Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Pre-order Book!
Pre-order Book!



Knight at the Movies: Warm Bodies; film notes
by Richard Knight, Jr., for Windy City Times

This article shared 4571 times since Wed Jan 30, 2013
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

It was inevitable, I suppose, that America's cultural fascination with all things zombie-related would eventually lead to a romantic comedy, albeit one with an admittedly dark core. Warm Bodies, from a debut novel by Isaac Marion, has been adapted by writer-director Jonathan Levine (50/50, The Wackness) and stars Nicholas Hoult (the hot young twink from 2009's A Single Man) as R, a teenagerish zombie who shambles about the airport terminal in his red hoodie, hoping to pick up the scent of human flesh—which he eats.

R has a certain amount of regret about his eating habits ("I'll eat anything with a heart but at least I'm conflicted" he comments mournfully in voice over). After years of wandering around with his fellow zombies following an apocalypse, and sorta grunting every once in a while in an attempt to bond with M (Rob Corddry), his "best friend," R is filled to the brim with the old ennui. Over the years he's collected the detritus of American culture, stowing it in an abandoned jet plane, his secret lair. His yearning to be anything but a zombie—as he plays John Waite's '80s power ballad "Missing You" on the record phonograph he's retrieved—is palpable and funny.

This malaise over R's endless day-to-day existence, which he narrates in a dry manner, takes a sharp turn toward romance, however, when R encounters pretty blonde Julie (Teresa Palmer). Julie, accompanied by boyfriend Perry (Dave Franco) and a group of other volunteers, has left the safe confines of the walled city presided over by her father, General Grigio (John Malkovich), in order to forage in the zombie-infested urban wilderness for food and medicine.

Careless and filled with the importance of doing his patriotic duty, Perry ignores the warnings of the others that a pack of zombies is nearby and R grabs him and kills him, chomping on his brains—ingesting Dave's memories as he does so. The sight of Julie, however, stops R in his shambling tracks. Smitten, he saves her from being discovered and killed by his fellow flesh-eaters. (It's perhaps one of the most bizarre examples of a "meet cute" in all cinematic history.) He takes Julie back to his lair and insists in his Frankenstein-like grunt (he can speak a word here, and a phrase there) that she remain with him until he can safely release her.

Various plot complications, naturally, ensue as Julie—over the course of a hopelessly twee montage—finds herself charmed by R's innate gentleness, cool record collection and hottie looks (in spite of his deathly pallor and, one supposes, his dreadful bad breath). Will the rebellious Julie be able to convince her stern, zombie-hating father that some of the walking dead—especially R—are really not so bad and just need a little TLC? Will these two mismatched lovebirds find bliss in a post-apocalyptic world? Will they successfully elude the "boneys"—the skeletal remains of the zombies who have no conscience thought other than to cannibalize the remaining humans?

As these plot devices arise, the charm factor in Levine's movie wanes—ironically, as the zombies start to become more human, the thinness of the premise intensifies and the heartbeat of the film slows to a crawl. But the movie, which could easily have been titled I Was a Teenage Zombie, is bound to have its passionate followers. Even in his decrepit state, R is awfully cute (and spunky Julie isn't so bad to look at either). Not surprisingly, this being one of those paranormal teenage romances (a la the Twilight saga), to truly appreciate this zombie Romeo & Juliet you either go all the way with it or not at all. Prepare to squeal with delight—or groan in complete dismay.

Film notes:

—The Little Queer Film Festival (LQFF) is a new series spearheaded by Sapphic Adventures, a social networking group for lesbians co-founded by Kelly Zeng. Zeng, along with fellow organizers such as Baby Girls and Co., Jeanette Diaz Photography, the Human Rights Campaign, and the Center on Halsted, will present a slate of six films Saturday, Feb. 2, and Sunday, Feb. 3. The screenings, which will include a social component, are scheduled to take place at the Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St., in the Hoover-Leppen Theater. The line-up for the LQFF is as follows:

Saturday, Feb. 2

Call Me Kuchu. This documentary focuses on veteran activist David Kato working to repeal Uganda's homophobic laws and liberate his fellow LGBT men and women, or "kuchus." It's co-presented with the HRC. A discussion will precede the 11 a.m. screening.

Kiss Me is a Swedish lesbian love story with a twist. 3 p.m. screening

Facing Mirrors is an Iranian film with a transgender protagonist. 7 p.m. screening

Sunday, Feb. 3

Lesbian Factory is a documentary about the unfair treatment of foreign migrant workers in Taiwan which follows the lives of seven lesbian couples. 11 a.m. screening

Zenne Dancer is a Turkish drama about the friendship between three men—including one who is murdered by his father for being gay. It's based on a true story. 1:30 p.m. screening

In I Do, a British gay man marries his lesbian friend in order to get a green card. It's co-presented with the American Civil Liberties Union. An ACLU representative will speak about the status of legalizing same-sex marriage in Illinois preceding the 4 p.m. screening.

Advance tickets and more about the LQFF are at .

—Openly gay filmmaker Matthew Smith documents the continuing struggle to come out in his documentary Out in the Open. The movie, framed in a mock narrative style purporting to examine the "homosexual lifestyle," focuses on Smith's story as a gay filmmaker working in Hollywood.

