Tag Archives: Twilight

First Look at Ashley Greene in New Horror Film ‘Random’

A lot of actors and actresses get pigeon-holed into certain roles after a while, and after the Twilight movies Ashley Greene is pretty much known as ‘the girl from Twilight’. Whether that’s fair or not, considering it was a popular franchise that has grossed hundreds of millions of dollars with each movie, it tends to overshadow her other roles in The Apparition or even a stint on ABC’s ill-fated Pan Am. With her newest role, she seems to want to shake that and prove she can pull off the villain. First evidence? Try Random‘s first promotional picture below, provided from Entertainment Weekly:

Ashley Greene

This isn’t the Ashley Greene America knows, that’s for sure. In Random, she plays Violet, who is the leader of a group of outcasts that terrorize a college student that is alone on campus during Thanksgiving break. The movie also stars Lucas Till, most recently Havok from X-Men: First Class and Haley Bennett of The Hole and The Haunting of Molly Hartley. Not much is known other than what we have from EW, but Greene made it known that she wanted to inhabit this role, even to the point of pulling a Rooney Mara a la The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and wanting to get the piercings for real. That didn’t happen, but she still managed to research her new role intensely to make sure she brings the right character alive to the screen. She’s definitely got the creepy, emo, goth vibe down so she’s looking on her way when this horror thriller movie comes out later this year.

Naturally, in case you forgot, she does not look like this normally. She did a Sobe ad a few years ago. In body paint. You’re welcome.

Ashley Greene

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Warm Bodies: Trailer for Horror-Comedy Shakes Up The Zombie Genre

Scheduled for a February 2013 release is a movie called Warm Bodies, starring Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer. First glance at the synopsis it seems to be little more than a zombie version of Twilight. Here is the plot overview from IMDB:

After a zombie becomes involved with the girlfriend of one of his victims, their romance sets in motion a sequence of events that might transform the entire lifeless world.

This is not the most ground breaking of plots, and the thought of yet another franchise like Twilight was not something I would be looking forward to at all.

Then the trailers came online and I had to reassess my view.

The film looks fantastic. There is an element of the zombie movie Wasting Away in here. In that movie the zombies could talk to themselves and be understood by other zombies, but humans just heard them as zombies. Here there seems to be some interaction between zombies just bouncing about the place which should be fun. There is also an element of Zombieland in there too, with the inner monologue of the zombie adding a new and exciting element. It seems quite funny with some nice comedic scenes (the zombie doing his monologue then getting lost while doing it springs to mind). I really like the fact that even the zombies have something they are scared of, these uber zombies who will eat anything.

All this adds up to quite a quirky looking film, which hopefully will add some new blood into the zombie genre instead of the standard brain eating creatures. If that does not sell you on the movie, then this should make you take note, you have Rob Corddry (Hot Tub Time Machine) as a zombie and John Malkovich (Red) as a zombie hunter! What a winning combination.

Warm Bodies zombie

Countdown to Halloween #21: Jerry Dandrige

Not many vampires these days really do it for me. You have all of the leather clad Underworld vampires, glittery hipster vampires from Twilight and not much else these days. It’s a far cry from actual threatening vampire menaces from Blade and 30 Days of Night. But, to find a true Vampire lord that added equal parts terror and douchey charm into the horror mix, then look no further than Mr. Jerry Dandrige from Fright Night.

Continue reading Countdown to Halloween #21: Jerry Dandrige

The Dark Knight Rises: New Footage is Still Awesome, Despite MTV

The MTV Movie Awards, which were at least fun when I was younger, have become disgusting examples of what’s wrong with today’s society. Constantly rewarding stupidity over merit and making celebrities out of total tools. They even went so far as to award their ‘prestigious’ BEST MOVIE trophy to Twilight: Breaking Dawn…because they are stupid. That or MTV is confused about the meaning of the word ‘Best’.  To be honest, almost every show on MTV is that way – terrible. Occasionally though, you get a nugget of ‘awesome’ that will drop through. The most recent of these nuggets is the footage shown at the so-called “Award Show’ of the upcoming sure-to-be-a-masterpiece The Dark Knight Rises.

