Posts Tagged ‘brycedallashoward’

poster_petedragonYet another trend from Disney which tends to fall flat with each attempt. However, this one wasn’t as bad as I had expected. In fact that’s the best I could say about it; albeit insanely unoriginal in plot, this live action retell of Pete’s Dragon didn’t entirely suck.

Pete’a Dragon is about a toddler named Pete who’s parents and he suffered a terrible car wreck in the woods of Millhaven, Ore. As the toddler survived, but the parents did not, a legendary docile dragon which the boy names Elliot takes him into its care for the next six years until a logging company and a Forrest ranger discover the boy has been living in the wild all this time. Soon, they learn his dragon exists and a hunter party ensues to capture the magical beast while those who respect the creature look to keep it free and hidden.

Here’s what I appreciated about the film. Elliot never spoke. I was so afraid that character was going to receive the A-typical Disney date rape by having this computer generated character speak English and take that much more reality away from a plot already based in fantasy. However, someone made the decision not to and it worked much better for the integrity of the film, I felt.

I also loved the cast. Bryce Dallas Howard (Lady In the Water) as Grace the forest ranger completely sold her part. She committed and within a Disney fantasy I didn’t expect that from anyone in the film. It was a pleasant surprise and increased my respect for her as an actor.

Frankly, this live action remake of a Disney classic will probably disappoint the die hard fans of the original, I think. I wasn’t one. It’s cute, but I feel this storyline is better in the for of the Steven Spielberg directed classic E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.

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**This review was a challenge from my movie corner cohort Brian G. Felts to review this entire saga**

So as far as filmmaking and quality storytelling goes, Eclipse is far better than its prior installment of the Twilight Saga. However, there were so many scenes of Edward and Taylor posturing and metaphorically comparing penis size, I almost felt obligated to break out a ruler.

In this third installment of the saga, Bella, played by Kristen Stewart (Snow White and the Huntsman), is in love with both Edward, played by Robert Pattinson (Water for Elephants), and Jacob, played by Taylor Lautner (Grown Ups 2), and even though she has accepted Edward’s marriage proposal she–like most teenage girls–doesn’t know what she wants.

So as we maneuver through that soap opera, Victoria, played by Bryce Dallas Howard (The Village), is secretly amassing an army to seek revenge on the Cullen coven for killing her mate James in the first movie, especially Edward and Bella. To do so, she manipulates a vampire named Riley, played by Xavier Samuel (Fury), to build her army out of newbies outside of the laws of the Voltori, the vampire head council. Eventually, Jacob’s werewolf pack and the Cullens must join forces to defend their land, treaty and Bella from the onslaught of vampire crazies.

As my hope of each movie from this franchise being their own movie, standing strong on its own material, continues to dwindle with Eclipse, so does my hope for less melodrama. The back-and-forth pissing-contest scenes between Edward and Jacob fighting over Bella simply brought the movie down in those moments. There were too many and seriously, guys, the trash talk was embarrassing (to invoke a joke from TV’s Friends).

The directing was also a little better. Transitions were more clean and the slowest of material was a little easier to watch this time. It wasn’t presented as boring and shamelessly sappy as New Moon. Credit due to director David Slade (30 Days of Night, Hard Candy).

The final sequences were also exciting when the abomination vampire army shows up and the Cullens and the werewolves are tearing limbs off of soldiers an whatnot. Who wouldn’t like that? Especially when you sit through so many screw minutes of sappy crappy The Vampire Notebook bullshit. The final fight between Edward and Victoria was also strong as was the fact Jacob gets hurt in the end of this one. Good.

One thing which really bothered me and I know it’s trivial; when the Quileute (the local Native American wolf pack) turns into big ass wolves, their shorts come ripping off. I say shorts and not clothes because apparently hardly anyone in that tribe owns a shirt. Anyways, even though their shorts have ripped off, when they go back to being human the have their shorts on again. It was the same in New Moon but far more annoying to me in this one. These guys must have an endless supply of chinos stashed under every rock in the forest or the largest balance on a Kohls charge card ever.

Overall, the movie finish strong, despite the final field of flowers scene, with an exciting third act. All the posturing and bullshit between Ed and Jake finally settled down and a decent movie shined through.

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