Tag Archives: twilight

DVDs This Week 22 & 29/03/10

Twilight Saga: New Moon
I am not going to be converting anyone with my comments on this film: chances are if you love it or hate it (and there is no middle ground), me telling you that it is a steaming pile of faeces aint gonna change your mind. I have no problems with REALLY bad films like this becoming massively popular, I like Taken, the Scooby Doo movies and have probably seen Dude, Where’s my Car around 15-20 times. We all have our guilty pleasures. My problem with this series of films is that there seems to be a complete lack of love for this film by the people who made it. Both films seem rushed, with bits missing and what is possibly the biggest lack of chemistry in cinema. Two(or in this case, three) leads having little chemistry is annoying but forgivable in, say, Transformers 2 (another film I absolutely can’t stand) because it’s an action film, but in a romantic film it’s an abomination. That says, it comes just above the Transformers series for me for the simple fact that it cost a hell of a lot less. This will probably break records for DVD sales and although completely undeserving, I am willing to consider in the same way as the topic of old people sex. I realise that it exists, just don’t talk to me about it otherwise I may vomit.

Harry Brown
If this wasn’t such a quiet weeks I would have just reviewed this with the words ” Michael Caine’s in it, therefore it’s a must see”. Caine has got to have been one of the most consistent actors of modern times and if it’s true that this will be his last film as said in press interviews during release, it will be a massive loss not only to British cinema, but to Hollywood too. This revenge tale is intelligent and relevant in ways that a lot of modern revenge tales avoid. While it is enjoyable to see Caine’s transformation from accidental killer to ruthless murderer, the film is no slouch in it’s re-enacting of modern Britain. Young gangs controlling areas, pensioners left to fend for themselves and the feeling that the police are unable to help are all issues in Britain that have been happening for years. An impeccable performance by Caine and great supporting cast made this a big hit at the film festivals last year, but it deserved more than the limited release that it got. Catch in on DVD.

Paranormal Activity
It’s easy to compare Paranormal Activity to the Blair Witch Project. While it seems lazy journalism to make the connection, there’s no shaking the similarities, and not just the amateur footage style. Paranormal Activity followed tips on market from Blair Witch and it paid dividends. Also, like Blair Witch, Paranormal Activity is a very important horror film. These small films that make a huge return (and they are horrors in the majority) serve a purpose to show the studios that you don’t need to remake a successful movie or throw heaps of money to get a blockbuster on your hands. Both films try to concentrate on the FEAR itself, rather than the events, but Paranormal is definitely not as intelligent a film as the first Blair Witch and this is probably it’s failing. The Blair Witch Project didn’t need jump scares, loud noises or even something to be scared of.  It was essentially a character study in the arising of fear and how when it becomes conscious, how it can envelop you. Granted, there was something to be scared of in the Blair Witch, but we didn’t see if, just the outcomes of it’s actions. It was about a small group being isolated, growing in fear and reducing in hope and then a stark realisation that their fear was rational, that they were in danger.

So while Paranormal Activity was an important horror film, I think it doesn’t need a sequel and that repeat viewings of the film are not favourable. Maybe rent the DVD, then buy The Blair Witch Project, Rec, or Lake Mungo (which probably sell for less than a fiver now).

2012
Watch the trailer and you will pretty much immediately know what to expect from this film. Fantastic CGI, a wafer thin plot and poor characterisation. I always have time for films like 2012 because they don’t intend to be anything else. You get characters that wise crack despite it being the end of the world and limousines doing handbrake turns. This is a film I would love to be made into a theme park ride, because essentially the film is a ride – big, dumb fun. From a film critic’s point of view, it’s a bad film, but it’s one of those films where you can just switch your brain off and get a few friends around and just have a really good laugh.

Bunny and the Bull
Here is another film I saw at Leeds Film Festival (surely we must be near the end of them now?!). Right from the off, this film is inventive. Reminiscent of Gondry in style with a lot of guerrilla special effects (a theme park made from clock mechanisms), but able to be it’s own style, those expecting a Mighty Boosh movie will be SLIGHTLY disappointed. The humour is to some degree the same as Mighty Boosh, but is not as laugh out loud funny as the tv series. In fact, it’s quite short on real laughs to be honest, but in some ways that is to it’s benefit because it adds emotion into the mix. The film is bleak for the most part and is essence a story about someone who is not mentally sound. But there are out and out MAGICAL cinema moments (especially the scene with the titular bull).

This is a film which will follow suit with the Mighty Boosh in that it will gain cult status and it is definitely deserving. It may miss the mark a lot of the time, but when it delivers, it does so in such an original way that it’s hard not to be impressed.

Also out this week: Glorious 39 – Caprica (Pilot Episode) – Dread

Slade to Take on Eclipse

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The rumour-mongering and chatter can finally end, ladies and gentlemen. It has been confirmed that David Slade, the director of Hard Candy and 30 Days of Night has been signed up to helm the third Twilight film, Eclipse.

If nothing else, you have to give the Twilight producers at Summit some credit on their method for choosing directors. Catherine Hardwicke, best known at the time for her helming of the evil teen parable Thirteen and the underrated, and somewhat underdone, Lords of Dogtown, was never any sort of obvious choice to take on the project, even if that proved to be a mistake overall. Chris Weitz was less of a surprise given his work on The Golden Compass and Slade, who’s already taken on vampires of a kind, isn’t really a huge surprise. But, that said, they are at least not just quick job hacks promoted from writing or producing production line crap.

