Valentine’s Marathon: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010)

If you missed the previous review of New Moon, you can find it HERE.

Moving right along in our time crunch before February ends to check out the rest of the Twilight saga, we are at the third movie, Eclipse. After New Moon’s somewhat lackluster viewing, my expectations have never been lower on where it has gone but then, I also feel like once you hit bottom, the only way is up. As long Jacob hangs around, there is still hope. Watching a franchise after its been completely released has that downfall where its already all out as to what will happen so don’t be surprised when we get to Breaking Dawn that I would already have an idea where the story is headed.

Lets stop the rambling and check this one out!

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010)

twilight eclipse

Director: David Slade

Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Ashley Greene, Billy Burke, Gil Birmingham, Bryce Dallas Howard, Peter Facinelli, Kellan Lutz, Nikki Reed, Dakota Fanning

As a string of mysterious killings grips Seattle, Bella, whose high school graduation is fast approaching, is forced to choose between her love for vampire Edward and her friendship with werewolf Jacob. – IMDB

Eclipse is definitely a colossal step up from New Moon and much better than Twilight. I do maintain that Twilight is one of those movie franchises that have to be watched in sequence as the sequels by itself will not stand well alone. The main reason is its characters and how the decisions usually end on some cliffhanger and it carries to the next one. While the stories aren’t complex in itself and has its flaws (which I’ll talk about more later), it still relies heavily on how you feel about its main and supporting characters and the relationship map that has been developed over the last 2 films. With that said, Eclipse does deliver more this time. It has more action and shows other people’s stories rather than just the love triangle and Bella’s crazy intense love for Edward. The supporting characters have a bit more back story as to the pros and cons of Bella becoming a vampire and the central part is still convincing her to consider her options. Its nice that other than the triangle, there is still a little more to learn about the werewolves and vampire histories along with a how things work sort of thing going on on both the werewolf and vampire front. Its something I have criticized about the Twilight saga’s previous two films which seems to be slightly remedied in Eclipse.

twilight eclipse

Bella is slightly more bearable in this one. Although there is this sense of lack of continuation from her character in the New Moon. I say that because in New Moon, she spent a good part of it whining about not caring about her soul and wanting to be changed regardless of the consequences and Edward offers her a condition for him to change her (other than the fact that there is kind of a Volturi high order that it has to happen and everyone acts like she has a choice). Lets say she has a choice and the Cullens can bamboozle the Volturi forever, or else the logic falls apart (unless you’ve read the series, then please do share your knowledge), why would she not accept the condition if she’s willing to do anything, right? But this one she resists with some silly responses and whatnot. My point here is not that the story lacks continuity and logic especially on the love triangle front. But love is subjective and I get that there are a lot of fans out there that do support this story. Perhaps, reading the book will unlock a lot of these answers but its something I’ve never managed to get through because I’m not a big fan of Stephanie Meyer’s writing style. For myself, just watching this film, the story is quite weak.

Its funny because if we take a look at Bella’s love triangle in Eclipse, which is probably at its strongest, I’d probably start seeing Edward in a different light because he’s overrun by strong jealousy for starters which acts a lot out of possessiveness. The scene above not only highlights one of the best scenes since I’m apparently Team Jacob and looking forward to actual kiss but the beginning part highlights that Edward is masked by a lot of bad calls where he uses Bella’s emotions to move a situation the way he likes. Whereas, in this situation, Bella didn’t want to tell Jacob for a particular life and death reason, which was legitimate. Obviously, this is just an example to show how I don’t think that Edward is a perfect character which is fine, because he’s supposed to be perfect to Bella and I guess it does show that as flawed as I find his character to be, the discussion of Edward and Jacob is what shows that I’m becoming more invested into the storyline. I still think Edward’s character lacks depth and consistency while Jacob’s character is written much stronger, probably because he needs to fight harder for Bella and his werewolf story gets a little more attention because of that. On a side note, as I was watching Eclipse, I started seeing how Fifty Shades of Grey was a fan fiction of Edward and Bella, and I’m not sure thats a compliment or not on either/or. We’re not here to discuss that so I’ll leave it at that.

twilight eclipse

Overall, Eclipse suffers from a weak storyline and a lack of consistency in its character’s behaviors and decisions plus loses out by being not very self-contained. However, for fans of the franchise, this third movie definitely is a step up from the previous two. It has as much romance as it has mystery and action. There’s a deeper look at some of the side characters that have been neglected like Jasper (Jackson Rathbone) and Rosalie (Nikki Reed) which I don’t talk about because they never have enough story but this time it focuses a little more on the werewolf tribe and the vampire Cullens, and the history of it all gets a nice emphasis. It has nice training and in turn, a great fight. It has a great score to accompany it all. There are some fantastic moments with Jacob and Bella (as always). I’ve always like the supporting male character more in love triangles so its not too weird that I’m more into their story.

