Summer Movie Preview

April 26, 2013 | 11:02 a.m.

‘World War Z’: Brad Pitt battles zombies, not snakes, on a plane

It’s one of the biggest action set pieces in Paramount’s upcoming pandemic thriller, “World War Z.” A Belarus Airlines flight attendant opens a rattling closet door only to have a rabid zombie leap toward her. Moments later, a throng of newly turned zombies is sweeping toward the plane’s cockpit, and Brad Pitt’s ex-U.N. investigator Gerry Lane, reasoning that he’s got a better shot of surviving a crash than a zombie attack at 20,000 feet, grabs a grenade belonging to a soldier on the flight and blows apart the cabin. Gravity rips the zombies from the compromised fuselage into a bright blue sky, and Lane buckles in for dear life as the plane plummets earthward. “It’s something people haven’t seen before, an outbreak on a plane,” noted “World War Z” director Marc Forster, pausing for just a moment before making the […]
April 26, 2013 | 6:00 a.m.

‘Star Trek Into Darkness’: Pine, Quinto on film’s real-world parallels

“Star Trek” has always been about more than a spaceship crew hurtling through the cosmos — over the decades, the sci-fi series in all its forms has tackled earthly issues such as race, gender and the Vietnam War. When it comes to shining a spotlight on contemporary conflicts, the film and television franchise’s newest entry, the movie “Star Trek Into Darkness,” is no exception. Directed by J.J. Abrams and written by Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof and Roberto Orci, “Into Darkness,” which opens May 17, sees the return of Capt. Kirk (Chris Pine), Mr. Spock (Zachary Quinto) and the rest of the USS Enterprise crew, as they face a new villain, John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch). As with so much in the fictional worlds Abrams creates (“Lost,” “Super 8”), many details around the movie have been cloaked in mystery, including the true […]
April 25, 2013 | 6:00 p.m.

‘The Wolverine’: Hugh Jackman sensitive, shirtless in ‘X-Men’ role

With films such as “Cop Land,” “3:10 to Yuma” and “Walk the Line,” director James Mangold has delivered gritty portraits of flawed heroes struggling to overcome their baser natures. He’s at it again with his next film, only this time the good guy isn’t a police officer, an old West lawman or Johnny Cash — he’s an immortal mutant with adamantium claws and a bad attitude. Opening July 26, “The Wolverine” features Hugh Jackman returning to his famed “X-Men” role in a more contemplative fashion. In it, Logan travels to Japan to bid farewell to a dying acquaintance only to find himself protecting the life of an heiress, even as he struggles to come to terms with the tragic events of his past. “What’s very much at play is this sense of a guy who’s figuring himself out and who’s […]
April 25, 2013 | 11:42 a.m.

‘Man of Steel’: Zack Snyder says Superman ‘must be taken seriously’

Long before director Zack Snyder began making “Man of Steel,” he’d heard a little piece of comic-book trivia that stuck with him: Superman’s red-and-yellow S-shield is the second-most-recognized symbol in the world, surpassed only by the Christian cross. “Whether that’s completely true or not, I don’t know, but you want it to be true. You feel like it could be true,” Snyder said. “And it’s intimidating to say, ‘We’re going to take on the “S” and we’re going to make it live again.’” Reviving the world’s first comic-book superhero on the big screen — he turns 75 this year — is no small task, despite the ubiquity of that logo. The trick, says the director, was to treat the character seriously — and to have a script penned by Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer, major forces behind the massively […]
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