REVIEW: PARANORMAN

CAST

Kodi Smit-McPhee (X-Men: Apocalypse)
Jodelle Ferland (Kingdom Hospital)
Bernard Hill (The Lord of The Rings)
Tucker Albrizzi I Am Number Four)
Anna Kendrick (The Voices)
Casey Affleck (Gone Baby Gone)
Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Kick-Ass)
Leslie Mann (This Is 40)
Jeff Garlin (The Goldbergs)
Elaine Stritch (Romance & Cigarettes)
John Goodman (Red State)
Tempestt Bledsoe (Guys With Kids)
Alex Borstein (Family Guy)
Ariel Winter (Excision)
Bridget Hoffman (Hercules: TLJ)
Scott Menville (Teen Titans)
Cam Clarke (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Eddie Frierson (Hotel Transylvania)

Kodi Smit-McPhee in ParaNorman (2012)In the small town of Blithe Hollow, Massachusetts, Norman Babcock is an 11-year-old boy who speaks with the dead, including his late grandmother and various ghosts in town. Almost no one believes him and he is isolated emotionally from his family while being ridiculed by his peers. His best friend, Neil Downe, is an overweight boy who is bullied himself and finds in Norman a kindred spirit. After rehearsal of a school play commemorating the town’s execution of a witch three centuries ago, the boys are confronted by Norman’s estranged and seemingly deranged uncle, Mr. Prenderghast, who tells his nephew that he soon must take up his regular ritual to protect the town. Soon after this encounter, Mr. Prenderghast dies.Kodi Smit-McPhee in ParaNorman (2012)During the official performance of the school play, Norman has a vision of the town’s past in which he is pursued through the woods by townsfolk on a witch hunt, embarrassing himself and leading to his father Perry grounding him. His mother Sandra tells him that his father’s stern manner is because he is afraid for him. The next day, Norman sees Prenderghast’s spirit who tells him that the ritual must be performed with a certain book before sundown that day; then making him swear to complete the task, Prenderghast’s spirit is set free and crosses over. Norman is at first reluctant to go because he is scared but his grandmother tells him it is all right to be scared as long as he does not let it change who he is. Norman sets off to retrieve the book from Prenderghast’s house (having to take it from his corpse).Kodi Smit-McPhee in ParaNorman (2012)He then goes to the graves of the five men and two women who were cursed by the witch, but finds that the book is merely a series of fairy tales. Alvin, a school bully, arrives and prevents Norman from reading the story before sundown. Norman attempts to continue reading from the book, to no effect. A ghostly storm resembling the witch appears in the air, summoning the cursed dead to arise as zombies, who chase the boys along with Norman’s 17-year-old sister, Courtney; and Neil’s older brother Mitch, down the hill and into town. Having realized that the witch was not buried in the graveyard, Norman contacts classmate Salma (who tells them to access the Town Hall’s archives for the location of the witch’s unmarked grave) for help. As the kids make their way to the Town Hall, the zombies are attacked by the citizenry. During the riot, Norman and his companions break into the archives but cannot find the information they need. As the mob moves to attack Town Hall, the witch storm appears over the crowd. Norman climbs the Hall’s tower to read the book, in a last-ditch effort to finish the ritual, but the witch strikes the book with lightning, hurling Norman from the tower and deep into the archives.Kodi Smit-McPhee in ParaNorman (2012)Unconscious, Norman has a dream where he learns that the witch was Agatha Prenderghast, a little girl of his age who was also a medium. Norman realizes that Agatha was wrongfully convicted by the town council when they mistook her powers for witchcraft. After awakening, Norman encounters the zombies and recognizes them as the town council who convicted Agatha. The zombies admit that they only wanted to speak with him to ensure that he would take up the ritual, to minimize the damage of the mistake they made so long ago. Norman attempts to help the zombies slip away so they can guide him to Agatha’s grave, but is cornered by the mob. Courtney, Mitch, Neil, and Alvin rally to Norman’s side and confront the crowd, arguing that their rage, fear, and misunderstanding make them no different than the cursed townsfolk from long ago. Although the mob calms down, the witch unleashes her powers to create greater havoc throughout the town.John Goodman and Kodi Smit-McPhee in ParaNorman (2012)Judge Hopkins guides Norman’s family to the grave in a forest. Before the grave is reached, Agatha’s magical powers separate Norman from the others. Norman finds the grave and interacts with Agatha’s vengeful spirit, determined to stop the cataclysmic tantrum she has been having over the years. Though she attempts to push him away Norman holds his ground, telling her that he understands how she feels as an outcast, that her vengeance has only made her like the ones who wronged her, and eventually forcing her to remember happier days. Having finally encountered someone who understands her plight, Agatha is able to find a measure of peace and cross over to the afterlife. The storm dissipates, and she and the zombies all fade away. The town cleans up and regards Norman as a hero. In the end, Norman watches a horror film with the ghost of his grandmother and his family, who have grown to accept Norman for who he is.Kodi Smit-McPhee and Christopher Mintz-Plasse in ParaNorman (2012)ParaNorman works on many levels. Adults will love the stylish, almost Gothic atmosphere; older teens will love the menace of both the zombies and the townspeople, not to mention the witch herself. There are, for an animated film, plenty of scares and dark themes – slightly offset by the themes of loneliness, friendship, heroism, and getting adults to just listen to you. There’s a sort of beauty in ParaNorman, as horror and light comedy are somehow blended to form a rich animated film.

