Capsule reviews of new movie releases
(AP) - "World War Z"- Might there be a real zombie apocalypse one day? The way zombies have invaded our pop culture the last several years, it's maybe a bit less implausible than it once was. What IS increasingly quite plausible, alas, is a global pandemic, and "World War Z," the long-awaited Brad Pitt thriller, cleverly melds that real-life threat into the more fanciful zombie premise. Talk about more bang for your buck: Once you've settled back into your seat after a good snarling zombie chase, there's nothing like the thought of a SARS outbreak to get the blood racing again. Despite the much-discussed production delays and budget overruns, this movie, based on the 2006 novel by Max Brooks (son of Mel), is pretty much what you'd want in a summer blockbuster: scary but not-too-gross zombies, a journey to exotic locales, a few excellent action scenes, and did we mention Pitt? As Gerry Lane, a former U.N. investigator called upon to save the planet, Pitt is a calm, intelligent presence amid the insanity. The most impressive scene is at the beginning, as the streets of Philadelphia are suddenly overrun by packs of wild, raging zombies. For an hour, the action is swift: North Korea, Israel, a harrowing plane crash. The final act takes place on a dramatically smaller scale, and at a slower pace. Oh, a reminder: Turn off those cellphones. After all, it's not just your movie-going partner you'll annoy here. Cellphones also happen to awaken zombies. Consider yourself warned. PG-13 for intense frightening zombie sequences, violence and disturbing images. 116 minutes. Three stars out of four.
_Jocelyn Noveck, AP National Writer
"Monsters University" _Pixar's prequel to 2001's "Monster's University" is neither a bold return to form nor another misfire following "Brave" and "Cars 2," but a charming, colorful coming-of-age tale that would be a less qualified success for all but Pixar. The profusion of sequels is indeed dismaying for a studio that so frequently has prized originality. But this is nevertheless pleasant, amiably animated family entertainment. Our expert "scarers" to be- the wisecracking pipsqueak Mike Wazowski (the perfectly paired Billy Crystal) and the burly James B. Sullivan (John Goodman)- are college freshmen with high aspirations in Monster University's prestigious Scare Program. Wazowski is a lime green ball of wide-eyed idealism, a bookworm oblivious to his total lack of fright-inducing menace. Sully is a naturally talented legacy, a lazy jock and son of a famous scarer. Director Dan Scanlon, a veteran Pixar storyboard artist, populates the collegiate life with rich detail and sly but not forced references. The film ultimately makes a surprisingly sharp lesson on the hard truths of limited talent: Giftedness remains a continuing Pixar theme. Rated G. 103 minutes. Three stars out of four.
_ Jake Coyle, AP Entertainment Writer
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- NHL insider Barry Melrose surprised Phoenix Coyotes didn't make playoffs
- 2013-14 Phoenix Coyotes: By The Numbers
- Coyotes center Mike Ribeiro looking to move forward after 'one of the worst' seasons of his career
- Coyotes fall flat late under new owners
- Coyotes poised to hit the reset button after losing identity
- Barry Melrose, ESPN NHL analyst - Tuesday April 15ESPN NHL analyst Barry Melrose talks about the Coyotes' collapse.
- Dave Tippett, Coyotes head coach - Friday April 11Dave Tippett talks about the Coyotes' six-game losing streak.
- George Gosbee, Co-Owner of the Phoenix Coyotes - Thursday April 10Should hockey make changes to its overtime rules?
- Shane Doan, Coyotes captain - Wednesday April 9Coyotes captain Shane Doan discusses the team's recent five-game losing streak.
- Luke Lapinski, Coyotes pre and post-game host - Wednesday April 9Coyotes pre and post-game host Luke Lapinski discusses the Coyotes' playoff race.