Tag Archives: Marc Forster

Christopher Robin Teaser #1 (2018) *Sooner or Later the Past Catches Up With You*

In the heartwarming live-action adventure Disney’s Christopher Robin, the young boy who loved embarking on adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood with a band of spirited and lovable stuff animals, has grown up and lost his way. Now it is up to his childhood friends to venture into our world and help Christopher Robin remember the loving and playful boy who is still inside.

Joining McGregor in the film is Hayley Atwell (Marvel’s Agent Carter, Captain America: The First Avenger) as Robin’s wife Evelyn, Bronte Carmichael as his daughter Madelin, and Mark Gatiss as Keith Winslow, Robin’s boss. Voicing the characters from the hundred acre wood include Jim Cummings as Winnie the Pooh, Chris O’Dowd as Tigger, Brad Garrett as Eeyore, Toby Jones as Owl, Nick Mohammed as Piglet, Peter Capaldi as Rabbit, and Sophie Okonedo as Kanga.

Disney’s Christopher Robin is directed by Marc Forster from a screenplay by Alex Ross Perry and Allison Schroeder and a story by Perry based on characters created by A.A. Milne. The producers are Brigham Taylor and Kristin Burr with Renée Wolfe and Jeremy Johns serving as executive producers.

The film debuts in theaters on August 3.Christopher Robin Poster

My Favorite Scene: Quantum of Solace (2008) “Scaffolding Fight”

Quantum of Solace gets a lot of flack for not being on the same level as Daniel Craig’s other Bond films: Casino Royale and Skyfall.  I, for one, am a staunch Quantum defender.  There’s no doubt it’s not the movie that the other two are, but that doesn’t mean it still isn’t a great film.  Solace works best if you watch it directly after Casino Royale in a doubleheader, because this really is the second act to that film and it picks up the second CR ends.

daniel craig, james bond, quantum of solace

Quantum gives us a Bond we’ve never seen before and begins the character journey that Craig’s Bond has traveled through his film.  Though he’d never admit it, Bond is in full-blown mourning for Vesper the entire film.  It’s a sensation he clearly is not comfortable with experiencing.  The plot introduces a secret organization behind the events of CR and not really mentioned again in Skyfall, but we can see now that this film did a lot of groundwork to set up SPECTRE.  Madeline Swann in SPECTRE is the daughter of Quantum’s Mr. White.  I think revisiting Quantum after SPECTRE will show that this organization has been coming down the pipeline from the very beginning.

Quantum of Solace, James Bond, Daniel Craig

The film does have a definite Achilles’ heel in Mathieu Amalric as the film’s villain.  Upping the game with Oscar-winners Javier Bardem and Christoph Waltz in the next two films was a wise move.  I’ve also heard Olga Kurylenko called the worst Bond girl for her performance, but that I don’t understand at all.  She IS the only Bond girl I’ve seen that Bond didn’t sleep with.  She was more a partner in grief, and I thought in that role served well.  The set pieces in Haiti with the boat chase and the aerobatics in Bolivia plus the peerless opera scene are all fantastic Bond moment, but I’m partial to the gravity defying fight between Bond and an antagonist all up and down a perilously rickety scaffolding.


World War Z Blu Ray Release Date and Details

Brad Pitt, World War Z, Marc Forster
World War Z surpassed expectations at the box office and has brought in $470 million worldwide so far.  Brad Pitt and company are already working on developing a sequel.  It didn’t click with me, but perhaps one of my main complaints will be addressed with the unrated cut and there will actually be blood in a zombie apocalypse movie.  World War Z will be released on DVD and Blu Ray on September 17th and for digital download September 10th.  According to Entertainment Weekly, in addition to both the theatrical and unrated cuts of the film, the Blu Ray will include:
“Origins” — The filmmakers discuss collaborating with renowned actor/producer Brad Pitt to create a zombie film the likes of which have never been seen.
“Looking to Science” — Explore the scientific realities of zombie behavior in nature and learn more about zombies in literature and film.
“Outbreak” — Go on set with Brad Pitt and director Marc Forster for a behind-the-scenes look at the film’s breathtaking first attack in Philadelphia.
“The Journey Begins” — Delve deeper into Gerry’s fight for survival during the dramatic escape in South Korea.
“Behind the Wall” — Explore the epic scene in Jerusalem and discover the incredible logistics of creating the elaborate stunts and crowd sequences.
“Camouflage” — Experience the final confrontation between Gerry and the zombies and discover the phenomenal scope of the film’s production.
World War Z

