The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012)


It’s Your Turn Not to Break Me.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 (2012)The time has finally come for me to wash my hands of the Twilight Saga.  This movie series and I have not gotten along in the past, and with good reason.  They don’t like me because I hate them, and I don’t like them because they’re awful.  Well, the bulk of them are anyway.  There would be no way that I would see this movie in theaters when it came out because I would more than likely hate it.  When it came out on DVD, I did not buy it because I would more than likely hate it.  And when it came to RedBox, I still put it off because I would more than likely hate it.  HOWEVER WILL I FEEL ABOUT THIS MOVIE?!  Find out as I review The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, based on a novel by Stephenie Meyer, written by Melissa Rosenberg, directed by Bill Condon, and starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Mackenzie Foy, Michael Sheen, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone, Nikki Reed, Kellan Lutz, Maggie Grace, Dakota Fanning, Jamie Campbell Bower, Christopher Heyerdahl, Cameron Bright, Charlie Bewley, Daniel Cudmore, Lee Pace, MyAnna Buring, Christian Camargo, Casey LaBow, Mia Maestro, Noel Fisher, Guri Weinberg, Rami Malek, Omar Metwally, Angela Sarafyan, Andrea Gabriel, Judi Shekoni, Tracey Heggins, Joe Anderson, J.D. Pardo, and Billy Burke.  If you want to recap the rest of the Twilight Saga, here are my reviews: one, two, three, and four.

Bella Swan-Cullen (Kristen Stewart) awakens from a coma (though you wouldn’t know it from her acting), having been transformed into a vampire by her husband, Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), who transformed her to keep their half-breed child from killing her from the inside.  Also, her former love interest, Jacob (Taylor Lautner), fell in love with the baby Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy).  …So they’ll have to deal with that eventually.  First on their docket is that the vampire police department known as the Volturi – Aro (Michael Sheen), Caius (Jamie Campbell Bower), Marcus (Christopher Heyerdahl), Jane (Dakota Fanning), Alec (Cameron Bright), and the rest – have gotten word from Irina (Maggie Grace) that Edward and Bella have created an immortal child, which is illegal.  The Cullens rush to collect as many witnesses/soldiers to join their cause to stop/win a fight against the Volturi, if it should come to that.

Fuck this movie.  Fuck this movie series.  Fuck it out loud, in stereo, and in 3D.  In truth, I did not enjoy, but was okay with this movie for the bulk of it, but the very end was such an annoyance to me that it made me laugh out loud and yell, “Fuck you,” at my computer screen.  But the first two thirds of the movie was like watching one of the most annoying parts of the first X-Men movie for an hour and a half.  It felt like I was just watching a bunch of vampires get together and tell each other what their special powers were.  Bella kind of got the shaft on that end too.  “Super self-control.”  What a useful but shitty power.  Sure, it’s helpful to her that she didn’t eat her baby, but that lady can make electricity with her hands.  The one dude controls all of the elements.  He couldn’t have broken off a few elements for her to have a good power?  The best she’s got is the ability to make other people feel the effects of these powers less, and she can beat Kellan Lutz in arm wrestling.  I know that because they showed it to me for some stupid fucking reason.  I guess he also somehow develops the power to show Edward a montage/epilogue/ending credit sequence at the end of the movie, so she’s got that going for her.  Then there’s a really good battle – that feels to me like the reason I sat through the rest of the movie, or the entire series for that matter – followed by a big fuck you to the audience.  And I’m not talking about when Bella says to Edward, “Nobody’s ever loved anybody as much as I love you.”  That’s more of a ‘fuck you’ to Renesmee.

Okay, so this movie was boring most of the way through and then there was a big battle at the end that I really liked.  But it also lead to the biggest problem I had with this movie, and also requires the return of the ::SPOILER ALERT::  They pulled  that hack “it was all a dream” bullshit?!  For real?!  I resent the Wizard of Oz for starting this trend, but I thought Hollywood had decided in unison that they were done with this bullshit unless they were using it for comedy.  You show a great, epic fight where important characters in the Twilight series die brutal and emotional deaths, but the heroes still pull out a victory, and then it all turns out to be a vision of a possible future that Aro is watching through Alice.  Fuck you!  You just wasted a half hour of my time.  It was exciting and fun to watch until that point, but the movie itself nullified that by making it fake.  And, since the only fun part of your movie never technically happened, your movie can go fuck itself.  ::END SPOILERS::

Kristen Stewart is still awful.  And Bella is still stupid.  Why the hell does it take her the bulk of the movie to figure out that she should find the book that page the letter was written on came from?  I guess I would be offended if Stewart ever played a character that was smarter than I am.  I guess it’s the seed that built her that’s to blame.  Her father is stupid as well.  Jacob turns into a wolf right in front of him, but he still can’t figure out that the super-pasty, dead-eyed people that have taken Bella in are vampires.  Also, that toddler of yours is growing awful fast … probably not worth thinking about.  Also, why do these people get so pissed off at Jacob for telling Bella’s dad that she’s not dead?  I know the Volturi would kill him if Jacob had said “vampire”, but Jacob didn’t say it.  So you all just want to depress the father when there was an obvious alternative.  I mean, Jacob thought of it!  And he’s gross!  He falls in love with a baby that’s so fresh that it still smells like her mother’s vagina!  And later, while the girl still appears to be about 8 (but in actuality is about 6 months), he makes a joke to Edward about “calling him dad.”  Can you hold off on that joke until she at least LOOKS like you should be dating her?  Edward should’ve killed you right then.  That would’ve made me give this movie a positive review.  Or maybe if Edward and Bella had broken up.  Which they totally should have done since Edward says to Bella, “Every obstacle you faced, I thought you couldn’t overcome it.”  I know he meant that as a compliment, but he’s basically saying that she baffles him with how inept she appears, while still being able to make it through everyday life.  He probably should’ve thought she couldn’t overcome an acting challenge.  Then she could meet his expectations.  And the biggest problem with the cast of this movie is that my favorite part of it (Ashley Greene) was required by the story to be absent for the bulk of the movie.

I am pleased to finally be finished with the Twilight Saga, but I would’ve been much happier if Breaking Dawn – Part 2 wasn’t so frustrating.  The story wasn’t significant, and the movie spent the greater majority of the time describing what each new vampire could do and what part they would take in a battle that never really happens.  The battle that kind of happens is a pretty awesome watch, but I would say that no part of this movie that actually took place demands your attention.  You can skip this movie.  And, since I would say that only about two out of 10 hours of the Twilight series are watchable, I say you can skip the entire series.  20% is a deep ‘F’, people.  The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 gets “I hate the second one even more” out of “Old habits die hard.”

