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Local critics warm up to 'Warm Bodies,' 'Stand Up Guys'

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"Warm Bodies," a star-crossed lovers tale set in a post-apocalyptic zombie world, is one of the major new releases opening in theaters locally on Friday.

The film stars Nicholas Hoult as R, a zombie who falls in love with human survivor Julie (Teresa Palmer). It seems that when R consumed the brains of Julie's boyfriend, Perry (Dave Franco), the zombie also ingested the man's memories of his love life with Julie -- which gets his cold, dead heart beating and begins to turn him human again.

Chris Hewitt in his Pioneer Press review points out the film's inevitable comparisons to the blockbuster "Twilight Saga," but says "if we're going to be subjected to tons of "Twilight" wannabes, 'Warm Bodies' is a pretty good one."

Praising the cast, Hewitt lauds Hoult for being "wry" and "appealing," and says "Palmer brings welcome spunk to what could have been just a 'girlfriend' part."

Not everything works for Hewitt, though, including the film's "annoyingly hipsterish vibe" that sometimes bogs down the film.

Colin Covert in his Star Tribune review also praises Hoult, saying that while "it's not an easy sell to present a clammy, brain-gorging cadaver as a young adult dreamboat," the actor's "shuffling body language, bug-eyed stares and inarticulate murmurs a sharp satire of disheveled youth."

Here's my interview with Palmer and Franco for "Warm Bodies." See the trailer for the film below.

Also opening this weekend is the Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin crime comedy "Stand-Up Guys." The film features the trio of Oscar-winners as a group of aging thieves who reunite for one last crime spree.

Hewitt in his Pioneer Press review says "the peculiar combo of schmaltz and carnage" is off-putting and the film has a lot of strange elements, but concedes it's "a joy to see all three of these fine actors making the most of this not-great movie."

Covert shares the same sentiments in his Star Tribune review, saying there's a "comfortable class reunion vibe" with the actors and there's "nothing groundbreaking in the way the story unfolds."

Still, Covert adds "not too much can go wrong" when you put the film's three stars together.

See the trailer for "Stand Up Guys" below.

Bring Me The News news curator Tim Lammers is also a nationally-syndicated movie journalist whose work appears on more than 50 TV affiliate websites in the U.S. Tim has interviewed more than 1,000 major actors and filmmakers throughout his career, and locally, he reviews films on "KARE 11 Today" and WCCO Radio. Tim's work is also featured on his website, StrictlyCinema.com.

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