Tag Archives: romance

“R” you in love with Warm Bodies? A book and movie review

8 Feb

“I am dead, but it’s not so bad. I’ve learned to live with it.”

And I was hooked. This is the first line of Isaac Marion’s novel, Warm Bodies, and right away I felt that I had connected with his main character–who just so happens to be a mildly clear-thinking, witty, brain-eating zombie. If I had to sum up this story: it’s a romance–with zombies. Marion’s novel stuck with me as he narrates a story above life, love and survival from the eyes of someone who is already dead. (well…sort of. )

The lead character, who goes by only the letter R as he has forgotten the rest of his name, is a zombie. He explains right away that the living dead can’t remember their names, their past lives or what it was like to be alive anymore–they only keep going, unable to communicate, trapped within rotting bodies.

This brilliant novel struck a chord with me–and it is obvious from the movie that it struck the filmmakers in the same way–in regard to the lack of human interaction and communication in the present. R poses questions to himself and to the reader as he faces his inner self in various conflicts–like eating people, for example. Although R knows that he has to eat people to survive, he doesn’t like to hurt people. He has inner conflict about it. I suppose that is partly why he was susceptible in the first place to falling for one of the living.

After eating the brain of a boy named, Perry, R finds himself hopelessly enamored with a girl named, Julie. The only problem is that she is alive. Torn between his nature and his newly discovered feelings, R seeks to protect the terrified Julie, and after camouflaging her scent in his dead blood so the other zombies won’t smell her, he takes her back to his home in the airport. Julie is understandably terrified at first, but soon R shows that he is becoming something bigger than he once once. Speech begins to return to him in blurbs at first, hunger for flesh and brains ebbs and his attachment to Julie grows.

I have always been a fan of the unusual point of view narrations–but so far, Warm Bodies takes the cake as one of my favorites. R’s narrative is an exciting combination of poetry, philosophy and gore. I quickly grew attached to the lead character and found myself rooting for him as he fights to change and as Julie rallies with him to find a “cure” to the zombie “plague”. All the while they each face their own version of zombies, both actual and physical as the actual humans within the story begin losing what made them such and emotionally slowly decays.

The film Warm Bodies, does a pretty fair job of picking up on R’s sense of humor–though I would have liked if it retained more of his inner narrative than was given. However, it was impressive how much emotion I felt came across from the actor who played R, Nicholas Holt,despite his lack of much facial expression or vocal cues.

Perhaps it was because I read the book that I felt that the actress who played Julie, Teresa Palmer, seemed to show less emotion than Holt, who was the actual zombie. She didn’t seem nearly as charismatic or lively as she is depicted in the novel: however, the film’s version of Julie has a grittier, older feel–and for a moment or two it feels like the movie version of The Hunger Games. (Which perhaps was the point?)

What I applaud the film most for is the horrific visual of the Boneys, skeleton-like zombies who within the novel are the leaders of the Zombie “hives”. They were truly grotesque in movements and presentations. They even made me jump.

Though, I wish that the film has stuck with the ending given to Julie’s father, General Grigio. It better reflected the comparison between current humanity and zombies, and though grim, I felt was more suitable. But alas, Hollywood loves their happy endings!

I rate the novel a 7 out of 10 on the restless writer scale, and the movie a four out of five cupcakes.

All and all, both the film and novel are worthwhile time-passers for this winter. And for those who love romance and also zombies–these are to die for. (Or perhaps to live!)

Love is Delicious

15 Feb

“Valentine’s Day is so Cliche.” Twilight Sparkle claimed yesterday morning, along with multitudes of other negative Valentine’s Day things. “I think it should only be for little kids, that’s kind of cute. But it’s so cliche, all the lovey-mush on Valentine’s day.”

I sat quietly and listened to my inner monologue narrate how lonely her life is. Sure, Valentine’s Day is a giant Cheese-fest. I can agree with that much. I can also agree that it’s probably some huge scam by the chocolate companies, floral companies and card companies to suddenly generate some revenue in an otherwise Holiday-dead month. But, all I could think as she ranted all day long about how irritating the day was–was how cliche it is to hate Valentines Day. Yes, it’s cliche to love it too. So, I like to take the mainly middle road of passive indifference. (i.e. I can live with it–but I can also live without it.) Besides, how could you not smile a little bit at the idea of how that holiday even started up? I mean, some saint who is secretly marrying Christians when Christianity is forbidden gets beheaded and thousands of years later we’re all chasing our tails? (or some tail, depending.)

For the past few years, my idea of the ideal Valentine’s Day involved masses of delcious and savory foods, friends and zombie movies. (Eat your heart out) But once my boyfriend, Mickey, came into my life–things changed.

I have never been a romantic. In fact, I have a tendency to ruin moments that would otherwise be considered as such. I will admit, I almost sometimes go out of my way to ruin them because I get nervous. Not Mickey. Last year, he made every effort to create the ideal Valentines Day for us. It went horribly awry, and ended in tears–but I appreciated the effort all the same.

