Friday, 30 July 2010

Movie News: He's Back!


That's right, he's back!

Ghostface blatantly returns in this latest behind-the-scenes still released from horror-meister Wes Craven himself, teasing audiences worldwide at the sheer brilliance and overall triumphant return of the devious killer. But who is it?

Answer to said question can only be answered in Scream 4, the latest sequel helmed by Craven again and written by Kevin Williamson, the original Scream duo. 4 will see the return of Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox-Arquette and David Arquette, and says hello to newcomers such as Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere, Rory Culkin, Nico Tortorelli, Adam Brody and Marley Shelton.

Seeing as it's more than ten years down the line since we were first introduced to Ghostface, here's hoping he's updated his film knowledge which, as most know, is his greatest weapon to induce pain on his intended victims.

Scream 4 has a scheduled release date in the US of April 15th, 2011.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Movie News: Beauty and the Beast Re-Relesased in 3D!

That's right, here's the trailer for the 3D re-release of Disney's Oscar-winning animated masterpiece, Beauty and the Beast.

Not much has to be said revolving around the subject other than how overly ecstatic i, and many fans i'm sure, am to be able to see such a classic on the big-screen once again.

Re-watch one of the greatest love stories ever told as we follow our young ingenue Belle, a vivacious woman whose love for fictitious, adventure-filled fables becomes all too real once her father, Maurice, is imprisoned by the Beast -- a selfish Prince whose blatant disregard for others forced a mysterious witch to place a curse upon him. To release said curse, the Beast must find love.

The 3D film will be released in August in New Zealand, and sometime in 2011 for the States.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Movie News: Sucker Punch Trailer Hits!

With Zach Snyder's family-friendly 3D animation Legend of the Guardians released soon, buzz around his latest epic Sucker Punch has began to surface.

The director whose firm understanding of how to 'wow' an audience with his visually stunning creations has made hits out of most of his films; 300, Watchmen and even the remake of George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead.

Emily Browning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Uninvited) stars as Baby Doll, a young girl who sadly ends up in a mental institution. There, she imagines an entirely alternate universe. To escape from said world, she must steal five objects before she is unwillingly stopped by a vile man.

The film also stars a cast of young hopefuls suck as Abbie Cornish (Bright Star), Jamie Chung (Sorority Row), Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical), Jena Malone (Saved!) and veteran Carla Gugino (Watchmen).

The film hasn't received a release date as of yet, but plans to be released in both 3D and 2D, with a scheduled release in IMAX theatres.

Monday, 26 July 2010

DVD Review: The Runaways

Picture this: the 70's; rock 'n' roll; an all girl band. Chaos! Females should never be flaunting their bits on stage whilst singing, and potentially screaming, to loud, ball-busting songs featuring hardcore, explicit lyrics. Well, The Runaways defied all rules and, while it lasted, were successful.

Leaving The Twilight Saga behind for a short time, Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart team to form the two prominent band members of The Runaways, an all girl rock band whose influential presence and catchy tunes spun worldwide success, but sadly only lasted between 1975-1979.

Music video director Floria Sigismondi helms the coming-of-age biopic, but does her lack of direction of feature films weigh the film down? Unfortunately, it shows. Fortunately, the story of The Runaways outweighs the faults which Sigismondo casts. A raw insight into the music industry is given but, much like the porn industry featured in Boogie Nights, isn't as smooth sailing as most would think.

Deceived by their unusual manager Kim Fowley (played exceptionally by Michael Shannon), the typical lies and promises force Joan Jett (Stewart), the hard-edged guitarist, and Cherie Currie (Fanning), a dysfunctional young girl/vocalist, reeling from a multitude of false pretenses, with their success and all-round fame plummeting before they had a chance to fully enjoy the limelight.

The now grown-up child star Dakota Fanning makes an absolutely jaw-dropping turn as Currie, a somewhat isolated individual whose style is a partial reminiscent of Brigitte Bardot. Washing away her innocent presence she's fallen to over the years, the coke-sniffing, drunk, foul-mouthed Fanning is an unarguably refreshing turn which will undeniably do wonders on her resumé, and completely overshadows Stewart. While still performing admirably, Stewart's distinct need to pout and act with her predictably monotonous tone rears it's ugly head. Still, despite her flaws, her acting is genuine and, like Fanning, Jett is a character which is unfamiliar territory. Jett is an almost perfect antidote to the broody, soft Bella that she is mostly known for playing. Both performances are invigorating and surprisingly deep.

