Billy Burke

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2

As someone who’s somehow resisted the pull of Stephenie Meyer‘s Twilight books but has seen all five films, I feel confident saying the first three movies (Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse) exist on a sliding scale of awfulness. They’re bland, lacking in anything resembling emotion or humanity, poorly acted, terribly written and insulting to the concepts of free will, family, gender equality, canine care, individuality and love itself. Breaking Dawn Part 1 changed some of that for the better. The themes were still offensive to rational people who prefer a uterus be connected to a functioning and free-spirited brain, but director Bill Condon managed to inject a degree of humor and zaniness to the proceedings that embraced the entertainment value inherent in the story but missing from the earlier films. Basically, he made it fun. And thankfully, he returned to helm part 2. To recap part 1, Bella (Kristen Stewart) the human and Edward (Robert Pattinson) the vampire have married, fornicated and given birth to a baby they felt it necessary to name Renesmee. While still a fetus the little scamp had sucked the life from its mother leading to Bella’s death shortly after Edward decided to perform an emergency Cesarean with his teeth. He acts quickly and bites her again, this time in an attempt to save her life by turning her into a bloodsucker, and it works. She opens her inhuman, crimson eyes, and the credits roll. Oh, and Jacob (Taylor Lautner) the werewolf pees on Bella’s newborn daughter […]

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr dresses up in layers and layers of rain gear to brave the estrogen storm that comes with the showing of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part I. After enduring that non-masterpiece, he dances down a few screening rooms to watch the new Happy Feet movie. Confounded by the gelatinous goop that masquerades as movies this weekend in American cinema, Kevin eventually curls up in a ball and softly weeps.

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Charles Matthau’s upcoming adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel Freaky Deaky was all set to be a star studded, A-list affair. First, it scooped up William H, Macy in a starring role. Solid, sturdy, that’s a good choice. Then it began filling out the ranks of its cast with big names put in supporting roles. Matt Dillon, Brendan Fraser, Craig Robinson, they were all on board, and it was looking like this could end up being a big hit like one of Leonard’s other page to screen adaptations, Get Shorty. But then, suddenly, the entire cast dropped out of the pic and were recast with names that are more, uh… B-list. Uh-oh, that can’t be a good sign.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr finds himself behind enemy lines in Los Angeles. At first, he thought he was the victim of an alien invasion, but then he realized he was just in South Central wearing the wrong colors. Fortunately, Aaron Eckhart came to his rescue. This gave him a chance to put on a red cloak and skip through the woods, searching for Amanda Seyfried. He then capped off the week sneaking on a NASA flight to Mars wearing only boxer shorts, a T-shirt and a space helmet. He plans to return soon because that kind of makeshift space suit worked for the folks in Mars Needs Moms. Don’t wait up, though.

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Red Riding Hood is the single most confusing movie-going experience of the last decade. The movie itself is not confusing. No, no. Far from it. The movie itself is about as straightforward as it gets. The characters all say either exactly what’s happening or exactly what’s on their minds pretty much at all times. It’s the few moments of pure storytelling inspiration, cliche-busting plot turns, and great performances amidst a sea of terrible that’s completely baffling. How can things that great be involved in something so awful?

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr snubs his nose at all the films up for the Oscar in order to enjoy the R-rated smorgasbord that is available in the theaters. He kisses his wife and takes six days off from marriage, just like Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis in Hall Pass. He takes those six days to find a fast car so he can Drive Angry, following Amber Heard and her short shorts in 3D. Apparently no one told him she’s a lesbian now.

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Twilight Eclipse

In this line of work, there often comes a time when the ability to be objective comes in handy. When it feels great to throw away prejudgments and biases and give a movie a chance, no matter how bad its bloodline may be. Such is the case with The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. There’s bad blood in this family — really bad blood — in the form of two films that were poorly constructed and shoddily executed on just about every level. But like any interesting rebellious child, Eclipse breaks the mold at the hands of a craftsman. It becomes something new — something oddly watchable, at times enjoyable and surprisingly unlike what has come before.

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