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Tron: Legacy (2010)


Your Old Man’s About to Knock on the Sky and Listen to the Sound

I’ve been harboring a hankering to watch this movie again for a while.  I believe I initially saw the movie in theaters, and then I purchased the special edition BluRays when they came out, and I’ve probably seen the movie some three times by now.  But I haven’t reviewed it yet.  When I started reviewing movies, this one was in my mind as one I was looking to get to at some point, but it wasn’t until Fabian recommended it that I actually bothered to get around to it.  I felt it necessary to knock out the original movie yesterday, and today we get into Tron: Legacy, written by Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis, directed by Joseph Kosinski and John Lasseter, and starring Garrett Hedlund, Jeff Bridges, Olivia Wilde, Anis Cheurfa, Bruce Boxleitner, James Frain, Michael Sheen, Beau Garrett, Cillian Murphy, Jeffrey Nordling, and Daft Punk.

Not too long after the events of the first Tron film, Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) goes missing.  His son, Sam (Garrett Hedlund), does not take it that well.  20 years later, he’s ENCOM’s primary shareholder, but has no interest in running his father’s company.  He instead prefers to play a prank on the company every year, like releasing their new operating system to the world for free.  His father’s longtime friend, Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner), comes to him to investigate a mysterious page he’s received from Flynn’s arcade, even though the place has been abandoned and the phone lines shut off for many years.  Sam goes to check it out and finds his father’s hidden office and, while messing around on the computer there, activates the laser that transported his father into the Grid years ago.  Now in the Grid, he’s instantly captured and put into the games, having to fight for his digital life by throwing Frisbee’s at other guys, eventually losing to a program called Rinzler (Anis Cheurfa).  Rinzler takes Sam to someone that appears to be his father, but actually turns out to be a program his father created called CLU (played by Jeff Bridges and computers).  CLU then attempts to kill Sam on the light cycle tracks, but he’s rescued in the nick of time by Quorra (Olivia Wilde), who takes Sam to see his real father.  Then shit starts to get hairy.

I really like this movie, and I’m not sure why I’m apparently one of the few.  This movie was poorly received, and I get the feeling like people’s nostalgia and love for the original movie probably hindered their ability to appreciate this movie.  Having no particular affection for the original, I found this to be a pretty great and enjoyable movie.  And I’m not sure why the fans of the original seemed to take so much issue with this when it appeared to me that the writers had a great affection for the original.  They threw a lot of things in the movie that were big nods to the original movie, like repeating the joke about the big door, the look and style of Flynn’s arcade, the little handheld device Flynn was messing with in the first movie, and a couple other hidden Easter eggs.  And, when compared to the original Tron, the story here was much better.  Unlike the first movie, there was actually an emotional connection developed in the story for the characters.  You had Sam’s desertion issues, Flynn regretting what happened himself, Quorra being the last of her kind, etc.  The first movie didn’t even seem to take the idea that they could write interesting and flawed characters into consideration.  And the overall story of the movie has much more on the line than one guy wanting to get his comeuppance by proving that he made the games that made ENCOM famous.  They were saving the world, man!  This is not to say that I found the story of this movie to be perfect, of course.  Just superior to the original.  I admit that I did not understand what they were talking about with the ISO’s.  They were some sort of aberration in the Grid that somehow held the potential to resolve various mysteries in science, religion, and medicine.  …How?  They’re just some kind of randomly occurring program.  Is this the same kind of thing like giving a room full of monkeys some typewriters and waiting for them to write Shakespeare?  My best guess is that the writers wanted to keep up the religious overtones they had laid out in the movie (with things like Flynn coming off as God, but God that loves weed or something) and wanted them to represent miracles, but also not bothering to try to define anything about it because they couldn’t figure it out.  Well, CLU gets all threatened by the chosen people of the Grid and gets his genocide on with them, making him basically bio-digital Hitler, man.  I still wonder what would happen, in the minds of the writers, if someone like Quorra got out into the world.  What would that mean?  Would she still have the potential to inexplicably solve the world’s problems, or would she just be some girl that gets locked up because she’d seem crazy because she grew up in a computer?  Either way, I found the conclusion of this movie much more satisfying, though slightly depressing as well.  Whereas the other Tron movie just ended with a guy landing a helicopter on top of a building, this ending has loss, sacrifice, but also an uplifting and somewhat happy ending.

Much like the original, the look of this movie elevates it above its own station.  At least SOME parts of it do.  The movie captures the style of the first movie, but advances it to fit the world as it is today.  With today’s technology, it would’ve been really easy to have the look of the game simply duplicate the original Tron, but that wouldn’t make sense.  The look of that movie was made to look like the video games available at the time, most of which are just slightly more graphically advanced that Pong.  With the state of video games today, this movie needed to look much better, and it does.  It also reflects the change in the system since CLU took over, coming off a lot darker in tone while still being cool and stylized, just as it was in the original.  It’s probably slightly less stylized because it didn’t originate a lot of the look, but it’s cooler because it’s dark and metal.  Like Mastodon.  Of course, there is a problem with the look and it’s one that was talked about frequently when the movie came out: young Jeff Bridges.  You could tell that they tried really hard to make that work.  They did facial captures from Bridges so that the computer could replicate the performance, they used facial captures from Bridges in Against All Odds to get the look and the age right, and they had a stunt double duplicate Bridges’ performance so that nothing was left out.  And it looks like young Jeff Bridges … kinda.  It suffers from the Uncanny Valley thing that the Polar Express suffers from.  It’s so close to being human, but still obviously not, and comes off as a little unsettling.  You know what doesn’t?  The four Siren cyber broads!  But one could argue that they were just four hot chicks in skintight clothes.  The action in this movie was far superior to the stuff in Tron.  The memory disk battles were exciting and well-choreographed.  The light cycles looked awesome and the animation of the light cycle battle was exciting and cool, and they no longer had to travel in straight lines.  There’s even an awesome airship battle.  So much better than Jai A-Die that they played in the first movie.  And the thing I respected most about the movie is how they handled the fact that things were going to die in this but it’s a Disney movie.  Instead of blood, the characters bled bits and disintegrated, leaving some crushed up glass in a pile on the floor.  This looked cool and allowed them to do badass things like shooting a character through the face, leaving a big gaping hole, but as something that kids could watch.  Another thing worth mentioning about this is the music by Daft Punk.  I’m typically the exact opposite of a techno fan, and that doesn’t usually change very much for the typical DJ music, but I enjoyed the score that they put together for this movie.  It elevated the feeling of the scene, and techno was really the only kind of music you could use in this setting.

I don’t have a problem with any of the performances in this movie.  I feel sorry to say that Jeff Bridges gives another performance that’s very similar to The Dude in this movie.  Flynn was vaguely Dude-esque in the original Tron, but in this one – with all the talk about bio-digital jazz and knocking on the sky to see how well it held the room together or some shit – he really reminded me of the Jeff Bridges performances I’ve seen before, or sometimes a Ninja Turtle.  His performance of CLU wasn’t particularly Dude-esque, but I’m beginning to feel bad about this.  I really like Jeff Bridges as an actor, but I just keep reviewing movies that he chose to act Dude-y in.  Because of that, I’m going to review True Grit tomorrow.  There’s no way I could call Rooster Cogburn similar to the Dude.  Garrett Hedlund didn’t really impress or disappoint.  I really liked Olivia Wilde’s Quorra character though.  It’s not the most revolutionary character for a girl to be cute, innocent, and naïve, but it’s a likeable character type.  And she’s hot, so she’s got that going for her.  I had thought myself so clever for saying that Michael Sheen’s Zuse character reminded me of David Bowie, but Wikipedia tells me that he based his performance on him.  Well fuck you too, Wikipedia!  I also really liked Anis Cheurfa as Rinzler.  His face was never seen and he didn’t need to act, but the capoeira fighting style was pretty awesome to watch.