This year was different.

So, as I listened to Twilight Rant all day–truly just grinding her lonely, dateless existance into the very pores of our team–he was plotting. I practically sprinted out of the office yesterday, forgoing the elevator for stairs so I could burn off steam. As I pinged my card through to access he train and nervously barrelled down the stairs, Mickey was waiting for me.

Dressed in a long black coat, black slacks, dress shoes, a suit coat, a white button down shirt and the new black and silver bow-tie I had gotten him as a gift–he looked more ready for the Opera than just a casual night out. (When I told him this, he replied “I always do.” And he does.) Leaning against the wall nearest the stairs, he posed, extending a colorful bouquet of flowers toward me, and a cocky proud smile. (probably laughing at my surprise.) I could already feel my cheeks flushing as I took the flowers and pecked him on the lips. Even though we’ve been together for over two years, romance still makes me flustered. It’s something I don’t think I’ll ever be able to change completely. I was also presented with a card, hand=designed with photos of us from last year and a heartfelt message within. (This gift I showed off to my whole team at work today, to Twilight’s great displeasure.)

Together, we took the red line toward Kendall. Until this moment, I had not been told where we would be heading. (Though I had tried to weasel the answer out of him from the moment he mentioned wanted to plan something.) Eagerly, I fidgeted in my seat before he finally told me that we would be having sushi that night.

As I know you don’t know my boyfriend like I do, reader, let me make something clear about Mickey. He is a picky eater. On a usual night, he won’t even eat chicken, let alone sushi. My brows raised when he made this declaration.

“What made you decide on sushi?” I asked him earnestly as we walked into the cool wind through East Kendall.

“Remember the other night, when you told me I should be more adventurous with my food?” He asked me back. I furrowed my brows, vaguely recalling something like that happening when we were out. I nodded my consent. “Well, I decided you were right. And when I tried something new last time we were out, you were so proud of me. I wanted to give this a shot.”  He makes me smile.

Fuji at Kendall, is not a far walk from Kendall station off of the red line. Located at 300 third street in Cambridge, a little Googleing after our visit pulls up the website immediately. The place even from the outside looks modern and organized. (Just as most of the buildings in this area) We were promptly greeted by the hostess once through the door, who quickly showed us to a table. I was pleasantly surprised to find that other than a handful of people at the sushi bar, we were the only patrons. The sound system pumped gooey but classic music through the open and airy space, but was not overpowering or unpleasant in any way. (In fact, I quite like Frank Sinatra.) Tables for two clustered across the right side of the restaurant, in an evenly and carefully placed in a way that almost felt overly planned. (but was also visually pleasant) Each table was neatly set with a fresh colorful orchid set in vases of water, along with carefully folded napkins, small white plates, and plastic chopsticks neatly awaiting use. Despite feeling slightly exposed due to the very clear windows surrounding us, the space felt bright, clean and open. Across from us was the bartop, decorated with liquor and thoughtfully arranged wooded boats. My boyfriend smiled as he watched me take in the space, knowing I was more than pleased with his choice.

We did not drink anything other than ginger ale yesterday, so I can’t review their drinks, but their food was beautiful. What I like most about Japanese food, or any Asian cuisine, really is the attention to visual detail that is paid of each dish. Our appetizers, steamed vegetable dumplings, and salt and pepper shrimp–came first. The dumplings popped from the plate in bright green hues against the stark whiteness of the plates, and were flavorful even without the spicy dipping sauce provided with them. The shrimp were cooked to a perfect-looking golden brown and flecked with bright reds and deep blacks of pepper.

Our sushi was not as visually impressive, but was some of the best that I have had, taste-wise. The Unagi Maki was sweet and slightly warm–which I enjoyed. The Boston Maki was cool and tangy, slightly chewy and the spicy tuna maki–well that was perhaps the only let down on my part. The spicy mayo included in bright orange, warning hues on top is nothing to laugh at. The spice was almost overpowering rather than enjoyable.

By far though. the dessert was the most wonderful to look at. We decided to each try Fuji’s fried dessert options. I decided on the safer, Fried Icecream, while Mickey opted for the Fried Cheesecake. Both came out with beautifully decorated plates and were both delicious in their own way. The fried cheese cake is not for the texturally sensitive though.

All and all, I would definitely return to Fuji at Kendall. The only major problem I had with the service was that our waitress felt very pushy and I felt overly rushed to finish my meal. For now, I will pass it off as the fear of the Valentines rush.

Though I may not be the romantic type, I’m glad I’ve finally found someone who is. Cheesy and mushy as it may sound–he brightens up my life each day, not just on Valentines Day. I hope everyone out there remembers to show those you love that you care each day–and treat each day like it’s a holiday. Love should always be celebrated, even if it’s not the romantic kind. Even if it’s a working relationship in the office, a group of close friends or your family–a little love each day, expressed in some little way might make all the Twilight Sparkle complainers out there–feel a little more tolerable toward the hopeless romantics.