The slow motion trainwreck continues
February 1, 2013 10:48 AM   Subscribe

The Superbowl trailer for the unquestionably doomed adaptation of Max Brooks milestone novel World War Z makes no mention of zombies. [via io9]
posted by mediocre (193 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
I was hoping so much that this wouldn't happen. The early reports of Brad Pitt's Plan 9 production company acquiring the rights and hiring J Michael Straczysnki to write the script were encouraging. Early reviews of script drafts called it "The Citizen Kane of zombie movies."

Then it tripped. Into a bottomless black hole of sadness.

On an unrelated note: How legally culpable would a fan production, crowdsourced, adhering to the spirit of the book/audio adaptation and produced as a Ken Burns style documentary be to copyright?
posted by mediocre at 10:51 AM on February 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


A few things:

1) This thing is doomed

2) World War Z is a milestone novel now? By what measure? (That said, I enjoyed it).

3) A few weeks ago I learned that Max Brooks is Mel Brooks' son. How crazy is that?
posted by Phreesh at 10:52 AM on February 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


I don't why we can't just get a "World War Z-2: More vignettes from the end of the world" in basically any medium. Oh right, because we have to have a big star in 80% of the shots.
posted by 2bucksplus at 10:53 AM on February 1, 2013


World War Z is serious literature compared to the other zombie books I've read. After I read it, I was all excited and started looking for another book like it but the alternatives were dismal at best.
posted by feloniousmonk at 10:54 AM on February 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


World War Z 2: More vignettes from the end of the world

I would totally watch a movie of North Koreans heroically struggling against the zombification of their country. Or of World War Z's Russia in general.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:55 AM on February 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


Eh. It doesn't use the word "zombies", but it shows the zombies. How much exposition do you want in a 30 second spot?


Then it tripped. Into a bottomless black hole of sadness.

But yes, this.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 10:55 AM on February 1, 2013


Eh, it's a matter of opinion. I think it's the most intelligent piece of zombie based entertainment that's been made in any media. Which is why I hoped against hope that this wouldn't be.. this. If it was great, like it could have been, it could have been the end all be all of zombie movies. Been something that people looked at and decided against making their own zombie movie because they couldn't possibly top it.

As it stands now, it's simply the end all of zombie movies. In that it makes it more clear then Warm Bodies that the zombie genre is dead. No pun intended.
posted by mediocre at 10:55 AM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


It is serious literature

It was a Abraham Lincoln Illinois High School Book Award Nominee (2012), AND NPR's Complete Holiday Book Recommendations (2006)
posted by stbalbach at 10:56 AM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I gotta say, the book is pretty good.

Off the top of my head I can't name any other modern day epistolary novels. Seems like a novel told through email would be a no-brainer.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:57 AM on February 1, 2013


I didn't get the memo that it was doomed. When did this happen and who is in charge of deciding that it got doomed? The last trailers I saw (prior to xmas?? maybe??) looked friggin amazing. So what happened?
posted by spicynuts at 10:57 AM on February 1, 2013 [7 favorites]


Pretty hard to judge anything from a very short teaser-trailer like this. It's obviously designed to make people curious to know more. "Hey, Brad Pitt is in some kinda disaster/Sci-Fi movie" is about all this trailer's trying to establish.

the zombie genre is dead

And yet continues to live on. How appropriate.
posted by yoink at 10:57 AM on February 1, 2013 [30 favorites]


This film needs 900% more Nicholas Cage.
posted by hellojed at 10:57 AM on February 1, 2013 [15 favorites]


I think it's the most intelligent piece of zombie based entertainment that's been made in any media.

Someone hasn't seen The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:57 AM on February 1, 2013 [12 favorites]


but it shows the zombies

All I saw was a physics defying mass of something moving against an improbably sized wall whose reason for existence is not readily apparent.

Yes, I know the book refers to "tidal waves" of zombies, but it also specified that they were slow moving. And that the "tidal wave" was primarily a metaphor for a massive herd of millions of zombies with the overwhelming crushing presence of an ocean.
posted by mediocre at 10:58 AM on February 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


What a gift it would be to see movies without any prior knowledge about them. I mean, the good ones.
posted by gwint at 10:59 AM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ad Hominem--We Need to Talk About Kevin is an moder epistolary novel, and a damned good one at that.
posted by oneironaut at 11:01 AM on February 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


I will probably see this movie three or four times, and yes I've read the book and yes I know this is not the same story as the book.

I. Don't. Care.

I want to sit in the theater with my Exxon-Valdez-size Coca-Cola and my ten-pound bag of popcorn and watch Brad Pitt and His Amazing Hair run away from/bravely confront/actively dismember zombies all via over-the-top CGI and shit blowing up in a digital representation of Philadelphia.

I will buy the DVD and watch it repeatedly, unironically and unrepentantly in between viewings of The Avengers, Ronin and 300.

And I will enjoy myself.
posted by DWRoelands at 11:01 AM on February 1, 2013 [38 favorites]


Early reviews of script drafts called it "The Citizen Kane of zombie movies."

Then it tripped. Into a bottomless black hole of sadness.


So it's the Xanadu of zombie movies?
posted by griphus at 11:01 AM on February 1, 2013 [7 favorites]


I didn't get the memo that it was doomed.

Has there been any film adaptation of a hot pop-culture/nerd-culture product in the last several decades that hasn't been declared a crushing failure and desperate betrayal of the source material by some significant proportion of the fandom prior to its release? It's best to get your grieving in early for these things, it seems.
posted by yoink at 11:01 AM on February 1, 2013


Off the top of my head I can't name any modern day epistolary novels. Seems like a novel told through email would be a no-brainer.

I couldn't either, then did some googlin'. Seems The White Tiger, which won the Booker Prize, is epistolary. That goes in the "heard of but didn't know because handn't read" category.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:02 AM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Has there been any film adaptation of a hot pop-culture/nerd-culture product in the last several decades that hasn't been declared a crushing failure and desperate betrayal of the source material by some significant proportion of the fandom prior to its release? It's best to get your grieving in early for these things, it seems.

Those Batman movies went over pretty well.
posted by theodolite at 11:03 AM on February 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Has there been any film adaptation of a hot pop-culture/nerd-culture product in the last several decades that hasn't been declared a crushing failure and desperate betrayal of the source material by some significant proportion of the fandom prior to its release?

Scott Pilgrim?
posted by shakespeherian at 11:03 AM on February 1, 2013 [7 favorites]


So it's the Xanadu of zombie movies?

Hating Xanadu makes you an enemy of fun. Olivia Newton John at the height of ethereal prettiness, Electric Light Orchestra's best song ("I'm Alive"), The Tubes and GENE KELLY.

I swear there's no pleasing you people.
posted by DWRoelands at 11:04 AM on February 1, 2013 [15 favorites]


China Mieville: A brief history of the recent filmic ideology of the necessity of walls against zombie hordes
posted by dng at 11:04 AM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hating Xanadu makes you an enemy of fun.

wrong Xanadu
posted by griphus at 11:06 AM on February 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Maybe it's the Citizen Kane of zombie movies because it's Brad Pitt, playing Nicholas Cage in a shitty movie, playing this role. Citizen Kage.
posted by 2bucksplus at 11:06 AM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Has there been any film adaptation of a hot pop-culture/nerd-culture product in the last several decades that hasn't been declared a crushing failure and desperate betrayal of the source material by some significant proportion of the fandom prior to its release

Does Ghost World count?
posted by dng at 11:06 AM on February 1, 2013


yoink: "Has there been any film adaptation of a hot pop-culture/nerd-culture product in the last several decades that hasn't been declared a crushing failure and desperate betrayal of the source material by some significant proportion of the fandom prior to its release? "

This particular project has had some high profile re-writes/re-shoots. That doesn't mean a thing when it comes to whether the final product is any good, but people hear that and think "trouble".
posted by brundlefly at 11:06 AM on February 1, 2013


Man, I really did not like the book. One of the few books, in fact, that I've put down in the past 20 years.

I'll see the movie (prolly on Netflix).

But it is amazing to me how easy zombies should be to get right, and how so many creators seem to fail at it--in all sorts of genres. Day Z seems like it's good (I haven't tried it), but is there a really good zombie game out there? I liked the original Dead Rising, but in the end, all the dumb timed quests and save points were too annoying.

Blerg.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 11:07 AM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


right Xanadu
posted by shakespeherian at 11:07 AM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


As someone who read the book and enjoyed it well enough, this feels like a lost opportunity to do a different kind of big budget production. Who knows? Maybe this will stand on its own, but it just seems so bland.
posted by brundlefly at 11:09 AM on February 1, 2013


I don't know who decided it's doomed but it seems like everyone is hopping onto that bandwagon. Competition is mounting to see who can come up with the cleverest way to say it's doomed.

Meh.

I'll see it.
posted by entropos at 11:09 AM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ad Hominem--We Need to Talk About Kevin is an moder epistolary novel, and a damned good one at that.