Despite its flaws, Eclipse is entertaining and rather well-paced, even with a 2 hour run time. My first thumbs up on Netflix for a Twilight saga film. I’m pretty happy about that and in a pretty positive feeling going into Breaking Dawn – Part 1.

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Valentine’s Marathon: The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009)

And we finally continue with the Twilight Saga. Since I already know what to expect from New Moon, as fuzzy as my memory is of it, I had my hesitations. Of course, now there is context to what I remember and perhaps that will help a little. I was pretty midway with Twilight. If you missed the review, you can check it out here.

Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009)

new moon

Director: Chris Weitz

Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Billy Burke,

Oh, New Moon, how I wish I felt more different on this second viewing. Fact is, the second complete viewing of New Moon definitely was more successful than the first time I watched the 85% of the film and then had to get off the plane and didn’t care to seek out the ending because it was painfully obvious. While this second viewing was not as painful, New Moon is really for fans of the franchise because it doesn’t stand well on its own. This sequel is long and starts off with Bella and Edward’s breakup which would mean nothing of you didn’t watch Twilight and/or didn’t care about their relationship. At least my former description of their constipated looks now all made sense. New Moon highlights on Jacob, played by Taylor Lautner and his discovery of his werewolf roots while a heartbroken Bella approaches him as distraction and finding adrenaline rushes in attempts to forget her pain and remember Edward. Huh? Did that just make sense? Heartbreak makes us all do dumb things and this was Bella’s version so I rolled with that thought so that I could keep watching.

Twilight New Moon

Twilight had a lot of faults starting from twirly and spinning camerawork which New Moon still frustratingly has. It also still has quite a bit of clunky dialogue to over the top scenes where fans are always blowing as the characters watch each other and walk towards each other and hair was flying in the first or Edward’s shirt is flapping in the wind. However, in Twilight, its strength was in the characters and its chemistry in its first film. While some characters still managed to keep a lot of the charm unfortunately, Bella got on my nerves in New Moon. She was really self and in many ways, manipulative. She felt like a brat when she insisted on being turned and then went along to lead Jacob on and ignore those feelings she obviously seemed to have but wanted to go for the much more adventurous love that left her in the first place. Maybe its because I’m older now that I don’t quite understand her choices because it felt reckless to begin with. Bella being a central character and not appealing to my tastes really doesn’t help, especially when its run time was also incredibly long at over 2 hours.

Twilight New Moon

With Edward leaving the movie for a good part of the film, Taylor Lautner’s Jacob and his knowledge of his werewolf genes plus his development of his relationship with Bella, he actually became quite the intriguing character to watch. It did help that I like dark and brooding characters and he has a really kind heart. I would have liked to see a deeper look into the wolves instead of them just running here and there and how strong and fast they are. Everything felt so on the surface with the wolves and the vampires and the whole deal with Forks and the land. However, the best parts are definitely with Jacob and Bella. The chemistry between them felt different from hers with Edward’s and in a much more positive way, which made it hard to see her seemingly reject him over and over again. I guess if I had to choose, I’d be team Jacob in this film at least. However, putting all that aside, there’s a lot of bad effects here and I can’t handle the sparkling vampires angle, but the werewolf transformation thing is pretty cool.

Twilight New Moon

Overall, New Moon are honestly for those who enjoyed Twilight. It takes a lot of connection with the characters to truly understand their emotions and feel their story a little more. If not, this is quite a long story. While its nice to the Jacob and werewolf angle be elaborated on and see the Jacob and Bella story get more focus in this story and that was the best parts of the film, its faults were in Bella’s character. I can’t say its Kristen Stewart because its honestly the way her character was written that makes it hard to be okay with her decisions and frustrating to listen to her monologues and particularly annoying to watch her be incredibly selfish. One of the standout points for this saga so fair is its soundtrack and I’m hoping that it continues to remain strong.

