Wednesday, 30 June 2010

DVD Reviews

The following is a list of reviews that are specifically reviewing the DVD release of the film. To see list of all reviews (800+ films), click here.

To contact me about reviewing DVDs you can Email Me

[REC] 2
$5 a Day
2-Headed Shark Attack
7 Below
13
22 Bullets / L'Immortel
A Beautiful Life
A Nanny for Christmas
Abduction
Accidents Happen
Adventures of a Teenage Dragonslayer
After.Life
Agora
Aggression Scale, The
And Soon the Darkness (2010)
Animal Kingdom
Antichrist
Apollo 18
Arn: The Knight Templar
Assassins' Code
Baarìa
Back-Up Plan, The
Barney's Version
Battlestar Galactica: The Plan
Beastly
Beat the World
Beautiful (2009)
Beautiful Boy
Beaver, The
Beginners
Bellflower
Black (2009)
Bleeding, The (2009)
Bitter Feast
Bodyguards and Assassins / Shi yue wei cheng
Bomber
Bright Star
Brighton Rock (2011)
Brüno
Cactus
Call Girl, A / Slovenian Girl
Carjacked
Cave of Forgotten Dreams
Centurion
Chain Letter
Chillerama
Chloe
City Island
City of Shadows, The / La cité
Collapsed, The (2011)
Conan the Barbarian (2011)
Cry of the Owl, The
Daydream Nation
Daytime Drinking / Naj sul
Dead, The (2011)
Debt, The (2011)
Destination Forks: The Real World of Twilight
Devil's Playground (2010)
Dinocroc vs. Supergator
Dinoshark
Discovering Hamlet
Divide, The
Don McKay
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2011)
Don't Look Back / Ne te retourne pas
Dorian Gray
Dumbo
Dylan Dog: Dead of Night
Eagle, The
Entitled, The
Enter the Void
Espion(s) / Spy(ies)
Experiment, The (2010)
ExTerminators
Extra Man, The
Faster
Fighter, The
Finale (2009)
First Squad: The Moment of Truth
Four Lions
Fright Night (2011)
Frisson des Collines
Frozen
Funny People
Ghost From the Machine / Phasma Ex Machina
Ghost Writer, The
Gnomeo & Juliet
Good The Bad The Weird, The
Greatest, The
Growth
Guard, The (2011)
Gun
Hair of the Beast, The / Le poil de la bête
Hanna
Happythankyoumoreplease
Harry Brown
Hatchet II
Haywire
Help, The (2011)
Hey, Hey It's Esther Blueburger
High Plains Invaders
Hobo with a Shotgun
Howling Reborn, The
Hunt to Kill
I Love You Phillip Morris
Insidious
Ironclad
Jane Eyre (2011)
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work
John Carter
Kaboom
Kill the Irishman
King's Speech, The
Mirror Mirror
Lance et Compte / He Shoots He Scores
Last Night (2011)
Ledge, The
Letters to Juliet
Life During Wartime
Love Happens
Love Ranch
Madamoiselle Chambon
Made: The Movie
Man from London, The / A Londoni férfi
Me and Orson Wells
Mechanic, The
Meek's Cutoff
Meet Monica Velour
Mega Python vs. Gatoroid
Micmacs / Micmacs à tire-larigot
Misfortunates, The / De helaasheid der dingen
Monster Brawl
Mothman
Mr. Nobody
Multiple Sarcasms
NEDS
Night of the Demons (2009)
One Day (2011)
Ong Bak 3
Paper Man
Parking / Ting Che
Passion Play
Peepers
Perrier's Bounty
Prey / Proie
Prom
Public Enemies
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
Real Steel
Redline
Repeaters
Resident, The
Runaways, The
Saint / Sint
Scream
Scream 2
Scream 3
Scream 4
Season of the Witch
Secret of Moonacre, The
Secret World of Arrietty, The
Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll
Shame (2011)
Sharktopus
Shark Night 3D
Shine of Rainbows, A
Sinners and Saints
Skellig - The Owl Man
Skyline
Somewhere
Source Code
Splice
Stake Land
Story of Jen / L'histoire de Jen
Super Hybrid
Survival of the Dead, George A, Romero's
Sylvian Experiments, The / Kyôfu
Tactical Force
Tanner Hall
Tempest, The (2010)
Terrains Connus, En / Familiar Grounds
Three Musketeers, The (2011)
Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls, The
Triage
Trigger
TrollHunter / Trolljegeren
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil
Twilight Saga: Eclipse, The: 2 Disc Special Edition
Unfinished Sky
Unthinkable
Underworld Awakening
Valhalla Rising
Vanishing on 7th Street
Waiting Room, The
Wake Wood
Ward, The
Warrior (2011)
Wild Child
Wild Grass / Les Herbes Folles
Wild Target
Winnie the Pooh
Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom, The

