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It’s Brad Pitt vs. the zom-pocalypse in the first look at the delayed apocalyptic epic World War Z, an adaptation of Max Brooks’ acclaimed Oral History of the Zombie War. Then it’s zombie love – awwww – in Warm Bodies, another adaptation, this time of a popular young adult novel. Next, Steven Soderbergh reunites with his Magic Mike star Channing Tatum for the psychological thriller Side Effects. Finally we have the trailer for animated adventure Escape From Planet Earth. We want you to escape with us – it’s Trailer Tracker.
World War Z
Max Brooks’ follow-up to his smash hit The Zombie Survival Guide has had quite the tumultuous and delay-stricken production, from reshoots to rewrites to legal issues with prop guns. Once skedded for this Christmas, its debut was moved to June of next year, and we finally have a peak at the zombie epic starring Brad Pitt. The clip certainly showcases its sweeping, global approach, not to mention a swarming, flood-like type of running undead we’ve not seen before.
My love for zombie lore has been well documented (for those who care to do so) and I believe Brooks’ novel to be an unqualified genre masterpiece. But from those aforementioned delays to the integration of an entirely divergent narrative from the source material to questionable CGI, I am cautious if not adamantly hopeful.
I’m well aware a film of this magnitude, budget, and scope could in no way feasibly cast makeup-clad extras, especially when said extras would be required to kill each other for the shot. I’m simple saying the money shot of this clip which involves a tower of surging zombies calls to mind the disastrous effects of I Am Legend and that single attribute is enough to knock a film down a peg if not sink it entirely. But I’ll iterate again, World War Z is still a blockbuster I’ll certainly be checking out.
Another zombie-themed trailer but of an entirely different variety, Warm Bodies is an adaptation of a young adult novel about an apocalypse of the undead in which the deceased still manage to retain some of their humanity. One such walking corpse known as R (Nicolas Hoult) goes about his daily human-munching when he meets a girl survivor named Julie (Teresa Palmer), which ignites something within him and he gradually starts to become human again. Rob Corddry and John Malkovich also star. Warm Bodies is written and directed by Jonathan Levine of 50/50 fame, and though at first this project seemed doomed to be a limp Twilight rip-off, the trailer is immensely intriguing. And think about it, if Levine could make a cancer-themed movie funny, why not one about the end of days?
Formerly The Bitter Pill, Side Effects reteams Channing Tatum with his Haywire and Magic Mike director Steven Soderbergh for a psychological thriller that follows a woman (Rooney Mara) who turns to prescription medication to handle her husband's return from prison. The trailer itself is pretty scatter-shot and doesn’t convey much in terms of a deeper plot and seems more content on tossing out psychedelic meltdowns and a trippy descent into addiction. The screenplay comes from Scott Z. Burns who previously wrote Soderbergh properties The Informant! and Contagion and his track record in general coupled with the talented cast should mean a crisp thriller even if its breakout success seems limited.
Escape From Planet Earth
The theatrical film debut from Rainmaker Entertainment, a studio best known for the well-received CGI early morning cartoons ReBoot and Beast Wars, Escape From Planet Earth finds an intergalactic hero impounded in Area 51 after receiving a distress call from Earth. From there it’s up to his younger, less heroic, brother to save him. Right off the bat it’s clear this is B-level animation, mimicking other ineffective works like Planet 51 and Space Chimps with well-worn messages about family, breaking out of one’s shell, and of course, that mankind can be the bad guy too. Set for a February release, this will most likely be for those looking to distract their kids for 80 minutes.