Tron: Legacy is a really cool movie, and far superior to the original as far as I’m concerned.  Unlike the original, there is actual depth in the story, some emotional impact, and the action is much more interesting.  The original Tron only had the looking going for it, and this movie keeps that going and looks much better, though perhaps slightly less of an accomplishment in the style category.  I definitely recommend watching Tron: Legacy, and I think the only reason you might want to bother watching the original is because it helps you understand this movie.  Tron: Legacy gets “Bio-digital jazz, man” out of “You’re messing with my Zen thing, man.”

Let’s get these reviews more attention, people.  Post reviews on your webpages, tell your friends, do some of them crazy Pinterest nonsense.  Whatever you can do to help my reviews get more attention would be greatly appreciated.  You can also add me on FaceBook (Robert T. Bicket) and Twitter (iSizzle).  Don’t forget to leave me some comments.  Your opinions and constructive criticisms are always appreciated.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 (2011)


You Deserve to Live With This

Today is a good day.  I woke up around noon, had a nice breakfast, and sat down to watch the fourth Twilight movie.  Yeah, that last part doesn’t seem to fit within the “good day” category, but I’m staying positive.  No matter how good or bad this movie is, I’m done watching Twilight movies until sometime in November.  And, since there’s no way I’m paying to see a Twilight movie in theaters ever again (I was already burned by that once with the first movie), I won’t have to watch Twilight again until it comes out on DVD and I can beat up some emo high school girl for her copy of the DVD outside of a Best Buy so that they’ll get no more money from me whatsoever.  Or I can rent it from RedBox.  We’ll see.  And we’ll also see what I thought of the fourth Twilight film today, in my review of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, based on a novel by Stephenie Meyer, written for the screen by Melissa Rosenberg, directed by Bill Condon, and starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Nikki Reed, Ashley Greene, Kellan Lutz, Jackson Rathbone, Billy Burke, Sarah Clarke, Julia Jones, Booboo Stewart, MyAnna Buring, Maggie Grace, Casey LaBow, Chaske Spencer, Christian Camargo, Mia Maestro, Michael Sheen, Jamie Campbell Bower, Christopher Heyerdahl, and Mackenzie Foy.

Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) is having her soon-to-be “sister”-in-law Alice Cullen (Ashley Greene) plan her upcoming wedding to Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) because Bella is too busy trying to fit a square-shaped block into a round peg hole with a squeaky mallet.  The wedding goes smoothly, finding one hiccup when Bella tells the guy that she’s been stringing along, Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), that she intends to consummate her marriage with Edward on their honeymoon.  Though this is fairly typical, Jacob gets pretty angry at Bella for taking the risk, fearing that her vampire husband will eat her, but in a bad way.  Their honeymoon starts off fairly nicely.  Edward kills Bella…’s pussy!  HAHA!  But he stops having sex with her when he realizes that he’s bruised her arm during the coitus.  Two weeks into the honeymoon, Bella inexplicably figures out that she’s pregnant with Edward’s demon baby.  They return to Forks so that the Cullens – Dr. Carlisle Cullen (Peter Facinelli), Esme (Elizabeth Reaser), Rosalie (Nikki Reed), Alice (Ashley Greene), Emmett (Kellen Lutz), and Jasper (Jackson Rathbone) – can help them figure out what to do.  Jacob comes over to find Bella – 4 weeks pregnant and incredibly showing, somehow – and gets mad, thinking this baby will kill Bella.  Yet, when Jacob’s werewolf brethren decide they will kill the abomination inside Bella, Jacob leaves the pack with Leah (Julia Jones) and Seth Clearwater (Booboo Stewart) to protect Bella.

Much as Eclipse, I feel that Breaking Dawn was thoroughly okay, but for different reasons.  They finally got a little closer to writing a decent story, but it was kind of boring as well, not having any real action until the end.  I’m not saying there needs to be epic vampire throwdowns in every one of these movies; I know that these movies are just supposed to be sappy romantic movies that suck the coolness out of the vampire genre.  But if you’re not going to base your movie around the action, then you need something to keep the audience paying attention.  This movie could’ve used some tension to it, but they never really succeeded on any.  Without that, you’re just watching someone’s wedding video.  Yeah it’s pretty, and women are probably going to cry, but I’ve fallen asleep.  I was hoping that someone at the wedding would get a papercut to make it more interesting.  Then Bella and Edward go to Rio de Janiero, of course stopping by to show that giant Jesus on the hill, and get to the sex.  I have a problem with this scene that may be a little icky.  If Bella was, in fact, a virgin, and Edward was breaking her hymen for the first time, would there not be a strong possibility that there would be a little bit of blood?  I know it’s probably not how they wanted their series to end, but I would’ve thought it was amazing if that happened and Edward tore Bella to shreds because of his bloodlust.  There are holes in my logic, since the last movie said that Edward was no longer blood-crazed with Bella, but it was a golden opportunity to end this series once and for all.  Instead of relieving the world of Bella, they make another one, while simultaneously deciding to ignore logic.  I consulted my many currently and recently pregnant friends and this movie was way off.  She is already looking in the mirror for signs of showing at 2 weeks, and claiming she can feel the baby in there.  My friend Mike said that a baby would be the size of a poppy seed at 4 weeks (when Bella was fully showing, more closely resembling something around 6 months preggers).  Liz and Sasha tell me that about 5 months is when you first feel a baby, so they were only about 18 weeks off.  I know that the easy answer to all this is “Meaghan, Liz, and Sasha weren’t pregnant with undead demon babies as Bella is”, to which I respond “Fuck you”.  You drew her pregnancy out long enough that it felt like I’d been watching it for 9 months, so you might as well have gotten it right.  And what’s even more of an oversight on the part of the filmmakers is that Bella CLEARLY didn’t unlock her HTC Android phone when she put it up to her head and started talking to Rosalie.  I caught you again, Twilight!  Not much later in the movie, they have a pretty goofy conversation between a pack of giant, CG wolves that I was warned about, but I really didn’t find it that off-putting.  I know a lot about canine mannerisms, and I appreciated that they seemed to take them into consideration when it came to the main two wolves establishing dominance.