TV on DVD
Being Human Season 1 (North American)
Durham County Season 1 & 2
Haven: The Complete First Season
Ultimate Fighter, The: Team Bisping vs Team Miller
Walking Dead: The Complete First Season, The

Specialty/Collections
Complete Scream Collection, The
Music Videos and Performances from The Twilight Saga Soundtracks: Volume 1
Stieg Larsson's Dragon Tattoo Trilogy

All reviews © Shannon Ridler, 2006-2012

Film Reviews - Werewolf

Shannon's Definition of Werewolf Film: Films with a werewolf, werewolves in them or where the central focus is around werewolves. Werewolves defined as humans who turn into wolves or werewolves, usually uncontrollable on the full moon, but not exclusively so. Werewolf films are generally horror films and often feature impressive make-up and effects especially in the depiction of the werewolf transformations.

Love werewolf films? Check out my Wolfathon Post (werewolf film marathon) & Wolfathon Vlog and Episode 29 of the Movie Moxie Podcast where I take on Werewolf Films as a Genre and discuss the definition of a werewolf film, notable werewolf films and my favourite werewolf films.


American Werewolf in London, An
Bad Moon
Dylan Dog: Dead of Night
Fury of the Wolfman, The / La furia del Hombre Lobo
Ginger Snaps
Hair of the Beast, The / Le poil de la bête
Howling, The
Howling Reborn, The
Ladyhawke
She-Wolf of London
Twilight Saga: New Moon, The
Twilight Saga: Eclipse, The
Underworld: Evolution
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans
Underworld Awakening
Werewolf of London
Wolfen
Wolfman, The (1941)
Wolfman, The (2010)

Back to Genre List

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

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Dir: David Slade (30 Days of Night, Hard Candy)
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Billy Burke, Jackson Rathbone, Ashley Greene, Nikki Reed, Kellen Lutz, Peter Facinelli, Elisabeth Reaser, Bryce Dallas Howard, Xavier Samuel, Dakota Fanning
USA, 2010

Seen: Opening Night June 30, 2010 at Midnight

Reason to see: I'm a huge fan of the Twilight universe, and I loved the film Twilight although was disapointed with New Moon and was hoping Eclipse would get us back into the groove of greatness. And I did the whole The Wolfathon in anticipation for the film.

It's a bit of a strange thing to review The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, as I feel split down the middle between reacting to the film as a critic and a fan. The critic in me is cheering, seeing a very well put together film with solid performance, strong story arc and a very successful book to film translation that keeps the intent of the story, brings intensity of the action as well as the internal conflict all the while managing to made a third entry into the series enjoyable as 'part 3' but also easily understandable to anyone who walks in cold.

For the uninitiated, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse is the third film in the vampire romance series based on the best selling books by Stephenie Meyer. I whole hearted loved and will always praise the first film in the series Twilight, directed by Catherine Hardwicke, whom brought the intensity of first love between our protagonist Bella and the vegetarian vampire Edward to the big screen, in a way that celebrated and embraced the spirit of the book on which it was based. A year later we saw the next in the series The Twilight Saga: New Moon, directed by Chris Weitz, which played it safe and was a very literal adaptation of the book which is seeped in loss and reconnection, although I felt at that stage we lost some of the magic. With The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, directed by David Slade, I feel like we got a bit of both: another very literal adaptation of book where the tone of the film fits the darker story of revenge along with the further development of a love triangle, and adds and edginess of danger and the heat of romance that will keep viewers enraptured throughout.

