Posts Tagged ‘Twilight

13
Dec
12

Red Band Redux: November 2012

1213-01_NovReduxHeader

The Red Band Redux is Yoda808’s recap of all the movies seen in theaters for the past month. Though not fully formed reviews, here are his off-the-cuff thoughts on movies playing in the past month.

November is usually when the heavy hitting films of the holiday and awards season start to make their way into theaters and this year was no exception. While we didn’t see too many movies this month, the reason was manly because these behemoths dominated the multiplexes . . .

Cloud Atlas

The Matrix and Speed Racer this ain't.

The Matrix and Speed Racer this ain’t.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Cloud Atlas and I was even a little scared that I wouldn’t be able to comprehend it all, but after leaving the theater after the film I was definitely in awe of what I had just seen. Many people won’t forgive the Wachowskis after the not-so-great Matrix sequels and the colorful Speed Racer (which I liked). I on the other hand was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, though like I said, I was just hoping that Cloud Atlas wouldn’t get too bogged down in the the siblings’ philosophy that kind of overshadowed Reloaded and Revolutions.

One thing I think everyone can agree on . . . the film is epic in scope and ambition. I mean, who would try to weave together six different stories across six different time periods; all at the same time having them relate to one another. No easy task for any director I tell you and I think the directing team of the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer pull it off beautifully. The goal? To renforce the central theme of Cloud Atlas the book where souls are connected and actions that we choose in the past will shape our futures; sometimes even after our death. For the most part I think the directors pull this off as over the course of the film we see how characters relate to one another in different timelines and how their actions are central to their singular “soul/character”; call it what you will.

Speaking of characters, you’ve got a great bunch of actors in the film most notably Tom Hanks and Halle Berry leading the way. A few actors have roles in every timeline while others don’t. Picking them out isn’t so much the issue as seeing how an actor’s different personas in each timeline connect the film together. While nothing really stood out for me in the acting department, my favorite performance had to be that of Ben Whishaw’s tortured composer character in the second timeline. Just the emotion and expression of his character alone was really touching to see.

On the whole Cloud Atlas isn’t the easiest film to digest, but then again, I think that’s the point. It’ll make you think and give you something to chew and look pretty and grand doing it the whole time. The film was definitely something to see and something that we need to see more of from Hollywood.

4 stars

————–

Wreck-It Ralph

Ralph definitely 'wrecked it', the box office that is.

Ralph definitely ‘wrecked it’, the box office that is.

Wreck-It Ralph is probably the best sign that Disney Animation has returned to be a serious player when it comes to making animated features. After a dismal run post 90s the turnaround started with Bolt, then took a big step up with Tangled in 2010, and now Wreck-It Ralph. The movie does so many things right; if you didn’t know any better . . . you would think that this was a Pixar movie as it has a number of Pixar traits: focus on characters, a story people can relate to, and emotion that the audience can feel.

At first glance you might thing this movie gets by on video game references alone, and yes, while it does have a lot of things that will get anyone who has picked up a joystick excited; that’s only the icing on the cake. Like I said, the story itself is something that you invest in from the very beginning. Ralph trying to find meaning/a greater purpose to life beyond what he was programmed to do, I think that’s something most of us can relate to.

Speaking about the story, one of the things I appreciated the most from the film was that it didn’t try to crowbar as many video game cameos as possible. Granted there were a lot of awesome appearances by a number of different characters, and sure I would have liked to have seen more, but the creators showed a lot of restraint and good common sense by not going overboard with the video game cameos. Ultimately the story is about Ralph and his journey and not about seeing video game greats in animated form so I tip my hat to them for realizing that.

Overall, you don’t have to be a video game lover or player to appreciate the film (though it certainly will help). As long as you crave an animated movie with great characters, an engaging story, and a fun time at the movies; look no further than Wreck-It Ralph.

4 stars

————–

Skyfall

Shaken, but not stirred: Skyfall brings the Bond franchise (and MGM) back to promenence.

Shaken, but not stirred: Skyfall brings the Bond franchise (and MGM) back to promenence.