Kindled, just hope it has zombies.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:11 AM on February 1, 2013


Has there been any film adaptation of a hot pop-culture/nerd-culture product in the last several decades that hasn't been declared a crushing failure and desperate betrayal of the source material by some significant proportion of the fandom prior to its release?

I was going to say the first Spider-Man movie was greeted with pretty much universal excitement but then I remembered the one guy who found out about the organic webshooters and launched a demented, foamy-mouthed online campaign to try to get the studio to change that. So no, I really can't think of any.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 11:11 AM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


We know so ittle about he adaptation, I fail to see how it is unquestionably doomed.
posted by Vindaloo at 11:14 AM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Zombies are getting played out, and doubly so now that right-wing gun culture has appropriated it, and firearms and outdoor equipment manufacturers are using it to sell more weapons and bullets. (My fave is the maker of a "bump stock" - an add-on that turns a semi-auto rifle into what is in essence a full-auto rifle legally. They have a whole section on their site on preparing for the "Zombie Menace.")
posted by Slap*Happy at 11:14 AM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've already decided it's better than people originally thought it was.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:15 AM on February 1, 2013 [11 favorites]


I think it's the most intelligent piece of zombie based entertainment that's been made in any media.

Dibs on producing Ionesco's Rhinoceros with zombies instead of rhinos!
posted by octobersurprise at 11:16 AM on February 1, 2013


It might be John Carter all over again. A good movie, a ripping yarn, that everyone competed to insult and declare a bigger failure before it even opened.
posted by codswallop at 11:17 AM on February 1, 2013 [8 favorites]


It's certainly not the first to avoid using that word.

Still looks bad, though
posted by ckape at 11:17 AM on February 1, 2013


Eh. It doesn't use the word "zombies", but it shows the zombies.

Is Shaun of the Dead to blame about the prohibition on the dreaded "z word"?
Ed: Are there any zombies out there?
Shaun: Don't say that!
Ed: What?
Shaun: That.
Ed: What?
Shaun: That. The Z word. Don't say it.
Ed: Why not?
Shaun: Because it's ridiculous!
Ed: All right. [beat] Are there any out there, though?
Admittedly, in The War Z, the characters generally prefer to use slang terms such as "Zack" and "Zed Head", so there's a sort of precedent for the trailer's omission, I suppose.
posted by Doktor Zed at 11:17 AM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Still going to be better than season 2 of The Walking Dead.
posted by Drastic at 11:17 AM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


mediocre: “Then it tripped. Into a bottomless black hole of sadness.”

Uh – do you care to explain what exactly this means, since it's not at all apparent what all this talk of "unquestionably doomed" signifies? Did the director announce she was changing the zombies to porpoises, or what?

actually that would be kind of awesome
posted by koeselitz at 11:18 AM on February 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


And isn't this the exact same teaser that was discussed in mediocre's previous thread about this movie?
posted by Vindaloo at 11:18 AM on February 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


I haven't read this book and by all accounts it's awesome. But the best zombie-related thing I've experienced wasn't a novel, tv show or movie - it was the recent Walking Dead videogame by Telltale. Highly recommended, stands out in the totally saturated zombie market. But bring tissues because SO MANY FEELS.
posted by naju at 11:19 AM on February 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


Night of the Living Dead didn't use "the Z word" either.
posted by brundlefly at 11:20 AM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've already decided it's better than people originally thought it was.

God, I'm so OVER the attempt to rehabilitate this movie's reputation! Yes, sure, it was a dog on its first release and everybody LOVED it on video and it's become a "cult classic"--but it's still obviously pandering to racist anti-porpoise tropes of the basest kind.
posted by yoink at 11:21 AM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


John Carter was the worst kind of bad movie, one that wasn't even fun bad.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:22 AM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't understand why it matters that the THIRTY SECOND trailer never says the word "zombies." The movie's called World War Z and is based on an immensely popular book and most everyone by now knows enough of the tropes of a Zombie Apocalypse that it's blatantly obvious what's going on even if you've never heard of the book...
posted by sparkletone at 11:23 AM on February 1, 2013


World War P would be fantastic. I will sign any petition that the film be held in production as long as it takes to replace all the CGI zombies with CGI porpoises.
posted by Drastic at 11:23 AM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


World War Z is serious literature compared to the other zombie books I've read. After I read it, I was all excited and started looking for another book like it but the alternatives were dismal at best.

Agreed. The Zombie Autopsies was a fun read, and more rigorous than other "serious" zombie stories I've read in a while, but it was short, and it felt like it was lacking ... something.

And since Shaun of the Dead was mentioned, and this is a thread about a forthcoming movie, I'll take this moment to mention Nick Frost, Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg's "apocalyptic conclusion to the thematic trilogy begun by Shaun of the Dead and continued with Hot Fuzz": The World's End, "wrapping up, with some formality, the man-child aspect of the series", going into deeper aspects than the US man-child comedies of late have done.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:24 AM on February 1, 2013


Ad hominem: "I gotta say, the book is pretty good.

Off the top of my head I can't name any other modern day epistolary novels. Seems like a novel told through email would be a no-brainer.
"

There's Astro Teller's Exegesis, I've never read it but a friend of mine hated it (although it seems to have good reviews on Amazon).
posted by octothorpe at 11:25 AM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am sort of interested in the movie, but count me among the few who read the book and didn't really care for it. I think zombies as a whole work best in moving media than in print.
posted by Kitteh at 11:25 AM on February 1, 2013


The reboot of World War Z completely reanimates the franchise! Bravo, Kristen Wiig!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:27 AM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


George Romero's Night of the Living Dead makes no mention of zombies, and is considered by some to be a somewhat important film in the genre.
posted by Cookiebastard at 11:27 AM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


This Cracked article kind of spoiled zombie apocalypses for me. My wife and I are watching The Walking Dead and now I can't help but wonder why all of those zombies stumbling through the woods in the dead of night don't have two broken ankles.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:28 AM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Let's just all agree to watch some Day Z machinima instead.
posted by aramaic at 11:28 AM on February 1, 2013


Night of the Living Dead didn't use "the Z word" either.

Because Romero didn't think of them as zombies:
When I did the first film, I didn’t call them zombies. When I did Night of the Living Dead I called them ghouls, flesh eaters. To me back then, zombies were just those boys in Caribbean doing the wet-work for Bela Lugosi. So I never thought of them as zombies. I thought they were just back from the dead. I ripped off the idea for the first film from a Richard Matheson novel called [I] Am Legend, which is now back with us after a couple of incarnations prior. I thought [I] Am Legend was about revolution.
From an interview in 2008.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:30 AM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Where'd You Go, Bernadette is an epistolary novel, as its book trailer makes clear. ("Well I certainly wouldn't buy an epistolary novel.")

This is on-topic because that trailer also does not show any zombies.
posted by jhc at 11:30 AM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


For those folks who are BLERG about the book, I highly recommend the abridged audiobook, complete with awesome full cast reading it.
posted by THAT William Mize at 11:31 AM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


This Cracked article kind of spoiled zombie apocalypses for me. My wife and I are watching The Walking Dead and now I can't help but wonder why all of those zombies stumbling through the woods in the dead of night don't have two broken ankles.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:28 PM on February 1 [+] [!]


This was solved in ask metafilter a few years ago
posted by dng at 11:32 AM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


How about a zombie movie that's not just about hordes of zombies?

Warm Bodies is something way better than just Romeo and Juliet and Zombies
What if Juliet was a post-apocalyptic scavenger, Romeo was a zombie who ate Paris' brains, and Mercutio was a monosyllabic Rob Corddry? Zombie romcom Warm Bodies takes us to a post-apocalyptic future in which zombies stalk the Earth eating human brains—at least until one walking corpse, R, falls for Julie, one of the last living girls.

But put aside the nods to Shakespeare. Warm Bodies is a funny and soft-hearted film that plays far more on zombie- and date-movie tropes than it does on the Bard, and puts an optimistic spin on the undead apocalypse. At its basis, this is a movie about how to be alive, told through the lens of a zombie's awakening.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:33 AM on February 1, 2013


My wife and I are watching The Walking Dead and now I can't help but wonder why all of those zombies stumbling through the woods in the dead of night don't have two broken ankles.

Then there's the fact that these shambling, rotting corpses can tear people (and cattle!) to shreds with their fragile-looking hands. One justification I've heard is that their hands somehow get or stay stronger than the rest of their bodies, which is a pretty weak justification.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:33 AM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


If they had cast Nicholas Cage in World War Z, then they also should have cast John Travolta as ALL THE ZOMBIES. Now that would be a movie!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:34 AM on February 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


On an unrelated note: How legally culpable would a fan production, crowdsourced, adhering to the spirit of the book/audio adaptation and produced as a Ken Burns style documentary be to copyright?

Or simply the "It Gets Better" approach. Call the youtube channel anything but WWZ and I'd think it'd be fine.
posted by anonymisc at 11:35 AM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


World War P would be fantastic. I will sign any petition that the film be held in production as long as it takes to replace all the CGI zombies with CGI porpoises.