As a fan, I'll admit my first reaction was straight up relief. I was so disappointed with The Twilight Saga: New Moon (which is my favourite of the books), because it lost the spirit of the world. The spirit does come back in Eclipse, mostly with the performances as the actors really have a great sense of their characters and this shows well through their camaraderie, concerns, conflicts and compromises. The fan in me would have loved to see the spirit of the series shown in other ways as well, but with a darker themed film there may have been less opportunity to nods to the Twi-verse amidst the action and love triangle. It does really feel like they enhanced the world on several levels though, working with what worked before and then cranking it up. The action elements have a stronger presence and are more intense, enhanced by using subtly different but very effective effects to bring this horror element out to play.

It also really cranks up the heat of the romance, bringing what we've previously seen as stirring to absolutely sizzling. The screening I went to had more than it's fair share of hoots, hollers and mid-film applause at these moments. This is slightly ironic considering the films very clear 'traditional family values' message, but at least it's something discussed as opposed to just presented or accepted. I could gripe about that, but it's true to the book and the verse so that feels like a mute point. I do have a small bone to pick on the with the slight changes of villain character Victoria, played in this film by Bryce Dallas Howard, where not only is she not in the film very much but she's almost more pouty and manipulative, where previously she's been showcased as very capable and feral. Not that those can't all co-exist, but they are very different choices. This change here does however align to the description of Victoria in the new novella The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, but I very much preferred Rachelle Lefevre's ferocious and confident Victoria from Twilight and New Moon.

What I did love about the film, I whole heartedly loved. The first thing on that list was the sound and the score. Great choices there giving a great atmosphere and creepy tone, especially in the fight sequences. Next up is the performances by Kellan Lutz as the burly vampire Emmett, who has amazing delivery on all of his lines and has been a stand out since the beginning - he's a joy to watch. I also loved Billy Burke as Charlie, who has great awkward father/daughter chemistry with Kristen Stewart as Bella. Actually, Kristen Stewart has been so solid throughout the series that sometimes I forget to give credit where credit is due and it's due here. So, kudos again to Kristen Stewart as she is great as out protagonist Bella. Her along with Robert Pattinson as Edward and Taylor Lautner as Jacob give a really solid foundation for the film and play off each other very well. For performances, I was also impressive is Xavier Samuel (The Loved Ones), who appears as the tormented newborn vampire Riley. Other things I loved about the film include the fun, familial sense of the Wolf Pack, although I would have loved to see more of them. The cinematography is sensational, and I love the implementation of a cooler colour story for the vampires which gives a stark sense of distancing in contrast to the warmer tones used to represent other elements and environments in the film. Absolutely beautiful.

There was lots to love in the film, and I'm thrilled to have enjoyed it as much as I did. It really hits all the right marks with memorable moments, great lines, fantastic chemistry, exciting action and more. The fan in me was hoping for a certain in a je ne sais quoi, like nod to the fans as we've seen in the previous films but I am happy with what we got. I still don't know how they got so much of the book in the film from back stories to action to romance as well as adding some new elements and extending others. It's very impressive how well it flows, all things considered.

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse will easily have the widest reach of the series, not only will the fans be happy but it also will have a broader appeal to a larger audience as it truly does have it all: action, drama, mystery, romance, not to mention vampires and werewolves! It's visually stunning with a great soundtrack and the actors all do a great job and even as part of a series it still tells it's own story. It truly has something for everyone as a movie going experience.

See also: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse DVD Review

Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it
I'll see it again, and again.. and again
I'd recommend it to fans of the series, as well as general movie goers curious about the series

18 minutes of preshow including 10 commercials and 5 previews: Charlie St. Cloud, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Step Up 3D, Barney's Vision and Red

Return to Film Reviews

© Shannon Ridler, 2010

* The Wolfathon is a marathon exploring werewolf films in anticipation of the 2010 release of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

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Courtesy of E1 Entertainment

Countdown to Eclipse in Pictures Day 8: The Villains

Countdown to Eclipse in Pictures * concludes with Day 8 as today is the day The Twilight Saga: Eclipse is released, although I'm sure a fair few of us, myself included, saw midnight screenings last night (review will be up later today, but I'm relieved to say it's very enjoyable).

