Twilight opens with the introduction of our heroine, Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart). She is in sunny Arizona with her mom and new stepfather, and as they prepare for a long road trip she decides that she’d rather go up to Washington state to stay with her estranged father, Charlie (Billy Burke). He lives in the small town of Forks (population 3,000) and is the local sheriff.
She arrives in the middle of the school year so although it should be hard to make friends (and it’s implied), she manages to connect with a group of kids who are far more welcoming than she is ready to be welcomed. They give her the scoop on who’s who and they soon point out the Cullens, an odd assortment of very pale-skinned guys and gals. To make things weirder, they are apparently foster brothers/sisters yet they are “couples.” They’ve been taken in by the local Dr. Cullen and his wife.
One of the group is of course, Edward (Robert Pattinson). His story is that “no girl is good enough for him.” Of course Bella is immediately fixated on him, although the feeling is apparently very much not mutual. As a matter of fact when she is assigned to be his lab partner, he seems to be repulsed by her.
Edward leaves for a few days, and when he returns his mood towards Bella has changed considerably. He’s now polite and at least feigns interest. She (mostly) gets over being offended and tries to get to know him although he still doesn’t want to get close to her. Almost immediately he saves her from being killed in a car accident in a scene that’s been shown in the trailer. She’s no dummy and doesn’t miss the fact that he was across the parking lot, got over to her in a flash and was able to keep a van from smashing into her (to the point that he left a dent in the door with his hand). [Note slight sarcasm there, folks]
Anyway, we soon meet Dr. Cullen (Peter Facinelli) at the hospital, whose makeup job is so incredibly white that he looks like the Cesar Romero version of the Joker. He is none to pleased about Edward (I guess I can’t call him “Ed,” huh?) possibly exposing who he really is to save Bella’s life.
One thing leads to another and the burgeoning romance is on its way, with a side trip to a confrontation with the “bad” vampires who actually kill humans to feed (go figure). You see the Cullens only drink the blood of animals. The bad guys have been responsible for a number of gruesome murders in town recently. One of them decides to target Bella and thus we get the final confrontation which finally brings us some decent action.
So what’s good?
I thought that the stars and supporting cast actually did a really great job. Bella’s friends were engaging, funny and they played their roles very naturally. Billy Burke was low key and very good as Bella’s father, Kristen Stewart did a decent job, and I have to say that despite his severely sculpted eyebrows and uber-funky hair that I liked Rob Pattinson’s portrayal of Edward Cullen. I don’t know how closely the way he played the character matched the version in the book, but I thought that his uncertainty and awkwardness in light of how powerful he really was made him quite charming.
Family plus Christmas equals nightmare. That seems to be the calculation guiding this festive frolic, in which Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon tell their respective folks they’re doing charity work so that they can avoid the usual get-together. Alas, their ruse is uncovered, so they end up visiting all four post-divorce enclaves in one fateful Christmas Day.
Playing out a seasonal riff on the same comedy of embarrassment as ‘Meet the Parents’, Vaughn’s mean old coot of a pater Robert Duvall and wrestling-freak sibling Jon Favreau, along with Mary Steenburgen as Witherspoon’s lubricious yet church-happy mom, supply plentiful warning of the dangers of procreation. As we grind through the gears of consecutive drop-ins, however, behind the strained knockabout lurks a none-too-subtle conformist agenda, assuring the unmarried, childless couple that their only chance for genuine happiness is to get with the family programme.
‘Humbug!’, we say. Dismaying, indeed, that a movie purportedly selling itself on refreshing nay-saying scepticism should so cravenly succumb to the same old schmaltz, without the craft even to make the process seem anything other than a series of empty would-be ‘feelgood’ platitudes. Still, there are occasional felicities en route, with some ably delivered ‘trailer moment’ slapstick – watch out for that baby vomit! – and the cast do their best with the uneven material, even if Vaughn in particular makes the patter a tad too effortful. Nostalgic for some to have him and Favreau reunited here, yet seeing the ‘Swingers’ duo desperately mugging away in such mainstream mulch, their catchphrase ‘You’re so money’ takes on an awful new resonance.
Etta James blasts her way through a sad song, but it's not good enough. Leonard Chess taunts her and claims she's not "woman enough" for such a song. Didn't anyone ever walk out on her and leave her heartbroken? Take that and put it in the song, he suggests. She steps up for another take, and -- although she has tears in her eyes now -- it sounds pretty much the same. The main trouble with Cadillac Records is that no one took aside writer/director Darnell Martin with the same advice. Scene after scene, Cadillac Records is thin, flat and rote. Like all biopics, the new film skims over years and years of history in a brief fling. All the moments are historical; they describe what happened, but not who they happened to. Sometime in the 1940s -- the movie is rarely very clear as to what year it is -- Leonard Chess (Adrien Brody) runs a junkyard and decides to get into "race music." He moves from a club to a record label and signs Muddy Waters (Jeffrey Wright), a blues guitarist straight off the plantation.
