Warm Bodies

VOD: Jack the Giant Slayer

Something tall and smelly this way comes. No, it’s not the stench of a few weeks off that have plagued our patented, custom-built supercomputer known as the Video On Demand Power Ranker. It’s a movie from Bryan Singer, and not really the good kind. There’s also something delightful (maybe) for fans of short-form horror, fans of odd thrillers, the apocalypse and the grimace of Bruce Willis. Oh yeah, it’s all in there this week. And for your convenience, we’ve ranked them in order of worthiness for your hard-earned dollar.

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discs its disaster

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. It’s a Disaster Four couples get together for their monthly brunch, but today’s gathering includes a few surprises. Tracy (Julia Stiles) has brought along a new boyfriend (David Cross), one of the couples is heading towards a separation, and a mysterious incident in the city has left them trapped in the house with little in the way of reliable information. A lack of certainty, loyalty and sanity quickly overcomes the group leading to even more trouble. Writer/director Todd Berger‘s ensemble comedy is easily the funniest disaster film in ages. Most of the cast are (fairly) fresh faces, but in addition to the two names above America Ferrera gets to show a decidedly different side of herself. It’s a simple film, essentially set in a single location, but sharp writing and a lively cast collectively imbued with fantastic comic timing make it a hilarious and energetic romp. [Blu-ray extras: Commentary, behind the scenes, Comic Con panel, viral videos, trailer]

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warm bodies guys

Warning: the following post contains a bit of a spoiler about the end of Warm Bodies. Read on at your discretion. With a decent opening weekend gross mostly attributed to young, female moviegoers, Warm Bodies is supposedly confirming its status as the new Twilight. Of course, the vampire love story made a lot more money and received mainly negative reviews, while this new zombie romantic comedy (or zom-rom-com), is certified fresh at Rotten Tomatoes and received a B+ CinemaScore grade but only earned about a third of what it cost to produce. There’s an expectation for Warm Bodies to have strong legs, however, through word of mouth. And hopefully that buzz extends to more male viewers, who should appreciate that it’s not as sappy as it seems, even though its main message is the cheesiest of cheesy: “love conquers evil.” Sure, we’ve seen the power of love employed as a weapon by The Beatles and to turn Darth Vader and to keep The Princess Bride‘s Westley alive, but over time the idea that “all you need is love” has become corny enough to ruin the ends of Ghostbusters II and The Fifth Element, among others, with too much sentiment.

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February Must Sees

This February isn’t such a hot month for movie-going. When it comes to genuine “must-sees,” there are only two movies on this list which earn that title, and they’re the expected picks. January could have been worse, but this February won’t do 2013 any favors, unless the fifth Die Hard movie ends up blowing everyone’s socks off, and since it’s from the director of Max Payne, how could it not? In short, this year isn’t off to a good start. We got spoiled with last December, as we usually do, so hopefully we see something genuinely great soon, unless you thought Mama overcame a lackluster script, that Movie 43 wasn’t the Antichrist sent from Satan himself, and if you even remember that movie with Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe. The Last Stand isn’t included, because no more than five people saw it. Hopefully a few of you go out to see these movies and have a fun time, though:

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FILM JOCKEYS HEADER

What happens when a legendary film critic brings is geriatric crankiness to an internet movie show? Film Jockeys follows the adventures of Carl Barker, his far-too-young production staff, the filmmakers and the movie characters that inhabit their world. Written and illustrated by Derek Bacon, it’s the perfect webcomic for passionate film fans who love a little zombie romance. For your consideration, Episode #8:

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WARM BODIES

Warm Bodies really messes with zombie mythology. If zombies try hard enough they can talk. They can also have zombie friends. They can also fall in love. And mostly skeletal zombies, called Boneys, can run faster than any human, while regular zombies lurch along at a rigamortis-ridden, glacial pace. With these and other transgressions aside, Warm Bodies never ceases to be entertaining. Written and directed by Jonathan Levine (50/50), the film features winning performances from all of its lead actors, a cleverly written script, and most importantly, an innate heart that makes it easy to overlook any mistakes. Our protagonist and narrator is R (Nicholas Hoult), so named because he can’t remember his name from when he was alive… only that it might have begun with an “R.” R is a zombie, and yes, he does eat people, but at least he’s conflicted about it, right? Death has also been kind to him, as while he is slowed down some, and is really pale and quite banged up,  his hair looks artfully tousled and his eyes have turned a dreamy ice blue.

