Brad Pitt in “World War Z” – the honest trailer

I’d never read the hit zombie book, World War Z. I did, however, go see the Brad Pitt -starring movie, and was underwhelmed.

My friend Scott who went with me, who’d read the book, informed me that the movie had little to do with the book, which was odd, since the movie wasn’t terribly well-written or weighty, so it probably could have used cribbing some of the book.


This faux trailer is spot on and quite funny.  Even if you haven’t seen the movie, you’ll appreciate the humor (or spot-on criticism).  This movie, in particular, made me question who actually writes Hollywood films and HOW they are written.  Meaning, do script writers realize how bad there scripts are, or does someone else get a hold of it and destroy it?

I had the same question about The Hobbit, a truly abysmal film (also not terribly based on a rather good book), which surprised me after they did such a good job on The Lord of the Rings.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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33 Responses to “Brad Pitt in “World War Z” – the honest trailer”

  1. karmanot says:

    You know it’s a satire when the bugs come off as the good guys.

  2. Indigo says:

    It defined him. He is that scene. He will always be that scene. G’bless him always!

  3. karmanot says:

    That clip of Brad in Louise and Thelma as the hustler is forever creating lust in my heart.

  4. karmanot says:

    “(I’m just tired of zombies at this point)” Same here, I understand Congressional approval is around 6% these days. :-)

  5. judybrowni says:

    The thing is television series (especially on cable) are so much better written than Hollywood movies (especially big budget) because the TV series are helmed by writer-producers who have creative control.

    Movies (especially the big budget) are controlled by producers, directors, the studios — writers are way down the totem pole and have no control over the film (and are held in disdain for their powerlessness.)

    So unless the director is also the writer, screenplays are a mulligan stew with bums tossing in random ingredients.

  6. Bomer says:

    And when Faramir has Frodo and Sam taken to Osgiliath. Evidently they had also planned to have Arwen joining the elves in their march on Helms Deep…I mean…gah! >.<

  7. Bomer says:

    The one thing that I will give those movies: the set design, costuming, and props were fantastic. I fell in love with the Elvish architecture in the movie.

  8. fletcher says:

    The movie industry constantly revamps novels for the screen. One bad example is the 1935 version of “Call of the Wild,” which is more about Clark Gable romancing Loretta Young than about the dog. And in a 1931 version of “Moby Dick” Captain Ahab goes after the whale that cost him a leg to win back his girlfriend who was turned off by him hobbling around on a pegleg. That one ends with Ahab not dying pinned to the whale but bringing the whale back, peglegging down the dock and decking his girlfriend’s new beau, causing her to embrace him while purring “Oh Captain Ahab!” Not even a great white whale can swallow that ending!

  9. JayRandal says:

    Not every movie Brad Pitt is in a good flick. Z is just a bunch of violence with zombies. I prefer to watch Walking Dead series filmed in my state of Georgia.

  10. Russ says:

    Really? Now, WWZ was a disappointment – at a bargain rate of $4 to see it, I didn’t mind. (I’m just tired of zombies at this point) I’m sure the book is a much better story. But, really? To go on a kvetch-fest over LOTR and the Hobbit and Peter Jackson in general? I’m even more tired of these comments…

  11. Monoceros Forth says:

    Jackson put in some really bizarre interpolations. The whole interlude where Aragorn gets attacked by some hairy velociraptors in The Two Towers and experiences a pointless flashback comes to mind, but the invention of a squabble between Frodo and Sam in The Return of the King, with Frodo actually sending Sam packing, made my jaw drop. When I got dragged to see the movie a second time by a group of friends I took refuge in the bathroom during that scene, it was so awful.

  12. keirmeister says:


  13. Drew2u says:

    Without knowing anything about the book or graphic novel, that swarming behavior was what annoyed me the most about WWZ. It’s like Zombiemari-Damacy in places.

  14. Drew2u says:

    It’s all the parts that were in the Silmarilion that were added in; all the talks about the necromancer and where Gandalf is off on his own – it fills in the gaps.
    I remember watching the Hobbit cartoon and being annoyed about the Gandalf character sent them on this quest but kept disappearing for no reason whatsoever (in that whimsical ’80s fashion).

  15. Drew2u says:

    Well look at what happened with his King Kong movie; overbloated and grandiose – excess for the sake of excess.
    (Really, I LOVE the singing dwarves and that song is hauntingly beautiful – the oral history of their downfall in a song to be passed down).
    Other parts such as the rabbit-sled chase scene and how long it took them to fight out of Goblin Town did go on way too long.
    While I enjoyed “The Hobbit”, it felt a lot more … immature (childish?) than LotR, especially with lines like “It’s not a thought, it’s a stick insect!” or, “You’ve. Got. To. Be. Joking!” as well as the smoke-from-ears gag.

