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Posts Tagged ‘ Kristen Stewart ’

On The Road…

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn…”

With the help of one all star cast which includes Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst, Amy Adams, Kristen Stewart and Tom Sturridge director Walter Salles has finally done what so many before him have only ever dreamed of; brought to the big screen Jack Kerouacs 1957 novel On The Road. Adapting such a well known and well loved novel was never going to be easy but fortunately for the Brazilian director, the novels legion of die-hard fans, and of course all those fantasists that came before him I can honestly say that he has risen to the challenge and done quite the respectable if not somewhat predictable job here. When I say predictable I am of course referring to Salles earlier film The Motorcycle Diaries which On The Road undoubtedly echoes. Perhaps 2004s effort was simply the directors way of warming up? Who knows!

Set in the late 1940s On The Road tells the story of a group of young hipsters all of whom are yearning to experience something real, something beautiful. Although the story belongs to Sal Paradise (Sam Riley) the real star of the show is the charismatic Dean Moriarty (Garrett Hedlund) who is all but determined to live his life against the conformist grain. Following the death of his father aspiring writer Sal who is desperate to escape the bout of writers block that has been plaguing him for far too long now, begins frequenting various dive bars with the poet Carlo Marx (Tom Sturridge) only to find little in the way of inspiration or indeed relief. But then, suddenly he meets the freewheeling alpha male that is Dean and everything changes. Both the audience and Sal are first introduced to a stark naked Dean who has apparently been enjoying a tryst with his 16 year old bride Marylou (Kristen Stewart) So fascinated and inspired is Sal by this sexually charged and free spirit who seems so gloriously unbound by the restrictions of life, doing what he wants when he wants, and determined to avoid all sense of responsibility that he actually embarks upon a series of cross country road trips with him. Of course these aren’t just any old road trips rather they are the adventures that inspire Salles furious scribbling of notes for a would-be novel.

Predictably, Marylou joins the guys on the road and it isn’t long before Sal develops a sort of infatuation with the saucy youth but somehow it never feels genuine and viewers get the feeling that he doesn’t really care about her and that this infatuation may in fact be the result of one seriously displaced homoerotic bond with Dean. Hrmmm! Throughout the entire film we the audience are treated to a birdseye view of the non conformist life. A life in which drugs, experimental sex, jazz and black culture are all embraced – eagerly! We are also introduced to a whole host of equally weird and wonderful characters including the eccentric couple that is Old Bull Lee (Viggo Mortensen) and Jane (Amy Adams) as well as some very angry women who have been used and abused by the men of the film such as Camille (Kirsten Dunst – so good to have her back!) Camille, in case you were wondering, is the much more stable woman Dean eventually divorces Marylou for in order to settle down and start having babies with. As you can imagine, that doesn’t exactly work out and the films stud quickly returns, again and again, to the ever tolerant and ever willing arms of his ex-wife. Let the drama (or should I say even more drama?) begin…

Although, On The Road does carry with it a sort of touching sadness whereby Dean eventually becomes the used up and left behind raw material for a book destined to make Sal a wealthy New York big-shot the films impact is at best variable. This, I don’t believe can be attributed to any one thing. A film adaptation of the novel was always going to prove difficult after all throughout the novel there is a complete lack of dramatic structure as the book focuses on not one but several unique journeys which ultimately results in a fitfully episodic narrative. All of these are issues even the best director would struggle to overcome and as a result Salles deserves our respect as do the actors and especially the actresses who give it their all. Truly the women of this film do a brilliant job in each of their respective roles and in my opinion really steal the show. It is, after all, their shrill yet futile anger that proves to be one of the most raw and convincing elements of the entire film. And believe me I hate to say this but Stewart (Best known for her role as Bella in Twilight or perhaps for cheating on Robert Pattinson – the horror) who was chosen for the role of Marylou almost five years ago after giving a stellar performance in Into The Wild is perfect, in fact she is beyond perfect. As a long term fan of cinematography I have to say Eric Gautier makes great use of superb and diverse locations such as New York, Canada, Mexico and Argentina making this film, regardless of its overall success one truly worth seeing. Also wonderful is the overall sense you get when looking at the clothes, the decor and hearing the vast range of music that this film was researched to its very limit which not only lends a wonderful sense of authenticity to the movie but makes it an absolute pleasure to watch.

Just remember this; it is extremely rare for any adaptation or interpretation of a song, book, film or any other creative piece to live up to it’s original self and I can guarantee you will enjoy this film!

