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World War ZZZZZ
June 20, 2013 - Steve Murch
I prefer smaller budget movies. This being summer, it's blockbuster season.
World War Z opens this weekend, and I won't be watching — not because I dislike zombie movies because I do but because having read the book I know the film is not at all like the book. I hesitate watching movies if I've read the book, like I wrote about Jack Reacher earlier, because many have major plot changes.
In this case, I know the book is entirely different because the book is essentially a “journal” of interviews with survivors of the Zombie Wars. The people in the book recall how they first encountered the zombies, what happened next and how they survived. The style even varies slightly from person to person so it gives the subjects a bit more individualized personality. The main character isn't really even a character at all, simply the conduit for the stories to be told.
Most people seem to love the blockbusters, but I usually prefer movies that give more depth to their characters and allow the actors to use a broader range of emotion. I'm not blasting blockbusters, really, because it's nice escapism sometimes. Many blockbusters reach for the lowest common denominator so it appeals to the broadest audience, and Hollywood has to dump big money in promoting them, tying up all the money in those few projects leaving us to search for the gems.
There are tons of great movies out there you just have to be willing to look a little bit. Many of them become available pretty quickly on video or streaming online. Some of them do get widespread release and/or awards so we do become aware of them.
Some of them can be quirky, while others deal with some heavy topics. Both are reasons, understandably so, why people don't watch them. They want to escape for a while and a heavy topic might not be the best way to do that.
However, if you are looking for something to watch that is off the beaten path and not a blockbuster, here are a few to look for: The Music Never Stopped; The Way; Butter; and Five Minutes of Heaven. They aren't for everybody, but many people will probably be surprised they didn't hear about them or just passed them up.
Enjoy the blockbusters, but look for the offbeat as well.
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