I found most of the movie fairly lackluster and a little boring.  The redeeming qualities of the movie can be found in the end of the movie, but it will also require a ::SPOILER ALERT::  The wolves attack the Cullens right after Bella has seemingly died during childbirth, but the baby, Renesmee, is alive and well.  Edward, Alice, and Jasper are prepared to throwdown to save the baby.  They’re outnumbered and are losing until Carlisle and Esme return, but it’s not until the wolves Seth and Leah (that have heretofore hated the Cullens) join in to help them.  And it’s finally won when the pack must leave because Jacob “imprinted” on Renesmee, which I think means he peed on her, but it also means that the wolves can’t harm her.  I had heard about this imprinting thing long before this movie came out and it was very off-putting.  The idea of an 18-year-old guy falling in love with a newborn baby is more than a little bit icky.  And now that I’ve seen the movie and done a little bit of research on imprinting, it’s still a little bit icky, but at least somewhat excusable.  Because it’s involuntary and keeps the imprinter alive as long as the imprintee, one can assume that it won’t become icky until Renesmee is of a non-creepy age.  Although, for the next 18 years, I’m probably going to think it’s a little creepy.  It also served the story a great deal, putting a permanent end to the feud between the vampires and the werewolves that I never thought made sense in the first place.  The battle at the very end of this movie was pretty good, but not in the same league as the big battle with the newborn vampires from the last movie.  The CG wolves didn’t really work that well for me.  Neither did the very ending itself.  We know that Bella is turning vampire, but they drag it out for like five minutes.  They start letting the CG that turned her into an Ethiopian melt away while showing easy scenes from previous movies (maybe they ran out of money somehow), But they decided to show that her ribs were repaired by having her chest pop out like you just finished a game of Perfection.  (Anyone remember that game?  Google it)  Well it was gross and goofy.  Also, they drag out the scene of her laying on the bed and showing her entire life up to that point, then zoom in on her eyes and hover there for approximately 37 minutes, even though we all know what’s going to happen.  Pretty much any time anyone zooms in on someone who may or may not be dead’s eyes, we know they’re going to pop open.  Can we come up with a new way to do that?  ::END SPOILER::

The performances, as with the actors, have barely changed in this movie.  Kristen Stewart’s performance actually improved near the end of the movie.  Well, she looked like she was dying, so I enjoyed it more.  At the end, her performance was much worse because now she’ll be around forever.  Of course, that just means I won’t be.  Her performance didn’t change very much for the parts where she was sickly.  Knowing that she couldn’t convey dying with her performance, they just did it with CG instead.  It was vaguely convincing.  Robert Pattinson has still done nothing that I feel is a detriment or an asset to these movies.  Taylor Lautner has a part where he has to cry, and does well enough at it, but otherwise joins Pattinson in the mediocrity box.  My opinion of the remaining Cullen clan was mostly unchanged in this movie, but it was nice to see Rosalie not be a dirty bitch for a little while.

There’s really no telling if I enjoyed this movie more than it deserved because I have roughly a year without having to see another Twilight movie.  I’m just so happy, you guys.  This movie has a story that wasn’t that bad, but was dragged on far too long.  The redeeming part is at the end, so unfortunately you’ll have to sit through the whole thing to see the good part.  Only, that is, if you actually think there’s any reason to see even the good part, which there still isn’t.  You still don’t need to watch this movie.  If I had to write a list of the Twilight movies from the most tolerable down, it would go Eclipse, Breaking Dawn Part 1, the end.  I don’t count the first two as movies.  Unless Stephenie Meyer decides that she needs another wing for her mansion, we have only one more of these things to go, but not for a while.  So, I thankfully give The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 “You have to accept this for what it is” out of “It’s crushing you, from the inside out.”

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The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009)


You Just Don’t Belong in My World, Bella

Dear World, I love you but I just can’t take it anymore.  Because of the Twilight series, I have decided to end my life in the slowest and most painful way I can think of: beating myself to death with a wet Kleenex.  I know, this will take some time, so just settle in and I’ll get started.  I continue on with my reviews of the Twilight Saga, if for no reason other than to show you people how much willpower I can possess when it’s important.  I haven’t yet figured out how to consider this important, but I’m gonna, damnit!  And so, without further ado, let’s talk about The Twilight Saga: New Moon, based on another novel by Stephenie Meyer, written by Melissa Rosenberg, directed by Chris Weitz, and starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Rachelle Lefevre, Edi Gathegi, Michael Sheen, Dakota Fanning, Ashley Greene, Billy Burke, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Kellan Lutz, Nikki Reed, Jackson Rathbone, Anna Kendrick, and Michael Welch.

Isa”Bella” Swan (Kristen Stewart) just turned 18.  Her vampire boyfriend, Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), and his family – Carlisle “Dr. Handsome McFadden” Cullen (Peter Facinelli), Elizabeth (Esme Cullen), Alice (Ashley Greene), Emmett (Kellan Lutz), Rosalie (Nikki Reed), and Jasper (Jackson Rathbone) – throw Bella a birthday party.  It’s pretty nice … until Bella gets a paper cut and Jasper tries to eat her.  Edward saves her … by throwing her across the room and giving her a deeper gash in her arm.  Realizing that he and his family are a danger to Bella, Edward ends their relationship and leaves Forks with his family.  Thus begins Mope Fest ’09.  Bella bitches about it for a couple of months until realizing that risking her life makes her feel a little better.  She invests in two shitbox motorcycles and enlists the help of her newly-chiseled friend Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) to help her fix them.  They start developing some feelings for each other until he randomly freaks out on one of her friends, cuts his hair, and stops wearing shirts.  Then, Laurent (Edi Gathegi) returns and decides to kill Bella as a niceness so that his friend, Victoria (Rachelle Lefevre), doesn’t kill her in a more drawn out and painful manner.  A couple of giant wolves kill the shit out of him.  Turns out Jacob is a werewolf and his pack keep the joint free of non-Cullen vampires.  Edward comes back into the mix when he attempts to get the powerful coven of vampires known as the Volturi to kill him, believing that Bella has killed herself.  Alice retrieves Bella to try to save Edward before it’s too late.

