Cinepub


Review: The Twilight Saga: New Moon by Jamie

Spoilers ahead…

Some time last year I took a look at the first ‘Twilight’ film in a double header review with ‘Let The Right One In’. Now it seems as though I came away from that film fairly positively and, whilst I still don’t completely hate the last part of the film, it was written after the first watch and I guess I hadn’t completely taken the film in. On subsequent viewings I have to say that the films flaws stand out more and more and now I certainly wouldn’t recommend renting it like I had back then.

So when last year saw the release of the sequel ‘New Moon’ I pretty much ignored it. The film came and went as it’s defenders screamed at it’s detractors and I tried to just wash my hands of the whole thing. And so life went on New Moonless and I was relatively happy. That was until the Rifftrax crew released their new commentary track for the film. I knew I was fucked.

I love Rifftrax. I love the way they manage to make films like ‘Battlefield Earth’ and ‘Transformers 2’ a thousand times more watchable. They also manage to put me in an awkward situation because I generally like to watch the film sans-Rifftrax beforehand because otherwise you can find yourself drifting off into the admittedly generally shitty plot and missing some sweet jokes. So now I found myself in the position of having to watch ‘New Moon’. Thanks Rifftrax. Vengeance will be mine.

Now, I want to be clear that I’m not hating on Twilight just for the sake of hating on Twilight. I’ve never read the books and so I’m judging purely based on the films. The books might be fantastic, I may give them a look but the movies, in my honest and humble opinion, just aren’t very good. Now the first one still does have some redeemable features as previously stated. One of the things I did quite like was the relationship between a prey animal and predator animal and the problems that entailed. In ‘New Moon’ that’s dealt with again but to no where near the same degree. It’s just sort of there this time serving more as a plot point than contributing in any way to character development. What I’m getting at is the fact that ‘New Moon’ is essentially ‘Twilight’ with all of the redeemable features stripped from it.

There are no likeable characters in this film with the exception of Alice, the precognitive vampire, and Michael Sheen as the head of the Italian council of Vampires, the name of which escapes me. He’s just a great actor no matter what shit he appears in this and his campy, over the top performance is one of the more enjoyable aspects of the piece. The rest of the characters, on the other hand, are either unlikeable, annoying or set dressing.

The worst example of this is the main character Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart (Who by the way it was a total insult to have presenting the special tribute to horror at the Oscars)). There is absolutely nothing to like about Bella in this film. She’s a selfish, whiny bitch who spends the entire film with one expression. And then there’s the way she says her lines. For some bizarre reason she doesn’t seem capable of speaking in full sentences always leaving…… huge pauses before finishing what she was going to say. I mean for fucks sake! Am I meant to be so blown away by the sheer brilliance of the thoughts she is conveying that it takes a few seconds for me to truly think about what she said during the first part of the sentence or something? Seriously, the fact that this movie made me spend around two hours with a character so lacking in depth was like being stabbed repeatedly in the face for the same period of time.

So the other two main characters really ‘worth’ talking about are Edward and Jacob. Right so let’s just sum up Edward by saying he’s barely in this film at all and when he is he’s either a spectral image of himself warning Bella not to risk her life or he’s brooding\upset\sparkling. And that’s it. Not much else to say about him. Jacob, on the other hand, plays a much bigger role in this film and it turns out that he’s a werewolf. Well, kind of. He can just transform into something more akin to the prehistoric Dire Wolf at will. Good for him. I don’t know why these books are primarily named after phases of the night as none of the normal nocturnal rules of these monsters seem to apply in this series.

Still he’s a werewolf and he’s inexplicably attracted to Bella. Now let’s take a little moment to just talk about what werewolves traditionally represent. Now if vampires represent the suave yet dangerous and dark side of sex then werewolves are representative of the dangerous and dark side of mans own savage nature. They are monsters that are very similar in nature to Mr. Hyde or even the Incredible Hulk. They are the raw, base and animalistic side of human nature, instinct over intelligence. And this is touched upon ever so slightly in ‘New Moon’ in what seems more like a throw-away scene about what can happen to a werewolf’s loved one if a werewolf were to get angry and lose control. Meh. The werewolves really serve as nothing more than vampire hunters and I couldn’t really give a fuck about them. If you want a good werewolf film you can certainly do better. Start of with ‘An American Werewolf in London.’ Hell, if you want a good vampire versus werewolf film than the first ‘Underworld’ is better than this. Oh and the CGI werewolves look like shit. The practical werewolf in ‘An American Werewolf in London’ was far more convincing even with it’s weird shuffling method of locomotion.

Anyway Jacob. Well, now that I think about there isn’t really that much to say about him either. All he really does is walk around being brooding\upset\shirtless. Seriously, there’s more brooding in this film than on a poultry farm. HAHAHA… You see because when domesticated fowl sit on their eggs to incubate them it’s called brooding… Oh, fuck off.