Over the past week we've looked at many images from the series from most used to least used, Cullen couples, Wolf Pack, Bella & Jacob and of course Bella & Edward. But, we always need a good fight too, don't we? So, in the spirit of conflict here are your baddies from the saga!

Twilight Villains: The Nomads
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CAM GIGANDET (left), EDI GATHEGI (center) and RACHELLE LEFEVRE (right) star in the thriller TWILIGHT, a Summit Entertainment release, Photo credit Peter Sorel

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CAM GIGANDET stars in the thriller TWILIGHT, a Summit Entertainment release, Photo credit Peter Sorel

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KIRSTEN STEWART (left) and CAM GIGANDET (right) star in the thriller TWILIGHT, a Summit Entertainment release, Photo credit Peter Sorel

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RACHELLE LEFEVRE stars in the thriller TWILIGHT, a Summit Entertainment release, Photo credit Peter Sorel

Wow, looking at these pictures make the release of Twilight feel so long ago, even though it was only 20 or so months. Amazing to think at the time of release that Cam Gigandet was the only very well known actor of the bunch - and now they are pretty much all superstars. But, back to the images: I love the nomads, Rachelle Lefevre as Victoria in particular. They have a feral fierceness that is in strong contrast to everything else in the film. They are powerful, dangerous and unpredictable. Love them.

New Moon Villains: The Volturi
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Michael Sheen as Aro, Jamie Campbell Bower as Caius and Cameron Bright as Alec, Photo Credit Kimberley French Courtesy of E1 Entertainment

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(Left to right) CHARLIE BEWLEY as Demetri and DANIEL CUDMORE as Felix in THE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON Photo Credit Kimberley French

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MICHAEL SHEEN stars as Aro in THE TWILIGHT SAGA NEW MOON Photo Credit Kimberley French

From one extreme to the next, Twilight has the feral nomads and in New Moon walk the refined, although brutal, Volturi including Michael Sheen as Aro. Great casting for the Volturi, although I was at the time and still rather suprized at how traditional old school vampire stylings they went with. But... did I mention Michael Sheen?

Eclipse Villains: The Newborns
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XAVIER SAMUEL in THE TWILIGHT SAGA ECLIPSE Photo Credit Doane Gregory Courtesy of E1 Entertainment

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XAVIER SAMUEL stars in THE TWILIGHT SAGA ECLIPSE. Photo Kimberley French, © 2010 Summit Entertainment, LLC. All rights reserved

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BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD stars in THE TWILIGHT SAGA ECLIPSE. Photo Kimberley French, © 2010 Summit Entertainment, LLC. All rights reserved

New film, new conflicts and newborn vampires, and an old feral friends in a new way as the role of Victoria is re-cast with Bryce Dallas Howard.

* Countdown to Eclipse in Pictures was a daily series for 1 week enjoying the images of The Twilight Saga in anticipation of the release of Eclipse. I hope you enjoyed the series!

Toy Story 3 Trumps: Canadian, North American, UK & Australian Box Office June 25, 2010 Weekend

I know I shouldn't be suprized any more when an animated, family friendly does so much better than everything else at the box office, but sometimes I continue to be. Not so much in this case as Toy Story 3 as it is all of those things as well as being a part of a beloved series, and it does very well in it's second week in Canada, North America & it's first week in Australia (it will be released in the UK in July).

But, I have to admit next weekends box office takings are going to pique my curiosity more than this week as I can't wait to see how The Twilight Saga: Eclipse does. The midnight screening I went to was just as full as when I saw New Moon last November, and this time it was a Tuesday (as opposed to Thursday) night. Only time will tell!

Top 20 Movies in Canada for the June 25, 2010 weekend
1. Toy Story 3
2. Grown Ups *
3. Knight and Day *
4. The Karate Kid
5. The A-Team
6. Get Him to the Greek
7. Shrek Forever After
8. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
9. Sex and the City 2
10. Iron Man 2
11. Killers
12. Jonah Hex
13. Robin Hood (2010)
14. The Bounty Hunter
15. IMAX: Hubble 3D
16. How to Train Your Dragon
17. Marmaduke
18. Le baiser du barbu
19. Splice
20. Letters to Juliet

