Saturday, November 19, 2011

Breaking Dawn Dominates Box Office

As pleased as I was to see Immortals doing well at the box office last weekend (good for you, Kellan Lutz!) I am even more pleased to see Breaking Dawn excelling this weekend.

Breaking Dawn was one of the most hyped and discussed Twilight movies, and for a change the drama wasn't all about the actor's off-screen lives.  Instead, let's face it, the content of this book was a major challenge to bring to the screen.  Breaking Dawn has an inherent vampire super-creepiness in it that the other books lacked (not that they weren't weird in their own ways) and conveying that on screen in a way that didn't make us all run screaming was pretty impressive.

Equally impressive?  Breaking Dawn making nearly $140 million world-wide so far.  Immortals is out as the top US Box Office take, and Breaking Dawn is firmly on top of the heap.

These ARE their excited faces
Breaking Dawn

Now, who wants to predict which of the Twilight Saga movies will ultimately make the most money?  I'm voting one of the first three over this split-up nonsense ... a year for the next installment are you NUTS? ... but curious to hear your thoughts.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Breaking Dawn Fever Spreads To South America

The upcoming release of the first installment of Breaking Dawn has spread to my corner of South America.  It's not just the posters and the promotional merchandise.  The kids in my high school ESL classes are actively planning to get their latest Edward & Bella fix.

Whether they will get to do it in a theater is a different kind of story.  Ecuador is not known for its strict copyright laws and knock-off DVD stores are a major part of the film industry here, such as it is.  Cuenca, a city of approximately 500,000 people, boasts more than 150 illegal DVD shops.  They operate as regular stores, closing up only when the government decides to get serious about their image.  A few days later they reopen and life moves on.

As a result, most of the Ecuadorian Twilight fans will be taking in the movie on the small screen.  At least the first time.  Based on their ability to quote lines from the movies, Twilight films get watched over and over and over.  The first purchase may be a ripped off DVD of a US film premier of Breaking Dawn, but a later viewing will likely happen in theaters, boosting Twilight's global box office numbers.  In the end, a fan is a fan, and we all buy too much Twilight stuff to be respectable.

The life-size Edward's in my local film store, for example, had to be bought from somewhere.  Twilight banners, promoting New Moon, Eclipse and the original are everywhere.  The original Twilight is not aging so well, I'll confess.  The sleeker, upgraded vampires are a better bet.  And here in Ecuador, the countdown to getting to see them take the screen for Breaking Dawn is officially down to the final days!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Is Taylor Lautner's Abduction a Victim of Bad Acting or Bad Editing?

Taylor Lautner's Abduction opened up today officially, and the general reaction has not been good.  Critics are giving it a firm thumbs-down in both the US and international press.  The general public isn't loving it either - for a while the film even had a 0% rating at!

Taylor Lautner,Lily Collins
Quick, let's get out before it starts!

So what makes Abduction such a bad movie?  Twilight haters are quick to give it a thumbs down, but most professional critics are focusing on two key areas:  Taylor Lautner's acting skills and the production work of the film.
  • From the New York Times review of Abduction:  “To give Mr. Lautner his due, he is a martial-arts dervish with perfectly sculptured abs. His acting, however, is another matter. I can’t recall another teenage star so opaque. If his physiognomy — recessed eyes that don’t seem to focus, a wide snub nose and Elvis-y lips — conjure Neanderthal manhood after a cosmetic makeover, his boyish monotone with its utter lack of inflection suggests that he is really an advanced robot simulating human speech without registering emotion or even comprehension.” Ouch!
  • “Abduction features woefully appalling writing brought to life by genuinely random direction. The only consistency is that none of it works, and the result is a mess that will leave even the most ardent Twi-hater yearning for Stephenie Meyer’s skills. …one of the year’s worst films," says Australia's Sydney Morning Herald.  Just in case it's not clear they're haters - the whole review calls the film "worse than Twilight."
  •  Critic Claudia Puig for the USA Today review of Abduction wrote: “Lautner . . . has the physicality to star in an action thriller. But his acting range is limited. His face rarely changes expression.”  (Okay, I might give her this one.  Then again, name a facially expressive Twilight actor?  Anyone?)
  • And again from Australia:  "Don’t be fooled by the presence of esteemed actors like Bello, Isaacs, Sigourney Weaver (playing Nathan’s shrink) and Alfred Molina (a dodgy CIA boss). They’re only there to collect a pay check for reading out the absurd script — which could have been written by a 14-year-old, given its level of depth and sophistication," says Movieflix.
So which is the true culprit here?

Tell me what's really going on here!

