Breaking Dawn***SPOILER ALERT***

August 5, 2008 at 12:58 am (Reviews)

So, it goes without saying that fans of the Twilight books who have not yet read the fourth installment in this series should move along so as to not be spoiled. I wish I could say that I read this book without any knowledge of what is to come, but like the true spoiler slut I am, I read the reviews and was VERY concerned with what others had to say. I was even so wigged out by the terrible reader reviews that I considered not reading Breaking Dawn at all. 

How very, very happy I am that I chose to ignore what other fans were saying and actually read the thing myself! 

Stephanie Meyer has been criticised by many of her fans for giving Bella ‘everything’ in this novel. There are howls of protest over who Jacob imprints, over Bella’s rather rapid and shocking transformation from klutzy adolescent girl to mother to vampire, and over the admittedly awkward shift in character perspective throughout the book. 

I think the real problem here is that many of the fans are pissed that they didn’t get the ending THEY wanted. This wasn’t how they wanted Bella to finally join the Cullen family or the closure they wished for Jacob. They expected Ms Meyer to continue along in the same tone of the first three books and somehow find a way to please everybody. 

I’m not going to go into specifics here, but suffice it to say, we all need to remember that these books are FANTASY novels. Realism hasn’t exactly been a big part of the series thus far; why get all bent out of shape over things being more than a bit fantastical? I mean, c’mon kids, how many vampires do YOU know who go to  high school, glitter in the sun like diamonds, and have special powers? Hell, how many vampires do you know PERIOD? 

There have also been complaints that Bella ‘gets everything’ in this book and there’s no sacrifice, which apparently disappoints a lot of the fans. I think she sacrifices plenty, and anyone who really reads this book (especially the scene where Bella gives birth, oy) would be nuts to think Bella has an easy time of things. While children are a blessing and a gift, to suggest that Bella having a baby is a lovely thing, with nothing but rainbows and sweetness and light, in my opinion, the baby she HAS (not to mention her pregnancy *shudders*) is anything but. 

So, to everyone freaking out over this novel, please remember a couple things: the book is not supposed to be realistic, or a morality tale; it is also Ms Meyer’s creation, her baby, and to deride her work in the manner so many are doing is unfair and petty. True fans will appreciate it for what it is and be grateful that we even got a fourth book. 

And I think I need to go read it again; the mark of a perfectly delicious book.

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The Dark Knight

July 25, 2008 at 10:44 pm (Reviews)

 

By now I’m sure EVERYONE and his cat has either seen this film or heard waaaaay too much about it.

Tough luck. I’m about to add my opinion to the zillions flooding the internet. Because I can, and because this film is worthy.

Let me begin by stating that Batman Begins was not my favourite of the franchise. No, it took me several tries to truly appreciate it for what it was (and is): a completely fresh take on the Batman mythology. I really have always been partial to Batman Returns; maybe it’s Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman, maybe it’s Michael Keaton’s last go at the role, maybe it’s the really superb compositions of Danny Elfman. Whatever the reasons, that movie has long been my favourite in the series.

All that changed last Tuesday night. With more than a little trepidation and excitement I sat down to watch Christopher Nolan’s latest offering; would it be dark enough, could Heath Ledger’s Joker live up to the hype, did I care that Rachel Dawes had been recast?

In short, yes, yes, and YES!

Not only was TDK plenty dark enough, with enough gritty realism tossed into the mix to make Mark Burnett stand up and salute, but it was, in my opinion, more of a ‘real’ film than a comic book one. This all ‘could’ happen. Gotham became as real of a city to me as Vancouver, New York, Montreal, etc. I believed in what I was watching, believed that if I went online when I got home, I could book a flight to Gotham and wander the streets, hoping for a glimpse of the world’s most famous vigilante. TDK drew me in and kept me captivated, not only for the duration of the film, but for several hours afterward. My hat’s off to Mr. Nolan; I haven’t had my imagination stirred by a movie like this in years. YEARS. 

The question of whether Heath Ledger’s performance can live up to the hype, well, that really depends on what kind of a viewer you are. Me, I’m a fan of Batman, but not rabidly so. I’m also a fan of Mr. Ledger’s work, also not rabidly so. 

This performance changed all of that for me. For the first time in my LIFE (well, okay, there was this one time when I was little and saw Poltergeist…) I was terrified of a character in a movie. I cringed away from Ledger’s Joker; I didn’t cheer him on, didn’t have a perverse desire to see the villain win. I wanted him put away, locked up, prevented from hurting ANYONE, because you’ve got to know that anyone he hurts is gonna be hurt in a bad way. Ledger nailed it, plain and simple. He made Nicholson’s Joker look like a buffoon by showing us what the Joker was meant to be. He was everything dark and frightening that made me keep the closet door closed at night and fear what might be lurking under my bed as a child. The fact that we will never, ever see what else Ledger was capable of is just another of the tragedies associated with his heartbreaking death just a few months ago. 

It will be a real shame if the undeniably brilliant work of Heath Ledger overshadows the rest of the cast. Christian Bale once again shines as Bruce Wayne; he’s just beginning to come into his own as an actor and I believe that we are in for a real treat when his incarnation of John Connor hits the theatres. 

Aaron Eckhart is a superb Harvey Dent; hardly surprising, since he’s proven himself a highly versatile actorover the years. 

Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman and Michael Caine are, as always, flawless. If there is another movie and these three don’t return I will have a very hard time going to see it. One quick note about Gary Oldman: in all the years he has been my favourite actor (oh so many) it has never been clearer to me that this man is one of the legends of this era. It’s really lovely to see him in the role of a good guy after soooo many ‘baddies’.

The real shocker for me was Maggie Gyllenthal. I knew she was a good actress; I’ve seen some her work. I’ve always enjoyed the fact that she stands out from the crowd and isn’t yet another vapid Hollywood It Girl. None of that prepared me for the fact that she took a role that Katie Holmes DESTROYED (and not in a good way) and created a character I cared about. I wanted her to get her happy ending, I feared for her when she shared the screen with the Joker. 

She made me like Rachel Dawes! She made me incredibly happy that the role was re-cast! Maggie Gyllenthal utterly rocked my socks and I can’t wait to see what she does next. 

So, in closing, I am urging everyone I know to go see this movie. Pay the $12 and get thee to the theatre because it is THAT GOOD. 

And then call me so we can dish.

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