It’s always interesting to see what different directors can do with a long running property such as the James Bond series. When it was announced that Sam Mendes was going to be directing this film I wasn’t really worried or anything. I knew the characters and their development was going to be there, but I did have to wonder if Mendes had the sensibility to direct action since that isn’t what he’s really known for. After seeing the film, I can safely say that my apprehension was put to rest.

Of all the Bond films this one feels the most personal (we actually can begin to see James Bond as a real human being), real, and authentic of all the other Bond films. Maybe it’s the fact that the film touches on Bond’s past or maybe it’s because of the realistic way that Bond’s age and MI6’s mission is treated, but all of this combined leads to a pretty entertaining film. Oh, did I mention that the action is there as well.

Mendes has a great stable of actors that he’s working with and it shows. Daniel Craig is solid as as Bond, but it’s the support that he gets all around him that helps to make the film really shine. You’ve got Judi Dench as M, not just the leader of MI6, but probably the most important woman in Bond’s life. Then you’ve got Javier Bardem as the antagonist Silva, very smart and menacing enough to believe he is really a worldwide threat, but just crazy enough to put him in the demented villain category. Not to mention that Ben Whishaw shows up again in a pretty brilliant turn as Q. And I haven’t even mentioned some pretty solid work turned in by Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, and sultry newcomer Bérénice Marlohe.

On the whole the film definitely lives up to Bond mantle and might actually elevate the series in terms of story and just plain making you interested in Bond as a character and what is going on with him. It’s not just a film that has great action in exotic places. Yes it has that (especially the abandoned island), but because we believe in the story and what Bond is doing . . . it makes everything else that much more meaningful.

4 stars

————–

Lincoln

He came, he saw, he drank our milkshakes AGAIN . . . this time as Abraham Lincoln.

He came, he saw, he drank our milkshakes AGAIN . . . this time as Abraham Lincoln.

Going in I knew that Daniel Day-Lewis (DDL) could act, but after seeing his performance in Lincoln I have to say that he is probably one of the finest actors working today. From start to finish DDL was our 16th president. From the look, to the talk, to even the mannerisms; the man practically embodied my vision of what the real Abraham Lincoln would have been like. It was uncannily scary how much DDL was Lincoln.

The entire movie is basically an acting clinic as tons of known and recognizable character actors turned out for roles in the film. Leading the way had to be Tommy Lee Jones as the cantankerous representative Thaddeus Stevens who doesn’t always see eye to eye with Lincoln, but has enough sense to know what is right. Then you’ve got great supporting turns from Sally Field as Lincoln’s wife Mary Todd and David Strathairn as Secretary of State as well as great support in minor roles from great character actors such as James Spader, Hal Holbrook, John Hawkes, Lee Pace, and Michael Stuhlbarg just to name a few.

As for the movie itself, the narrow focus of Lincoln’s final four to five months covering his time trying to get the 13th Amendment passed definitely helps as far as storytelling goes. While there are a number of names and faces to keep track of during the film, you ultimately get the gist of things and follow along due to the great performances everywhere you look. I identified with characters and motivations to the point where if I didn’t know their name or their title, I still knew what they stood for and their importance within the context of the entire film. And while you may think that over two hours of lawmakers yammering on might be boring; Spielberg orchestrates it in a way that is engrossing to watch.

4 stars

————–

Red Dawn

Like any good software update, The Wolverines 2.0 isn't without it's share of glitches.

Like any good software update, The Wolverines 2.0 isn’t without it’s share of glitches.

What is there to say about remakes that hasn’t been already said. The sad part about Red Dawn’s 2012 remake is that it’s just a mediocre film with so much lost potential. Granted a lot of the story beats and explanation of why things are done is a lot more plausible in this version than the original, but I just didn’t feel that the feeling and emotion from the relationships of the characters were there. In the original the angst, hatred, and emotion that the Wolverines felt you could feel as well and their interplay with one another seemed more authentic. In this version, I didn’t quite get that. I don’t know, maybe something was lost in the update or maybe my fondness for the original just clouds my judgement. In any case, sitting on a shelf for two to three years didn’t do this film any favors either.

