LISTED Film Previews – November 2011

Now, by this point, you’re probably wondering to yourself “How come there have been all these previews of films coming out, and yet we’ve hardly seen ANY actual reviews of these films? Whats going on, Mister? Why are you doing this to us? Whywhy?” Well, I’ll tell you – I’ve been massively busy on other projects in the works (mostly being that I need an actual job so I can afford things… like food…).

One such project I mentioned in a previous post, and that is the new Film Review Radio Show/Internet Podcast I am now a part of called May Contain Spoilers! We go out live every week on Thursday nights at 9, and our podcast follows shortly after in the week so you can catch it even if you didn’t hear it live. To keep up with our shenanigans and stay up to date with our fantastic competitions and news, you can add us on Facebook by searching May Contain Spoilers, on Twitter through @FilmSpoilers or you can e-mail us for information or to suggest a Soundtrack of the Week at maycontainspoilers@thebayradio.com. So come along, have a listen and get involved in the action yourself – its guaranteed to be 100% better than trying to eat a shoe!!

Now that’s done, shall I tell you about what to see this month? Yes. Yes I shall…

THE RUM DIARY (15) (Dir. Bruce Robinson)

Johnny Depp is Paul Kemp, a freelance journalist writing for a newspaper in the Caribbean who finds himself at a critical turning point in his life. As he tries to carve out a niche for himself in the journalistic world of Puerto Rico, he begins to fall in with crowds of lost souls. And if you notice that it bears a resemblance to Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas then you might not be surprised that The Rum Diary is also adapted from a novel by Hunter S. Thompson and written and directed by Bruce Robinson, so you can expect a few trippy scenes here and there. Possibly not for the faint of heart, but definitely for those that enjoy a bit of madness mixed in with their drama. Released November 4th.

IN TIME (12A) (Dir. Andrew Niccol)

Starring Justin Timberlake in an altogether different role, this sci-fi thriller is set in the near future where people stop aging at 25 but can only live for one more year, meaning time is used as currency so the rich stay young forever and the poor die early. But when a young man (Timberlake) finds himself with an abundance of extra time, he is swiftly on the run from an elite police force lead by Cillian Murphey called The Time Keepers. While the trailer seems like Logan’s Run, there may be more to offer than first meets the eye. Released November 1st.

IMMORTALS (15) (Dir. Tarsem Singh)

Appearing at first a bit like 300 Again, Immortals tells the tale of Theseus (Henry Cavill), a mortal man chosen by Zeus (Luke Evans) to lead a fight against King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke), a ruthless leader who is on a rampage through Greece with his disfigured army on a quest to find a weapon that could destroy humanity. While you can expect the action and effects to be just as stylised as 300 or Clash of the Titans, you can also expect more references to Greek mythology and the Greek Gods. While there might be a few reasons to see this in 3D, it’s also a good opportunity to see Henry Cavill in action before he takes on the Superman mantle in next year’s Man of Steel. Released November 11th.

THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN – PART 1 (12A) (Dir. Bill Condon)

Those cash-cow teens (and the one that can’t keep his shirt on) are back again for the first part of the final film of the saga. In Part One of Breaking Dawn, we see Bella (Kristen Stewart) finally tie the knot with her sparkly Vampire lover Edward (Robert Pattinson), much to the dismay of muscly wolf-boy Jacob (Taylor Lautner). Only thing is, after returning from their steamy, private honeymoon, Bella discovers she’s pregnant and the Vampire sprog inside of her not only poses a threat to the Quileute Wolf tribe and the Volturi Vampire coven alike, but could also be killing her from the inside. Perhaps it’s a message about abstinence, but at the same time this movie has taken the giant leap from being a cult phenomenon to becoming just a tad ridiculous. Expect lots of teenage angst drama in the build-up towards next year’s final conclusion. Released November 18th.

As published in Listed Magazine and online at http://www.listedmagazine.com. Search “May Contain Spoilers” in Facebook for information on all these films and more.