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Not So Happily Ever After For Average Snow White Film

Coming in a year where fairytale based movies seem to be a dime a dozen, Snow White and The Huntsman has been billed as a gritty, dramatic take on the much-loved fairy tale. Sticking quite closely to the story we all know it stars Kristen Stewart in the title role with support from Chris Hemsworth as the Huntsman and Charlize Theron as the evil Queen.

A relative newbie to the scene Rupert Sanders has stepped up to the plate to direct and he hasn’t done such a great job at it. The film isn’t terrible but it seems to be lacking in the general scheme of things. Charlize Theron has a great turn playing the beautiful and villainous Queen Ravenna. She eats up every second of screen time given to her and her performance alone nearly makes this film worth watching again but alas this isn’t a fairytale of a movie.

Kristen “why do I have to be here?” Stewart seems to never really have the strength to command the role given to her. In a scene where she must rally the troops it all falls a little flat. Hemsworth gives a good stab at the Scottish accent, even if the only research he done for the role was to watch Braveheart.

The problem lies with the chemistry between the two leads. The audience is supposed to buy and root for their relationship but in the end it all comes off as a little cold and aloof.

The costume design in flawless and helps give the film more of a cinematic scope. But for every positive there is a negative waiting to leap out and pounce. More humour wouldn’t have gone amiss and maybe a better developed story. Less C.G.I and more special effects make up might have helped.

The list could go on and on, so maybe its best not too.

It’s a shame because a movie like this had a lot of potential. This bedtime story was just a little too good at causing the audience to yawn.

Breaking Dawn Part 1: A review of the latest installment in the Twilight Saga

Twilight

The most anticipated wedding (and sex scenes) of the year has finally arrived this weekend, as Edward Cullen and Bella Swan finally marry in the fourth installment of the Twilight movie saga, Breaking Dawn Part 1.
The movie, which is the first part of Myer’s final book, Breaking Dawn, focuses on Bella and Edward’s wedding, honeymoon and subsequent pregnancy. The film opens with Jacob tearing off his shirt, as he seems to do a -lot- throughout the entire movie saga, Edward’s comment in Eclipse seems somewhat appropriate. “Doesn’t he own a shirt?”
We see the normal marriage preparations. Venue, dress, shoes, bachelor party, pre wedding jitters; before the unconventional couple finally exchange vows and tie the knot, before leaving for their honeymoon on Isle Esme, off the coast of Rio de Janerio. Finally able to comsummate their relationship, the couple do so. After their first time, the furniture has been ruined and Bella is bruised. Edward worries about having hurt her and is reluctant to bed her a second time for this reason, and the couple end up spending their time playing chess instead. However, they end up doing the deed again, and Bella falls pregnant, much to the disgust of Jacob and the werewolf pack. But they aren’t the only party worried. The Cullen family are worried too, a vampire impregnating a human has never happened before and Bella’s body seems “incompatible” with the fetus. To add to their worries, Alice can no longer see a future for Bella.
This movie catered to it’s long term fans perfectly, giving them everything they have expected; a moody Jacob, a glowering, brooding Edward and a sulking Bella. But for fans of the movie, this installment was actually quite enjoyable. It contained the perfect mix of drama, action and humour, and complemented the book perfectly.
The acting was as expected, and the actors stuck to their moody, broody, sulky roles that have come to be expected of them. Taylor Lautner (Jacob) really stood out, to me, in this film. His acting skills have improved and there are some really convincing scenes between him and Kirsten Steward (Bella Swan) as he tries to convince her firstly not to sleep with Edward, not to keep the baby, etc. Robert Pattison is a good actor and he did deliver, but I felt his performance has grown rather predictable. We had expected him to be moody, glowering and brooding and he gave us this on a plate, almost.
This being said, it’s not necessarily the fault of the actors, Lautner, Stewart and Pattison are all good actors, but as far as script and dialogue goes, there’s not much to work on. The dialogue was predictable and, at points, almost laughable. The characters aren’t allowed to move up or to develop. from their expected moods and roles.
This is not a movie to watch if you have not followed the series from the first tale. If you are not familiar with the characters and the plots this movie will end up as a rather big dissappointment.

That being said, if you are a Twilight fan you will love this movie. It delivers what is promised and ends the movie just as you want more. It complements the book perfectly, as I’ve said. It’s accurate and very well put together. People who have followed this from the first book and/or movie will enjoy Breaking Dawn Part 1.
My verdict: Predictable.
I am a Twilight fan, but putting aside the books and remaining objective about this, it was very predictable, as I’ve pointed out. Dialogue, acting, plot. We knew how they’d react, what they’d do next. This was obvious even to people who may not have read the book before seeing the movie. Predictable sums up the movie for me completely.

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