New “Red Riding” Trailer [Disappointed]

As I mentioned in the comments section when the first trailer for this film was released a couple of months ago, the visuals are very handsome. I still basically agree with those sentiments, but this trailer is so full of terrible it kind of overshadows any of those interesting ideas. Even the potential for an interesting twist isn’t really enough for me to shrug off the fact that basically this looks like Twilight all over again with the way the brooding Pattinson look-a-likes wander the village (“If you love her… you’ll let her go” **eyes roll**). For some that sounds like an amazing concept. For me, it sounds like a way to completely destroy what would otherwise be an interesting and update take on the classic fairy tale. And what is with that music(?)… ugh!

With Amanda Seyfried in the lead, the film also stars Gary Oldman, Lukas Haas, Virginia Madsen, Billy Burke, Shiloh Fernandez, and Julie Christie. You can see them all on March 11th.


First trailer for Catherine Hardwicke’s “Red Riding Hood”

Red Riding Hood

I was aware that Catherine Hardwicke’s Red Riding Hood was going to provide a fresh approach to the classic story but I didn’t really give it much thought beyond that. It’s probably best that I didn’t because had I thought about it or read some of the descriptions floating around, I may have been disappointed by the trailer but as it stands, I’m just a little… surprised.

Set in a medieval forest, the film stars Amanda Seyfried as Valerie, a young woman (in a red riding hood) in love with Peter (Shiloh Fernandez) an orphaned woodcutter, but her parents want her to marry the wealthy Henry (Max Irons). Valerie and Peter plan to run away together but when Valerie’s sister is taken by the werewolf that stalks the woods surrounding the village, their plans are thwarted. So how does the awesome Gary Oldman fit into this picture? He’s the priest/werewolf hunter the town calls on to rid them of the beast. Other notables along for the ride include Lukas Haas, Julie Christie, Virginia Madsen and the fabulous Billy Burke (apparently Hardwicke likes Burke as much as I do).

The trailer features quite a few interesting tidbits, including more than a handful of host of Seyfried looking startled which concerns me a little but then, it’s a trailer and I generally like Seyfried so I’m happy to chalk that up to editing. The most striking aspect of this trailer are the visuals. Now, Hardwicke is recognized for her sense of aesthetic (likely stemming from her previous work as a production designer) but I’m thrilled to see that she’s paired up with award winning cinematographer Mandy Walker who also shot Baz Luhrmann’s gorgeous Australia (review) (and was glaringly overlooked for an Oscar nomination).

I have to admit I’m not expecting much from this story but my inner girl is thrilled by what she sees: supernatural overtones, period, romance. Oh yes, this has my name written all over it.

Red Riding Hood opens March 11, 2011.

Trailer is tucked under the seats but it’s also worth a look in HD over at Apple.

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Review: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

Eclipse Movie Poster

Director: David Slade (Hard Candy, 30 Days of Night)
Screenplay: Melissa Rosenberg, Stephenie Meyer (novel)
Producers: Wyck Godfrey, Greg Mooradian, Karen Rosenfelt
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Ashley Greene, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Kellan Lutz, Nikki Reed, Jackson Rathbone, Bryce Dallas Howard, Billy Burke, Charlie Bewley, Xavier Samuel, Daniel Cudmore, Christopher Heyerdahl, Dakota Fanning, Cameron Bright, Noot Seer, Michael Sheen, Graham Greene, Tinsel Korey
MPAA Rating: PG13
Running time: 124 min.

Let’s speak frankly, shall we? The Twilight franchise is not now, nor will it ever be, the all encompassing beast that is Harry Potter. Regardless of how much money the studio throws into the marketing machine, it’s wasted time, effort and dollars because as proven by the previous two films and now with the third instalment The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, they’re never going to win everyone over. The reasons why are too many to argue (and mediocre films are only one of them) and quite frankly, they don’t matter. Author Stephenie Meyer’s stories were never going to appeal to everyone, the key demographic has always been the hopeless romantic (and even some of those take issue with the story) and the films based on those stories clearly haven’t won over a large chunk of the population so why bother trying? The fan base is large enough, and ever growing, that the nay sayers are drowned out, even if they yell as loud or louder than the supporters.

Eclipse Movie StillAs clear from my thoughts on the previous two films, I am a fan and as one, I came to love these characters long before there ever was a Twilight (review) film and the movies have been a sort of icing on the cake. Some bits of the icing have been sweeter than others but Eclipse is, for this fan at least, the sweetest. By this point in the story, Bella is back with Edward and happier than she’s ever been but Victoria, the rogue vampire who has been responsible for much, though not all, of Bella’s heartache, has a new plan of attack. She’s building an army and brining them to Forks in an effort to wipe out Bella in retribution for the loss of her own mate but to do so, she first needs to dispatch the pesky Cullens who have adopted Bella as one of their own.

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Review: The Twilight Saga: New Moon


Director: Chris Weitz (The Golden Compass, About a Boy, American Pie)
Screenplay: Melissa Rosenberg, Stephenie Meyer (novel)
Producer: Wyck Godfrey
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Ashley Greene, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Kellan Lutz, Nikki Reed, Jackson Rathbone, Edi Gathegi, Rachelle Lafevre, Billy Burke, Charlie Bewley, Jamie Campbell Bower, Daniel Cudmore, Christopher Heyerdahl, Dakota Fanning, Cameron Bright, Noot Seer, Michael Sheen, Graham Greene, Tinsel Korey
MPAA Rating: PG13
Running time: 130 min.

For months the anticipation has been building. After the success of Twilight (our review), it’s not too much of a surprise. The first film in the saga captured fans and non-fans alike and in a whirlwind year, everyone seems to have caught “Twilight Fever” in one way or another. Fans love to share their love and haters their hate but nothing will take down the building monsoon. From the beginning, The Twilight Saga: New Moon was fighting an uphill battle. The change of directors caused a wave of panic and anger amongst fans. There’s also the little fact that Edward, one of (if not the) franchise’s biggest draw, is missing from most of the source material. It couldn’t have been an easy decision for director Chris Weitz to come on board with so many obstacles laid out before him but the burning question is: did he succeed? Does the film live up to expectation? In a single word no, but not for lack of trying.

NewMoonMovieStillNew Moon picks up where Twilight left off. Bella and Edward are together and happy but it doesn’t last long. The story starts, in essence, on Bella’s birthday and while at the Cullen’s celebrating the event (an event Bella is not at all happy about), she cuts her finger, causing Jasper, one of Edward’s brothers, to come flying across the room in a blood frenzy. Edward, upset that he can’t keep Bella safe even from his family, leaves Forks throwing the young woman into a catatonic state from which she eventually breaks only out of pity for what it’s doing to her father. She finds solace in her friendship with Jacob and the two form a bond that borders on romance but never quite crosses the line. But all is not well as well as it seems on the surface for Victoria, one of the rogue vampires from the first film, is on the hunt for Bella. The closeness of threat has stirred a long dormant gene in some of the boys in Jacob’s tribe, including himself, turning them into wolves in order to protect their people. A number of events snowball into a final climax which has Bella traveling to Italy to save Edward from death at the hands of the Volturi, a coven which guards the laws that keep vampires secret from humans.

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