“Warm Bodies” (Romantic Comedy/Horror: 1 hour, 38 minutes)
Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, Rob Corddry and John Malkovich
Director: Jonathan Levine
Rated: PG-13 (Violence, gore and profanity)
Movie Review: Most zombie apocalypse stories feature gory members of the walking dead eating people constantly. This aspect is present in this zombie-based production, but it is not the focus. It plays more like a romantic film with laughs.
Hoult (“A Single Man,” 2009) is R, a zombie who finds his life is going nowhere. He spends his time walking around a major airport looking for humans to eat. R’s life changes when he encounters Julie (Palmer). R is instantly attracted to Julie. Even more, R falls in love. His feelings toward Julie begin to change R from zombie back to a living being. As the two form a greater bond, their emotive connection begins to transform other zombies, too.
Hoult appears to enjoy himself. He plays a zombie with a certain energy that works. His relationship with Palmer gradually grows in a believable manner. Their relationship is just one of the means Director Levine (“50/50,” 2011) allows this film to be an easy-going, just-go-with-it production. That approach works. This is an enjoyable film, an adaptation of Isaac Marion’s novel.
Very few frightful moments exist. Romance is the basis for this better-than-expected movie. Hoult, as a zombie, and Palmer, as one of the last surviving humans, make an unusual pairing. However, they work. They create a love story that charms.
Grade: B (Warm bodies should fill cinemas for this unique romance.)
“Bullet to the Head” (Action/Crime: 1 hour, 32 minutes)
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Sung Kang, Jason Momoa, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Christian Slater
Director: Walter Hill
Rated: R (Profanity, violence and nudity)
Movie Review: Stallone on screen reminds one of yesteryear. He makes one recall why he is a world-known persona of moviedom. He makes this film enjoyable as its lead.
Based on Alexis Nolent’s graphic novel, James Bonomo (Stallone), a.k.a. Jimmy Bobo, a hit-man for hire, and Washington, D.C., detective Taylor Kwon (Kang) hunt down the men responsible for the death of their respective associates in New Orleans. They join forces, but their union is not a happy one. Soon, they find themselves involved in an underworld of crooked cops, mercenaries led by Keegan (Momoa), shady attorney Marcus Baptiste (Slater) and ruthless businessman Robert Nkomo Morel (Akinnuoye-Agbaje).
If action is what one seeks, this piece is for you. Stallone is top-notch as an action star. Age has not slowed his appeal to take on physical roles or sling one-liners with the best. Here, Stallone easily makes his character likable, although the guy is not a good person. He kills people for a living, yet he is honorable in his own set of standards.
Kang plays Stallone’s reluctant partner adequately. Stallone overshadows Kang, but the Korean-American actor holds his own. They join other cast members in making this an enjoyable film.
The best part of this film remains the one-liners. They are mainly offered by Stallone with a masculine zeal that entertains, often causing laughter. If those words do not entertain, the violent action sequences will substitute for the slack.
Grade: B- (Worth a few bullets.)