Advertisements

Oh, the funnies…

So I got to my computer this morning and, as many people do, flicked on Facebook. Only, to my horror, everyone was raving about the first trailer for the new Twilight saga movie Breaking Dawn Part 1. I want to admit up front that, out of a morbid curiosity for the storyline (and because Vampire/Werewolf fiction is normally pretty badass, but in this case proved how wrong I could be), I have read all the books. Cover to cover. Yes, I know, you may be saying right now “Why do that? Why waste the time? Are you a girl??” No. But, its better to have read them and know what you’re talking about than just outrightly disliking them. Anyway, this is besides the point…

I went straight to IMDB and checked out the trailer after the disappointingly mundane last film to see how they’d handle the level of raunchyness of this book. SPOILER ALERT FOR ANYONE THAT CARES – there is a lot of Vampire sex on the honeymoon. Oh, yeah, and no Vampire contraceptives either. I’m not exactly what constitutes a Vampire contraceptive really… perhaps something made of garlic or silver?… Anyway, the result is that the shockingly empty vessel that is Bella gets up the duff. Funny? This is just the start.

The trailer, first of all, shows part of the first love-making scene. Yes, you heard, a full on love-making scene in a 12A MOVIE. WHAT?! How will they handle that? Now, forgetting the inappropriateness of it for a second, it does open up opportunity for plenty of bad jokes on the title: Breaking Dawn Part 1 – Breaking Skin? Breaking Bella Part 1 – No Time for Contraceptives and Part 2 – Attack of the Stretchmarks? Feel free to chip in any time…

Secondly, the strapline is giving me no end of giggles. Let’s think about this closely for a second and think about how many films in a series can use the word “Begins” in a strapline for EACH film. That’s right, none. Except Twilight Saga. Let’s recap, shall we?:

New Moon: The Next Chapter Begins

Eclipse: It All Begins… With a Choice.

Breaking Dawn 1 – Breaking Bella’s Virginity: Forever is just The Beginning.

By this point, it does beg the question how many things is this series of films actually trying to start? But the question on everyones mind by this point is, more rightly, when will it stop? Am I being too critical, or is it time these films manned up a little? Discuss.

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (Contains Spoilers)

Essentially, this is almost the same deal as last time, except there’s no awesome story of how I took back both of the tickets I had and yet still managed to sneak into a fully packed cinema and find a seat near the people I came there with this time. We did it the legit way this time – booked our seats ahead of time and then turned up and sat in them. Only we also didn’t do the whole midnight screening thing either – I think one overdose of Twilight Fever is enough really! Instead, we just went to one the next morning, which is WAY less extreme, right?… Right?…

Anyway, after seeing the film the whole way through and not once laughing at any bits that were meant to be serious and poignant, I can safely surmise that The Twilight Saga: Eclipse is probably the most interesting of the Twilight series so far. The book, I personally thought, did not have much going on, as it is obviously from Bella’s point of view, and therefore you only see whats going on through her perspective. And what does go on is mostly her STILL having trouble choosing between her sparkly Vampire true love boyfriend Edward Cullen and super-tough macho Wolf friend Jacob Black, until the short pay-off at the end with all the fights happening. As such, I figured that the film would be much the same, and would consist mostly of static mid-shots of angsty looking teens trying to be all dramatic.

However, as with New Moon, all of the predictably dramatic scenes are broken up with exposition that isn’t part of the original book. This basically means that at the points that everything is getting very same-y and dramatic, the script gets broken up a bit with extra exposition that, in this respect at least, is actually pretty cool – namely scenes with Riley (played by newcomer Xavier Samuel) and Victoria (now played by Bryce Dallas-Howard), and their creation of the Newborn Vampire army that comes to attack Forks. And it’s exactly these scenes that add a more sinister element to what would otherwise be a pretty sappy teenage drama film. I’m not saying it completely redeems it or turns it around into something else, but it does provide some new viewing elements than what would otherwise be a film taken straight from the book.