  16. Indigo says:

    Ditto, including the Netflix DVD subscription. I didn’t know it was a trilogy until the last scene when the narrative didn’t end. Oh, good grief!

  17. Indigo says:

    I thought ‘Starship Troopers’ worked as a vehicle for Casper Van Dien but beefcake has a short shelf life and that was the high end of his career.

  18. Indigo says:

    I was puzzled by the decision to make ‘The Hobbit’ into a trilogy. Tolkien did not write a hobbit trilogy. It’s a pleasant little book that demanded a pleasant little movie and whatever that blockbuster of New Zealand scenery is, it’s not a pleasant little movie.

  19. Indigo says:

    I skipped the zombie movie even though Brad Pitt was in it. He’ll come back, he always does.

  20. goulo says:

    I think the film Starship Troopers IS clearly a satire on militarism (and fascism) (regardless of whether it started out inspired by the novel or not).

  21. BeccaM says:

    I noted the divergences, including the glaring omission of Tom Bombadil, but I did like the LOTR movies, for the most part.

    The Hobbit though, that was simply dreadful.

  22. Bomer says:

    I must really be the odd man out. I hated both the Hobbit and LoTR trilogy. I walked out during the second LoTR movie and didn’t even bother go see the last one. To me it felt, with all the rewriting they did, like a different story that shared certain characters and places but had almost nothing to do with the origonal. I mean ditching Glorfindel for Arwen? Having the elves come to Helms Deep? And those are just the easy ones that I can remember. With how long those movies are they didn’t really need to add all the frivolous clap-trap that they did. And, for me, when I go back and reread the books the rewriting they did really doesn’t make any sense.

  23. JozefAL says:

    I’ve not read the book “World War Z” but, as I understand it, the novel, as written, could NOT be filmed with anything remotely close to fidelity.

    From a two year-old article posted at on the adaptation of the movie, “The adaptation of author Max Brooks’ ‘oral history of the zombie war’ has always had a question mark hovering over it, since the format of book involved a U.N. employee interviewing survivors of the zompocalypse about their experiences.”

    Yeah. Because THAT is the type of movie that’s going to draw in the masses. As the screenrant article further notes, “Director Marc Forster could’ve snagged some great dramatic actors for a movie made in the style of a faux documentary; however, a lot of people figured that the World War Z film would go the route of, say, Interview With a Vampire (also starring Pitt), with U.N. worker Gerry Lane’s (Pitt) survivor interviews being the frame for flashbacks to grisly zombie war action.” What they fail to remember about “Interview” was that the novel was written as a very straightorward “interview” format–interviewer asks subject to tell his story; subject does. All the events in the novel came FROM Lestat’s viewpoint and when the film came out, everything in the movie ran as a straight “flashback” narrative. Lestat was born. Lestat became a vampire. Lestat turned other people into vampires. A -> B -> C -> D.
    What NEEDED to be remembered (in my opinion, at least) is this format is largely the “Dracula” style that Bram Stoker wrote. And, NO ONE has EVER produced a film adaptation of Stoker’s original novel IN THE NOVEL’S FORMAT. No scenes of Mina or Jonathan Harker sitting down at a desk, writing letters recounting events. No spinning newspapers with headlines of “SHIP OF CORPSES FOUND AT WHITBY” or “CHILDREN STALKED BY MYSTERY WOMAN” to further the film’s narrative. No. Everything in the novel was REwritten to put the tale in a standard narrative form.
    Novels are novels–no matter how they’re written. They are NOT movies. Movies have their own form. Bear in mind that what may take an author one or two pages to set a scene–providing the mood and tone and setting and characters–can take all of 30 seconds in a film. I’m also amused at some comments about how the dwarves’ singing slowed down the movie yet I also remember hordes of Tolkien devotees who were outraged that the Lord of the Rings films omitted many of the various songs included in the original novels. And most of these devotees really wanted those songs included in the theatrical releases–which were already pushing 3 hours in length. So Jackson, who–incidentally–did NOT want to do a trilogy for “The Hobbit” (it was the ONLY way the studio would approve the very production of the story as a film–either suck it up and deal with the story’s being trilogized or quit fucking bitching about it because it quite literally was “Either trilogy or nothing”) found a way of making the film fill the time needed for a trilogy and the song also helped soothe the feelings of the fans outraged at the lack of songs in the LOTR trilogy.
    (For what it’s worth. Anyone having problems with how “World War Z” turned out as a film needs to go read George RR Martin’s novels from which the “Game of Thrones” series is being adapted. There are significant differences between the books and the TV show–not the least of which being how the books are told. Each chapter is a POV story. Each character relates ONLY the things that he or she knows, either directly or indirectly, with NO knowledge of something going on elsewhere–at least until he or she is informed of that knowledge. It works fine for the novels. It would NEVER work as a TV series.)

