“Twilight” author Stephenie Meyer eventually moved on from the vampire romance in favor of a different supernatural creature: aliens. Like “Twilight,” her new work, “The Host,” centers on a female teen and a strange love story involving several attractive male interests. Supposedly “The Host” is a better book than the “Twilight” books. Now even if that’s true, it is apparently something that did not carry over to them film adaptation. Even a stronger cast and a usually clever director couldn’t save “The Host” from being a complete snoozefest and the dullest alien invasion ever filmed.
In “The Host,” a parisitic alien worm-like creature has invaded earth and has been taking over human bodies by invading the brain…sound familiar so far? Sadly, this is not the “Animorphs,” though you’ll be wishing that a grizzly or a red hawk morphed kid will show up just to drum up some action in this film. Anyways, there are a few humans still resisting and hiding out. One of these humans, Melanie (Saoirse Ronan), is taken by the aliens early, but taking control of Melanie isn’t so easy. The alien placed in her brain, Wanderer/Wanda, is empathetic toward her and helps Melanie return to her kid brother (Chandler Canterbury), boyfriend (Max Irons) and the rest of the human resistance efforts. Of course, once the invaded Melanie shows up with the glowing alien eyes, the rest of the humans take some time to build trust toward her. One of the people who gives her a chance early on is Uncle Jeb, hilariously played by William Hurt. He acts as the voice of reason in this film and has some of the better dialogue lines. Another who gives her an early chance, but creates the infamous Stephenie Meyer love complication is Ian (Jake Abel). The complication? Ian falls for the alien Wanda and not for Melanie. Again, this being Stephenie Meyer, the love complication is somewhat creepily resolved.
There isn’t really any conflict in this movie, but Diane Kruger’s character pitifully attempts to create some. She does this by staring icily at a desert mountain for several minutes and saying ridiculous things like “This world is big.” I think if there was more stress on the alien invasion conflict and less on the Melanie doesn’t want the alien in her brain making out with hot guys for her, this film might have been better. It’s just sort of dull and that’s to no fault of the actors who do what the can with some of the ridiculous lines that they’re given.
Do yourself a favor and skip “The Host.” Let’s just pretend this film never happened for the sake Of all those involved.
The Boxer Rebellion sent out a link to their fans via their eNewsletter to check out their new music video for their new single entitled ‘Diamonds’ before it goes completely public tomorrow. But don’t worry, we got the link and we are sharing it right here with you! But we do encourage you to sign up for their email list as well, but don’t worry we have you covered if you forget.
‘Diamonds’ is the first single off of their new record slated to come out this year, however the only news is that there is more news to come. Eeeek!
“Being in this band for the past 12 years has been a true blessing. We’ve gotten to go places we never knew we would. We’ve been able to see and experience things we never imagined possible. We’ve shared the stage with people we admire, people we look up to, and best of all, our friends. And now, like all great things, it has come time for it to end. Thanks for all of your support, and for being part of the adventure.”
The band — known for hits such as “I’m Not Okay,” “Helena,” and more — will be missed.
The first thing you need to know about Chan-wook Park’s “Stoker” is that no, this is not a biopic about Bram Stoker, the writer of Dracula. This film has nothing to do with vampires or the supernatural. However, like the works of Bram Stoker, Park’s “Stoker” has a gothic thread and elicits the same creepy tone of classic supernatural stories. The big twist here is that these are regular human beings that are doing dreadful things without remorse and that makes them scarier and more hypnotizing than any made up creature.
“Stoker” tells the story of India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska) in the aftermath of her father’s death. At the funeral, a mysterious and attractive uncle, Charlie (Matthew Goode) whom she has never heard of arrives and stays with India and her mother, Evelyn (Nicole Kidman). To Evelyn, Charlie is a welcome distraction and she quickly becomes infatuated with him as she struggles with her grief over her husband’s death and a daughter who rejects her attempts to connect. To the cautious India, the appearance of Uncle Charlie stirs up something deeper from within her — these repressed desires dally in sexual arousal, but they also have a darker undertone and the film gets progressively darker and dangerous the longer that Uncle Charlie sticks around and India’s maturation arc continues.
Park’s story is twisted, gripping, yet surprisingly simple. The real complexity in the film lies in the acting subtleties of the cast and some beautiful editing techniques. While Goode and Kidman are fantastic in their roles, Wasikowska really excels at the slow reveal. She has a good poker face and knows precisely when to break it and let something more peek through. She’s also really great at putting the audience on edge — do we empathize with her? Recoil from her? In the hands of a less able actress, perhaps the turmoil of the audience’s feelings toward India would be more apathetic, but Wasikowska allows the audience’s feelings to evolve with her character.
