World War Z: Z Marks the Spot

by Ethan Alter June 21, 2013 6:01 am
<i>World War Z</i>: Z Marks the Spot

For reasons mostly pertaining to budget, the majority of movies that depict the zombie apocalypse tend to skip over the actual "apocalypse" part and cut directly to the resulting post-apocalyptic wasteland where the walking dead roam the landscape, feasting on the small pockets of survivors that remain. If for no other reason, World War Z distinguishes itself from the zombie movie pack by depicting how society crumbles in the face of these flesh-eaters, transforming in the blink of an eye from a law-abiding world to an every-person-for-themselves feeding frenzy. It's not unlike the sudden slide into chaos depicted in Steven Soderbergh's terrific viral thriller Contagion, albeit with far less conversation and lots more flesh-biting.

Anonymous and Other Major Director Change-Ups

by Ethan Alter October 25, 2011 12:13 pm
<i>Anonymous</i> and Other Major Director Change-Ups

The last filmmaker you'd associate with an Elizabethan-era drama exploring the identity of the "real" author behind the work of William Shakespeare would be Roland Emmerich, the director of such spectacle-driven, explosion-filled entertainments as Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow and 2012. And yet, there's Emmerich's name in the credits for the already-controversial Anonymous, which opens in theaters on Friday. It's a daunting departure for Emmerich, but he's far from the first director that's attempted to upend his image by accepting an assignment that seems well outside of his comfort zone. Here are some of the other biggest directorial change-ups from within the past decade or so.

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