Tag Archives: James Badge Dale

Review: World War Z

World_War_Z_Poster“World War Z” is formulaic and predictable, but the thrill of watching Brad Pitt survive the impossible and do his part to save the world makes it a satisfying offering for the summer season.

It’s a typical day for the Lane family – until they drive their car straight into a hoard of ravenous zombies. Even with the bitten turning in seconds all around him, Gerry (Brad Pitt) manages to get his wife (Mireille Enos) and two young girls (Sterling Jerins and Abigail Hargrove) to safety with the help from an old pal from Gerry’s United Nations days, Thierry Umutoni (Fana Mokoena). The catch is, Thierry wants Gerry back. Gerry ditched his UN investigator duties to spend more time with his family but now, Thierry is convinced that he’s the guy to track down patient zero and fix this whole thing.

One of my favorite parts of a disaster movie is seeing how people react and life changes as the impending doom approaches. It isn’t always necessary – like in “28 Days Later” where Jim first wakes up 28 days into outbreak – but if you’re going to dabble in pre-disaster character development at all, you might as well dig deep. The catastrophe will be all the more impactful for it. Sadly, “World War Z” misses the mark in that respect.

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Review: Iron Man 3

Iron_Man_3_PosterAfter all these years and all these film, the Marvel Universe is starting to feel very real and that’s vital to “Iron Man 3’s” success because without that acquired ability to re-tap into this realm where Iron Man, Thor, and more are the norm, the details of this installment of the franchise might have been too unsupported to let you enjoy the charm of Tony Stark, the excitement of seeing dozens of Iron Men assemble, watching Pepper Potts get a hefty dose of action and more well earned highlights.

It’s post-“Avengers” time and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is still reeling from the battle in New York. Even while suffering from frequent anxiety attacks, Tony must carry on because there’s a new threat that needs his attention, a terrorist known as The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley).

That synopsis is cut and dry, but “Iron Man 3” is loaded with new and returning characters, intricate story details, and plot offshoots, too. Everything works well enough to make “Iron Man 3” the electrifying Tony Stark showcase you’d hope it to be, but unless you’re coursing through on cruise control, it’s easy to get caught up in the barrage of information and then frustrated with the lack of cohesive details.

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Review: The Grey

Liam Neeson and director Joe Carnahan are back together again, but this time around, they’re working with material that’s far less fun than The A-Team. But less fun doesn’t make The Grey a bad movie. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Rather than turn The Grey into an utterly unrealistic survival adventure story, we get something far darker and, while it still has those handful of moments that make you think twice, it completely sells the severity of the situation.

Neeson’s Ottway works for a petroleum company in the icy tundra of Alaska. Amidst the other ex-cons, fugitives and “men unfit for mankind,” Ottway’s job is to keep them safe by shooting down invading wolves. When it’s time to return to society, Ottway and a number of his colleagues board a plane to Anchorage. Along the way, turbulent weather takes hold and the plane comes crashing down in the middle of nowhere – actually, in the middle of wolf territory.

The few survivors are thankful to be alive, but soon come to the harsh realization that they’re being hunted. With no food and few supplies, the group has to band together to keep each other safe from the wolves who look to viciously pick them off one-by-one.

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