Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Destination Forks: The Real World of Twilight (DVD Review)

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Courtesy of eOne Films

Dir: Jason Brown (Twilight in Forks: The Saga of the Real Town)
2010 (DVD Release)

Reason to see: Twilight centric doc is an easy yes for me

I'm not surprized to see that Destination Forks: The Real World of Twilight is from the same director as Twilight in Forks: The Saga of the Real Town, both documentaries showcase the town of Forks and the effect that Twilight has had on it and visit various locations of the town. The new doc looks like it was shot late spring/early summer of 2010, and TwiFans will be able to pick out the indicators to easily support that time period. I am a little surprized at the title of this new doc though, as Destination Forks: The Real World of Twilight has three separate sections, only two of which are really Forks related. It starts off with the looking at the location of Forks and the twi-effect on the town, then a great section dedicated to the fandom and culture around the fans and the last section is images from the rain forest of Forks set to a score.

They really are three very distinct sections, which I really wasn't expecting and they feel very different from each other. The first part that centres on Forks as a town and the Twi-effect if pretty interesting, looking at different locations and hot spots of the town - most of which were created after Twilight and have a strong tie-in to the books and films. The tone of this section has a slightly voyeuristic feel to it as you literally tour the town with a Bella-inspired red truck, often seen from a distance. There is a lot of footage from fans that are visiting Forks from afar as well as locals that run Twi-inspired or centric locations. Sometimes I found there was ambiguity to the connection with the Saga, although other times they are clear that they are playing along creating and providing an opportunity for people to feel like they are experiences locations in the film and books. I wish this was a little clearer at times, but I did appreciate the earnestness of all the of the people the talked to.

I absolutely loved the middle section though, which was centred on the TwiHards and has footage of interviews with fans during The Twilight Saga: Eclipse premieres as well as folks from different Twilight communities including Twilight Lexicon, Twilight Series Theories Podcast, Twilight Moms, and Kaleb Nation (aka The Twilight Guy). As someone who co-hosts a Twilight Podcast (Before the Dawn) and this is the section I found the most interesting by far - looking at the culture the books and films have created, how it's brought people together & created communities, what the appeal is, what team people are on, etc. It's fascination to hear how fans, superfans, site-runners and podcasters have to say about the Twi-verse and effect.

Now, the final section of the film is the one that feels a bit out of place here. I understand the idea of exploring the rain forest of Forks and the footage they have is absolutely stunning, but it's not super Twi-ish. Sure, there are shots that are very familiar and of course beautiful, but the fusion of nature documentary with a relaxation tape feel just doesn't quite feel aligned to the fandom.

Although the last section did feel a bit off to me, I definitely got a lot out of the fandom section which I loved and found the section on Forks as a town very interesting. Out of the two Twi-centric ties ins out this week I really anticipated this to be the one I'll be taken in by, but it's Music Videos and Performances from The Twilight Saga Soundtracks: Volume 1 that was the one that really wowed me. For completists though, I'm sure you'll be checking out both.

No DVD Extras

Destination Forks: The Real World of Twilight is available on DVD as of December 4, 2010. Check it out over at amazon.ca and amazon.com

Shannon's Overall View:
I really enjoyed the fandom & Forks-specific sections
I'd watch parts of it again
I'd recommend it to Twilight completists

Return to Film Reviews or see more DVD Reviews

© Shannon Ridler, 2010

Music Videos and Performances from The Twilight Saga Soundtracks: Volume 1 (DVD Review)

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Courtesy of eOne Films

Release Date: December 4, 2010 (DVD Release)

Reason to see: I love the music from The Twilight Saga

I absolutely loved this compilation. Initially I wasn't sure how interesting a video collection would be, but it is fantastic - there were so many songs that I knew extremely well from the Twilight soundtracks, but didn't felt like I "knew" the bands very well, but this gives you a great sense of each and every one of the artist. I particularly enjoyed the Cee-Lo Green, Eastern Conference Champions –and Editors songs and I know I'll be looking for more of their works to enjoy. –It was also really fascinating to see the videos outside the context of the film, and how they could have such a completely different meaning - like Full Moon by The Black Ghosts, it's the first song in Twilight and I so strongly associate it with the opening of the films, and can literally see when the title would come up but the actual video is like the morning after spending all night at the club. Fascinating.

