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Warm Bodies is a quirky romantic comedy mashup that tells the story of a zombie’s love-at-first-sight encounter with a beautiful girl and the changes that unfold as a result.
Actors Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: First Class) and Teresa Palmer (I Am Number Four) deliver appealing performances in director Jonathan Levine’s (50/50) unconventional girl-meets-zombie love story that was oddly sweet and cute. While Hoult’s character was limited to mostly grunts and monosyllabic utterances for much of the film, his nonverbal portrayal of the hopelessly love-struck “R” was endearing and contrasted well with the film’s heavy use of voice-over narration.
At its core, the movie emphasizes the power of connectedness and community, whether alive or undead. At times these themes result in cheesy moments that some will find trite, but personally they didn’t feel too out of place given the film’s young-adult angle. Warm Bodies should find its place in the hearts of tweens, teens, and twentysomethings; alternatively, fans of the zombie genre may be disappointed to see a shortage of guts and gore, which are more often suggested then focused on. What wasn’t disappointing was the eclectic soundtrack, a highlight of the movie thanks to the comic timing of several sentimental, throwback songs.
Before the film started, the person next to me struck up some conversation and mentioned the Twilight series, which I despise. Despite the paranormal romance similarity, Warm Bodies is a very different breed of movie and should not be thought of as “just another Twilight.” It doesn’t take itself seriously and is more likely to leave you laughing than longing to leave the theater. Seeing as to how Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, I’d recommend seeing this film for something slightly different than the usual rom-com. It’s fun, funny and definitely heart-warming. (***) -- Christine Wu
Sylvester Stallone's trotting out a tattooed torso and burying bad guys as a hitman with a conscience in Bullet to the Head? What's not to like?
This quick action flick has, in fact, a lot to like. In addition to Sly looking as human as he's looked in years, Christian Slater plays a very Christian Slater-like lawyer/criminal, Jason Momoa revives some of the savage passion for battle of his Game of Thrones warrior, and Sarah Shahi breaks her good girl persona from Fairly Legal to rock more (fake) tattoos than Stallone and a very brief nude scene. All deliver decent performances for genre material, which is given additional visual verve by old pro director Walter Hill (48 Hours), whose stylish intercutting of slick city and sultry bayou backdrops brings some freshness to the not entirely predictable plot, and the shoot-em-up stuff kills. Hill still knows his way around an action scene, and he tells the entire story in a brisk 90 minutes.
My relatively small gripes stem from two poorly written characters, one central and one supporting, plus one hard to ignore plot hole. Stallone's reluctant sidekick is a Korean-American good cop from out of town (Sung Kang) who on one hand has enough experience to be sent outside his jurisdiction to investigate, yet is also so green and bumbling he needs to be rescued from certain death by Stallone again and again. The good cop is also the worst cop ever, becoming accessory to multiple murders in his attempts to shore up his investigation.
As the uber bad guy, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Lost, The Bourne Identity) has seen better dialogue and delivery; we're supposed to like him least as the evil counter-point to the ensemble of antiheroes in the movie, but he comes across as a pure capitalism-as-evil cliche instead. The overtones are misplaced and unnecessary.
Go in expecting a solid genre picture with a bit of originality and some sexiness and you won't be disappointed. This Bullet to the Head may not take you out, but it's a worthy diversion. See it while it's in theaters. (**1/2) - Sebastian Roberts
We literally could not find a single person at Digitaria who could bear the thought of sitting through Stand Up Guys, starring Al Pacino and Christopher Walken. Maybe it’s actually a good movie. But after watching the trailer, the general consensus was that it looks like one of the very worst movies of the year and nobody wanted to subject themselves to that. Your move.