There are a few nice, early scenes showing these two men touring together, sharing meals and getting the stink-eye from local rednecks, but the movie shies away from developing this friendship. Muddy brings aboard the volatile harmonica player Little Walter (Columbus Short) and eventually gives him his first taste of liquor, which leads to a full-blown bout of alcoholism (this rock biopic cliché was ridiculed and should have been buried forever in last year's spoof Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story). Chess then signs the giant, monster-like Howlin' Wolf (Eamonn Walker), and Muddy takes an instant dislike to him. Once again, this rivalry is never fleshed out.
(I would like to have seen an entire movie about this Wolf; he's mesmerizing and positively terrifying!) Then comes Etta James (Beyoncé Knowles), and though Chess has apparently remained faithful to his wife, he clearly nurses something more than a crush on Etta. Etta remains hard and standoffish, most of the time, though Chess claims he can "see her." Good thing he can, because we can't.
Moreover, the poor wife (Emmanuelle Chriqui) barely registers a blip; in one scene she looks worriedly at a magazine with Etta on the cover; what's she thinking? Does she know what's going on? Poor Gabrielle Union fares only slightly better as Muddy's long-suffering significant other. She at least has an interesting scene in which she explains how she doesn't have any dreams because "someone has to keep their feet planted on the ground."
Written and directed by Frank Miller, adapted from the famous comic strip by Will Eisner (who’s been labeled the “Orson Welles of comics”). Miller, in his first solo outing as writer/director, brings The Spirit to the screen in the same manner as his Sin City and 300 adaptations – using digital background technology to meld live action performances with graphical elements. This is in post-production and not due til 2009.
Packing drama, thrills and romance, this is the story of a former rookie cop who returns from the dead as The Spirit (Gabriel Macht) to fight crime from the shadows of the gothic Central City. His arch-enemy is the Octopus (Samuel L Jackson)who pursues his own version of immortality. The Spirit tracks this cold-hearted killer from Central City's rundown warehouses, to the damp catacombs, to the windswept waterfront... all the while facing a bevy of beautiful women who either want to seduce, love, or kill our masked crusader. Scarlett Johansson’s the girl next door, Paz Vega’s the secretary vixen, Eva Mendes is Sand Saref – jewel thief and the love of Spirit’s life turned bad.
Miller describes the tale; “The character has a terrifying side to him. This is a man who’s died and came back to life. So it twists into fantasy. And of course there are tons of women in it. There have to be — it’s The Spirit. They’re all in love with him, and he’s in love with all of them. You might say he’s a bit of a slut.”
The third installment in the Transporter series returns Jason Statham to his best screen role to date, driver extraordinaire Frank Martin. A sort of downscale James Bond, Martin specializes in missions involving car chases, martial-arts fights, sadistic villains and leggy models, plots that inevitably reveal the romantic core to his gruff exterior. Transporter 3 goes even further, giving Martin a love interest among all the mayhem. Unfortunately, love scenes—especially those filtered through producer and co-screenwriter Luc Besson's sensibilities—are the last thing you want in a Transporter film.
After some excruciating comic relief involving hangdog sidekick Tarconi (François Berléand), Martin finds himself in a jam. Kidnapped by thugs, he is ordered by assassin Johnson (Robert Knepper) to drive Valentina (Natalya Rudakova), a Ukrainian party girl, from Marseille to Budapest. Johnson's equipped both of them with explosive bracelets that will detonate if they stray too far from their car. What's worse, Russian agents have been sent to intercept and kill Martin before he can make his delivery.
Tracked by GPS, Martin finds himself surrounded by Johnson's underlings whenever he veers off course. (Frankly, the film could have used a few more of these diversions, as the fistfights are easily the most entertaining of the action elements.) Valentina may pose a greater threat than bodybuilding goons. Convinced that she will be killed anyway, during one lull she orders Martin to perform an erotic striptease so she can enjoy "the sex" one more time.
Seven Pounds Movie Synopsis : Will Smith will play the role of a suicidal, guilt-ridden man who attempts to make amends for his past. This gesture, which should be his end, marks his future. He crosses the tunnel of desperation but instead he finds the light thanks to a meeting with a woman who pulls him away from his agony. Will Smith eventually falls in love with this woman, played by the actress Rosario Dawson, who has become famous for her role in the Spike Lees movie He Got Game featuring Denzel Washington.
