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

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!

LISTED Film Previews – June ’10

Ok, so these may be a tad late, because I thought I had put them on already but wasn’t sure, and also because I’ve been working on the next month’s ones as well as all my normal work, which has all been building up to the final few days which are still yet to come. And yet I still find time to do these film previews for you lovely people. Because I’m just awesome like that. Wrap you’re dirty great eyelids around these then!

GET HIM TO THE GREEK (15) (Dir. Nicholas Stoller)

Somewhat of a spin-off from Forgetting Sarah Marshal, Russell Brand returns to reprise his role of the outlandish rock star Aldous Snow. Jonah Hill (from Superbad) plays a lowly intern at a record company who is given his big break when he has to accompany an out-of-control Aldous and get him to LA’s Greek Theatre in time for his concert. Get Him To The Greek looks set to have some great performances from its cast, mainly because Jonah Hill is naturally very funny, and Russell Brand only has to be himself to play this part. This could well be choke-on-your-popcorn comedy! Released June 4th.

KILLERS (12A) (Dir. Robert Luketic)

Playing the rather unexpected role of an international super-assassin Spencer, Ashton Kutcher takes the leading role alongside Katherine Heigl who plays his newly wedded wife Jen. They live quite happily in domestic bliss, until the morning after Spencer’s 30th Birthday, when they discover he is the target of a multi-million dollar hit. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the hired killers have been stalking the happy couple for years, and they begin to suspect each of their neighbours! This could easily be hollow entertainment for the masses, a la The Bounty Hunter, but if you’re in the mood for simple comedy then this could prove to be ideal. Released June 16th.

JONAH HEX (12A) (Dir. Jimmy Hayward)

Delving even deeper into the world of comic books, Josh Brolin plays DC Comics’ scarred colonial bounty hunter with supernatural powers, who gets hired by the US Military to take down a terrorist (John Malkovich) who is preparing to unleash Hell on Earth. Many original fans are amazed that such a little-known DC Comics character is getting his own film release, despite how much potential Jonah Hex has as a hero character. The two things that will likely bring this film down is a bad case of Ghost Rider­-itis in the script, and Megan Fox’s flat acting. Hopefully, the character and the action will be enough to carry this film on their own. Released June 25th.

THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE (12A) (Dir. David Slade)

Although the first trailer for the third instalment of the infamous Twilight Saga made it look more like “Static Mid-Shots of Miserable Teenagers 3”, the second trailer released on the internet managed to gain back some credibility with the promised story of a pack of newborn Vampires led by vengeful vamp Victoria (now played by Bryce Dallas-Howard, who was originally offered the part in the first film) moving to attack Forks, and teasers of mass-vampire slaughtering courtesy of the Giant Wolves. Interwoven in this is the continuing conundrum of Bella’s (Kristen Stewart) decision of her love between super-buff Wolf Jacob (Lautner) and sparkly Vampire dream-boy Edward (Pattinson). It’s likely, though, that some of us might start wishing she’d just make up her mind so we can see some vampires get torn apart… On the whole, though, this film WILL be a success, whether you want it to or not! Released June 30th.

The Continuing Adventures of Myself – Part the Fifth

Monday 30th November: Not to drive anyone reading this blog currently living in somewhat colder conditions than myself at the present time insane with jealousy or anything, but this weather right now in California is FRICKIN’ HOT! I mean, I was walking on the street today, and I’m burning up just wearing a t-shirt and khakis. This is bloody November, and the weather back home is terrible! I felt a tad guilty enjoying all this amazing weather when everyone I know is currently suffering through cold weather, constant rain and continuous flooding – but then I remembered that I’m NOT there, and could therefore afford to enjoy the climate whilst I’m still here! Second to last week now – where the hell the time goes, I don’t know – and I finished one of the big projects I got put to work on today, so there was some excitement about that. Went straight over to Lora and Hans’ tonight as they were cooking and said I should come over – so I did! Evening got on, and I realised there was ironing calling me back home. Ah, ironing – the spoiler of all fun. Anyway, half done now, other half tomorrow sometime when I have the effort to finish it.

