You Saw 'Warm Bodies,' Now Give Us Your Review

Mmmmmm, zombie love girl, but did you love the movie?

Nicholas Hoult in Warm Bodies
Nicholas Hoult in Warm Bodies
Photo: Summit Entertainment

The Movie: Warm Bodies (2013)

Studio: Summit Entertainment

Director: Jonathan Levine

Starring: Nicholas Hoult as R, Teresa Palmer as Julie, Analeigh Tipton as Nora, Rob Corddry as M, Dave Franco as Perry, John Malkovich as Grigio and Cory Hardrict as Kevin

Screenwriters: Jonathan Levine based on the novel by Isaac Marion (buy it here)

RottenTomatoes: 78% MetaCritic: 59/100

Snippet from My Review: (read my full review here)

Warm Bodies is akin to a complete nine year run of a CW primetime soap, boiled down to 97 minutes, stripped of its angsty, faux drama and given a healthy soundtrack budget because even soap opera emotion is harder to create than emotion generated from songs we all recognize. It's not that bad, but I could just as easily do without it.

Starter Questions

Here are a couple of questions to help get the conversation started.

1.) Do you think the soundtrack elevated the film or was a crutch used to fill in emotional gaps?

2.) What did you think of the performances? I personally thought the lead cast did quite well. Of the supporting cast Rob Corddry was great, but I could have done without the John Malkovich tough guy act.


Now share your thoughts on the film in the comments below and feel free to include spoilers.

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  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AndrewJ.S./ Andrew J.S.

    Questions:
    1. Honestly I don't remember the soundtrack having much of an effect good or bad. None of it felt out of place though.
    2. Nicolas Hoult was okay, but Teressa Palmer and John Malkovich were far from interesting, especially Malkovich. Analeigh Tipton was funny as Julie's friend. I would have liked to have seen more from her. Actually she would have been fun in place of Palmer.

    Here's my reivew:

    Warm Bodies is a zombie movie that sets out to charm audiences with a fairly standard but nontheless potentially worthwhile premise. The problem is that it doesn’t build off the premise, instead just solely relying on it.

    It’s a Romeo & Juliet tale where a Zombie named “R” (he can’t remember his name; only that is starts with R) falls for a human appropriately named Julie. The circumstances surrounding R and Julie’s first encounter are actually quite clever, and allow the film knock a few rom-com clichés. Thematically though, R and Julie budding romance fails to hit any notes. A zombie-human love sounds good on paper, but like any on-screen romance, things just have to click to work, and they don’t here. I know it sounds silly to be critical about a lack of chemistry between a pairing that includes a zombie, but if the filmmakers couldn’t find a way to make things work, the story shouldn’t have been told at all.

    In the third act though, the film finally finds its groove a little. I finally was laughing and enjoying myself. If the narrative had flowed as naturally throughout the whole film as it did in the last 30 minutes, this movie could have been a lot of fun.

    Most people in the screening with me appeared to be pleased with what they saw. I heard common phrases thrown around like “it was cute” or “it was pretty good.” This is by know means a terrible film, but one that did little to earn my pleasure.

  • Kristen K.

    As far as the soundtrack goes, I thought it fit a film about a character that is trying to fill in his own emotional shortcomings (in this case the actual lack of his own emotions) with music. I agree that it risked being a little to kitschy, but his using John Waite's "Missing You" before Julie ever entered the picture, framed the character's use of music in the film, giving us context for his future uses in trying to communicate with Julie beyond monosyllabic grunts. I feel like the character used it as a crutch, but when it came to the film, the fabulous soundtrack was simply fortuitous. In this case, I feel like the character informed the soundtrack, rather than the soundtrack informing the character or situation.

    As far as the performances go, I was rather impressed by the cast. Hoult, Palmer, Corddry, and Tipton brought the soul to the film and managed to keep a potentially syrupy sweet plot from devolving into silly little girl territory. Malkovitch and Franco's limited screen time didn't add to or detract from the film for me, so no love lost there.

    Overall, I had a great time at my first (and probably only) zom-com, and furthered my admiration for Jonathon Levine after loving 50/50 in 2011.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/GothamCity151/ GothamCity151

    The soundtrack really bothered me. It felt like Levine had a bunch of songs he wanted to put in a movie but didn't know how, so he just decided to do a bunch of musical montages. I am also tired of these "vinyl is the best, man" characters. It's a cliche that is relied on far too much nowadays and is just an excuse to put in "eclectic" music.

    As for the performances, the only one that stood out was Corddry. But Corddry could pretty much do anything and get a laugh out of me. The "Bitches, man" line really killed me. The leads were fine, I guess. I didn't really care about their relationship. I wish Analeigh Tipton's character had more to do. I honestly forgot she was in the film until she shows up in the last third.

    My biggest problem with the film, however, was the design of the "bonies". These CGI creatures pose zero threat. The film clearly did not have the budget for top notch special effects (as expected from a Summit release), so I wish they would have just done some interesting prosthetics. It would have helped with the stakes of the film. As it stands, it all felt lifeless (if you pardon the pun).

  • Newbourne

    I have not seen Warm Bodies. I feel intimidated by your titles that accuse me of watching movies I haven't seen.

  • Krysil

    I just want to point out that in the book (yes, it was a BOOK) R uses music to convey his feelings except he used much older style music like that of Sinatra or music from the 90s.
    I would expect that they updated the songs a little bit to simply appeal to a wider audience with slightly more recognizable music for that wider range. So I found the music appropriate and making perfect sense.
    I was actually more highly amused than most people who went to the movie as it was a lot funnier to hear what songs they chose to use instead of what was in the book. I died (no pun) when Lonely Hearts started up.
    I also thought it was very hilarious how in the book R was upset his life wasn't more like a movie so he could do a Make Over Montage and just be done with the girls gussying him up to go out and in the movie they not only do the montage but do it to one of the most recognizable songs for it - absolute cheese and perfect.

  • Esposa De Peek A Boo

    (I just saw it tonight--and I may have or may not have had a few cocktails.....)

    1) I thought the music made it better. Did it fill the emotional gaps? Sure, but there was obviously going to be a lot of grunting. As far as the songs themselves though; nothing was unbearable (definitely tolererable) and definitely "edgy" to the some of the non-indie-following audience.

    2) I agree Malkovich's character could have been more understanding but that would have taken away from the audiences thrill of there being a human villain. Hoult cracked me up along with Corddry. Didn't really notice the accent cracks from Palmer like the esposo did but maybe me next time Ill pick them out.

    All-in-all I loved it. Definitely a good flick for the 12-50-something year old.

  • http://reviewsfromabed.com Vandy Price

    1. I don't believe the music was used as a crutch but more of a way to tell us more about R (many of the songs came from his collection of vinyl) as well as helping to move the story along and develop the relationship between R and Julie as Levine couldn't completely rely on narration.

    2. I thought Hoult and Palmer were great, Hoult especially as he was very good at becoming a convincing zombie and made the transition from zombie to human being with an ease that felt more natural than I initially expected it to be. I agree the Malkovich character was a bit too much. He might be necessary, but if you are able to get John Malkovich in your movie for God's sake use him for more than the purpose he served here.

    My full review: http://www.reviewsfromabed.com/2013/02/warm-bodies-review.html