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August 26, 2013
Warm Bodies Blu-Ray Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
11/4/201314/8/2013IconJonathan Levine
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1MNicolas Hoult

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Warm Bodies is an entertaining film.

In an era when crap such as Twilight commands massive dollars at the box office it's no surprise that similarly themed vampire and post-apocalyptic films are being released on a regular basis. Warm Bodies is another such film, but this zombie flick switches the focus from struggling human survivors to the zombie.

Based on the novel by Isaac Marion, this film takes place after a zombie epidemic where R (a highly unusual zombie who can only remember the first letter of his living name) 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.

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The life of a zombie is somewhat dull.
What does surprise about this film is the emotion from the zombie. Typically when you think of zombies, be it in film or video games, they are dumb, plodding fodder for any manner of weapons. In Warm Bodies R has emotions, and Julie reciprocates them in a way giving the film plenty of heart. The characters shared love of music, teaching R how to drive, or R teaching Julie how to blend into the zombies are all captured perfectly. Needless to say this bond grows and you really start to feel for both characters on their journies.

Performances from both Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer are decent, although we found Hoult's character R a little mumbly (and yes, we know he's a zombie and that's how he's meant to sound, but a little more clarity would have been nice). Adding some class to a film with mainly no-name actors is John Malkovich who plays Julie's father and leader of the survivors, Colonel Grigio.

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Australia's Teresa Palmer stars in Warm Bodies.
We must also mention the impressive visual effects in the film. With a budget of only $US35 million the filmmakers have a wide variety of post-apocalypic locations shown, the fast moving Bonie zombies, and a few nice action sequences.

The soundtrack in this film also deserves mention with songs from Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Guns N' Roses, Roy Orbison and many more. The way in which may of these are integrated into the film is superb, and this is backed by Marco Baltrami and Buck Sanders' score for the film.

This film has been given a M rating here in Australia however it is pushing the upper limits of that rating with some violence and gore. Still in recent years we've become accustomed to much more then what's on offer in this film so it could have been pushed up a notch or two, although that may have alienated the core teenage audience and, as a result, the box office.

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Zombie get together under the bridge.
Warm Bodies is a refreshing, and often entertaining, take on the zombie film. With a mixture of comedy, gore and romance this film gets enough right to make it a recommended viewing.

Warm Bodies is presented in the films original 2.40:1 aspect ratio and has been encoded using the AVC MPEG-4 codec and it's generally a very impressive, often gorgeous, transfer that handles both light and dark scenes with much finesse. Fine details are evident throughout and the darker scenes, of which there are several as one would expect from a zombie film, are also given enough video bitrate to ensure clarity remains.

Warm Bodies has been released on Blu-Ray with a wonderful DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (16-bit/48Khz) track that brings the film to life with some wonderful use of surround sound channels, and gorgeous musical tracks. Clarity is impressive although, at times, it's hard to understand what R is saying with his zombie-like grunts. Still, that's intentional and not a fault of this otherwise fantastic sonic experience.

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John Malkovich in Warm Bodies.
The disc contains only a single English Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired track, but it remains accurate tot he on-screen dialogue and sounds. The subtitles are also coloured according to the person talking making it easier to follow conversations.

Looking at the Special Feature menu initially disappoints with only two options, but both of these are, in fact, quite lengthy, and definately worth your time.

Featurettes (1:46:34/HD): Combined, this actually runs longer then the feature film and is a fantastic insight into the creation of this film. Segment include "Boy meets, ER, doesn't eat girl", "R&J", "A Little Less Dead", "Extreme Zombie Make-Over", "A Wreck in Progress", "Bustin Caps", "Beware the Boneys", "Whimsical Sweetness - Teresa Palmers Warm Bodies Home Movies", "Shrug & Groan Gag Reel" and "Zombie Acting tips with Rob Corddry"

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Warm Bodies - a romantic zombie comedy...
Deleted Scenes (11:04/HD): Nine Deleted Scenes are presented here including "Alternate Boney Intro", "Perry & Dad Take A Drive", "R & Julie On The Plane Floor", "R With Kids", "R Sees Boney Attack", "R, Julie & Nora At The Subway", "Nora & Kevin Shoot Boneys", "Zombies & Humans", and "Julie & Nora Walk R Meet Kevin".

Besides these the Warm Bodies Blu-Ray also includes a DTS-HD Master Sound Check which includes both 5.1 and 7.1 sound check - interesting given the disc only includes 5.1 audio on the feature film.

It would be easy to dismiss Warm Bodies as just another teen zombie film, but it's surprisingly refreshing in its approach to the subject matter with a viewpoint from the zombie, not the humans and has a leve of emotion rarely seen in the genre. A great transfer makes this worth checking out.

Review By: Dave Warner


Note: All images in this article are Copyrightę Icon. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.