Tuesday 1st December: Pretty productive day today – started a new project which I’ve now managed to get fairly far into the start of, which occupied most of the day. Saw some friends today, Kevin and Renee, and they took me out for a nice meal on Main Street Santa Monica. I think I may just have a new addition to a favourite foods list – Sweet Potato Fries. Oh, my Lord, were they nice! So, yes, it was really great seeing them and talking about all the things that we’ve been up to over the last few weeks. Kevin has a friend who has been asked to write the Pilot episode for a TV Series adaptation of a pretty popular Graphic Novel series, I don’t think I can really say what it is, because it’s still in talks about whether it will get done, so if word got out about it beforehand, it could be bad! BUT, if you know me in person, and you REALLY have to know, then I might just whisper it to you if I think you can keep a secret!! However, the rest of you will have to hang tight until he tells me more about it, sorry! Anyway, needless to say, I’m very excited about hearing it. Back now, though, and the ironing mountain has been conquered and my flag firmly placed on the top. Early sleep, perhaps, to help sleep off all the sweet potato.

Wednesday 2nd December: Spontaneity truly does make for a more interesting life, doesn’t it? A long haul at work today, not finishing till just after 7 because all these things needed to get done (but I got my stuff for the day done anyway, so I’m not worried about that!), I was meant to see a friend today, but half way through the day she backed out. THEN, later on, she changes her mind again and takes me up on my original suggestion of being spontaneous and we decide to meet up and go ice skating in the outside rink in Santa Monica. Great, I think to myself, that will be fun and something interesting to do together. But oh crap, I suddenly think, I haven’t been ice skating in years – I’ll be all over the place, spending more time polishing the ice with my ass than actually skating! As it turns out, we were both able to keep upright very well, if perhaps being slightly shaky. I only managed to fall ONCE, and it was mostly because I was getting clever. So, there you go – you try to be clever and most often you end up on your ass! Anyway, it was a very fun night, made all the more fun by the fact it wasn’t really planned! MUST sleep soon, though, even though I’m not in the office tomorrow and have to work out a plan for the day.

Thursday 3rd December: Some of the true magic of LA struck me hard and fast this evening, and it just goes to show what being in the right place at the right time can get you! Not working in the office today, I head down to Santa Monica at the start of the afternoon to go to an internet ca to do some work. After I finish, I take some time out to have a little meander by myself down the Santa Monica Pier and then back along 3rd Street for a bit. After catching both of my buses home, I get off the bus and start walking up the road that leads me to the street I’m staying on. Now, on this street on one corner is a frozen yoghurt place (sort of like Pinkberry’s, but not the same) and I see a bunch of people outside taking pictures. “Must be some kind of event” I think. But then I realise that this IS LA, after all, and therefore could actually be anyone. So I take a look inside and see Taylor Swift and think “Huh, wow, thats pretty cool”, but then I look at the dude standing next to her and it’s fucking Taylor Lautner!! “Holy SHIT!” I actually say out loud, “and here’s me without my camera!” Anyway, he walks out and I just say hi to him and shake his hand, he smiles, says thanks and walks away, frozen yoghurt in one hand and Taylor Swift in the other. Genuinely nice dude, that he stopped to shake hands when all these other people were around! So, this evening, I can officially say that I shook hands with TAYLOR LAUTNER. How cool? Very fucking cool, thanks!! That’s the magic of LA – you never know who you could see at any time!

Friday 4th December: One more week drawing to a close, and the sad realisation that I will soon have to leave everything that I’ve experienced out here is starting to set in. The good part of this is that I’m now using every spare moment I have to fill with doing adventurous things in the hope that I can keep this kind of attitude going and not let it fade at all. It’s a wonderful feeling and attitude to have – the one that, when most people would ask “Why?”, says “Why not?”. And although I’m gradually becoming increasingly sad at the idea that I will have to leave, I know that I will always have my friends at home there waiting to welcome me back. That’s another nice feeling to have – the one of knowing people, wherever you go, and always having someone there watching out for you. Anyway, the proper journal entry du jour is one that basically consists of me getting through the work I’m meant to be doing today, and awaiting further instructions due to the main dude being constantly busy as hell! But it could be worse – he could have no work at all, and then you’d be left questioning if this is the guy you should really be working for. As it happens, I have no such worries! Stopped at the Westside Pavillion on the way back, with the thought of maybe getting some jeans and a t-shirt. Seen some, but I might go back and get them tomorrow. Right now, some kind people I know down the road are renting a movie, and have said that I should come and watch, so this is it for now. May be updating from Burbank tomorrow, we’ll have to see!