 

 

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REVIEW: WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING

CAST

Cameron Diaz (Sex Tape)
Jennifer Lopez (Enough)
Elizabeth Banks (Power Rangers)
Chace Crawford (Gossip Girl)
Anna Kendrick (50/50)
Brooklyn Decker (Battleship)
Matthew Morrison (Glee)
Dennis Quaid (Movie 43)
Chris Rock (Dogma)
Rodrigo Santoro (Westworld)
Ben Falcone (New Girl)
Joe Manganiello (Justice LEague)
Rob Huebel (Transparent)
Thomas Lennon (17 Again)
Rebel Wilson (Grimsby)
Wendi McLendon-Covey (Bridesmaids)
Megan Mullally (Will & Grace)
Genesis Rodriguez (Tusk)

Set in Atlanta, the film opens with fitness trainer Jules Baxter (Cameron Diaz) and her dance partner Evan Webber (Matthew Morrison) performing on the TV show Celebrity Dance Factor. They are crowned the winners of the show, but Jules vomits in their trophy, discovering that she is pregnant. Jules struggles when trying to balance her pregnancy with her normal active life. She has an ongoing argument with Evan over whether or not to have their son circumcised. During labor, she chooses not to have an epidural. She gives birth to a daughter they name Emerson, ending their debate. After giving birth, Jules and Evan get engaged.Photographer Holly Castillo (Jennifer Lopez) can’t conceive children and decides to adopt from Ethiopia with her husband, Alex (Rodrigo Santoro). They decide to buy a new house for the baby. Holly sends Alex to hang out with the “dudes group”, a group of fathers who walk around the park and support one another, which was founded by Vic Mac (Chris Rock). Alex feels even more nervous to become a father. Holly loses her job and becomes hurt when she realizes how much Alex is unprepared for a child. However, they eventually go to Ethiopia and adopt a baby boy named Kaleb.Wendy Cooper (Elizabeth Banks) runs a breast feeding boutique called The Breast Choice, and has been trying to have a baby with her husband Gary (Ben Falcone) for two years. She eventually does conceive and shares the news with Gary after taking five pregnancy tests. Having planned a magical and happy pregnancy, Wendy feels awful throughout it and, during a convention she was chosen to speak at about the miracle of childbirth, she begins to break down and bursts out into a speech about how much the process sucks. Her outburst is filmed and becomes a viral hit on YouTube, after which her boutique is flooded with customers. After many labor-inducing activities, she goes to the hospital only to find out she has to have a cesarean section, which is against her birth plan. She loses a lot of blood, but is okay and delivers a son named Theo.Ramsey Cooper (Dennis Quaid), a famous race car driver and Gary’s father, is married to a younger woman named Skyler (Brooklyn Decker). During a lunch where Wendy and Gary announce her pregnancy, Ramsey and Skyler also announce they are expecting. Unlike Wendy, Skyler cruises through her pregnancy without issues. Wendy envies her and detests her ease; however, soon after Skyler gives birth to twin girls, she and Ramsey are shown struggling with the fussy babies.Rosie Brennan (Anna Kendrick), Skyler’s cousin and food-truck chef, meets an old high school friend, Marco (Chace Crawford), also a food-truck chef, during a turf war between their food trucks. She believes he is a player and initially blows him off, but the reunion leads to an unexpected pregnancy after having sex that night. Worried at first, they eventually adjust to the idea of becoming parents and move in together. However, one night Rosie discovers she is bleeding and they drive to the hospital where they discover she has miscarried. Devastated, Rosie tells Marco to leave, which he does, but he makes several attempts to get back with her. Eventually, they get back together and decide to take things slowly and their story ends with them joining forces to create a food truck together. At different points in the film, certain characters meet others and we discover all the stories are linked. Ramsey is Gary’s father, Gary was on Jules’ weight loss program and is a regular customer of Marco’s food truck, Skyler is Rosie’s cousin, and Holly is Wendy and Skyler’s photographer.It was so funny I was laughing out loud. I think for anyone who has gone through pregnancy, it would probably be even funnier. well worth a watch.

 

REVIEW: THE ACCOUNTANT


CAST

Ben Affleck (Batman V Superman)
Anna Kendrick (The Voices)
J.K. Simmons (Spider-Man)
Jon Bernthal (Daredevil)
Jeffrey Tambor (The Hangover)
Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Arrow)
John Lithgow (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Jean Smart (Legion)
Andy Umberger (Unstoppable)
Alison Wright (The Americans)
Jason Davis (Step Brothers)
Susan Williams (The Founder)

