Saturday, February 16, 2013

Warm Bodies Review

Forget everything you know about zombies.  None of the normal Zombie rules apply in Warm Bodies, except that they still enjoy some tasty brains for a snack.  Warm Bodies is about Zombies that drive, collect classic vinyl, talk,, and fall in love.  Yes I said fall in love.  Essentially Warm Bodies is a Romantic Comedy with Zombies thrown into the mix.  A classic tale of Romeo and Juliet.  Two star crossed lovers from opposite sides of the tracks. There is even a balcony scene where "R" comes to rescue his Juliet.   It has the classic elements of a romantic comedy which makes it perfect for a date night.   There is even the required makeover in it.  It is sweet, romantic, and will make you smile.

Warm Bodies focuses on the daily life and routine of a zombie simply named R.    We follow R as he shambles through a zombie infested airport that he calls home.  He even has a friend called M that he attempts to have a conversation with daily.  R has flashes of memories of when he was human, but he can't quite remember everything from his former life.  He lives in an airplane and collects vinyl records that he enjoys listening to every night.  Maybe this is why R is able to change the way he does?  Doesn't music calm the savage beast?

When Julie and a group of friends break into the airport  in order to find supplies, they are attacked by R and other Zombies.   R falls madly in love with her from across the crowded room and saves her from being eaten by the other zombies.    He takes her back to his airplane home, and they get to know each other.  But Julie has to go home eventually and let her Father know that she is alive and well.  She knows she can't take R with her because her family will kill R without asking questions.  A bullet to the head.  Love story over.

Even though Warm Bodies was fun to watch, I am not going to say I absolutely loved it.  It definitely had it's flaws.  It was pretty silly and you really have to tell your brain not to over analyze it while watching it.  And yes there are some of the typical Zombie movie metaphors in it.  One scene not so subtly reminds us that we act like zombies already on a daily basis.  How many of us walk around with our faces buried in our cell phones?  Not noticing the world around us?  Only communicating through texts and tweets?

Warm Bodies even adds on to the Zombie mythology by attempting to explain why Zombies love to eat brains so much.  Return of the Living Dead gave us a little bit of an explanation from the half Zombie Lady on the table...When Ernie asks "Eating brains, how does that make you feel?"  "She replies it makes the pain go away"  Warm Bodies explains why it makes the pain go away because it also makes Zombies feel more alive.  This was one of my favourite parts of the movie.

If you are a hard core purist when it comes to Horror or Zombie movies then this is not the film for you.   There is hardly any gore or even scary parts to be found here.  I knew it was going to be a light comedy going in so I took one of my non- horror friends to see it and we laughed and had a good time the whole movie. The whole story line is pretty much ridiculous but that is what made it so funny. I mean really...a zombie driving a car? a zombie collecting Vinyl? Kissing a Zombie after he just had brains for breakfast? Pretty ridiculous actually. If you don't take it so seriously and you just might enjoy it.   But it isn't Twilight either.  Recently, I keep seeing this comparison all over the internet.  Which just confirms my suspicion that all the people that don't like this movie, haven't even seen it yet!   I suggest you go and see the movie and form your own opinion on it.   No Warm Bodies is not going to ruin the Zombie genre any more than Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland, or Deadheads did.  It is just another extension to a very popular genre...the Zom-Com!   If you enjoy a light comedy filled with a lot of laughs then enjoy!

The ABC's of Death Review

I love a good Horror Anthology.  The anthology has been making a comeback lately with the success of V/H/S.   In fact it is one of my all time favourite types of  Horror movies.  So, when I heard about The ABC's of Death last summer, I was very excited to see it.  In fact I tried to get tickets for it at TIFF last summer but it was already sold out.  Along with the Lords of Salem and John Dies at the End, It was one of my most anticipated movies for the TIFF line up.

For those of you who don't know what it is about, it consists of 26 short films by different directors.  Each director was given a letter and $5000.   He or she had to come up with a word that describes the death depicted in their segment.  In theory that sounds like a great idea that any Horror fan would love.  26 unique death scenes all strung together by some of the best directors the genre has to offer.  Unfortunately that is also where the movie falls flat.  Because there is no theme or even any story line to tie them all together, it just comes across as a jumbled mess.  Even all the different styles of directing create too much unevenness throughout.

This movie proved something to me.  Gore alone is not what makes a movie good!  The story line and characters are really what matters most in a film to me.  I think it was an interesting concept but I hope it never is repeated again.  Instead give us well written anthologies with a good wrap around story to finish it off.
Now I am not saying there weren't a few segments I thoroughly enjoyed.  There were a couple that really stood out for me.  The quality of the shorts vary from really good to really, really bad!  Here is a run down on the 26 segments...

A is for Apocalypse by Nacho Vigalondo-  About a couple facing the end of the world together.  One of the best segments in the film.
B is for Bigfoot by Adrian Garcia Bogliano- A couple teach their child to go to bed early.
C is for Cycle by Ernesto Diaz Espinoza- Didn't make a whole of sense to me?
D is for Dogfight by Marcel Sarmiento- Entertaining and well done even without any dialog.
E is for Exterminate by Angela Bettis-  God how I hate spiders!  Made my skin crawl.
F is for Fart by Noburo Iguchi- Silly over the top Japanese dream sequence about farts.
G is for Gravity by Andrew Traucki- Made me a little sad actually.
H is for Hydro-Electric Diffusion by Thomas Cappelen Malling- Funny and definitely weird!
I is for Ingrown by Jorge Michel Grau- Torture Porn
J is for Jidal-geki by Yudai Yamaguchi- Samurai Torture Porn?
K is for Klutz by Anders Morgenthaler- Animated and kind of cute.
L is for Libido by Timo Tjahjanto-  Pretty disturbing on many levels.
M is for Miscarriage by Ti West- More toilet problems...seems to be a theme.
N is for Nuptials by Banjong Pisanthanakun- A cute story about a parrot and a couple getting engaged.
O is for Orgasm by Bruno Forzani-  Pretty disturbing on many levels.
P is for Pressure by Simon Rumley-  A woman and a small kitten.  Ok... this one just pissed me off.  WTF??!!
Q is for Quack by Adam Wingard-  Two guys and a duck.  Pretty funny turn of events.
R is for Removed by Srdjan Spasojevic- Maybe a metaphor for directors?
S is for Speed by Jake West-  Sci-Fi action with pretty girls and guns.  One of the better segments
T is for Toilet by Lee Hardcastle- Claymation and and toilet...need I say more.
U is for Unearthed by Ben Wheatley- Shaky cam Found Footage involving Vampires.
V is for Vagitus by Kaare Andrews-  Sci-Fi action movie that was interesting.
W is for WTF? by Jon Schnepp- Funny psychadelic and definitely WTF?
X is for is XXL by Xavier Gens-  Actually one of my favourites of the film.   It has a political feminist statement that speaks to most women.
Y is for Youngbuck by Jason Eisener- Kinda feel sick after seeing that one.
Z is for Zetsumetsu by Yoshihiro Nishimura-  Just weird!  I don't know what more to say!

So to sum up my thoughts on this film....  I would just skip this mess of an anthology and watch a classic one like Creep Show, Tales From the Darkside,  Mario Bava's Black Sabbath, or any of the Amicus ones from the 60s and 70s.  Take your pick, they are all good!