The Host

2013: The YA Invasion Continues

If you hadn’t heard, 2013 is the year that a small indie production called The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, starring little-known commercial actress Jennifer Lawrence (am I saying that right?) stormed into theaters. In truth, the massive-scale production, bolstered by a months-long marketing campaign (step into a Subway sometime for a District 12 themed sandwich, because nothing screams “we’re actually starving” like footlongs), has earned over $600M worldwide to date, and is expected to reach $800M by the end of its theatrical run. This is also the year that everyone and their producer attempted to find the next Hunger Games franchise and fell completely, utterly flat. Line ‘em up: The Host, Beautiful Creatures, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, Percy Jackson: The Sea of Monsters and Ender’s Game all tried their hand at making the jump from page to screen, but nothing achieved anything near what Catching Fire created, both in terms of financial success and creative content.

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discs robot chicken dc

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Robot Chicken: DC Comics Special Adult Swim’s Robot Chicken crew set their sites on the world of DC Comics with this special episode, and the results are predictably quite funny. The usual voice talent culprits are along for the fun including show co-creator Seth Green and Breckin Meyer, and they’re joined by the likes of Neil Patrick Harris, Megan Fox, Nathan Fillion and others. Aquaman is an easy and obvious target, but the episode finds some fresh angles on his well justified inferiority complex. If there’s a downside it’s that the show is done in conjunction with DC Comics meaning that they can’t be as mean as they may want to be, but there are still plenty of inappropriate actions and dialogue exchanges within. The episode itself is only 22 minutes long, but the Blu-ray is filled with special features to keep the funny coming for a couple extra hours. [Blu-ray extras: Outtakes, Q&A, commentary, featurette, making of, deleted animatics]

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review host

It’s been difficult to pin down what exactly happened to writer/director Andrew Niccol after his 1997 debut, Gattaca, but theories ranged from him having been replaced with a lookalike to him having had a stroke. A double feature of S1mone and In Time suggests the latter, but what then to make of the film sandwiched between them? Lord of War is a blackly comic morality play that never saw the eyeballs it deserved, but as if he were being punished for creating something thought-provoking, he disappeared for the next six years only to return in 2011 with a legitimately terrible, feature-length wrist-watch commercial starring Justin Timberlake. The release of his latest film sees him once again crafting lazy, simplistic sci-fi, this time adapting a novel by bestselling hack Stephenie Meyer, but in addition to being laughably bad, The Host may actually offer an answer to the question above. What happened to turn the man behind Gattaca and The Truman Show into a seemingly clueless boob who thinks shiny, silver cars and idealized talk about mankind’s value are enough to qualify a film as speculative fiction? Having seen the movie the answer seems so obvious now. An intergalactic jellyfish slipped into a paper cut fifteen years ago, curled up around his brain stem, smothered his creativity, talent and curiosity and then turned his body into a fleshy, bipedal rental car. And Niccol’s been fighting to be heard from the back seat ever since.

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The Host trailer

If there’s one thing that can be said for “Twilight Saga” author Stephenie Meyer, it’s that she tried something new with her first non-“Twilight” book, “The Host.” Emphasis on the tried. The similarities are there – both stories center on leading ladies who don’t fancy themselves to be the leading lady type who somehow get caught up in supernatural-ish plots with wide-reaching implications and, oh, don’t forget those love triangles. Don’t you ever forget those love triangles! But “The Host” was written for a somewhat older-skewing audience, and its aliens-on-earth plot is both more interesting and more well-built than whatever the heck it was that Meyer was going for with “Twilight” (sorry, Twi-hards, really). So why then does Andrew Niccol‘s big screen take on The Host just seem so terribly boring? At least, that’s how it looks in the film’s first long-form trailer. It’s certainly a keener and cleaner look at the film than the very tease-heavy teaser trailer from March, which seemed to hinge almost totally on the viewer’s perceived awareness of the property, but it’s still makes The Host look like Twilight with aliens. Take a look after the break.

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This contest is now closed. All winners will be emailed. Thank you for participating! For fans of Stephenie Meyer‘s “The Twilight Saga” and its cinematic counterparts, saying goodbye to the series when the final film, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 this fall will be tough stuff. Fortunately, Meyer already has a brand new film based on one of her books ready to go, and it’s one that will appeal to both fans of Twilight and those who have never gotten the teen vampire love story craze. Meyer’s “The Host” is a more adult book that explores similar themes to those addressed in “The Twilight Saga,” but with a much more mature spin. Also, there are aliens (a lot of aliens). And a well-sketched post-apocalyptic Earth for them to populate. The film is officially described as “an enchanting and fateful story about the survival of love and the human spirit in a time of war. Our world is invaded by an unseen enemy, humans become hosts for these invaders, their minds taken over, while their bodies remain intact. Most of humanity has succumbed.” The film will star Saoirse Ronan, Diane Kruger, Max Irons, Frances Fisher, William Hurt, Jake Abel, and many more. The Host has been written by Meyer, along with director Andrew Niccol (who knows a thing about dystopian futures, having written and directed Gattaca and In Time and written The Truman Show). To get you ready for The Host the movie, we’re giving away five (5) copies of “The […]

