World War Z Poster Header

UPDATE: The contest is closed and the winners have been contacted. Keep an eye out in case people drop out and thanks for entering!

Los Angeles area readers, here’s your chance to see one of the summer’s most talked about movies for free. Paramount Pictures has given us 30 tickets to see Marc Forster‘s zombie film World War Z on Friday night, June 7, a full two weeks before it opens in theaters June 21. Brad Pitt stars as Gerry Lane, a United Nations employee who travels the globe hoping to solve an unstoppable zombie apocalypse. And though production of the film was highly scrutinized, buzz since its completion has been quite good.

Now you can decide for yourself. After the jump, find out how to win one of 15 pairs of tickets for this special fan screening. Read More »

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World War Z Forster Pitt

World War Z has been plagued by reports of behind-the-scenes trouble from the get-go, leaving fans to worry that long-gestating adaptation would fall far short of its widely beloved source material. But in the end, what matters isn’t whether director Marc Forster and star/producer Brad Pitt struggled mightily to make the movie, but whether they succeeded in making a good one.

And on that front, critical opinion seems to be deeply divided. For every reviewer that calls the film “a total rush,” there’s another who knocks it as “World War Zzzzz.” Hit the jump to read the early responses.

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2013 Summer Movie Preview

Trailers! Who has time to watch them all? There are something like forty wide releases due out this summer alone. If you assume each trailer runs about two minutes, that’s about an hour and half of your life you’ll never get back. That’s time you could’ve spent actually watching one of these movies.

If you only watch one trailer this spring, then, you’ll want to make it this one. This three-minute supercut teases most of the season’s biggest releases, from Iron Man 3 to The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. It’s surprisingly coherent, which may suggest that these titles aren’t as different as the filmmakers would like us to think. Or maybe it just proves that with the right music and some skillful editing, you can totally change the meaning of any scene. In any case, watch it after the jump.

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PAIN AND GAIN

It’s that time of year again. We’re in Las Vegas at CinemaCon, an industry-only convention (formerly called ShoWest) for movie theater owners and distributors. The Hollywood studios come here each year with their biggest stars and clips from upcoming films, hoping to impress the theater owners into booking their “products” in the coming year. For example, last year we saw footage from films that were in production and weren’t set to be released until late 2013. Some studios also present unfinished cuts of their films super-early. This year Pixar is screening Monsters University, for example.

The opening night of CinemaCon 2013 featured a presentation by Paramount Pictures. They screened a reel with brief clips from a ton of upcoming films including Darren Aroofsky’s Noah and Jason Reitman’s Labor Day. They also presented 18 minutes of Star Trek Into Darkness in 3D, three clips from World War Z, and Michael Bay premiered his film Pain & Gain. After the jump you will be able to read my first reaction to Bay’s latest, along with a video blog I recorded with Alex from FirstShowing giving our thoughts about everything screened.
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The last poster for World War Z showed an organic tower of zombies swarming towards a helicopter. For this new one-sheet, Brad Pitt takes the center as he rides in the back of a helicopter, but he’s not really the focus. Despite Pitt occupying most of the poster’s real estate, most people will probably spend more time checking out what he’s surveying: total chaos on the ground below. The lesson from the two posters: helicopters might help people get a look at the grand scale of the film’s zombie outbreak, but they won’t save you in the end.

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Hollywood loves Chinese money, as the film audience in China makes up a significant portion of potential global box-office. As we’ve heard many times before, productions will shoot in China and/or cast Chinese actors not only to attract the local audience, but to qualify for distribution in the country. Some films, such as Looper and Iron Man 3, have even crafted China-specific versions.

Now Transformers 4 will cast Chinese actors and shoot footage in the country, the better to secure co-production status and thus a prime Chinese release opportunity. (China’s state regulations allow only a limited number of foreign films to play in a given year. Co-production status helps American studios skirt around release restrictions, as the film becomes technically a Chinese production.)

In a related note, there’s a report claiming that Paramount is making a slight change to World War Z in order to forestall controversy in China. Read More »

World War Z Forster Pitt

“I wanted to make a film my sons could actually see before they get old,” said Brad Pitt, talking about his upcoming zombie film, World War Z. “As you will see, we got a little carried away.” Pitt was on the Paramount lot last week, along with director Marc Forster, to introduce 20 minutes of footage from the June 21 release.

The actor, who is also a producer, spoke about what they were trying to do with the movie. ”In Max Brooks’ book we found much more than a zombie film. We found this global apocalypse,” Pitt said. “This zombie epidemic as worldwide pandemic.” That massive scope was certainly on display in the footage, which featured Pitt’s character separating from his family to travel the world, hoping to figure out the source of the rising zombie apocalypse. Oh, and also rising walls of vicious zombies.

After the footage, Forster took questions from a handful of journalists, many of which were aimed at the film’s controversial production. The process saw massive reshoots and rewrites. He admitted that, yes, the ending had been changed but that they were very happy with the result.

After the jump, read more about the footage itself, watch a video blog reacting to the footage, and read more from Forster about the ending, how the film goes against zombie conventions and more. Read More »

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The latest trailer for Marc Forster‘s World War Z is now online and it features a zombie attack no one has ever really seen. Brad Pitt is on a plane jetsetting across the globe trying to figure out the source of a global zombie apocalypse. Things seem safe when a frightening, guttural screaming begins. Then, out of nowhere, we’re part of a zombie attack on a commercial airliner, which is pretty much the most terrifying thing imaginable.

Up until that moment, though, the trailer really doesn’t show us a ton that we haven’t seen already from the June 21 release. There are massive mounds of zombies in across cities all over the world, with Brad Pitt trying to figure out the root of the problem, and a strong family element at the center of the story.

But for zombie fans, it’s safe to say you’ve never seen a movie on this scale before. Check out the new trailer below. Read More »

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