Top 20 Movies in North America for the June 25, 2010 weekend
1. Toy Story 3
2. Grown Ups *
3. Knight and Day *
4. The Karate Kid
5. The A-Team
6. Get Him to the Greek
7. Shrek Forever After
8. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
9. Killers
10. Jonah Hex
11. Iron Man 2
12. Sex and the City 2
13. Marmaduke
14. Robin Hood (2010)
15. How to Train Your Dragon
16. Solitary Man
17. Winter's Bone
18. Letters to Juliet
19. Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work
20. Cyrus

Top 10 Movies in the UK for the June 25, 2010 weekend
1. Get Him to the Greek *
2. Killers
3. Sex and the City 2
4. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
5. StreetDance 3D
6. Death at a Funeral
7. The Collector *
8. Letters to Juliet
9. Robin Hood (2010)
10. Wild Target

Top 20 Movies in Australia for the June 24 - 27 2010 weekend
1. Toy Story 3 *
2. Shrek Forever After
3. Grown Ups *
4. Get Him to the Greek
5. Sex and the City 2
6. The A-Team
7. Animal Kingdom
8. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
9. Marmaduke
10. I Am Love *
11. Robin Hood (2010)
12. Mother and Child
13. The Secret in their Eyes
14. Exit Through the Gift Shop
15. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
16. Raavan
17. Harry Brown
18. Letters to Juliet
19. City Island
20. The Kings of Mykonos: Wog Boy 2

* indicates opening weekend in noted location

Source: Canada & North America info, UK info, Australia Info

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

DVD Releases for June 29, 2010

It's Tuesday, and what a lovely Tuesday it is. If you are like me and anxiously awaiting the release of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, you can start off your day by snagging a copy of the Score to The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, which is done by none other than Howard Shore (The Lord of the Rings). Now let's check out what actual films are DVD today on Tuesday June 29, 2010.

First up is The Crazies, a crazy gore-ific paranoia virusy goodness that is a remake of a 1973 George A. Romero film of the same name. I'm surprized I've not reviewed it as it was on my most anticipated releases of 2010 and I really enjoyed it. Speaking of enjoying films, the supernatural drama The Eclipse (2010) hits DVD today, which I'm thrilled to share as it just got a limited release here and is well worth checking out. Also out is Michael Haneke's epic black & white drama The White Ribbon that is as disturbing as it is beautiful, and the Charles Darwin biopic Creation.

More titles hitting the shelves including the gorgeous Australian thriller Beautiful, fascinating drama/mystery Don McKay starring Thomas Haden Church, Elisabeth Shue & Melissa Leo and the charming family comedy Le petit Nicolas / Little Nicholas.

For music oriented film buffs, you've got sweet choices with week with the released of both Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage and When You're Strange: A Film About The Doors.

Also out this week is the war/action flick Green Zone starring Matt Damon and the time-travelling comedy to the land of the 80's with Hot Tub Time Machine.

Also, Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief is released in the US today (us lucky Canadians got it last week!)

Titles on Amazon.ca(Canada):



Titles on Amazon.com (US):


Le petit Nicolas / Little Nicholas not currently listed on Amazon.com (US)

Don McKay

Writer/Dir: Jake Goldberger - feature film directorial debut
Cast: Thomas Haden Church, Elisabeth Shue, Melissa Leo, James Rebhorn, M. Emmet Walsh, Keith David, Pruitt Taylor Vince
USA, 2009

Reason to see: Very curious about the casting, look at that line up!

Thomas Haden Church stars as Don McKay, a high school janitor whom doesn't appear to have done that much since back when he was in high school. He doesn't appear down on his luck, but perhaps was at one time and never regained confidence from them. A letter from his high school sweetheart draws him back to his hometown and steeps him into the unexpected as he tries to deal with old and new acquaintances through troubling times shrouded in mystery.

The understated performance of Thomas Haden Church really roots the film, and the oddness of how calm his character is mirrors the calmness around the oddness of the story. It has a strong mysterious element to it that keeps you intrigued, but the overall normalness of the characters can be what keeps you on edge. With the exception of Elisabeth Shue, who plays the letter writing old flame, whom you just know is trouble and ain't all that subtle - although this contrast works very well, again putting the viewer on edge.

