This Week In Home Entertainment: World War Z, Grimm, Bates Motel And More

By Jessica Rawden 2013-09-17 14:40:44discussion comments
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World War Z Blu-ray
Much of the buzz surrounding the release of World War Z relates to all of the predictions of financial ruin and how that assumed failure was seemingly overcome almost single-handedly by Brad Pitt's star power. Focusing on that knowledge is somewhat unfair, however, as it loses sight of the fact that World War Z actually turned out to be a fine summer movie that doesn't give audiences one moment to unclear their fists or catch their breaths during the length of its run.

If you’ve been keeping tabs on World War Z at all, you’ll know that the third act was written and then re-written and reshot in what was a costly effort on the studio's part to make the last portion of the film more character-driven. Those who look closely might be able to tell the latter portion of the film takes us in a bit of a different and subtler direction from what we get from the rest of the movie. Still, it achieves what it wanted to achieve: showing off Pitt’s character as a family man.

Pitt stars in the film as a former U.N. employee Gerry Lane, a man who used to extract people from war zones and other dangerous situations. When a plague begins spreading across the United States and much of the rest of the world, Lane does what he can to get his family to safety and then trots around the globe trying to get to the bottom of the zombie epidemic and how to beat the undead.

Hordes of zombies are always tough to describe. Like vampires, the rules are always different. Where do they come from? What are their motivations? How do you dispose of them? World War Z answers these questions craftily, and the unrated version on the Blu-ray does so in roughly ten more minutes than the theatrical release. That may not be enough of a reason to go out of your way to catch the unrated version of the film, but even without the few added moments World War Z manages to explain its mythology without ever really slowing its pace. Our questions are answered in smart ways that heighten our anticipation and equal a big, blowout summer movie that also tickles our brains a little bit.

You can order World War Z over at Amazon.

Best Special Feature: I would have really liked it if Paramount Home Media Distribution had just bit the bullet and given fans access to the disasterous first cut that was almost World War Z. I could wish about that all day and it would never happen, though, so instead I’ll just talk about the WWZ: Production featurettes available with the set.

There are technically four of these that look at the outbreak, the beginning of the journey, the wall scenes in Israel, and “Camouflage,” a segment that explains some of the details from the final scenes of the film. During the featurettes, we get to hear a lot of the cast and producing team talking about how “thankful” they are for the experience, but the more interesting segments are when they focus on how they puzzled through the plot and worked on the special effects.

Other Special Features:
“Looking to Science”
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