Classic tracks such as "Cherrybomb" are re-vamped with lyrics by Fanning and Stewart which are a sheer delight, despite their short screen appearance. Catchy and downright enthusiastic, they stand firm as one of the film's highlights.

Disregarding the film's abrupt ending and partially false conclusion, The Runaways is a perfectly enjoyable biopic, full of zealous performances and a punk-infused storyline that will provide enough nostalgia to all those familiar with the 70's and the peculiar fads it contained.

3/5

The Runaways is now available on DVD/Blu-ray in the US, and receives a general release in the UK on August 27th.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Cinema Review: The Karate Kid (2010)

Harold Zwart directs the remake of the 1984 original of The Karate Kid, with Will Smith's young protégé gracing the screen in his, technically, first full-blown role. Due to the film's Box Office success over in the US, clearly, mini Smith has picked well.

Similar to the original but given a slight modern makeover, Jaden Smith stars as Dre Parker, a twelve-year-old boy who moves to China with his mother (Taraji P. Henson). Continuously hassled by a gang of trained kids, Dre seeks the help of handyman Mr. Han (Jackie Chan) whose knowledge of deep kung-fu helps Dre defend himself and compete in the local fighting competition.

Previously starring in blockbusters such as the abysmal remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still, Smith never particularly had enough room to flex his acting chops, let alone breathe. Whilst The Karate Kid limits his acting persona due to Ralph Macchio setting a non-permanent outline for which the character is based, Smith performs with gusto. Enthusiastic and moving sprightly throughout each scene, he fits almost perfectly - much like his father. Even when a blatant love interest is introduced, the subject isn't taken far enough to fall saccharine, but is charming and endearing enough to simply balance out what could potentially be targeted at a purely male-based audience.

Taking over from the late Pat Morita is screen legend Jackie Chan in a role that i, personally, haven't seen him play. Broken due to a past tragedy, Chan plays an isolated man which, in certain scenes, becomes deeply moving. Thankfully, young Dre plays as Mr. Han's silver lining, an almost saviour to a man whose life has continuously down-spiraled. Sincere and downright sweet, Chan and Smith have a chemistry which is honest and relatable.

Each training scene provides enough giggles and impressively choreographed kung-fu (not karate, unbelievably), culminating in an intense showdown between Shao Dre (a name credited by Mr. Han himself) and the lead bully, simultaneously awing and imprinting a trail of chills with the brilliantly quick-paced fighting and somewhat inspiring message of going the lengths of sticking up for yourself.

While some may argue that this modern remake doesn't compete with the original, it's fair to say that, while not perfect, it's not bad enough to have Pat Morita rolling in his grave.

3.5/5

Today's Cinema Viewing

The Rebound

Starring: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Justin Bartha

Zeta-Jones stars as Sandy, a 40-something recently divorced woman whose recent move to New York City with her two lively children sets off an unexpected romance with a young coffee shop worker. Sick of dating, she settles for the charming Aram, a college graduate whose tough parents forceful manner has, up until now, owned his life. Are the two a well-matched couple?








Splice

Starring: Adrien Brody, Sarah Polly, Delphine Chanéac

Two rebellious scientists (Brody and Polly) defy all laws of science when they illegally splice together the DNA of multiple organisms - one of which is human. Growing at a rapid rate, the specimen 'Dren' becomes attached to both of her carers, but will the attachment turn deadly? Vincenzo Natali directs and co-writes this original sci-fi horror.

This Week's DVD/Blu-ray Choice, 26th July

The only two partially worthwhile releases this week just happen to be my joint choice.

My chosen two are:

-Clash of the Titans (2010)
-Remember Me

Despite being critically hated, Clash of the Titans, the remake of the 1981 original, pits Sam Worthington (originally Harry Hamlin) against an enormous amount of befuddlingly fictitious, other-wordly creatures only Greek mythology could configure. Still, despite copious amounts of cheese, the film is extravagantly entertaining if you're into your explosive effects, stunning set pieces and Sam Worthington in a toga. A blu-ray purchase is recommended, purely to see the glorious Medusa scene in high-def.


