In order to keep the zombie genre from rotting, it needs fresh life. 28 Days Later did away with the “z-word” and turned zombification into a virus. Last year, ParaNorman took a compassionate view of the undead by seeing that they were just misunderstood albeit terrifying. Warm Bodies moves in the direction of the latter to the point where it’s straining to even be a zombie movie. Instead, Warm Bodies is more of a romance that embraces its reinvention of Romeo & Juliet, but with so much sweetness and charm, it’s hard to begrudge the lack of brain-eating or flesh-rotting.
Even though we’re nearly three months removed from Halloween, I want to use this week’s opening paragraph to throw some support behind director Michael Stephenson‘s touching documentary, The American Scream. I recently caught the film via Netflix where it’s available to “Watch Instantly” and I was impressed to say the least. Stephenson’s previous entry, the indelible Best Worst Movie, quickly became one of my all-time favorite docs for the unexpected emotional punch it packed in following the lives of those impacted by Troll 2. Scream delivered on a similar level with its themes of family, community, and the pursuit of one’s passion (in this case, home haunting). If you haven’t seen it already, I recommend either checking it out on Netflix or picking up a copy for yourself from the film’s website.
All recommendations aside, much to the surprise of no one, this week’s Top 5 is headlined by the announcement that J.J. Abrams will direct/produce Star Wars: Episode VII with accompaniment by our Bullet to the Head set visit, Warm Bodies video interviews with Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer and more, a G.I. Joe: Retaliation set visit preview and interviews with director Jon M. Chu and more, and all of our coverage out of Sundance 2013 to date. A brief recap and link to each is hidden in plain view after the jump.
I usually like movies that have some sense of structure and pacing. If they don’t have these qualities, then I like these films to be truly daring and outside-the-box. Lake Bell‘s In a World… is a rambling mess of a nice little comedy with too many characters, and has almost no sense of pacing or flow. But somehow, it’s still a charming flick. Bell gives a fun lead performance, and she surrounds herself with a likable cast. Even the subtext is cutesy. In a World… should be a movie that I found a slog, but somehow, Bell’s film won me over despite its glaring flaws.
If writer-directors Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant had put more effort into their new film Hell Baby, they could have had one of the best parodies of recent horror movies. The film has some huge laughs as well as some insight into the genre’s weaknesses, but Lennon and Garant’s sketch comedy roots wreck the picture in the worst way. They’re content to let their scenes run on way too long, they have no idea how to tie their scenes together, and the result feels like we’re in the middle of something that’s being workshopped rather than a finished feature. Despite a memorable performance from Keegan Michael Key, Hell Baby feels like a gigantic waste of potential that keeps us interested because we’re waiting for the next great joke.
From writer/director Jonathan Levine (50/50) comes Warm Bodies, the zombie romantic comedy starring Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: First Class) and Teresa Palmer (I Am Number Four). Today, five new clips and five new posters from the film have become available, including an interactive infographic on zombie anatomy with bits of footage embedded within it. While Warm Bodies is not my preferred take on zombies, it does seem to offer something different to the genre along with a lot of humor and heart. Also starring John Malkovich, Dave Franco, Analeigh Tipton and Rob Corddry, Warm Bodies opens February 1st. Hit the jump to watch the new clips and check out the new posters.
Ever since Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, zombies have become synonymous with lifeless, dead-eyed beings, a void – existential nothingness in its simplest form. Zombies, as characterized, exhibit no human emotion, feeling, remembrance – and it’s been that way through Dawn of the Dead (1978) to Dawn of the Dead (2004) to The Walking Dead (2013). This Friday’s release Warm Bodies attempts to redefine the zombie not as death incarnate but merely as a lost and lonely soul… Sure the zombies still want to eat human brains but it has less to do with hunger than a need to connect. It should come as no surprise that the cure for all that brain munching, lethargic walking and indecipherable growling – as posed in Warm Bodies – is quite simple: love.