So yeah, that’s the characters, if you can really call them that, so what about the plot? Well, just like the first one the plot drags along during the beginning and the middle of the film but then it kinda picks up again during the end. This time though it’s not because action starts to happen it’s purely because of the introduction of Michael Sheen. What can I say? The guy could be playing a man in a coma and I’d probably still find him entertaining.

Now I’d like to, if I may, take a personal moment here to say a massive fuck you to this film. There’s a point in the film where Bella and her friend come out of a zombie film and her stupid cunting bitch of a friend starts basically calling zombie movies shit. She bitches about the social commentary within zombie films regarding consumerism which I can only take as a slam against George A. Romero’s ‘Dawn of the Dead’. Excuse me, movie? Did you just take a shot at not only one of the greatest zombie movies of all time but one of the greatest horror films of all time? The unmitigated gall. Zombie movies have an infinite amount of depth, importance and meaning in one rotted corpse than this shite could ever hope to have. She also claims that zombies are a metaphor for leprosy. Well fuck you, you moronic bitch. Zombies are not a metaphor for leprosy, they are a metaphor for the inevitability of death. You can try and outrun them, you can try and hold up in a store against them but eventually they will get you. Just like death. If I may quote my face book status immediately after seeing this scene “So ‘New Moon’ takes a swing at zombie movies? Well, fuck you New Moon. Fuck you in your stupid, emo, mumbley, incoherent, stupid, barely emotive, pale, sparkly, whiny, bitchy, miserable, annoying, pointless, inexplicably pausey, shitty CGI werewolfy, staccato speech, unlikeable and selfish lead chacatery ass.” I realise I said stupid twice but I was pretty pissed off.

Then they took the piss out of action films and I was left pretty pissed off from there on out.

So yeah, that’s all I care to say about this stupid, stupid film. 1 pint out of 5 and that’s for Michael Sheen.

Now please enjoy this ‘New Moon’ parody and this parody of the trailer for ‘Eclipse’ that I found on YouTube. They’re by JacksFilms



Do The Birthday Cage Rage! by Jamie

Well, today is Nicolas Cage’s 46th Birthday and I completely forgot. So to celebrate here is a video I made a while back of Ragin’ Nic Cage dancing with a bunch of round-headed aliens to ‘Bullet with Butterfly Wings’ by The Smashing Pumpkins aka the song I use as theme for my Cage Rage vids. Enjoy and Happy Birthday, Nic!


Oh, it was originally a YouTube only trailer for the Christmas episode, so you can ignore that coming later this week bit at the end. You can view Episode 1 of Cage Rage here, and Epsiode 2 here



A Very Cage Rage Christmas by Jamie

It’s the most wonderful time of the year to look at a Christmas Cage film. Just click the picture below to play.



Coming Soon… by Jamie
24/11/2009, 2:09 pm
Filed under: Cage Rage | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Coming soon, a new series based on the work of one man…

With many thanks to Ricky for the most awesome logo.



Halloweek: Gremlins 2: The New Batch by Jamie

Gremlins2logo

God, I didn’t realise how much making a new video every day would take out of me. This has become a very, very long week. Anyway, time for part 4 in the Halloweek series, this time Gremlins 2: The New Batch.



Last Year In Film: The Visitor by Jamie

Well I managed to survive the first round of Razzie nominations and it certainly feels good to get back to films with a certain touch of class about them after the likes of ‘Disaster Movie’ and ‘The Love Guru’ and it turns out that ‘The Visitor’ is a very fine film to come back to quality cinema with.

Now I must admit that I had heard about this film some time ago but then I completely forgot about it and, when I came to seeing this I had absolutely no idea what it was. I’d kinda hoped it might have been some kind of sci-fi alien film kinda thing. Or maybe something about a time traveller from a dystopian future. That’d be cool. But as the film went on I remembered what I’d heard about it and realised what it was and I have to admit, I was a little disappointed. I haven’t seen a good sci-fi film since District 9 and that was just over a week ago now. Still I pressed on and watched the film. And wow, was my disappointment completely unfounded.

The story is that of a lonely widowed college economics professor, Walter, who travels to his old apartment in New York in order to present a co-authored paper at a conference only to discover a an immigrant couple living there. Now in the beginning of the film Walter is a, well he’s not exactly a mean man, more an indifferent man, a man who views other human beings in the same way he might view an unfamiliar dog or perhaps a shifty eyed cat. Damn unfamiliar dogs and shifty eyed cats. Unfamiliar dogs and shifty eyed cats killed my parents. True story. Except it isn’t.

Anyway Walter’s life is pretty much turned upside down for the better through the influence of these immigrants, in particular Tarek who begins to teach Walter how to play an African drum, invites him to watch him play at  a Jazz club and takes him to play in a drum circle at what I can only assume is Central Park because I don’t know the name of any other parks in New York.

