Jun 29 2010

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

The third installement in the Twilight Saga, a series of mysterious killings and disappearances in Seattle catches the attention of the Cullen family; suspicious of the activity, the coven deduces a sinister plot by Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard) to kill Bella (Kristen Stewart). Meanwhile, a love triangle of Bella, Edward (Robert Pattinson) and Jacob (Taylor Lautner) continues to cause much angst and friction for all involved. Yet as Victoria closes in to make her move, who ultimately who will save Bella and who will win her heart? Now, at the risk of sounding emasculated let me say I was pleasantly surprised with this latest edition of the Twilight series. Sure, there are plenty of gratuitous muscle bound hot shots of Taylor Lautner and his pals, on a few instances the dialogue felt wooden, and the overall film could have been pared down by about 20 minutes. That aside, the drive and workings of this film versus the previous two Twilight flicks are vastly different, and for the better. For the first time Stewart and Pattinson seem to be developing some actual chemistry on screen together. The action sequences hit the mark, in fact, I’ll be so bold as to say we could have had even more. And, several back stories also work nicely to add depth to a number of the characters. If the rest of the series can continue on this trajectory, there may actually be reason to admit you’re a fan, even if you’re not a 12 year old girl– we’ll see. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse is rated PG-13.

Jun 25 2010

Grown Ups

An unlikely bunch of friends from high school get together 30 years after winning a basketball championship to celebrate the life and scatter the ashes of their mentor and coach. Reunited, the men (Adam Sandler, Kevin James, David Spade, Rob Schneider, and Chris Rock) begin to question if they’re actually living up to what their coach had hoped of them, to live their lives to the fullest with no regrets. Now out to prove they’ve still got “it” the men and their families take a weekend vacation at a favorite lake retreat to get their mojo back. Regrettably, I’m having a hard time coming up with anything positive to say about this one. The screenplay reads like something conjured up by an 8 year old, meanwhile the comedic timing and editing feels forced, and too loose at the same time. Furthermore, all of the actors feel so restrained in their roles, none of them are allowed to live up to their true comedic potential. In short, I want my 102 minutes back. The one redeeming factor? Salma Hayek, but only because I have a boyish crush on her….ho hum. Grown Ups is rated PG-13.

Jun 25 2010

Knight and Day

June Havens (Cameron Diaz), a typical mid 30’s woman is headed to her sister’s wedding when a not so “chance encounter” with Roy Miller (Tom Cruise) turns her life upside down. Roy is a CIA spy gone rogue, sought for stealing a valuable technology of interest to not only the government but also foreign arms dealers. But who to trust in this global game of cat and mouse, and how to protect the teen inventor of said technology (Paul Dano)? 
Okay, let’s just be up front about this, you get planes crashing, impossible car chases, bad guys galore, a cocky Tom Cruise, a bubbly Cameron Diaz, and plenty of action, yet somehow this film just comes up dry and worn out before the proverbial horse is even out of the gate. Sure all the bits and pieces are here to make a standard summertime flick, but ultimately there’s nothing that makes the film memorable or unique. And, while there’s nothing particularly wrong with the film, minus the abbreviated pace of the impossible script, there’s no real reason to rush out and catch this one. Maybe a rental this winter when you need a no-brainer film to pass the dark days. Knight and Day is rated PG-13.