World War Z

World War ZGripping, intense and explosive, World War Z lives up the intense atmosphere and non-stop action of Max Brook’s novel of the same title where it is based. It is one of those movies that would make you jump or squirm on your seat all throughout the screening. The action scenes are well-executed and the editing done on the film makes up for a really riveting zombie film.

I have read the novel where the movie is based. It has no single main protagonist and this is a reason why it’s a riddle for everyone what the movie will all be about. The anticipation brought about by this dilemma is pleasantly answered during the film. And even though many subplots in the novel are not shown in the movie, it felt like the movie is complete on its own. It’s a great decision to come up with just one main character, someone that people will root for all throughout the war against zombies.

The film stars Brad Pitt as Gerry Lane, a retired United Nations investigator who is called back to work to investigate the pandemic that’s turning the population of the world into a swarm of zombies. He is tasked to search for the origin of the virus and look for a cure that will stop the zombie infestation. Will he be able to find what he’s looking for amidst the nightmarish situations he would find himself in?

The movie did great in an aspect that many apocalyptic movies fail to deliver, which is to consistently bring out the goods from start to finish. You, as a movie viewer, would be made to feel the horror early on with a paranoiac montage and a chilling musical score. The suspense would get into you. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself jumping on your seats or uttering some curses every now and then.

It’s a bit of a disappointment, though, when the heavy plot of the book was made into a relatively thin storyline in the movie. It felt like some important parts of the story were not given much emphasis that could have benefited the film as a whole. Nevertheless, it’s good to know that the WW Z production team amended this with a good family drama: one that’s not too heavy that would alienate audiences who are looking for action and not too light that would make you still care.

The movie is brimming with great visual effects. Scenes I imagined while reading the book were born into life in the big screen albeit different. Each setting the hero was in was made sure to look good no matter how horrifying or terrible the part of the story was.

Brad Pitt proves he can be into any movie genre by starring in this zombie movie. He did well as the main character and he made sure you’d be rooting for him as the hero of the story. The supporting cast did well as well, no matter how much screen time they have had in the film.

World War Z movie rating by the pondering movie fan: 4.5 out of 5

Star Trek: Into the Darkness

ImageStar Trek: Into the Darkness is one amazing spaceship experience in the form of a film. Watching the movie in the big screen was really worth it.

However, the movie started out as bland. I didn’t get to really like the first hour of its screening. The audience has been thrown the usual blah-blahs of science fiction films. Even the plot that was presented at the start was not that compelling. But this is J.J. Abrams (Alias, Super 8) and his film that we’re talking about here. Because when the movie was about to reach the climax, there was no stopping the suspense until the end. The blandness at the start changed and turned into awesomeness instead. The suspense during the climax was so high I didn’t want it to end!

The best part of the movie was Benedict Cumberbatch. He served as the one thing that made the viewing experience far different from the first film. If the first movie was a good movie, this second one won’t be as good if not for Cumberbatch. He exuded such presence as Khan (the major villain in the movie) that would intimidate every major character in the story.

The next best thing to Cumberbatch? The bromance between Chris Pine (as Captain Kirk) and Zachary Quinto(as Commander Spock). Their great chemistry in the first film carried over to Into the Darkness, and this could be seen in every scene they were in. Great friendship between two unlikely people has always been great to watch on the big screen and the film did not fail to show it.

It’s a given that Star Trek II boasts great visuals as such aspect of the film is a must in sci-fi films. There were a few oh-so-awesome visual effects but honestly, more could have been done. Nevertheless, it was satisfying enough in generaI.

I hope if ever there would be a third Star Trek film, the would-be team behind it would think of making it something that hasn’t been seen yet on any film. I’m not a fan of the TV series but I do like its film installments. I hope they would make it stand out and not just be one of those sci-fi films.

Star Trek: Into the Darkness movie rating by the pondering movie fan: 3.5 out of 5

Man of Steel

ImageVisually astounding, highly suspenseful, brilliantly written, excellently directed and well-acted, Man of Steel impresses as a great return for Superman in the movies. In all honesty, I’ve never been very satisfied in watching a movie since 2012’s The Avengers and Life of Pi.

The special effects in the movie were definitely some of the best I’ve ever seen, even equaling those seen in The Avengers. It’s hard to believe they’re just special effects when you see them onscreen! The visual’s as real as it gets.

Let’s talk about the movie’s battle scenes. The action sequences made me feel bliss. What I have felt while watching The Avengers I’ve felt again in this film. It’s like I was jumping in my seat every single time a punch is being thrown, a block is falling down or a missile is being shot. It’s just like the 5-year-old in me came out alive, watching a superhero and his villains battling right in front of my face!

Aside from the topnotch visuals, the other movie component that makes Man of Steel one of the best there is is its story. It has ridden the coattails of Christopher Nolan‘s Batman trilogy with its beautifully penned storyline containing the origin of the superhero and his adventures with the drama, the action and a bit of humor that go along with it. Continuing the deep characterization done in the aforementioned Nolan’s Batman films, the movie succeeded in bringing out a character that’s a superhero in and out. Flashback scenes effectively established Clark Kent (Superman, the Man of Steel) as a confused and strange boy who grew up embodying the good principles of his parents. The scenes showing his struggles in school brought depth to his character, and snippets of him as a grown up man with a good heart clearly established whose side he’s in. Nolan and David S. Goyer (also in-charge of the screenplay) really know how to make a great story out of something so familiar.

The production design of the movie has surpassed my expectations. All scenes were true to their setting. What was needed to be seen was there on the scene. It’s good to know that Man of Steel went beyond the earthen territory. Some scenes involved the wondrous outer space and a planet of the extraterrestrials. What I’ve seen was a sequence of awesome images one frame after another.  

What’s a great story without good actors portraying the characters in it? Henry Cavill stands out in the title role. He embodied his character well in every scene he’s in. He found the right balance of being Clark Kent, a human who’s good deep inside, and Kal-El, an alien who’s beaming with power and strength. Meanwhile, all actors in the supporting cast were equally good as Cavill. Russell Crowe was impressive as Jor-El, Kal-El’s biological father. And seriously, he did not seem to be too old or too young for his role. Kevin Costner and Diane Lane were great as Clark’s adoptive parents, and they reflect parents with such really good principles. Michael Shannon as the main villain, General Zod, presented how it was to be such a cruel character. Meanwhile, Amy Adams did well as Lois Lane. Her energy and dedication transferred her completely to the role. In addition, she and Cavill have good chemistry.

After watching this excellent film, I couldn’t help but think about how epic the next Superman movie could possibly be. I hope they still hire the same director (Zack Snyder), the same writers and the same production team behind it. If they just equal the greatness of Man of Steel, I’m solved.

Man of Steel‘s movie rating by the pondering movie fan: 5 out of 5