Christian ‘Chris’ Wolff (Ben Affleck), a mental calculator, works as a forensic accountant, tracking insider financial deceptions for numerous criminal enterprises. His clients are brokered to him via phone by a woman’s voice, which originates from a restricted number. As an auditor of criminal enterprises, he accepts payment in various non-cash forms such as rare comics, gold bricks, and paintings by famous artists. Pursuing him is Raymond ‘Ray’ King (J.K. Simmons), the director of FinCEN in the Treasury Department, who recognizes Christian by the alias “The Accountant”. King blackmails young data analyst Marybeth Medina (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) into helping him identify and arrest the Accountant prior to his retirement, threatening to expose her undeclared criminal past (for the felony of lying on a federal employment application) if she refuses. King’s only leads are Christian’s numerous cover names.
As a child, Christian had been diagnosed with a high-functioning form of autism and was offered an opportunity to live at Harbor Neuroscience Institute in New Hampshire. Although Christian had bonded with Justine (Alison Wright), the mute daughter of the institute’s director, his father declined, believing that Christian should overcome the hardships inherent in his condition. The pressure of raising a special-needs child later drove Christian’s mother to leave him and his neurotypical younger brother, Braxton. Their father, an army psychological warfare officer, arranged for them to receive extensive military training around the world, which Christian now uses to protect himself in his dangerous life.
The voice gives Christian his next assignment, auditing robotics corporation Living Robotics, whose in-house accountant, Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick), has found suspicious financial discrepancies. The company’s CEO, Lamar Blackburn (John Lithgow), and his sister and associate Rita Blackburn (Jean Smart) willingly cooperate with Christian’s investigation, while CFO Ed Chilton (Andy Umberger) dismisses Dana’s findings as a mistake. However, after Dana provides him the company’s records, Christian quickly discovers that $61 million has been embezzled from the company. The following night, Chilton, who is diabetic, is confronted in his home by a hitman (Jon Bernthal), who forces him to self-administer a fatal insulin overdose. Later, Lamar surmises to Christian that Chilton embezzled the money and was driven to suicide out of guilt. Upset by Chilton’s death, Lamar closes the investigation, leaving Christian distraught from unfinished work.
Meanwhile, Medina realizes Christian’s cover identities, including his current name, are all famous mathematicians (Carl Gauss, Lou Carroll, and Christian Wolff). Using facial recognition to track the Accountant leads her to a shootout in which several members of the Gambino crime family had been killed. Analyzing a sound recording, Medina isolates Christian’s voice, determining that he is muttering the nursery rhyme Solomon Grundy to himself, a behavior consistent with autism spectrum disorder. The trail leads her to the modest accounting office that Christian uses as a cover: ZZZ Accounting, in Plainfield, Illinois, dividing his profits through four cash-only businesses in his block. She learns that Christian has written off hefty tax returns with donations to the Harbor Neuroscience Institute.