Secondly, we have Edward, i mean Robert Pattinson, star in Remember Me as a rebellious New Yorker whose run in with a cop forces him to forge an unlikely friendship with his daughter, leading, predictably, to a relationship shrouded in lies. Despite how unoriginal the plot is, the breakout performance from Pattinson proves he actually can act, and the superior ending is jaw-dropping enough to fall instantly memorable.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Movie News: Trailer For Lovely, Still

Love truly has no expiration date.

Martin Landau and Ellen Burstyn prove said statement with their latest holiday drama Lovely, Still. Landau stars as Robert Malone, a man whose lonely life becomes too much. Still, the silver lining comes in the form of Mary (Burstyn). After an unexpected meeting, the unusual attraction between the two blossoms into a fully-fledged relationship as they both truly fall head-over-heels

Judging by the trailer, the film seems to follow in close footsteps to Julie Christie's critically acclaimed drama Away From Her.

An honest, sweet portrayal of love always works best on-screen, therefore expect promising things.

The film has yet to receive a release date, but co-stars Adam Scott, Elizabeth Banks and is written/directed by first timer Nicholas Fackler.

Cinema Review: Inception

Christopher Nolan, a man renowned for his unique storytelling, follows up his Box Office smash The Dark Knight with one of the most anticipated films of 2010, Inception. A noticeable withdrawel of any sense of predictability is blatant from the trailer alone, yet the inevitable outcome of his latest blockbuster was spoken with extreme caution - were we expecting too much?

Leonardo DiCaprio plays Cobb, a skilled thief who earns his living by entering the subconscious of a person's mind and steals valuable secrets as they remain in a dream state. In a year where such technology exists, said mission(s) have caused Cobb to lose all of those close to him. Still, when a business proposition crops up promising him his original life back, Cobb enlists the help of a few other professionals to pull of the impossible-inception; planting an idea, rather than stealing one.

Fortunately for fans, Nolan's work hardly falls in the 'inconsequential' catagory. By straying from the paths which most often follow, Inception stands firm as a truly original idea which, thanks to Nolan's sharp and intelligent writing, is incredibly refreshing. With a style as broad and individual as his, it's all the more surprising when, by adding multiple elements, he first-handedly blurs the lines of his normal target audience, as well as opening the doors to those who've possibly never seen his previous work -- if you haven't, buy his 2000 feature Memento instantly after reading this.

Shrouded with deep intellect and uncommonly enticing, his story contains an unimaginable amount of continuously-developed layers, all of which provide an extensive peak into the Dream world in which he has created. Forcefully dragging the audience further and further (down the rabbit hole, if you will), the story fully envelopes you, twisting your mind with a magnitude of unanswered questions and, due to the brilliantly intense climax, throws you back with an almighty force. Nolan's particular style of fast-paced, always mind-blowing, action fused with a story that maintains the ability to captivate, whilst surprisingly moving, makes for essential viewing.

Ironically aiding the dream-like setting are the dream-like cast of characters, all of which are played by A-listers who actually can act. DiCaprio exudes enough enthusiasm for the role, with his love/hate relationship towards his potentially dangerous ex-wife Marion Cotillard proving deeply heartfelt throughout. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ellen Page also shine, especially as Page has truly never starred in a film much like Inception, but proves with every role she participates in that she is more than ready to handle such heavy 'equipment'.

With copious amounts of scenes that become increasingly more jaw-dropping as the film progresses, Inception contains enough to entertain most audiences. Action junkies will be floored with the array of scenes nearing the end, but whatever you're into, Nolan has created a masterpiece that will stand as one of the most explosive, immersive and downright original films that will be released in years. An unarguable work of art, showcasing Nolan's individualistic behaviour towards film.

5/5

Thursday, 22 July 2010

This Week's UK Cinema Releases, 23rd July

-The first of this week sees the release, finally, of Vincenzo Natali's sci-fi horror Splice. Adrien Brody and Sarah Polly star as two ambitious but rebellious scientists as they defy all laws of science by combining the DNA of several animals, including that of a human, and create a creature they later call 'Dren'. Forming at a rapid rate, she grows into a winged human-hybrid, but her bond with both of her creators turns deadly. An undoubtedly unique, hopefully twisted, horror.