Several of the videos incorporate a visual style of the films, either specific scenes or locations, or in overall tone & style yet oddly very few of the videos have any content from the films even if there is a film-tie-in version of the video in existance (like both the videos for Neutron Star Collision by Muse and Eclipse (All Yours) by Metric on the Eclipse DVD which are the tie-in versions). In fact, the only time I saw any footage from the films was in the Solar Midnite video by Lupe Fiasco - which was one of the few songs I wasn't familiar with.

It's a great collection of videos & performance and I knew I would find it interesting, but it actually ended up flooring me by how good it was - I know I'll watch it again & again.

Here's a listing of the songs with notation if it's a video or performance, as well as the Twi-connection:

1. Neutron Star Collision (Love Is Forever) by Muse
Style: Music Video
Twi-Connection: From the Eclipse Soundtrack

2. Decode by Paramore
Style: Music Video
Twi-Connection: From the Twilight Soundtrack

3. Meet Me On The Equinox by Death Cab For Cutie
Style: Music Video
Twi-Connection: From the New Moon Soundtrack

4. What Part Of Forever by Cee-Lo Green
Style: Music Video
Twi-Connection: From the Eclipse Soundtrack

5.Satellite Heart by Anya Marina
Style: Music Video
Twi-Connection: From the New Moon Soundtrack

6. Spotlight by Mutemath
Style: Music Video
Twi-Connection: From the Twilight Soundtrack

7. Solar Midnite by Lupe Fiasco
Style: Music Video
Twi-Connection: - From the New Moon Soundtrack - iTunes exclusive extra

8. No Sound But The Wind by Editors
Style: Concert Performance
Twi-Connection: From the New Moon Soundtrack

9. All I Believe In by The Magic Numbers & Amadou & Mariam
Style: Music Video
Twi-Connection: From the New Moon Soundtrack - iTunes exclusive extra

10. Tremble For My Beloved by Collective Soul
Style: Music Video
Twi-Connection: From the Twilight Soundtrack

11. A Million Miles An Hour by Eastern Conference Champions
Style: Music Video
Twi-Connection: From the Eclipse Soundtrack

12. Eclipse (All Yours) by Metric
Style: Music Video
Twi-Connection: From the Eclipse Soundtrack

13. Atlas by Fanfarlo
Style: Music Video
Twi-Connection: From the Eclipse Soundtrack

14. Flightless Bird, American Mouth by Iron & Wine
Style: Concert Performance
Twi-Connection: From the Twilight Soundtrack

15. My Love by Sia
Style: Music Video
Twi-Connection: From the Eclipse Soundtrack

16. Roslyn by Bon Iver & St. Vincent
Style: Concert Performance
Twi-Connection: From the New Moon Soundtrack

17. The Violet Hour by Sea Wolf
Style: Music Video
Twi-Connection: From the New Moon Soundtrack

18. Full Moon by The Black Ghosts
Style: Music Video
Twi-Connection: From the Twilight Soundtrack

19. Monsters by Hurricane Bells
Style: Music Video
Twi-Connection: From the New Moon Soundtrack

20. Love Is Worth The Fall by O.A.R.
Style: Concert Performance
Twi-Connection: From the Twilight Soundtrack - Amazon MP3 Exclusive
This one is really great & it sounds like it might have been the first time they performed the song. Very cool.

