Friday, November 18, 2011

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1

My View:  The Twilight Saga:  Breaking Dawn – Part 1  (2011)  It’s the big event we have all been waiting for (or at least all the “Twihards” have), the wedding of Bella (Kristen Stewart) and her vampire boyfriend, Edward (Robert Pattinson).   Everyone is happy about the wedding except for the other man in Bella’s life, the werewolf, Jacob (Taylor Lautner).  But the wedding goes on, and the happy couple fly off to Rio for their long awaited honeymoon.  Bella gets pregnant, a pregnancy that she thought could not happen.  If she keeps the child, the birth will probably kill her.  To complicate matters more, the werewolf pack that Jacob is a part of, plans to kill Bella and destroy the baby.  If you’re a fan of the series, you will like this film (but not love it).  If you are not a fan of the series, you will be very bored.  It’s incredibly long, full of weak special effects, bad writing and even worse, acting.  Taylor Lautner seems to just get worse with each acting job he gets, continuously stomping around in scenes.  Pattinson and Stewart don’t do much better - there just doesn’t seem to be any chemistry between them.  My feeling is that this film should have been part of the final film, as there just isn’t enough material to fill out this story, unless you like 20 minutes of the wedded couple staring into each other eyes. By the way, if you do go see the film, stay through the first part of the closing credits.  There’s a scene that sets up the next movie.  My Rating:  Cable   Breaking Dawn Part 1 Website
Indyfest (A Look at a Small, Indie or Foreign Film) Like Crazy (2011)  A British college student (Felicity Jones), while attending a university in California, falls in love with an American student (Anton Yelchin).  Since the romance just started, the British student overstays her visit and her Visa expires.  She is deported and can’t come back into the States, and the American  has just started his handmade furniture business and can’t move to England.  The rest of the film explores the long distance / on-off again relationship.  This is one of those films where you just want to bop the heads of the two main characters  together and say, “Wake Up!”  You never get the feeling that these two people were meant to be a couple because they don’t really seem to fit.  And, for two “star-crossed lovers” who desperately love each other, they find new partners rather easily.  I didn’t enjoy this film and felt the trailer misrepresented the movie.  I thought I was going to see a romance, but what I got was a bad drama.  My Rating:  You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again   Like Crazy Website
Family Fare:  Happy Feet Two  (2011)  Mumble (voiced by Elijah Wood) and Gloria (voiced by Pink) now have a son, Erik (voiced by Ava Acres).  Erik, though well liked, is shy, doesn’t seem to have the dancing talent of his father, and has trouble figuring out his place in the world.  When Ramon (voiced by Robin Williams) decides to go off on an adventure, Erik and his friends decide to follow.  Mumble then sets out to find his missing son and bring him back.  I wasn’t a big fan of the first Happy Feet and enjoyed this film even less.  It’s too long (over 100 minutes), there isn’t a really catchy song in the bunch, very few laughs occur, and there is a rather bizarre side story of two krill (voiced by Brad Pitt and Matt Damon) who decide to leave the safety of the swarm and go out on their own.  If you do see it, it is worth the extra money to see it in 3-D, as that aspect of the film is used very well.  I just didn’t get the feel-good feeling that I have gotten from other animated works like Toy Story 3.  My Rating:  Bargain Matinee   Happy Feet Two Website
The 50 (A Movie From My Best/Worst Films of All Time):
#30 Worst Film
Shanghai Surprise (1986)   This film takes place in China in the 1940’s.  Sean Penn, plays a bad tie-wearing,  bearded bounty hunter who is looking for a way to get out of the country.  He encounters a missionary nurse (yes, you read that right) played by Madonna, who is trying to get opium to help her patients.  They set out on an adventure through the streets of Shanghai to find the drugs and steal them from a drug gang. This movie was so bad that, even though Madonna recorded several songs  with ex-Beatle George Harrison, the CD was never released.  I think the only reason this film was made was so Penn and Madonna, the real life, newly married couple, could go on a Honeymoon in China.   Shanghai Surprise Info
Forgotten Film: Vision Quest (1985)  This coming of age film, stars Matthew Modine as Louden Swain (one of the great film names of all time), a high school wrestler, who decides he is going to drop in weight and challenge the 3 time defending champion.  His life is full of interesting characters and includes his father (played by Ronny Cox), his best friend who is a wannabe Indian and an older women, Carla (played by the lovely Linda Fiorentino) who becomes a boarder at his house.  Louden takes an interest in Carla and tries desperately to get her attention.  Fiorentino is perfect as the woman who has been around the block a few times, and Modine is dead-on as the love struck kid.  This is a fantastic film about love, friendship and believing in yourself to reach you goals.  My Rating:  Full Price   Vision Quest Info
In Case You Missed it (A Film Just Released on DVD):  Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)  I did not like this film when it came out this past summer.  It started out nicely, with a brilliant run through the streets of London, but peaked early, and the rest of the film never matched the excitement of the early scenes.  This film missed the spark that Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley brought to the earlier films in the series.  My Rating: Cable   Pirates Website
In Memory of Ed Wood (A Movie I’ve Seen Only in Trailers but Just Looks Like a Bad Idea):  One for the Money  All I have to say is this stars Katherine Heigl as a newly divorced woman who starts bounty hunting to make money.  You stopped reading this at Katherine Heigl, didn’t you?  One for the Money Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Happy Feet Two:  Tap Dance Foley Sequence

Flictionary (A Definition of a Film Term):  Montage   This is an editing technique which uses a series of short shots cut together.  It can stand for a passage of time or can be symbolic in meaning.  This technique was first used by Russian filmmakers in the 1920’s and some directors, like Alfred Hitchcock, became known for their montage sequences.

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  We Bought A Zoo  Cameron Crowe (Say Anything, Jerry Maguire) directs this film about a father (played by  Matt Damon) who buys a small, rundown zoo and moves his family to the property to renovate and re-open it.   Elle Fanning, Thomas Haden Church and Scarlett Johannsson round out the cast.   We Bought a Zoo Website
Until Next Time!

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