-Andy Garcia teams with Julianna Margulies, Emily Mortimer and Alan Arkin in family drama City Island. A young ex-con (Steven Strait) forces individual members in a family to uncover their hidden aspirations and careers, with Dad of the family (Garcia) working as a corrections officer despite his life-long dream to become the next Marlon Brando.

-Catherine Zeta Jones stars in romcom The Rebound, centering around Sandy (Jones) as she moves to New York with her two children. Hiring a coffee shop worker to babysit, an attraction instantly forms, but will their relationship work despite an extensive age gap?

-Karate Kid, the re-imagining of the 1984 film, hits cinemas this weekend. Will Smith's offspring Jaden Smith joins with Pat Morita's substitute Jackie Chan as a series of run-ins with a group of bullies forces him to join alliances with handyman/kung-fu expert Mr. Han (Chan).

Movie News: Teaser For Saw 3D

"All true geniuses always save their best for last..."

Jigsaw returns October 22nd in his latest, and final, outing, pitting another group of unlucky souls against an array of his incredibly creative traps, with an inevitably gory outcome to please fans of the seemingly never-ending franchise.

The seventh outcome follows a group of Jigsaw's survivors as they seek the support of a self-help guru, with fellow survivor Bobby Dagen setting off a rippling effect of misery as his very own dark secrets are unleashed.

Fighting at the Box Office with fellow sequel Paranormal Activity 2, will Saw 3D -- the sixth sequel in the series -- rise on top? A sad decline in numbers with Saw VI may see PA2 rise, but a possible advantage is given to Saw 3D as it closes the series. We all want to see Dr. Gordon return, right? S**t, it's what we've wanted since the first god-damn film!

Saw VI director Keven Greutert will direct the final film, with Tobin Bell somehow reprising his role as the inexplicable 'saviour' Jigsaw. Due to Saw VI surprisingly resurrecting the series after the abysmal fifth entry, high hopes are abound with Greutert helming the project.

This is Saw, therefore expect an explosive, unpredictable, gory last act.



Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Cinema Review: Toy Story 3


The anticipation built around Pixar's latest, a sequel to one of the most loved series of all-time, is intoxicating. From the introduction to Toy Story back in 1995 to the equally-as-brilliant sequel in 1999, the toy box full of creative, amusing and all-round captivating characters has charmed audiences worldwide. Eleven years later and we have Toy Story 3, welcoming Woody, Buzz, Jessie and co. back into our lives with outstretched arms.

The latest chapter sees our beloved characters in a state of unknown as Andy -- voiced once again by John Morris -- is off to college. Their owner has moved on, therefore the impending realization of being left behind is hard-hitting. Accidentally dropped off at Sunnyside -- a day-care centre, the toys form alliances with the seemingly innocent Lotso and a cavalcade of other throwaways. Once their true form is discovered, the gang decide to plot their very own great escape, with every intention of returning home to their owner.

It's an undoubtable fact that Pixar create their animations in a God-like manner, with great care, heart and humor. Their astounding ability to reach out to audiences of all ages with a story so rapidly fused with both child and adult-like behaviour is renowned, all of which is easily conspicuous in the third outing. An ability which also accounts for changing a possibly inessential entry to something which appears entirely relevant -- and for fans of the series, overwhelmingly essential. A certain dependancy has been formed upon these characters, all thanks to John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton, the writing team behind every Toy Story feature.

The brilliance of their writing never undermines, merely entertains all ages with their quick witted one-liners and, gearing more towards the final segment, beautifully poignant and incredibly heartwarming scenes. A choice to introduce a series of new characters thankfully also works tremendously, with Barbie's counterpart Ken -- the camp, well-suited girl's doll -- stealing almost every scene he's featured in. The new, however, never overshadow the old. Woody recreates the charm and leader figure we all grew up watching, and Buzz, as always, stands firm as the vivacious space ranger, all of which are aided by the traditional side-splitting humor.