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Warm Bodies

The week between Christmas and New Year’s is a notorious dead zone in Hollywood Newsland, but like a moaning, grasping zombie, we here at Film School Rejects are determined to rise above it with fresh content. Mmm, delicious fresh content, arrrggghhh, brainnns. Where were we? Right! Fresh content! Content like the first four minutes of Jonathan Levine‘s upcoming Warm Bodies.The Nicholas Hoult-starring zombie comedy (zom-com) puts a on sweet twist on the horror movie trope, with Hoult’s “R” struggling to be a young zombie in a undead-filled world. He just wants to connect to people! But, of course, that’s hard to do when you’re a zombie and most “people” aren’t really people anymore. That all changes when he meets a red-blooded young lady, but before we get to that, let’s get to know a little bit about R’s day-to-day life (or something like it). After the break, check out the first four minutes of Warm Bodies, thanks to Fandango. Let’s snuggle.

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Looks like we’re going to have to adjust our list of The 52 Most Anticipated Movies of 2012, knocking the number down to a significantly less exciting 51. Summit Entertainment has just announced that they are pushing the release of Warm Bodies from August 10 of this year allllllll the way to February 1 of next year. When I touted the film as part of our most anticipated list of plenty, I explained it as such: Jonathan Levine follows up his critical cancer comedy hit, 50/50, with an en vogue type of affair – a zombie love story based on a YA novel. But Isaac Marion’s source material shares considerably more with Romeo and Juliet than it does with The Walking Dead and that, along with its up-and-coming cast (Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, Analeigh Tipton, Dave Franco, Rob Corddry, and no less than John Malkovich) recommend this original look at love at the end of the world. And that’s all still true, but now we have to wait six more months to catch it. I feel like a zombie just took a bite out of my heart. While I’m not the biggest fan of Marion’s novel, I think it’s a fun basis for a film, and I believe in both Levine and the solid cast he’s assembled for this outing.

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Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly dose of awesome movie news, with a side of other stuff you’ll probably want to read in between all the movie news. We begin tonight with an image of Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg pondering The World’s End, the supposed third film in their “Three Flavors Cornetto Trilogy” that began with Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. It’s about damned time, as they say. From Scott Pilgrim to Star Trek, the pair have done plenty of great things apart, but now we’ll hopefully see them wrap this thing up. Unless Marvel calls Edgar about that Ant-Man movie…

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Somehow, I just knew that our “52 Most Anticipated Movies of 2012″ would pay off! You know, eventually. Included on that massive list is 50/50 director Jonathan Levine‘s next film, and while the idea of a sexy zombie story about teens might turn some of you off, I beg you to give it a chance. Based on Isaac Marion‘s 2011 novel of the same name, the film follows young zombie R (Nicholas Hoult) as he grapples with a new twist on the classic zombie story – he’s not dealing with the fall-out of turning into a zombie, he’s trying to come to terms with becoming a human (again). Young R has been a zombie for, well, he doesn’t even know how long (but not too long, he’s still got meat on his bones), and everything else pre-zombification is just weird memory ether. It’s not there. But all that changes when a beautiful human girl (Teresa Palmer) and some weird happenings begin to dull the desire for brains and blood in R, while also awakening the human that might still lurk inside him. R’s change has not only personal implications, but effects on human-zombie relations at large. That may seem somewhat hard to picture, which is why I’m glad we get our first look at Hoult in his zombie get-up today. Readers of Marion’s excellent book will surely approve of his look, as it matches up with the author’s description of R quite handily. Check out the full look at Hoult […]

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It’s already the second day of 2012, which means we’ll all be sober within the next day or two. It also means that we can officially start looking (through blurry eyes) ahead to the future. A future of promise and potential. A future of hope. A future of tingling anticipation that the road stretched out in front of us that leads to the cinema will be paved with gold. Will there be piles of excrement along the way? Of course, but we don’t know how many or how badly they’ll tarnish our yellow-bricked roller coaster ride. All we can see from this far out is the shimmering wonder of movies to come – the vast unknown that looks wonderful (and might just live up to the hype). In past years (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), we’ve gone with a fairly arbitrary count of 20-30 movies. This year, we decided to prove that there were 52 movies worth prematurely celebrating (even though what we found were many more). That’s one for every week (even if there are some weeks with a few and some weeks with none at all). Regardless of the number, Rob Hunter, Neil Miller, Kate Erbland, Allison Loring, Landon Palmer, Brian Salisbury and Cole Abaius have joined forces to remind us all that there are a lot of great movies to hope for this year. Go grab a calendar and pencil in everything that gets your blood pressure up toward unsafe levels. It’s going to be a busy, flick-filled […]

