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The Review Report For Friday, February 1st

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by Forrest Cardamenis
February 1, 2013 2:43 PM
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"Warm Bodies."
"Warm Bodies."

It's Friday, which means it's time for The Review Report, our weekly roundup of notable reviews for new films opening in theaters. Clicking on any title will take you to that movie's page on our Criticwire Network, where you can find lots more reviews and grades from all your favorite film critics.

First up, we have “Warm Bodies,” the zombie-comedy from "50/50" director Jonathan Levine:

Matt PaisRedEye:

"Picture a zombie shuffling around a post-apocalyptic society, mumbling not 'Brainssssss,' but 'Heartsssss.' Not because he prefers to eat hearts, but because he wants to revive his own... the funny, endearing 'Bodies' chronicles an awkward, lonely guy with a crush and a determination not to seem creepy."

Peter DebrugeVariety:

"The pic keeps the horror quotient in check while focusing on the femme-friendly comedy and romance angles, offsetting the plentiful moments of suspense with cutesy scenes."

A.A. DowdTime Out Chicago:

"Speaking of Bella and Edward, it’s possible to read 'Warm Bodies' as a darkly comic spin on the Stephenie Meyer franchise. (Palmer is a dead ringer for Kristen Stewart.) Then again, good luck ascribing a clear satirical agenda to Jonathan Levine’s tonally uneven zom-com, which suffers an identity crisis nearly as severe as its protagonist’s."

If you're more in the mood for thrills than laughs, your best bet might be "Bullet to the Head," from action director extraordinaire Walter Hill. Or, then again, maybe not:

Jessica KiangThe Playlist:

“But despite the film's utterly gratuitous violence (no sex, though!), there's a strange kind of innocence on display here. We're not anywhere real, we're in '80s-action-movie-land -- bad guys cackle, take cocaine, and throw masked parties where naked girls tango with each other.”

Scott Tobias, The A.V. Club:

"Hill works his usual magic on the big confrontations -- the punches hit so hard that the sound of ax handles clacking isn’t much blunter -- but elevating a generic piece of future cable-filler isn’t the same as salvaging it."

Emmanuel Levy, EmmanuelLevy.com:

"A retro actioner, but not in a cool way, the new picture feels as if nothing had happened to this popular movie genre for decades."

Neither sounds right for you? Maybe check out "The Gatekeepers," a documentary about the role of the Israel Security Agency during the Six Day War. The film has been garnering critical acclaim since its premiere at the Telluride Film Festival last year:

Kate ErblandMSN Movies:

"Most of the confessions in 'The Gatekeepers' are not necessarily shocking, but the film is frequently unsettling and provocative, and it's nothing short of riveting to hear previously dedicated government men sigh and admit to finding their views going to the side of leftism in their waning days."

Cynthia FuchsPop Matters:

“The film shows photos taken by reporters, shifting and animated, or stark and still, hinting at the changing of stories and the ways that history is constructed.”

Last but not least, "Koch" is a comprehensive look at the eccentric, quintessential New York City mayor, who, coincidentally, passed away this morning:

Joe BendelLibertas Film Magazine:

"While Barsky examines his legacy warts-and-all, his documentary will easily convince viewers Koch was the right no-nonsense man for the job, like a pre-Giuliani Giuliani. 'Koch' is funnier, though. Shrewdly, Barsky emphasizes his humor whenever possible. The results, gently prodded along by Mark Degli Antoni’s peppy underscore, are compulsively watchable."

Stephanie ZacharekNPR

"Barsky may be a little dazzled by his subject matter, but admittedly it's hard not to be. Koch could be a borderline-racist crabapple one minute, but the next he'd be taking swift action to build affordable housing, or jovially falling into step with cranky New Yorkers forced to hoof it to work during the painful transit workers strike of 1980."

What are you looking forward to watching this weekend? Let us know in the comments section below.

First, we have “Warm Bodies,” the zombie-comedy from “50/50” director Jonathan Levine.
 
Matt Pais from RedEye
 
“Picture a zombie shuffling around a post-apocalyptic society, mumbling not “Brainssssss,” but
“Heartsssss.” Not because he prefers to eat hearts, but because he wants to revive his own […] At heart,
the funny, endearing “Bodies” chronicles an awkward, lonely guy with a crush and a determination not
to seem creepy.”
 
Peter Debruge from Variety
 
“The pic keeps the horror quotient in check while focusing on the femme-friendly comedy and romance
angles, offsetting the plentiful moments of suspense with cutesy scenes.”
 
A.A. Dowd from Time Out Chicago
 
“Speaking of Bella and Edward, it’s possible to read Warm Bodies as a darkly comic spin on the
Stephenie Meyer franchise. (Palmer is a dead ringer for Kristen Stewart.) Then again, good luck ascribing
a clear satirical agenda to Jonathan Levine’s tonally uneven zomcom, which suffers an identity crisis
nearly as severe as its protagonist’s.”
 
If you find yourself preferring visceral thrills to laughs, look no further than “Bullet to the Head,” from
action-hero Walter Hill.
 
Jessica Kiang from The Playlist
 
“But despite the film's utterly gratuitous violence (no sex, though!), there's a strange kind of innocence
on display here. We're not anywhere real, we're in '80s-action-movie-land -- bad guys cackle, take
cocaine, and throw masked parties where naked girls tango with each other.”
 