From opening the film with an unexpected nod to the original -- an extravagantly intense, explosive heist sequence -- to ending with a string of heart-wrenching moments -- one of which involving the gang transcend into a sense of acceptance -- which culminates in an ending that borders on the overly saccharine, but fuses intellect with heart. An ending which, despite leaving most audiences weeping into their sleeve, sets you off wishing to revisit Pixar's phenomenon all over again.

Toy Story 3 truly defies the 'threequel' curse which most have suffered from. Pixar boasts their unimaginably perfect, luscious animation once again with each and every character, making the absolute most out of the possible last chapter in this one of a kind franchise.

Bidding farewell to these characters is a mission which won't be accomplished without heartache, but director Lee Unkrich has brought us a film which will be remembered by most for years to come, to pass on to children in the future and will stand as a true testament to animation, and an undoubtable milestone in Pixar's resumé of projects. An utter masterpiece.

5/5

Monday, 19 July 2010

Movie News: Poster & Clip For Monsters


A clear wink in the direction of last year's District 9, the poster for the next big budget monster flick Monsters has surfaced this week. Undoubtedly brilliant, stirring enough buzz in my mind to allow myself to search for a possible trailer.

Said trailer doesn't exist as of yet, but below you will find a clip of the film which featured earlier this year at SXSW. Intense and somewhat surprising, this is definitely a film to look out for.

Six years ago a NASA probe crash landed in the New Mexico desert containing samples of alien life. Growing at an alarming rate, the samples expanded and how inhabit the southern US and the north of Mexico. Now, a US journalist agrees to escort an American tourist back through the no-man's land to safety. Will all go smoothly?

A release date for Monsters hasn't been announced.

UPDATE: BBFC have recently given Monsters a UK release date of November 1st, and is rated 12A.

This Week's DVD/Blu-ray Choice, 19th July

Excluding The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (a film i have yet to see), the rest of this week's releases are surprisingly decent. The remake of George A. Romero's The Crazies and the sequel to hit family comedy Nanny McPhee gaining honorable mentions, but the joint two i have picked are as follows.

My joint two are:
-Chloe
-Donnie Darko: Theatrical & Director's Cut

Seductive, sexually-charged thriller Chloe is released this week, with Amanda Seyfried (from Mean Girls and Mamma Mia fame) channeling her inner adult as she is hired by curious wife Julianne Moore as she suspects her husband, Liam Neeson, having an affair. Moore and Seyfried sizzle in every scene they're featured in, with a delightfully devious, but sensually dazzling, performance from Seyfried. A DVD purchase is fine.




Donnie Darko, a cult favourite, is being re-released this week on blu-ray, containing both the theatrical and director's cut editions of the much-loved indie flick. The end of the world is near in Richard Kelly's critically acclaimed feature, with Jake Gyllenhaal earning his stardom as Donnie, a troubled teen whose visions of a large bunny rabbit named Frank manipulates him to commit a series of crimes.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Today's Cinema Viewing

Inception

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Ken Watanabe, Cillian Murphy, Marion Cotillard, Tom Hardy, Michael Caine.

Christopher Nolan follows up the Box Office smash-hit The Dark Knight with Inception, centering around Dom Cobb (DiCaprio), a skilled thief with the unusual expertise in the art of extraction. His job enlists him to delve into the subconscious of unsuspected civilians whilst in a dream state, with the intention of stealing valuable secrets. Doing so, Cobb has become a fugitive and has lost everything he has ever loved. Hopefully earning his ticket back to normality, Cobb and a team of experts plan to not steal an idea, but to plant one; the impossible-inception. Unfortunately, an enemy is hot on their heals.

Monday, 12 July 2010

This Week's DVD/Blu-ray Choice, 12th July

A multitude of choices this week, all of which vary rather extravagantly. From critically-hated chick flicks, to publically-misunderstood comedies.

My joint three are:
-Youth in Revolt
-Green Zone
-Valentine's Day

Miguel Arteta directs Youth in Revolt, the outlandish comedy starring teen favourite Michael Cera. Nick Twisp lives with his trailer trash mother and her bum of a boyfriend, but life becomes bliss once Sheeni Saunders (Portia Doubleday) comes on the scene. However, once thrown into the 'friend zone', Nick finds he must create an alternate personality to vicariously live through to wreck havoc in hope that Sheeni finds said personality attractive. While the film may be limited to those with a hardened sense of humour, the film never ceases to amuse with it's fantastically written script and near perfect cast of hilariously inept characters.