Comedian Rob Corddry (Hot Tub Time Machine) co-stars in the picture as the zombie ‘M’, best friend to lead and fellow zombie ‘R’ (Nick Hoult). When ‘R’ falls in love with the human Julie and suddenly begins to come back to life, it sparks ‘M’ on a similar mission to reconnect/regenerate. In the following interview with Corddry, he discusses imbuing the undead with personality, improving on set and his role in the upcoming film Hell Baby. For the full interview, hit the jump.
Hot Tub Time Machine has a reputation has a flop based on a mediocre $14 million opening weekend. But the movie had legs, reaching $50 million domestic. And it is exactly the kind of R-rated comedy that finds a second life on DVD and cable reruns. Add everything up, and there is apparently enough incentive for MGM to enter into “exploratory talks” with Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, and Clark Duke to reprise their roles for a sequel, according to Heat Vision. John Cusack, the lead in the original, is curiously not involved at this stage.
Steve Pink is also in talks to return as director. Pink would work out the story with Corddry. No details are available yet, but a hunch: The gang goes back in time to the wacky 1990s this time. There is no guarantee that a deal will come together, but if one does, production will reportedly be fast-tracked. As a fan of the cast and time travel, sounds good to me. Hit the jump to revisit the nostalgia of 2009 and watch the trailer.
Summit Entertainment has released three clips and 13 minutes of B-roll for Jonathan Levine‘s rom-zom-com, Warm Bodies. The film centers on R (Nicholas Hoult), a zombie who falls in love with Julie (Teresa Palmer) after eating her boyfriend’s brains. I haven’t watched the clips or the footage since I want to go in having seen as little of the movie as possible. Warm Bodies is one of my most-anticipated movies of the next three months, and I want to be surprised. However, if you still need to be sold on the flick, then you might want to see the new material.
Hit the jump to check out the clips and the B-roll. The film also stars Rob Corddry and John Malkovich. Warm Bodies opens February 1st. Click on the corresponding links to read about my visit to the set and my interviews with Levine, Hoult, Palmer, Corddry, and producer Bruna Papandrea.
Welcome to 2013, folks. If you’re reading this it means that you survived the Mayan Apocalypse, the first Dick Clark-less New Year’s Rockin’ Eve celebration in like four decades, likely some sort of mandatory holiday time with your extended family, and incessant political jabber about some sort of “fiscal cliff”, all in a matter of about two weeks. Congratulations on a job well done. In spite of all these accomplishments, though, odds are you still haven’t spent any part of 2013 hanging out with Arnold Schwarzenegger and his tank. So, to this point, our Dave Trumbore still wins 2013.
All tank envy aside, let’s keep our heads up and focus on the first Top 5 installment of the new year. This week’s recap includes Brendan’s editorial plea for giving 48fps the old college try, Justice League rumors, Matt’s Warm Bodies set visit and ensuing zombie transformation, news of Jay-Z being brought on to score Baz Luhrmann‘s The Great Gatsby, and the results of our first ever readers poll that asked for your top movies of 2012. Brief recaps and links to all of the above are dying for your attention after the jump.
Being undead isn’t so bad. Your clothes are filthy, you could probably do with a little more sun, and the quality of conversation is somewhat diminished, but I didn’t mind being a zombie for a day. I was given this opportunity when Summit Entertainment decided to fly me up to Montreal to the set of Warm Bodies, the new film from director Jonathan Levine (50/50). The film follows R (Nicholas Hoult), a zombie who falls in love with the non-zombie Julie (Teresa Palmer) after eating her boyfriend’s brains.
I’ve been on a few set visits, but for Warm Bodies, Summit invited me and my fellow movie journalists to be zombie extras. In addition to interviewing Levine, Hoult, Palmer, co-star Rob Corddry, and producer Bruna Papandrea, we got to go through the zombification process without the nasty biting-and-dying part. Hit the jump to read about my visit to the set of Warm Bodies.