Scott Tobias from A.V. Club
 
“Hill works his usual magic on the big confrontations—the punches hit so hard that the sound of ax
handles clacking isn’t much blunter—but elevating a generic piece of future cable-filler isn’t the same as
salvaging it.”
 
Emmanuel Levy from emmanuellevy.com
 
“A retro actioner, but not in a cool way, the new picture feels as if nothing had happened to this popular
movie genre for decades.”
 
Still not your thing? Perhaps check out “The Gatekeepers,” a documentary about the role of the Israel
Security Agency during the Six Day War that has been garnering acclaim since its premiere at the
Telluride Film Festival last year.
 
Kate Erbland from MSN Movies
 
“Most of the confessions in "The Gatekeepers" are not necessarily shocking, but the film is frequently
unsettling and provocative, and it's nothing short of riveting to hear previously dedicated government
men sigh and admit to finding their views going to the side of leftism in their waning days.”
 
Cynthia Fuchs from Pop Matters
 
“The film shows photos taken by reporters, shifting and animated, or stark and still, hinting at the
changing of stories and the ways that history is constructed.”
 
Last but not least, Koch is a comprehensive look at the eccentric, quintessential New York City mayor,
who, coincidentally, passed away this morning.
 
Joe Bendel from Libertas Film Magazine
 
“While Barsky examines his legacy warts-and-all, his documentary will easily convince viewers Koch was
the right no-nonsense man for the job, like a pre-Giuliani Giuliani. Koch is funnier, though. Shrewdly,
Barsky emphasizes his humor whenever possible. The results, gently prodded along by Mark Degli
Antoni’s peppy underscore, are compulsively watchable.”
 
Stephanie Zacharek from NPR
 
“Barsky may be a little dazzled by his subject matter, but admittedly it's hard not to be. Koch could be
a borderline-racist crabapple one minute, but the next he'd be taking swift action to build affordable
housing, or jovially falling into step with cranky New Yorkers forced to hoof it to work during the painful
transit workers strike of 1980.”
First, we have “Warm Bodies,” the zombie-comedy from “50/50” director Jonathan Levine.
 
Matt Pais from RedEye
 
“Picture a zombie shuffling around a post-apocalyptic society, mumbling not “Brainssssss,” but
“Heartsssss.” Not because he prefers to eat hearts, but because he wants to revive his own […] At heart,
the funny, endearing “Bodies” chronicles an awkward, lonely guy with a crush and a determination not
to seem creepy.”
 
Peter Debruge from Variety
 
“The pic keeps the horror quotient in check while focusing on the femme-friendly comedy and romance
angles, offsetting the plentiful moments of suspense with cutesy scenes.”
 
A.A. Dowd from Time Out Chicago
 
“Speaking of Bella and Edward, it’s possible to read Warm Bodies as a darkly comic spin on the
Stephenie Meyer franchise. (Palmer is a dead ringer for Kristen Stewart.) Then again, good luck ascribing
a clear satirical agenda to Jonathan Levine’s tonally uneven zomcom, which suffers an identity crisis
nearly as severe as its protagonist’s.”
 
If you find yourself preferring visceral thrills to laughs, look no further than “Bullet to the Head,” from
action-hero Walter Hill.
 
Jessica Kiang from The Playlist
 
“But despite the film's utterly gratuitous violence (no sex, though!), there's a strange kind of innocence
on display here. We're not anywhere real, we're in '80s-action-movie-land -- bad guys cackle, take
cocaine, and throw masked parties where naked girls tango with each other.”
 
Scott Tobias from A.V. Club
 
“Hill works his usual magic on the big confrontations—the punches hit so hard that the sound of ax
handles clacking isn’t much blunter—but elevating a generic piece of future cable-filler isn’t the same as
salvaging it.”
 
Emmanuel Levy from emmanuellevy.com
 
“A retro actioner, but not in a cool way, the new picture feels as if nothing had happened to this popular
movie genre for decades.”
 
Still not your thing? Perhaps check out “The Gatekeepers,” a documentary about the role of the Israel
Security Agency during the Six Day War that has been garnering acclaim since its premiere at the
Telluride Film Festival last year.
 
Kate Erbland from MSN Movies
 
“Most of the confessions in "The Gatekeepers" are not necessarily shocking, but the film is frequently
unsettling and provocative, and it's nothing short of riveting to hear previously dedicated government
men sigh and admit to finding their views going to the side of leftism in their waning days.”
 
Cynthia Fuchs from Pop Matters
 
“The film shows photos taken by reporters, shifting and animated, or stark and still, hinting at the
changing of stories and the ways that history is constructed.”
 
Last but not least, Koch is a comprehensive look at the eccentric, quintessential New York City mayor,
who, coincidentally, passed away this morning.
 
Joe Bendel from Libertas Film Magazine
 
“While Barsky examines his legacy warts-and-all, his documentary will easily convince viewers Koch was
the right no-nonsense man for the job, like a pre-Giuliani Giuliani. Koch is funnier, though. Shrewdly,
Barsky emphasizes his humor whenever possible. The results, gently prodded along by Mark Degli
Antoni’s peppy underscore, are compulsively watchable.”
 
Stephanie Zacharek from NPR
 
“Barsky may be a little dazzled by his subject matter, but admittedly it's hard not to be. Koch could be
a borderline-racist crabapple one minute, but the next he'd be taking swift action to build affordable
housing, or jovially falling into step with cranky New Yorkers forced to hoof it to work during the painful
transit workers strike of 1980.”
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