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The Holiday Gift Guide: Books for Movie Lovers

It may shock you to realize that you, dear reader, are a reader. You are reading this right now! Bizarre, right? And, if you can read things on the Internet, you can certainly read things that come in the traditionally accepted reading format, better known as a “book.” And if you can do it, surely the people in your life that you love enough to buy holiday presents for can do it, too! Enter The Holiday Gift Guide, and more specifically, enter this particular contribution: 18 Books for Movie Lovers. So shiny and wrap-able! So easily order-able and ship-able! So key to preventing widespread illiteracy! After the break, check out seventeen (but really eighteen) books for the movie lover in your life for holiday season gift-giving. Unlike some of those other guides, not all of these books hit shelves in the past eleven months, as I stretched beyond just this calendar year to come up with some unexpected literary picks to make your gift-giving that much more original. Did I make an egregious omission? Of course I did. Put your obvious suggestions in the comments. And, hey, if you gift one of these books and it’s a big hit, let us know which one it was. It’s always nice to hear praise. Happy Chrismakwanzakuh, you guys.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s your definitive source of Pixar pandering, at least for tonight. But hey, at least we get it out of the way in a single article. Try reading other sites — it’s Pixar this, Pixar that, even the new Batman reboot will be done by Pixar. Good grief. That said, we watched The Incredibles on Blu-ray this evening and it was INCR… you get the idea. Now on with the news. We begin tonight with news that excites me. It’s no secret that Max Brooks’ book “World War Z” is a personal favorite of mine. It’s exceptional in every possible way and one of the great zombie apocalypse stories ever written. So to see it come to life as a movie is risky, but worth it. When the project was reportedly in danger a few weeks ago, I was sad. But now I’m happy(ish) again, as a new report says that World War Z could get financing and even begin shooting this summer. If I could, I would will this project to happen. It may be impossible, but I’m going to try.

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It looks as if the absurd notion of making a teen zombie romance movie is becoming more than just a notion, as Summit’s Warm Bodies is deep in the casting process. Already signed to star is Nicholas Hoult, who is about to take the screen as the new Beast in X-Men: First Class. And now actress Teresa Palmer is rumored to be close to signing on as the love interest. The film is being described as a cross between Twilight and Shaun of the Dead, so I guess that means that half of it is going to be embarrassingly melodramatic, while the other half will be irreverent and fun. I’m not sure exactly how that will look, but the name drop of Shaun of the Dead at least gives me hope that this project could be entertaining, and not a complete train wreck. Palmer’s character is described as the daughter of a high-ranking military man who falls in love with a zombie after it eats her boyfriend. Their budding relationship goes on to change the way humans and zombies interact all over the world. I’ve seen Palmer work in both I Am Number Four and Take Me Home Tonight. In I Am Number Four she didn’t get much to do other than look like a stone faced badass, but she handled the jumping around and punching stuff thing well. And I thought that she was appropriately charming and magnetic as the object of affection in Take Me Home Tonight. If […]

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Just like that time you got snakes to get rid of the mice infesting your house, and you ended up having to get mongooses to eat the snakes and then honey badgers to eat the mongooses and then armored tanks to get rid of the honey badgers, the next wave of horror romance has infected its next fad. Vampires are now passing the burning sensation in their loins over to Zombies. Summit, as you might guess, is still to blame. The plucky young studio will be using some of its Twi-capital to produce Warm Bodies – the story of a zombie named R that falls for one of his victims’ girlfriends and starts what must be a fetishistic relationship with her. Nicholas Hoult, who plays Beast in the forthcoming X-Men: First Class, is set to star. It’s unclear how this twist on the genre works exactly. Romance and vampires? Got it. Easy. Romance and that mindless mass of rotting flesh trying to constantly eat brains? That’s a different story. Speaking of which, the project is an adaptation of an as-yet-unpublished novel by Isaac Marion. It’s also the next evolution in shoving genre monsters into other formulas and calling it interesting. Of course, as always, it’s the execution that really matters. The bright side is that Jonathan Levine (The Wackness) will be writing and directing, so at least there’s talent bringing a singular vision to the project. Plus, Hoult may prove to be a strong acting presence even without blue CGI […]

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published: 10.30.2014
B-
published: 10.29.2014
D+
published: 10.27.2014
C-
published: 10.24.2014
C-


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