Round Up

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Twilight racked up first-day sales of 3 million for its DVD release.

Warner Brothers is to open its archive for sale, offering custom made DVDs for $20 a pop.

A biopic of Steve McQueen is in the works. As is one on Pancho Villa. Oh, and one about Judy Garland, starring Anne Hathaway.

Kurt Russell has turned down an opportunity to star alongside former cohort Sly Stallone in The Expendables.

Amanda Seyfried has dropped out of Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch. Apparently its due to a shooting conflict with HBO drama Big Love.

Hardwicke Taking On Bird People

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Catherine Hardwicke, the director so unceremoniously dumped from the Twilight series after directing the first installment, is to return by taking on an adaptation of Maximum Ride, the comics book series by James Patterson.

The series follow six teenagers that undergo a genetic experiment after which they become half-bird/half-human. They then escape from the laboratory which has performed such experiments on them and are pursued by another genetically mutated clan, this time the half-wolf/half-human pack called the Erasers.

So, Hardwicke moves from sparkling vampires to bird-people? Quite an interesting career path. I’ve not seen the comics but this does not sound particularly conducive to a screen adaptation without accidentally recalling Howard the Duck.

Movie News Round-Up

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Michel Gondry has been signed up to direct The Green Hornet, the crime-fighting comic book adaptation starring Seth Rogen and Stephen Chow. Chow had been signed up to direct but later dropped out over what were described as ‘creative differences’. Gondry’s presence makes this easily the most interesting comic movie on its way at present. I may not have fully loved Be Kind Rewind, but Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is one of the best films of the past ten years while Science of Sleep is an endless well of whimsy and imagination. Notably, the news was first reported on the Twitter feed of Production Weekly. Also, the trailer for Rogen’s new movie, Observe and Report, has emerged and looks like something of a departure for him into a slightly darker area.

Entertainment Weekly is reporting that Drew Barrymore, she of the adorable poppet-ness, is among the candidates being considered for Eclipse, the third movie in the Twilight series which will follow up the next instalment, New Moon, in 2010. Barrymore has recently signed off on her debut in the chair, Whip It, starring Ellen Page.

Eddie Murphy has apparently signed on to play Richard Pryor in ‘Richard Pryor: Was It Something I Said’ for director Bill Condon. It will reunite the pair who worked together previously on Dreamgirls, the film which garnered so much buzz for Murphy and won him an Academy Award nomination. Seems like a strong part for him given the placement of Murphy as the next in line in succession in the evolution of black comedians after Pryor and preceding Chris Rock.

Cate Blanchett has signed on the dotted line to play Maid Marian in Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood. This news follows that from last week that Scott has changed the name and vision behind the project to a more straight-forward retelling.

Samuel L Jackson is to play Nick Fury in Iron Man 2, Captain America, Thor, The Avengers and, possibly, in a Nick Fury movie should Marvel decide to do this too. There had been issues over Jackson joining in the past but now it seems such things have been pushed aside for the sake of continuity.

Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg are to team for The B Team, a comedy from Adam McKay which will follow the misadventures of two mismatched cops. Sounds like it be in a similar vein to all other Ferrell/McKay projects and have around four very funny Ferrell moments, almost no story and an effort to make up for any shortcomings through shouting.

Sean Penn and Naomi Watts are involved in talks for Fair Game, not a remake of the Cindy Crawford-starrer from the mid90s, but a drama about the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson. It would reunite Penn and Watts from when they starred together in the Innaritu/Arriaga piece 21 Grams, a role which won Watts a Best Actress nod at the Oscars. Fair Game will be directed by Doug Liman.

Joss Whedon has spoken out during an interview with Maxim on why many DC comics adaptations are having difficulty in getting to the big screen, including Wonder Woman, which he was often linked with in the past. Whedon said the difference in the era in which the DC comics were made meant that the heroes were not being created as people, but as gods. ‘DC’s characters, like Wonder Woman and Superman and Green Lantern, were all very much removed from humanity. Batman was the only character they had who was so rooted in pain, that had that same gift that the Marvel characters had, which was that gift of humanity that we can relate to.’ Whedon has long been working on getting Wonder Woman off the ground with Eliza Dushku in the lead. Personally, I’m not a big fan of Dushku’s acting so I’d put forward Morena Baccarin of Firefly and Serenity fame instead. Probably wouldn’t get made either way though.

Francis Ford Coppola has given out some new information on Tetro, his new film following the life, loves and troubles of an Italian family of artists. It stars Vincent Gallo and is, according to Coppola, his first ‘original screenplay’ since his The Conversation. A film from Coppola about an Italian family of artists, autobiography much?

Also in the news: Emily Blunt will definitely not be in Iron Man 2, instead she’ll have to star alongside Jack Black in Gulliver’s Travels; Mel Gibson’s The Colonel has a trailer; Jim Carrey and Jake Gyllenhaal are to star in a remake of Damn Yankees; Naomi Watts and Freida Pinto have joined Woody Allen’s next movie; Warner Bros has picked up the rights to adapt comic series Suicide Squad; The Coens have directed a 30-second commercial mocking the claim of clean coal; Gore Verbinski is to bring Clue/Cluedo to screens; Seth Green will star in animated caper Mars Needs Moms!; Ed Helms is to write and star in a Civil War-themed comedy; Danny Boyle and Dev Patel may take part in the real-life Who Wants to be a Millionaire; Peter Baynham, a collaborator of Sasha Baron Cohen on Borat, will write the Arthur remake for Russell Brand;