Classify this one under horror, zombie, big budget, Brad Pitt. In plot and back story, it's another retread of “Day of the Dead,” “28 Days Later,” “I Am Legend” and a zillion others.
After bubbling under our radar in several isolated regions, the zombie plague apparently reaches critical mass and descends everywhere. Pitt is a retired U.N. inspector living in Philadelphia (which Glasgow imitates admirably). He reluctantly joins old co-workers in trying to trace the infection, while also desperately attempting to reunite with his wife and two kids.
Marc Forster's adaptation of Max Brooks's best seller — written for the screen by Matthew Michael Carnahan, Drew Goddard, Damon Lindelof and J. Michael Straczynski — deals with the book's film-unfriendly episodic structure by having everything happen to Pitt. As a result, it often feels disjointed.
Paramount's Blu-ray looks and sounds great. The transfer is so clean that there are moments that flew by on the big screen but now seem blatantly CGI. The extras are minimal, guaranteeing a deluxe edition down the road. The DVD — both on its own and in either of the combination packages — has the theatrical cut and no supplements. The combo editions are identical to each other except for the presence of the 3D version in one. The Blu-ray in those two combo packs has about an hour of talking-head and behind-the-scenes shorts. It also has the “extended cut,” which is about seven minutes longer than the original. I didn't spot any missing scenes, just extra violence expanding certain sequences.
"World War Z" (Paramount Home Entertainment, Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, and DVD, $49.99; Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD combo pack, $39.99; DVD, $29.99)
ANDY KLEIN is the film critic for Marquee. He can also be heard on "FilmWeek" on KPCC-FM (89.3).