The Twilight Saga comes to an epic conclusion in Breaking Dawn - Part… MoreThe Twilight Saga comes to an epic conclusion in Breaking Dawn - Part Two. In this final chapter the Volturi assemble their forces to destroy the Collen clan after getting word that Bella has an immortal child; in response, the Collens attempt to rally vampire clans from around the world to come together to make a stand against the Volturi. The script does a solid job at adapting the novel, and the performances are fairly good. Additionally, the film delivers some of the best fight sequences of the entire series; as they're extremely well-choreographed and intense. While Breaking Dawn - Part Two has some weaknesses, it provides a strong and fitting end to Bella & Edward's story.
The final chapter of The Twilight Saga has begun, and one could not… MoreThe final chapter of The Twilight Saga has begun, and one could not ask for a more befitting and enthralling start than Breaking Dawn Part 1. The film perfectly captures the romance, humor, suspense, and horror of the material. Going to the darkest reaches of the series, some truly disturbing and foreboding themes are delved into. However, there are the usual rough spots with awkward dialog, weak CGI, and rushed plot points; but the story comes together in a compelling and satisfying way. Imaginative and daring, Breaking Dawn Part 1 brings the saga to an extraordinary place that leaves the audience wanting for more.
The third installment of The Twilight Saga, Eclipse, finally delivers… MoreThe third installment of The Twilight Saga, Eclipse, finally delivers on the promise and potential that has been developing over the last two films. Up until now the primary focus of the series has been on the romance of Edward and Bella, but with that issue reaching a resolution the focus shifts toward an action/adventure tale. While the melodrama between Edward, Bella, and Jacob continues, the worlds of vampires and werewolves finally collide in spectacular, brutal battles. David Slate's directing is especially evocative and dramatic. The pacing in particular does an impressive job of moving between the melodrama and the action, creating a suspenseful lead-up leading toward the final battle. Additionally, the storytelling emphasizes character based drama, creating personal stakes for the action that ensues. Eclipse has once again placed the series on firm ground, building on and enriching this epic story of vampires and werewolves.
Unfortunately New Moon sets The Twilight Saga back a step, as it fails… MoreUnfortunately New Moon sets The Twilight Saga back a step, as it fails to realize Meyer's vision. This chapter opens up the series and develops a full, rich fantasy world, but the execution is rather poor. Director Chris Weitz doesn't seem to have a full handle on the material. While the emotional/melodramatic themes are captured well, the action/suspense themes are rushed (though the fight scenes themselves are exciting and dynamic). The CGI effects for the werewolves are also problematic, lacking photorealism; which becomes a bit distracting given how significant werewolves are to the story. Still, New Moon moves the series forward and sets the stage for an epic saga.
Twilight is often dismissed as a vampire love story, but most vampire… MoreTwilight is often dismissed as a vampire love story, but most vampire films are. Dracula, The Lost Boys, Underworld; they all have romantic undertones. Twilight is just more up front about it, and uses it to explore social and philosophical issues (guised in the romance of Edward and Bella). The casting of the film is exceptionally good, and a key to its success. Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson are perfectly cast as the leads, and give impressive performances. And, director Catherine Hardwicke brings an artful look to the film while maintaining a strong, steady pace. Additionally, Carter Burwell has composed an eloquent and beautiful score that does an extraordinary job of complementing the emotional core of the story. There are some script issues, but overall Twilight is a well-crafted and compelling drama that connects with audiences.
An exciting new take on Bram Stoker's classic character, Dracula… MoreAn exciting new take on Bram Stoker's classic character, Dracula Untold is a thrilling horror film. The story follows Prince Vlad as he makes a deal with a demon to gain the power to hold off an invasion by a Turkish army. Surprisingly the film doesn't really violate any Dracula lore, and works well as a tragic backstory for the character. Starring Luke Evans, Dominic Cooper, and Sarah Gadon, the cast is pretty good and gives strong performances. The costumes and special effects are also quite impressive, and create an interesting dark fantasy-esque visual aesthetic. A liberal adaptation, Dracula Untold is a very different kind of Dracula tale that's full of action and adventure.
While it's a bit lacking in story, Annabelle delivers some intense… MoreWhile it's a bit lacking in story, Annabelle delivers some intense scares. The plot follows a young couple that become victims of a cult that raises a demon, who then precedes to stalk them. The directing is quite good, doing an impressive job at creating a creepy and atmospheric tone. In fact, the directing almost does too good a job, as it creates a certain expectation of scariness that the plot never quite reached. But even so, the film still delivers a lot of frightening imagery and some terrifying moments. Annabelle oversells itself a little, but comes through with plenty of suspense and terror.
Dark and atmospheric, Curse of Chucky is a return to form for the… MoreDark and atmospheric, Curse of Chucky is a return to form for the Child's Play series. A semi-reboot, the plot seemingly ignores some parts of the last few films but sticks to the overall continuity. Chucky reemerges once again and stalks a family with which he has a score to settle. It's pretty rote, tried-and-true horror stuff; a creepy old rundown house, heavy storms, people going missing/being murdered one by one, etc., etc. And while it's standard fare for this type of film, it works well enough in setting a mood. Additionally, the kill scenes are fairly creative and suspenseful. However, the script is poorly paced and doesn't flesh out the characters (which makes it hard for the audience to invest in them). Curse of Chucky has problems, but on the whole it delivers enough frights and scares to satisfy horror fans.
Horrible in every way, Seed of Chucky is an atrociously awful piece of… MoreHorrible in every way, Seed of Chucky is an atrociously awful piece of garbage. While the meta humor and jokiness worked in the last film, here it's completely out of control. The script is incredibly lazy and makes no kind of sense at all. Worse still is Jennifer Tilly's ridiculously idiotic performance as herself. Indescribably bad, Seed of Chucky is just so damn stupid that there's no fun in any of it.
Jennifer Tilly is the Bride of Chucky in this post-modern horror… MoreJennifer Tilly is the Bride of Chucky in this post-modern horror revival of the Child's Play series. In this chapter the former girlfriend of serial killer Charles Lee Ray, Tiffany, rebuilds and re-ensouls Chucky, who then transfers her soul into a doll. Co-starring Katherine Heigl, Alexis Arquette, and John Ritter, the casting isn't that bad; but their performances aren't very good. However, Tilly's charisma carries the film and gives new life to the series with her character of Tiffany. Additionally, the comedy really plays up the silliness and camp, which works rather well. Still, while this change in direction is refreshing and fun, Bride of Chucky is not a good movie.