Probably the best thing the film has going for it is the number of great action sequences throughout the film. Tactical strikes that the Wolverines make are pretty darn nice with today’s Hollywood action filmmaking. I also feel like the cast was wasted as well. Granted this was pre-Avengers and Hunger Games, but it didn’t seem like they had all that much to do. In the end Red Dawn 2012 falls short not because it’s a bad movie, but it wastes a lot of inherent potential.

2.5 stars

————–

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2

Don't worry . . . the glittering finally stops.

Don’t worry . . . the glittering finally stops.

I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by the final film in the Twilight series. Granted, it probably won’t land on any critic ‘Best of’ lists for the year (or mine for that matter), but it was definitely the best film in the series. What it has going for it is that it actually appeals to both girls and guys; especially with the final sequence at the end.

Up until now this series has been all about the angst and tortured development of Edward and Bella’s relationship–which I know has turned many guys off to the series. However, being the final installment in this saga the movie begins by generating conflict that a lot people can relate to . . . a child in danger. All the drama and beating around the bush of emotions is finally shed as the relationship of Bella and Edward is already established. The sole focus is on the impending danger of their daughter and what they will do to protect her.

Being the final film Stewart and Pattinson, while still not the greatest thespians, are at least comfortable in their roles and know what they have to do. They’re definitely a lot more believable now than when they started off this franchise four years ago.

What definitely makes the film though is the end of movie and how that is staged and treated. While I won’t go into spoilers here, from what I’ve been told happens in the book, the film is pretty true to it. Also, another reason why guys will not mind seeing Breaking Dawn Part 2 . . . it’s almost like an Avengers with vampires (believe it or not). In any case, I was thoroughly entertained my this Twilight film unlike some of the other installments in the series.

3.5 stars

Advertisements
23
Jun
10

Brisk Titan XC Ticket Sales for Midnight Showing of Eclipse

Long lines at Ward for the midnight showings of The Twilight Saga: New Moon. We will have a repeat next week?

Remember back in November when New Moon came out and a ton of fans turned out for midnight screenings? With only a week to go till the release of the The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (Wednesday, June 30), it’s only a matter of time before Twilight mania re-enters the public consciousness. As curiosity got the best of me I kinda wanted to gauge local TwiHard fandom as well as the new ticket ordering for Consolidated’s Titan XC so I ventured online to Fandango to check it out.

Ticket Sales

I got about what I expected when I clicked on the link for the Tuesday night (aka midnight) screening for Eclipse (all images and information referenced are current as of 10AM Wednesday, June 23):

Theater map for the midnight showing of Eclipse in the Titan XC.

As you can see from the image, a little over half the theater is sold out for the midnight show. Keep in mind now that we are still a week away so there is still A LOT of time for people to fill up the theater. As I mentioned, I wasn’t too surprised by how full the theater is, but it does show that a select group of people are being smart about their Eclipse viewing and are taking advantage of the Titan XC’s reservation system. Truth be told there are still a number of good seats to be had in Ward’s theater 8.

Can’t make it to the midnight screening of Eclipse or just not that big of a fan, but you still want to see it on opening day? Don’t fret, the 7:45pm screening on Wednesday is still wide open (current as of 10AM, Wednesday, June 23):

Theater map for the Wednesday 7:45pm screening of Eclipse in the Titan XC.

Or if you’re a morning person, the first showing in the TItan on Wednesday morning at 11AM only has 22 out of it’s 450+ seats sold.

Reservation System

I have to say, reserving your seat in the Titan XC theater is pretty easy. Just log on to Fandango, search for theaters in Honolulu and click on Titan screening times at Ward and a map of the theater (like the ones pictured above) pops up prompting you to select your seat. It’s pretty similar to selecting your seats on airlines or for sporting events. As you can see, it shows you which seats are taken, and which ones aren’t. Just click on the ones you want that are still available and off you go. Luckily Eclipse is a non 3D movie so you pay the cheaper Titan XC ticket price of $14.25 for adults and $11.00 for children or seniors.