Apparently, as I just learned, it has been taken down, but you can watch the intro (and this one too) with Bale, Levitt, and Oldman.

And so this click isn’t a total waste for you, here are some new pics…

The Hunger Games: The Influences…

With the approaching release of The Hunger Games (March 23rd), I thought it would be a good time to gain (or regain) some perspective on the possible influences on the plot of the much acclaimed book series.  Now, when I first thought of writing on this topic, I took the stance that the book series, written by Susanne Collins, was simply a bastardization of some quality pieces of art and entertainment (not always at the same time). After sharing some of those thoughts with my 7th grade students – Collins target audience – I have realized that many fans of the series are blindly convinced of its originality, as well as the authenticity of the themes and plot of the books. However, they are just as blindly willing to watch or read the various films and novels that have shaped their being.

Before going any further, I know many of you will automatically think, “Nothing is original anymore!” If you want to have that argument, view the profound “Everything Is a Remix” blog. My point here is not to say that unoriginality is terrible, but rather point out possible influences on the forthcoming movie which I think are more interesting and poignant than the young adult novels.

Theseus and the Minotaur

One of the greatest places to find stories to reinvent is from Greek and Roman Mythology. The premise of the hero Theseus running around the Labyrinth contending with a Minotaur as punishment for the wrong-doings of Athens is intriguing. In a Q and A with publisher Scholastic, Collins admitted that the basic premise of a government that sends youths into a battleground as punishment for the past came from the brutal Greek Myth.

This is a pretty clear modernization of that basic premise.

The Running Man (1987)

The next step in forming The Hunger Games is obvious: include the Governator. The basic plot of The Running Man is that a wrongly accused man is set for public execution on television. This is not simply flick of the switch type execution. Rather, the execution is a commercially driven television game show, in which viewers are rewarded with entertainment, and not necessarily justice. The movie is like many Arnie flicks: lots of campy action, one liners, and guilty pleasures. However, the premise is disturbing, and the idea that people gain entertainment from others’ pain and suffering is appalling, if not true to modern times, i.e. Survivor, Mixed Martial Arts, and any “reality” dating, singing, or makeover show.

The connection to Collins’ series is clear: the people in the Capital city of Panem are completely desensitized to the violence of ‘the Hunger Games’, and find the brutal destruction and death to be the greatest form of entertainment.

Battle Royale (2000)

In the near future, 42 students are forced by Japanese legislation to compete in Battle Royale, an all-out three day massacre in which all students are given a random weapon, some meager supplies, and are told that only one student can come out alive.

Sound familiar?

If you haven’t seen Battle Royale, you really shouldn’t be allowed to see The Hunger Games, which will seem like a Disney story in comparison. The violence is disturbing, and the reactions of the students are likely very accurate as to how the masses would act in such a situation. Battle Royale comes across more on the psychological mutilation that occurs within people, and the inhumanity that a government requires to keep control.

Besides these main three, there are many other allusions one could infer from the Hunger Games. These connections are slightly vaguer, and may apply to the second and third books in the series, so my logic may not hold…

Star Wars

Youth becomes the face of rebellion. Youth’s mentor is a has-been, and doesn’t inform youth of all that he knows. Like the fact that his father IS Darth Vader!

Twilight

Love triangle. Which one of the flawless mates will she choose? Bah.

With the success of the publishing of Twilight in 2005, it is not surprising that Collins (who published in 2008) chose the love triangle angle instead of a Romeo and Juliet type.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

The struggles of youths faced with the politics of ‘survival of the fittest’.

Regardless of whether you are a fan of The Hunger Games or not, you’ve got to appreciate many of the themes explored through it and its predecessors. Despite my perpetual pessimism with popular culture, and my want for originality in art and entertainment, I can take solace in how Collins responded to the question: “What do you hope your readers will come away with…?”

Collins: “Questions about how elements of the book might be relevant in their own lives. And, if they’re disturbing, what they might do about them.”