Valentine’s Marathon: I Could Never Be Your Woman (2007)

I love Michelle Pfeiffer (and Meg Ryan) a lot and for those reasons, I always try to work in their movies into my schedule as much as I can. Its absolutely slim pickings on Netflix for these movies but we do have two right now that just popped up again. In the heart of a romantic comedy, I decided to check out I Could Never Be Your Woman. I have never heard of this movie before so I know very little about what to expect or what its all about. Still, its Michelle Pfeiffer and when the film started, there’s a very young Saoirse Ronan as well, so I think this movie is already looking up.

I Could Never Be Your Woman (2007)

I Could Never Be Your Woman

Director (and writer): Amy Heckerling

Cast: Michelle Pfeiffer, Saoirse Ronan, Paul Rudd, Stacey Dash, Fred Willard, Jon Lovitz, Tracey Ullman

A mother falls for a younger man while her daughter falls in love for the first time. Mother Nature messes with their fates. – IMDB

I Could Never Be Your Woman is an odd movie. Odd doesn’t mean that it wasn’t entertaining but rather that I can’t quite pinpoint how I feel about it. On one hand, it ticks the typical romantic comedy sort of story and feels a little like a partial Clueless reunion tour with Stacey Dash and Paul Rudd doing the high school things since Amy Heckerling did write and direct this movie. The movie feels like the other side of the camera of Clueless if anything. None of these things are bad things. Clueless is a fun movie and remains that way even if its dialogue and fashion is dated so in some ways, this makes this one feel slightly nostalgic levels. My only issue with it was really some over the top scenes that seem fairly ridiculous and made myself feel kind of embarassed to watching it happen. Maybe that was the film’s intention, who knows, right?

I Could Never be Your Woman

In terms of characters and performances, the cast here does a great job. I mean, we have a winning cast in Michelle Pfeiffer, Paul Rudd and Saoirse Ronan. Its funny to talk about Paul Rudd because over the years, he has done some good stuff but when you ask me what, I only remember very few of it. Here, he delivers on his role and is quite fun to watch, especially when he does all his silly things to make the woman he likes smile. He has some boyish charm that seems to not fade away since his Clueless days. Playing opposite him is Michelle Pfeiffer as Rosie, a divorced mom who is the writer of this high school series with dropping viewership and trying to fight through her feelings against falling for this young guy. In many ways, Michelle Pfeiffer is always great for this role because you can see that she still is beautiful and charming no matter the age difference here. While I think the issue here is that I felt like the characters themselves were decent but as a romantic comedy, it did lack a bit of chemistry. If you were to watch this for its funny moments, well, there is a lot of those.

I could never be your woman

However, my favorite part of this was Saoirse Ronan who debuts in a movie role and it is so obvious how talented she is. She plays as Rosie’s 13 year old daughter, Izzie who is believes she is falling in love with a boy in school and trying to get his attention. She is genuine and believable and so creative. She reminded me deeply of how it was to be in some silly high school crush back in my high school days and going through the phase of making everything feel more significant than it should. Of course, part of the best parts is watching her change the lyrics of two 90s pop songs and its both brilliant and awesome. Izzie is way ahead of her time and in the world of learning about loving this boy, Dylan who seems not worth her time, there are some valuable lessons here, even if its about loving who you are and believing that you are good enough. It was an fun experience to watch Rosie and Izzie’s mother and daughter relationship here as they each go through their first step into love both in different stages of life.

i could never be your woman

Overall, I Could Never Be Your Woman is a fun and silly romantic comedy. It falls a little flat on the romance department but has enough comedic moments to make up for it. Its just some simple harmless fun with a great cast who delivers on their performances, regardless if its Paul Rudd and his boyish charms or Michelle Pfeiffer and her elegant wit and especially the Saoirse Ronan, who proves that she was talented right from her debut role here that she’s made for success. While I can’t quite pinpoint the Mother Nature angle, played by Tracey Ullman, that it started with, it still brought in some nice banter and humor.

Valentine’s Marathon: Before We Go (2014)

If you missed the announcement on My Weekly Adventures, I’ve decided to extend the Valentine’s Marathon throughout this month. For one, Twilight being the feature is already going to be watched throughout this month. With the blogathon overlapping Valentine’s Marathon, its slowing down my normal posts so to highlight all the fantastic entries we’ve gotten. I’ve honestly been slacking on watching romances and rom-coms in general so I do have a lot of stacked up to be watched so its a good time to work on that.