On top of this, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse does provide something else alongside the main storyline that brings another interesting element to the film, and that is the exposition behind more of the main characters, in particular Jasper (Jackson Rathbone), and Rosalie. Their background stories are strong and compelling ones, and to get the insight behind them on the screen is more interesting than having it in the book as (again) it is from their perspective and done as they see it. The results of these background expositions is that you finally end up liking these characters a lot more than before. Up until this point, they have been part of the main cast but have also been kept mostly in the background – we were introduced to them in Twilight, and then in New Moon they were only in it at the beginning and at the end. Finally, we get the explanation behind their characters and start to like them more as they should have been from the first one!

As well as the Cullen family exposition, there is also the history behind the Quileutes and how they came into existence, providing even more exposition behind the characters we already know. This device of the film adds that extra amount of substance that means it ends up being a lot more than just a static viewing experience that you might expect from these films.

The other aspect of Eclipse that makes it mostly worth viewing is the huge fight sequence at the end. Surprisingly, it’s a lot more epic than one might imagine of a film of this ilk. It’s fast paced, it has Vampires and Giant Wolves ripping each other apart, and it’s pretty much the most entertaining bit of the film. Even the part where Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) ends the existence of the malicious Victoria ends up getting a bit gruesome and thusly making everyone cheer, because finally these Vampires are actually killing things like they’re meant to! It’s also worth mentioning here that Bryce Dallas-Howard’s Victoria is far more entertaining to watch than Rachel Lafevre’s Victoria of the past two films, especially as we see a lot more of her in Eclipse. It’s no wonder they originally offered the part to Bryce Dallas-Howard, only for her to turn it down and then get it re-offered once Rachel Lafevre lost her job.

Generally, there are more aspects of Eclipse that make it a lot more interesting than the other two films. Twilight started it all, and New Moon introduced the Wolves and more bad guys, but Eclipse introduces more background behind the characters and more action sequences which means you’re not just watching a love triangle for 2 hours. Eclipse also had the most kept in from the book – there were no scenes of any importance from the book that got skipped over, and there were all the right things in the right places. And the fact that director David Slade manages to work some outside humour into the film as well (such as Edward’s comment about Taylor Lautner’s Jacob “Does he not own a shirt?”, or the awkward “sex talk” between Bella and her dad) means that at least this time round, they are a few more elements toward a well-rounded film.

But, this does not mean that its obvious appeal toward daydreamy teenage girls is any less deniable. Although Eclipse does have its moments of undeniably compelling scenes (like the aforementioned fight scenes, cut-aways and expositions), it is still at its heart a film about a love triangle centred around Kristen Stewart’s Bella who still just can’t make up her mind, even though a majority of the audience would happily make it for her. And still, Stewart has that one look of confusion that she seems to wear on her face for the majority of the film even though they have obviously and undeniably prettied her up to make her less plain than the other two film, even though that’s the major part of her character. The fact that they’ve prettied her up that much obviously means that they are trying to go for the proper actress look for her, and the fact that she’s obviously wearing contacts throughout the entire film to darken and widen her eyes just goes to prove this.

At the end of the day, anyone who knows the books well enough knows that Eclipse is likely to be the last one with any kind of action in it of any kind considering the storyline yet to come in Breaking Dawn, which is now officially going to be in 2 parts considering how long the book is, thus making them even more money. And considering that Eclipse has made $121 million dollars just in its opening weekend, this series is clearly a money-making machine whether you like it or not. Overall, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse has some good bits in it that I did enjoy, but for the most part I still felt the unshakeable feeling that I wasn’t watching a Vampire movie until the end. Worth a 5 out of 10 for the effects and the fight scene at the end, but it’s still best to go and form your own opinion!

  • Calendar

    • September 2017
      M T W T F S S
      « Dec    
       123
      45678910
      11121314151617
      18192021222324
      252627282930  
  • Search