Christian and Dana are targeted for assassination, but Christian kills his own pursuers and rescues Dana, taking her to the trailer where he keeps the only things he values, including an original Jackson Pollock painting among his non-cash payments. While in hiding, they realize that the embezzled money was reinvested in affiliated companies in order to raise Living Robotics’ stock price. Concluding that Rita is behind everything, Christian goes to her house, only to find her dead, murdered by the hitman, who escapes just as Christian is arriving. Thus, Lamar is exposed as the real mastermind.
King and Medina arrive at Christian’s house and find evidence (cameras hidden in bird houses and an M134 minigun in the garage) that he is the Accountant. King reveals that Christian had been arrested after he started a melee at his remarried mother’s funeral that led to his father’s death, taking a deputy’s bullet meant for Christian. In jail, Christian had been mentored by Francis Silverberg (Jeffrey Tambor), a former accountant and fixer for the Gambino crime family, who subsequently became an informant for the United States government. Silverberg was later released and tortured to death by the Gambino family, which drove an enraged Christian to escape from jail and exact revenge on the people responsible.
King confides to Medina that he was present at the shootout and that Christian spared his life after questioning him about being a “good dad”. Afterwards, King had been contacted by the voice and provided with evidence Christian had compiled on criminals who violated his moral code, helping King rise to his position of director. King tells Medina that her investigation of the Accountant has been a test, and she has been selected to replace King, after his retirement, as the voice’s contact in the Treasury Department.
Christian attacks Lamar’s mansion and kills the mercenary guards led by the hitman. After shootout, the hitman recognizes the nursery rhyme that Christian mutters to himself as he tends to his wounds. He confronts Christian and reveals himself to be Braxton, who had become estranged after their mother’s funeral. Still resentful towards their mother for leaving, Braxton blames Christian for getting their father killed. The two reconcile after a hand-to-hand fight, and Lamar shows himself to chastise Christian. After Christian proceeds to kill Lamar without objection from Braxton, the two amiably agree to meet up another time. Later, the voice relays Christian’s evidence on Lamar’s criminal activities to Medina, who has accepted King’s offer, and she dismantles Living Robotics. Christian then bids farewell to Dana by sending her the Pollock (covered up by the painting Dogs Playing Poker, a reference to their initial conversation), and leaves to find Braxton.
In a scene at the Harbor Neuroscience Institute, the voice is revealed to be a computer-generated voice from a powerful computer, given to the Institute as a donation by Christian. The computer is used by a (still mute) adult Justine to communicate, and also fulfill her duties as Christian’s partner.The script is so well crafted this film should be used in writing classes. I guarantee you will not know what’s coming, and after they hit you, they’re going to hit you again, even better. Truly exceptional writing. The acting is also exceptional. Anna Kendrick, J.K.Simmons, and Jon Bernthal really stand out, and for Bernthal it is a change of pace and he carries it off very well. Ben Affleck, Jeffrey Tambor, John Lithgow and Jean Smart do their usual good job.