Are you seeing The Twilight Saga: Eclipse on opening day? You might want to get your tickets for the Titan XC soon or wait in line like everyone else.

———————————-

Addtional Reading:

THR’s Risky Business BlogTotal ‘Eclipse’: Twi-hards take over the L.A. Live courtyard

MTV.com‘Eclipse’ Fans Camp Out For Days Before L.A. Premiere

20
Nov
09

Honolulu Sees Glimpses of Twilight

As I write this post, dozens of Twi-Hards are seeing the newest chapter in the Twilight Saga, New Moon, unspool in theaters. Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past year or so Twilight mania has been sweeping the nation ever since the widely popular novels were slated for silver screen adaption. The most extreme case I heard of Twilight mania was about a woman (on Oahu mind you) that saw Twilight 109 times in theaters. No, that’s not a typo (edit–ok it was a typo, 108).

Check out the fandom that turned out at the two biggest theaters in town:

The upper deck at Ward Theaters was the obvious choice to hold lines, but it quickly filled up.

But then you walk to the main staircase and see that lines are forming all over the front down to the sidewalk.

Another shot of the main staircase from the front.

It's just a sea of people from the top of the stairs.

Inside, every line to the concession stand was open and full.

Over at Dole it was a similar story. They had one long line that stretched down the front of the theaters . . .

. . . and into the parking lot and further towards Pacific Street.

And here’s video to give you a better idea of how long the line at Dole was:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Needless to say it was a busy night at the movies and I’m sure we’ll be hearing about record numbers for Twilight: New Moon in the coming days. As for us, we’re going to wait till the insanity dies down a bit before we take in the Twilight.

17
Nov
09

Blood Lust | Twilight New Moon

If you feel like females across the country have gone bananas its probably because Twilight part deux (New Moon) is hitting theaters this Friday at midnight. But I’m sure you know this already with every media outlet talking about it. I swear, I turn the channel and there’s an interview with Kristen Stewart, I turn on the radio and hear promos giving away tickets to midnight screenings, I open the newspaper and there’s a story about a lady that has changed her life for Twilight… it’s happening all over the world right now and its a little overwhelming.

Let’s talk facts from a female who LOVED the Twilight book series. I’ve read the series more than once (yeah yeah… OMG… I suck, whatever) and I got two of my closest friends sucked into the books in the summer of 2008 and yes, we all fell for Edward Cullen. For the record, we all thought Robert Pattinson was hott when he was Cedric Diggory and also back when he used to wash his hair. Just putting that out there.

My friends and I were naturally excited for November 21, 2008 when the motion picture of the book we so loved would be released, but when we finally went to see it, it was extremely disappointing.

Everyone and thing was florescent white (as you can see above), Kristen Stewart’s acting was terrible, they RUINED one of the most important scenes in the entire series (the Meadow Scene… so critical. I can’t talk about it. It makes me mad.), and the kids at school that interact with Bella were HORRIBLE actors. I was sure the whole fan base would be outraged… you know like how hard core comic book fans are very protective of how their favorite heroes are portrayed on the silver screen. That’s definitely how the fan base would react to such crap right? Wrong. They thought it was the best thing since ice cream… and that was when I began my love hate relationship with Twilight. I wanted a reboot! It was supposed to be so much better than that and the fans settled… I was pissed.

In December 2008, Summit Entertainment announced that  Twilight director Catherine Hardwick would not be directing the next film in the series and that Chris Weitz (Director: The Golden Compass) would be taking the reins, I became semi-interested again. What did I know about Chris Weitz? Not much, but at least a new director would bring something new to the table and hopefully, make the films a worthy interpretation of the books.

At comic con 2009 as I sat loathing Twi-hards in Hall H (especially the ones sitting next to me asking silly questions to each other like “Do you think Rob would date me?” or “Do you think Taylor will like my shirt?”), I watched the latest footage from Twilight New Moon and sighed. Chris Weitz… he sucked me back in to the Twilight universe. Crap.

