Donna is normally our resident film critic, but I wanted to share this one. I know zombies aren't technically scifi - they have their own genre, and I'm seeing the odd zombie romance springing up (ZR?) - but I thought I could sneak this in as a kind of dystopian romance. ;)
I'm going to format this as I do my book review - what I liked, what I
didn't like, and my conclusion. Let's start with a blurb and trailer.
Life for Julie (Teresa Palmer) and R (Nicholas Hoult) couldn’t be more
different. R is a zombie; with a great record collection; limited vocab
and an overpowering love of brain food. Julie
is a human; beautiful; strong; open minded and all heart. When R makes
an unexpected decision and rescues Julie from a zombie attack, his
lifeless existence begins to have a purpose. As the unlikely
relationship develops, R’s choice to protect her sets in motion a
sequence of events that might just change both of their worlds forever. Directed by Jonathan Levine (50/50) and based on the debut novel by Isaac Marion, the heart-warming Warm Bodies is 2013’s zom-rom-com with a twist.
What I didn't like:
there were plot holes. Why didn't the Bonies (the super scary zombies)
attack the human city waaaay before they did in the film? For a matter
of fact why didn't the 'normal' zombies (Corpses)? How convenient that
the best looking and teen zombie fell for the pretty blonde? (Okay, that
latter bit is sort of explained in the film, and a suitably 'eww'
reason - we ARE talking zombies after all). And oh how I cringed at the
balcony scene, bearing in mind the girl is Julie and the zombie hero is
R. It might have had Shakespeare crawl out of his grave to eat brains. A
lot of things were rather convenient and/or kind of glossed over. The
'cure' seemed too simplistic, but I suppose the idea is that love
conquers all, even the zombie apocalypse. (Some of this is explained in the book, but the book is different, and I still think some of it could have been explained in the film).
What I did like:
I don't watch zombie films and I don't like
horror. But after seeing my editor and a fellow author raving about the
book, then seeing the trailer on TV, I decided to give it a try. And I
loved it! The horror element ( the super scary bonies) WAS scary (I
don't like to be scared), but not enough to make me uncomfortable or
give me nightmares. It was nicely balanced out by the sweet romance, the
humor, and the intriguing idea that zombies could change, and an
insight to a zombie's mind - such as they have. There's a bit of an
Edward Scissorhands feel to it. I never quite knew where the story was
going and how they were going to make it work - it surprised me a few
times. Nothing came out quite how I expected, which was refreshing. And
R's fellow zombie Marcus was a great supporting character. Two favourite
bits - Julie attempts to play dead at R's prompting, and he has to tell
her 'Too much.' When Julie confesses she's missing R to her best
friend, the comment was 'I know it's hard to find guys, what with the
zombie apocalypse and all...' The casting for R and Marcus was, for me, genius.
This is a teen love story, but without the often
whiny teenage angst - when they did whine, they seriously had things
that deserved to be whined about! Essentially a Beauty and the Beast
type trope. The idea of setting something AFTER the zombie apocalypse,
and from the zombie's point of view made an intriguing change.
Horror/undead fans will probably be hugely disappointed by the lack of
gore and things to make you jump out of your skin, while Shaun of the
Dead fans might enjoy it. This is also probably a bit on the light side
for those who want a deeply meaningful, cerebral kind of film, scifi or
otherwise. While it might be in the Twilight camp of films, I quit
Twilight 40 minutes in out of sheer boredom but can't wait to watch this
again! (note - I *have* watched it again, and loved it even more on the
second run. And I got the book from the library. Different, but still
loved it. I'm still trying to figure out how the author made me
empathize with a flesh eating, brain-craving monster!). I want more!
I'm away from my computer this week, so there'll be no last minute updates before this post goes live. Next week my little monsters go back to school and my work will restart in earnest. I have three short stories to write/finish, and my decopunk superhero story to complete. Perhaps inspired by Warm Bodies I'm currently 6K into a brand new Venus Ascendant story (to go with Terms & Conditions Apply, although with completely new characters). My dealers table at LonCon 3 has just. been paid for. And I've just been invited to blog once a month at Romancing the Genre. The fun never stops!
Donna, loved the post on making fight scenes realistic. It's one of those things I fret over having no experience, but like everything else research is the key.