  24. tamarz says:

    Finally, now I understand. When I started watching Starship Troopers, I thought it was a satire on militarism. The over-the-top fascism reminded me a little of Springtime for Hitler in Germany (The Producers). But as it went on, it seemed to be taking itself seriously. Horrible. But the fact that it started life as a parody makes perfect sense.

  25. BeccaM says:

    Yep, explains that one, too. Seriously — it had nothing to do with Asimov’s short story collection, named “I, Robot” (if I remember correctly) over his objections.

  26. BeccaM says:

    I viewed the movie through my Netflix DVD subscription. I’m glad I didn’t bother to buy the DVD itself at this point, and have no plans to buy the already scheduled ‘part 1 – extended’ version. What more is there to add? More sonorous Dwarf singing?

    I could see maybe two 2-hour films, or one extra long movie. But the 1st part alone runs 169 minutes (ref. IMDB). Ridiculous.

    I’m also a Tolkein fan, and have two full shelves in my office with copies not just of the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, but all the other books as well. The Silmarillion, the short stories, the half-finished manuscripts, the histories and maps — everything. (And yes, I’ve read them, multiple times, including so many iterations of Beren and Lúthien Tinúviel, it made my eyes bleed.)

    There just isn’t enough story in The Hobbit for nine hours of movie spread across three films. Like I said, very disappointing, as I’d had such high hopes.

  27. Monoceros Forth says:

    Yeah. It’s crazy, and it does explain a lot. That terrible Will Smith I, Robot film began as a script totally unrelated to Asimov, but then some bright spark decided I guess that maybe it’d pull in more of an audience if a “name” was attached to it. Asimov’s name still has a bit of cachet I guess.

  28. Oh dear god, I forgot he tried to make it into a trilogy! What a mess. Yeah unless the sequels get stellar reviews, I’m nit going. And I am a huge Tolkien fan. The hobbit sucked.

  29. I did not know that. But that would explain a lot.

  30. BeccaM says:

    Verhoeven also said he wanted to make the whole thing play out like a wartime propaganda film. Thus some of the over-the-top awfulness and schmaltz was on purpose.

  31. Monoceros Forth says:

    One dirty secret is that many adaptations of books to the screen started out as completely unrelated scripts dug out of a drawer, retooled a bit to match the book slightly, and then filmed. I found that out recently about Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers, which I saw in Rifftrax form a few weeks ago. Now the Heinlein book is rubbish and I can hardly blame Verhoeven for not bothering to be true to it, but it was still a bit surprising to learn that the movie started its life as script intended to be a parody of Aliens.

  32. BeccaM says:

    I was also exceedingly underwhelmed by Jackson’s ‘The Hobbit.’ And of course, disappointed after how brilliantly The Lord of the Rings was done.

    It was an epic series and made for an epic trilogy of movies, and my wife and I still sometimes go on LOTR extended version binges.

    But as for the Hobbit? It dragged. Some of the scenes went on far longer than they needed to (like the Dwarves singing their song in Bilbo’s house). The book itself isn’t all that long — yet Jackson couldn’t stop himself from making a full-on trilogy out of it? It’d be like doing the Hunger Games and stopping the first film right after the lottery. And don’t even get me started on the mega-gross Goblin King…

    Anyway, we’ve seen this before, where there are studios, producers, and screenwriters who know people want the story to be like the book. And others who either don’t care, or they simply want people to think it has something to do with the book. Unfortunately for authors, unless you specify some degree of creative control, once you’ve sold the story to the studio, they can do anything they want with it. Including throwing out everything except the title.

  33. Monoceros Forth says:

    They did a job on The Lord of the Rings, I’ll grant you that much. What amazed me is that Jackson had in The Hobbit a book that fit his movie-making sensibilities much better: lightweight, heavier on action and much lighter on characterization, full of asinine comic relief. And yet Jackson still managed to make a complete hash of it. He should get back to splatter movies.

    I don’t go in for zombie movies but I was slightly interested in World War Z because it looked like they were at least trying to do something new with zombie behavior. Usually you get either formless mobs of shambling Night of the Living Dead zombies or rampaging gangs of crazed 28 Days Later zombies, but the WWZ trailer showed something a bit different, zombies with self-organizing, army-ant-like behavior. But I go to maybe a movie every two years these days.

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