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Posts Tagged ‘anna kendrick

Twilight (2008)

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This is totally a bandwagon endeavor.  But with all of the Breaking Dawn hype, I’ve decided that I need to get a move on the Twilight series.  Yeah, I read all of the books, I thought Twilight was super gripping and stuff until it blew up America.  And by America I mean the world.  Man, Stephanie Meyer is the worst best thing to have come out of my hood.

With that, I’m only just getting to watching the movies.  Word on the street is they still suck, but I don’t want to be that girl that never watches something only because it’s popular.  Even though I actually abhor everything to do with the Vampire/Werewolf/Human love triangle.  But hey, I’m a cinephile so I gots to watch ’em all.

Catherine Hardwicke’s Twilight takes place in the dark, dreary town of Forks, Washington.  Our leading lady is the clumsy, supposed-to-be-not-that-pretty-but-is-actually-pretty-hot Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart).  Well, she would be hot if her face did something other than grimace or pout.  She’s the new girl in town straight out of Phoenix, Arizona (sans tan) here to live with her pops Charlie Swan, the local sheriff (Billy Burke).  Charlie is the only solid character of the bunch, he’s got a sound mind and is trying his hardest to be a good dad to his estranged daughter.

Bella starts at her new school mid-year.  What would predictably be a rocky beginning as the typical “new girl in town outcast” turns out to be a refreshingly smooth transition.  Bella eases her way into a group of nice (and normal) kids who gossip and joke and accept her as their friend.  Her long face is inexplicable, but apparently something isn’t right.  She’s eyes the strange and beautiful Cullen family with piqued interest as her friend Jessica (Anna Kendrick) gawks over Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), but encourages Bella to steer clear.  No one really talks to the Cullens.  They keep to themselves.

But apparently Bella can’t be content with a normal life.  She is mesmerized with the not so beautiful Edward Cullen.  She has never met anyone like him before.  The way he stares at her is so penetrating, as though he sees directly into her soul.  Lucky for both of them, she finds this more attractive than creepy.  Her fight to be different is grossly rewarded when her person of interest turns out to be a vampire, and she’s totally into it.

As I was watching this, I couldn’t help but think to myself, “Did I really like this book?”  Because I did.  It’s like literary cocaine, I read ’till all hours of the night and couldn’t curb my addiction.  But seriously, there was actually something appealing to this ridiculous vampire stuff?  Because sorry twi-hards, I am not digging it.

First of all, if you take out all the vampire/mystical stuff, it is nothing more than a formulaic teenage lust love story  and a guy who has abstinence issues.  And WHAT is up with Kristen Stewart & Robert Pattinson?  They seem to have a really good time staring at each other, though Stewart always looks like she’s suffering from manic depression and Pattinson that he’s going to throw up.  Neither can act.  And Pattinson seemed to lose every feature that I found attractive when he played Cedric Diggory in the fourth Harry Potter film.

The dialogue is atrocious.  “You better hold on tight, spider monkey.”  A fourth grader could write a better screenplay.  The special effects are mediocre at best, though the film was produced on a very low budget.  And these vampires are nothing like the vampires of yesteryear.  Contrary to popular belief, daylight does not disintegrate our fanged friends, it only causes them to SPARKLE (another testament of high-school effects).

The relationship between Edward & Bella is, well, crazy.  Their romance blooms because Edward WANTS TO DRINK HER BLOOD.  He thinks she SMELLS good, much like my lunch meat smells good.  Who dates (and by date, I mean stare at) a dude that is attracted to her based on how good he thinks she would taste if he were to kill her?  But she’s cool with it, because he’s one of the good guys, a vampire vegetarian if you will.

I think what is really missing from the book is the depth to Bella’s character.  Kristen Stewart does not portray the complexities nor the inner turmoil that Bella suffers with in the book.  Though my opinion quickly changes in the Twilight sequels, Bella was a great character in the first book.  She wasn’t perfect, and the average girl could relate to her and dream about having a similar fantastic romance.

Twilight will no doubt satisfy its rabid fans, and teenage girls across the world will always drool over Edward.  And if you’re one of those peeps, go knock yourself out.  But, if you appreciate something deeper, Twilight is missable.  4/10

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Written by laurenthejukebox17

November 25, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)

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Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) is a twenty-something bass guitarist for the pretty awesome garage band, “Sex-Bob-Omb.”  He’s recently been dumped big time by his longtime girl and is having difficulty recovering.  So he goes for something more attainable I guess, and starts dating Knives Chau (Ellen Wong)… a high schooler.  She’s cute, uncomplicated, and slightly obsessed with his band.  Then Scott discovers the girl of his dreams (literally): Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead).  Think Kate Winslet in Eternal Sunshine: quirky, changes hair color every week, kind of confusing and complicated.  When Scott pursues her, he finds out that he will need to defeat her seven evil exes who are set on complete control of Ramona’s love life.  If he wants to keep dating her that is.

First of all, I was hooked when I first saw the trailer.  Comic book awesomeness in a movie?  Oh man I’m there.  Frankly, I did expect it to be one of those movies that wastes all of its good jokes in the trailer, “Time to break out the ‘L’ word.” “Lesbian?” “The other ‘L’ word.” “LesbianS?” I am pleased to report that it defeat the odds, and the entire movie was endlessly hilarious.

“When I’m around you, I kind of feel like I’m on drugs. Not that I do drugs. Unless you do drugs, in which case I do them all the time. All of them.” The dialogue’s great.  Just sayin’

Second, I am totally digging the cast!  I’m a big Michael Cera fan from Arrested Development and Juno, so I was obviously excited for him to break out with something different and allow him to shine a little bit.  No more George Michael for this dude.  On that note, how about Mae Whitman, ANN of all people, showin’ up as the weirdo lesbian ex? (Okay, they’re ALL weirdos, but it being Ann makes it that much more weirdified).  Yeah, wasn’t expectin’ that one.  But besides Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead is pretty good as our quirky lady Ramona, Kieran Culkin is entertaining as Scott’s gay roommate, Ellen Wong as Knives, Alison Pill (yay Dan in Real Life!), Anna Kendrick, and Jason Schwartzman and basically any other minor character are all freaking awesome.

I also wasn’t expecting to enjoy the music of Sex-Bob-Omb quite so much as I did.  But I’m still listenin’ to it!  “We are Sex Bob-omb. We are here to sell out and make money and stuff.”

I guess my favorite thing about Scott Pilgrim is that it never gets boring.  Think about it, seven epic fights – and I never got tired of watching them battle it out, video game power-ups and all (LOVE the coins!!)  The pacing is perfect: fast but not too fast.  It’s stylistic, it’s edgy, it’s quirky, it’s lovable!  More times the one I’d laugh to myself, “What on earth am I watching?”  I’ve heard multiple arguments that it’s trying too hard to be hipster cool and not spending enough time in the real world.  I disagree, I think it’s totally hipster cool, but strangely grounded.  And I, for one, loved the Seinfeld scene.

It’s visually electrifying – all of the bright colors and VG embellishments.  Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) created something fresh and stellar that brightens our decade.  Granted, it ain’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s freaking awesome, man.  8/10