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Food, porn and racecars

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In keeping with the season the Download of the Week has to be World War Z in which retired UN super-agent Brad Pitt traverses the globe attempting to find a cure for some kind of lethal zombie virus that is decimating the planet and everyone on it. In World War Z, zombies are not shambling animated corpses, but rather bloodthirsty savages that haul ass and fight fast. And if you're bit, you have 12 seconds before you're one too.

I was a little hard on this flick when it first came out because it's a zombie movie with absolutely zero gore. Despite the lack of exploding heads and gnawing death, however, director Marc Foster nails the tension and paranoia of a world where brains-hungry monsters can attack at any moment. Fans of the book didn't think the geopolitical angles were explored enough, but if you're sitting at home by yourself watching this in the dark with the volume cranked none of that matters. World War Z is freaky, unnerving and perfect for horror season.

Perfect for any season — Scarlet Johansson. She lights up the Village 8 theatres this week channeling her inner Jersey Shore alongside Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Brick, Looper) in Don Jon, a romantic comedy about a "dude's dude" porn-addict trying to fall in love and make it work with a sweet-but-tough girl who much prefers cheesy Hollywood love stories.

Written and directed by Gordon-Levitt, Don Jon is about illusion and reality and two people trying to build a real connection in a world of changing media and expectations. Rated 18-A, Don Jon is rare in that it provides strong roles for both the male and female leads and the ending is actually believable and good. It's still a rom-com, but it's actually pretty decent and if you need a date movie this week, this is it.

For the kids, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 also opens on Friday, picking up right where the first installment left off. The giant-food machine inventor Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) created is still running, but it's evolved and is now creating "Foodimals" such as shrimpanzees, bananostriches, watermelephants, wildebeets and the dreaded tacodile supreme. It's basically Jurrassic Park with food and Flint and the reassembled gang need to figure out a way to stop the machine before the foodimals migrate to the rest of the world.

Expect more of the clever wit shown in the first one with some of the necessary potty humour kids love (ever see a living strawberry shit itself? It looks like jelly). Just as cooking is an art of mixing ingredients to create new flavours, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 tosses together a decent new take on an old recipe.

Also opening is Rush, a race car battle flick directed by Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind) that retells the 1970s Formula 1 battle between Englishman James Hunt and Austrian Niki Lauda. Amidst an aura of retro cool, the two foils race themselves almost to death in a classic contest of charm and swagger versus precision and technique.

Having literally grown up in front of a camera (Andy Griffith Show, Happy Days) Howard understands how to connect with audiences and his racing sequences here are phenomenal (the soundtrack less so). Some of the character-driven parts are underutilized and perhaps Chris Hemsworth's showboating James Hunt gets a bit more attention than the calculated intellect of Daniel Brühl's Lauda, but that fits with what Hollywood wants. Rush is a fun bit of excitement, but make sure to pair it with Senna, a documentary that uses real archival footage of Brazillian playboy racer Aryton Senna and his rivalry with Frenchman Alain Proust. Same idea, better movie.

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