DVD Extras (2 songs, 8 minutes):
  • Includes 2 additional Twilight reference music pieces Clair De Lune - Debussy (5 minutes) with nature imagery and La Traviata - Verdi (3 minutes) which plays with moon imagery.
Music Videos and Performances from The Twilight Saga Soundtracks: Volume 1 is available on DVD as of December 4, 2010. Check it out over at amazon.ca & amazon.com

Shannon's Overall View:
I loved it
I've already watched it multiple times
I highly recommend it if you like the music from the Twilight films

Return to Film Reviews or see more DVD Reviews

© Shannon Ridler, 2010

BIFA Lists

The BIFA's (British Independent Film Awards) were created in 1998 to "set out to celebrate merit and achievement in independently funded British filmmaking, to honour new talent, and to promote British filmLinks and filmmaking to a wider public." I love keeping an eye on the nominees and winners of the BIFA's, for the recognition they honour and the great films they support.

14th British Independent Film Awards (2011 Films)
Winners
Nominees

13th British Independent Film Awards (2010 Films)
Winners
Nominees

12th British Independent Film Awards (2010 Films)
Winners

See more about the awards at the BIFA website.

Valhalla Rising (DVD Review)

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Courtesy of eOne Films

Dir: Nicolas Winding Refn (Pusher Trilogy, Bronson)
Cast: Mads Mikkelsen, Maarten Stevenson, Gary Lewis, Ewan Stewart, Andrew Flanagan
Denmark/UK, 2010

Reason to see: I'll see anything, ever, by director Nicolas Winding Refn or actor Mads Mikkelsen. Having them work together makes it even more than a must see.

Valhalla Rising is a film that's a bit of a challenge to review because my first instinct is just to say: see it. It's phenomenal and unlike any other film I've see. It transports you. It's on a completely different scale of epic, being all-encompassing, but it's also brutally violent with minimal dialogue. I truly want everyone I know so see it, although I know it isn't everyones cup of tea.

Personally, I enjoyed every single moment of the film. It's bold, imposing and takes no prisoners, including it's audience as the hypnotic tone pushes past regular film watching to creating an experiential setting. I was drawn in that at a point it left me feeling like I was in a trance. I've never had that happen in a film before, never.

It is very much an experience and journey to be taken, one that that can feel out of time and out of place, although upon second viewing and after chatting about it with people I saw more of a narrative in there but not knowing was just as if not more powerful than knowing. I loved being transported away into this world of ominous darkness and restraint. The imagery is spectacular and haunting from the locations that look not of this earth to nightmare-like montages and all complimented by heavy duty music. All this and it's a viking film to boot!

Mads Mikkelsen delivers an astonishing performance in the lead role of One-Eye, with physically presence and intensity that is in a whole other realm. His adeptness, strength and skill in his character feels like a parallel to the perfection of vision and execution by director Nicolas Winding Refn who created this masterpiece. Valhalla Rising was easily the most extraordinary film I saw during TIFF in 2009, and I've been waiting with baited breath since then to see it again and share the love for this brutal beauty.

It's more than a film, a film experience. For that, I will treasure Valhalla Rising, always.

Warnings: harsh violence

DVD Extras:
  • The "Making of" Valhalla Rising (22 minutes) combination of interviews with director Nicolas Winding Refn, behind the scenes & on location footage and video diaries from directors assistant Saskia Pomeroy. This is a pretty cool making of, you really get a sense of how freaking far they went 'out there' for the locations, plus there is lots of gorgeous and gruesome footage of the locations, props, and preparation. The interview selections with director Nicolas Winding Refn are fascinating, he's got such a clear vision and artistry that it's always a treat to hear him talk.
Valhalla Rising is available on DVD as of November 30, 2010. Check it out over at amazon.ca & amazon.com

More Valhalla Rising at Movie Moxie:
Shannon's Overall View:
I loved it
I'll watch it again and again
I highly recommend it fans of epics and visionary works

Return to Film Reviews or see more DVD Reviews

© Shannon Ridler, 2010
See also original reviewed during TIFF 2009 - September 16, 2009


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Mads Mikkelsen in Valhalla Rising, Courtesy of eOne Films

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Maarten Stevenson and Mads Mikkelsen, as The Boy and One Eye, Courtesy of eOne Films


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Director Nicolas Winding Refn, Courtesy of eOne Films

DVD Releases for Tuesday November 30, 2010

Before we get to todays releases I'm going to look just a bit further into the future and point out the Saturday December 4, 2010 releases this week with the biggie being Twilight Saga: Eclipse along with a couple swiftly aligned choice releases of music video compilation Twilight Saga: Music Videos and Performances from the Soundtracks Volume 1 and documentary Destination Forks: The Real World of Twilight.