Movie Review: World War Z (2013) *Spoilers*

World War ZOk.  You’ve gone and done it.  I now have zombie fatigue.  The saturation has become so overwhelming that I am, as of now, de-zombifying all my pop culture intake (save The Walking Dead because I do not want that ruined).  Is World War Z the straw that broke the undead back that exists only in my mind?  Perhaps.

Max Brooks (son of Mel) wrote a brilliant novel called World War Z, which should be read by anyone with a modicum of taste (for flesh).  It’s a journalistic chronicling of what happened to the world in a zombie apocalypse.  As near as I recall – it has been a few years since I read it – this movie has almost nothing to do with that book.  The production of World War Z has been notoriously troublesome (I did a piece of this yesterday http://wp.me/p36nPa-P8 if you care to check it out).  I won’t rehash any of it here, except that I seem to be the odd bird who likes the back third they reshot a lot more than the first two-thirds of the movie.

If you go to the movies a lot (and I do) the trailers for World War Z has been playing for months in front of every single movie.  If you’ve seen the trailers, you have seen the first 2/3 of the movie.  Honestly.  The movie itself starts exactly how the trailers do with Brad Pitt’s family at home, they get in the car and off we go to chaos.  Pitt gets his family to an aircraft carrier and to safety and then ponies up to go find the source of the outbreak.

I never felt sucked into this film.  I never felt a sense of disaster, horror or fear.  A lot of this is because of the PG-13 rating.  Do not hamstring a zombie movie with a PG-13 rating.  How can you possibly have a near bloodless zombie uprising?  You can’t commit to the horror, you can’t show the toll, you can’t really do anything other than show reaction shots.  Zombie movies are supposed to be bloody.  They are undead monsters who eat people…IT IS WHAT THEY DO!  It’s like having a baseball movie without bats, balls and gloves.  If there’s an unrated cut of this, I’d like to see it to see if it would make a difference with some actual zombie horror in the zombie horror movie.  As it is, it’s a disaster film, an average one and I wanted to see WWZ.

Where the movie starts to prove interesting is in the last third, which is the portion reshot that everyone seems to hate.  The zombies need a healthy source of prey, so they’re bypassing terminally ill subjects.  Pitt and his sidekick (an Israeli soldier whose hand Pitt hacks off after she’s bitten during the fall of Jerusalem) go to Wales to a WHO lab to try to obtain a pathogen that they can use to form the beginnings of a defense.  The suspense and creepiness of the zombies in the WHO sequence was, to me, the best part of the picture.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved the zombie ant wall the first time I saw it in the trailer but there’s nothing visually more stunning in it in the movie.  I thought creepy WHO teeth-clacking scientist facing off against Pitt in the vault was infinitely more suspenseful than the crowds of Left 4 Dead speed zombies running hither and fro.

The movie just sort of ends, clearly leaving things open for a sequel that is-due to box office success-sure to follow.  However, it doesn’t stand as anything impressive on its own.  Hamstrung by its rating and choosing quantity over quality of zombie horror, World War Z ends up being just an average disaster film and another summer 2013 letdown.
World War Z, Marc Forster, Brad Pitt


World War Z Sequel Talk and What Was Changed in Reshooting *Spoilers*

World War Z, Brad Pitt, Marc Forster
World War Z surprised box office analysts by pulling in $66 million at the US box office and $111.8 worldwide in its opening weekend.  The zombie movie, based on Max Brooks’ best-selling novel, has had an extremely troubled production that included scrapping and reshooting the entire last third of the film and ballooning the budget over $200 million.  World War Z’s opening is the biggest of Brad Pitt’s career.  WWZ was originally supposed to be three films; creating a franchise.  Part of the reason for the reshoots was that the test audiences felt that the film felt incomplete and banked too heavily on future installments.  Veteran TV scribes Damon Lindeloff (Lost) and Drew Goddard (Angel) were brought in to rewrite large portions of the zombpocalypse.  Having read what the original ending was going to be…yeah, it would have been pretty horrible.  I have more thoughts on the movie that I’ll sum-up in my review, but it could have been much much much worse.


