Cinema Scoop  

Stallone to do battle with Zombie love

Greetings film fanatics, it's time to take a look at what the cinema has in store for us this weekend.

     Warm Bodies

A funny new twist on a classic love story, Warm Bodies is a poignant tale about the power of human connection. After a zombie epidemic, R (a highly unusual zombie) encounters Julie (a human survivor), and rescues her from a zombie attack. Julie sees that R is different from the other zombies, and as the two form a special relationship in their struggle for survival, R becomes increasingly more human - setting off an exciting, romantic, and often comical chain of events that begins to transform the other zombies and maybe even the whole lifeless world.

     My Take

This funny looking romantic comedy horror film looks like a mix of Zombieland, Shaun of the Dead and Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet - even the lead characters names of R and Julie kind of hint at that.

Warm Bodies is directed by Jonathan Levine who made the excellent film 50/50 a couple of years ago with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen. This film will obviously not have the serious tone that 50/50 had, instead opting for a more comedic and wry take on the zombie apocalypse genre. I think it looks like a lot of fun, and while some may be sick and tired of yet another zombie movie, this one appears to eschew the usual gorefest formula and is clearly going for a more lighthearted and cute approach.

By releasing this film with a PG-13 rating the studio obviously wants to position this film as the Twilight version of zombie movies and capture the youth market. It might just work, and I have a feeling that Warm Bodies could be a bit of a sleeper hit and should easily lead the way at this weekend's box office.

The film stars Nicholas Hoult (About a Boy, X-Men: First Class, the upcoming Jack the Giant Slayer) as R and Teresa Palmer (The Sorcerer's Apprentice, I Am Number Four) as Julie and it also features supporting turns by the wonderful John Malkovich, Dave Franco (James Franco's little brother), Rob Corddry and Analeigh Tipton.

If you are in the mood for a quirky take on a date movie just two weeks before Valentine's Day then Warm Bodies might just be the flick for you.

     Bullet to the Head

In this film, based on a French graphic novel, a hitman (Sylvester Stallone) teams with a young Washington D.C. detective (Sung Kang) in a high-stakes investigation that leads from dingy back alleys all the way to the power corridors of New Orleans. The unlikely duo, brought together by two vicious murders, take on all who stand in their way, willing to sacrifice everything to exact revenge.

     My Take

When I noticed that this film was directed by Walter Hill I kind of perked up thinking back to the great films he made in the 70's and early 80's like Hard Times, The Warriors, The Long Riders and 48 HRS. My interest diminished greatly however when I realized that it has been well over 20 years since he has made anything even remotely worth seeing at all. With Bullet to the Head it looks like he is treading on very familiar ground once again with a buddy cop formula that worked great in 48 HRS, but here looks just a tad worn out.

Stallone is 66 years old now and I have to wonder if audiences are still going to accept him as the bad ass action hero like they did back in the 80's. After all, the most recent Schwarzenegger comeback flopped miserably at the box office, even if it was a ton of fun to watch.

Bullet to the Head also features amongst its cast, Jason Momoa (the awesome Khal Drogo from Game of Thrones), Christian Slater (man, remember how popular this guy was 20 years ago - what the heck happened?), Sarah Shahi and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Mr. Eko on Lost).

This movie is clearly all about the action and it definitely appears like it will deliver plenty of gunplay and brutal violence so anyone who is in to that sort of thing will want to check this out regardless of critical reviews. I must admit that the site of Rambo going one on one with Khal Drogo wielding nothing but axes looks pretty bad ass. Just sayin'

This could be some fun, mindless entertainment.

     Stand Up Guys

Val (Al Pacino) is released from prison after serving twenty-eight years for refusing to give up one of his close criminal associates. His best friend Doc (Christopher Walken) is there to pick him up, and the two soon re-team with another old pal, Hirsch (Alan Arkin). Their bond is as strong as ever, and the three reflect on freedom lost and gained, loyalties ebbed and flowed, and days of glory gone by. But one of the friends is keeping a dangerous secret - he's been put in an impossible quandary by a former mob boss, and his time to find an acceptable alternative is running out. As the sun rises on the guys' legendary reunion, their position becomes more and more desperate and they finally confront their past once and for all.

     My Take

Well, the presence of great actors such as Pacino, Walken and Arkin certainly made me stand up and take notice when I first heard about this film. These guys are legends after all so I have no doubt that the performances should be pretty solid. I've seen the trailer for the film however, and despite the presence of these fine stars, the film looks a little limp and flat. It looks like they are resorting to the same tired formulaic geriatric jokes involving viagra and how things were better in the good old days. It just appears a touch too forced for my tastes.

It's directed by longtime actor Fisher Stevens and also stars Julianna Marguilies, Vanessa Ferlito and Mark Margolis.

I hope I'm wrong about Stand Up Guys and it turns out to be a really funny and entertaining film. Either way, you can check it out at the Paramount Theatre.


Cecily, Reggie, and Wilfred are in a home for retired musicians. Every year, on October 10, there is a concert to celebrate famous composer Verdi's birthday and they take part. Jean, who used to be married to Reggie, arrives at the home and disrupts their equilibrium. She still acts like a diva, but she refuses to sing. Still, the show must go on...

     My Take

Boy, this sure is the week for geriatric stars isn't it. This charming looking comedy drama marks the directorial debut of Oscar winning actor Dustin Hoffman. He's assembled a wonderful cast of veteran British actors for this film including Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Billy Connolly, Tom Courtenay and Pauline Collins.

I've heard some really positive things about Quartet and I think that this is going to be a nice, lighthearted, touching film that will most certainly appeal to the more mature audience members out there.

Hopefully Quartet hits all of the right notes and is a winning crowd pleaser. I have a feeling that it will be.

You can check out Quartet also down at the Paramount.

Have a great weekend everyone and see you at the movies.

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About the Author

Just to give you a little background on my qualifications, I've been a film buff my whole life and I enjoy all different genres.

I especially have a passion for classic cinema.

I spent most of the past 17 years working for Rogers Video, so not only have I seen an immense amount of movies, but I've recommended many films to people over the years.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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