I really enjoyed watching CONTAGION, a film about what a bird flu pandemic would look like in the United States. It always amazed me how a single case of a novel virus–patient zero–could potentially infect billions in a matter of months–so much so I wrote a book about it called THE THIN WHITE LINE, published in 2009. This novel, the one book I self published, reads like a history of a pandemic that has already occurred in 2012, and is written after the fact. The product of intense research, it explores all aspects of what a pandemic would look like and how the government would respond to it, focusing on my adopted country of Canada, but with experiences applicable to virtually any country with a modern healthcare system. CONTAGION plays much like my book–light on human drama while being heavy on the shock of seeing something very possible, and incredibly destructive, unfold right in your area, while the tasks of survival slowly infiltrate and come to dominate your daily routines. I loved how the movie respects our intelligence, and treats its viewers like grownups. The result is a very realistic portrayal of how a pandemic might occur. If it did, the world may not end, but it will definitely feel like it. Highly recommended.
In BELLFLOWER, filmed for just $17,000, two friends prepare for the apocalypse by building flamethrowers in their spare time. Then one falls in love, gets hurt, and the film descends into a tit for tat game of violent revenge that feels almost Shakespearean as the Mad Max fantasy becomes a bloody vengeance fantasy. The characters are compelling and the film has a unique feel, but the story might fall flat for some.
Saw BATTLE FOR LOS ANGELES and loved the simplicity of the premise and the military perspective (hey Jonathan Liebesman, now do the same with zombies–adapt TOOTH AND NAIL!). Great action, effects. Loved it. But: The shaking cam made it almost impossible to see what was going on in the first half. Then the story appeared to keep stopping and starting. Would have worked better with calmer cam and 1 story arc imho.
While looking through some old movies on YouTube I found this gem: SEVEN DAYS IN MAY starring Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas and other greats. The movie is about a military coup plot in the U.S. in the 1960s. One of the best movies ever. It appears that you can watch the entire movie on YouTube (I did not verify all of the clips, though)–check it out.
Meet the mole people of Manhattan, apparently a vanishing civilization due to new security measures. Here’s the first 10 minutes of DARK DAYS, a great documentary I caught some time back when I was living in New York. I suppose after the zombies scrub the planet clean of human life these people will be the future of humanity.