I will sign two petitions to get World War "G" Thang made. 'Cause I wanna see Dr. Dre and Snoop Lion fight zombies with dope rhymes and giant blunts.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:36 AM on February 1, 2013


I freely admit I'm in no position to judge the movie versus the book, given that I haven't read the book and the movie isn't out yet, but it does seem a bit like a red herring to be upset that it doesn't mention zombies. I don't think a 30-second teaser trailer is designed to detail the plot; it's always designed to pique curiosity. You're not supposed to know exactly what those teeming hordes are; that's sort of the point. Remember, the vast majority of the people they're marketing this movie to have no clue whatsoever about the book and are coming in with nothing; they're making a plain old movie trailer that's plain old supposed to make people interested in the movie.

There are plenty of teaser trailers that, unless you have some other knowledge, don't give you the slightest clue what a movie is about; they only flash you a few images that are designed to make you curious. I think it's actually kind of successful, given the fact that I do find that shot of the zombies on the wall super-creepy, whether you know they're zombies or not.

Maybe the "DOOMED! DOOMED!" talk will turn out to be well-founded, or maybe it will be well-founded only for people who love the book, but I don't think this is the strongest argument.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 11:37 AM on February 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


World War Z is serious literature compared to the other zombie books I've read. After I read it, I was all excited and started looking for another book like it but the alternatives were dismal at best.

I recommend The Return Man by V.M. Zito.
posted by Etrigan at 11:38 AM on February 1, 2013


so, this is our weekly "declare a movie we haven't seen as doomed/terrible/unwatchable" thread?
posted by HuronBob at 11:41 AM on February 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


Yeah, the rationalizations for zombiedom can get pretty silly pretty fast. I'd prefer they rather went with the "supernatural doom" line and leave it at that. "Yup, there's ghouls on the street and they don't make much sense. I suppose they are like minor demons or something. Wonder if you could exorcise the smelly things. Holy water tank trucks? A big speaker on every corner broadcasting prayers against evil from all mayor religions?" I'd watch that (or I did? There was at least one italian movie about zombies that went the supernatural route).
posted by Iosephus at 11:43 AM on February 1, 2013


Yeah, the rationalizations for zombiedom can get pretty silly pretty fast.

How about, before the credits, one of those old-style title cards that just says HUBRIS.
posted by griphus at 11:45 AM on February 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


There is no mention of Zombies in this example of the genre.
posted by HuronBob at 11:47 AM on February 1, 2013


How legally culpable would a fan production, crowdsourced, adhering to the spirit of the book/audio adaptation and produced as a Ken Burns style documentary be to copyright?

Or simply the "It Gets Better" approach. Call the youtube channel anything but WWZ and I'd think it'd be fine.


I think of it more like the Star Wars Uncut way, and it could make a lot of sense, given that WWZ is fragments of stories, strung together to tell the whole tale. Use a single narrator, and you're golden.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:48 AM on February 1, 2013


World War P would be fantastic. I will sign any petition that the film be held in production as long as it takes to replace all the CGI zombies with CGI porpoises.

Seapunk is gonna be hyuuuuge this year.
posted by Slap*Happy at 11:48 AM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Seems like a novel told through email would be a no-brainer.

Back before blogging was a word, someone in our social circle made web-based blogging software for us, and the result was like a micro live-journal for a dozen or so friends. It was on the web, open to the internet, but not really any links in or search engine visibility; unless you already knew the url, why would you end up there?
Well, a random someone did. And the novelty of reading the larger narrative of the group by unraveling the intertwined web-diaries was apparently pretty compelling.
Today, socially-linked blogs are so ubiquitous and everpresent that it's hard to wrap my head around the idea of it being so novel as to be fascinating. In related news, I still don't understand how people survived without cellphones, and I was there.
posted by anonymisc at 11:49 AM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


so, this is our weekly "declare a movie we haven't seen as doomed/terrible/unwatchable" thread?

Technically no - WWZ has been declared previously, and previouslier. But if we don't find anything in the next two days, it'll just have to do.
posted by anonymisc at 11:52 AM on February 1, 2013


If you haven't heard the audio book of World War Z....

..then you haven't experienced World War Z. I mean... Rob Reiner, Max Brooks, Alan Alda... c'mon.

This movie... it makes me so sad that such a great book and even better audio book can has such a crap movie.
posted by RolandOfEld at 11:55 AM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Did the director announce she was changing the zombies to porpoises, or what?

The Onion, ahead of its time as usual.

But I believe you're looking for this masterpiece.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 11:56 AM on February 1, 2013


Is seapunk a thing? If not it surely should be, sort of like Adam Ant but more Lord Nelson and less facepaint. We should start it here now like #cutforbeiber
posted by Damienmce at 11:56 AM on February 1, 2013


I don't think a 30-second teaser trailer is designed to detail the plot; it's always designed to pique curiosity.

How many teasers and trailers have we seen for Man of Steel now? How many times has the word "Superman" been mentioned in them?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:57 AM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I read a couple of the early drafts of the Michael J. Straczynski version for work and it was... not good. While it was faithful to the book, it was also really just a collection of scenes without any appreciable plot, which does not make for a great movie.
posted by incessant at 11:59 AM on February 1, 2013


And STILL no one has been able to delineate why this is doomed. Early reviews of this thread called it "the Citizen Kane of MeFi threads". And then it tripped. And now it is doomed.
posted by spicynuts at 12:00 PM on February 1, 2013


I don't understand. It's obviously a trailer for an apocalyptic zombie movie, that doesn't exactly require formal introduction in North America.

The book was entertaining, but still pretty obviously just pulp about zombies. Like any movie adaptation would be.

The part of the framing that utterly confuses me here is the expectation... the content itself seems, well, predictable.
posted by Stagger Lee at 12:00 PM on February 1, 2013


Am I the only one who read the novel, really enjoyed it, then began walking back through it and realizing I'd been had by an ever-more-absurd and self-mocking story?

It was dextrous, the way it balanced "real" zombie justifications and notions (and teleology, and economic and sociological shifts, and so forth) but then lead you someplace that was beyond absurd, but in fact ridiculous. To emphasize: this made me enjoy it more, but it also makes me boggle at the notion of squeezing an action film out of it.

So I had hopes they would embrace the absurdity while still holding on to the genius pathos and WWII-style coming together for common cause and upending of historical tensions through sacrifice and human ingenuity.

But - this does not look like that. And it's making me wonder if I saw more in the book than was actually there...

It was the blind Okinawan sensei inventing Zombie-te (or whatever) that bugged me until the whole serious tone unraveled into a Mel-Brooks'-Son Movie. The zombie-killing-specialized tool. The admonition about wearing layers when clearing fields of frozen zombies. These are not just realities, they are fucking hilarious eventualities of treating the premise as totally plausible and letting it play out. But they capture how ridiculous it is, even when treated completely deadpan.

Or am I inventing all that? Now I don't know.
posted by abulafa at 12:00 PM on February 1, 2013 [7 favorites]


I am generally not among the people who hate movies unseen based on little information, no matter the genre or franchise. Case in point, I am very excited about Man Of Steel. But this production has been a disaster. Aside from extensive rewrites/reshoots, it has so completely deviated from the source material that in no manner does it resemble the book. I mean that literally, aside from the title, it has no story basis from anythinG in the book.

Whenever Brooks himself gets out from the NDA gag order or whatever is keeping him from commenting on it.. I want to hear his take on what happened.
posted by mediocre at 12:01 PM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Weirdly, seapunk is totally a thing. But it's already come and gone, apparently
posted by stillnocturnal at 12:01 PM on February 1, 2013


Hey Damienmce, seapunk is undoubtedly a thing, though you may not like it:

Relevant MeFi search results

Seapunk on SoundCloud
posted by Doleful Creature at 12:02 PM on February 1, 2013


...it was also really just a collection of scenes without any appreciable plot, which does not make for a great movie.

There's plenty of good films composed from quasi-related vignettes: Slacker, Gummo, Coffee and Cigarettes, just off the top of my head. They're not to everyone's taste, but it's not a particularly unknown technique.
posted by griphus at 12:04 PM on February 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


I would be surprised if this movie didn't go gangbusters at the box office.

Seems like a novel told through email would be a no-brainer.

You may be looking for e by Matt Baumont. I found it's formatting a little tough to get through as it doesn't really "flow" well, but others may enjoy it.
posted by P.o.B. at 12:05 PM on February 1, 2013


I am generally not among the people who hate movies unseen based on little information, no matter the genre or franchise. Case in point, I am very excited about Man Of Steel. But this production has been a disaster. Aside from extensive rewrites/reshoots, it has so completely deviated from the source material that in no manner does it resemble the book. I mean that literally, aside from the title, it has no story basis from anythinG in the book.

