Taylor Lautner

grownups2-05

I haven’t seen the first Grown Ups. I never had the desire to. But I took the bullet for the team and saw Grown Ups 2 anyway. Nobody else had the desire to. I understand the stigma here. If you know you don’t like Adam Sandler and Co., you probably won’t like this one. You likely didn’t see the original either. But many did. At $271m, it’s the highest grossing movie worldwide for both Sandler and his production company, Happy Madison. That doesn’t mean people liked it (gross doesn’t actually account for taste), but they made a sequel regardless. And I know at least some people liked this one. At the screening I attended, mostly including non-press, there was a fairly continuous roar of laughter. As for me, all I can say is I didn’t dislike it. It astounded me too much with its nonsense, and it’s not nearly as offensive as I’d anticipated. So I have no real issue with it. I might have even smiled once or twice at something ridiculous. This is a movie that opens with Sandler’s character, Lenny, waking up to the sight of a big buck deer staring back at him in his bedroom. His wife (Salma Hayek) sees it, screams and the animal rears and then pisses in Sandler’s face. They chase it around the house, it eats the dog’s food, pisses again on Lenny’s showering/masturbating teen son and then finally exits through the front door, which had been left open all night. […]

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Drinking Games

Well, folks, it’s finally over. The Twilight Saga rang its final bell this past weekend with the release of Breaking Dawn: Part II on DVD and Blu-ray. Chances are, the fans out there have already secured a copy and have had it on a continuous loop since it hit the streets. If you happen to be the significant other (or father or super good best friend) with a Twi-hard making you watch the last installment in the franchise, you’ll want to knock back a couple drinks in the process. Raise your glass to the end of an era, an end of a franchise, and an end of body glitter in the multiplex.

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commentary-breakingdawn

Well, Twi-hards, with the release of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part II on DVD and Blu-ray this week, the series has come to a final close. (That is, of course, until Lionsgate decides to reboot the franchise or Stephenie Meyer cranks out more stories in this universe. ‘Cause we all know that’s gonna happen soon enough.) To help tie the final two chapters of the saga together, Lionsgate has also released the extended edition of Breaking Dawn – Part I. Both movies feature a commentary by director Bill Condon. Now don’t worry too much. While I (and many of the writers here at Film School Rejects) am not a fan of the series at all, I can respect the fan base. This won’t be a lengthy article goofing on the flaws of the series. Instead, let’s break down what the director has to say about wrapping up the series with a one-two punch of the final book brought to life on the big screen. And on to the commentaries…

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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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Drinking Games

The wait is over. The saga is nearly complete. The second half of Breaking Dawn comes to theaters this week, and the estrogen will flow. Twi-hards and Twi-moms around the world will be watching all four Twilight films leading up to the sure-to-be unepic conclusion. You may be forced to sit through one – or all – of these films before attending a showing of the new film this weekend. If that sounds like hell on Earth, you might want to have a drink… or two… or fourteen while watching the films with your significant other.

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Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2 Jacob and Renesmee

I’ve made no secret of my slight distaste for the Twilight franchise. In fact I’m pretty sure some of my previous maligning comments will come in handy should you ever need to eat through the various hulls of The Nostromo. However, it’s fair to say these movies make a decent amount of money. It probably has something to do with, um, well, wow, look at all that money it makes! As we approach the release of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, because a story that epic is demanding of two movies which together comprise one giant disaster, whispers are already being shouted that the studio is planning to reboot the series once it takes it final, excruciatingly slow, bow. If you ask me, and we know you didn’t, Summit’s pathetic ploy to hold onto this cash cow long after it’s fully milked plan will require of a vastly different approach to “filmmaking” than the one to which we’ve heretofore been subjected. If I had to come up with five ideas for the Twilight franchise reVAMP, I’d write this piece I was assigned and categorize them thusly…

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In a year featuring new movies from Wes Anderson, Christopher Nolan, Rian Johnson, Paul Thomas Anderson, Joss Whedon, John Hillcoat, David Cronenberg and Quentin Tarantino, there are some people whose most anticipated film of 2012 is The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2. Think about that for a minute. Now that you’re thoroughly disgusted with the youth of the world we can move on to watching the first trailer for the final Twilight film. I say final, but rumors of franchise reboots, 3-D conversion re-releases, spin-offs focused on Jacob’s urge to leg-hump Renesmee, and the possibility that series author Stephenie Meyer may pen another sequel mean this beast will probably never die. Breaking Dawn – Part 2 picks up the action with Bella (Kristen Stewart) having been turned into a vampire by Edward (Robert Pattinson) in order to save her life. She thrives on her new powers, and the happy couple watch in joy as their daughter Renesmee grows at an alarming rate. Just try to imagine clothes shopping for this kid… you buy her a Hunger Games t-shirt only to see her outgrow it by the time you return from the mall. It’s hard to be a vampire! More pressing than wardrobe issues though is the news that the mod vampires in Italy, the Volturi, have declared the child an abomination that must be destroyed. I haven’t read the books, but I can only hope that the ensuing epic battle will be Neville Longbottom’s chance to shine. Check […]

