Friday, June 28, 2013

"World War Z" - A Short Movie Review **Spoilers**

Ok, I've finally had the time to go & check out "World War Z" starring Brad Pitt and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised with the film!

Having read the Max Brooks' novel, I was curious as to how it could have been properly adapted into a motion picture narrative. The answer: it doesn't! This movie is related to the novel in name only & some concepts. That being said, I still think this movie is a great addition to the genre.

Despite all of the hoo-haa about "slow" zombies & "running" zombies, in this case it really doesn't matter. The film sets a fast pace and furthers the tired-genre by infusing new, titillating ideas regarding the zombie outbreak. This is very break new ground in this genre.

I really liked the concept of the zombies being ferociously attracted to living humans as food. So ferocious, in fact, they swarm like ants and will do anything to get to the food source. Mindless, constantly biting, crawling, running over each other to get to the next meal. This film displays this characteristic in spades. The breach of the walls of Jerusalem is a spectacle to be seen and is the defining moment of this one characteristic of the zombies during the course of the film. To see hundreds of thousands of living dead in such volume as they appear like a tidal wave in the alleyways and streets of the ancient city. Never have the walking dead been portrayed as such and with such conviction & realism.

Also, the viral infection spreads incredibly fast; somewhere in the area of about 12 seconds from initial bite, to death, to reanimation, to zombie. That's fast. The scenes of pandemonium in the streets during the onset of the outbreak (from the protagonists initial view of it) is thrilling and scary. At times, the scene is so chaotic, I couldn't tell who was a zombie and who was alive!

That's about as far as it goes into the explanation of it all. It shows plenty of attacks that imply that the victim is being eaten, but it is never truly shown. In the way the movie is constructed, it doesn't have to. It shows that the viral infection is spread through bites, but not necessarily through bodily fluids. Amputation of an extremity is shown as an effective method for stopping the spread of the virus, if caught in time. The films also states that destroying the infected can only be effectively accomplished by destroying the brain or severing the head from the body.

I only had one small problem with the story, it bothered me as a fan of the genre in general. The protagonist, during his dangerous globe trotting to find "patient zero", discovers that the zombies do not attack living humans who have a disease or virus; effectively the zombies can sense who is sick and they don't bother those humans. That's a great plot device, using another virus to use as camouflage to the zombies so they don't attack you. As Pitt put it : "Like water flowing around a rock."  Interesting concept, but this is what gets me: that implies that the living dead have the ability or extra-sensory ability to determine what human is sick and what human is healthy enough to eat. Where'd that power come from? I mean, we know when we get sick ourselves (most of the time)& other people can kind of tell if your sick with certain things- but it doesn't seems to work for this film. I mean, these things are so fast, what gives them this ability to sense that in such a short time? They are just dead humans after all, I didn't really see any examples of superhuman abilities portrayed by the zombies other than this trait. They're just wild, biting, gnashing, hunger-driven, animal-like dead people who would stop at nothing to get to the food...then, all of a sudden, they have this ability? Eh, suspension of disbelief saves the day! It is a zombie flick, you know!

Hey, it's a great film and I suggest any genre fan to go and check it out for themselves. I think it is very well done, written and visually constructed. A very entertaining movie and definitely a mile-stone for the living dead genre of horror.


Monday, June 17, 2013

TWD & Fans: A Love/Hate Relationship

Well, it's been another one of those days regarding TWD production & locations, especially on Twitter. Currently, I have about 803 followers. Some I know personally & have met in person, but a vast majority I do not know at all. Ready for some good, old-fashioned internet drama? Good. Here it comes...

So, let's get something straight: I don't like it one bit when someone calls my character or my actions into question; especially by someone with  obviously dubious motives & character. More than that, I absolutely abhor someone who uses another for their own personal gain. I'm not a hateful man, but sadly, I have grown to dislike a few of the local fans around here. They're obnoxious, of inferior social skills, incapable of any deductive reasoning or problem solving- most of all; they're assholes. There's 4 of them and they know who they are. Like any virus, these types of fans have spread well beyond the walls of confinement and out into the world....and they all want to come right here, to my back yard, my computer and right into the palm of my hand to my phone. TWD is not that important to me anymore.

This whole "anonymous internet bravery" is something of a mystery to me, as I am an honest man and I put what I think right out there. If I'm wrong, I'll accept the responsibility & move on. I don't use people. I ain't perfect, that's for damn sure; but I still believe in following the law, treating people with respect and making good decisions based upon facts, not conjecture.

 "By eliminating the impossible, whatever remains; however improbable; must be the truth" - Sherlock Holmes.