Right, but I think the confusion here is maybe arising from the fact that "anything like the book" and "a good movie" aren't necessarily the same thing.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 12:06 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


It might be John Carter all over again. A good movie, a ripping yarn

If WWZ was a good movie and ripping yarn it wouldn't be John Carter all over again. John Carter was a stinker, a classic flop. (I really liked the sequence where JC first gets acquainted with Mars' gravity, but one memorable scene does not a good movie make)
posted by mediated self at 12:09 PM on February 1, 2013


The real problem with most modern zombie films and shows that try to take it too seriously is that they never seem to pay attention to the way that outbreaks occur in the real world. If infection is caused only by zombie bites but you show that every time a critical mass of zombies encounter a human they literally tear it to pieces, then a zombie herd is never going to get so big that a dozen nerds with shovels couldn't put them all down because all of the new zombies wouldn't have sufficient body parts left to be mobile. Groups of Zombies tearing humans literally into pieces is equivalent to a virus that kills its hosts faster than they can spread the disease. Suboptimal. The Walking Dead did figure out a way around that, sort of, I think, but it really should be an issue.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:10 PM on February 1, 2013 [11 favorites]


Has there been any film adaptation of a hot pop-culture/nerd-culture product in the last several decades that hasn't been declared a crushing failure and desperate betrayal of the source material by some significant proportion of the fandom prior to its release?

Does Cormac McCarthy count as "hot pop culture" ... I would say so, or at least when it came out. (Perhaps your rule only applies to sci-fi/fantasy ...)

Yes, I know the book refers to "tidal waves" of zombies, but it also specified that they were slow moving. And that the "tidal wave" was primarily a metaphor for a massive herd of millions of zombies with the overwhelming crushing presence of an ocean

Actually, the tidal wave gimmick is probably the only reason I would watch this movie. Those scenes on the bus and the wall look pretty cool to me. I'm into guilty pleasures (e.g. running zombies) though.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:12 PM on February 1, 2013




The real problem with most modern zombie films and shows that try to take it too seriously is that they never seem to pay attention to the way that outbreaks occur in the real world. If infection is caused only by zombie bites but you show that every time a critical mass of zombies encounter a human they literally tear it to pieces, then a zombie herd is never going to get so big that a dozen nerds with shovels couldn't put them all down because all of the new zombies wouldn't have sufficient body parts left to be mobile. Groups of Zombies tearing humans literally into pieces is equivalent to a virus that kills its hosts faster than they can spread the disease. Suboptimal. The Walking Dead did figure out a way around that, sort of, I think, but it really should be an issue.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:10 PM on February 1 [1 favorite +] [!]


I agree somewhat, except that characterizing it as "the real problem" suggests that there aren't a whole truck load of other problems with modern zombie movies.
posted by Stagger Lee at 12:15 PM on February 1, 2013


I think it's the most intelligent piece of zombie based entertainment that's been made in any media.

I wouldn't call World War Z particularly thought provoking. They came back tries a smarter angle.
posted by JamesD at 12:18 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


abulafa, that's about right. Max Brooks' genius was that the only suspension of disbelief required was "zombies are physically possible." And then he worked out a world of ramifications, making them all level-headed real. (Okay, except for maybe the Zatoichi ripoff but you get my point.)
posted by whuppy at 12:19 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one who read the novel, really enjoyed it, then began walking back through it and realizing I'd been had by an ever-more-absurd and self-mocking story?

Imagine a novel about our actual society published in a world that hadn't figured out how to hook up computers and transmit information from one to another. You would have a chapter about how people look at other people having sex and masturbate to them; a short vignette about how the Inter-net played a role in fooling a star college-football linebacker into thinking he had a girlfriend who did not actually exist; a story about how a bunch of strangers kept two Russian girls from becoming sex slaves... Hell, stories about articles from the Onion get taken as truth by big press organizations alone could fill a book.

Everything can be pretty absurd, in retrospect.
posted by Etrigan at 12:20 PM on February 1, 2013


I would totally watch a movie of North Koreans heroically struggling against the zombification of their country.

The book covers this really well because no one has any idea what happened to North Korea. It's pretty clear that the entire population retreated to bomb shelter tunnels but no one outside North Korea has any idea what happened next. What's down there? Tens of millions of Koreans, safe and sound? A Mad Max land where people survived by turning to cannibalism? Tens of millions of zombies who will re-infect China as soon as someone opens the doors? No one ever knows what's really going on in North Korea and a zombie war wouldn't change that.

What's special about WWZ is how well it covered the wide range of cultures it examines, including subcultures like the prescription drug industry.. I understand that the chapter on the inflexibility of the stuck-in-the-cold-war US military became an object of formal academic study at West Point.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 12:20 PM on February 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


There's plenty of good films composed from quasi-related vignettes: Slacker, Gummo, Coffee and Cigarettes, just off the top of my head. They're not to everyone's taste, but it's not a particularly unknown technique.

You just named three movies whose collective box office is 3.5 million dollars. That's not exactly the kind of movie Paramount makes.
posted by incessant at 12:21 PM on February 1, 2013


Off the top of my head I can't name any other modern day epistolary novels. Seems like a novel told through email would be a no-brainer.

Super Sad True Love Story by Gary S_____
The Gum Thief by Douglas Coupland
The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
posted by mrgrimm at 12:24 PM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


My only argument is that the lack of a coherent plot doesn't make for an inherently poor film. Whether or not someone will bother making a film like that for wide release is a different thing entirely.
posted by griphus at 12:25 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's plenty of good films composed from quasi-related vignettes

I would argue that there are far more good TV series composed from quasi-related vignettes, and that WWZ would have been an absolute fucking tour de force on HBO.
posted by Etrigan at 12:28 PM on February 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


I understand that the chapter on the inflexibility of the stuck-in-the-cold-war US military became an object of formal academic study at West Point.

I really, seriously, doubt that...
posted by Fidel Cashflow at 12:33 PM on February 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


There's plenty of good films composed from quasi-related vignettes

Pulp Fiction probably qualifies.
posted by Slap*Happy at 12:37 PM on February 1, 2013


filthy light thief: "Because Romero didn't think of them as zombies:"

Yep. Yet another reason I find the obsession with "legit" zombieness so strange.
posted by brundlefly at 12:39 PM on February 1, 2013


John Carter was a stinker, a classic flop. (I really liked the sequence where JC first gets acquainted with Mars' gravity, but one memorable scene does not a good movie make)

but

the mars dog

WHAT ABOUT THE MARS DOG
posted by mightygodking at 12:44 PM on February 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Pulp Fiction is an edge case, in my opinion, just because if you rearrange the scenes linearly, you end up with (more or less) a really discursive crime film.
posted by griphus at 12:44 PM on February 1, 2013


Are you guys looking forward to a good film or a successful film? Because those two things are often not the same.
posted by P.o.B. at 12:46 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yes, the trailer is far too subtle. It would be improved by adding the following to the end:

Brad Pitt: LOOK OUT THERE IS A ZOMBIE BEHIND YOU

Mireille Enos: SHOOT IT PLEASE SO IT DOES NOT BITE ME

Brad Pitt: WE ARE NOW AT WAR -- ONE COULD CALL IT WORLD WAR Z
posted by brain_drain at 12:48 PM on February 1, 2013 [17 favorites]


This film needs 900% more Nicholas Cage.
posted by hellojed at 1:57 PM on February 1 [8 favorites +] [!]


You misspelled Owen Wilson.
posted by Fizz at 12:48 PM on February 1, 2013


So, how is it weird that a vignette based "universe" would begin with a "feature length" vignette that sets the stage, introduces the "characteristics" of the universe, and sets up the variables, all in a format that appeals to a wide audience (one main star, and not 20 stories that are not done justice and rushed through, simply to "be like the book"). It could be a brilliant manoeuvre to tell a story in many parts.

Once this is done, the sequelae may be free to operate on far lower budgets (or equal/more, should the appetite for World War Z be vast), as they can have things going on by reference to what we know from this bigger budget film. Perhaps there is a longer term plan (I don't know how people can know what the whole film will be, the "pitt parts" could be done by twenty minutes in, with some follow-ups later on).

It could be nothing like this.

For the record I would not really like a trailer that was:
This Film is Not Yet Rated:
Fade in: Brad Pitt, eating ice cream:
Pitt: OMG ZOMBEEZ!
What does it mean "mention zombies"?
See also: Speed Racer, John Carter.
posted by infinite intimation at 12:49 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


zombie flicks, zombie stories in general (particularly those that tend toward seriousness), long ago started boring the hell out of me. Recently, a friend pointed out why, I think.

Because they take the complexity out of evil. They present a horde of staggering, bleeding evil entities that are best killed with extreme prejudice. No moral or ethical ambiguity. Just slice them, dice them, explode them, whatever. I can get all this from any number of games, and in those, I get to be the one doing the slicing, dicing, exploding, whatever.

