Staring contest: Twilight: Eclipse review

I’m not ashamed to say I have read the Twilight books. Hell, I kinda liked them. They aren’t exactly great literature, but they are entertaining and easy to read, and the characters are far, far more likeable than the wooden cut outs we are offered in the latest film installment to the series.

For those that haven’t read the series, this was the one to watch. It has action, intensity, all the issues between Edward/Bella/Jacob finally come to a head. Unfortunately, director David Slade opted to go with 2 hours of teenagers staring moodily at one another while Bella bites her bottom lip.

The story this time centers around Bella and Edward staring at one another, whilst Jacob continues to wear no shirt and pine after Bella. Flame haired vampire Victoria is back for revenge, this time with new sidekick Riley and his vampire army at her command.

So what was wrong with the film? To be honest, I couldn’t find much that was right with it. The characters are so unlikeable, I found myself genuinely more interested in the villains, which is saying something. We wait nearly the entire movie to see the final showdown between the Cullen clan/werewolves and Victories army, and I can tell you now, it is not worth the wait. It reminds me of childhood experience of making a sparkler bomb. You watch the little fuse wind it’s way to the powder, and when it gets there… Nothing happens. You sit and wait, and keep watching anxiously for the fireworks, and they never come.

The wolves to me are a great disappointment. There just seems to be no weight behind them, they don’t seem to be great warriors like they are described in the book, but rather, more like giant┬áLabradors.

I think I am agreeing with many people when I say I do not dislike Kristen Stewart or Robert Pattinson. I think they are both very capable actors, but both of them are let down in this film but a totally lifeless script. I don’t have the same high praise for Taylor Lautner, who once again does nothing in this film but wander around shirtless attempting to make tween girls sigh (judging by the box office scores, he is doing his job well at least).

One of the only highlights for me is the inclusion of Australian actor Xavier Samuel. Samuel plays new vampire Riley, and whilst he isn’t given to much room to grow, he at least relishes his role. He is evil, yet we can still sense the innocence of someone who has been drawn into this supernatural world unwillingly. He exudes a certain charisma that a certain other Australian star seems to be severely lacking (Sam Worthington, I’m looking at you). I sincerely hope that I get to see more of Samuels in the future, hopefully in something a little more interesting.

There is still one last chance for the series to redeem itself with the final installment, Breaking Dawn. Breaking Dawn lacks the conflict and action of Eclipse, but without wanting to spoil it for anyone, let’s just say that there are some interesting scenes that could make for a rather absurd film.

All in all I found Twilight: Eclipse to be bloated, boring, stiff and lifeless. I contemplated leaving well before the supposed climax, and did actually leave before the film finished (due to an unforeseen emergency). For some reason fans of the books seem to love the movie series also, which baffles me entirely, as the film betrays every good scene the book created, and leaves so much much wanting in terms of the characters.

Maybe they’re all just content to sigh at Jacobs abs?

1/5

Where do old toys go?: Toy Story 3 review

It’s been 11 long and lonely years since Woody and Buzz last graced the big screen. It’s been 15 since they first appeared. Believe me, I would know, I still remember sitting in that cinema as a 5 year old and falling in love with the toys from Andy’s room. I may also remember writing Andy on one of my shoes, but that’s beside the point.

So for me, there was no room for error on Toy Story 3. I needed Pixar to get this right, to ensure that there is still one series from my childhood that will remain in my mind as fantastic from beginning to end. So did I enjoy Toy Story 3? Unreservedly.

Toy Story 3 is yet another jewel in Pixars ever expanding crown. From the opening moments of Toy Story 3, I was hooked, just as I was all those years ago. The fantastic characters, the perfect score, the rich animation and colour ensured that I could not tear my eyes from the screen from opening credits till close. There were moments of pure elation and gut wrenching sadness. If you have loose tear ducts, I would suggest taking some tissues.

Toy Story 3 see’s Andy’s (John Morris) toys face one final adventure. Andy is headed for college, deciding to take childhood partner Woody (Tom Hanks) with him, whilst the Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and the rest of the gang are headed for the attic.

Once again there is a mix-up (I’m looking at you Andy’s mum, get it together!) and the toy’s end up at Sunnyside Daycare, seemingly a utopia where there is never a shortage of children to play with them. Unfortunately, paradise it ain’t, with the daycare being run by the evil teddy Lotso, who lives the good life by ensuring new toys are in the firing line, whilst he and his cronies live the easy life in the butterfly room.

To be perfectly honest, there is very little to fault this movie on. The voice work is amazing, Pixar once again dazzled with their visual mastery, and the story is almost seamless.

Perhaps my only issue with this film is with one of the films most powerful scenes, towards the end. The scene is emotive, captivating, and actually quite frightening. I can’t help but think that this scene may be more than a little overwhelming for young children, I know that more than a few young children have been pretty scared by this scene.

I know that some people dislike the 3D aspects of modern films (Roger Ebert I’m looking at you), and many believe that the implementation of 3D dampens the colours of the films. This is certainly not an issue for Toy Story 3, with Pixar’s fantastic colour pallete once again wowing audiences.

Whether you are 10, 20 or 80, I have no qualms in┬árecommending┬áthis film to anybody, because plain and simple, it’s fantastic.

5/5

Have you seen Toy Story 3? What did you think of the final chapter in this great trilogy?

So what have I missed?

Apologies for the lack of post’s readers, I have been away on holidays.

So in to make up for the lack of posts, enjoy this jumbo sized catch up session.

So what have we seen this past week?

There is a new trailer for The Social Network, and after just finishing the novel it is based on, I am pretty excited.

We have yet another new poster for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, and it just as cool as those that came prior. This is another film I simply can’t wait to see.

The first reviews for the Christopher Nolan mystery-thriller Inception have started appearing, and it is looking like it will more than exceed expectations.

In other review news, I recently checked out Toy Story 3 and Twilight: Eclipse, and will be posting reviews soon. I don’t think it takes a genius to figure out which was the better film (I may have left the latter early due to an emergency situation/boredom).

I will also be releasing a new edition of The Countdown, this team I offer my choices for the 10 coolest characters to ever hit the big screen.

So that’s all for now readers, but stay tuned for more regular updates and reviews.

Happy viewing.