Now to our regularly scheduled November 30, 2010 DVD releases! I'm thrilled to see Valhalla Rising hit the shelves this week, it's an epic film experience from director Nicolas Winding Refn (The Pusher Trilogy, Bronson) starring Mads Mikkelsen (After the Wedding / Efter brylluppet) as a one-eyed mute viking and it's brutal, dark and truly magnificent as it feels literally other worldly. A little more pure science fiction we see the release of Cargo on DVD and it's the only scifi film from Switzerland I've seen, and it's also beautiful to behold and has a great female protagonist, plus I'm still amazed at what they did with a very limited budget. More sparkle and bigger budget this week we also have two really fun summer films hitting the shelves with The Sorcerer's Apprentice and Knight & Day.

For the super Twi-completists or Twi-haters (still can't figure out who this one is for) we have Vampires Suck, which honestly the trailer really made me laugh. We also have kid friendly Diary of a Wimpy Kid, rom-com Going the Distance and documentary The Boys: Sherman Brothers Story.

Looking for ideas for presents for the holiday season? Check out the Movie Moxie Gift Giving Guide!

Titles on Amazon.ca(Canada):


Titles on Amazon.com (US):


Cargo not currently available at Amazon.com

Monday, 29 November 2010

Holiday Gift Giving Guide 2010

The tail end of November is always a list-y time for me, and looking back at the year with so many fantastic films in release on DVD I thought it might be a great time to share those titles which would make fabulous film gifts to those around you, and without further adieu, here is the Movie Moxie 2010 Gift Giving Guide! See titles detailed below or check them out at the amazon.ca store (Canada) & amazon.com store (US).

For Lovers of Love
  • The Last Station (amazon.ca, amazon.com) this biopic on Tolstoy brought me to tears both times I saw it in the theatre because it is unabashedly, undeniable about the power of love though the spectalar performances by Helen Mirren, James McAvoy and Christopher Plummer.
  • I Am Love (amazon.ca, amazon.com) more love coming up in, as the title would suggest but I didn't even realize it in this languid film set in Italy starring Tilda Swinton as the Russian wife who long since married into an powerful Italian family. It's a must-see.
  • Coco & Igor (amazon.ca, amazon.com) biopic on the fashion designer Coco Chanel (played by Anna Mouglalis) and composer Igor Stravinsky (played by Mads Mikkelsen), gorgeous period drama and compelling story to boot.

For Inspiration for Dreamers
  • Eat Pray Love (amazon.ca, amazon.com) based on the inspiring memoir Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, the film version stars Julia Roberts in an around the world journey of self-discovery.
  • The Tooth Fairy (amazon.ca, amazon.com) dreamers, this one if for you! I was so happily surprized to be completely uplifted and inspired by the family friendly film where the dream-crushing hockey player (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) gets a taste of reverse karma by having to become a honest-to-goodness tooth fairy.
  • The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (amazon.ca, amazon.com) new spin inspired by section in Fantasia, Jay Baruchel stars as a physics student who gets taken under the wing of a sorcerer to become, you guessed it, his apprentice.

For Gamers, Wanderers & Wonderers
  • The Wild Hunt(amazon.ca, not currently available on amazon.com) Fantastic epic tale of when the worlds of role playing and real collide. Is easily one my favourites films of 2010.
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. The World(amazon.ca, amazon.com) I admit I don't totally 'get' this one, but I can't deny that it's a true underdog tale of slackerness, great gaming culture references, and is extremely well loved.
  • The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters(amazon.ca, amazon.com), okay so this one isn't super recent but it's still the most fun underdog documentary you'll ever find. And it's about Donkey Kong, is highly rewatchable & ridiculously quotable.