It's so easy to post negative things about someone (even simply alluding to it seems to be enough, really); attention-seeking individuals use it as both a diversionary tactic & an attention grabbing tactic. Sad, but true. This is what is currently happening in TWD Fandom. Fans trying to make a name for themselves or their websites. TWD junkies flock to their favorite dealer to get their fix on an regular basis now. The dealers eat up the attention & the money. Count me out. I'm not like that. What I post is, or would be very soon, public knowledge anyway. Inevitable discovery, I say. I wanted to be a relater of information to those fans who could otherwise be unable to come to Georgia and watch filming.

When season 4 began filming, we (our local group of fans) were so excited! I mean, Season 2 & 3 were great to go & watch, get autographs, pictures, etc. Well, we should have known that it wouldn't last forever...and it didn't. AMC tightened everything up and now, it seems, that those days are indeed over with. There's no use travelling for hours, or even days, to try & watch them film. The information is too sketchy at first to be reliable and too late, when it's confirmable. We live right here on top of Ground Zero and we can't see crap!

 I will accept my share of responsibility for this by stating that I should have never posted the photos & videos from the set of "Clear". I got caught up in the excitement and I did it. It won't happen again and here's why:

Keith (last name redacted) told me something one day while we were sitting around Senoia that really stuck with me. "These folks (AMC, Valhalla, Raleigh Studios,cast & crew) work hard to bring their viewers a quality program. A program filled with unexpected twists & turns, a program worthy of the fans attention." I thought about it and I realized that I had undermined their work, their long hours of conceptualizing sets, building them, writing the scripts, meetings, organizing- just thinking of the pure logistics alone is beyond me! I felt bad about what I did, but what is done cannot be undone.

So, I began to focus on fan interactions with the cast & crew, instead of the actual filming itself. It satisfied my fan curiosity & it gave other fans a "window" in which to see things they may not ever get the chance to see otherwise. Almost 'documentary style', just by a regular guy fan. That's all I am - a regular guy. A fan. Nothing more.

Then, I was talked into joining "Twitter". Bad mistake in hindsight. It was exciting at first, connecting with friends, making new friends and meeting new fans. Then, the bottom drops out. Somehow, I've been placed into this category of fans that have the reputation of being a crazy fan who'll do anything to get a picture or video. Nothing could be further from the truth. Hell, in our local group, I'm the shyest one! I don't like bothering people. I sure as hell ain't going to do anything illegal or trespass to get information, pics or video.

Twitterers began inundating me with questions...questions that, by some stretch of their imaginations, they thought I could answer! I can't recommend hotels, I won't show you all the locations from Season 3,  I can't tell you where Reedus is right now, I can't give Lincoln a message for you, etc. Now, in all this, there's some local fans who are trying their best to become something of a fan icon or gain notoriety amoung fans. These are the fans who are doing the most damage.

 It's not me telling people where they might be filming at next that does the real damage, but the girl who "has a friend at the studio who tells her everything". It's the fan who spreads rumors about AMC sending out letters to people regarding "Cease & Desist Orders". It's the fan who keeps on & on about how much of a fan they are and they would do anything to see filming. It's those fans who've tried to get into the studio to see the prison set, or jump the fence at the car lot, tailing vehicles leaving the studios, or stayed in a vacant house for hours trying to literally stalk Reedus! THOSE are they fans who have ruined any future location viewing.

And to the Intern who's reading this, I apologize with the most sincerity. Because of all this, you're having to read all of my Tweets, my YouTube and now... this Blog entry.

I'm just Joe...a regular guy. I'll still watch TWD though.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

TWD Filming Update (6/6/13)

Dolly Nixon Road, Luther Bailey Road & Garrison Chase

There's only a couple of things to report on today, but I feel it necessary to catch everyone up a little. I'm still getting people asking about Plant Yates and it seems the information has been lagging behind and not getting out quick enough. Filming is definitely completed at the power plant.

TWD filmed, as we talked about in the previous blog, yesterday on Dolly Nixon Road, Luther Bailey Road and in Garrison Chase Subdivision. They were in and out pretty quick.

@boldtkeith was kind enough to conduct a drive by of the location early that morning and as usual for this season, the area was pretty locked off. There was no way for fans to sit & watch filming.

However, I am confident that some residents within the subdivision took pictures! I've only seen one posted and I'm not sure who posted it, as it was a re post from a Facebook source. Also, the picture was not water marked or otherwise contained any indications of proprietary ownership. So, here it is:

So, there you have it. It's a picture of Reedus at the craft services table. I'm actually more interested in what's in the back of the production truck covered in the tarp!

Hey, over the next few days & weeks, I am sure that more photos will crop up. I mean, the probability of someone taking a photo is actually pretty high, wouldn't you say?