I was impressed with the cast from start to finish here, Thomas Haden Church is rock of endurance through the film and Melissa Leo who is always a joy to watch and she's fantastic here as the prim & proper carer for Elisabeth Shue. We also get to enjoy the talents of the James Rebhorn and the always entertaining Keith David.

Don McKay grafts us a mystery in the tone of a just off kilter crime drama, that is centred strongly on the characters over the events. It keeps us wanting more, but better yet it keeps on giving us more. Carefully planned and soundly built, it's a fascinating ride of behold. The story always drives forward, but it's the characters and the strong performances that you turn your head to look at along the way. It's an off kilter drama that really delivers.

DVD Extras:
  • Commentary with writer/director Jake Goldberger and producer Jim Young: The commentary is quite entertaining - very colourful, filled with sarcastic humour and numerous film references. Throughout the commentary they tell many stories and background on the casting of Thomas Haden Church, Elisabeth Shue, Melissa Leo, James Rebhorn, M. Emmet Walsh, Keith David and Pruitt Taylor Vince, including insights and suggestions from the actors. They also discuss location choices, behind the scenes moments and a lot abut of the process of and challenges with being a first time filmmaker are working on a small budget. The commentary for the majority of the film plays instead of the audio for the film, as opposed to on top of.
  • Deleted Scenes (4 min): 4 Scenes , really 2 deleted and 2 extended
  • Trailer
Don McKay was released on DVD June 29, 2010 as is available on Amazon.ca & Amazon.com

Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it
I'd watch it again
I'd recommend it fans of mysteries, crime dramas and off kilter dramas

Return to Film Reviews

© Shannon Ridler, 2010

Beautiful (2009)

Writer/Dir: Dean O'Flaherty - feature film directorial debut
Cast: Sebastian Gregory, Tahyna Tozzi, Peta Wilson, Aaron Jeffery, Erik Thomson, Asher Keddie, Socratis Otto, Deborra-Lee Furness
Australia, 2009

Reason to see: Really enjoying Australian thrillers lately

We've been seeing lots of great Australian thrillers recently, and the track record keeps going strong with Beautiful. Set in a suburban community where something seems to be amiss, and the neighbours talk a lot to themselves but keep away from each other, it takes the curiosity of young Danny (Sebastian Gregory) along with temptation from his sexy neighbour Suzy (Tahyna Tozzi) to start sleuthing for the truth.

Beautiful plays the greys of relationships into brilliant and rich vividness. We are continually wondering about who every one is, and what their motivation is during the film which is great as it keeps you on your toes in this seemingly perfect but obviously off kilter neighbourhood. The dynamic between the young teen Danny & older teen Suzy is perfect with playing with that edge between boundaries of what's innocent, and what's not. The tension is pitch perfect for clouding judgments on several levels here.

One of the highlights of the film, and a real key part of thrillers, is how much tells you in tone even if certain moments or relationships aren't clearly defined. I loved this, because you always had a sense of what was going on, but still were unsure, but still wanted to know more. It really keeps you as a viewer, very interested and engaged through the entire film. Other highlights include two really stand out performance: Peta Wilson as Sherrie, who is captivating ever moment she is on scene and Socratis Otto is absolutely sensational as the Max, the intensity and subtle but vast range that he puts in the character is brilliant.

Overall, Beautiful is beautiful - beautifully shot, scored and acted. It's nice to see a thriller that is so visually gorgeous and have that contrasted against the dark events and general tone of unease. It's a wild combination but one that works really well.


DVD Extras:
  • The Beautiful Vision (14 minutes) A behind the scenes documentary with interviews with writer/director Dean O'Flaherty, actors Tahyna Tozzi (Suzy), Socratis Otto (Max), Production Designer Robert Webb and composer Paul Mac. Nicely put together documentary that discusses casting and character development, goes through the creation of the music, and lots of fun behinds the scenes footage including testing out some of the special effects.
  • Deleted Scenes (6 scenes, 10 minutes total) I really enjoyed watching the deleted scenes, there is an especially good scene between Danny & Sherrie that is quite enlightening although it's very long and converstional so I can understand why it was cut. Although not marked as such, one of the scenes appears to be an alternate ending.