In October 2011, I was lucky enough to visit the set of Jonathan Levine‘s Warm Bodies. The film follows R (Nicholas Hoult), a zombie who falls in love with the non-zombie Julie (Teresa Palmer) after eating her boyfriend’s brains. Judging by the trailers, it looks like Levine has crafted a sweet, funny rom-zom-com.
In addition to getting zombified on the set, I got the chance to interview Rob Corddry. Corddry plays “M”, R’s best friend and fellow zombie. During our interview, we talked about the physicality of his character, working with Cirque du Soleil to get the right movements, his appreciation of the zombie genre, his [adult swim] TV series Children’s Hospital, and much more. Hit the jump to check out the interview. Warm Bodies opens February 1st.
Summit Entertainment has released eight new images from director Jonathan Levine’s (50/50) upcoming zombie love story Warm Bodies. The film stars Nicholas Hoult as a zombie named “R” who starts to act more human than zombie when he falls in love with Julie (Teresa Palmer). Levine promises to bring something fresh and fun to the zombie genre with this pic, and the film landed on our recent list of most anticipated titles for the first quarter of 2013.
Hit the jump to take a look at the new images. The film also stars John Malkovich, Dave Franco, and Analeigh Tipton. Warm Bodies opens on February 1st.
Summit Entertainment has released five new posters for director Jonathan Levine’s zombie love story Warm Bodies. The film stars Nicholas Hoult as a zombie named “R” who starts to act more human than zombie when he falls in love with Julie (Teresa Palmer). Both of the film’s two trailers have been really promising, and these posters play into the tongue-in-cheek tone that Levine seems to have adopted for the film. Though zombie movies/tv shows/books are a dime a dozen these days, Summit looks to have something special with Warm Bodies.
Hit the jump to check out the posters. The film also stars Rob Corddry, John Malkovich, Dave Franco, and Analeigh Tipton. Warm Bodies opens on February 1, 2013.
The 2013 Sundance Film Festival is in the midst of unveiling its lineups, and today we’ve got the first images from some films that will be playing as part of the Park City at Midnight program. Briefly:
- Ass Backwards – Directed by Chris Nelson, written by June Diane Raphael and Casey Wilson, starring Raphael, Wilson, Vincent D’Onofrio, Alicia Silverstone, Jon Cryer, and Brian Geraghty.
- Hell Baby – Written and directed by Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon, starring Rob Corddry, Leslie Bibb, Keegan Michael Key, Riki Lindhome, Paul Scheer, and Rob Huebel.
- In Fear – Directed and story by Jeremy Lovering, starring Alice Englert, Iain De Caestecker, and Allen Leech.
- kink – Directed by Christina Voros.
Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses. The 2013 Sundance Film Festival runs from January 17 – 27.
The 2013 Sundance Film Festival recently announced a couple batches of films that will screen at the Fest in January, and today we’ve got some first images and synopses for a few films that will be playing in competition as part of the U.S. Dramatic lineup. Briefly
- Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes – Written and directed by Francesca Gregorini, starring Kaya Scodelario, Jessica Biel, Alfred Molina, Frances O’Connor, Jimmi Simpson, and Aneurin Barnard.
- Fruitvale – Written and directed by Ryan Coogler, starring Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer, Melonie Diaz, Ahna O’Reilly, Kevin Durand, and Chad Michael Murray.
- In a World… – Written and directed by Lake Bell, starring Bell, Demetri Martin, Rob Corddry, Michaela Watkins, Ken Marino, and Fred Melamed.
- May in the Summer – Written and directed by Cherien Dabis, starring Dabis, Hiam Abbass, Bill Pullman, Alia Shawkat, Nadine Malouf, and Alexander Siddig.
Hit the jump for the images and synopses. The 2013 Sundance Film Festival runs January 17 – 27.