Sunday 6th December: No entry for yesterday, clearly. Thats mostly due to me getting caught up in staying round the house of the people I’m working for, and getting into a movie evening fully accompanied by massive home-made burgers (which were awesome!) and my making a bread and butter pudding using Nutella (which, again, wasn’t too bad…), and going around Hollywood in the daytime. It’s good, because I did actually want to go down the Hollywood Strip and see all the stuff down there agin before I left, but this being my last full weekend I wanted to spend it doing things with people. As it happens, I managed to do the best of both!! Also, we went around the Kodak Centre, Graumann’s Theatre and the Hollywood and Highland Centre and into a couple of shops, including the HUGE Hot Topic they have there. In hindsight, I probably should have gone to that one before I did yesterday, as theres a huge amount of stuff in there that I hadn’t seen before! But oh well, it was still a good afternoon, and some more decent pictures got taken. This afternoon, we’re going for a little music session somewhere, so that should be very cool, and I’ll probably put another entry later on about that if there’s time.

The Twilight Saga: New Moon (Contains Spoilers)

After a long, convoluted series of events that finally led to me getting a perfect seat in the same auditorium as my friends at a midnight screening in L.A., I actually managed to see The Twilight Saga: New Moon on its opening day. Of course, much to my expectations, the atmosphere was complete pandemonium – people were queuing for ages just to get good seats, most of the people there were wearing branded T-shirts of the film, some of their Mums were wearing branded T-shirts as well, inside the auditorium was packed out and people couldn’t stay still from the excitement, etc… It was complete madness, and part of me was a little shocked that I got mixed into it all. But  sort of couldn’t hear that part of me, for there was a bigger part of me that was saying “You’re getting to see this film at midnight with your friends in a different country, what the hell are you complaining about??”

All the seats erupted into screams of delight when Robert Pattinson appeared on the screen… In a trailer for his next film Remember Me. “Good God” I thought “This is just the bloody previews!!” That, fair people, is exactly the sort of madness that The Twilight Saga stirs up in some people. Don’t get me wrong, I can understand why people get so into it, as the subject matter speaks to certain people in the same way that Harry Potter does and people go just as mad for that as well. But then, a majority of the people there were also there to see sexy vampires and buff werewolves, so you take the good with the bad, I suppose. Me? I was there because I got into the storyline of the book and because I knew there were going to be some awesome Werewolf scenes as well!

Anyway, once the film actually started, you were able to tell immediately that it was not the same director as before (Catherine Hardwick had other projects to work on and Chris Weitz took the helm for New Moon), as it opens with the shots of what’s in the book as the prologue – of Bella Swan running through the town square in Italy trying desperately to get to the clock tower. This wasn’t done in Twilight, which made sense as it was just the start of the whole story anyway, but it still meant you’re able to distinguish the different styles of direction straight away. This is something I personally thought would benefit the film, as you’re not expecting it to be anything like the first one that way. Which it completely isn’t!

As almost the entire population will already know by now, the storyline to New Moon takes what was set up in Twilight (i.e. the relationship between Bella Swan and her Vampire love Edward Cullen) and completely rips it to pieces after one of the Cullens nearly kills her after she cuts herself. After all the Cullen’s then disappear from town, she is left alone and faces life without her true love, which consequently leaves her with her best friend Jacob Black, who is part of a tribe of Native American’s (the Quileute Tribe), who turn out to be Werewolves, which are the only other thing in the world that can kill Vampires… understand? Good.

The scene that everyone was hoping, nay praying, that they got perfectly spot on is the scene where Edward has to tell Bella that him and his family are leaving, and that they can’t be together anymore. This scene, I have to admit, they got perfect. A majority of it follows exactly how it happens in the book, down to the tone of voice each of them uses, but it’s also how the scene first starts out that really sets everything up. Now, we’ve all been there – on the receiving end of a break up line, but we all know how the conversation has to start. So when Edward utters in a low tone “Let’s go take a walk”, everyone is automatically in the mindset for what is about to happen. What starts as a gentle opening of “It’s safer for you if I’m not around you”, turns into a full on “You’re not good for me. I don’t want you to come with me”. And as the scene progresses, you do get the sense that it is becoming more and more devastating for these characters. Tears and sniffles are exchanged throughout the cinema at this point, as one second Edward kisses Bella goodbye, and the next he has disappeared from sight, supposedly never to be seen again. The devastation that hits Bella after this is very well crafted, as she then slips into a nearly comatose state for the months that then follow, drifting emptily through life just as is described in the book.