These movies still suck.  Does this movie suck less than the first movie?  I’ll grant that it does suck slightly less than the first movie.  Technically, penile dismemberment is preferable to death, but I still don’t want it to happen.  That’s how I feel about this movie.  There are parts to this movie that are much more interesting.  They throw some werewolves in so that they can ruin another classic movie monster, but they have their cool parts.  I also found the Volturi somewhat interesting.  But that was roughly 20% of the movie.  The rest of it was the same old mopey, vaguely romantic bullshit.  I got to thinking, in this movie, about why the Cullen’s even bother leaving Forks in the first place.  I understand the idea of wanting to get away from Bella (BELIEVE ME, I understand that feeling) because you’re afraid of hurting her, but he does so under the pretense that people are beginning to wonder about one of them not aging.  Why would they move around because of that?  Why not just crash back at the crib for a century and go back to school?  It’s pretty gundamned obvious why he’s actually trying to stay away from Bella, but of course she’s too fucking dumb to figure it out.  And then we get to my least favorite part, the full half hour of Bella being a mopey little bitch.  The scenes are so indicative of everything I hate about stupid high school girls, thinking everything is the worst thing that could happen in the world ever.  “I know, I know … 9/11 and the Holocaust … BUT MY BOYFRIEND THAT WANTS TO EAT ME JUST DUMPED ME!  You just don’t understand, Dad!”  She mainly shows this to us by sitting in a chair and never moving (VERY interesting cinema), and squealing like a stuck pig while she’s sleeping.  Has anyone ever actually reacted to a breakup like this?  If so, kill yourself.  …Harsh?  Maybe.  Alright, I’ll downgrade to “Knock it off, dumbass.”  The next thing Bella starts doing is to start talking to her imagination of Edward … y’know, ’cause THAT’S not crazy. They must’ve realized either that I would hate this mopey shit, or that stupid high school girls would love this mopey shit, because they tossed it in twice.  Jacob turns her into a mopey bitch as well.  Thanks, movie!  The secondary premise of the movie is pretty weak to me.  It’s never really clear why the vampires and werewolves hate each other in the first place.  They reached a civil agreement a century ago and (as far as I can tell) neither side ever overstepped their boundaries.  Yet they just randomly hate each other.  I get why Jacob and Edward don’t get along because they’re both in love with a tree stump named Bella, but there’s really no excuse that I can see why their groups hate each other so much.  I also don’t get the entire problem with Edward trying to kill himself, and not just because I would be much happier if he did it and this whole movie could end.  Why would it mean his death if he walked outside and got all sparklefart on everyone?  If I walked past a guy that looked like that, I would intentionally pay him no mind whatsoever because I would just assume he wanted attention and was a douche bag.  It would never cross my mind that he was a vampire … because VAMPIRES BURST INTO FLAMES IN SUNLIGHT!  When Bella’s mutant power was decided at the end of the movie, it just made me laugh.  Apparently, no vampire’s special powers work on her.  It made me laugh that none of them had any effect on her mind, probably because she is such a blank slate anyway.  Not only stupid, but apparently very self involved since she walks right past a large group of innocent men, women, and children that are about to become a buffet for the Volturi and it never crosses her mind to throw a warning out.  The movie ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, but I’m here to push it over the edge.  Bella’s been trying to get Edward to make her a vampire through this entire fucking movie so that she could spend the rest of her life with him, but she seems completely shocked that he would ask her to marry him.  What the Hell did you have in mind when you thought about spending eternity with him?  Just friends?  Fucking idiot!

There was an imaginary movie displayed in New Moon that went by the very clever name of “Face Punch”.  The dialogue in Face Punch was intentionally awful, but it also leads me smoothly into a discussion of the dialogue in New Moon.  It still sucks.  I’m beginning to think that Stephenie Meyer is not a good writer.  All the dialogue in this movie remains stupid, mopey, awkward, stupid, annoying, and stupid.  I understand that they would feel the need to remind their audience what each vampire’s power is, but the way they do it is so blunt and stupid that it was reminiscent of the first X-Men movie, except that I hated it.  “I’ve already seen you open it, and you love it!”  DING!  Alice reads minds.  “No fair with the emotion controls.”  DING!  Jasper controls emotions.  “I can’t read your mind.”  DING!  Bella’s an idiot.  I understand that Edward is undead and kills things for sustenance, but does he have to talk about suicide and death all the time in the beginning?  Later, Bella is arguing with Jacob about their emotional age.  She decides that she is emotionally 35 and he’s emotionally 32, and kudos to her for knowing that 35 is greater than 32.  Of course, someone should tell her that her IQ is not the same as her emotional age.  I also got really angry that Bella stopped talking to her friends for a while in this movie.  It definitely wasn’t because their relationships meant so much to me.  It was because she was almost at the point where it would be absurd to even the writer of these movies for her to still talk awkwardly to her friends, but she got to start from scratch with the awkwardness by taking a hiatus from them.  Gundamned loopholes!  When Bella finds out the secret of the werewolves (which, of course, she figured out by being smacked across the face with the obvious a few times), one of the werewolves actually has the gall to utter the statement “Guess the wolf’s out of the bag.”  …I hope you fucking die in a really spectacular and painful way.  When Bella is about to leave to try to save Edward, Jacob tries to stop her by saying “I’m begging you; don’t go.”  Get it?  He’s a dog and he’s begging!  Later on, that twat-basket Bella has the audacity to tell Jacob not to make her choose between him and Edward.  Why?  You want to keep dragging him along, bitch?  I’ll tell you one thing that I really liked about the dialogue, and one thing that made me like my favorite character, Alice, even more: when she points out Bella’s idiocy.  I was already on board with you, Alice, but now I’m yours forever.  Unless you ask me to marry you.  That’s moving too fast…

The look managed to take a step up in some parts of this movie.  The director (apparently a REAL director this time and not someone who’s probably only made commercials for Lady’s Speed Stick) pulled off a couple of transitions that I thought were really well done.  I barely managed to catch that I liked something during one of Bella’s mopey bitch scenes, but the way they showed the passage of months by having the camera rotate slowly around Bella, seemingly without cutting, was very nicely done.  Later, their transitions during the montage (of sorts) of Bella and Jacob working on the motorcycles, were nicely cut as well.  I got angry at Bella during that scene because who throws a slice of pizza to someone?!  Even if they catch it, they might get sprayed in the face with hot grease or something.  I still didn’t like their little lame attempts to show that things were moving fast in this movie.  When the vampires are running, it barely seems like anything faster than a normal human running speed, but we added motion blur!  Go fuck yourself.  The big fight near the end of the movie where Edward was trying to keep the Volturi away from Bella wanted to be epic really badly, but it used the same blur too much, making me think it was a shitty version of the awesome teleportation fight from the beginning of X-Men 2.  …I sure hope that watching the X-Men movies from this point on doesn’t make me think of these movies as much as these make me think of them.  If you ruin this for me, Twilight, I swear I’ll write hateful things about you online … damnit …