War film fans should eat Green Zone up, the latest product of the pairing between Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Supremacy) and Matt Damon. Once Chief Warrant Officer Miller (Damon) discovers faulty intelligence, it forces him to go rogue as he hunts for Weapons of Mass Destruction in an unstable region. Doing so, his actions force even his own side to turn on him. A clear professional, Greengrass successfully captures the ferocious, often terrifying, trials involved when involved in the war, with Damon once again flexing his acting chops.


Lastly, whilst Valentine's Day was pretty much spat upon by critics, fans of chick flicks are bound to have a blast watching their favourite actors team up for two hours. An extraordinarily good looking ensemble cast consisting of Anne Hathaway, Julia Roberts, Bradley Cooper, Jessica Biel and Patrick Dempsey all grace the screen for Gary Marshall's latest heartwarmer, as a cast of hopefuls trek through one of the most romantic days of the year, Valentine's Day. Some stories are touching; some are bleak; some are just downright silly. But, as i've said, its target audience will have a field day.


DVD purchases for all will be perfectly fine. I, however, have succumbed to the special 'Pink-ray' edition of Valentine's Day which contains the Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Copy.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Movie News: Trailer Debut For The Loved Ones

It's fair to say that an uncensored range of emotions may spark after watching this downright fantastic trailer for the long-delayed Aussie horror, The Loved Ones.

Premiering at SXSW (a film festival focusing on the talents of new, talented directors), The Loved Ones is written and directed by Sean Byrne and stars hot new talents including Xavier Samuel (starring as we speak in the hotly anticipated vampire sequel The Twilight Saga: Eclipse), Robin McLeavy and Victoria Thaine.

The film centers around Brent (Samuel), a boy whose tragic life involving the death of his father is drawn out once Lola, a seemingly innocent girl, asks him to the school dance. Once he rejects her, Lola's father kidnaps Brent and forces him in a macabre, disturbing set of events involving a faux disco ball, copious amounts of pink glitter and a few deadly household devices which, unfortunately, thrusts Brent as the night's real entertainment.

Without a single doubt, the trailer is one of the most impressive of the year. Boasting an unarguably fun, fresh and superbly grim horror.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Cinema Review - The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

By this day and age, if the word Twilight doesn't deem itself well-known within your own mind, you're in trouble. With the extravagantly popular books written by Stephenie Meyer -- Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn -- accompanied by the die-hard Twifans (a descriptive word which i will take bets on it being in the Dictionary some time soon) -- who are unarguably some of the most loyal and downright enthusiastic fans ever -- it's no surprise that the films have set records in their multitudes, leaving it's own imprint on the movie industry.

Bella (Kristen Stewart) is weighed down by the impending realization of what is heading her way. Dealing with graduation, her love for broody chivelrous vampire Edward (Robert Pattinson, OMG!) is tested when muscle-bound werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner) overwhelms her with his apparent love. Still, problems in the vampire world are equally as strong as a series of unexplained deaths in Seattle set of a cavalcade of problems as Riley (Xavier Samuel), hired by red-headed, evil vamp
Victoria, groups a gang of Newborns to take down the Cullen family, with all hopes of murdering Bella.

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse is the third outing for our beloved characters -- Bella, Edward and Jacob, prominently -- but, thankfully, appears to have grown in age. David Slade (30 Days of Night) directs the latest blockbuster, with a heavy-handed realism on how adult the overall story is -- which is entirely fitting and somewhat refreshing when placed side-by-side to the previous two.

The characters, whilst loved by many, are brutally flawed. Teen angst has never been so furiously fuelled by a cast of broody, often one-dimensional characters -- a comment aimed more towards Lautner, a man whose ability to act hasn't flourished within his run in the franchise. Still, Bella and Edward make the entire 120 minutes worthwhile. Despite their conspicuously re-hashed dialogue, the pair maintain a chemistry that could alight the coldest of viewers. Their scenes together contain a certain elegance that is usually found within a blossoming, young romance -- something which transfers poignantly on-screen, with the undoubtable intention by Slade (and Meyer) to leave you rightfully swayed by the impenetrable feelings lashed towards one another. Bella's undecided nature, however, may test the audiences who've found themselves dragged alongside by their young'uns, with her 'will she-won't she commit necrophilia/beastiality' attitude providing a possible hatred towards the love-struck teen.