Though I will agree that it takes more than pretty abs to carry a movie, I'm going to lay more blame on the film production and cinematography crew than Taylor Lautner.  No, Taylor Lautner is not the world's best actor - but that doesn't mean he's a bad actor.  And we've all seen great movies carried by actors who were terrible in other films.  Look at Gwyneth Paltrow in Shakespeare in Love ... and then anything else.  Think how awesome Jude Law is in Sherlock Holmes.  It's not just about the actor ... it's also about the direction, camera work, script, and editing.

Abduction just doesn't cut it in those areas.  Casting choices were fine - there's heavy weights in there who can do much, much better.  However, the writing for the movie's script is crap, in the sense that it's not a tight, driving story.  Some of the lines make you cringe.  Chemistry is not developed evenly between characters, and there's a choppiness to it all that goes beyond using artistry to create a feeling of chaos in the film.  This just wasn't very well done.

Despite all that, Abduction may still be a profitable film.  Given the strength of Lautner's Twilight fame, he'll likely have other chances.  Perhaps his next movie won't be thrown together so badly, and we'll all have a chance to see him in a film directed and edited by a team who can help him show off his best side.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

New Fan Fic: Just Show Me The Money, Money

It's official - my new new fan fiction story for Twilight is live on FanFiction.

Although she’s a little confused about the how of it all, there’s no confusing the what – Bella’s been vamped. Her new “family” is a set of first-class drug dealers in the middle of a turf war with “The Pack”. Coming to terms with her new life status, adjusting to her new family life, and managing to find a happy ending … you’d have to be high to think it’s going to be easy!

Check it out now:

Friday, August 12, 2011

Kristen Stewart Reminds Me Of January Jones In W Magazine

Checking out Kristen Stewart's photo shoot for W Magazine, I couldn't help but be reminded of January Jones.  Blame it on seeing X Men First Class earlier this summer, but at first I didn't even think this was Kristen Steward at all.  I'm believing her in the Snow White gear better than in these shots, which just seem to make her look like someone else entirely.

Kristen Stewart

The cover, looking wide-eyed and glam

Kristen Stewart

With a red ring that I kind of want

Kristen Steward

With a very January Jones style mink

Not all of the Kristen Stewart go this far to alter her look, but this one really does it up.  I like the photos, but I just keep seeing January Jones


Anyone else seeing the resemblance?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Fun New Twilight Poster - Now With Unicorns!

This is going to be a short and simple post.  I saw this, I loved this, you need to see this gorgeous mash-up of My Little Pony and Twilight:

Twilight and My Little Pony

Many thanks for your genius, AMSLizrah

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Shirtless Sunday: BooBoo Stewart

Way back in the day, I asked if all the members of the Wolf Pack really had what it took to be pack members.  Not a long history of acting ... but a killer physique.

Even as a young pup, BooBoo Stewart brought the abs out as needed.  But that was then, this is now.  Welcome to the 2011 edition of BooBoo Stewart's abs!

Wolf Pack,BooBoo Stewart,Abs

I must say I'm impressed at the way all the Wolf Pack boys keep themselves up between the different shoots.  Also looking forward to seeing more of BooBoo Stewart as Seth Clearwater in Breaking Dawn.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

New Fan Fiction Adventure

Way back when, I started writing my first bit of Twilight fan fiction.  I haven't given up on that story (lax posting to the contrary) but I got hit with a new inspiration this weekend.

The new story is tentatively titled "Just Show Me The Money, Money" triggered by Tim Myers song, Money$$$.  So far we have a Bella who is piecing together what happens after you get eaten by vampires, and the crew of usual suspects.  Jacob's there, too, but his leg's broken at the moment and I really can't say what will happen to him next.  One thing I did learn from my Distilling Down adventures is to make sure I get a good ways into things before I launch the story so readers don't have to wait forever while I beta through and sort out plot problems.

Anyway ... coming soon ... Just Show Me The Money, Money!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Screw Captain America!

The latest rumors have Ashley Greene dating Chris Evans.  And by dating, I mean she talked to him at a club and maybe flirted a little.  It's called a fresh break up and alcohol, not "dating" Chris Evans.  Sure, Chris Evans may be getting press at the moment for being Captain America, but seriously, after a Jonas brother who wouldn't you talk to in order forget the all-too-recent past?

Not that Ashley Greene is looking terribly heartbroken.

Ashley Greene

She's got her hair long, a smile on, a necklace I totally want, and nary a Joe Jonas look-alike in sight.  Which is just way I like it, because while she was going out with Joe Jonas I almost had to break my don't be mean to Ashley Greene rule.  He's just too ... too ... uck, can't even describe it.  Just no.

I feel like Chris Evans is a little bit the same way.  I mean, he's a nice-ish guy, I guess, and by Hollywood standards he's pretty above board.  It's just that he's so boring.  Still, after all the Breaking Dawn filming madness and the Jonas brothers freaks that Ashley Greene has been dealing with lately, maybe she wants some boring?