Shes also a well-known actress for her performances in Grindhouse by Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, Sin City, Rent, and Alexander. Texan actor Woody Harrelson (North Country, The Walker, Natural Born Killers, Indecent Proposal) a blind pianist who befriends Will Smith.
The movie will also feature the Canadian actor Barry Pepper, famous for his role as a crack shot in Saving Private Ryan by Steven Spielberg, and for his memorables performance in The Green Mile and in Enemy of the State. Seven Pounds Movie Review and Critic “Seven Pounds” reunites Will Smith with the filmmaking team behind the pic that earned him his last Oscar nomination, “The Pursuit of Happyness.” Returning to the helm is Italian director Gabriele Muccino. Oscar winner Steve Tisch (”Forrest Gump”), Todd Black and Jason Blumenthal are part of the producer lineup again. And, among others, Oscar-winning editor Hughes Winborne (”Crash”) is also back. Smith plays an IRS agent “with a fateful secret who embarks on an extraordinary journey of redemption by forever changing the lives of seven strangers,” according to Sony. Pic hasn’t been screened yet, and its plot is deliberately being kept under wraps (because it could be seen as a bit of a downer).
Suffice it to say, though, the story promises those important kudo-baiting hallmarks: life-changing love and, of course, redemption. A movie review and critic By SHARON SWART The first trailer for the Columbia Pictures drama Seven Pounds, starring Will Smith, has been leaked onto the web. In the film, Smith plays Ben Thomas, an IRS agent with a fateful secret who embarks on an extraordinary journey of redemption by forever changing the lives of seven strangers. It is a project that has reunited Smith with the director and producers of The Pursuit of Happyness. It also stars Rosario Dawson, Michael Ealy, Barry Pepper and Woody Harrelson. I know it’s early in the morning and my eyes are prone to playing tricks on me, but this looks interesting — like the sort of interesting that ends in Oscar Buzz. A movie review and critic By Neil Miller
Genre : Romance, Comedy Release
Date : January 09, 2009
Director : Gary Winick
Producer : Kate Hudson, Alan Riche, Julie Yorn, Peter Riche
Screenwriter : Greg DePaul, Casey Wilson, June Diane Raphael
* Kate Hudson as Liv
* Anne Hathaway as Emma
* Candice Bergen as Marion St. Claire
* Kristen Johnston as Deb
* Bryan Greenberg
* Steve Howey
* Chris Pratt
* Michael Arden
* John Pankow
* Paul Scheer
Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson go head-to-head in the hilarious new comedy "Bride Wars". Liv (Hudson) and Emma (Hathaway), best friends since childhood, are always there for each other, through good times and bad. They even become engaged to be married within a few hours of one another. Together they plan their respective weddings, each to take place at New York's ultimate bridal destination and their lifelong dream location, the Plaza Hotel. But a clerical error and subsequent clash in wedding dates pits the two brides - neither of whom will step aside - against each other, in a competition that quickly escalates into all-out war.
Wistful, melancholic, steeped in a sense of impermanence and looming mortality, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" is not a movie one could have predicted from the maker of "Se7en," "Fight Club" and "Zodiac." David Fincher's haunting and uneven picaresque fable is a radical reimagining of a fanciful, minor F. Scott Fitzgerald short story. It tells the tall tale of an infant who is born as an old man—tiny but suffering all the infirmities of an 80-year-old—who lives his life in reverse, becoming younger with each passing year until he achieves real infancy at the end of his life. Benjamin (Brad Pitt) gets his last name from his button-manufacturing father (Jason Flemyng) who, horrified by the sight of his bizarre baby, abandons him on the steps of a New Orleans old-age home, where he is raised by the loving black employee Queenie (Taraji P. Henson).
He may only be a toddler, but he feels right at home among the old folks, being a balding child who wears glasses and is confined to a wheelchair. At this stage of the story it's only Pitt's heavily made-up head we're seeing (digitally imposed on other bodies); it will be a while before he begins to resemble the matinee idol we know. Pitt's Benjamin, with a lazy Southern accent, narrates this two-hour-and-40-minute tale. If his ruminations evoke distant echoes of "Forrest Gump" it's because Eric Roth wrote both screenplays.
"Button" is, among other things, a love story, but it's in no hurry to let you know it. Indeed, for more than an hour—from the end of World War I to the outbreak of World War II—Fincher meanders without ever achieving total traction. He keeps returning to the present-day, less-than-inspired framing device in which an old woman, dying in a New Orleans hospital as Hurricane Katrina approaches, listens to her daughter (Julia Ormond) read Benjamin's journals.
