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Fun in latest installment in the not-quite-dead-yet genre

Paul Peterson

I remember the good old days. It was a simpler time.Vampires wore a big cape and talked like they were from some kind of third world emerging nation.

They were slow witted and well, let’s just say it, ugly.
Then things started to change. I blame The Lost Boys.Vampires having fun, getting girls, living forever.
It started to look good.
Little Tommy Cruise showed up and made it OK to be undead and now everywhere you go, the Dead and Undead are running everything.
Twilight 1 thru ? Who knows really when that series is going to end.
The Walking Dead.
True Blood.
They’re taking over and they’re dating our girls.
It’s bad enough to have to compete with some metrosexual named Chad who has more hair product than your soon-to-be ex-girlfriend, but what kind of blow is it to your ego to lose out to a post-apocalyptic brain-eater who only has one letter in his name because he can’t remember the rest?
And there we have the basic story line for Warm Bodies, a delightful little zomcom that answers the musical question, “What’s next?”
I have to be honest. It’s kind of fun.
I didn’t expect much from this latest installment in the I’m Not Quite Dead Yet genre.
I became aware of the fact that it might be some kind of cultural phenomena when a broad demographic responded positively to the poster. Young, old, cool, not, alive, marginally undead.
Everyone seemed to want to see it.
The fact is that alone is hardly compelling. I mean look at the dietary habits of zillions of flies.
Still it tweaked my interest.
The resulting film is just a sweet sentimental romantic comedy with a twist.
Nicholas Hoult stars as R. He thinks. Pretty sure his pre-apocalpyse named started with an R anyway.He’s friends with M.
Both are trying to get in touch with their inner human with mixed results. I mean they still like to get down and eat a little brain.
And they do tend to walk in that lurching zombie way.
But when R saves the lovely Julie Teresa Palmer from an attack, things start to change. He has feelings.
Well, that might be a stretch.
But he doesn’t really want to tear her apart and eat “her” brain. So that’s something.
The result is Romeo and Juliet for the graveyard.
There is genuine chemistry between the two and for good measure Julie’s dad is Grigio, one of the leaders of the anti-zombie movement whose policy of shoot first and then drive over them later gets in the way of any kind of relationship building between R and her future dad-in-law.
For good measure there’s something called The Bonies who eat zombies, humans and themselves.
At the end of the day, unlike Romeo and Juliet who end up dead, our heroes only start out that way.
Malkovich is underwhelming for a nice change and no matter how silly, we buy the story line.
This movie is funny in a lot of the right parts and I liked it.
Director Jonathon Levine is building a reputation for being able to deliver good returns of quirky material. I first heard of him with The Wackness.  I think he’s about 15, so naturally I hate him for his success, but the guy is money in terms of entertainment.
Warm Bodies is not for everyone, but I really liked it and suggest you give it a shot.
One side note.
I have a public service message for you, especially for the woman who chastised me for playing this film because as she emphatically stated-and I quote: “That’s terrible. Everyone knows zombies don’t love. They have no heart. They’re cold and cruel and incapable of loving.”
Yes, lady. And they’re also made up. Let me know when you check back into Hotel Reality.
There are no zombies folks. Sorry for bursting your gothic bubble. Although I am reminded of the sign I saw once that said ‘If you don’t believe the dead come back to life, you should be here at quitting time.’   But I digress.
In other Captain Obvious news, dragons don’t fly and you can’t get super powers from a deck of magic cards… Sorry nerd herd. I’m just saying.
Warm Bodies is cute, but it’s just a fantasy.
As always, other opinions are welcome, but wrong. That’s it for this week. The cheque’s in the mail and I’m outta here. Paul

Filed Under: News from Everywhere ElsePaul Peterson

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