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Things are warming up?

By The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

This article was published January 31, 2013 at 11:07 a.m.

Spring is still a ways away, but we’re beginning to see signs that our recent cinematic big chill is beginning to thaw. Jonathan Levine’s Warm Bodies may be the best movie of the young year so far, and our critic Dan Lybarger goes so far as to call it “one of the best romances in recent memory,” which strikes us as high praise for a zombie comedy.

And then there’s the not-bad Stand Up Guys, in which old pros Al Pacino and Christopher Walken elevate what might have been an extremely ordinary mob comedy. (Alan Arkin helps too, and his presence is always a good indicator of a given movie’s quality.) Our Philip Martin looks on the movie kindly, noting “there are few cell phones or computers in the film, the palette is muted, the film is just over 90 minutes and all the actors — well, most of the actors — play it straight and allow the comedy to derive from the situation. It’s hardly great, but it’s refreshingly old-school.”

And the hardest-working man in show biz (this week, anyway) is Piers Marchant, who assays both sets of Oscars shorts (he likes them) and the Sly Stallone vehicle Bullet to the Head, which he does not: “About the only way you could really enjoy a piece of lazy, hackneyed claptrap like this is with severe brain damage.”

All righty then. Winter isn’t quite over.

Read full reviews in Friday's MovieStyle section of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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