February 22, 2013

MOVIES: "WARM BODIES"



THIS IS THE MOST THEOLOGY OF THE BODY MOVIE I HAVE EVER SEEN.
"Whoever does not abide in love abides in death." 1 John 3:14
"Love is as strong as death." Song of Songs 8:6

"Whoever does not love knows nothing of God. For God is love." 1 John 4:8
Authentic love between the sexes IS the cure! For what? For everything!
The rift between the sexes was the first rift after the rift with God (and self) in the Garden.

OUR CURRENT OBSESSION WITH ZOMBIES, VAMPIRES,
DARK & DEAD & DECAYING THINGS
IS SUDDENLY ANSWERED BY "WARM BODIES":
BURSTING WITH LIFE & LOVE & HOPE.
IT IS REDEMPTION. OF THE GENRE. AND BEYOND.


"To live Theology of the Body is nothing less than to heal the universe.
To live the redemption of the body is to redeem the whole physical world."

--Christopher West
“Warm Bodies” is a post-apocalyptic zombie love story. More precisely a zombie-human love story. But, of course, zombies were once human, so it’s not THAT much of a stretch. The opening scene is a young male zombie shuffling through an airport, surrounded by other zombies, narrating his typical day’s activities for us. We say to ourselves: “Selves, if the rest of this movie is this hilarious and insightful, I’m glad I came.” And it is! Sit back, relax and be entertained and inspired S-I-M-U-L-T-A-N-E-O-U-S-L-Y.  (I think listening to zombie dialogue has influenced me to drag my words out a bit.) In “Bodies,” zombies are called “corpses.”

Zombie “R” (Nicholas Hoult) can’t remember his name. He can’t remember how he died, or much of anything else. He can’t think, sleep, dream, feel, bleed, etc. Human Julie (Teresa Palmer) is the daughter of the acting leader of the embattled humans (John Malkovich) who live sequestered behind “the wall,” safe from the zombie world. Zombies must feed on humans’ brains to stay alive, er, dead. When they eat brains, they have access to humans’ memories. It’s the only way they can experience anything of what they once were as humans themselves.

When R’s cadre of roaming zombies comes upon some humans, including Julie, a feeding frenzy begins. In the midst of the carnage, R falls in love with Julie--as best he can, that is, with his non-functioning heart—and saves her by bringing her to zombie land (she must pretend she is a zombie to survive there).  He informs her that she must stay there for a few days, but it’s only so that he can begin to woo her.

Lest someone think “Bodies” is a one-trick pony, it’s not. There’s more going on. There’s a third “species” besides humans and zombies called “boneys.” Boneys are zombies who have “given up.” Both zombies and boneys will eat humans, but, as R states, at least zombies “are conflicted about it.” Boneys, instead are relentlessly vicious skeletons—stronger and more powerful than zombies. They eventually become the common enemy of both zombie and human.

Although all films worth their salt are meant to be journeys of change, the overwhelming message of “Warm Bodies” is that people can change. A lot. And love is the ONLY catalyst. Primarily male/female love. “Warm Bodies” is not only a “Theology of the BODY” movie for all the obvious reasons, but—even if unknowingly—has showcased male/female love as THE crux, THE matrix which brings love into the world AND brings peace to unlike, warring factions. TOB principle: “All differences are a call to communion.”

The YouTube: “Zombies vs. Jesus” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Y2BrmcVf6c sums up the “hunger” that is really beneath all this zombie-mania today. Hint: It’s Eucharistic.

OTHER STUFF:

--New take on zombie genre. Story is told from perspective of THE ZOMBIE. (Thanks to @gregorjk for pointing this out.)

--SPOILER ALERT!!! Reverse of Romeo & Juliet story. R & Julie's love really does bring peace without them having to commit hari kari.

--Do NOT miss the dig at beginning of film when R longs for the days when we he used to be alive and human and could feel, and share, and warmly talk and connect with people (visual: people with earbuds and heads down using mobile devices, ignoring each other).

--Dear Lord, we give thanks that writer/director Jonathan Levine is only about 37 years old and, You willing, has many more supergroovetastic movies in him. Amen.

--“Warm Bodies” is a postmodern rebuff to determinism. And fatalism.

--Unfortunately, Julie takes the precious name of Jesus--the only name by which we are to be saved--in vain about four times. It sounds so extra-awful coming from a pretty young woman's mouth. (As opposed to old, crusty, cynical, mafia guys or something.) May her (yes, I know she's acting) invoking of THE NAME draw down only mercy.

--This is an ambient film. I felt I was IN the film. I felt I was a zombie coming to life!