With that said, the next movie is one I’ve been looking forward to for quite a while and Chris Evans’ directorial debut called Before We Go. Its had pretty mixed reviews but I remain hopeful based on a few elements that I know about.

Let’s check out Before We Go!

Before We Go (2014)

Before We Go

Director: Chris Evans

Cast: Chris Evans, Alice Eve, Emma Fitzgerald, John Cullum, Mark Kassen

Two strangers stuck in Manhattan for the night grow into each other’s most trusted confidants when an evening of unexpected adventure forces them to confront their fears and take control of their lives. – IMDB

As I was looking through how other people felt about Before We Go, I don’t quite understand why it has such low ratings, particularly on Rotten Tomatoes (which isn’t surprising since I rarely feel that similar to what they think, I’m odd that way, I suppose). With that said, Before We Go has a lot of great elements going for it but it does stumble a little on everything. It does have a decent run time on its side and the mesmerizing New York landscape along with a one night run through town. It is nowhere near the fun and joy that Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist has since it is a more mature type of story and some might even wonder whether it would be considered a romance as its not exactly a romance between these two strangers so much as they are working through their feelings about a little bit of everything. I’m a sucker for one night, chance meetings sort of stories. I love the spontaneity and the discovery and the character development elements and it feels like a journey to learn about someone else as you see the two characters grow. I also love movies with a small cast so that it really gets a chance to zoom into the people element. So, Before We Go had a lot of elements that I liked before I even started watching it. It may not have entirely delivered as I would have liked however, it still has its charm.

before we go

Before We Go is quite a small film. It is set in one location, over one night and focuses on two people. Usually, these movies depend highly on the characters and how the actors take on the roles. In this case, I have a bit of pros and cons. For one, Chris Evans is fantastic as Nick. He is very enlightening as he works through his feelings and faces destiny and how his connection with Brooke (played by Alice Eve) grows throughout this spontaneous meeting as they hunt down her purse and he tries to at least be her hero in what he feels is a somewhat unsuccessful life. There is a ton to love about the character of Nick, both in the way he thinks and the way he acts. His script is really charming to watch and mixes in some lighter dialogue which truly does help a lot with making him a really great character to love. Playing opposite him is Alice Eve, who plays Brooke. I have to be honest that I wasn’t a huge fan of Brooke to begin with. She packed on these personality traits that didn’t quite click with me and it was what make the start of the movie feel a little bit contrived. I understand that the entire situation here is set to be contrived however, it felt much  more deliberate especially for her character. Over the course of Before We Go, Brooke does get quite the character development and turns out to be much more tolerable. In fact, she might seem lost and confused in where she stands in her love life and the decision she has to make at the beginning but in the end, Brooke seems to learn a little more. Perhaps, the better way is that, maybe this is where the realistic elements are where they do meet each other and there is some skepticism and some simple good deeds element but as the night goes on, their chemistry also builds up as their connection strengthens as they learn more about each other and talk to each other about their own little dilemmas that they need to resolve. And that really does work out here.

Before We Go

The one night adventure journey also has a decent pacing. On one hand, it all starts with trying to chase down Brooke’s stolen purse with Nick’s New Yorker schemes and knowledge. Then it turns into the hunt for a way to get her home. They end up with quite a few dicey situations: both bad and good calls from both the characters. They meet some friends and strangers who also end up lending them a hand here and there to better understand their own situation. The pacing here is nice because the script slices in these dilemma heavier moments to some funnier moments when they do have their many situations that occur. Perhaps one of the best parts of the film are when they sit down or walk around just the two of them as they talk. We learn about these characters just as they do and surprisingly, they feel fairly realistic. I mean, in a real life situation, probably  we won’t start spilling our relationship problems to a stranger completely, but as a movie, somehow it still manages to keep it real because they don’t just spill everything in the first scene and it takes time for their trust to set in.

