Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Phil sees WARM BODIES at the Camera 12 Downtown San Jose-February 17,2013

So there were some chick flicks and romantic comedies that came out around Valentine's Day. Since I was so busy this past weekend, I didn't have time to see them all. I know, shocking huh? However I did see one film that caught my eye. So on Sunday I headed on down to the Camera 12 to see the romantic/teen/zombie/comedy film WARM BODIES.

Version "A" Poster.
Meet R (Nicholas Hoult). He's a zombie, but he's not your typical zombie. He's very introspective, trying to figure out who he is and whatnot. He sometimes hangs out with his only friend M (Rob Corddry). While out looking for food with his zombie pack, R meets Julie Grigio (Teresa Palmer) and a group of her friends in an abandoned building. After killing her boyfriend Perry (Dave Franco) and eating his brains, R rescues Julie and takes her back to his place (an airplane at the airport) to keep her safe. The two begin to form a bond, which makes R fell alive again, literally, and it soon affects the other zombies as well. But when they're being chased by a horde of living skeletal zombies (also known as Bonies), they must reach the barricade city in hopes that Julie's military father Gen. Grigio (John Malkovich) will aid them to defeat the army of Bonies and not kill R in the process.

Version "B" Poster.
Based on Isaac Marion's novel of the same name, the film was written and directed by Jonathan Levine, the man responsible for making the films ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANY LANE (2006), THE WACKNESS (2008), and 50/50 (2011). Levine changes the tone of the film from the book, giving it more light heartiness and more laughs. The film focuses on the romance between R and Julie, which creates some very funny and memorable laughs. When they're surrounded by zombies, he tell her to pretend she's one. When she does her imitation, complete with Romero-esque grunting and groaning, he whispers to her, "Too much." Another interesting aspect of the film is that a zombie is our protagonist, and we get to hear his inner thoughts. Who knew zombies could think? Again, Levine finds just the right balance of love, comedy, and bloodshed.

Version "C" Poster.
Actor Nicholas Hoult does a great job of playing a teen angst ridden zombie. Some of you out there might recognize him from such films as CLASH OF THE TITANS (2010), X-MEN: FIRST CLASS (2011) and he'll be staring in the upcoming film JACK THE GIANT SLAYER. Believe it or not, Hoult and other zombie actors practiced with circus performers to achieve the right body moves. Talk about taking their roles seriously! Teresa Palmer has appeared in numerous films like THE GRUDGE 2 (2006), DECEMBER BOYS (2007), BEDTIME STORIES (2008), THE SORCERER'S APPRENTICE (2010), and I AM NUMBER FOUR (2011). Both Palmer and Hoult have great on-screen chemistry, which makes the audience feel sympathetic to them and their cause. We are rooting for this 21st Century Romeo and Juliet to cross the finish line and live happily ever after.

Version "D" Poster.
For those of you who may not know this, but horror films have always carried some sort of social commentary that relates to the time to which they were filmed in. Don't believe me? Well then, let me drop some film knowledge on you. Vampire films such as DRACULA and NOSFERATU pray upon our anxieties about sex, disease and death. FRANKENSTEIN and THE GOLEM provokes unanswerable questions about the origins of man and the existence of God himself. DR. JEKEL & MR. HYDE and THE WOLFMAN deals with human nature's darker, more violent side. George Romero's LIVING DEAD films have provoked the issues of civil rights, comparing consumers to zombies, military paranoia, and so forth. HALLOWEEN emphasizes that the killer could very well be your next door neighbor. Need I say more? So in the case of WARM BODIES, you have several different messages within the frames.

Version "E" Poster.
First being is never judge a book by its cover. Or in this case, just because he's a zombie doesn't mean he's going to eat your brains. The second message is that we all strive to become a better person. Just because your labeled as this or that, it shouldn't define who you are and who you want to become. There's also the message of tolerance and accepting those who are different than you. Through this we have the capability to change and reshape our future. And the last, and most obvious, message is that love knows no boundaries. Whether your white, black, brown, gay, straight, bi-sexual or whatever you are, love is not prejudice. This topic has sparked a great many debates, especially regarding gay marriage. I for one believe in equality, and I support gay marriage. If two people have found that special someone and they want to spend the rest of their lives together, then let them! Tolerance and understanding can help bridge the gap of ignorance and bring people together.

So to wrap this up, WARM BODIES is this year's great date film! If you're looking for a clever, funny, witty, sweet and entertaining zombie-filled, romantic comedy, then you must see this film! 5 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!

WARM BODIES is currently playing in theaters nationwide, including at the Camera Cinemas here in the Bay Area. To view showtimes, visit their website at www.cameracinemas.com.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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