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You have to admire the dedication of Taylor Lautner‘s team – they are convinced that they can turn the leader of Twilight‘s Wolf Pack into an action powerhouse. While he won’t be our Stretch Armstrong, and despite last year’s news that he was joining up with Gus Van Sant for more brainy films, Lautner has signed on for yet another seemingly stupid action flick (shades of Abduction). However, this one just might end up being, at the very least, wildly amusing. A press release from this morning reveals that Lautner will star in action thriller Tracers, which FilmNation will be selling to international buyers at the Cannes Film Festival. The film will be directed by Daniel Benmayor (whose resume includes just two films, neither of which I’ve ever heard of, Paintball and Bruc, the Manhunt) and produced by Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey (who have also produced the Twilight films). The film unites two thrilling, action-packed diversions that no one actually cares about – bike messengering and parkour.

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Have no fear, internet. April Fool’s Day is over, and (probably since it fell on a Sunday) the laundry list of fake casting announcements and crap development deals was relatively short. You can still check out our Print Edition of Film School Rejects, but here are a few good, bad and grotesque fakes that might need some clarification alongside a few geek products that should be real in a fair universe.

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The first teaser for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 was anemic not only because it was for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, but because it was a confused flash of nothing. The first full tease is 49 seconds that expands on that nothingness, but it still manages to make Kristen Stewart‘s Bella super creepy as her eyes glow a vampiric red as she stares down a poor defenseless deer. As the movie before it attempted shock with its WTF attitude toward bed-breaking sex, it looks like this one wants to solve an age-old mystery: Bella Swan killed Bambi’s mother. Check it out:

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Teasers are supposed to do something more than simply remind everyone that a movie is about to come out right? They’re supposed to get the blood flowing. They’re supposed to provide some foreplay. I guess it makes sense that after your main characters have already had sex, there’s no need for that, but this new teaser for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 is confusingly short, choppy and creates a desperate need to scratch your head (not necessarily a desperate need to see the movie). See for yourself:

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Hasbro saw dollar signs after Transformers, and they’ve gotten greedy. It’s one thing to take toy robots and convert them into movie stars, but projects like Monopoly and Ouija Board sounded too ridiculous (and non-cinematic) to make the transition. First, Universal backed out of a new Clue, then the Ouija Board movie, then Monopoly and now they’re getting out of another project born from their toymaker partnership. According to Deadline Deltino, Stretch Armstrong is dead at Universal. The project, like the flour-filled rubber toy, would have starred Taylor Lautner with Rob Letterman set to direct. Speculating on the reasons is futile and a waste of the time we could all spend celebrating. Universal may be regretting that major Hasbro deal now, but they’re wising up to the shifting needs of an audience that wants story and not plastic. The project isn’t completely done, though. It’s found a home over at Relativity Media – which is sort of sad considering the risk-taking that studio has done in the past few years. This, of course, is a risk of a different kind. It’s a formula that only appears to work these days. It’s a project that has all the elements for success, but doesn’t pass the smell test in the first place. The new press release from Relativity also doesn’t include anything about Lautner or Letterman. Looks like they’re officially done with Stretch as well. If only everyone were. Hopefully this doesn’t hurt the chances of a Happy Fun Ball movie. That […]

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Culture Warrior

When I purchased my ticket for the Thursday night midnight show of Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part 1, I had no idea what I was in for; not because I hadn’t seen any of the previous Twilight films – I have, in fact, seen them all – but because I had never seen a Twilight film in a theater before, much less on opening night. The Twilight subculture befuddles me, as I’m sure it does any non-initiate of the series. Having seen all the films, I still feel like I’m viewing them from afar, like it’s some strange anthropological project of a phenomenon whose worth and value I will never fully understand. Twilight seems to encapsulate the drastic changes that have taken place in big-budget event filmmaking in the last thirty years. Rather than a film made with the intent of mass appeal (like franchises ranging from Indiana Jones to Jason Bourne), the Twilight films play almost exclusively to a specific – but dedicated – demographic. Of course, one could make this argument about many film franchises. Everything from Star Trek to The Dark Knight certainly have rabid fanbases at their core, but the audiences for these films seem to be “filled in” with a significant amount of casual fans. For example, I once viewed the Harry Potter films similarly to the way I now approach Twilight – not in terms of filmmaking quality, mind you, but in terms of being a cult phenomenon surrounding a fictional narrative that I […]