Walter’s new friendship is threatened all of a sudden when Tarek is arrested at a subway station and taken to a detention centre as an illegal immigrant. Soon Mouna, Tarek’s mother, shows up at Walter’s apartment when she becomes worried that her son hasn’t contacted her in some time. Walter soon begins a friendship with her as well as he tries as hard as he can to get Tarek freed.

The film is steeped with messages regarding the changes in attitude towards illegal immigrants, particularly those of Middle Eastern descent since the events of the 11th of September, 2001. It portrays a rather aggressive Department of Immigration Control treating their detainees as little more than cattle, keeping them locked in a building with no outside area, the closest being a room with no roof. They also randomly move their prisoners to other facilities throughout the country or even have them deported seemingly on a whim without alerting their lawyers.

Despite this definitely being a message film it also has a great story which the message really serves as background for. At the end of the day the tale is about Walter and how his experience with Tarek, his girlfriend Zainab and his mother Mouna all affect his life and, in a way, teach him how to view other people as human beings again.

There are a number of times when the movie strayed dangerously close to being a feel good, mushy story and about an hour through I thought I’d pretty much figured out exactly what was going to happen only to be surprised when the story took a different route, one I certainly wasn’t expecting and that’s definitely a good thing.

The acting is superb with Richard Jenkins as Walter truly making the character and his development absolutely believable and Hiam Abbass is awesome as Mouna, portraying a strong woman who’s absolutely heartbroken at the fact that she can’t even visit her son for fear of being arrested herself and the fact that her sons situation reminds her of her husband’s own predicament as a journalist in Syria, arrested for an article he wrote.

Overall I give this film four pints out of five and I heartily, heartily recommend it. Watch it damn it! Laterz.



Last Year In Film: The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button. by Jamie

Today sees the beginning of a new recurring segment on Cinepub, Last Year In Film. The concept is fairly simple, watching and reviewing all the Oscar and Razzie nominated films of 2008. And I do mean all of them. It’s going to be a massive undertaking and I hope that I can manage to pull it off before the end of the year. With that in mind let’s begin with the backwards-aging, Gumpesque saga known as The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button.

Directed by David Fincher and starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, Benjamin Button tells the strange tell of the titular character who is born with what appear to be the signs of old age. His father, horrified by the baby’s appearance and the fact that it caused him to lose his wife during childbirth, abandons the baby on the steps of a New Orleans old folks home.

It soon becomes clear that Benjamin isn’t just one of those children with that extreme aging illness. Rather it seems as though he is actually aging backwards. Throughout his backwards life he has encounters with many interesting character’s and experiences the odd important historical event. He also experiences loss from a slightly different perspective and seems to gain a unique outlook on death, told as he was how he would die when he was a very young child.

The first thing you notice about this film is just how much it’s like Forrest Gump because that’s pretty much what it is but instead of being a little slow, the protagonist ages backwards. The similarities are striking. There’s a love interest who’s a free spirit who just wants to enjoy youth and not be tied down by their stodgier male counterpart until the good times have to come to an end (In Jenny’s case a son and terminal illness, in Daisy’s a severe leg breakage that ends her dancing career.), There’s the kindly mother figure who will try and do anything for their son and there’s the gruff alcoholic who he goes to war with whilst also being a boat captain and who seems to truly treasure his friendship. Fuck, there’s even a scene where Benjamin declares how he managed to get paid doing something he’d gladly do for free.

Despite all that, however, I really, really enjoyed this film and I think most of it is down to Brad Pitt and the character of Benjamin himself. In Forrest Gump, the character seems to stay exactly the same, almost oblivious to the changing world around him. Benjamin, on the other hand, seems to change quite a bit over the course of the film and, probably due to his odd condition, seems to adapt better to the changing world around him than anyone else. As Benjamin gets younger, he retains the knowledge that he has accumulated over the years and so, when he finally ends up looking like he’s in his twenties, there’s a wisdom in him that his appearance belies. Just like Benjamin himself says when he replies to Daisy’s comment about how young he is: “Only on the outside,”

There is, however, one major problem with this film that I cannot let go of. If you knew a dude who aged backwards is that the kind of thing you’d keep to yourself until you were on your deathbed? Hell no! You’d tell everyone you goddamn knew or at least I would. It’s like surviving the Titanic and never telling anyone about it until some treasure hunters decided to look for some precious stone that nobody knew you owned. Seriously.

Anyway, the special effects are great, the story’s pretty good if somewhat recycled and the acting is pretty much awesome all round and you’ve always gotta love a film that lets you hear the Louisiana accent for prolonged periods of time. I had a little trouble following it at first, unaccustomed as my ears are to it and the fact that my laptop speakers are shit, over the course of the film I got to grips with it. So there you have it. I’m sure some people will find the film a bit slow, maybe even tedious but it kept me pretty much hooked all the way through and the ending where Benjamin is finally going through childhood is truly, truly bittersweet. I’ll give it four pints out of five.

Laterz.




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