The footage I’ve seen so far has been vibrant, there’s more special effects, and from the trailer, you can tell that he’s worked to keep the most critical scenes in this film. Let me also say that the story in Twilight New Moon is fantastic. The characters in the first book evolve in this story, while new bad guys are brought in (The Volturi scene looks really good) and you’ll finally find out how Vampires and Werewolves are intertwined in this series. Speaking of werewolves, can we address the fact that they are amazingly good looking… Taylor Lautner…. He’s so jail bait but damn… what a fox… I mean wolf.

SIDE NOTE: Ladies be prepared, there’s a lot of skin in this film. I recommend not letting your tween daughter go and see the movie 😉 But seriously, if you are a Twi-Hard (I hate you and get a life… hahaha, I’m just kidding… but seriously), as a courtesy to other movie attendees, please do not scream during the movie… remember that other Twi-Hards are in the theater and if they can’t enjoy the film, they may hurt you. Thank you.

Getting back to the facts, I know for sure that this movie is going to be better than the first, but how much better? I can’t say. I like what I’ve seen so far, but what I’ve learned from last year is not to get overly excited. For those of you going to midnight showings, please take pictures and send them to us at theredbandproject@gmail.com. I’ve heard that people are planning on covering themselves in glitter, which would be hilarious to see. Also, if you had any annoying theater moments, I wanna hear about it.

As for me, I’m going to wait for the mayhem to die down a little… I value my movie going experience and Twi-hards screaming and giggling through the movie will ruin it for me. Maybe I’ll go see it on Monday at like 2:30 in the afternoon 🙂

30
May
09

Teasing The Teaser?

Twilight: New Moon Poster

I get it, teasers are meant to do exactly what it’s called…. tease. I hate it! I cant stand the anticipation, I always want more and ugh… its just so frustrating. Today Summit Entertainment took it to another level… They teased the teaser trailer. WTF?! Seriously, that’s just plain mean. The teaser trailer for the upcoming second installment of Twilight: New Moon hit the web today… I found out from Billy V on twitter (@hawnbroadcast) who found out from… ok yeah hold your breath… Ryan Secreast (insert gag right here). The concept is, Summit released 15 sec of the first teaser trailer for New Moon trying to hype the release of the full length teaser trailer on Sunday at the MTV Movie Awards.

At this point I have to ask, what’s next? Seriously… you’re teasing a teaser?!!! Teaser trailers are supposed to be the initial tease, hence TEASER! I mean at this point, they should’ve just released a vague teaser that was like Star Trek’s… 1 min 14 sec of guys building the Starship Enterprise.

That was enough to get all those Trekkies panties in a twist because it has an established and solid fan base already. They only needed to see the Starship Enterprise & they got excited! For New Moon they could’ve done the same… a 1 min trailer with vague references from the Twilight: New Moon book. This would feed the need!! The target for this movie is obviously the fans of the Twilight books and the people who loved the first Twilight movie.

To some this teasing the teaser sounds like a stroke of genius…a way to gain interest and feed the need and I have to agree that for a fan base that’s this rabid, it is effective. Twihards are not just excited about the books and movies… they are straight up OBSESSED like Ali Larter was with Beyonce’s man. Scary obsession. If the fans of these books settled for the first Twilight movie, saying it was the best thing since ice cream of course this 15 second tease has them running to their DVRs to make sure they don’t miss a second of the trailer. What I’m saying is, as a fan of the books, the Twilight movie didn’t do Stephanie Meyer’s first book justice. If Twi-hards were like Fanboys, they would’ve flamed the internet saying “we demand a reboot!”. Critical points in the book were not even conveyed in the movie. Moments that defined Bella & Edward’s relationship… (specifically the meadow scene) and yet the fans settled for it, believing it was good enough. The Twi-hard fans are very loyal fans that seem to maintain this unconditional love for Twilight. That’s why I believe this little 15 sec gimmick will boost MTV’s ratings come Sunday. Will you be watching? *sigh* I think I may… if I can get myself to forgive them for this stupid tease. If not, it’ll hit the web soon enough 😉