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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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As the “worldwide phenomenon” that is The Twilight Saga of films (adapted from Stephenie Meyer‘s equally as popular and blockbuster-selling quartet of novels) has progressed through the years, it has become increasingly difficult for those not already inoculated into the cult of human-vampire-werewolf love triangles to process, enjoy, and understand just exactly what they’re seeing on screen. Which is a nice way of saying that the tale of Bella Swan, Edward Cullen, Jacob Black, and a whole mess of other humans and mythological creatures has spiraled almost totally and nonsensically out of control. Following their star-crossed high school courtship, unsteady human Bella (Kristen Stewart) and her smoothie vampire suitor (Robert Pattinson) have decided to take things to the next level. For most eighteen-year-olds (or ostensible eighteen-year-olds with Edward’s immortal appearance), that would mean getting down in the carnal sense – but for Edward and Bella, that means getting married (his choice) so that Bella can finally be turned to match her lover and his family (her choice). These are certainly big decisions for a girl who is barely an adult, but they’re made immeasurably more difficult by a hairy problem – teen werewolf Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), who is just as in love with Bella as Edward is. That’s The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 in a straight-faced nutshell. Yet, even fans of the series must admit that the final entry into Meyer’s series is absolutely crammed with elements that, at their best, could be described as bizarre. […]

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People best know Taylor Lautner for running around in jean shorts with no shirt on as the werewolf in the Twilight series, but that’s not all the actor has to offer. It turns out cutoffs and glistening abs aren’t what defines him, he contains multitudes. In order to branch out a bit and diversify his portfolio, Lautner is going to produce and star in his next film, which is going to be smaller, and more indie. Lautner and his production company Quick Six have acquired an article that appeared in ‘The New Yorker,” and if that isn’t indie sounding enough for you, he’s hired indie legend Gus Van Sant to come on and direct. Sources say that after the relative failure of his big budget starring vehicle Abduction, Lautner is looking to take his career in a different direction, away from being a big name action star. From this point on he only intends on working on projects that involve the best writers and the best directors. I’d say that getting Van Sant on board is a good start to that goal, so it will be interesting to see who he hires to adapt the “New Yorker” article. Putting together dream projects that you can star in isn’t a luxury that a lot of young actors have, it must be nice to be sitting on all that Twilight money. A lot of people are probably going to view his decision to only work with top people as presumptuous, but I […]

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr decides he’s going to learn history from Hollywood. After all, why not when three out of the four major releases are based on or inspired by a true story. He learns about the true history of baseball with Moneyball (and was sorely disappointed it wasn’t called Monkeyball because a movie about monkeys playing baseball would have been awesome). Then he learns all he needs to know about marine mammals and depressed children in Dolphin Tale. Finally, he faces the cadres of screaming tweenage girls to see Taylor Lautner in ABduction. That’s based on a true story, right?

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s not messing about. Just doin’ the news. We begin tonight with one of many new images from The Adventures of Tintin. For one of those motion capture, lost in the shadow of the uncanny valley movies, this looks pretty slick. Finally we get to see Andy Serkis act in a movie. Or not.

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According to John Singleton, Abduction was built specifically to show off Taylor Lautner as an action star, to groom him as the next generation’s Tom Cruise. That’s no easy task, and the trailer isn’t helping. While most directors might daydream about the financial opportunity to build a franchise, Singleton doesn’t seem so restricted. According to the LA Times, the director is assuring fans that he’ll be working on Abduction 2 no matter what the box office says. Granted, the way it’s asked and answered, it seems more like he can’t conceive of a bad box office showing for the film – he seems cocksure that audiences will award him a second film. No word yet on how Lionsgate feels about it, since he’ll probably need some money to make another movie.

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Let’s just be honest here – if you’re into The Twilight Saga, you’re into it. If you’re not into it, well, you’re probably pretty into making fun of it. Luckily for both factions of fanhood, today’s first full-length trailer for the penultimate entry into the massively popular film franchise based on Stephenie Meyer‘s massively popular book series, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1, delivers everything that anyone could want from it – showcasing some of the film’s most important scenes (you better believe it’s wedding-heavy), alongside some truly boggling facial expressions. It’s, in short, just as vampire batshit crazy as the rest of the franchise has been so far. Maybe even more. Sink your teeth into the first full trailer for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 after the break.

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