In India’s narration, she constantly mentions that she sees and hears the world in greater detail than the average person. This allows the film to share her world view through some clever editing and creative techniques. Park’s use of increasing the volume of particular sounds and zooming in on plants, shoes or other little things adds to the creepiness and gothic overtones of this film. I particularly admired how an image presented in the opening five minutes was revisited at the end and though the presentation was the same, what was once simply a beautiful close up of a flower not meant something more. It’s an interesting way of telling a story and Park’s use of these techniques is worthy of much admiration even if the story itself isn’t to everyone’s liking.
“Stoker” is a creepy, violent story and its themes aren’t for the light-hearted. Prepare to be uneasy as this family unravels on screen, but if you’re up for the challenge from the upset, you’ll be treated to one of the most darkly beautiful films of the year.
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone wasn’t as incredible as I would have hoped. Only a few years after Steve Carell retired Michael Scott, the role he was born to play, he has remained relatively out of the spotlight. Partnered alongsideas his faithful best friend and partner Anton Marvelton and Olivia Wilde, his hopeful magician-to-be sidekick Jane, this trio face what it’s like to have to recover their once coveted Las Vegas stardom.
As young boys, Burt and Anton are inspired to become magicians after Burt receives his first starter magic kit as a birthday present from his mother. Not only was magic a distraction from the hard life of being an outcast, but it sparks an enduring friendship that would soon lead them to Las Vegas stardom. After spending over a decade on the top of the Vegas show circuit, Burt and Anton are soon dethroned by stunt magic marvel Steve Grey, played by Jim Carrey. Steve Grey’s street magic camera show “Brain Rapist” plays off of the ridiculousness of the new modern street magic craze made famous by the likes of David Blaine and Vegas’s own “Mind Freak” Criss Angel. In an age where magic has traded old-fashioned card tricks and top-notch illusions for over the top stunt work, Burt not only finds his outdated Vegas show plummeting to its death but is completely oblivious to it. Wonderstone, once a boy with a dream turned ego maniac, loses his partner, his assistant and the adornment of his fans.
Carell dives head first into the character but might have just missed the landing. At times when the movie’s magic tricks and wonderment were winning me over, the persistent nonstop, over the top antics might have hurt the movie’s chances of being a Carell classic. It’s obvious that he was meaning to make the role an extreme spectacle of a Vegas magician, but he took it a step too far and just became obnoxious. However, Carrey’s wit and humor tied very well with the mockery of today’s so-called magicians that simply do stunt work packaged up as magic. For someone who hasn’t really enjoyed Jim Carrey since Dumb and Dumber, I thought he did a fantastic job as the nemesis of Wonderstone. He was the perfect combination of theatrical and creepy, a la Criss Angel. There were a few really funny moments during the movie, but the majority of the joke attempts just fell flat. Maybe working with a better script would have saved this movie from itself.
All in all the movie had promise and I really did root for it to be a winner, but I left the theatre feeling like it was just average.
The “Kick-Ass 2″ Red Band trailer was released today. Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Chloe Moretz return as Kick-Ass and Hit Girl along with The Villan Formerly Known as Red Mist played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse (or as you may be more familiar with him as, McLovin).
Joining the Kick-Ass cast is another actor that just wont stop trying (sorry, no Nicolas Cage this time around) I am talking about Jim Carrey– wow he has been a busy guy, First Burt Wunderstone and now Kick-Ass 2.
Kick-Ass 2 comes out in August 2013.
Once again, Sorry Nic. “There’s no room for punks in suits. Just real heroes, who can really kick-ass.”
To kick things off, I adventured to a set by the Very Best, where fans rushed on stage to join the dance party crafted by the act’s mix of hip hop with traditional African music.
From there, I went to see Driver Friendly, a recently signed Austin pop rock band that features trumpet and trombone.
Finally, to end the night, I holed up in the Hype Hotel. In between free Taco Bell bites, I checked out the electro pop music of Bear Mountain, the rock music of Little Green Cars, the indie pop laced with strings stylings of Ra Ra Riot, before ending the evening with indie rockers the Cold War Kids.
Falsetto yelps, samples and a nerdy yet lovable band name origin. Alt-J is the next big think out of the UK and are a must see SXSW act. Their debut album, An Awesome Wave, has already been making its own waves on US radio stations. Learn more at altjband.com.
The Noise FM are a Chicago (formerly Lawrence, Kansas) indie rock trio known for their big guitar riffs and their Boy Meets World Erotica fan fiction. Seriously though, their humor is one of their best assets and ensures that they will deliver a fun set. Learn more at facebook.com/thenoisefm.