November 22nd, 2012

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Red Dawn

Happy turkey day, dleters! Hope your day has been filled with mounds of food, good company, a long list of things to be thankful for, and all that jazz. Uber low key for me this year, and I'm currently on the couch recovery from a second mini food coma for the day. As I often do when I have a free day, I spent it at the movies. Go figure. There's something special about spending Thanksgiving there. For one, the city is just dead. The walk is this kinda eerie peaceful quiet that is just bizarre. Once there, there's usually a pretty decent sized crowd. As a people watcher, I like trying to guess the motivation for them being there. My favorite round of this game was at Casino Royale a few years back. Went to the first showing of the day. Lots of dads with their kids, clearly trying to keep the kitchen clear for mom to cook up a storm. I did notice one such group at Red Dawn.

Okay so with the multitude of movies opening today, why did I prioritize Red Dawn? Couple reasons. First, I wanted to save a few of the higher profile ones in case a movie buddy turned up over the long weekend. I didn't quite trust this movie enough to subject it to other people. Second, its release has much less fanfare than just about everything else opening, which means it prolly won't get too noticed, which means it prolly won't last too long. Therefore, it made sense to me to make sure I got to see it now, since the others will most def be around for the next few weeks that are gonna be a bit lighter.

Poor Chris Hemsworth had a tough break with the MGM bankruptcy. This is the second film of his that was released this year after spending a long while in limbo. Cabin in the Woods is the other. But I guess it's a win for the studios since post-Thor he has much more draw than he would have back then.

This is a remake of an 80s movie where Russia invades the US and a bunch of teens fight to defend it. Update the setting, get a bunch of today's pretty faces, and change the bad guys. Actually change them twice. Yeah originally China was supposta be the big bad, but now that more movies are being shown in that country, they didn't wanna alienate a potentially big audience, so post production change everything to North Korea. That lil tidbit should give you an idea of the feel of this movie.

Actually, the feel was kinda offbalance. There was a huge cheese factor, that I'm not quite sure how intentional it was. I mean, for serious, a group of teens train for a couple days under one marine and suddenly they're taking on these legit soldiers and bad guys? Um, kay. And why are some citizens sent to the prison thing and others are eating at Subway? But, on the other hand, it was kinda dark. Realities of war and all that. Things got real, by which I mean intense because it still felt kinda fake. But people were dying and there was no mercy. Especially towards the end, it didn't quite feel like the Mighty Ducks going to war like it did at the beginning.

The cast was fun. Chris Hemsworth was a lil more Captain America than Thor, but he was certainly on his way to superstardom. We've also got a pre-Hunger Games Josh Hutcherson and a post Drake and Josh Josh Peck. Now that boy has grown up. Damn. I never saw that show, but Mean Creek is a favorite movie (just shy of making it onto my official favorites list) and it's kinda mind boggling to believe that he was the chubby dyslexic bully kid.

Watching things blow up is certainly a fun way to spend the holiday. There wasn't anything too particularly special about this flick, but I could have chosen worse.

Red dawn - \m/ \m/ \m/
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The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2

Huh. Another movie today with my name (Dawn) in the title. I was kinda tempted to skip this write up so I wouldnt hafta admit that I saw this. But for what its worth, I snuck in, and I have never felt less remorse for doing so.

While I am a fan of vampires, I am not a fan of Twilight. Curiosity drove me to the first one where I was bored outta my skull. Stubborness sent me to the rest. By this point, might as well finish it off and see the last one. I've rarely had to sit thru as many previews as there were before this movie. They had to show a trailer for every upcoming film that's trying to fill the marketing void that's gonna be left now that this saga is done. While most had me rolling my eyes, I'm kinda excited for Warm Bodies, the zombie love story starring Nicholas Hoult. But that's beside the point.

A big part of the reason why I don't see romantic movies that often is that I _really_ hafta be in the right mindset for them. That's multiplied by a lot for Twilight because I find the whole thing so frustratingly unrealistic. I've never quite gotten what it is that makes Jacob -> Bella -> Edward so crazy about each other, and hardly anything happens. Thankfully, this one had a bit of a different focus.

Finally, the love triangle is settled. That's what happens when you get married and have a half vampire half human kid. The plot drive is that that kid's life is being threatened by the Volturi, who are kinda the vampire government, and it's not exactly a democracy. So they bring in a bunch of vampire allies to help stand up against them. It was those other vampires that I really enjoyed.

For one, more time spent introducing and playing with new characters means less time watching Kristen Stewart try and act as hard as she can while Robert Pattinson mumbles and Taylor Lautner seethes. There were a few of those side guys that I actually liked. My favorite was Lee Pace as Garrett. Why could he not have shown up before now? Could we have a whole movie about him? But only if our triangular lovers aren't included. He's the fun and rugged bad boy vampire type that I love. I could see him running with Lestat, Spike, and Damon. Noel Fisher's Vladimir was fun too, bringing some old school style to our motley crew of undead.

There is one thing I hadn't entirely picked up on in the mythology that I do think is kinda cool. With all the vampire movies/books/tv shows I've encountered, one of my favorite things is discovering what rules the particular story in question has established. There's usually some variation of a few core laws with the occassional one off that makes them stand out. Now we all know that Twilight has the worst ever spin on the sunlight thing with the sparkling. But the one that I overlooked, even though it had been mentioned before, is that most vampires have their own "gift". We've known Edward can mindread, Alice can see the future, and Aro can see others' memories. But now we've met someone who can shoot electricity, another with mind control, and someone who controls the elements. Kinda cool. Actually, I'm kinda glad we stopped here. God only knows what other powers Stephenie Meyer would have given to her vamps if the series kept going.

For what it's worth, this was better than the others in the series, but that's not saying much. Had it been a stand alone vampire flick, I'd prolly have thought a bit more highly of it. But it is tainted by the rest of the series. I'm just kinda glad its all over. I hope

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 - \m/ \m/ \m/