REVIEW: THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN – PART 1

 

CAST
Kristin Stewart (Snow White & The Huntsman)
Robert Pattinson (Sword Xanten)
Taylor Lautner (Tracers)
Billy Burke (Red Riding Hood)
Sarah Clarke (Thirteen)
Ashley Greene (Burying The Ex)
Jackson Rathbone (S.Darko)
Peter Facinelli (Supergirl)
Elizabeth Reaser (The Ex List)
Kellan Lutz (The Legend of Hercules)
Nikki Reed (Sleepy Hollow)
Anna Kenderick (The Voices)
Christian Serratos (Flight 7500)
Michael Welch (All The Boys Love Mandy Lane)
Michael Sheen (Underworld)
Christopher Heyerdahl (Sanctuary)
Jamie Campbell Bower (Sweeney Todd)
Mia Maestro (Alias)
Maggie Grace (Lost)
Daniel Cudmore (X-Men 2)

Bella Swan is getting ready for her wedding. During the reception, her best friend, Jacob Black the werewolf returns after hearing about Bella and Edward’s engagement. While dancing with him in the woods, away from everyone else, Bella admits that she and Edward plan to consummate their marriage on their honeymoon while she’s still human. Jacob becomes furious, knowing that Edward could easily kill Bella. The other wolves restrain him and leave.
The couple spends their honeymoon on Isle Esme and they make love for the first time. The next morning, Edward realizes that Bella has numerous bruises and is mad at himself for hurting her, though Bella insists she enjoyed the experience. Edward swears not to make love again until she becomes a vampire. Two weeks into their honeymoon, Bella realizes that she is pregnant with a half mortal half immortal child. Edward is terrified by the news, knowing that she may not survive the delivery. He says that Carlisle will remove the monster. She refuses, as she wants to keep the baby and convinces Edward’s sister, Rosalie, who has always wanted a child, to help protect her baby. They fly back home to Forks, Washington. She has only been pregnant for two weeks, but the baby is growing very fast.
Jacob rushes over to the Cullen’s mansion and finds Bella already heavily pregnant. He is angry, saying that they should remove it as soon as possible. Bella says that it is her choice. Jacob is disgusted by this. As Bella gets bigger, the quality of her health declines then rapidly improves as she starts drinking human blood to satisfy the baby’s vampiric thirst. Edward comes to love the baby as much as Bella does as he reads its thoughts, learning that his child loves Bella in return and doesn’t want to hurt her.
Soon after, Bella drops a cup of blood and as she bends down to pick it up, the baby breaks her back. She almost dies giving birth. To save her life, Edward injects Bella’s heart with his venom to transform her into a vampire, but nothing seems to happen and Bella is thought to be dead. Greatly distraught, Jacob attempts to kill the baby, but stops when he realises he has imprinted on the baby. When the werewolves hear of Bella’s death, they attack the Cullens’ house in an attempt to kill the baby as they fear it would become a threat. Edward, Alice and Jasper defend their home and their family, and are later helped by Carlisle, Esme, and Emmett. Jacob then runs outside to stop the battle and shape-shifts. Edward reads Jacob’s mind and announces that Jacob has imprinted on Renesmee and since it is the wolves’ law not to harm anyone who has been imprinted on they are forced to leave. After Bella is cleaned and dressed, her cuts from her difficult labour heal as the venom spreads through her body. The last scene shows Bella open her now blood red eyes as a newborn vampire.
What I loved most about this movie were the emotional extremes. Where the past three Twilight movies are subtle and reserved, this one goes all out, portraying everything from euphoria to unthinkable agony. The blissful scenes at the beginning are such a stark contrast to the agonizing scenes at the end.

