not.” Enjoy the interview! You can also follow Leo on Twitter @leoquinones Why not?!? The Dread Pirate Roberts did!
NO SPOILERS: “The East” is one movie you don’t want to miss. It’s about a group of young people that are sick & tired of corporate raiders getaway with the Earth’s destruction Scott Free! Sarah, (BRIT MARLING) stars as an operative tasked with infiltrating an Eco-terrorist outfit called, The East. Benji (Alexander Skaarsgard) plays the hypnotic leader of the group. He comes across like a powerful prophet hell-bent on tearing down companies that harm people or the planet. No corporate fat cat is safe. The East is a tight thriller with a beginning, a middle & a great ending. I highly recommend it. You can also follow me on Twitter @leoquinones
CAUTION: This video contains spoilers.
Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” takes us back to the year, 1858, two years before the Civil War. I appreciate any attempt to bring back Westerns. It’s a genre ripe for a resurgence. The setting works: A bounty hunter (Christof Waltz) teams up with a slave, Django (Jamie Foxx) to capture criminals & ultimately help find & free Django’s slave wife. (Kerry Washington)
There are excellent scenes within the film. You’ll enjoy textbook Tarantino dialogue exchanges. Leonardo DiCaprio turns in an excellent performance as a savvy & sinister slave owner, the callus Calvin Candie.
As a whole however, this wasn’t one of my favorite Tarantino films. Going back a few years, ‘Inglourious Basterds’ was utterly brilliant. The Hans Landa character played by Christof Waltz, in my opinion, should have remained inside the world of ‘Inglourious Basterds.’ Instead, I kept seeing Hans resurface in ‘Django Unchained.’ I know everyone else did too, but won’t admit it. Let’s compare. In ‘Basterds’ he was dubbed ‘The Jew Hunter.’ Here he’s The Bounty Hunter. For some reason I can’t explain, he also hails from Germany. Oh, & he speaks at least (3) languages, just like Hans Landa.
This is just nit-picking now. Why do certain directors always feel compelled to hurl themselves into their own movie? It stymies me. Why does Quentin do this? My first thought every time I see him onscreen in one of his own films is: What is Quentin doing? It catapults me out of the movie! No one in Hollywood will admit this. They all want to work on one of his movies. I’m not an actor. So again I ask Quentin, Why insist? Why?
Final note, “Django Unchained” is still better than 85% of what’s out in theaters. It’s worth watching. You can follow me on Twitter @leoquinones
After the horrors of World War II, I’ve got to believe people everywhere were asking questions. Maybe questions like, ‘How do we get back on track after such a massive loss of life?’ Or, ‘How can we maximize our own lives?’ When people listen intently for life’s answers, sometimes strange voices grow louder. Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is the very personification of such a voice. His family & followers refer to him as ‘Master.’ The year: 1950. The world seemed aching to move forward. Sensing to fill a void in John Q. Public’s soul, Dodd manifests his teachings in the form of his first self-help book, “The Cause.” Once the book is ‘out there,’ it’s up for debate amongst scholars & skeptics. I believe, Lancaster Dodd’s only tangible power comes from his ability to hold court anywhere, anytime. On a yacht, in a desert & especially during his intense ‘Thought Processing’ therapy sessions. This is the crux of The Cause’ movement. These one-on-one sessions include, past life regression, childhood traumatic events, recounts of incest & lovers lost. Why do so many followers engage? They seek answers.
Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) is a World War II Veteran who now, in the time of peace, has become an aimless drifter. Phoenix is the engine that drives ‘The Master.’ His physicality, dedication & execution of the role rivals that of Daniel Day Lewis, respectively. You simply cannot take your eyes off Freddie. It’s a million little things like his peculiar arm position in his unique stance. His gravely voice, twisted facial expressions & far away stare. Is it all a dream? Is his real? Is everything he’s ever felt & known real or blurred forever by the teachings of The Master?
I enjoyed watching “The Master.” Writer/Director Paul Thomas Anderson makes bold choices. The story does however bob and weave into the strangest places. I would gladly trade some structure fluidity for incredible scenes. There are too many to count. Notably, every scene between Lancaster and his devoted wife Peggy. (Amy Adams) For me, the heart of the movie are the conversations between Freddie & The Master. What’s their dynamic? Why are they compelled to forge forward in their odd relationship? What is Lancaster Dodd after? What’s Freddie agenda? The answers are all there, but you get the opportunity to answer them yourself. “The Master” is rated ‘R.’
Creators of certain suspicious religions want you to follow them to the four corners of the Earth. Not me. Just follow me on Twitter @leoquinones
Time to talk movies! This week, you’ll see “The Amazing Spiderman’s” ANDREW GARFIELD talks about the Spidey psychy. KATY PERRY argues with her parents in a scene from her documentary, “Katy Perry: Part of Me” 3D. Also, BLAKE LIVELY steps out onto the red carpet to talk, “Savages.” Click on the link to watch!
On today’s Film Freak Movie Talk Show, Leo goes over the Top 10 at the Box Office. Then Leo chats with the star and director of the tiny little film, “The Amazing Spiderman”, Andrew Garfield and Marc Webb respectfully. Out on DVD & VOD is “God Bless America” and with that, is a whirlwind interview with the director Bobcat Goldthwait. Finally Boo Boo Stewart from “Twilight” fame stops in and talks a little about his upcoming ventures on Twitter and on the big screen. Follow Leo @leoquinones just like Spidey does! Don’t forget to download the Film Freak iPhone App, it’s FREE!
The Film Freak Movie Talk Show brings you stars and creators straight from the GREEN carpet premiere of the new Disney Pixar movie, “Brave”. Visionary director, Brad Bird(“The Incredibles,” “Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol) is in attendance as well as the director and producer of “Brave” Mark Andrews and Katherine Sarafian. Enrico Casarosa the filmmaker behind the Oscar nominated animated short “La Luna” stops by and gives over info on the emotional short appearing right before “Brave”. TV’s Megyn Price, Chris Harrison, and John Ratzenberger are also the GREEN and Leo chats with them all. Finally, Leo talks upcoming DVD’s with Penelope Ann Miller about the Oscar winning film, “The Artist”. Be bold, be strong, be brave…and follow Leo Quinones on Twitter @leoquinones. The Film Freak iPhone App is available for dowload & it’s FREE. Just search Film Freak.
Disney Pixar jumps into the summer box office fray with “Brave.” It’s the story of Princess Merida, a spirited lass from the Highlands of Scotland. Animators first journeyed to Scotland way back in 2006. They then returned in 2007 to immerse within Scottish culture. Their research included taking in stories steeped in the Scots culinary habits, foggy weather, wildlife, trees & rich ancestry. These steps are what make the animation is as good as what you’d expect from Pixar.
Merida’s journey revolves around a universal theme of most teenagers throughout the ages, ‘Let me live my own life!’ The conflict comes from within the family must be resolved with family. The story involves witches, potions, ferries & thundering horseback rides. Young girls all over the world will absolutely love watching ‘Brave.’ The movie is being pushed as 3D, but you can save a few bucks per tickets by watching it in 2D. It’s just as fun.
I think Brave is a wee bit scary for kids under the age 6. There’s classic Disney villains & there’s things nightmares are made of. Hit a bullseye like Merida & Follow Leo on Twitter @leoquinones. The Film Freak iPhone App is %100 FREE. Just search Film Freak.