I still hate almost everybody involved in this movie.  I wasn’t a fan of most of them going into the movie, but they did what they could to ruin two actors I actually like.  I like Michael Sheen and Dakota Fanning a lot.  Why are you trying to ruin them for me, Twilight?  I know that you’re a black hole for all that is good in the world, but can you not leave me some things?  Thankfully, they were solid in their parts, so I will just have to remain focused on what I’m truly angry at here.  The same can be said for Ashley Greene.  I still appreciate the quirkiness of her character, and it’s made so much better when you compare her to everyone else in this movie.  This brings me back to Kristen Stewart.  I still hate her, and not just because I hate Bella so much.  She’s still awful.  She’s Paul Walker with a vagina.  Someone really should tell her that she doesn’t have to sigh out of her nose before she says anything in the movie … unless that might cause her to pass out and crack her head open on a marble counter top.  She also does this strange thing that was never explained by holding her stomach a couple of times in the movie like she ran afoul of some jalapenos or something.  I think she even squatted down while doing it.  Maybe she was just doing her impression of what Stephenie Meyer does over an empty journal before scribbling the name of one of the phases of the moon on it and making billions with it.  Bella’s also a bitch in this movie.  She leads on Jacob through the whole movie, but the slightest sign that Edward’s back and it’s all “Fuck off, doggie.”  Robert Pattinson again made no impact on me one way or another.  I did get annoyed at the choice of the makeup artist later in the movie because she changes his makeup to show that he’s depressed, but it just make him look like he’s been crying or is sleep deprived and it’s my understanding that he’s not capable of either.  Taylor Lautner earns a much bigger part in this movie by spending the entirety of his life between the first movie and this one by working out nonstop.  The guy’s ripped.  I would totally fuck him … no homo …  He’s the Vampire Hunter Van Hunksking!  And, since he worked so hard, they apparently decided to ban him from t-shirts for the majority of the movie.  He’ll find any old excuse to take the shirt off, won’t he?  Like when Bella crashes her motorcycle and is bleeding from the head.  There is no way there’s anything within 100 miles of our present location better to clean your open wound than my dirty t-shirt!  What’s this?  It was covering up my sweet bod for some reason!  Oh well.  This is the kind of guy I would not be shocked to find his main picture on Facebook to be him taking a self portrait in the bathroom mirror.  I just want to lick them abs … okay, a little homo …

I’ve managed to keep a certain degree of optimism throughout this review because I know that I’m halfway through the Twilight films that are presently available.  This optimism is completely based on the fact that I’m not thinking about the fact that the next two movies are rated as badly (or worse) than the two I’ve already reviewed.  …Damnit!  I just remembered it!  New Moon is slightly better than the first Twilight movie, but not nearly the improvement necessary to make the movies watchable.  The story is still shitty, the dialogue is still awful, and there’s always Kristen Stewart.  The slight visual improvements, Ashley Greene, Michael Sheen, Dakota Fanning, and Taylor Lautner’s sweet sweet bod cannot fix this thing.  Seriously, ladies.  Don’t delude yourselves into thinking these movies aren’t shitty.  Don’t watch this movie either.  The Twilight Saga: New Moon gets “It’s like a huge hole has been punched through my chest” out of “It’s my birthday, can I ask for something?  Go fuck yourself!”

Hey, peeps. Why not rate and comment on this as a favor to good ole Robert, eh? And tell your friends! Let’s make me famous!

Underworld: The Rise of the Lycans (2009)


This is Just the Beginning

Further deeper into the Underworld we go, this time arriving at a movie I distinctly remember not liking, so much so that my OCD-like compulsions did not force me to complete the series for my DVD racks.  Everything about the movie would lead one to believe that this movie would be the worst of the three.  Not only was the previous director not on board, but the previous star decided against returning this time around.  They did manage to get someone that could pass for Kate Beckinsale if you didn’t look too hard, but they made her a somewhat secondary character in the movie.  All that being true, my memory is completely shit, so I needed to watch this movie again to be able to make any claims on it’s quality.  Now that I have, let’s see what I thought about Underworld: The Rise of the Lycans, written by Dirk Blackman, Howard McCain, and the wrong Danny McBride, directed by Patrick Tatopoulos, and starring Michael Sheen, Bill Nighy, Rhona Mitra, Steven Mackintosh, Kevin Grevioux, and Tania Nolan.

The events of the film happen well before we met Selene, back in the beginning of the war between vampires and werewolves.  Apparently, it all started when a girl who couldn’t act fell in love with a pasty sparklefart of a vampire and a Lycan with sweet abs.  No resolution could be reached and war broke out.  Oh wait, that’s a different movie.  This war is started because the first werewolf, William, has created an army of savage werewolves, unable to return to human form, and the vampires must defend themselves from the onslaught of werewolves.  This movie focuses on Lucian (Michael Sheen), the first werewolf born with the ability to return to human form.  They use Lucian to make other Lycans that can become human and turn them into slave labor, keeping them from turning Lycan with the help of a spiked collar, most of which say “Fido” or “Rex”.  Over time, Lucian begins a secret relationship with the daughter of the vampire elder, Viktor (Bill Nighy), a Beckinsale-esque girl named Sonja (Rhona Mitra).  This sort of relationship is what you might call “frowned upon”.  Adding to the problems they already have, Lucian gets pretty fond of this idea of “freedom”.  Viktor is every bit as keen on this idea as he would be of the idea that his pet is giving the red rocket to his daughter.  If we’ve already watched the other movies, we have a pretty good idea of where this is headed.

It apparently happens at least once in everyone’s lifetime, but I found that I was wrong on this day.  I actually enjoyed Underworld 3, possibly even more than I liked 1 and 2.  It was sort of a mix between things I liked about the first two movies: Underworld had a better story, but was light on action, whereas Underworld 2 didn’t have a great story, but did have more interesting action.  This movie satisfied me on both fronts.  The story was pretty interesting, and the action was good as well.  But I am man enough to admit that I’ve been wrong one time in my lifetime, so there it is.  Much better than I remembered it.  The story seemed to have mashed up elements of better stories.  It had a quasi-Romeo and Juliet, star crossed lovers business in there, it had a quasi-Braveheart fight for freedom thing (minus the antisemitism), and it had a quasi-The Crow revenge for dead loves plot.  Yeah, I could’ve warned against spoilers there, but they totally showed it in the first movie, so fuck off.  The story all worked for me, but it probably did suffer a little bit from the fact that I had just watched Underworld and was just waiting for all the things I knew were going to happen.  It did a great job fitting into the continuity that was laid out in the other films, but it also kind of hurt itself by allowing us to know exactly how the story turned out.  As with many movies, there were parts of the story that never really made sense to me.  The first one was the fact that they wanted these Lycans for their slaves, and to protect them during the day, but they wouldn’t allow them to turn into Lycans and use their real strength.  I understand that they’d be stronger and harder to control then, but why not just enslave humans then?  Why risk it in the first place?  Also, Viktor is given the chance to promote Lucian beyond his station, but turns it down, even though that course of action would clearly make things easier for everyone to deal with.  The biggest problem with the movie was the romantic relationship, but only because it was teetering dangerously close to bestiality.  The action was also very good in this movie, showcasing a good couple of pretty sweet battles between vampires and Lycans.  I especially liked the use of the giant ballistas when they pinned people against walls.