I want my antagonists more nuanced, interesting, alluring even. Maybe I even want to see some of myself in them.
posted by philip-random at 12:52 PM on February 1, 2013


World War Z is serious literature compared to the other zombie books I've read.

You should check out Colson Whitehead's Zone One. It's about as close to "serious literature" (whatever the hell that means) as a zombie book is ever likely to get. Also, it's thoroughly entertaining.

(And then read Whitehead's The Intuitionist, a rollicking tale of political infighting between two factions of the Elevator Inspectors Union. No, seriously, read it-- it's awesome.)
posted by dersins at 12:58 PM on February 1, 2013 [7 favorites]


But p-r, it also asks; if your most loved one is going to turn into a beast so mindless they would turn and chew you in one second... what is love. Is love mercy, or is it accepting that we will both be eaten, is survival all that matters? Is there a time when being un-undeadable before turning is virtuous.

Saw this comment on the linked article and had a thought on some of the complaints that "WWZ is supposed to be slow zombies"
I find fast zombies simply stupid. The faster they run, the faster they run out of calories to burn to contract those muscles. With their flesh rotting, I can't see how they can still have a functioning digestive system that could convert eaten flesh into calories. Fast zombies....dumb
We will witness evolution by natural selection, showing us why there is variation in the depictions of the Zbeasts, the first ones are fast, and will be initially successful, but like a pond 'infected' by a prolific algal bloom, careening out of balance, turning to Eutrophication, outpacing the carrying capacity, they so soon overgraze the "nearby" resources (close humans), thus, the "zombies" that are ultimately most fit, are ones that are slow, but steady... Zombies are a metaphor for consumer society, for unsustainability, for the outpacing of resource allocation and availability of modern society. Maybe.
posted by infinite intimation at 1:01 PM on February 1, 2013



Dibs on producing Ionesco's Rhinoceros with zombies instead of rhinos!


Only if it stars zombie Zero Mostel & zombie Gene Wilder.
posted by the bricabrac man at 1:07 PM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think Contagion was a series of characters and their stories, and it managed to tell the outbreak/containment story fairly well. World War Z could have been closer to that, but I don't think you can really get the slow story of the outbreak and then the war in one film.

You should check out Colson Whitehead's Zone One. It's about as close to "serious literature" (whatever the hell that means) as a zombie book is ever likely to get. Also, it's thoroughly entertaining.

I read Zone One and watched Contagion in the same weekend, and it was not good for my mental outlook!
posted by gladly at 1:11 PM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


To be clear, I like far more when people put interpretations to concepts, and talk about zombies, rather than the purely visceral and emotive 'kicks' from seeing movies capitalizing on desire for senseless shock or violence, I found the movie 2012 pretty offensive cinematically in how casually "cgi creepple" would fall into pits, and out of the sky, and explode, or be crushed, and no one noticed. I too, would like far more nuanced protagonists [but I guess it isn't widely agreed that having non-nuanced antagonists doesn't necessitate a lack of nuance in the story, or the protagonist]).

There has been a whole rush to make the "bad guy" be cause and driver for being human in the "hero" that feels like it intensified in the past few years (seems to often be a figment of the batman model [the dark knight generated dozens of articles on the importance of a good bad guy], also people often speak of the bond villains as being 50% of the allure, also seen in most Draculas [sic], but it is also star wars [vader drives luke], and it is star trek, and it is everywhere), and I don't know, yeah, it is true, this is a good device; but is it maybe overused, and perhaps overhyped, and also a signifier of an easy way to be "nuanced".
posted by infinite intimation at 1:14 PM on February 1, 2013


Zombies are getting played out, and doubly so now that right-wing gun culture has appropriated it, and firearms and outdoor equipment manufacturers are using it to sell more weapons and bullets. (My fave is the maker of a "bump stock" - an add-on that turns a semi-auto rifle into what is in essence a full-auto rifle legally. They have a whole section on their site on preparing for the "Zombie Menace.")

Has “zombies” replaced “Canadians” as a racist dog-whistle meaning “scary black folks” in general paranoid white American I'm-not-racist discourse? Will we soon hear things like “I wouldn't go to South Central after dark. It's full of, you know, zombies something something hip-hop gangbanger basketball crack-baby bad tippers”?
posted by acb at 1:18 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


We Need to Talk About Kevin isn't strictly speaking epistostolary is it? It's present tense talking about past tense, not using "found documents" and so on, IIRC. It's a steaming pile of decomposing zombie innards though, so possibly OT.

Robopocalypse is mostly epistolary though, and an entertaining read.

posted by monocultured at 1:21 PM on February 1, 2013


This trailer for Jaws uses the word "shark", like, eleven times. Jaws was an awesome shark movie. Clearly if the trailer for World War Z said "zombie" a bunch that would make it an awesome zombie movie.
posted by Cookiebastard at 1:28 PM on February 1, 2013


My bad, just saw that wikipedia lists We need to talk about Kevin as epistolary. Feels like cheating though, since the letters are all written at a present time, but I stand self-corrected.
posted by monocultured at 1:28 PM on February 1, 2013


But p-r, it also asks; if your most loved one is going to turn into a beast so mindless they would turn and chew you in one second... what is love. Is love mercy, or is it accepting that we will both be eaten, is survival all that matters?

But what real world analog does this have? I've had a few loved ones turn on me, but that was usually drug and/or alcohol related, and temporary. It never occurred to me that I needed to destroy their brains or drive a stake through their hearts -- not even metaphorically.
posted by philip-random at 1:31 PM on February 1, 2013


This trailer for Jaws uses the word "shark", like, eleven times. Jaws was an awesome shark movie. Clearly if the trailer for World War Z said "zombie" a bunch that would make it an awesome zombie movie.

Even better, if we re-edit WWZ to say 'shark' eleven times, we might get more of this.
posted by FatherDagon at 1:33 PM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


See also: Speed Racer, John Carter.

Both of which are fun, witty movies, with uncommonly comprehensible action scenes and writing and characterization that is well above average for a summer blockbuster, and I honestly can't understand why so many people hate them. Also Speed Racer looks amazing and like nothing else and I'm still pissed off that critics dissuaded me from seeing it in the theater. John Carter was a lot less visually impressive than it should have been, but I loved the light ships.
posted by straight at 1:38 PM on February 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Cancer maybe? Possibly Alzheimer's? They don't involve guns or violence (except very out of ordinary Alzheimer's scenarios); but they are inexorable, horrific, and once they arrive in our lives they just eat through connections and relationships, there is no reasoning with such disease, no mercy, and even our cognition is subject to the ravages, and they are both basically "like" zombies are depicted in film and stories, in their epidemic spread and dispersal (everywhere, everyone knows someone who has, or will face this). I don't know, that might be reaching way too far [I think I remember someone making the case convincingly]. I agree with your point. And the movie looks like it isn't very intimate, or close and human and small, which is a big flag when talking about an "apocalyptic" movie (2012). Piles of dead people... requires a whole lot of humanity, and story to justify/balance cinematically; inhumanity and the sort of cgi mass deaths seen in the trailer is useful, only inasmuch as it acts as counter to human action and virtue. And with stakes that high it is easy to overreach and tread on sappiness. It really is a high up tightrope to choose to walk.

(Straight, that is what I was trying to say re:SR, and JC, it was annoying when I learned that they were both supposed to be really cool, and well made, and well done, but memes about "terrible movies" drove me away from them...)
posted by infinite intimation at 1:50 PM on February 1, 2013


Recently, a friend pointed out why ...

You are certainly entitled to your own interpretations of zombie mythos, or the reason that they are scary to you. But all the best zombie stories in any format are not tales of people slashing their way through masses of moaning walkers, those tend to get boring very quickly. The best zombie films are survival dramas. Stories of people caught up in extraordinary circumstances and having to test their own will to fight, kill, and co-operate with people they may not otherwise give the time of day to. The zombie is rarely a huge threat on an individual level in these films, the threat is from panicky humans going mad on staring into the void at the end of the world. Zombies are dim witted, slow, tend to act in herds and without any strategy other then "FEED." They are scary because the survivors don't know where they came from (in the best movies, that would be), how you become one (in the best movies), or anything.

All they know is that they are infinite in number. You go on a spree wearing yourself out slaughtering a group of 20 walkers as an afternoon exercise break, and in that time their friends have created another 1000 of them either by killing a survivor directly or just having someone die of other causes and rise. You are a crafty group of people in a well stocked.. oh, I don't know.. let's say pub. It still doesn't matter. There are lots of them, there will ALWAYS be lots of them, and when you are finally worn down to just a few bullets left you have to make the decision whether to go out fighting or shoot yourself in the head.

The concept of fast zombies COMPLETELY negates this horror. Which is my primary complains with them. There is not a single fast zombie movie I have ever liked, save for Zombieland. But since that was a straight comedy, I cut it some slack. But the storytelling possibilities with the zombie rules outlined above are so amazing and awesome that it is mind boggling how many people screw it up.