We're checking on some information regarding upcoming possible filming locations as I write. For some reason, the date of the 10th seems to be cropping up a lot, but no specifics. As for today, they were back in Raleigh Studios. It's been a slow day, other than the picture, so this will be a short update folks. As always, I'll blog about any news that can be confirmed before filming as quickly as humanly possible!


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

TWD Filming Update (6/4/13) Plant Yates, Garrison Chase, etc

Georgia Power Plant Yates Filming:

Today was the day for some awesome filming at Georgia Powers' Plant Yates facility. I would like to start out by saying that this information was very hard to come by and involved several different sources that cannot be named. Regardless, I'll relate certain details that I feel will satisfy the fans and keep the 'cease & desist orders' at bay.

The last thing I want to do is bring down the heat on fans and sources from the 'powers that be'. So far, this season has been the hardest to watch and meet cast members on set. It's frustrating, I know, but our local group has it's own protocols about being non-intrusive and doing things the legal way. (Please see my prior blog regarding the legal issues for further information regarding this subject.)

OK, here's what most of you want to hear: there are in existence pictures taken today of filming. These pictures, as I will describe below, were taken at great risk and I do not feel releasing them would be the right thing to do for the simple reason as it has the potential of ruining someone's life. Plus, for various reasons regarding the studio & production company's stance on such photos.  You can call "bullshit" all you want to, but I assure you - it's the right thing for me to do.

Alright, here it is:

"There was two charter buses of 'walkers' brought in to the location. These 'walkers' will be made to look as a greater number". (My guess is digital additions, obviously.) The number of 'walkers' was estimated "at about 100". Confirmed actors today were "Tyreese" (Chad Coleman), "Michonne" (Danai Gurira), and more than likely, "Bob Stookey" (Lawrence Gilliard, Jr). There may have been other cast there to film, but these were the actors that sources could identify. The reason I said 'more than likely' regarding Bob Stookey is that the source stated the "new guy in the group" was filming today and it was a black male. Kind of looks like Gilliard to me.

There was no way for the source to tell what the situations that the characters were in. The source was very limited by the Georgia Power security, who were charged the duty of watching the power plants employees!

The filming on Dolly Nixon Road, Luther Bailey Road and Garrison Chase Filming:(6/4,6/5)

Lots of confusion on this filming location. Letters to the residents say one date, the actual signs put up in the area says another, then- a report that the filming on/off Dolly Nixon Road was completed and they're gone lots of contradictory information. (I confirmed visually both the letters & the actuals signs as having different dates myself). I've got a source whose going to check the area early in the AM and check for:

(1)- If they are filming in those locations.
(2)- If there is any practical viewing areas for fans.
(3)- Relay reliable information regarding these sites for dissemination to the fans.

If they are filming and it's in an area where fans might be able to see or, at least meet, the cast - I will pass along the information as soon as possible. This whole Garrison Chase thing is kind of confusing, even to people who live right there- they're getting contradictory information. Maybe it's a re-schedule, maybe it's done already, maybe it was moved, maybe it was postponed, there's too many variables and conjecture to consider this a viable fan site, until we have 'eyes on' there and can relate real-time, accurate information.

Also, I'm trying my best to confirm rumors regarding filming between the 10th & the 14th of this month, but I have nothing I feel confident about sharing as it has no corroboration...yet. This type of research & investigation takes up a lot of time and resources by each member of our group. Sometimes, it just doesn't work out the way you wanted it to. It gets frustrating at times, but there is always a payoff sooner or later. As evidence, I offer my entire Youtube Channel. Those videos and interactions occurred over a period of months. The whole Morgan thing was pure luck! BTW, I should have never spoiled Morgan's return in retrospect. I posted his pictures on 9/12/12 - before season 3 even aired.

The point is, they've really just started filming and there's a long time to go before they're done. They have stepped up security, but they literally cannot hide forever and they certainly can't hide from everybody! To be successful in seeing or meeting the cast, you've got to be persistent without being a nuisance. You have to be sure of any information you spread around. A few fans do not do this, they spread speculation wildly and then it gets distorted and misconstrued. A few try to make themselves look like they know more than they do. Our group doesn't do that. We work to bring good, solid information and advice regarding the filming. No body should drive a number of hours, only to arrive to find that the information they received was incorrect.

Again, I hope you all understand the reasons.


Sunday, June 2, 2013

TWD Filming Update (6-2-2013) Plant Yates

Yesterday, I went and scouted the Georgia Power plan Yates area. As we all know now, TWD will be filming there tomorrow Monday (6/3) thru Tuesday (6/4). There's some good news and bad news. Lets start with the good news.

