World War Z 3D Blu-ray Review

I’ve been borderline obsessed with WORLD WAR Z for a few years now.  Virtually every aspect of the film has had to overcome some sort of extreme hurdle and has been met with controversy.  Brad Pitt spent a couple of years just trying to get the film greenlit and when he finally did, he had to deal with director clashes, location drama and late reshoots.  Most famously, an executive once commented on the first draft of the movie that the first two acts were brilliant and the third act was a disgrace.  I had been so caught up in the production drama that I really hadn’t put much thought into what the movie might turn out to be.  If anything, I thought it would be a train wreck because I didn’t think it was possible for a film to overcome all of the obstacles WORLD WAR Z has faced.  But I should have had more faith in Brad Pitt and director Marc Forster because when it’s all said and done, WORLD WAR Z is the best movie of the summer.

Brad Pitt in World War Z

AMC’s brilliant ‘The Walking Dead’ is a slow burn as each episode harnesses the intensity and hopelessness of a zombie apocalypse.  WARM BODIES and ZOMBIELAND were humorous takes on the zombie apocalypse and of course, there have been many b-movie takes on zombies with most failing to connect.  But zombies haven’t been represented in a big-budget summer blockbuster until WORLD WAR Z and so it was imperative that they get it right and give us something we haven’t seen before.  In WORLD WAR Z, we follow Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) as he gets thrown right in the middle of a viral outbreak.  Lane is a seasoned UN investigator that has taken time off to be with his kids.  But while in the city with his kids, chaos breaks out as people start turning into zombies.  But these zombies aren’t like the slow moving zombies you’re used to; they swarm and attack at frightening speeds.  And when they bite you, the transformation usually takes less than 12 seconds.

Brad Pitt in World War Z

Of course, Gerry rescues his family and gets called back into action to go investigate the source of the outbreak.  This is a good time to point out that there are a good five sequences in the film that will have you clinching your armrest, each one doing something different and creative to heighten the intensity of the situation.  I don’t know where the breaking point was for the executive that said the third act failed, but either they were wrong or it was fixed brilliantly.  The last extreme sequence involved Gerry sneaking through a group of zombies to get something and it might have been the most intense sequence of the film.  Everything happened so fast and was so well done that I found myself out of breath by the end of the film.

World War Z

As much as I liked WORLD WAR Z, there were some things that didn’t make sense or weren’t tied together.  They never explained why the transformation took 12 seconds in some situations and 10 minutes in others (that was spoken, but never witnessed).  There are also some loose ends with the ending that didn’t really come together, but I’ll refrain from discussing them to avoid spoilers.  In general, though, they did a good job of making it mostly believable and it moved at such a brisk pace that some minor plot holes could be forgiven.  It also helped that Brad Pitt was in the lead as his natural charm and charisma added a lot to the overall enjoyment of the film.

World War Z

Zombies might slowly go the way of the vampire and end up being punchlines for jokes about tired genres, but until then, let’s appreciate what WORLD WAR Z was able to accomplish.  Although fraught with production problems from start to finish, WORLD WAR Z somehow managed to be an incredibly intense, fun and exciting action adventure film.

WORLD WAR Z 3D BLU-RAY REVIEW

I’m a fan of 3D Blu-rays, but I feel like I’ve been hard on some of the transfers lately.  Unfortunately, WORLD WAR Z isn’t going to make me change my tune.  It’s efficient, but hardly worth shelling out an extra $10 for the 3D disc.  The film is a little dark and saturated as it is and the 3D seems to make it even worse.

WORLD WAR Z BLU-RAY REVIEW

Video: WORLD WAR Z’s 3D transfer is adequate and that about sums up the 2D version as well.  I’m not sure if it’s just the way it was filmed or if it’s the transfer, but the colors seemed bland and saturated at times and nothing really popped out.  I once made the mistake of putting in the DVD version of a film and I actually paused the movie to make sure I didn’t do that here.

Audio: The audio, however, is amazing.  If there’s a movie this year that really needs great audio, it’s WORLD WAR Z.  You can feel and hear the zombies swarming around you and it makes for a very immersive experience.

World War Z

Origins (8:221): Given what we know about the production of WORLD WAR Z, this feels like a fluff piece.  It would have been nice to address some of the drama head on, but this covers the very basics of what it took to bring the book to the big screen.

Looking to Science (7:27):  This dives into some of the real science that was used to inspire the film.

WWZ: Production (36:16): Again, we needed more detail.  But this is broken up into four separate features that cover various aspects of the film, including the making of the incredible Israel action sequence.

Brad Pitt often does commentaries and it would have been great to get one for the most successful film of his impressive career.  I also would have liked to get a more in-depth featurette into the drama surrounding the film.  You don’t want to trash your film or air your dirty laundry on a Blu-ray, but a brief overview of some of the issues would have been nice.

OVERALL 4
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