Bolt (John Travolta) is a normal dog who mistakenly thinks that he actually possesses the superpowers he displays as the hero of a TV action series. The white German shepherd is clueless about the truth because, since he was a puppy, he's been raised on a set specially-rigged to trick him into believing that he really has the ability to perform amazing feats like subduing bad guys with his devastating bark and melting steel with his penetrating heat vision.
These delusions of grandeur have never been a problem for the pampered pooch, given that he's had no contact with the outside world. Consequently, the only reality he's ever known is the insulated studio environment in which he's the pet of Penny (Miley Cyrus), the actress who pretends to be his crime-fighting partner. She resents the show's director (James Lipton) who goes to such great lengths to keep up the charade that he even denies her request to take her canine co-star home with her over the weekend.
Everything changes the day Bolt slips out of his cage and, after a comedy of errors, accidentally ends up in a box being shipped to New York City where a rude awakening lays in wait. For not only are the streets of Manhattan mean enough to begin with, but they prove to be tougher still for a dog who expects to have an array of extraordinary powers at his paw tips.
When one waits as long as Baz Luhrmann has to make a film, you tend to think that he's creating a masterpiece. After all, it's been seven long years since he directed his last film, 'Moulin Rouge!'. With his current muse (Nicole Kidman) back in his latest film, 'Australia', he was hoping to regain the same respect and applause he had received before, but unfortunately, his time away from the game hasn't sharpened his skills.
'Australia' is a big, overlong drama that needed more substance than glossy makeup and hokey acting. Fellow Aussies Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman are certainly attractive and appealing enough to bring in an audience to this nearly three hour film, but too many cartoonish scenes saddles what could have a great epic and romantic film. The one saving grace in the film is newcomer Brandon Walters. The kid innocently shines throughout the film.
Starting out from England, aristocrat Lady Sarah Ashley (Kidman) sets out to Australia to find her husband, whom she assumes is having an affair, but then finds out he was murdered. With a huge family ranch named Faraway Downs untended, she looks to hire the best man to tend to the cattle to keep business afloat. When local businessman King Carney (Bryan Brown), who practices run the entire area, threatens to tear down her business with the help of his future son-in-law Neil Fletcher (David Wenham), who was fired by Ashley for running unfair 'labor' practices, ranch hand Drover (Jackman) comes to the rescue.
At the height of WW2, a group of high-ranking German officers hatched a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, and seize power of the military command in order to end the war. The operation was codenamed "Valkyrie", for the emergency plan that was meant to be used in case of a revolt against the Nazi government.
This plan had been modified by the conspirators to ensure their success, but for various reasons the plot failed when finally carried out on 20 July 1944. The conspirators of the inner circle were shot after a kangaroo trial or sentenced to death soon after.
Harry Potter's sixth year at Hogwarts turns out to be quite the exciting year. First off is the arrival of a new teacher at Hogwarts, Horace Slughorn, who is a bit more useful to Harry than he realizes. Next, Harry obtains a Potions book which used to be belong to the very mysterious Half-Blood Prince. Harry finds that the Half-Blood Prince's ancient scribbles are written along the margins of almost every page, giving Harry advice on how to improve greatly on his Potions work, and also teaching him a few helpful (and dangerous) spells along the way.
Amidst this, Harry is starting private lessons with Professor Dumbledore, during which Harry learns the dark secrets of Voldemort's past, hoping that they could use these secrets to find a way to defeat him.
Harry's year gets even more stressful with the suspicious actions of Draco Malfoy, who has been sneaking around the school doing, so Harry assumes, Voldemort's bidding. Harry quickly becomes determined, and slightly obsessed, to find out exactly what Malfoy has been up to and putting an end to it.
Yet, during this time, Harry and his friends go through daily life, busy with school work, Quidditch, (in which Harry has been made captain of the team) and of course, romance. Ron has found a new girlfriend, Lavender Brown, a perky (if not obnoxious) Gryffindor student, and Hermione is not happy about it. Ron and Hermione's friendship takes a toll throughout the school year and Harry, as usual, is stuck in the middle. Harry, meanwhile, is facing a romantic dilemma of his own: he realizes he is falling for his best friend's sister, Ginny Weasley, who is unfortunately dating Harry's classmate, Dean Thomas. Harry's pining for Ginny and Ron's hilarious relationship with Lavender gives this story a large dose of reality.
Throughout all the school drama, however, the obvious darkness of Voldemort's impending rise to power is always apparent. The incredible action-packed climax is sure to leave the audience stunned and, inevitably, prove that you shouldn't trust everybody who you think is good, and also prove that not everyone can manage to survive.