Cross The Streams With Oblivion, Loving Zombies, And Mad Max

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For whatever reason, I’ve gone this long into Cross the Streams without really branching out from my core group of featured sites to incorporate some of the other legal outlets that aren’t solely for public domain movies and don’t have extremely short windows of availability. So I’ll try to start throwing a few other ones in the mix as I find them. And I’d appreciate any suggestions on other quality sites whose catalogs deserve attention. This week, HBO Go gets the top honors. Let’s kick things right off the planet with everyone’s favorite space cowboy, Tom Cruise.

oblivionOblivion (HBO Go)
On paper, but not necessarily screenplay software, Oblivion sounded like it could have been an extremely interesting sci-fi mystery without a lot of fluff. Unfortunately, the screenplay from Academy Award winner Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine) and playwright Karl Gajdusek (Trespass) just didn’t take the mysteries deep enough, and director Joseph Kosinski was comfortable handling himself when it came to striking visuals and images that look really great as posters. But that doesn’t mean it was a feat in direction, or that he drew the best performances from his talented cast, including Cruise as a memory-wiped repairman who works with power stations on an Earth that’d been uninhabitable for many decades following a war with aliens. Then he starts remembering things and uncovering things and it all amounts to a movie that’s certainly worth watching, but which fails to live up to its planet-orbiting potential. It also stars Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko, Melissa Leo, Andrea Riseborough, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.


Warm Bodies Author Isaac Marion Talks About The Sequel Novel

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WARM BODIESOne of the most surprising hit films of 2013 was director Jonathan Levine’s big-screen adaptation of author Isaac Marion’s best-selling novel, Warm Bodies. While not all of us liked it, it still did decent business, and it seems likely we’ll get a sequel at some point. In fact, Marion is busy at work writing a sequel to his first Warm Bodies novel. Marion already released a prequel novella titled The New Hunger, which depicts how the zombie apocalypse occurred. The 32-year-old author left the Warm Bodies novel’s ending as open-ended as Jonathan Levine did in the film adaptation, so there’s room for improvement and expansion.

Marion has offered up a few tidbits about the forthcoming sequel, which will be the final conclusion of the story he started in 2010. He also revealed that the sequel would be “much bigger” and “more complex” than the original Warm Bodies. Although Marion didn’t reveal the book’s title, he did say that it would not be titled Warm Bodies 2 or Warm Bodies: Even Warmer.

Warm Bodies takes place in a dystopian world where zombies have taken over the world. There are some small pockets of humanity still alive, protected in walled-off and gated communities. The story is told from the perspective of a zombie named R. But when R meets a human named Julie, he doesn’t try to eat her, but rather begins to fall in love with her. With every warm feeling between the two of them, R becomes more and more human.


Review: Warm Bodies Is Lukewarm At Best

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There’s a scene about halfway through Warm Bodies where Julie (Teresa Palmer) fends off a pack of hungry zombies using a weed whacker. As you might imagine, it doesn’t do much more than keep them at arm’s length, so clearly it’s not the best choice for post-apocalypse self-defense. But that one moment also encapsulates everything that’s wrong with Warm Bodies. It brings a weed whacker to what should be a chainsaw fight.

Warm Bodies introduces us to R, a shambling zombie who spends his days wandering around an abandoned airport, collecting objects that catch his eye, and occasionally devouring a wayward, foolish human or two. During one particular brain-hunt with his friend M (Rob Corddry), R attacks a group of humans raiding a pharmacy. During the fight, R kills and eats the brain of Perry (Dave Franco), boyfriend of Julie. It’s explained that eating someone’s brain allows the undead to experience their memories, but this time it has a far stronger effect on R. Upon seeing Julie, he instantly becomes smitten with her, even saving her from his packmates and escorting back to his dive inside an empty airplane. The more time he spends with her, the more he recovers of his lost humanity, and Julie begins to suspect that they may have inadvertently discovered a cure for the zombie blues.


Warm Bodies Finds The Romance In Brain Eating This Week In Science Fiction

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Warm Bodies
In theaters Friday

It’s rare that I have a change of heart about a movie I once had as little interest in as I did Warm Bodies. Along with quite a few others, I initially dismissed the zombie rom/com as the latest painful attempt to cash in on the popularity of Twilight. I mean, you’ve got attractive young stars. It’s based on a young adult novel. You’ve got a star-crossed romance hinging on a necrophilic attraction between a fetching young lass and a living-impaired suitor. Thankfully, trailers and early word suggests that Warm Bodies isn’t taking its concept nearly as seriously as Stephenie Meyer’s stubbornly immortal franchise.

Based on Isaac Marion’s debut novel, Warm Bodies kicks into gear after a random but well-preserved young zombie named R (Nicholas Hoult) chows down on the brains of a chap who happens to be the boyfriend of a girl named Julie (Teresa Palmer). In the world of Warm Bodies, eating someone’s brains allows the zombies to relive the memories of the victim, and R soon finds himself both falling for Julie and becoming more human. If it can nail the comedy and be half as much fun as Zombieland, Warm Bodies could be a solid way to spend your Friday night.


Warm Bodies’ Rob Corddry Shares Zombie Acting Tips

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If there is ever a biopic about my life, and if quality thespian were stepping into the role of Nick Venable, intent on approaching it as a method actor, there are five things to abide by: beer, writing, bacon, comedy, porn. Add whatever verb you want to any one of those things, and it’ll probably fit. Also, podcasts gets you extra-credit.

Rob Corddry is a bit of a method actor himself, giving an interview with Hal Rudnick of ScreenJunkies where he divulges many of his acting secrets and influences. If you’re familiar with Corddry’s work at all, you already knew to leave all seriousness at the door. Breaking into comedy from bit pieces on Upright Citizens Brigade, to the sub-limelight of being a Daily Show correspondent, Corddry has made a career out of being the egotistical co-worker or friend in guest-starring roles on almost every comedy worth a damn in the last 10 years, as well as starring roles in the amazing Childrens Hospital and the underrated Hot Tub Time Machine. And that was all in anticipation for his greatest role of all: the mostly silent zombie M, in Jonathan Levine’s undead love story, Warm Bodies. Get out your copy of It’s Always Daniel Day Lewis Day and watch the video below.


Nicholas Hoult Dishes On His Preparation For Warm Bodies And His Role In Mad Max: Fury Road

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Nicholas Hoult has a ton of high-profile movies in various stages of production. Jack the Giant Slayer and the sequel to X-Men: First Class are both worthy movies on their own, but he also has two that are of particular interest to us at the moment: the zombie rom-com Warm Bodies, and the post-apocalyptic actioner Mad Max: Fury Road.

The former child star, now 23, sat down with Collider to talk briefly about all of upcoming roles.

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