Hatari! (Howard Hawks) **** - I wonder why this movie isn't more popular than it is. It stars John Wayne, it's directed by Howard Hawks, one of the greats and it features an unforgettable score by Henry Mancini which includes the piece "Baby Elephant Walk" which is way more popular than this film. Add to that the fact that it's really a fun, delightful and superbly crafted film. It's about a group of men and women who make their living capturing wild African animals for zoos. Sure, it's vaguely politically incorrect (but a lot of films of this era are, though) and the animal capturing sequences may upset PeTA supporters but it still doesn't change the fact that those sequences are quite impressively shot (because they're REAL, no CGI here!) and just as rousing and exciting (and in many cases even MORE exciting) than any modern era action sequences. Oh, and it's also really, really funny! It's very light and breezy and more character than plot-driven. It's something that they hardly make any more. It's a wonderful, wonderful film. I like "Baby Elephant Walk" a whole lot more now.
World War Z (Marc Forster) *** - I have
to say this film is minor miracle. Negative buzz surrounding it with numerous
rewrites and reshoots often spell disaster. But it came out fairly decent. I
will preface this review by saying I love zombie movies and I'm a fan of the
book. As a zombie movie, this film is far from the best. It's fairly toothless.
Those expecting gore will be disappointed since this is a PG-13 movie. As an
adaptation of the book, purists will also be very disappointed. Apart from the
title and the overall concept of a global zombie pandemic, there's only a very
vague at best resemblance to any plot point or character in the book. Despite
all that, I have to say that as a summer blockbuster spectacle, it's pretty
good. It's an entertaining thrill ride for anyone whose least favorite part of a
zombie movie is the gore.