I may have derided others for the very same thing. But I have written songs about zombie scenarios under these rules. This one being a song about being among the living at the tail end of an inevitable zombie victory, while also being in love. The struggled of living in a time when you may go out for food and come back a zombie, you have to tell your lover to promise to kill you. WITH A LIVING PERSON, that is. Seriously, Warm Bodies?
posted by mediocre at 2:42 PM on February 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky is epistolary, which is mostly why I didn't see the movie.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:43 PM on February 1, 2013


The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Great book. Great movie. I mean, it's all 100% teenage wish fulfillment. But man, those are some awesome, and pretty universal wishes..
posted by mediocre at 2:48 PM on February 1, 2013


There's a general rule of thumb: the more pulp/genre the book, the better the movie will be. Likewise the more literary the book, the less successful the movie will be. This is a rule of thumb and you will find many great exceptions in history, but odds are.
posted by stbalbach at 2:50 PM on February 1, 2013


They are scary because the survivors don't know where they came from (in the best movies, that would be), how you become one (in the best movies), or anything.

I don't know if there is a term or trope for this, but I like to call it The Zombie Paradox: the amount of success a monster story, or a character has within that monster story, will often rely upon very obvious and common knowledge that already exists in the real world. It requires an extra level of suspension of disbelief in order for the audience to accept it. This most commonly happens in zombie flicks.
posted by P.o.B. at 3:30 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


"This" being not able to discern decomposing people walking around trying to eat you are in fact ghouls or zombies or whatever and that they are bad.
posted by P.o.B. at 3:44 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


There is not a single fast zombie movie I have ever liked

Not even 28 Days Later? That's personally my favorite zombie (or "infected") movie and it features fast zombies. Although part of what makes it good is the absence of any of the infected for large parts of the movie.
posted by A Bad Catholic at 4:01 PM on February 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Brad Pitt and His Amazing Hair was my band in high school.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:26 PM on February 1, 2013


The concept of fast zombies COMPLETELY negates this horror. Which is my primary complains with them. There is not a single fast zombie movie I have ever liked, save for Zombieland. But since that was a straight comedy, I cut it some slack. But the storytelling possibilities with the zombie rules outlined above are so amazing and awesome that it is mind boggling how many people screw it up.

Return of the Living Dead or bust. Fast zombies that also spoke and occasionally had a mastery of engineering and CB radios.
posted by FatherDagon at 5:34 PM on February 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


And ate brains (to make the pain of being dead go away) instead of being generally cannibalistic. The zombie genre is a big tent!
posted by brundlefly at 5:39 PM on February 1, 2013


Has “zombies” replaced “Canadians” as a racist dog-whistle meaning “scary black folks” in general paranoid white American I'm-not-racist discourse?

I'm not certain "Canadians" were ever a dogwhistle. Not in any of the right-wing loonie circles I or my family travel in (New England, YMMV.)

Zombies, however... yeah, total dogwhistle for race-riot. Tool up for that zombie invasion, here's some equipment to militarize your personal arsenal for those zombies. At the gun show, the same stall that sells Hornandy Zombie Max ammo, some of the most effective anti-personnel rounds available to the public, will have a copy of the Turner Diaries around somewhere for sale.

I would say "If you ask in the right way," but if you're white and ask any old way, they'll toss it at you without giving you a second glance, or point out where it's at between copies of "The 1911 Buyers Guide 2012" and "How To Seduce Women With Pheromones."
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:52 PM on February 1, 2013


Slap*Happy: “Zombies, however... yeah, total dogwhistle for race-riot.”

Which is one of the reasons why this was so hilarious.
posted by koeselitz at 7:10 PM on February 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


They are scary because the survivors don't know where they came from (in the best movies, that would be), how you become one (in the best movies), or anything.

Do you really think zombie movies are scary? I don't think so. I think most people watch them... with a sense of hope. Or relief? Or something like a taboo fetish.

Zombies, however... yeah, total dogwhistle for race-riot.

This is a part of it but ever the desire for race war was itself an appeal to escape the market. Capitalism, it seems, when asked to imagine its own destruction doesn't quite offer up an end to the the never-ending buying and selling and hustling, the ceaseless exchange but instead... just eliminates advertising. C'mon, there's still the same pathetic fetishization of consumption in zombie movies as in all Hollywood fare. But a world without commercials... ah, one can dream.
posted by nixerman at 7:32 PM on February 1, 2013


John Carter was the worst kind of bad movie, one that wasn't even fun bad.

I think you meant to say Wrath of the Titans, a film so boring that three people in my row fell asleep before it was one hour in; John Carter was awesome fun. :)

I do like bad movies and I've never read the book to be upset about what was lost, but this one just looks uninteresting so I'll wait on it.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 8:22 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Seriously, Warm Bodies?

Just came back from seeing that. It was enjoyable, and I was relieved that it didn't take itself too seriously.

I'm starting to get tired of the whole zombie sub-genre, too. And I don't think it's only me either. It seems that most zombie media coming out is either a sequel to a successful franchise or an adaptation of something from another media. I know it's not the only genre that's guilty of this, but it was one of the earlier ones I remember that was guilty of it.

And I think the serious drama part of the sub-genre is starting to show it's age too. Most of the time it's just a contest to see who can top each other in being the most grim-n-gritty. And sometimes, like in Robert Kirkman's case, it's just a matter of trying top himself in being even darker than he was before.
posted by FJT at 8:45 PM on February 1, 2013


Return of the Living Dead or bust.

full reveal. this is the last zombie film that really felt necessary to me. nothing's been funnier, scarier, more imaginative, with a better soundtrack since. Truly one of the five essential movies of the 1980s ... up there with Brazil, Blue Velvet, Buckaroo Banzai and something else that probably doesn't start with B.
posted by philip-random at 9:51 PM on February 1, 2013


WHAT ABOUT THE MARS DOG

Agreed: the dog is great.

On zombies as a euphemism for black people, we've had that discussion before, in some detail, but I can't find the thread.
posted by JHarris at 10:02 PM on February 1, 2013


mediated self: “John Carter was a stinker, a classic flop.”

A "classic flop?" This is a ridiculous characterization that people make because they were told to by crappy reviews.

Argue that John Carter was worse than Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen. Go on, do it. I will be waiting with popcorn.
posted by koeselitz at 10:12 PM on February 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Zombies= Black people was in the last Sandy Hook/Gun Control thread, wasn't it?
posted by Mezentian at 10:13 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Finally got search to work and it looks like it may have been December's Doomsday Preppers thread.

It's certainly the first time I heard the trope.

(Also John Carter rocked. The end.)
posted by Mezentian at 10:23 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I guess Romero has the first and last word on thematic elements in zombies films.
posted by P.o.B. at 10:39 PM on February 1, 2013


Still going to be better than season 2 of The Walking Dead.

Go home, Shane. Nobody likes you.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 10:45 PM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


I understand that the chapter on the inflexibility of the stuck-in-the-cold-war US military became an object of formal academic study at West Point.

Believe it or not, West Point is the equivalent of a university with a particular focus, and they have classes where they assign a lot of reading. Sometimes just for fun but with a serious purpose, you know. That doesn't mean they're picking it as a model, just that they thought it was worthy of discussion.
posted by dhartung at 11:14 PM on February 1, 2013


Argue that John Carter was worse than Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen.

Look, I enjoyed John Carter too, but many terrible movies are better than Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen, including Transmorphers, the cheap name-alike knockoff The Asylum made to ride the franchise's coattails.
posted by JHarris at 3:01 AM on February 2, 2013


Yes. Transmorphers is a horribly inept film. Transmorphers 2 is only made tolerable by a proper actor, but not even Tron/Sheridan can save it.

Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen is an endless, grim death march of suck. It also has the improbable: a balls of steel joke so lame not even AC/DC would stoop to it it. Also, racist robots so cringe-worthy they made me hide my face in shame. And I will happily use any racist terminology if I think it's "appropriate" to the circumstances.
posted by Mezentian at 5:28 AM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Truly one of the five essential movies of the 1980s ... up there with Brazil, Blue Velvet, Buckaroo Banzai and something else that probably doesn't start with B.

I'm assuming you didn't just say Ghostbusters because it already occupies eight separate slots on your 'top films of the 20th century' list.
posted by FatherDagon at 8:36 AM on February 2, 2013


Yeah, saying John Carter was better than Revenge of the Fallen is meaningless. But John Carter was also better than Hunger Games (mostly by having less blatant stupidity and a better-written if not better-acted female lead), MIB 3, Total Recall, Prometheus, Snow White and the Huntsman, Wrath of the Titans, and lots of other big-budget action movies of 2012 (not to mention obvious dreck like Battleship and Twilight).
posted by straight at 11:03 AM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Heck, John Carter has better superhero action sequences and fewer cringe-inducing moments than Amazing Spider-Man and is livelier and wittier and has a plot much less stupid than Dark Knight Rises (true, Taylor Kitch is a much more boring actor than Christian Bale, but Bale was hardly in DKR).
posted by straight at 1:46 PM on February 2, 2013


JHarris: "Look, I enjoyed John Carter too, but many terrible movies are better than Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen, including Transmorphers, the cheap name-alike knockoff The Asylum made to ride the franchise's coattails."