--In the mind/body, spirit/matter split of 500 years ago, the masses chose the body/matter. And they were right. BJP2G says explicitly that he was setting out to heal this chaotic and tragic rift with his Theology of the Body. J

--Great, great cinematography. Broad use of filmic palette, tools and techniques.

--The “new world” of Act Two is two very different and hostile worlds of lovers-to-be meeting and clashing. Tres cool.

--Humans can turn anything into a love story. J

--Julie does not like R’s constant “noncommittal” shrugging.

--Clever anti-modern-technology excuse: Post-apocalypse! No internet! So they use all old artifacts: vinyl records, Polaroid cameras, 3-D Viewmasters (of Victorian lovers!), parlor games, etc.

--Lots of 80’s and 80’s style music. Why? More romantic? More being said?

--Pretty darn close to being an elusive, prized “perfect film.” For what it is. A zom-rom-com.

--I just want to reiterate: How does love come into the world? Through male/female relationships. How does life come into the world? Through male/female relationships.

--Oh dear. Filmmakers felt they had to define the word “exhume” for the audience. Oh dear.

--Are you a human, a corpse or a boney? One person can go through all 3 stages!

--Better to love and feel pain than not love and feel no pain.

--Um, best use of the word “bit***s” in a movie ever. Funniest line in the whole film. Sums up the whole film. ONE WORD. Brilliant. And it is reassuring as a woman to know that men really do feel us in their hearts. :) BUT here's the real deal. WHAT changes everything for "R" and then everyone else? THE WOMAN. The redemption of the world comes THROUGH a woman. Yessssssssssssssss. BVM imagery, anyone?

--Zombie baseball!

--Male/female love is supposed to be awkward at first!

--"The new hunger is so overwhelming." #TheologyOfBody

--Zombie metaphors, symbolism and applications to real life are manifold.

--“Warm Bodies” will make you soooooo glad to be a human. And make you want to be FULLY human.

--Rob Corddry (sic) is wonderful. Analeigh Tipton is her usual delightful self. Dave Franco (James Franco’s younger brother) is not an actor, I’m sorry. John Malkovich gives a sturdy, dependable performance (couldn’t stop thinking of his hilarious militaristic role in “Red,” however). Teresa Palmer looks and acts like a blonde Kristen Stewart (was casting intentional)? And, for the record, I LIKE Kristen Stewart’s acting.  Nicholas Hoult (A Brit! He was the little boy in “About a Boy”!) is beyond brilliant and wondrous and captivating. Played to perfection—not a hair under- or overacted. Bravo. When those British actors are on the money they are just so nuanced and believable and, well, I just can’t say enough.

--Excellent use of voice-over. Not trapped in convention! It pops in here and there—whenever needed--to great, mirthful effect!

--Why all this fascination with zombies? It’s pretty elementary: life, death, what happens after death, immortality, the precariousness of life, the tenacity of life, the evil of sickness/contagion, the determination to stay alive no matter what, the one great leveling enemy of us all death (personified by “the walking dead”). Some have posited that a “culture of death” is naturally fascinated by the dead.

--I wonder if they forgot to edit out the two shots of a box of medicine in the pharmacy that had absolutely no significance to the rest of the movie.

--Could have been PG.

--So heartening to see such a positive, sweet, young adult love story with such a hopeful message!

--Even though “R” wants to protect Julie and keep her “safe” (with his limited zombie lexicon, he says “safe” umpteen times), she is a strong young woman in her own right. Nice.

--This film (written and directed by Joseph Levine, who is not known for much of anything else) feels like a true male/female collaboration. Check the full credits—lots of women interwoven everywhere. Big, big props to Levine!

--Superb-o soundtrack.

YEAH, THE PUNS ARE ENDLESS:














MY VIDEO REVIEW WITH GREG KRAJEWSKI:




6 comments:

  1. Very funny that the caption on that Twilight / Warm Bodies picture says, "Nothing will be the same" and it is the SAME picture. LOL.

    Thanks for sharing this. I was iffy on whether or not to go see it, but now I think I will. :-)

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  2. Can't wait to see this! I am not a zombie person, but received the book this movie is based on for Christmas and loved it! Very fun, fast read and yes, loved the theme of "love can change a person".

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  3. So many people sitting on the fence! Go! Go! Go! :D (I'm not a zombie person either.) I thought this would just be funny, but it's way more than that....

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  4. Sent my teens on Saturday, ages 15 and 16. They loved it! Funny and Scary!

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  5. I am so glad I came upon your site! I was thinking about going to see the movie myself (my kids are too young) but didn't expect it to be worth the time. After reading this, however, I'll be having a mom's night off. :-)

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