REVIEW: THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE

CAST
Kristin Stewart (Snow White & The Huntsman)
Robert Pattinson (Sword Xanten)
Taylor Lautner (Tracers)
Billy Burke (Red Riding Hood)
Anna Kenderick (The Voices)
Michael Welch (All The Boys Love Mandy Lane)
Christian Serratos (Flight 7500)
Jackson Rathbone (S.Darko)
Ashley Greene (Burying The Ex)
Sarah Clarke (Thirteen)
Peter Facinelli (Supergirl)
Elizabeth Reaser (The Ex List)
Kellan Lutz (The Legend of Hercules)
Nikki Reed (Sleepy Hollow)
Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World)
Jodelle Ferland (Kingdom Hospital)
Daniel Cudmore (X-Men 2)
Dakota Fanning (Taken)
Cameron Bright (The Butterfly Effect)
Kristin Prout (Elektra)
In Seattle, not far from Forks, Victoria attacks and bites Riley Biers, in order to begin creating an army of newborns, who are many times stronger during their first few months than older vampires. Back in Forks, Edward Cullen and Bella Swan discuss the complications of becoming an immortal vampire. At 18 years old, one year older than Edward was when he became a vampire, Bella expresses her dislike to the idea of marrying so young, though Edward refuses to turn her into a vampire until they are married, his argument being that she should have various human experiences she would otherwise miss. While Charlie Swan investigates the disappearance of Riley Biers, Edward suspects his disappearance was caused by Victoria and her newborn’s army, furthering his suspicions is Riley’s intrusion into Bella’s room.
Bella insists that Jacob Black and the rest of the werewolf pack would never harm her Bella wants to go to Jacob’s home though Edward expresses his dislike and concern over her safety, but she returns unharmed. During one of her visits, Jacob confesses that he is in love with Bella, and forcefully kisses her. Furious, she punches him and sprains her hand, and Edward later threatens Jacob and tells him to only kiss her if she asks him to. Bella even revokes the invitations of Jacob and his pack members to her graduation party, but when Jacob apologizes for his behavior, she forgives him.
Meanwhile, Alice sees a vision that the newborn army will attack Forks within the week, led by Riley Biers. Jacob, accompanied by Quil and Embry overhear this, which leads to an alliance between the Cullens and Wolf pack. Later, the Cullens and the wolves agree to a meeting place and time to train and discuss strategy against the powerful newborns. During the training Jasper explains to Bella that he was created by a vampire named Maria to control a newborn army. He hated his original existence till he met Alice and joins in Cullens gang. Bella sees the true bond between a mated vampire pair and begins to understand Jasper better. Despite her reluctance to marry, Bella realizes that spending eternity with Edward is more important to her than anything else and agrees to marry him. Edward and Bella camp up in the mountains to hide Bella from the bloodthirsty newborns. During the night, Bella overhears a conversation between Edward and Jacob, in which they temporarily put aside their hatred towards each other. In the morning, Jacob overhears Edward and Bella discussing their engagement and storms off, angrily. Bella desperately asks him to kiss her, and she realizes that she has fallen in love with him. Edward finds out about the kiss but is not upset, as Bella says she loves him more than Jacob.
When Victoria appears, Edward kills her while Seth kills Riley. The Cullens and the Quileute wolves, meanwhile, destroy her “army”, though Jacob is injured saving Leah Clearwater from a newborn. Several members of the vampire police, the Volturi, arrive to deal with the newborn army. They also see that the Cullens are guarding the newborn, Bree Tanner, who had refused to fight and surrendered to Carlisle. Jane tortures Bree to get information, then instructs Felix to kill her, despite the Cullens’ efforts to spare her. When Jane notes that Caius will find it interesting that Bella is still human, Bella informs her that the date for her transformation has been set. Bella visits the injured Jacob to tell him that even though she is in love with him, she has chosen to be with Edward. Saddened by her choice, Jacob reluctantly agrees to come between her and Edward.
Bella and Edward go to their meadow, where she tells him she has decided to do things his way: get married, make love, then be transformed into a vampire. She also explains that she never has been normal and never will be; she’s felt out of place her entire life, but when she is in Edward’s world she feels stronger and complete. At the end of the story they decide they need to tell Charlie about their engagement, for which Bella is happy Edward is bulletproof.