The tone of the film enables it to be enjoyed by an older, more advanced audience. As so, the relationship between our couple is more adult, dealing with the curious but painfully strong sexual attraction which, in Eclipse, is a blatant fact -- scenes involving the two writhing around on a bed will lead many to produce a drop, or a bucket, of sweat. Scenes such as this are easily relatable -- we've all been there, right? Still, whilst it may be enjoyed by newcomers, the lack of distinction between characters and/or depth may cause slight confusion. Slade focuses more on the action, whereas New Moon director Chris Weitz took the alternative route and stuck with producing a magnitude of sympathy for Bella, helping to round off Catherine Hardwicke's (the director of Twilight) version of the girl.

Victoria's (Bryce Dallas Howard, taking over the role from Rachelle Lefevre) devious plans culminate in the film's more violent, but brilliantly relevant, factor. Riley is sleek, handsome but overwhelmingly fierce. His concentrated, dramatic facial expressions equal that of a villainous animal, therefore Samuel, a newcomer to the franchise, is an almost perfect casting choice. Despite the little knowledge surrounding the Newborns, the battle sequence at the end will remain as one of the most exciting scenes in the entire series -- something i fear would be absent without Slade's keen eye for a meticulously staged scene.

Slade's third outing infuses characterzation of the well-known characters with a string of melodramatic set pieces. A highly enjoyable entry into one of the most popular franchises of all-time, Eclipse, i fear, may be the peak of the series. Still, while it's perfectly enjoyable to fans of the previous two, opening up the doors for newcomers enables the possibility that Breaking Dawn will round off Meyer's creation with something special.

4/5

Monday, 5 July 2010

This Week's DVD/Blu-ray Choice, 5th July

This week hands-down belongs to a certain teen fantasy which has remained as one of the most all-round enjoyable of the year for myself.

My choice this week is Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief.

Chris Columbus, the director of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, brings us the first entry in the hopeful franchise which centers around the troublesome teen Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman) whose realisation about his Greek heritage sparks a series of potentially life-threatening situations involving legendary creations which can only usually be seen in the toga-wearing epics such as Clash of the Titans. Teaming up with two other younguns, Percy must triumph over the various obstacles to defeat whoever has fiendishly stolen Zeus' lightning bolt, clear his name and save his Mum - who has been unwillingly snatched by Lord of the Underworld, Hades. A cast of down-to-Earth, likable characters and an entertaining, whirlwind of a story fuse together to make a furiously enjoyable 120 minutes. Despite an undeniable resemblance to the likes of Harry Potter and Twilight -- both of which are also book-to-film adaptations -- the film opens the series strong, therefore is equally as deserving as films thrown into the similar genre. The Triple Play Edition Blu-ray is a must - if solely for the wonderful packaging, DVD copy, Digital Copy and the special features exclusive to Blu-ray.

Blu-ray Special Features -

Deleted scenes
Secrets of the Gods featurette
Discover Your Powers quiz
Inside Camp Half-Blood featurette
On set with Brandon T. Jackson featurette
Meet the Demigods featurette
Composing for the Gods: A conversation with Christophe Beck
BD Live extras

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Movie News: One Sheet For Deathly Hallows

If the mind-numbingly brilliant trailer (which you can see here) for the latest, and finale, two-part installment of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows didn't grab your attention, then this equally as fantastic poster will.


Boasting the inevitable wear on Hogwarts after the climactic battle which has been forcefully built up for almost ten years now, the poster displays an uneasy, but painfully beautiful, image of the school which fell as a refuge for witches and wizards of all ages. It's simple, but damn, it's unarguably effective. "It All Ends Here"; a tagline weighed down with the impending realisation that the phenomenon is almost over.

The two-part finale will see our courageous three-some Harry, Ron and Hermione, battle a cavalcade of foes to thieve the horcruxes that the evil Lord Voldemort has deviously hidden. Alongside their friends, the stampede of young and old witches and wizards head out to defeat Voldemort and his minions, with all intention of destroying him for good.

The first installment will be released November this year, and the second July 2011.