Apocalyptically, 'World War Z' goes its own way

Surprisingly entertaining, even fitfully exciting, World War Z is primarily an exercise in expectation management.

Forget those trailers suggesting a rock-'em, sock-'em, blow-it-all-up extravaganza or a Grand Guignol of cannibalistic, face-eating zombies. Instead, be prepared for a relatively grown-up, modestly intelligent and refreshingly un-bombastic thriller that owes as much to medical tick-tocks such as Outbreak and Contagion as it does to 28 Days Later and the seminal works of George Romero.

Anchored by a solid lead performance by Brad Pitt, who plays a happy Philadelphia househusband pulled back into his old profession of U.N. investigator when a zombie apocalypse threatens to destroy the world, World War Z might not break new ground in either of the genres it straddles. But it deserves a certain amount of credit for refusing to buy into the current cinematic arms race in Biggest, Loudest and Dumbest.

Extras include an unrated cut; a behind-the-scenes featurette; a featurette on zombies in literature and film; and a four-part "WWZ: Production" featurette focusing on the first attack in Philadelphia, the escape in South Korea, the pivotal Jerusalem scene and the final zombie confrontation.

Also available in 3-D, World War Z retails for $29.99 on DVD, $39.99 for Blu-ray, DVD and digital copy, and $54.99 for 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD and digital copy.


These DVDs were released this week:

Films: Disconnect; The East; The Bling Ring; Behind the Candelabra; Greetings From Tim Buckley; Augustine; And Now a Word From Our Sponsor; Shanghai Calling; Somebody Up There Likes Me; Space Junk 3D; Drift; Lionhead; The We and the I; In the Fog; The Bruce Lee Legacy Collection (11-disc Blu-ray/DVD boxed set); A Big Love Story; Gimme the Loot; Bless Me, Ultima; Java Heat; War of the Buttons.

TV series: Nashville: The Complete First Season; Bates Motel: Season One; The Mentalist: The Complete Fifth Season; Hawaii Five-0: Third Season; Haunted History; CSI: Crime Scene Investigation — 13th Season; Doctor Who: The Ice Warriors (1967, with Second Doctor Patrick Troughton); Doctor Who: Scream of the Shalka (2003, animated); The Hollow Crown: The Complete Series; Grimm: Season Two; Arrow: The Complete First Season; Dalziel & Pascoe: Season 8 (2004); Fear Files (2005); Waking the Dead: Season Eight; Adventure Time: Jake the Dad.