I enjoyed this movie from start to finish and I believe if you go into the movie and not expect that it should be just like the book, you will be pleasantly surprised that the screenwriter and the director have produced a very well made film that takes the most important parts of one of the most compelling books in the series and creates a film that is both dramatic with a little humor. You will walk away knowing that this third film has done the franchise justice and will get you pumped up for Breaking Dawn!

 

 

REVIEW: THE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON

CAST
Kristin Stewart (Snow White & The Huntsman)
Robert Pattinson (Sword Xanten)
Taylor Lautner (Tracers)
Billy Burke (Red Riding Hood)
Anna Kenderick (The Voices)
Michael Welch (All The Boys Love Mandy Lane)
Christian Serratos (Flight 7500)
Ashley Greene (Burying The Ex)
Jackson Rathbone (S.Darko)
Michael Sheen (Underworld)
Jamie Campbell Bower (Sweeney Todd)
Christopher Heyerdahl (Sanctuary)
Peter Facinelli (Supergirl)
Daniel Cudmore (X-Men 2)
Rachelle Lefevre (White House Down)
Elizabeth Reaser (The Ex List)
Kellan Lutz (The Legend of Hercules)
Nikki Reed (Sleepy Hollow)
Dakota Fanning (Taken)
Cameron Bright (The Butterfly Effect)
On her 18th birthday, Bella Swan wakes up from a dream in which she sees herself as an old woman. She expresses her distaste about growing older than her boyfriend Edward Cullen, a vampire who stopped aging physically at 17. Despite her lack of enthusiasm, Edward’s adoptive family throw Bella a birthday party. While unwrapping a gift, Bella gets a paper cut. Edward’s brother, Jasper, becomes overwhelmed by the scent of Bella’s blood and attempts to kill her. Realizing the danger that he and his family pose to Bella, Edward ends their relationship, and the Cullens leave Forks, Washington.
Edward’s departure leaves Bella heartbroken and depressed for months; however, when her father, Charlie, finally decides to send her to live with her mother in Florida, Bella refuses and agrees to spend more time with her friends. After seeing a movie with Jessica, Bella sees a group of men on motorcycles. This reminds her of when Edward previously rescued her from an assault, and she sees his image warning her to stay away. Bella discovers that any thrill-seeking activities she engages in evoke Edward’s preserved image. She is also comforted by Jacob Black, a cheerful companion who helps to ease her pain over losing Edward. When Jacob suddenly begins avoiding her, Bella discovers that he, and others of his tribe, are descended from a long line of werewolves, and Jacob has just undergone his first transformation. Bella also learns that the werewolves are an age-old enemy of vampires. Jacob’s pack members are on constant alert for Victoria, a vampire seeking to avenge the death of her mate, James, who was killed by Edward after James kidnapped and tried to kill Bella. They rescue Bella from Laurent, when he tries to kill her. With Jacob busy coming to terms with his shape-shifting nature, Bella again finds herself alone, and she returns to seeking thrill-inducing activities.
Through a series of miscommunications, Edward believes that Bella has killed herself by jumping off a cliff into the ocean. Distraught over her apparent suicide, Edward travels to Italy and attempts to provoke the Volturi (powerful coven who act as vampiric overlords) to kill him by exposing himself as a vampire to humans. Alice, Edward’s sister, and Bella rush to Italy to save Edward, and arrive just in time to stop him. Edward explains that he always loved Bella and only left to protect her. However, the Volturi determine that Bella, a human who knows that vampires exist, must either be killed or transformed into a vampire herself. Alice stops them from killing her by sharing her premonition, in which Bella has been transformed, with Aro (Michael Sheen), a Volturi elder who is able to read thoughts through touch. Soon after, they return to Forks and Cullens again settle themselves in Forks. Bella asks Edward to transform her and Cullens vote in favor of that much to Edward and Rosalie’s dismay. Later, Jacob reminds Edward, the treaty Cullens and Quileutes made years before that they will not attack each other, as long as the Cullens do not feed on any humans, a necessity for Bella’s transformation. The movie concludes with Edward telling Bella that he will change her into a vampire after she marries him.
This is not a film that will gain much critical acclaim as the storyline is basic and the special effects are mediocre most of the time. However it is really enjoyable to watch and will delight all fans of the Twilight Saga due to its honest representation of the storyline.