Before We Go

There’s not a whole lot to talk about for Before We Go. Its a very simple movie, set in one night, one city, two people and a few supporting characters. There are adventures and situations and heart to heart chats. The movie relies heavily on its two main characters. Chris Evans, probably because he is also the director, grasps his role incredibly well. Alice Eve, on the other hand, left a little to desire in the beginning but does truly see the character grow throughout. There are some odd dialogue and some things that don’t quite feel right in the beginning but once you get past that part, the story and Nick and Brooke’s city adventure is thoughtful and fun. It might not be as deep or even thinking harder about it, work completely, but for myself, its a nice simple movie thats fun. I’m a sucker for these sorts of movies with these kinds of premise so maybe that is why I found it intriguing in its own way. Let me just say that the ending though..not sure how I feel about it. Before We Go definitely isn’t for everybody but if you are like me and like movies with this kind of premise (Already  Tomorrow in Hong Kong is another example), then you might want to check this one out.

Valentine’s Marathon & TV Binge: What is Love (2012)

Happy Valentine’s Day! We made it here sadly with very little posts so you will see tomorrow that I will most probably be extending the marathon throughout the month. The stars really didn’t align for us this month with the PC issues and such. However, we will deal with the blog stuff later.

Today, I have lined up such a fitting TV Binge to add into the Valentine’s Marathon and that 2012 Taiwanese drama, What is Love. I just wrapped it up over the weekend and maybe I will even start doing a ranking of Taiwanese series soon. There is an incredibly small amount of photos for this show online since I am working with a computer that can’t read Chinese so I went back to the series to screenshot some pictures. Hopefully you will like it. I apologize if the quality isn’t that great in advance.

Lets check it out!

What is Love (2012)

What is Love poster

Cast: Chris Wu, Jade Chou, Duncan Lai, King Chin, Kimi Hsia, Gina Lim

Thirty-two-year-old Li Yi Hua (Jade Chou) is longing for a romantic relationship and wants to marry a good man. Along comes Bai Zong You (Chris Wu), who breaks women’s hearts with one-night stands. Bai Zong You sets his sights on wooing Li Yi Hua next. What she doesn’t know is that she might have true feels for him. – Wikipedia

I’d like to think that I am fairly picky when I watch Taiwanese series mostly because I have been watching them a long time and with it, comes the expectations that there are so many better ones and hoping to find ones that truly find a nice balance of romance and comedy depending on the story they deliver. Of course, I have also fallen out of the loop for a while since I stopped watching them for a few years until they started appearing on Netflix last year. These series fall into their own tropes but they also have some nice silly bits that usually help with the story. I went into What Is Love having no knowledge of what the story is about and a little bit skeptical on how this would turn out. Let me tell you, it was definitely a very pleasant surprise. There are many plot points here that break the normal perception of what these characters would act and somewhat flips the typical story on its head a little. Plus, it creates a lovely balance of romance drama and romance comedy as well as comedic breaks with both its dialogue and its characters. At the same time, the story never forgets that when the journey of love includes a lot of factors, be it your best friends, your family and all kinds of elements and these characters play a decent role in how these two main characters approach their decisions.

On top of that, this is a completely new cast to myself. The only person here that I wanted to watch was Chris Wu (aka Kangren Wu) who is the main male role Bai Zong-You who was in Autumn’s Concerto which I loved quite a bit as well. You can check out the TV Binge here. In that one, he played the supporting male character which was the total opposite of this role. I have to say, while I liked that role, this role was really fun and matched his handsome and charming appearance.

What I Loved:

  • The Songs and Opening Theme Clip: I usually don’t talk a ton about music around here except for the music obsessions segment but I thought this opening clip was adorable, especially that surf board balancing part. Not just the opening theme clip was really nice but the songs were all very fitting to whatever scene they were playing in.
  • Chris Wu & Jade Chou: Chris Wu (aka Wu Kangren) plays Bai Zong-You, the playboy who becomes mesmerized by the challenge of proving his love to Jade Chou’s character, Li Yi-Hua. A lot of the “romance” is in the beginning because the course of the film is about them both realizing what is love. They are at the opposite spectrums in many sense. However, consider the chase and the enlightening moments for Bai Zong-You being the really great parts, whether he does it through revenge or plotting or slowly finding the way to approach his love interest and acknowledge love with her. At the other end, Li Yi-Hua is one of those rare characters in Asian TV series that really shows a strong sense of a woman that acknowledges her loneliness but will not compromise her love for someone who is undeserving no matter how much pain she feels in having to go through the heartbreak. what is love
  • The Guys: One of the best points of the series is its ability to create a balance of characters. Even if you look at these guys here who are best friends. They have varying personalities as well and their own lessons to learn. Each of them fit somewhere else in how they see love and a lot of the humor is in their silliness. This links heavily to the next point that I liked. 