Beautiful was released on DVD on June 29, 2010 as is available on Amazon.ca & Amazon.com

Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it
I'd watch it again
I'd recommend it fans of thrillers & dramas

Return to Film Reviews

© Shannon Ridler, 2010

Countdown to Eclipse in Pictures Day 7: Bella & Edward

Countdown to Eclipse in Pictures * continues with Day 7 and with a lot of folks I'm sure heading out to midnight screenings of Eclipse tonight I thought it's a perfect time to showcase the none other than Bella & Edward.

Bella & Edward in Twilight:
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KRISTEN STEWART (top) and ROBERT PATTINSON (bottom) star in the thriller TWILIGHT, a Summit Entertainment release, Photo credit Deana Newcomb

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ROBERT PATTINSON (left) and KRISTEN STEWART (right) star in the thriller TWILIGHT, a Summit Entertainment release, Photo credit Deana Newcomb

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KRISTEN STEWART (left) and ROBERT PATTINSON (right) star in the thriller TWILIGHT, a Summit Entertainment release, Photo credit Deana Newcomb

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ROBERT PATTINSON (left) and KRISTEN STEWART (right) star in the thriller TWILIGHT, a Summit Entertainment release, Photo credit Deana Newcomb

Wow, they really got around all over the place back in Twilight! Other than that, I don't even really need to say anything, eh?

Bella & Edward in New Moon:
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KRISTEN STEWART and ROBERT PATTINSON star in THE TWILIGHT SAGA NEW MOON, Photo Kimberley French

Not surprizingly, there were not many shots of them together in New Moon

Bella & Edward in Eclipse:
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KRISTEN STEWART and ROBERT PATTINSON star in THE TWILIGHT SAGA ECLIPSE Photo Kimberley French Courtesy E1 Entertainment

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ROBERT PATTINSON and KRISTEN STEWART star in the TWILIGHT SAGA ECLIPSE, Photo Kimberley French, © 2010 Summit Entertainment, LLC. All rights reserved.

So curious to see when and where these shots are from!

* Countdown to Eclipse in Pictures is a daily series for 1 week enjoying the images of The Twilight Saga in anticipation of the release of Eclipse. Be sure to check back daily for more pics!

Monday, 28 June 2010

Before the Dawn: A Twilight Podcast - Episode 57: News to June 25, 2010




Before the Dawn: A Twilight Podcast - Episode 57 is up!

This week at Before the Dawn: A Twilight Podcast, there is tons of news for Marina & I to chat about with the recent Black Carpet World Premiere of Eclipse, interviews with cast & crew galore, vids and of course more news on the 2 films that will be Breaking Dawn.

Check it out over at Before the Dawn.

Monthly Reading Check-in: June 2010

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Another month has passed to it's time to see what's made it off the shelves and piles and gone from 't-read' to 'read'. I'm down to 12/20 read off my 2010 Book to Film Reading Challenge, and what I'm left with is almost exclusively Harry Potter books! I've stepped up timing on reading those by working in both Chamber of Secrets & Prisoner of Azkaban this month to give a bit more ease to get through the rest of the series as from here on it they get rather large. Overall, June was quite a book filled month and I've made it through 11 books and still have a few that I'm in the middle off. Wow. That's a lot of reading. Let's look at some of the highlights.

2010 Book to Film Challenge

Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling (re-read) Book 2 of 7
This second entry in the Harry Potter series was like the first, a very fun, fast read. In terms of a book to film adaptation it was also very strongly aligned from book to film with very little that didn't make it to screen or was changed. I'm really enjoying revisiting this world through the books which I've only read once each up until this point, although I know the films very well.

Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling (re-read) Book 3 of 7
This is the first book in the series where there are not only omissions from book to films, but actual changes in the book to film adaptation. I don't really mind any of the changes though and overall have found that the book provided more insights to the characters and even their actions that I hadn't picked up on before - even if it's something in the film! This is astonishing to me as out of all the films I've likely seen this one the most, so any new insight has floored me and here there were several from the signifigance of chocolate to use of locations or even just that Madame Pomfrey has a first name (Poppy).