Under the Wire Releases You'll Love to Share
There are a few festival films and/or straight to DVD choices that are well worth sharing the love. Along with Sword & Sandals (look ahead for more) choices Centurion (amazon.ca, amazon.com) and Valhalla Rising (amazon.ca, amazon.com) but also check out:
  • Hunt to Kill(amazon.ca,amazon.com ) great action flick with Steve Austin, filmed in glorious BC and has really fun cast, great action and some awesome fights & stunts.
  • Cargo (amazon.ca, not yet available on amazon.com) seen at Toronto After Dark 2010 and this gorgeous Sci Fi flick from Switzerland is just about to hit the shelves for all to enjoy.
  • The Good, The Bad, The Weird(amazon.ca,amazon.com ) this South Korean western film is filled with all the fixings: trains, horses, guns, fights and an epic chase for treasure.

For Sword & Sandals Fans

Gigglefests for All
  • Best Worst Movie (amazon.ca, amazon.com) documentary with a "Where Are They Now" vibe of cast and crew of Troll 2, along with the suprizing fandom & culture surrounding the "Worst" movie ever. Knowledge of Troll 2 is completely not necessary, but I'm sure it adds to the enjoyment.
  • Despicable Me (amazon.ca, amazon.com) I absolutely adored this animated film about an evil genius, his minions and 3 orphan girls, which will be out on DVD Dec 14, 2010.

Doing Canada Proud
Cancon goodness for the holidays!
  • Grown Up Movie Star (amazon.ca, not yet available on amazon.com) fabulous and understanted coming of age film set in Eastern Canada.
  • The Trotsky (amazon.ca, amazon.com) stars Jay Baruchel as Leon, a Montreal high school student who is convinced he is the re-incarnation of Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky
  • Passenger Side (amazon.ca, amazon.com) urban road movie that although set in LA is distinctively Canadian feel with brilliant dialogue and chemistry between Adam Scott and Joel Bissonnette who play brothers on a reluctant urban road trip.

Epic Crime Saga
  • Red Riding Trilogy (amazon.ca, amazon.com) I rarely recommend something I've not yet seen, but this UK period crime trilogy has had my interest piqued for ages, and it's only recently been released this side of the pond. Fingers crossed it lives up to the hype.

2010 Hits That Are Hitting the Shelves
Because something you just want to share something shiny & new!

Getting a leg up on awards season

If you love them NOW, check them out THEN

Upcoming Book to Film Adaptations
Looking to get a head start at reading the books for upcoming releases? I got you covered!

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (amazon.ca, amazon.com)
Follows a veterinary student who joins a travelling circus. Film is scheduled for a 2011 release, directed by Francis Lawrence (Constantine), and stars Robert Pattinson (Twilight), Reese Witherspoon, Christoph Waltz, James Frain and Hal Holbrook.

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill (amazon.ca, amazon.com)
The fact that the book is a ghost story was just about enough to sell me on this film adaptation set for 2011, but add that it's directed by James Watkins (Eden Lake) and stars Daniel Radcliffe, Ciarán Hinds and Janet McTeer and I more than sold on the idea!

On the Road by Jack Kerouac (amazon.ca, amazon.com)
Film scheduled for a 2011 release, directed by Walter Salles (The Motorcycle Dieries) and stars Sam Riley (Control, Franklyn), Kristen Stewart (Twilight), Garrett Hedlund (Friday Night Lights), Kristen Dunst (Interview with the Vampire, Spiderman) and Amy Adams.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (amazon.ca, amazon.com)
This young adult series has caught like wildfire. Set in a world where annual games are held and kids of the various district are chosen to fight each other to the death. I know it sounds brutal, and it is an amazing page turner that I could barely put down while reading. The film is a fair bit off as it's scheduled for 2013 release, and rumours and suggestions are running rampant for casting suggestions, especially for the young female protagonist, Katniss.
The Hunger Games is the first book in a trilogy followed by Catching Fire (amazon.ca, amazon.com) and Mockingjay (amazon.ca, amazon.com)
All content on Movie Moxie is written by Shannon Ridler, © 2006 - 2012