The good news is that I was able to drive the entire length of Dyer Road (the location of Plant Yates) and even went around Wagers Mill Road to scout the backside. I saw the signs up for the cast & crew and even saw the production tents located well within the power plants perimeter. I was able to take some video and edit it together to give a driving perspective to the area, which can be found on my Youtube Channel here:

Here's the bad news: the way Dyer Road connects to Wagers Mill Road is almost a straight line with Plant Yates located almost dead center of it. When they close Dyer Road, it will be at both ends and guarded by Coweta County Deputies. The road will only be open for GP employees & TWD cast & crew.

Here's a few screen grabs from the video to help illustrate.

The picture above is of the entrance to Dyer Road off of Hwy 16 (Alt 27)

 The picture above is of the entrance to Dyer Road off of Wagers Mill Road.

 Even if someone makes it past the deputies, you will then have to deal with Georgia Power Police, who are armed and do not play around regarding the security of a power plant. Also, if one was to make it past the deputies and drive by the plant, the production is located very far away near one of the main corporate buildings. See the white tents on the ground near the base of the stack? That's the TWD production team. This view will not be attainable during filming.

A Coweta County Deputy Sheriff guards the alternate plant maintenance entrance road that the TWD Crew will use to get to the actual location. See those yellow signs on the post near the Georgia Power sign? Those are TWD Production markers for cast, crew & extras. This area will also be inaccessible during filming.

There's no where to park your vehicle and watch or wait for cast & crew that's even remotely advisable. The one church on Dyer Road will be used by crew and it's in the closed section of the road anyway.

There is across Hwy 16 (Alt 27) from Dyer Road, near the Chattahoochee Bridge a small boat ramp & walking trail. However, it's located lower than the highway and Dyer Road is not visible in any way. I guess fans could huddle up there and hang out to socialize, but there's no way to observe anything. I wouldn't advise parking there and walking over a busy highway to Dyer Road, just to be turned around by Deputies. I mean, even if he let you stand there- it's still about 1/2 mile to the filming location and you couldn't observe anything.

I mean, you never know what could happen, but for my time - I'll pass on this location. I've got intel regarding TWD filming from next Tuesday thru Friday at two locations in Coweta County that should be more easily accessed.

As soon as I can confirm and scout, I'll pass the word along through my twitter account! Have a great weekend!


Saturday, June 1, 2013

TWD FIlming Update (6/1/13)

Well, it's obvious that the production team sure learned a lesson from last years filming! So far, getting close to the actual filming has been tough. Luckily, we're still very early into the filming of Season 4 and I'm sure they'll be in locations out in the county where they'll be more open to fans and autograph seekers.

Although there has been a lot of buzz around three certain locations in Coweta County (the old Newnan Hospital, Coweta High School and Plant Yates), there's only been one confirmation.

A local newspaper ran a small article stating that a road leading to the power plant would be used for filming TWD on 6-3-13 and possibly 6-4-13. Lucky for me, that's nearly on my back door step! However, there's a slight drawback: the way the road runs is not very agreeable with viewing from areas that would be accessible to the public. As with every excursion, we'll have to go & see what we can do & see when we get there.

My sister, @picklesandpdots, and I have different theories about why & how they could be using Dyer Road (Plant Yates). See, not only does Dyer Road lead directly to the front gate of the Power Plant (which would be visually interesting with the condensers & stacks), but Dyer also connects into Wagers Mill Road. In that area there are a couple of old houses (as kids we referred to them as the old creepy mansions) that would make interesting backdrops as well.

So, depending on where on Dyer Road they film (which also dictates where 'Base Camp' would be set up) there are places that could be used by the public to watch or possibly get autographs. Of course, this is just speculation and nothing will be known until I get down there and see myself.

Plant Yates sits just off Hwy 16 at the Coweta County/Carroll County lines at the Chattahoochee River. On the Coweta County side of the bridge, there is a large boat ramp and parking area for people going to the river. If the production team doesn't use this as "Base Camp" then, it would be great for fans because of it's proximity, but unsafe walk across a fairly busy two-lane highway.

I'm going to approach from a different angle and maybe this try, I'll be able to hit pay dirt.

Anyway, if you're planning on coming out please be mindful that it's partially on Georgia Power Property and they have their own fully armed police and high levels of security. If you're one of those stalker fans that think they can just waltz around on foot and go wherever- you might want to re-think that strategy. Trespassing or attempting to get around a gate on power plant property will get you locked up with a quickness. That's a well known fact locally.

Anywho, I'll be out there sometime Monday morning riding in my Jeep- so if anyone sees me, be sure to give me a shout & we can all hang together (hopefully)!

Have a great weekend!