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Though my earlier editorial might have given you the impression that I loathe author Stephenie Meyer‘s works, that’s not necessarily the case, and I am reasonably interested in the next film to translate her books to the screen. Post-“Twilight,” Meyer penned a sci-fi novel called “The Host,” and while it’s no shock that the book is intended to kick off a new franchise, it is somewhat surprising that the book was intended for a more adult crowd and for some more mature lessons than those taught by Bella, Edward, and Jacob. While the book has many of the same issues as “Twilight,” it is a different animal, and its sci-fi bent might be able to lure in even rabid “Twilight” dissenters. Set in the near future, The Host imagines a world that has been taken over by an alien race that, while not overtly violent, are terrifyingly good at destroying whole civilizations. It’s not by war by that these aliens consume other beings – it’s by taking over their bodies and minds like a parasite. One of those aliens, Wanderer (Saoirse Ronan) finds herself confused and dismayed to find that the human she’s taken over (also played by Ronan) won’t let go, turning the two into individual spirits in one body. Bad enough, but still worse when Wanderer/Melanie makes her way to one of the last all-human encampments. The film’s first teaser is a true tease, and certainly won’t offer much to those who are not familiar with the book’s […]

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With the Twilight Saga film franchise (thankfully) wrapping up this year, fans of author Stephenie Meyer are turning their attention to the next film to spring from one of her works. The Host is being adapted from Meyer’s crack at more adult fiction and, while the book itself is a touch more advanced than Twilight, it still relies on some familiar tropes – love triangles, concocted mythology, the somewhat sci-fi, and lots and lots of drama. And now it looks as if the film version (from writer and director Andrew Niccol) will have something else in common with Twi-land – a way too attractive cast. Saoirse Ronan has long been attached to play the lead character of Melanie Stryder, a teenage girl who lives in a future world where Earth has been invaded by an alien race (the Souls) who take over human bodies (a la Invasion of the Body Snatchers), but with a much less nefarious edge to their plan. Melanie is one of the few remaining full humans, and she spends her days on the run with her little brother and her boyfriend Jared (to be played by Max Irons), until she too is caught by the Souls (who are also highly organized) and implanted with one of the parasitic aliens – who eventually goes by the name Wanderer and then Wanda. Of course, Melanie and her memories prove to much even for the experienced alien (who has been implanted in no less than eight other species over […]

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Headphones on. DVD player loaded. Blank page open. That’s right, folks. It’s another edition of Commentary Commentary, our weekly look at a film’s commentary track and all the amazing anecdotes and discernment that come with it. This week we’re going international for the first time here in Commentary Commentary. We’re headed all the way to South Korea and all the way back to 2006. Not exactly sure which of those two settings are further away, but we have them right here on this pressed, metal disc. This week we’re listening to Bong Joon-ho‘s commentary on his monster movie, The Host. Does he end up revealing in it how much he hates everything America stands for? Spoiler alert: he doesn’t, but I’m sure this article isn’t going to help matters. So take a look at what I learned. I suddenly have a craving for Kimchi and Soju.

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Saoirse Ronan is an extremely talented actress which as is often the case means she’s also an extremely busy one. You can see her in theaters now as the title character in the teen assassin film Hanna, and later this year she’ll be book-ending that role alongside Carey Mulligan in the film Violet & Daisy, an independent drama about two teenage assassins who question their own morality when their latest target turns out to be a nice guy. Also in the mix is her rumored involvement in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit and Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina. Many people wanted her to land a role in the Hunger Games adaption, but the news on that film’s casting has been incredibly sparse and any real hope has faded. But she appears to have her eyes on another popular book for young adults… Per Deadline Wackoville, Ronan has signed on to star in an adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s only non-Twilight novel, The Host. The story is about a young girl named Melanie Stryder living in a world where alien invaders called Souls routinely take control of human hosts to erase their memories and turn them into worker bees. Wanderer, the Soul assigned to Melanie, attempts to wipe her mind but it discovers an inner strength that’s both impressive and intriguing. Wanderer’s newfound interest in this particular human leads to some surprising discoveries for them both. Interestingly, Ronan will apparently be playing the roles of Melanie and Wanderer. Andrew Niccol has completed a script […]

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This week, Landon uses a trip to the bar to watch the World Cup as a catalyst for discussing nationality (and a lack of it) in films throughout the last 60 years – culminating in a look of the broad, international flavor (and financing) of modern films.

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I’ll be foregoing my usual snark in favor of presenting a simple community service message. If you live in NYC, or will be visiting next weekend, or live near enough to commute in to the city… then your plans are set for the last week of February.

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stepheniemeyer-header

Twilight author Stephenie Meyer could probably retire with the money she will surely make off of her hit tween vampire series, but it seems as though she’s not satisfied with that.

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blood

We hand pick 10 of the deadliest, most badass monsters to ever grace the silver screen, then toss those out and substitute our favorites.

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The Host

Bong Joon-ho’s blockbuster 2006 film, The Host, has found a home for its inevitable US remake. Gore Verbinski has brought the film to Universal Pictures.

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The Host

Although the project is unnamed as of yet, Variety seems to have an incredibly detailed description of its projected plot, reporting that the movie will revolve around a “calamity” that ensues when “people ignore a monster due to their desire for money.”

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The best monster movie of the decade is set to get the sequel treatment next year… And no, we aren’t talking Cloverfield.

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Forget about all the blockbusters of summer, here are ten films that hit DVD shelves in 2007 that you should be discovering.

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Air Guitar Nation

As we begin our year in review, it is important to look back at some of the films that most people missed along the way.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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