I could go on, with a scene-by-scene breakdown, but I’m just going to stick to the main bits! The thing with New Moon is that it is very much Jacob Black’s story, and how he discovers that it is his birthright to be part of the Quileute Wolf Pack. Another thing that was established early on after the first teaser trailer that the producers definitely HAD got right was the Wolf effects in the film – The Quileutes aren’t the traditional Werewolves so much as people who can spontaneously erupt into giant wolves, the size of stallions. This, when described in the book, is very cool. This, when seeing on the screen, is freakin’ bad-ass!

The first time you get a glimpse of one of them (the Alpha of the pack, when Bella is crushed by Edward leaving and is stranded in the forest) it IS just a glimpse – but its more than enough to keep people on tenterhooks to see more! Which means the first time you ACTUALLY see the Alpha Wolf, closely followed by the rest of the pack, you ARE on the edge of your seat and I personally was completely gob-smacked at how incredible and formidable they have made the Werewolves look on the screen!

The transformation of Jacob Black from the skinny best friend, to the beefed-up super-jock with a chip on his shoulder is gradually seen over the first half of the film as well. Like I said, this is very much Jacob’s story, and Taylor Lautner has clearly put a lot of work into his look and his acting to get this role perfected. Throughout the rest of the film, even though Bella’s reckless stunts on a motorcycle are her only means of seeing visions of her lost love, by the time she knows all about the Quileutes you are wanting her to pick Jacob over Edward, because of his dedication to her and his promise of constant protection from any outside dangers (namely the vengeance-seeking Victoria, whose mate got killed in the first film).

The good thing about adapting a book into a film, is that can be perspective-less. This opens up a variety of new possibilities for direction. Because the book is only told from Bella’s perspective, we only know and see what SHE knows and sees in the book. In New Moon, there is an entire scene where Jacob and the rest of the Wolf Pack hunt down, fight and chase Victoria through the woods of Forks. This was definitely NOT in the book, but the fact that they managed to work in more Werewolf scenes into the film than there is in the book was an unexpected surprise that made all the difference. Clearly, this is because they spent so long developing the technology to get the Wolf effects just right, that they wanted to make it worthwhile and not just have a couple of scenes with them in, but instead give them more screen time than is suggested in the book, because clearly this is what people have really come to see. And its 100% worth it! The Werewolf scenes in New Moon are phenomenal, and you find yourself damn near cheering them on as they’re chasing Victoria.

The only thing that I will say is that there is quite a fair amount of slow-motion during these sorts of scenes, and whilst it is mainly used to show (ironically) the speed with which these creatures can move, it is only borderline distracting when you want to have a bit more action going.

The film then develops into a race-against-time to stop Edward from provoking the Volturi, who basically are the Vampire Royalty that reside in Italy. They lay down the law and destroy anyone who doesn’t obey. So when Edward gets the wrong end of the stick and thinks that Bella has somehow killed herself, he decides to piss off the Volturi by showing people he’s a Vampire on the most crowded day of the year at 12 when the sun is at its highest. This means that Bella has to stop him from doing something he might then regret, which then leads to them all going to the chamber of the Volturi. Dakota Fanning plays the creepy, spooky young Volturi member Jane, who many were opposed to when it was announced, but she actually plays her part with the right kind of malice that her character requires. Micheal Sheen also plays his part of Head Volturi member Aro with the right kind of finesse mixed with sinister to get the character just right.

Anyway, the scenes with the Volturi are the set up for how the story will continue after New Moon and into Eclipse next year, and even though there is no such scene in the book, a massive Vampire fight breaks out in the middle of the Volturi’s chamber. Well, of course it had to, right? The Werewolves have had their fight scenes, now it’s time for some Vampires to have a cool little skirmish with some awesome effects! I got the feeling that this was sort of thrown in to not make either side look more dangerous than the other, but it was still fun to watch as these guys smack each other about the room and through concrete and stuff. Mixing in the violence into the romance, as it were.

