Friday, July 10, 2009

DVD Round up: Twilight, The International, Nick and Nora, Shopaholic

I've been very remiss in keeping up with my DVD watching. But fear not, I've seen lots, just nothing so amazing that drove me write about it immediately. But here's my take on the last 4 I've seen. All enjoyable, but nothing terrific. For no other reason than the chronological order I saw them, here they are:

Twilight was written for a younger demographic, but I finally gave in a watched the DVD. I've enjoyed vampire fare in the past (okay, that's a lie, I LOVE Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel and True Blood) so I expected to enjoy this too. Stephanie Meyer played a little fast and loose with the vampire "rules" but nothing that's totally crazy, just reinterpreting the canon a bit. The major difference the movie showed was that vampires don't burst into flame in sunlight (a very common plot point in Buffy) but rather shine like diamonds. Basically, Bella (Kristin Stewart) moves to the Pacific Northwest to live with her Sheriff Dad. She meets Edward (Robert Pattinson), a little different, at high school and eventually falls in love with him. She finds out he's a vampire, as is the rest of his family. However, they've sworn off feeding on humans so for the most part they're safe. Another group of human feeding vamps move into the area and start causing conflict. That's about where the first movie ends, nicely setting up the sequel. It was good, very good supporting cast and decent acting. Bella's internal monologue gets annoying, but drives the teen angst remarkably well. 3 stars/lambs

Next, I saw The International, with Clive Owen as an Interpol agent trying to take down a huge banking conglomerate that traffics in arms and debt. Naomi Watts plays a ADA for New York City helping him try to prosecute the huge bank. They meet up with an Italian politician who is going to give them lots of info, but he gets shot, presumably by the bank assassin. Then they're back in NYC and go to the Guggenheim museum to follow someone they think is a higher up member of the bank (Armin Mueller-Stahl) and end up face to face with the bank's assassin and the assassins sent to kill them. There's a huge shoot out that's pretty awesome, but overall there's very little character development of any of the characters. It wasn't great, but it wasn't bad either, 2.5 stars/lambs

I am also not the prime demographic for Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist, but I enjoyed that too, a bit. Michael Cera plays Nick, the long-suffering now ex-boyfriend of Tris, a classmate of audiophile Nora, (Kat Dennings). The whole thing follows them around NYC, as high school students I was a little disbelieving, trying to find a particular band playing. Nora's friend Caroline gets drunk and Nick's band agrees to take her home. She thinks she's being kidnapped and escapes causing all of them to start searching the city for both the band and Caroline. It's funny, and the tween/high schooler actors are all showing lots of skill, but overall the movie wasn't really for me. 2 lambs/stars, but could see that if it was your thing, it could be a 4.

Finally, I just saw Confessions of a Shopaholic. For this one, I'm definitely the demographic, I've read all the books and love chick flicks. Unfortunately, this movie doesn't live up the books and probably didn't succeed because it deviated from the book too much and didn't come up with a more plausible story. Isla Fisher plays Rebecca Bloomwood, a confirmed shopaholic with a taste for designer clothes and the inability to pay for them. She works and loses the job for a gardening magazine. She wants to work for Alette (a fashion magazine run by Kristin Scott Thomas) but takes a job with a financial savings magazine to try to pay her bills and work her way toward Alette. Luke Brandon (Hugh Dancy who has lost the ability to shave) runs the magazine (deviation from the book - he's a huge financial manager in the books) and finds lots of value in Rebecca's opinions on personal finance. It comes to a head when a collections agent outs Rebecca's debts on national TV showing her as a fake. Predictably Rebecca and Luke fall in love and all is well. Not the greatest, but not the worst. 3 lambs/stars.

1 comment:

Fletch said...

I was really disappointed with The International; with those stars and Tom Tykwer directing, I thought it might be really good, but it was like a bad Law & Order episode, with the cinematography and settings having the most charisma onscreen.

I also liked Nick and Norah, though. Something about those "one wild night" movies clicks with me, and this one was engaging and funny enough to make me dig it, too. Though, I think I was in the minority in not caring for the "drunken lost friend" storyline; it was too broad, and something about people vomiting and acting like an idiot just doesn't make me laugh it up.