As Smith and his family relay stories about his own coming out; his love for his partner, Solly Hemus; and their life together, he intersperses personal reminisces from well-known queer folks like Carson Kressley, Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis and Broadway performer Josh Strickland as well as friends of the community like Eric Roberts and his wife, Eliza. The film, which includes Smith's commentary, deleted scenes and other special features, has just been released on DVD from Breaking Glass Pictures.

Check out my archived reviews at or . Readers can leave feedback at the latter website.

This article shared 4571 times since Wed Jan 30, 2013
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Ben Platt, Cynthia Erivo, Miley Cyrus, 'Halston' series, Pink 2021-05-16
- Tony winners Ben Platt (Aug. 13) and Cynthia Erivo (Aug. 20) are among the musicians slated to perform during the 2021 Citi Music Series on the Today show, Playbill noted. The series will include in-person concerts ...

Gay News

Black Lives, Black Words Int'l Project, Writers Theatre to premier Ride Share 2021-05-13
--From a press release - Glencoe, IL— Black Lives, Black Words co-founders Reginald Edmund and Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway and Writers Theatre Artistic Director Michael Halberstam and Executive Director Kathryn M. Lipuma announce Ride Share, a new ...

Gay News

FILM NewFest announces summer film series NewFest Pride 2021-05-13
- NewFest, New York's leading LGBTQ+ film and media organization, announced programming for NewFest Pride, a new summer film series taking place this year from June 4-7. All film screenings and events will be available virtually to ...

Gay News

FILM Tello Films founder starts new production entity 2021-05-13
- Veteran filmmaker Christin Baker, who launched the successful LGBTQ+, SVOD platform, Tello Films, in 2009—the first network dedicated to telling stories featuring and about lesbian/queer women—announced the launch of a ...

Gay News

Accidental Shakespeare Company presents virtual Romeo and Juliet 2021-05-12
--From a press release - Accidental Shakespeare Company presents a virtual film production of Romeo and Juliet, to air in five weekly installments on their YouTube channel, free of charge, beginning on May 15, 2021. Links to each episode will be ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Tig Notaro, films, E. Lynn Harris, Nick Jonas 2021-05-09
- Emmy- and Grammy-nominated stand-up comedian Tig Notaro (HBO's Tig Notaro: Boyish Girl Interrupted), will return to HBO this summer with the first-ever fully animated stand-up special, HBO announced. The special ...

Gay News

DANCE Hubbard Street's 'Half of Us' debuting May 20 2021-05-03
- Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's (HSDC) 43rd season will be completed with the virtual world premiere of new work by choreographer/director Robyn Mineko Williams entitled "Half of Us," on Thursday, May 20, at 7:30 p.m. The 16-minute ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Master of None,' children's book, Kristen Stewart, expectant couple 2021-05-02
- Master of None is coming back—but this time, the series will focus on Lena Waithe's character, Denise, noted. Master of None, created by Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang for Netflix, starred Ansari for the first ...

Gay News

Actress Olympia Dukakis dies at 89 2021-05-01
- Olympia Dukakis—who won an Oscar for her supporting role in the 1987 hit Moonstruck and starred in Look Who's Talking and Mr. Holland's Opus as well as iterations of TV's Tales of the City—died May 1 at her home in New York City ...

Gay News

VIRTUAL CINEMA MeToo drama 'Slalom' airing at Siskel starting May 7 2021-04-29
- The Cannes-selected #MeToo drama Slalom—the debut from filmmaker Charlène Favier—will run at the Gene Siskel Film Center's Virtual Cinema starting Friday, May 7. The French movie is also currently playing ...

Gay News

Elton John AIDS Foundation Oscars pre-party raises $3M 2021-04-26
- The 29th annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards® Pre-Party hosted by Emmy- and Tony-winning actor Neil Patrick Harris alongside Sir Elton John and David Furnish, raised $3 million for the global effort to end AIDS, ...

Gay News

Exceptions the rule at 2021 Oscars 2021-04-26
- After a year that saw the motion picture industry upended by both the COVID-19 pandemic and an already shifting entertainment landscape, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences pressed on with the 93rd Annual Oscars ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Joe Exotic' series, Luther Vandross, singer's announcement, star couples 2021-04-25
- Hedwig and the Angry Inch's John Cameron Mitchell has been tapped to play the title character opposite Kate McKinnon in the series Joe Exotic (working title), Deadline reported. The limited series centers on Carole Baskin (McKinnon), ...

Gay News

Netflix to debut limited series 'Halston' on May 14 2021-04-23
- On what would have been legendary fashion designer Roy Halston Frowick's 89th birthday (on April 23), Netflix stated it was honoring the visionary icon by announcing the Friday, May 14, global premiere date for the five-episode ...

Gay News

GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics hands out Dorian Awards 2021-04-19
--From a press release - LOS ANGELES, CA, April 18, 2021 — Nomadland, the spare and fact-based drama of a group of struggling Americans living off the grid; the vivid blueswoman biopic Ma Rainey's Black Bottom; the family-happy fish-out-of-water fable Minari; ...


Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.