For the most part, any decisions you made about the performances of characters from the previous movies can be transferred over to this movie.  Michael Sheen becomes the star of this movie, and pulls it off very well.  He can do the action scenes, but dude can also act.  The terrible grief Lucian is going through as he watches his lady burn alive is very evident.  Possibly a better performance than this movie had comin’, but whatcha gonna do?  Rhona Mitra throws out the performance you would probably expect in that she doesn’t really impress.  She’s an attractive lady and all, but I couldn’t get over the distinct feeling that there was a good chance she was Steven Tyler.  I don’t have any proof for that … yet.  Bill Nighy’s performance was much better in this movie, not because he’s not a good actor, but the previous movies didn’t really require that much out of him.  He has a great bit of emotion over sentencing his daughter to death that I liked very much.  He’s still too old to really hold his own in the fight scenes though.  I got excited at one part because they had him put on a helmet that covered his face, so I thought he would be able to throw down because he could easily be substituted by a stunt man, but he very quickly removed his armor and jumped into the next scene.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Underworld movie I previously thought to be the worst one was actually probably the best one so far, having a more interesting story and better action than the previous two movies.  Most of the performances were good, and Rhona Mitra was Steven Tyler, but altogether I found the movie to be pretty enjoyable.  I guess I’ll be able to complete the series now, but only if the newest one holds up, and if it comes out with a BluRay tetralogy.  We’ll find out at least one of those things tomorrow, when I review the latest Underworld movie.  For now, Underworld: The Rise of the Lycans gets “You are credit to your race” out of “We are no better than the beasts at our door.”

Hey, peeps. Why not rate and comment on this as a favor to good ole Robert, eh? And tell your friends! Let’s make me famous!

Underworld: Evolution (2006)


We Are Oddities of Nature, You and I

Continuing on into the Underworld makes me feel like Hercules or Dante.  Well, not really like Hercules, but I’m totally a poet like Dante.  That’s the facts, right there.  Also, that’s probably the smartest joke I’ll ever go for.  Let’s get back to talking about poop!  Underworld!  Okay, that was harsh.  Underworld turned out to be a pretty good movie, but one I remembered being better.  Unfortunately, I remember them going downhill pretty quickly into the third one, but I have not yet made my impression of the fourth one known.  Let’s see if that recollection still holds true as I review Underworld: Evolution, written again by a different Danny McBride than the one we are all thinking, directed again by Len Wiseman, and starring Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Tony Curran, Derek Jacobi, Brian Steele, Bill Nighy, Michael Sheen, Steven Mackintosh, Shane Brolly, and Zita Gorog.

Way back in the day, the three vampire elders – Viktor (Bill Nighy), Markus (Tony Curran), and Amelia (Zita Gorog) – are trying to track down Markus’ brother, William (Brian Steele), a werewolf who is going around making more Lycans that are savage beasts, unable to return to human form.  They finally capture William and have him imprisoned for all eternity, but Markus is not too cool with his bro-wolf being treated like a bitch.  Back to the now, the events of the last movie have set up Markus to awaken from his slumber, and he promptly kills the shit right out of Kraven (Shane Brolly) who, let’s face it, had that shit coming.  Elsewhere, the vampire Selene (Kate Beckinsale) and the hybrid vamplycan Michael Corvin (Scott Speedman) are driving around, occasionally stopping to fight things and fuck each other.  After killing Viktor, Selene is having memories pop of of when her father built the cage that holds William, so they’re looking for answers about that.  They stop in to see Andreas Tanis (Steven Mackintosh) and later look for the original immortal, father of Markus and William, Alexander Corvinus (Derek Jacobi).  All this time, Markus is also looking to free his brother.  Eventually, these two paths will probably converge.

This one’s probably about on par with the original.  The story takes a bit of a step down, being all about this chase to find some people’s jewelry that opens a sarcophagus restraining a big doggy.  It may even border on confusing, since everyone’s looking for the same necklace/ribcage bling (you’ll have to watch the movie to get that) and Selene barely knows what’s going on until her memories come back.  It’s constantly cutting back and forth between Markus and Selene to see what they were doing and I may have gotten confused, which may have not happened if I were paying more attention but, hey, that’s their fault.  Make a more interesting movie next time!  The action was a decent step up at times in this movie though.  There were a couple of solid fights and action scenes, and people actually tended to hit what they were aiming at.  I had a couple of issues with the climactic final fight of the movie though.  And, because it’s the final fight, I suppose there may be ::SPOILERS::  The fight is basically Michael and Serene versus William and Markus.  First off, Michael remains completely ineffectual, even though he’s the super hybrid.  I know he has no fight training or anything, but he basically just gets his ass kicked a lot.  He is the one that finally kills William by ripping his upper jaw off, and that was pretty badass, but I don’t know how much credit you can give him for beating William.  William is the super powerful first of all Lycans, but his strategy in this fight is to do a lot of standing in one place howling as he’s getting tons of bullets emptied into him.  Markus shows himself to be a pretty big badass by pulling a helicopter out of the air by the cable it has draped into the arena, and then goes to fight Serene.  They fight on a bridge with the still spinning blades of the helicopter right next to it.  Knowing that Serene is the heroine of this movie, you will never expect how their fight – stationed immediately next to spinning helicopter blades, mind you – will end.  It may shock you to find that he is knocked into the spinning helicopter blades.  Sure, you see it coming from a mile away, but it was pretty sweet.  ::END SPOILERS::  The look of this movie also improves a little.  The most notable improvement is that a pair of tits makes it’s way onto this movie.  Unfortunately, they aren’t Beckinsale’s.  Other than that, the Lycans are a little more convincing, and the amount of fake blood is probably doubled for this movie.

The performances were mostly by the same actors, so you can be assured that the performances have not changed drastically from the first movie.  Kate Beckinsale still looks good in them skintight suits, having decided against splurging on Haagen Dazs with her check from the first movie.  I thought it was strange that she kind of acted a little trepidatious about getting her freak on with Speedman, even though they had already had some good make out sessions.  I guess there’s a chance she was a virgin, though, so she might’ve been hesitant to give that up.  Everyone acted like the 40 year old virgin was so sad, but Selene could have been the 121 year old virgin for all we know.  Scott Speedman continued to not impress me.  I wanted this hybrid to be awesome, but he really never does anything impressive.  The most impressive thing about him is that he is constantly coming back from situations that should have killed him.  So can cockroaches, and I don’t call them badasses either.  Get your shit together, hybrid!  Tony Curran is the new, big baddie for this movie, and most of the time he’s pretty good and intimidating.  Derek Jacobi was also pretty good as Alexander Corvinus, but neither of them really gave me anything much to talk about.

Underworld: Evolution manages to not drive the series down.  If you liked Underworld, you’re probably down with this one too.  I probably appreciated this movie a little more because, though the story that never interested me too much stepped down a bit, the action that I liked amped up slightly.  It also looked much better, having probably benefited from the success of the first movie.  I own this movie on DVD, just as I do the first one, and I think it’s definitely worth a watch.  Problematically, I remember disliking the third movie in this series, so much so that I actually never purchased it on DVD, even with my OCD-like need to complete series in my DVD collection, and that one is up next.  We’ll find out how that one goes tomorrow, but for now Underworld: Evolution gets “You depend on blood” out of “You are unwelcome in my presence.”

Hey, peeps. Why not rate and comment on this as a favor to good ole Robert, eh? And tell your friends! Let’s make me famous!

Underworld (2003)


A Full-Grown Man Bit You?

