Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Book vs. Movie Review: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

Warm Bodies, the Book:

Publisher's Description:
A zombie who yearns for a better life ends up falling in love—with a human—in this astonishingly original debut novel. 
R is a zombie. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams. He doesn’t enjoy killing people; he enjoys riding escalators and listening to Frank Sinatra. He is a little different from his fellow Dead.


In this quaint not-quite-traditional Zombie love story, our lovable, but definitely dead, protagonist R, meets and falls in love with a young woman after consuming the brains of her boyfriend, and thus his memories. Easy to read, fun, light and full of hope and plenty of chuckling, I really enjoyed Warm Bodies. I think it'll translate nicely on to the screen as a lighthearted comedy (look for a movie review coming soon too!)

I love, love, loved R's voice. His inner monologue is much more extensive than what he's actually able to verbalize, but subtly gets better throughout the book as he gets his feelings and humanity back again. He still retains a few very human aspects - his love of music for example.

I also really enjoyed the thought Marion put into the post-apocolyptic Zombie world. The little details like the city in a stadium, the zombie-land at the airport and the different factions and jobs people take after the Zombie-plyse are nice details that set this "zombie-novel" apart from others.

Warm Bodies, the Movie:

I finally got a chance to go see the Warm Bodies movie last night after I won a Fandango gift certificate!

What I liked: The tone of the movie and the style in which it was filmed really kept the feeling of the novel. R's monologues are almost word for word out of the book and the first two thirds of the movie stick almost exactly to the plot line of the novel. Nick Hoult makes an amazing R, he's kind of awkward and dead, but still loveable. He's not over the top either as a zombie or a human and really portrays "I'm just a kid that got stuck in this weird situation" really well. Teresa Palmer reminded me a lot of a much better Kristen Stewart (maybe just because she has similar facial features when she's acting) and I thought she made an excellent Julie. I wasn't too invested in either of the characters ahead of time though, so I wouldn't have been too picky about who played them anyway. The soundtrack, by the way, is fantastic.

What I didn't like: There are major changes to the end. Warm Bodies the novel is the first in a series and is left very open ended. The movie, naturally, goes further and ties up all of the open strings. I really loved the idea of this city within a stadium that didn't really come to life in the movie. They also took some creative liberties with the city (which is supposed to be post-apocolyptic impoverished, not mansion-y). Also can I say what the hell?? to the Romeo and Juliet balcony scene in the movie? Where did that come from? And whyyyy on earth was it put it? So terrible! It almost ruined the rest of the movie from me. Come on now, your viewers aren't so dumb that they don't realize that "R" and "Julie" and "M" aren't based loosely off of Romeo and Juliet! Yuck.

Overall: Would totally go see it again, would probably buy the movie on DVD. I just adored the feel of the movie. I know that's very ambiguous, but it was clever, funny, and beautiful with a kickin soundtrack.



  1. I wonder why they tied it all up with a nice little bow in the movie. Weren't they hoping to cash in on the sequels?!

    I think I'll read the book first so the movie doesn't ruin it for me.

  2. Definitely read the book first - but despite the wrapping up ties at the end I did really enjoy it :)