Well, I just wanted to point out that the old Hollywood idea of a "stinker and a classic flop" that mediated self pointed to is pretty much nonsensical at this point, given that "John Carter" was better that most blockbusters now. It flopped, yes, but that has no bearing on quality. If it did, then Transformers 2 would have been a flop.
posted by koeselitz at 2:28 PM on February 2, 2013


I like the conspiracy theory that was floating around a few months ago that suggested John Carter was intentionally driven into flop-dom by its own studio, because Pixar needed to be put in its place. There being nothing more worrisome to the powers-that-be in Hollywood than creative types with genuine power.
posted by philip-random at 3:05 PM on February 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Speaking of which ...

John Carter: An Open Letter to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Richard Ross
posted by philip-random at 3:14 PM on February 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


That's a pretty damning letter. Great read.
posted by Mezentian at 3:28 PM on February 2, 2013


Except that the letter is almost a year old and about a 100 mill off. JC made it's money back and then some.
posted by P.o.B. at 4:13 PM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


That's beside the point. It speaks about how Disney faffed the marketing of John Carter.
And, if I read that right, it looks like it barely broke even.

Yesterday's update is also a great read: Painfully Reliving the Disaster that was the John Carter Super Bowl Ad a Year Ago
posted by Mezentian at 4:44 PM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


30 mill is barely broke even? What's beside the point is how is how much money a movie makes. Did you like or not? So what does that have to do with how much money it made?
posted by P.o.B. at 4:54 PM on February 2, 2013


Barely broke even in Hollywood accounting terms, rendering a sequel highly unlikely. Which makes me sad.
And yes, I loved John Carter. Seeing Gods of Mars (or whatever) made would make me very happy.
posted by Mezentian at 5:10 PM on February 2, 2013


I'm not a movie accountant but I do know 30 million plus the DVD profits is not barely breaking even. Personally I don't really dwell on any these things because they are not something I have anything to do with in any capacity, nor is my ability enjoy a movie dependant upon them. But I agree, it would be nice to see at least one sequel.
posted by P.o.B. at 5:34 PM on February 2, 2013


It's no Movie 43 when it comes to return on investment.
posted by Mezentian at 5:41 PM on February 2, 2013


something else that probably doesn't start with B

Remo Williams.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:06 PM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


John Carter made 73 mil domestic -- after the exhibitors (the theaters) take their cut (rule of thumb is 33-50%, but let's say it's 33%, to be generous), we're left with (rounding up) 50 mil.

International is far far harder to determine what the studio's take is because each foreign deal is different, but let's just use that 33% number for ease (though the truth is the terms aren't usually that sweet). 66% of $208 mil is $137 mil.

So now we're at $187 million. DVD revenue is another $20 mil right now, and I wouldn't expect this to be a big catalogue title. For ease, let's just say that $20 mil is net, not gross. So current revenue is $207 mil.

The production budget was $300 mil (which is probably pretty accurate -- Disney said it was $250 mil, but everyone thought it broke 300). The advertising budget? Well now that's where the rubber hits the road. Tack on at least another $100 mil.

Conservatively, Disney lost 193 million dollars on this movie and cost Rich Ross and MT Carney their jobs. Anyone who thinks they tanked it because they didn't want Pixar to be all powerful is stupid.
posted by incessant at 9:16 PM on February 2, 2013


incessant: “Anyone who thinks they tanked it because they didn't want Pixar to be all powerful is stupid.”

You just listed all the figures off. You didn't say a single word about why it tanked. So – can you explain that to us?
posted by koeselitz at 9:42 PM on February 2, 2013


Because it wasn't very good?

Just sayin'... that might have something to do with it.
posted by dersins at 9:45 PM on February 2, 2013


Because no one loses $200 million for the heck of it?
posted by incessant at 9:54 PM on February 2, 2013


So why the hell did Disney do so poorly at marketing the thing? And why they hell did they send out press releases deeming it a flop long before its theater run was over? I mean, maybe they didn't intend to lose $200 million dollars – but they sure as hell did an awful job if they were hoping to make money off the thing.
posted by koeselitz at 10:04 PM on February 2, 2013


It may or may not be objectively good, that is in the hands of the observer.
But we all know enough about being on the end of the Hollywood marketing machine- the buzz, the vibe, the excitement - and I do not think that you can tell me that Disney really dropped the ball on a major investment.

Of everyone I know, four people saw the movie.
Four.
Me, a friend who will see anything Disney/Pixar without even thinking, and a couple who had a spare night and I evangelised to. I had to see it alone because no one else what interested (and, to be fair, I could not wait). There was no understanding of John Carter, other than the bad press that was swirling by the time it made it here.

I purchased John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood today, and I expect that is written from a certain bias, but there is no doubt whatsoever that the fan trailers (that made a big deal about the 100th anniversary of John Carter of Mars, and ERB) absolutely pissed all over the official versions.

For whatever reason, they fucked it. They should have been playing to the history of the (lesser known) character from the creator of Tarzan, they could have played up the influence of ERB on all of the Hollywood types like Lucas and whoever. They should have played up the pulp angle.

Instead we got a movie which could have been about football or something, as far as the general public knew.

(I have no idea what they spent $300 million on, mind. Hopefully the book will address that too).

Hell, and I'm not even a dyed-in-the-wool ERB fan. I hadn't even read A Princess of Mars until the just before the film came out (nor Tarzan, though I grew up with his stories on screen), but I was a fan of the cheesy ERB/Doug McClure films in the 1970s.

WWZ arguably starts from a better place. Zombies are hot (especially thanks to the Walking Dead TV series), and Pitt remains popular, and despite the bad press I know plenty of people who are keen to see it (and most of them people who wouldn't watch a Romero movie if I paid them).
posted by Mezentian at 11:01 PM on February 2, 2013


Disney lost 193 million dollars

Yeah, I would have to call bullshit.

During one of Kevin Smith's talk (when does he stop?*badump ksch*)) he mentioned how he sees people do back of napkin film math all the time, and being that he has been making movies going on 20 years and has kept a presence online for a long time I wouldn't doubt that at all, but anyway IIRC he said most people have no clue what they're talking about when they try to add it up on their own. Taking that into account and the byzantine ways studios make their money, I would make a guess 193 mill loss is probably pretty damn far from what the accounting actually shows.
John Carter was primed to be a follow up on the boatloads of cash Avatar brought in, and honestly if you watch those movies one after the other I would not hold against anyone if they became confused which one was which. If anyone was fired I'm sure it has to do with the ball dropping of not being comparable in how much it made.
posted by P.o.B. at 11:04 PM on February 2, 2013


John Carter was primed to be a follow up on the boatloads of cash Avatar brought in, and honestly if you watch those movies one after the other I would not hold against anyone if they became confused which one was which.

Wait.... wait?
I don't even....

I really don't.
For a start Avatar was pretty but boring and unoriginal.
John Carter was lush, dense, and exciting but not as pretty.

Are you sure you didn't watch the Traci Lords version, my friend?
posted by Mezentian at 11:10 PM on February 2, 2013


I'm not suggesting my numbers are gospel, but I've worked in Hollywood for 15 years and I've seen enough balance sheets to have a pretty good idea of what I'm talking about. But yeah, you heard Kevin Smith say a thing once, so you're definitely right on the money there, OK, you got me, I'm full of shit.

So why the hell did Disney do so poorly at marketing the thing?

MT Carney, who ran Disney's marketing under the Rich Ross era, was just unbelievably awful at her job. She got fired a couple months before JOHN CARTER came out, but it was too late to turn around the ship on that one. And Rich Ross, it should be noted, was also awful at his job -- he'd run the Disney Channel before he got the job running the studio, and his expertise was not opening 300 million dollar movies.
posted by incessant at 11:28 PM on February 2, 2013


Being that Mighty Whitey is central to each of the movies, and the John Carter books, besides the several scenes that are almost identical, I would at least say yes they share a very similar structure.
posted by P.o.B. at 11:31 PM on February 2, 2013


I'm full of shit.

To be clear, I called bullshit on your numbers, but like I said before I'm not any kind of movie accountant and hey maybe you're right on the money. Although, you did add 100 mill for... reasons, which looks a little suspect to my admittedly unknowing eye.
posted by P.o.B. at 11:36 PM on February 2, 2013


I have tried to forget I saw Avatar, but I believe you are right on some of the cultural memes inherent in both stories.
I know I had a few questions about how modern American audiences would have dealt with the Indian scenes in A Princess of Mars if they were translated to the screen.

It just makes Avatar even more derivative.
posted by Mezentian at 11:40 PM on February 2, 2013


Oh, yeah. No doubt about that. Does this look familiar?
posted by P.o.B. at 11:54 PM on February 2, 2013


Although, you did add 100 mill for... reasons, which looks a little suspect to my admittedly unknowing eye.