 

REVIEW: TWILIGHT

 

CAST
Kristin Stewart (Snow White & The Huntsman)
Robert Pattinson (Sword Xanten)
Taylor Lautner (Tracers)
Anna Kenderick (The Voices)
Nikki Reed (Sleepy Hollow)
Peter Facinelli (Supergirl)
Billy Burke (Red Riding Hood)
Sarah Clarke (Thirteen)
Rachelle Lefevre (White House Down)
Michael Welch (All The Boys Love Mandy Lane)
Kellan Lutz (The Legend of Hercules)
Ashley Greene (Burying The Ex)
Jackson Rathbone (S.Darko)
Matt Bushell (Shelter)
Elizabeth Reaser (The Ex List)
Christian Serratos (Flight 7500)
Seventeen-year-old Isabella “Bella” Swan moves to Forks, a small town on the Washington coast, to live with her father, Charlie. Her mother, Renée, is remarried to a minor league baseball player, and they travel often to attend games. Bella makes several friends at her new high school, but she is intrigued by the mysterious and aloof Cullen siblings. Bella sits next to Edward Cullen in biology class on her first day of school, but he seems to be repulsed by her. After a week of absence from school, Edward comes back and talks to Bella normally. A few days later, Bella is nearly struck by a van in the school parking lot. Edward saves her by instantaneously covering a distance of over 30 feet and putting himself between Bella and the van, stopping it with only his hand and making a conspicuous dent. He subsequently refuses to explain his actions to Bella and warns her against befriending him.
After much research, Bella concludes that Edward is a vampire. He eventually confirms this but says he and the other Cullens only consume animal blood. The pair fall in love, and Edward introduces Bella to his vampire family. Carlisle Cullen, the family patriarch, is a doctor working in Forks. His wife is Esme, and Alice, Jasper, Emmett, and Rosalie are their informally adopted children. Edward and Bella’s relationship is soon put in jeopardy, when three nomadic vampires — James, Victoria, and Laurent — arrive in Forks. James, a tracker vampire with incredible hunting instincts, is instantly intrigued by Edward’s protectiveness over a human, which incites him to hunt Bella for sport. Edward and the other Cullens risk their lives to protect Bella, but James tracks her to Phoenix, where she is hiding with Jasper and Alice. James lures Bella into a trap by falsely claiming that he is holding her mother hostage. James breaks Bella’s leg before biting her wrist, infecting her with vampire venom. After a ferocious fight, Edward subdues James just as the other Cullens arrive. Alice, Emmett, and Jasper destroy James, decapitating and burning him, as Edward sucks the venom from Bella’s wrist, preventing her from turning into a vampire. Upon returning to Forks, Edward accompanies Bella to the high school prom, where he refuses to grant her request that he transform her into a vampire. As the couple dance, they are unaware that James’ mate, Victoria, is secretly watching, plotting revenge for her lover’s death.
Overall, I enjoyed “Twilight” for what it was – a romance that probed the timeless dilemma of wanting what you can’t have (and despite Meyer’s Mormon beliefs, this whole series is basically a metaphor for sex). It makes for an interesting, compelling story.