What is Love

  • The Ladies: Just like the guys, the ladies here are quite fun to watch. Our main character of course has already been talked about before, but her best friends are equally diverse in personality from Xiao Lu on the left who plays a young divorcee with a kid who is really silly to the opposite, Lan Jun who plays the mature friend who reasons and sees through a lot of the bullshit.

What is Love

  • Love Interest: I’ve always been the type that finds it funny how the supporting character that you know the main character won’t end up with is always very perfect and deserving to be loved. Taiwanese series loves to do that and this one honestly gives Yi Hua a worthy man in Shao Qian (played by Duncan Lai). He’s quite the gentleman. what is love

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Too Many Flashbacks: One of the biggest pet peeves I have with TV series, especially of the Korean and sometimes Taiwanese nature is their love for flashbacks. I get flashbacks especially when it helps elevate an emotion but when you get the same flashback every episode just to emphasize on a character’s hooked onto this moment, its okay to drop a few of those.
  • Lengthy Episodes: While this didn’t really turn me off so much as its inconvenient to find a place to stop watching, the 1.5 hour long episodes are quite abnormal to me. I wasn’t sure if it was just a Netflix choice but as I was researching the show, it seems it was aired with that episode length, a little baffling in my mind but what do I know. Since this was quite binge-worthy, I didn’t quite mind the lengthy episode since the power of the pause button and Netflix saves my spot whenever I take a break.

what is love

Overall, What is Love was quite the pleasant surprise. It delivered a really fun story. Not only did it give a rather strong female character with a lot of personality, it also gave an array of cast that were unique in their own way but impacted the story as well to create a nice balance. Taiwanese TV series like these are romantic comedy affairs but somethings it forgets to find that balance and while there were some odd ends here and there that went a little overboard, this one achieved that balance really well. It always remembered to toss in some funny moments to never let the drama last way too long. Plus, just like Yi-Hua needed to learn to accept a playboy and Bai Zong-You had to gain her trust, we saw both sides of the story and was able to at least feel like he could be trusted also. I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of “What is Love” because it differs in so many ways and isn’t always just romantic and this one does tackle all of it. There is no formula but at least, its a really fun journey thats us on a nice ride as the characters all figure out their version of love and thats pretty awesome in my book.

Valentine’s Marathon: Splash (1984)

Sorry for taking a little while to get back to the Valentine’s Marathon.

The next movie is Splash! Ultimate 70s blogathon has just started up and as I go and rewatch my 70s choice, I was thinking about last year’s blogathon and a few movies that someone else chose and I hadn’t seen. Luckily Splash landed on Netflix recently so I got a chance to check it out.

Let’s check it out!

Splash (1984)

splash

Director: Ron Howard

Cast: Tom Hanks, Daryl Hannah, Eugene Levy, John Candy, Dody Goodman

A young man is reunited with a mermaid who saves him from drowning as a boy and falls in love not knowing who/what she is. – IMDB

I think about this movie and I start wondering about how I’ve never actually disliked Tom Hanks, in fact, I usually like a lot of his films but then, I also never seem to watch a lot of them or do I make any deliberate move to see his films and then they always turn out to be surprisingly entertaining (or of late, quite grim and intense like Bridge of Spies). I have been meaning to catch up with a lot of older movies of late and Splash is just the start of it all. Splash is a fun little movie, in fact I think that it was fun mostly because I love movies like this where someone who doesn’t understand the human world enters it and then learns about it and in turn does a lot of funny things. Do I think that the romance between the two characters were incredibly unforgettable? I wouldn’t say that but the journey through it was fun enough and it had a lot to do with what was scripted for the mermaid here to do.

splash

Taking a look at the cast here, its a pretty nice one. For one, I always liked to watch older Tom Hanks movies because they were more light-hearted and much more fun to dive into. Splash is absolutely no exception as he plays Allen, a man who honestly doesn’t really know much about loving someone but somehow this unknown beautiful creature that is incredibly forward pops up in his life and suddenly, even her weirdest things makes him curious and feel love. In that sense, both Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah give off really fun and genuine performances for their characters. There were awkward and funny moments and that was really where all the charm was. I’m going to say right now that I don’t think I’ve actually seen John Candy in anything until this movie and his role wasn’t really significant but he’s a fun character and same goes for Eugene Levy as Walter Kornbluth who tries to prove the existence of mermaids in any way possible, many times making a fool out of himself.

