Friday, July 16, 2010

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Review

This is a guest review by Kylah Renou.

Director: David Slade Screenplay: Melissa Rosenberg, based on the novel by Stephenie Meyer Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Bryce Dallas Howard Time: 124min Age Restriction: 13V

Rating: 6 out of 10

Eclipse, the third instalment in the Twilight series, brings us back to the adventures of lovers
Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson), a vampire of the Cullen clan.

After an army of newborn vampires are created and set free in Seattle (leaving everyone who isn’t “in the know” to believe in a mass murderer), Edward and his family are forced to team up with their sworn enemies, the werewolves, to destroy the newborns. Of course, all to protect Bella, as the infamous Victoria is still seeking revenge.

What sets this one aside from the others is… well, not that much. Besides the overly obvious sexual tension in this instalment, it still comes down to the same thing; Bella’s annoying “I’m in love with 100-something year old virgin and my best friend is a hot adolescent werewolf and I can’t choose who I love more but I can’t have them both because they can’t seem to get along” attitude, that has plagued her since the beginning of this whole Twilight saga.

The third movie calls for its third director. This time David Slade, who did 30 Days of Night (another bloodsucker type movie) takes charge. And whilst I left the cinema disappointed in their portrayal of Eclipse, I have to give credit where credit is due. And in this case, it would have to be with the special effects. They were the one thing that certainly stood out for me; clearly new and improved. For example the CGI used for the wolves in this one gets a definite thumbs up in contrast to the CGI used in the previous installment, New Moon.

It has a few laughs, mainly coming from Billy Burke who plays Charlie, Bella’s father, who has been given more light to work with in this film. Whilst still maintaining that innocent, awkward “dad” image, he really comes out of his shell. The acting is poor, but of course there are those who stand out, like Dakota Fanning. Put aside the fact that she has such a tiny role (again), there is no denying she is a brilliant little actress, and she gives a creepily inviting performance as Jane. Stewart can be mentioned too, but there is no range, and I’m no expert but surely this can only damage her career, if all she has to offer is this same moody teenager look. It feels like I’m watching Kristen playing herself, not Kristen playing Bella.

So, to say the least, it was disappointing for me. And I’m not even a “twi-hard”. Would I go see it again? No, never. I just wasted two hours of my life I will never get back. Should you go see it? If you’ve read the books, then of course. You just have to grin and bare it. It’s the typical scenario of the book that should never have been given movie rights. All in all, I give it a 6 – 6 ½ out of 10.

Friday, July 2, 2010

I've Loved You So Long Review

Director: Philippe Claudel Screenplay: Philippe Claudel Cast: Kristin Scott Thomas, Elsa Zylberstein Time: 115min Age Restriction: 13


Summary Review:
I've Loved You So Long is an intriguing and thought-provoking study of a convict's return to society and the journey beyond the walls constructed around a woman's heart.

I've Loved You So Long is a French film that was released in 2008, but has only made it onto South African screens now. I've been dying to see it, ever since I first heard about it and I was not disappointed.

Juliette (Kristin Scott Thomas) is an Anglo-French convict who has just been release on parole after 15 years in a French prison.

She goes to stay with her sister, who is several years younger than her, while she tries to get back on her feet and find a job.

It is not until late in the film that the audience discovers why Juliette was in prison, but the hints dropped throughout create a deep tension and a high level of high suspense. The audience is drawn into an internal debate, trying to figure out whether Juliette is really a monster or whether there is more to the history of this quiet, unassuming woman than meets the eye.

I've Loved You So Long is quite a harrowing film experience, with a relentless honesty, but there are moments of such sweet humour that relieve and reward the viewer, while creating a strong rapport with the characters.

Kristin Scott Thomas is one of my favourite actresses – there's something absolutely captivating about her; when she's on the screen, you hardly take note of anything else. For that very reason, she fills Juliette with a grace and mystery that makes I've Loved You so Long one of the most empathetic films I've ever seen.

I've Loved You So Long is now showing at the Labia theatre on Orange Street and the DVD is available from Take 2.