THE KRISTEN STEWART SAGA

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Kristen Stewart has a special connection to “Bella Swan” from the Twilight films, and it’s not just because she gets to make out with co-stars Taylor Lautner or Robert Pattinson.  For Stewart, playing “Bella” for the past several years has been a creative luxury, and of course it doesn’t hurt that she is now one of Hollywood’s most powerful young talents.  The Twilight Saga: Eclipse was the #2 film over the weekend, as it made $33.4 million. (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR BELOW TO HEAR KRISTEN STEWART)

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BRUCE WILLIS SEES “RED”

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Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman, and a rather freaked out John Malkovich play ex-CIA agents in the action/comedy Red, a project based on a DC comic book series.

The trailer looks engaging enough, but of course the last DC comic book venture (The Losers) ended up…well…losing! Let’s hope after his work in Surrogates and Cop Out that Mr. Willis is back on track. The movie opens nationwide October 15th. Check us out at FACEBOOK http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hollywood-Outbreak/128699720498771

SUPPORTING ACTORS “ECLIPSE” TWILIGHT LEADS

Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner

 

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse continues the fantasy of many a teenage girl of being loved by two rather hunky men (or in this case, a brooding vampire and an impetuous werewolf).  “Bella” (Kristen Stewart) is ready to graduate high school, and as a promise to the Volturi, she has agreed to become immortal with “Edward’s” (Robert Pattinson) assistance.  “Edward” is still reluctant to turn his fair maiden (an obvious reference to the loss of virginity), as he realizes once she becomes a vampire, she’ll never be the same! 

           

Back in I don’t have “Bella” but I’m her best friend land, “Jacob” (Taylor Lautner) is still pissed that he plays second fiddle to a bloodsucker, and if you rocked a six pack body and didn’t really need a shirt, wouldn’t you be a little verklempt??  “Edward” looks like he spends days listening to The Cure and The Smiths in a little dark corner of the world, while “Jacob” is probably at Gold’s Gym over in Venice pumping iron.  Shame on “Bella” for digging James Dean knockoff beanpoles!!

           

“Bella’s” dude situation must wait, however, as “Victoria” (Bryce Dallas Howard replacing Rachelle Lefevre) wants our sullen teenager dead, and she’s raising a new army of vampires to aid this bloody quest.  The Cullen family and Jacob’s wolfpack form an uneasy alliance to combat theses evildoers, and their inevitable battle occurs in the film’s third act.  The Cullens are wondering if the Volturi (led by Dakota Fanning who basically gets several minutes of screen time) are behind “Victoria’s” vengeful plan or if they even know about the impending war.  But with “Jacob” and “Edward” now trying to get along and watching over her in the process, “Bella” must really figure out if she wants to be imprinted by a werewolf or spend eternity yearning for blood.  Director David Slade, who helmed the first rate drama Hard Candy and the visually arresting Days of Night (and by visually arresting we don’t mean Josh Hartnett), gives Twilight’s  core audience exactly what they need (or would that be deserve?): a consistently shirtless Lautner, who gets to spoon with Stewart in the film, a dreamy eyed Pattinson lovingly gazing at our ingénue, and Stewart’s overwhelmed reaction (aka the same reaction she’s held since the first movie) that it’s pretty much raining men!

           

 

That’s not to say Eclipse throws in a few pleasant surprises.  Jackson Rathbone, a relative nonentity in the first two films save for his attempted attack on “Bella” in New Moon, woke this reviewer from near somnolence with his spirited performance as “Jasper Hale.”  “Jasper” was a newborn vampire himself, and his compelling origin story which follows his journey as a Confederate soldier brings a bit more depth to the proceedings.  Once haunted by his past thanks to the vampire that turned him, “Jasper” is now a happy cat with “Alice Cullen” (Ashley Greene), and he gives the werewolves a little fighting insight on how to property take down the newborns. 

           

Seeing Greene, Peter Facinelli, Billy Burke, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard, Nikki Reed, and Xavier Samuel (as the newborn “Riley) give solid performances in Eclipse makes this reviewer wish Slade spent a bit more time with the supporting cast.  Love triangles should be fun, but Stewart’s “Bella” is a bit too whiny and morose for her own good, and Pattinson’s intense stares are getting just a tad tired.  Lautner, however, is a potential star in the making, as his confidence and moxie (gaining all that muscle to keep his part in New Moon was commendable) should put him on the right showbiz path once his Twilight days are over.

           

The battle, although not on the level of a John Woo film or say, the upcoming project Inception, is passable ; watching a group of werewolves crunch and munch their way through the newborns is far from boring.  Bryce Dallas Howard’s fated conflict with “Edward” and “Bella,” however, feels a bit clipped, as director David Slade is more interested in leaving the battlefield and taking us back to “Bella’s” hormonal feelings. 

           

Teenage love stories told passionately definitely have their place in the world, but “Edward” and “Bella” have many miles to go before they reach “Romeo” and “Juliet” status.  Stewart and Pattinson’s chemistry rides on the wings of Stephenie Meyer’s bestselling novels and tabloid gossip, and ironically the true spark lies between the heated exchanges of our heroine and Lautner.   One wonders director Bill Condon will bring much needed life to the two part finale, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn.  “Bella” should really count her blessings, she’s got two dreamboats who would kill for her, and she’s a few steps closer to living forever.  So why is Kristen Stewart acting like a zombie from a George Romero film???  Please, Ms. Stewart…once more, with feeling.

 

 

 

 

FRIDAY NIGHT BOX OFFICE FIGHT: IRON MAN BEATS ROBIN HOOD

133Friday night was once again dominated by Iron Man 2.  Iron Man 2 was #1 at the box office grossing $15.2 million last night.  It was down 70% from last Friday’s opening, but this was expected.  Most of the people who were dying to see the movie did so last weekend, whereas those seeing it this weekend either waited out the crowd or are seeing it again.  It will be the #1 movie at the box office for sure.  Some are estimating that the movie should earn somewhere in the neighborhood of $53 million total.
 
Trailing far behind at #2 was Robin Hood, starring Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett and directed by Ridley Scott, which took in a measly $14.9 million last night.  The film is believed to be budgeted at $155 million.  While the movie is #1 everywhere else in the world, it seems that North America isn’t falling for Robin Hood. This looks like another huge bomb for Universal, who have a two year track record of shotty releases, and the films they have coming out over the next few months look bleak at best.  Are the marketing and publicity departments to blame? The consensus around Hollywood is yes!
 
Rounding out the top five movies from Friday night are: At #3 was the romantic movie, Letters To Juliet starring Amanda Seyfried, which grossed $14.5 million.  Summit Films, the studio who released the film, should be happy with these numbers.  Letters To Juliet wasn’t expected to compete at the box office, yet the film is right on coattails of Robin Hood.  Don’t be surprised if the movie leaps to #2 at the box office by the end of this weekend.   At #4 was the Queen Latifah comedy, Just Wright taking in just $2.8 million.   At #5 was Nightmare on Elm Street taking in $1.5 million.

 
 

AMANDA SEYFRIED: VANESSA REDGRAVE IS AN INCREDIBLE WOMAN

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Letters To Juliet opens nationwide this Friday, May 14th, and the flick’s star Amanda Seyfried got the chance to work with acclaimed actress Vanessa Redgrave. Seyfried, who also worked with Julianne Moore and Liam Neeson in Chloe, talks about the joys of working with Redgrave, whose sister Lynn Redgrave recently passed away. (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR BELOW TO HEAR AMANDA SEYFRIED)
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