The premise for Welcome to the Rileys has been described by some critics as the thinking moviegoer's The Blind Side, and I suppose that's fair. After losing their daughter in a car accident, a married couple (played magnificently by James Gandolfini and Melissa Leo) have grown apart, and have managed to avoid facing and dealing with their crushing grief. Like, completely. They don't speak to each other, he's cheating with a Waffle House waitress, and she's deathly afraid to leave the house, among other issues. But when Gandolfini comes across a teen hooker (played by Kristen Stewart) with more sores than positive role models in her life while on a business trip to New Orleans, he decides she represents a second chance at saving his daughter, gets Melissa Leo on board, and after a bumpy road, emotional healing is had by all.
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? And by that, we mean, which came first: Kristen Stewart getting the role of angsty rocker Joan Jett in The Runaways, or Stewart dressing and pouting like an angsty rocker at awards shows? Whether the role made the woman or the woman made the role, it would require some research to answer, but you can't deny that Stewart plays the part of the misfit Jett well, and is part of a decent cast that inhabits this simple, familiar, drug-addled tale of a rock-and-roll rise and fall. You can probably guess at everything that will happen, even if you don't know the story of the Runaways (an all-girl punk group that included Jett and Lita Ford), because it seems like a well-worn path for successful bands: struggle, success, drugs, breakup. But as long as you don't need a particularly engaging story, this long music video is beautifully shot and the characters all look sufficiently bad-ass for the movie's sole purpose: to chronicle how much the Runaways rocked.
As I said the last time I reviewed one of these Twilight "films", writing a proper review is utterly pointless because the fans of these books are going to go see it, no matter how hard any critic out there may try and dissuade them. But while I really despised the majority of Eclipse, I've been desperately in need of a good laugh and there is nothing more preposterous than the fourth installment in this series. The Breaking Dawn book was so insanely bizarre that I almost couldn't wait to see this dreck in living color. And... it was everything I could have hoped for and worse. And don't worry, Twiharders, Bill Condon does absolutely nothing to elevate the quality of this material, so you don't need to imagine that an acclaimed director was somehow able to change the ridiculous storytelling of Stephenie Meyer and make it passable for normal human consumption. It is still the terrible mess that she created, now with bonus terrible acting. And it's stretched out for two movies. They want all your money. After seeing where they ended this one, and watching how padded out this was, there is absolutely no reason this couldn't be a single film. This isn't The Hobbit, it's Twilight. Even worse, this first installment didn't even end where it logically should have based on the novel -- instead, it kept going for what seemed like an eternity. Still, I did laugh... a lot. So here's a look at the most ridiculous things about the film. [If you are a spoilerphobe and actually care about Twilight, stop reading now.]
This Friday welcomes the release of the Runaways biopic, cleverly titled The Runaways, with Twilight stars Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning in the lead roles as Joan Jett and Cherie Currie, respectively. And while the movie actually looks like a lot of fun, that casting has been hilarious since the day it was announced. If this movie makes money and spawns a trend, we could have a whole pipeline full of tween-targeted biopics of people they've never heard of coming at us. Here are my predictions and suggestions for future musical biopics the tween audience can hilariously ruin.
First things first: I realize that no matter what I say about this movie, the Twi-hards are going to go see it. So if you fall into that category, go. I'm sure you'll love it (and you already got your tickets a month ago anyway), though I did hear quite a number of not-so-young ladies at the screening I attended complaining about the distinct lack of Edward (and Robert Pattinson's hair) in this film. But I'm guessing that most Twi-hards have read the books and are aware that this is the Jacob-centric installment. However, for the rest of the world that reads on here, be warned that spoilers abound.
Finally, the literary adaptation we've waited years for! The fantastic imagery! The unspeakable terror! The parallels to our own world! That's right, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry is finally out on Blu-Ray! The long, hard, gay-innuendo-filled wait is over! Also, some other stuff came out.
It's hard to judge Twilight like any other movie, for a number of reasons: First off, you have to consider the audience. It was sort of made for them, and if it appeals to them, it's a success, right? Then there's the buzz factor: How much would we like this movie if there were no buzz? Finally, there's the fact that it's technically an independent film that's been widened due to said buzz. If watched as an indie, the movie might make people feel very differently than it does in its current context. All of these elements are important when reviewing Twilight, so I'm trying to keep them all in mind when I say what I'm about to say.
Despite the humorous trailers and the "From the director of Superbad" tag, Adventureland is not an Apatow-esque comedy. In fact, Judd Apatow had absolutely nothing to do with this movie. And in many ways, Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig's interludes not withstanding, comedy has very little to do with this movie. While the non-SNL-related situations in Adventureland may at times veer into the realm of comedy, they just as quickly veer out, and get very sad. Not sad as in pathetic -- I mean sad as in depressing. Adventureland is a bleak indie film disguised as a teen sex romp, and while the joke may be on the people who come to the theater looking for a good time, the last laugh may go to people like me, who go in with low expectations and are pleasantly surprised by the movie's depths.
Not to say "I told you so," but, I told you so. Not that anyone was disagreeing with me. Not even in theaters a week and already the Twilight sequel New Moon has gotten the green light. And this when it hasn't even made $150 million yet (though director Catherine Hardwicke said it's on track to, which I guess is just as good). And while this may come as great news for fans (not that anyone was surprised, really), it comes as even greater news for the film's stars, who will each make $12 million dollars apiece working on it. Quite a salary hike, considering they each made only $2 million on the first film.
It's official -- Rachelle Lefevre is out as Victoria in the third Twilight movie, Eclipse, and Bryce Dallas Howard (Terminator Salvation, The Village) is in. Supposedly, it's due to a "scheduling conflict," but could it simply be that the producers wanted a better, more famous actress in the role? They're not alone. We think that a lot of actors in the cast could stand to be upgraded, so we went through and re-cast the entire thing in our Re-Casting Wish List. Click the link, and tell us you don't think that would be a better movie.