By the time the film comes to a close, you are left at the scene where Jacob reminds Edward of the treaty the Quileutes hold with the Cullens, and what could happen to Bella should the treaty be broken. This is a tense enough moment in the book. So, when it suddenly breaks out into an unexpected scrap between Edward and Wolf-Jacob in the film, the audience are taken a-back as the rivalry that will drive the next film is formed, and people are left debating who could take who in a fight to the death! The film then comes to a slightly unforseen (even though people know this is the end of the film) when Edward makes his proposal for Bella’s transformation. Literally. This bit of dialogue was not meant to be introduced until the start of the next book, but the fact that they have ended the film on the words “Marry me, Bella” means that people will be begging for the release date of the next one to come as soon as possible. Clever, Chris Weitz, clever.

Anyway, overall, the film is awesome. It’s exactly what I expected it would be – the Werewolves are bad-ass, the script is very close to the book, minus a few scenes that help the story along everything that needs to be in there was there, and the high-running emotions and tensions are all felt throughout. So, it’s definitely everything that it needed to be, and possibly a bit more too. Also, if you’re weren’t already on the side of Team Jacob before seeing this film, by the end you’ll be cheering on the Wolves as loudly as everyone else!!

LISTED Film Previews – November/December ’09

Yes, it would appear that there really is no rest for the wicked, as although I’m on the other side of the planet I’m still posting up my film previews that I write monthly for Listed Magazine. Admittedly, I wrote all of these the week before I actually came out here, but I’m still taking the time to post them up so you can get your grubby great eyelids around them! Enjoy:

THE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON (12A) (Dir. Chris Weitz)

Twi-hards, rejoice! After the success of the first film, the eagerly anticipated second instalment in the Twilight series is soon to hit cinemas! After the vampire attack that nearly claimed her life in the first film, Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and her Vampire love Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) settle into their new life together. But after an incident at Bella’s Birthday sheds her blood, the Cullen’s decide it’s better for Bella’s safety if they leave, never to return. Distraught and heartbroken, Bella finds comfort in her (now super beefy) best friend Jacob Black (Taylor Launter). But in doing so, Bella finds out that the Cullen’s aren’t the only family in Forks with a secret… Fans of the series will not be disappointed, as they can expect bigger effects, awesome werewolf fights, a loyal script adaption, and a lot more bite than the first film! Released 20th November

BUNNY AND THE BULL (15) (Dir. Paul King)

Quirky, weird and completely bizarre, this comedy comes straight from the writer of The Mighty Boosh. A young shut in called Stephen takes an imaginary road trip within the confines of his own apartment; based around mementoes for an actual trek he took around Europe years ago with his friend Bunny, whose sole intention on their trip was to fight a bull. Also starring Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt of Mighty Boosh fame, this looks like it might well be the unsung hero of the comedy films this year! Released 27th November

AVATAR (12A) (Dir. James Cameron)

James Cameron’s status as a director has always been one associated with breaking new ground in the film effects business, and Avatar is no exception! Visually epic and masterfully imagined, Avatar sees Cameron creating wonderful, in-depth landscapes of entire new worlds, all of which have been created with the most cutting edge technology possible! In the future, Jake Scully (Sam Worthington) is a paraplegic war veteran sent to the jungle planet Pandora inhabited by native blue humanoids called the Na’Vi. To blend in and perform his mission, Jake must undergo a procedure which will allow him to control a Na’Vi “avatar” and allow him to walk again. This could possibly be the most visually breathtaking film you will see all year, so don’t miss it! Released 18th December

SHERLOCK HOLMES (12A) (Dir. Guy Ritchie)

Bare-knuckle fist fights? Jumping away from explosions? Saucy situations in the bedroom? This is definitely NOT the Sherlock Holmes which we have previously seen. But then, this is Guy Ritchie taking a perfectly well known story and doing completely his own thing with it, the result being this more amped-up film of the legendary detective. Robert Downey Jr. stars as Holmes (before next summer’s Iron Man 2), and Jude Law co-stars as his companion Watson, which makes for a good acting team, but all the “mass-appeal action” might be a bit of a letdown. Only time will tell if this will actually be worth watching, or a total waste of time and effort. Released 26th December

As Published in Listed Magazine issue 23 and on www.listedmagazine.com