If you’ve seen the film (and I’ll have a review up later today), you might be wondering what was changed and what the original cut of the film was.  The Huffington Post has the scoop on just what was altered and why and I’ll let them explain it in detail below:

According to Huffington Post, Lindelof and Goddard wrote the new ending, but they also added some much-needed human moments in a movie that still has too few of them.  The following scenes were added to World War Z:

  • Gerry Lane (Pitt) and his wife, Karin (Mireille Enos), being awakened by their daughters, Rachel and Constance.
  • The family in the kitchen eating breakfast as reports of the first “rabies” (i.e. zombie) outbreak is announced on the television.
  • Lane, who is driving the family from Philadelphia to Newark, New Jersey, in a commandeered RV, has to pull over to treat Rachel’s asthma attack.
  • Lane phones Karen during a plane ride from South Korea to Jerusalem.

And then there’s the new ending.  The turning point is when Gerry and Israeli soldier Segen (Daniella Kertesz) are on the plane fleeing Israel.  In the final cut, the plane crashes after an on-board outbreak, Gerry and Segen survive, drag themselves to a World Health Organization facility, and our hero discovers that the secret to surviving the apocalypse is to become sick with a serious virus like meningitis because zombies can sense illness and will avoid “weak prey”.  The film ends with Gerry sending out the word that everyone should infect themselves with a non-lethal but still threatening disease, and thus become invisible to the undead.  Gerry is reunited with his family, who were living in a refugee camp in Nova Scotia.  Making sure not to kill any franchise potential, Gerry says in voice over that the war hasn’t been won yet and the fight is just beginning.

The original ending was dark beyond all reason, especially when you consider this was always going to be a PG-13 movie due to the budget required by the scale of the action.  According to Movies.com, the plane leaving Israel was headed towards Moscow, it arrives there safely, and then shit gets crazy:

The elderly and the sick are executed and the healthy people, including a very shaken Gerry, are immediately drafted into armed service, though not before one particularly nasty Russian soldier takes Gerry’s cell phone. The story then jumps forward an unknown amount of time and we catch up with Gerry, who now has a full beard and has been a part of Russia’s zombie-clearing squad at least long enough for it to have changed to winter. He looks almost dead inside, but the reality is that over this time he’s become an experienced and ruthless zombie killer, and he’s the leader of his own equally capable unit.

Even without Lindelof and Goddard’s family-time additions, this turn is darker than anything that came before.  It almost feels like the original writers were aware of The Walking Dead, and wanted to one-up the AMC TV series/comic book.

Gerry discovers that cold is what stops the zombies, and he tells the Russian general that they need to put out the fires, huddle up, and let Russia win the war the same way it always wins wars: letting the hostile weather take care of invaders.  Zombies freeze, Russian forces plus Gerry and Segen win, and then it’s on home to the family…except not.

Do you remember the paratrooper who helps rescue Gerry and his family from the building rooftop?  If that guy looked like Matthew Fox, it’s because he was Matthew Fox in a role that was almost completely excised from the picture.  In the original ending, Karin has shacked up with Fox’s character in the Everglades because they’re in a camp where you have to trade to survive, and since Karin apparently has no skills whatsoever and everyone at Paramount forgot that a big tentpole film shouldn’t be a total bummer, she sells her body.  She doesn’t explicitly tell Gerry this when he calls her to tell her about how cold will stop the zombies, but Fox’s character calls him back and says Gerry should just create a new life for because Karin is now Random Paratrooper’s woman.  The movie ends with Gerry, Segen, and Gerry’s friend from the Russian military, Simon, crossing the globe and coming back to America to get Gerry his family back.  They arrive in the U.S., and the film ends with Gerry many miles and at least one movie away from his goal. 

World War Z