I'm sorry, I thought I was pretty clear when I said "The advertising budget? Well now that's where the rubber hits the road. Tack on at least another $100 mil."

It's rumored John Carter spent $100 million on marketing

A film of this size and scope typically requires a marketing budget of roughly $120 million, adding to the price tag.

with marketing costs guestimated in the $100m range

Most of those articles quote the budget number as $250 mil, which I strongly doubt, but since I was striving to be generous with my numbers, I'll knock $50 mil off my estimate, leaving Disney $143 mil in the hole. I might be wrong, but I ain't that wrong. Disney lost serious coin on that film, and the proof is Rich Ross's empty chair. And also this.

Guys, when you look at box office numbers vs. production budget numbers, don't forget that box office is overall revenue -- the studio has to split that money with the theaters, so they don't see all of it, not in the least. And production budget is only one part of the studio's outlay for a film. The cost to market and release a movie has skyrocketed in the last decade. I wouldn't be surprised if WORLD WAR Z (just to bring this back to the original topic) cost $90 mil to market.

You can make a 2 million dollar movie, but if you want to open it on a thousand screens, you have to spend 5 or 10 million to market the damn thing. There are some distribution companies that're doing really smart, low budget marketing pushes involving social media and internet ads and on-the-ground advertising, but that kind of campaign takes an excess of time and doesn't always pay off.
posted by incessant at 12:09 AM on February 3, 2013


I still don't get it, though. Why the press release saying it was flopping? I guess there's something about marketing I don't understand.
posted by koeselitz at 12:12 AM on February 3, 2013


If you're desperate to know, koeselitz, I can ask around.
posted by incessant at 12:17 AM on February 3, 2013


I would assume there were reporting regulations that needed to be followed, that went to PR to be shaped.
Also, the fact is that BIG films no longer really get much of a chance to earn world of mouth. They seems to live and die on their opening weekends.

Do films open small and then get picked up for broader distribution anymore?
posted by Mezentian at 2:10 AM on February 3, 2013


John Carter made 73 mil domestic -- after the exhibitors (the theaters) take their cut (rule of thumb is 33-50%, but let's say it's 33%, to be generous), we're left with (rounding up) 50 mil.

Not that it would make a significant difference to your overall numbers (and I agree that John Carter was a massive money-bleeding flop), but I've heard over the last several years that studios are demanding up to 90 percent of receipts in the first week of a big movie, and that amount goes down about 10 percent per week until it settles at 50. Is that not the case?
posted by Etrigan at 10:48 AM on February 3, 2013


Indeed, yes, that's a decent shorthand for a typical breakdown of box office exhibitor/distributor cuts, Etrigan. When we're doing guesstimates, we use that 2/3rds number to approximate that receipts.

The 90% the first week cut, declining by 10% each subsequent week goes back at least a couple of decades -- that was the number I learned in one of my show business economics classes in college in the mid 90's.
posted by incessant at 12:38 PM on February 3, 2013


Ah, I misread your initial comment and thought you were saying the studio got 33 percent. My bad.
posted by Etrigan at 1:37 PM on February 3, 2013


I still don't get it, though. Why the press release saying it was flopping?

I asked a friend. She reminded me that John Carter came out in March, right before quarterly reports. Disney took the $200 mil write-down so that they could purge their balance sheet, and with BRAVE and THE AVENGERS coming up, they wanted to get the loss off their books as fast as possible. That way, the headlines in June could be "Disney Hits Big With Avengers" not "Disney So-So as John Carter Drags Down Avengers."
posted by incessant at 1:43 PM on February 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


Do films open small and then get picked up for broader distribution anymore?

Not that many mainstream entertainment movies, but in the arthouse/indie world it's still pretty common -- a recent example was The Master, which went from five theaters opening weekend to 600, and (perhaps an exception due to the competition) Lincoln went from 11 to nationwide.
posted by dhartung at 12:26 AM on February 4, 2013


So, it seems to me (and I live in a different market) that if a tent-pole film doesn't Ka-ching, it dies early, bit smaller films have a chance to breath.
Sad.

John Carter deserved better than it got.
posted by Mezentian at 5:05 AM on February 4, 2013


Do films open small and then get picked up for broader distribution anymore?

Not that many mainstream entertainment movies, but in the arthouse/indie world it's still pretty common -- a recent example was The Master, which went from five theaters opening weekend to 600, and (perhaps an exception due to the competition) Lincoln went from 11 to nationwide.


I don't think either of those movies got picked up for broader distribution -- the intent was clearly "open in X theaters on Y date to build up buzz, then expand to Z theaters to capitalize on the buzz," where X and Z were known well in advance of Y. The only movie I can think of in the last decade or so where Z grew remarkably beyond initial release plans is My Big Fat Greek Wedding (gah, that was more than 10 years ago? I'm old), but I'm sure there must have been a few here and there that achieved lesser but still unplanned success.
posted by Etrigan at 5:52 AM on February 4, 2013


What Etrigan and dhartung are talking about are called platform releases, and they're very common. In a case like that, a distributor will release a movie in 5 or 10 or however many theaters, see how it does, and be prepared to release it into more theaters each subsequent week as word of mouth and momentum build and the press starts to take notice of the movie. Smaller distributors have to remain very nimble during a release like this, making quick ad buys, swinging deals with exhibitors at the last minute to squeeze a film into the right city at the right time, shuffling the actors or director to a Q&A here and then a morning talk show there. It's exciting stuff when you're in the middle of it, but one bad move and you can kill all your momentum and watch as the movie's box office falls apart before your very eyes. As simultaneous theatrical/VOD releases have become more common, this kind of release strategy has declined a bit, and it will continue to do so.

Sometimes studios release a film just in NY and LA (if it's right before the end of the year, it's specifically in order to qualify for the Oscars -- if it isn't, then it's just to capture some press before the larger release) and then have a planned release on many many more screens a few weeks later. This was the tactic taken with ZERO DARK THIRTY. I wouldn't consider that a traditional platform release -- call it a two-step release.

There's also roadshow releasing, where a distributor releases the movie in a handful of cities at a time, shows the film for a couple weeks, and then moves on to another city. This is rare now that we've got digital and you don't need to strike a new print every time you want to exhibit a film somewhere, but for specialty films of a certain ilk (Holy Motors springs to mind) this will continue to be a viable method of releasing. These days, it's a useful because it can narrow your ad spending and concentrate ground game marketing in one or two cities at a time.

As to your initial question, Mezentian, Do films open small and then get picked up for broader distribution anymore? I can't think of a situation where a film has ever been redistributed by a new company after it had already had distribution. I"m guessing you're probably thinking of a platform release?
posted by incessant at 10:35 AM on February 4, 2013


incessant: “As to your initial question, Mezentian, 'Do films open small and then get picked up for broader distribution anymore?' I can't think of a situation where a film has ever been redistributed by a new company after it had already had distribution. I"m guessing you're probably thinking of a platform release?”

Has it always been this way? I had the same impression as Mezentian – that, in the 70s, there were multiple distributors, and that if a film did well enough with one sometimes the makers could shop it around a bit more and step up. Frankly, that seems like a better model for efficient filmmaking; it seems like Hollywood is now based on making huge wagers on opening-day box office earnings. But I imagine you know more about how this works than I do. I'm not even sure that's how it worked.
posted by koeselitz at 10:50 AM on February 4, 2013


Film distribution has changed so much since 1970 that I can't speak with any kind of authority about what went on back then. That model doesn't smell right to me from the distributor's perspective -- why would a distributor put all kinds of money and effort into releasing a movie, see it do well, and then have the film owners take it away from them to give it to someone "larger?" -- but that doesn't mean that it didn't happen. Legally, I can't imagine a distributor signing a deal that gave them theatrical distribution rights for a film for anything less than a year or two. The initial outlay they spend distributing a film is very large (especially back then -- each 35mm print cost a lot of money) and they've gotta make that money back.

The new new model for independent distribution is small theatrical, one or two screens each in a handful of cities -- LA, NY, maybe SF, Austin, Seattle, Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, mix-and-match as you please -- and VOD, maybe at the same time, maybe a couple weeks before or after the theatrical. BACHELORETTE and ARBITRAGE both pulled off some nice numbers this way. It's a much safer release method than a platform theatrical because consumers don't have to spend 30 bucks on tickets and 10 on popcorn and arrive at the theater on time and the baby sitter and -- all they have to do is press a button on their remote. I can't stand it, but it appears to be the direction we're headed.
posted by incessant at 11:16 AM on February 4, 2013


I had always thought that epistolary novels were just letters, but from this thread, I learned they can be any document. So, at least this trailer led to that.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:50 PM on February 5, 2013


"John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood", a chronicle of how the move went from development hell to flop is free for the Kindle until midnight Thursday PST. (VIA)
posted by octothorpe at 1:53 PM on February 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


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