Currently browsing the "Kristen Stewart" tag.

Review: Underwater

The most shocking thing to me about Underwater is that some critics are actually calling it entertaining and fast-moving. That may be true for the first half-hour of the 95-minute subterranean Alien-ripoff. But after that… it sinks into a murky morass devoid of any real plot, character development or geographic orientation. The film opens with electrical engineer Norah (Kristen Stewart, Charlie’s Angels, Twilight) brushing her teeth in the communal bathroom of an underwater laboratory and waxing poetic via voiceover about her angsty, cynical existence. Then something rocks the lab. It appears to be an earthquake (but we never find out for sure). Whatever the cause, it forces Norah to run for safety as water starts to infiltrate the lab, compromising the infrastructure. If there’s one thing you’ll learn off the bat, it’s that skimpy underwear may seem like a poor choice during an earthquake, but it comes in handy if you need to slip into a bulky pressurized suit to trek across the ocean floor.

Review: Charlie’s Angels

The new Charlie’s Angels movie is not quite a reboot. Or a sequel. Or even a reimagining of the classic franchise. It’s more of a continuation, expansion and rebranding of the female-driven crime drama that launched a thousand magazine covers and at least one iconic hairstyle when the detective series premiered in 1976 with Jill Munroe (Farrah Fawcett), Sabrina Duncan (Kate Jackson) and Kelly Garrett (Jaclyn Smith) employing a combination of beauty, brains, bikinis and athletic prowess to chase down bad guys. Angels came and went over the course of the series, which lasted five seasons and later spawned two harmless yet forgettable big-screen adaptations, Charlie’s Angels (2000) and Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003) featuring Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu, and directed by McG.

Charlie’s Angels (2019) pays homage to all that came before it, while modernizing and expanding the brand, and introducing a new group of angels for a new generation. It doesn’t suck; but no need to rush out and see it.

Cafe Society

Woody Allen’s latest feels very familiar and not terribly original. It’s like he has a drawer full of ideas for film scenes and he just grabbed a hand full and shot. It has a bittersweet love story at the center, set in Golden Age Hollywood and New York, and the usual Woody stand-in character. This time it’s Jesse Eisenberg playing Bobby Dorfman, a nice Jewish boy from the Bronx who comes to LA to work for his “Agent to the Stars” Uncle Phil (Steve Carell) and falls for his beautiful secretary Vonnie (Kristen Stewart), but eventually returns heart-broken to New York, takes a job with his mobster brother, and marries shiksa goddess Veronica (Blake Lively). The first part in Hollywood is kind of fun, but sadly it runs out of steam when it gets back to New York, almost like it’s two different movies.

American Ultra

I’m not sure what this movie was trying to be but it’s a hot mess. Here’s how it was pitched:

American Ultra is a fast-paced action comedy about Mike [Jesse Eisenberg], a seemingly hapless and unmotivated stoner whose small-town life with his live-in girlfriend, Phoebe [Kristen Stewart], is suddenly turned upside down. Unbeknownst to him, Mike is actually a highly trained, lethal sleeper agent. In the blink of an eye, as his secret past comes back to haunt him, Mike is thrust into the middle of a deadly government operation and is forced to summon his inner action-hero in order to survive.”

When I read the synopsis, I expected to see something along the lines of the fairly entertaining action-comedy-crime-stoner movie Pineapple Express. Ha! Joke was on me.

Clouds of Sils Maria

The first I heard of Clouds of Sils Maria was the news that Kristen Stewart won the French version of the Oscar (the Cesar) for her supporting role in it, the first American ever! I just saw the film and I am scratching my head. Not that she is bad, but it just isn’t a standout role, even for her. And lest you assume she speaks French, which would be a feat worthy of a prize, the film is mostly in English with leading lady Juliette Binoche slipping into her native tongue on just a few subtitled occasions. The film is the story of the evolution of a relationship between a famous actress Maria (Binoche) and her young assistant Valentine (Stewart) as they rehearse for a revival of the play that started Maria’s career. It is an arty movie, somewhat Bergman-esque. There is a LOT of subtext and the line between the play and their real life becomes blurry at times. There are also beautiful moments and poignant scenes. And while everything is not spelled out, it is a thought-provoking look at the way our perspectives change with time.

Still Alice

The reason to see Still Alice, and you really should, is Julianne Moore. She just won an Academy Award for her beautiful and heartbreaking performance as Alice Howland, a successful linguistics professor with a loving husband and several grown children who is stunned to find that she is suffering from early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease. It is the story of her trying to keep it together even though she knows what is coming, and her family trying its best to take care of her as she disappears before their eyes. Alec Baldwin plays the husband who is as helpless as Alice against the disease, but tries to make her diminishing world as livable has he can. And Kristen Stewart is remarkably competent as her youngest daughter, a would-be actress who turns out to be the one who can help her Mom when she needs it most.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part Two

I read all the books, okay?? So yeah – I absolutely had to see this thing through to the end. So there! I did it! I watched, and survived, all FIVE cinematic installments of the four-book phenomenon that was “Twilight”. That’s the good news. The bad news is… this last hurrah, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part Two, kinda sucks, which fittingly enough, brings the franchise full circle. ‘Cause the first one kinda sucked too. But therein lies my disappointment. As the years wore on, and the broodingly attractive actors grew into their roles, I became rather smitten with the Twilight movies. New Moon in 2009, Eclipse in 2010 and Breaking Dawn – Part One in 2011 were decent enough flicks, all things considered. So what happened?

I’ll tell ya what happened. Hollywood, in its misguided attempts to bleed the franchise dry, broke the last and weakest book of Stephenie Meyer’s vampire romance quadrilogy into two parts, giving the most convoluted chapters a movie all their own. Big mistake.

Snow White and the Huntsman

Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest critic of them all? Okay, maybe that’s a loaded question. But I do call ‘em as I see ‘em. And I must confess, I was pleasantly surprised by Snow White and the Huntsman. The film has its flaws, but overall, it offers up a quirky, twisted and visually-stunning take on the classic fairy tale. Kristen Stewart (forever of Twilight fame) plays Snow, an orphaned princess who’s locked away for years by her stepmother, the evil Queen Ravenna, played with creepy and captivating flare by Charlize Theron.  When Snow finally manages to escape castle captivity, the Queen solicits the help of the hunky Huntsman (Thor’s Chris Helmsworth) to track her down and kill her. The Queen’s desperate quest for immortality hinges on Snow White’s demise.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1

Yes, I was indeed among the masses who helped Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part One reap nearly $140 Million at the box office in its opening weekend. And I make no apologies. I read the books and liked them (for the most part). I saw the first three movies in the series. The first one was quite bad; the second one was better; the third one was quite good. And now, the fourth – well, it’s definitely weak. But it doesn’t really matter. Once you’re sucked into the franchise, you have no choice but to see it through (thus the boffo box office numbers for this penultimate installment of the franchise). My only hope is that Part Two somehow manages to provide a more satisfying conclusion than the book itself, which was my least favorite of the bunch.

2010 Fall Movies

We’re moving out of the summer blockbuster kids’ movies and into the fall when traditionally a more serious adult roster hits the screens. This year? Well, there are a few that seem Oscar worthy, several with our favorite men headlining, a couple that look like real chick flicks and what just might be some nice comedies. See for yourself.