Overall, I don’t really have a lot of thoughts on Splash. I thoroughly enjoyed the film and had a lot of fun watching it. The love story was pretty cute but the comedy here definitely stood out more than the romance. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that since its some fun comedy and that works well for my preferences. I actually thought that the mermaid here worked so well. It was pretty believable and not to mention the star here does go to Daryl Hannah in her role as Madison who has some really hilarious scripted parts.

Valentine’s Marathon: Twilight (2008)

Twilight’s kind of our highlight feature for February so I’ll group it in with the Valentine’s Marathon since its really a love story more than its a vampire story. So we’re getting back on track. The love and Valentine’s theme has definitely been there even if I haven’t been reviewing as many movies as I’d like.

Funny thing about Twilight is that I actually watches about 85% of New Moon on a flight and it was the reason that solidified why I honestly wanted to stay away from this franchise. It doesn’t help that I have stood in the bookstore on more than one account over the years and tried to read Twilight and never made it past the first two pages. I chalk that up to Stephanie Meyer’s writing style not being my cup of tea.

Let’s get right into it and check out Twilight!

Twilight (2008)

Twilight

Director: Catherine Hardwicke

Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Anna Kendrick, Michael Welch, Billy Burke, Ashley Greene, Cam Gigandet, Rachelle Lefevre

With what I said in the opening, I have never read the source material and probably never will seeing as my love for YA has diminished over the years. I went into Twilight expecting it to be bad and having really low expectations. While I have a bunch of criticisms which I will get to in a moment, Twilight’s faults were actually having nothing to do with the faults I originally thought it would have based on my experience of New Moon. Maybe its the low expectations of the film going in, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

I am going to go into the strengths of the film first. The original faults that I thought the film would have was Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, the beloved Bella Swan and Edward Cullen, the stars of the show. In fact, they have quite a lovely chemistry (when they aren’t talking and we will look at dialogue in the next paragraph) except for that scene above which let’s just say was both cheesy and over the top. The cast here also has some great moments and characters like Bella’s dad is Billy Burke (who I like quite a bit) and the ultimate villains are a trio but the standout here is Cam Gigandet and Rachelle Lefevre. The latter having a short but still quite sinister role. The whole Cullen clan has some familiar faces and they are a fun group for the little time we do spend with each of them. Then, Bella’s friends include Anna Kendrick who I have never seen play such a teenage role like this one but does pull it off fairly well. Twilight has moments that work to be a lot of fun to watch: the baseball game, the treetops, saving Bella moments and then a few scattered here and there.

twilight

A movie however should be made up of more than just moments and chemistry. The dialogue here is where Twilight falls apart the most. It had a nice cast of characters which seemed okay for their set-up so that future instalments could explore more in-depth but the moment they started talking, particularly the moments with Bella and Edward which had the most weight was also incredibly cringe-worthy. This is coming from me who enjoys and tolerates Nicholas Sparks movies. It brought up a lot of eye-rolling and face-palming moments. Then the dialogue also brings up the story here. On the surface, it works alright in the nice quiet moments then Edward will go and say something like “I like watching you sleep” or “I feel very protective of you”. Look, I’m a romantic and all but if some random dude (meaning just some guy I don’t know much about), no matter how mysterious he seems, that I just started dating said those things to me, the stalker and possessive alarm goes off in my brain (sure, maybe a little less alert when I  was in high school probably). Something else that bothered me was the constant desire to spin the camera around a scene or cut through a scene abruptly from one angle to the next. It mostly got really frustrating and annoying. And, while this is from the original source, I couldn’t help but finally know what the deal with sparkling vampires were and its quite lame. I get the desire to give a new twist to the traditional vampires as many different vampire stories over the years have attempted but sparkling vampires have got to be the one that I can’t buy into and then Bella goes and says that Edward is beautiful or something and I’m like, nope.

twilight

Overall, Twilight was better than expected. Still very much flawed in many ways, story, dialogue and camera work didn’t quite work for myself but there are some nice characters here which could use a little more development but the chemistry between Bella and Edward is quite good (even if they look awkward a ton which kind of grew on me). I already know what to expect in New Moon and knowing that the franchise started better than the second one at least hopefully links some plot points together but who knows, I don’t remember much of New Moon other than where it was set.

Check back soon-ish for the sequel soon! 🙂