General Reading

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (Book 1 of 3)
I hummed and hawwed a little bit on reading this one as I had already seen the film, and I'm usually a read the book first kind of person. But, given that the story in the film is so fascinating I was curious as to how the book read. I was also hesitant as there is some really harsh content in the film and didn't want to revisit that, but seeing the film gave me a bit of an out to skim those sections if need be. Oddly, I found the harshness way more explicit in the film which I wasn't expecting at all. Overall, I did find it a fascinating read and gave many insights to the characters, and I really enjoyed the writing style. I'm going to continue reading the series, but likely continue this backwards tradition of watching the film first because of the high quality of the films.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan (Book 2 of 5)
The adventure continues with Percy Jackson in this modern take on Greek Mythology in an urban fantasy environment. I really enjoyed this second book in the Percy Jackson series, and although I didn't think they were going to continue with film adaptations it actually appears that they will... and just as I wrote that now I can't find a reference for it. I hope they do continue this films, I thought the first film was a lot of fun and this one would be as well although the story might be more aligned to myths people are familiar with and certainly would have a few challenges. But, the first book to film was a good and pretty liberal with change adaptation, so it's certainly possible to do that again. Here's to hoping!

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella by Stephenie Meyers
Released aptly just less than a month before the film release of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, this novella follows part of the time line of the book Eclipse from the perspective of the character of the newborn vampire Bree. It fell pretty flat for me, and I like to call it "The Short Reign of Riley, or the Mysterious Disappearance of our Dangerous Villainess Victoria", even though it's first person perspective from Bree, she doesn't really 'do' much and pretty much feels like a victim. If you want to hear more about it, it was the focus of a current episode of Before the Dawn where Marina & I discuss it more in depth. You can listen to that episode of the podcast here.

Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
Full disclosure: my reason to read this book was from continually reading quotes, hearing remarks and even saying myself "Oh, that's another film based on a Nicholas Sparks novel" as a way to describe a film. Then I stepped back and acknowledged that I've never even read a Nicholas Sparks novel, so it felt a little off to categorize a film for that reason. Anyhow, I liked the film Dear John so I thought this would be a good place to start and it was. It felt very genuine and wondrous, and was interesting to read a relationship focused story from a male point of view. Now I'm curious to read one of his books where I've not seen the film

The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong by Kelley Armstrong (Darkest Powers 3 of 3)
I wrote about The Awakening back in February which is the second book in the Darkest Powers trilogy and the whole things caps off here with The Reckoning. Wow. This was such an enjoyable series for so many reasons. First: it's not a trillion books like so many YA ones are these days. Second: Paranormal goodness. Third: Great characters! Fourth: Solid page turning goodness. I really loved this series and am a little excited yet hesitant to jump into the Kelley Armstrong's adult series The Women of the Otherworld, because it's long and I know I'll get sucked into quickly and easily - and that's an 11 book series. Aie!!

Up Next - July Reading
Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire
Eat, Pray Love (film out Aug 13, 2010)
The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader (trailer, film out Dec 10, 2010)
The Girl Who Played with Fire (film out July 2010)

Added to the longer term 'to read' list (likely for 2011)
On the Road for upcoming film adaptation, and it is just 'one of those' that is so referential that I feel like I should read. Also, I want to check out A Game of Thrones (IMDb Page), the first in the A Song of Ice & Fire series which is having an HBO adaptation starring Sean Bean, Jamie Campbell Bower, Lena Headey & Peter Dinklage. Not completely sure what it's about or how many of the books will be incorporated to the TV series but I do know there will be snow, swords & Sean Bean and to be honest, that's enough for me.
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Titles on Amazon.ca(Canada):
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3)
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
The Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book Two: Sea of Monsters: Percy Jackson & the Olympians Book Two
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella
Dear John
The Reckoning (Darkest Powers, Book 3)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4)
Eat Pray Love
The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader (full Color)
The Girl Who Played With Fire
On The Road
A Game of Thrones: Book One of A Song of Ice and Fire

Titles on Amazon.com (US):
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Vintage)
The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 2)
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella (Twilight Saga)
Dear John
The Reckoning (Darkest Powers, Book 3)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4)
Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (The Chronicles of Narnia, Book 5, Full-Color Collector's Edition)
The Girl Who Played with Fire (Vintage)
On the Road (Penguin Classics)
A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1)
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