I recently found myself on a trip from work, and mostly superbly bored.  Thankfully, there was a movie theater within walking distance of the hotel I was staying at.  I was saved!  During the course of this week, I managed to fit in two movies.  Today’s movie is not one of them.  Now, before you go crazy about that long introduction to nothing, it does relate to today’s movie.  The movie I saw in the theater was the fourth part of this series.  But, before I reviewed the newest one, I felt like I needed to review the previous three.  Today, we get started with the movie Underworld, written by Danny McBride (not THAT Danny McBride) and Kevin Grevioux, directed by Len Wiseman, and starring Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Bill Nighy, Michael Sheen, Shane Brolly, Erwin Leder, Sophia Myles, Kevin Grevioux, Zita Gorog, and Wentworth Miller.

As we all know, vampires and werewolves do not get along.  We join this fray as two of the vampire’s elite soldiers, the Death Dealers, are tracking a group of werewolves, here called Lycans, who are themselves tracking a guy named Michael Corvin (Scott Speedman).  This situation devolves into a fight between the Death Dealers and the Lycans, and only the Death Dealer Selene (Kate Beckinsale), the Lycan Raze (Kevin Grevioux), and Corvin walk away in tact.  Selene determines that the Lycans were hunting Corvin, but doesn’t know why.  I’ll tell you, Selene!  It’s because their leader, Lucian (Michael Sheen), is trying to create a hybrid of the vampires and the Lycans, and Michael Corvin is the last remaining descendant of the original immortal, Alexander Corvinus, and the only one likely to survive taking on the vampire and Lycan diseases simultaneously.  Selene is also not having fun times at home because Kraven (Shane Brolly), the guy currently running the household, is trying to tap that and she’s having none of it.  She wants to wake up her father-figure, Viktor (Bill Nighy), to help her fix a few issues, like the Michael situation and the fact that only Kraven asked her to the prom, and he’s so totally lame.

I remembered this movie being better than it turned out to be.  After having just recently watched the fourth movie, I expected this movie to be heavy on the action and light on the story, but this movie felt a little like the opposite.  The story is pretty good and interesting, but it definitely could’ve used more action, in my opinion.  The story is vaguely a mystery, but it’s never really kept all that mysterious to the audience.  We pretty much know what’s going down.  The characters in the movie remain oblivious to it much longer.  After that, it’s not a whole lot more than your average vampire/werewolf movie.  But, in a world where vampires go into the sunlight and become gay sparklefarts, this movie gets a little more love from me.  There were a couple of good lines in the movie as well, like when Michael was asking Selene what they do with the bullets after they interrogate the Lycans and she said “We put the bullets back in.”  They also did a good job hiding the big betrayal at the end of the movie.  But, on this watching, I found myself a little let down by the amount of action.  It was mostly cool and stylized when it happened, but it was pretty spread out here.  They probably assumed their story was a lot more compelling than I actually found it, but they should’ve given us a little more, and probably a little better action.  First of all, these bitches in this movie couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn from three feet away.  98% of the bullets fired in this movie hit everything around their mark, but never the mark itself.  The only time I can presently remember anyone hitting what they aimed for was when Selene decided the best method for retreating was to point her guns at the ground and spin in a circle, effectively cutting a hole in the ground for her to fall through and then run off.  And speaking of falling: the director apparently loves to watch Beckinsale drop from high places.  We watch her jump from high locations and drop lightly to the ground about 10 times in this movie.  It’s not particularly interesting visually, so I’m not sure why I was watching it so much.  It seemed like the director was thinking that we may have forgotten that she was a vampire, so they better do something that other people couldn’t, like drop from 6 stories up and walk it off.  But I was with you, Wiseman, you don’t have to keep showing gravity’s money shots all the time.  The werewolves in the movie could’ve looked better, most of them being fairly reminiscent of Tokka from the second Ninja Turtles movie.  Sometimes they were entirely CG, but not all that convincing.  Other times they were kind of animatronic but they didn’t move very fluidly.  The vampires had a much easier day in the makeup chair, just having to be pasty white and wear a pair of contacts.  It also occurred to me during this movie that wearing vampire teeth apparently gives most people what I called “kissy face”, but I don’t feel like defining what I mean by that.  YOU FIGURE IT OUT!  Their transformation is also nowhere near as impressive.  The transformations of the Lycans, from humans to werewolves, was actually pretty well done.  Their bones shift in a way that makes your skin crawl, and they pop out hair as if they were Ron Jeremy or something.  The vampires?  Their teeth get a little longer and they hiss at people a lot.  I did like the whole process involved with waking Viktor up, involving an elaborate mechanism to bring his coffin out of storage, then the blood has to be focused or else his performance when he wakes up will be really quirky, and then you attach some blood bags to his back for a couple of hours.

The performances in this movie were surprisingly solid.  Kate Beckinsale’s main goal in this movie seemed to be to wear skin tight leather and be ridiculously hot, and she knocks that part right the hell out of the park.  She also acted the part really well.  But at one point Kraven slaps her and, though she does that typical thing where she just looks right back at him defiantly, it made me wonder why the fuck this bad ass Death Dealer would let some asshole she hates already slap her in the face.  There was one weird scene where she, I guess, just took a shower and wrote the name “Viktor” in the fog on the mirror, then wiped it off.  I have no idea why this happened at all.  Thanks for wasting a minute of my life, movie!  Scott Speedman didn’t really do anything for me in this movie.  I was neither for nor against him.  I was hoping there would be a little more awesomeness out of him when he turned hybrid, but he was actually fairly ineffectual.  When he finally turns into a hybrid, his first big movie is to shove Bill Nighy like they were fifth graders on a schoolyard.  Granted, that shove put him through a wall and down a story or two, but it was a shove nonetheless.  Speaking of Bill Nighy, his quirky performance really works for the character here.  He was supposed to have fragmented memories, so his little weird mannerisms worked really well for it.  He was pretty bad in the fight scenes though.  He’s an old man, so I can’t blame him, but they maybe should’ve gone stunt double a little more than they did.  The first time I had seen this movie, I had no idea who Michael Sheen was, so I didn’t think much of him.  But having added Tron: Evolution and 30 Rock to my memories, I paid a lot more attention.  And he was really good.  He’s actually a funny, charming guy from what I’ve seen in interviews, but he can be a badass if he wants.  Shane Brolly is a very unlikeable character, but that’s what he’s going for.  It did bother me that he had this hot chick hounding after his nuts for probably centuries, but didn’t really catch on until the events of this movie.  That begs the question: How many Kravens does it take to screw in a hot blonde?  14, of course.

I remembered Underworld being much more awesome than it turned out being, but it was still enjoyable.  The story was good, but nothing really special.  The action was okay when it happened, but it should have happened much more.  And the look was pretty good, but they probably didn’t have very much money for special effects at this point.  We’ll see if that improves for the next movie.  But, for now, I still think Underworld is worth a watch.  I own it on DVD, and I don’t feel very bad about that.  So check it out if you haven’t already.  Who knows?  Maybe I’ll be saying that the fourth Underworld is awesome, but you really need to catch up on the story to understand it.  Either way, Underworld gets “I want to stay with you…” out of “Your incompetence is becoming most … taxing.”

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