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Comics of Asian Descent Put Themselves Onstage via @NYTimes

Stephenie Meyer Archives -

Stephenie Meyer Archives -

Mariana Dussan


2013/03/29 at 12:00am

The Host

The Host


After her fame with the “The Twilight Saga” author Stephenie Meyers is at it again, this time with director Andrew Niccols (Gattaca), with another one of her best selling novels, “The Host.” Now the questions lingering in everyone’s mind are: will it do as well at the box office as it did in print and will it outshine its predecessor? 


This film definitely has a chance to do well at the theater because fans are going to want to see the book come alive right before their eyes in addition, the movie will attract a lot of the established “Twilight” and Meyers fan base. It will do well enough that who cares if it doesn’t reach the cult following that “Twilight” did because it’s a pretty good flick. 


After having a chance to catch the film myself, it was obvious that it targets as a main audience girls and young women, but does it do it successfully? Hell yes! It definitely has all the ingredients plus a little extra sazón to maybe even pick up a few extra audience members outside the targeted circles. 


The movie is a romantic sci-fi that tells a story about an alien race called the Souls that have invaded Earth and transformed the planet into a safe, clean and peaceful world. In order to rule, they take over human bodies erasing their memories and using them as hosts. The Souls look like very delicate balls of light with thousands of waving antennas, once they settle into a body the person’s eye’s turn a piercing blue.


Although most of the human race has been eradicated, there are a few that still survive. Melanie Stryder, the star of the film played brilliantly by the young Saoirse Ronan, is one of the few that has lived on in hiding with her little brother Jamie (Chandler Canterbury) and boyfriend Jared (Max Irons). The love between Melanie and Jared alone will drive all of the chicks to the theater. It’s the young, raw and crazy passionate kind most girls dream of with all of the cheesy kissing scenes you could ever imagine included – yes they kiss in the rain and yes they kiss under the moonlight. 


Like every good plot there has to be a villain, this time is the Soul seeker played magnificently by Diane Kruger, who searches for and provides the human bodies. She plays a control freak determined to catch every human even if she has to harm them. Kruger does such a great job of being the bad-guy that you cannot help but to hate her guts every second, the combination of her ethereal beauty and bitchy attitude just work and she is definitely part of that something extra that may bring some male viewers to the film. In an interview with the young studs of the cast, Max Irons and Jake Abel who plays Ian, both said that one of the hottest part of the film is the gorgeous Kruger driving a chrome plated Lotus Evora (a high performance sports vehicle). 


While looking for more humans the seeker and her team capture Melanie and implant her with a Soul by the name of Wanderer. Melanie refusing to fade away and give up her body fights back from within to protect and be able to once again see her loved ones.


What I loved most about the film was the beautiful scenery. The film was shot between the swamps of Louisiana and the New Mexico desert. The camera captures the cold and muggy feeling of the swamps, and the rich blue sky and warm orange tint of the sand in the desert so vividly that I felt part of the film. My whole experience was only heightened by the smooth and emotional sound track. 


To me, the only let down of the film was the end. It felt very unnecessary and out of left field but because the overall movie was so great I am definitely letting that one slide.


In an interview I had with Stephenie Meyers this week, she emphasized that although this is a sci-fi film, it is a human story first. It is a story that surpasses race, gender, and age and I have to say I agree with her because there were elements of the film I identified with. Whether Meyers meant to do this or not she has very strong and kick-ass female characters playing the villain and the hero which I, as a woman and a Latina, look up to and admire. I think Ronan and Kruger are the driving force of the movie. On a side note I have to admit I also connected with all the sappiness because who doesn’t want a romance like that?!


So in the end should you spend your time and money on this film? YES! It was a really enjoyable movie experience filled with action, fear, affection, sympathy, loyalty and friendship played by cast of beautiful women and handsome gents that give themselves over to their characters. 


Karen Posada


2012/11/15 at 12:00am

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2

Well it is finally here, the end of ‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -Part 2’, something the fans of the books have been waiting for seven years when the first “Twilight” book came out, for the movie fans it has been a four year investment. This series has taken the world by storm and it certainly goes out with a bang. Bill Codon who also directed ‘Part 1’ improves the story almost making it his own with the help of scriptwriter Melissa Rosenberg.  The people in the theater I watched the movie with couldn’t contain their excitement, they began cheering when the credits began to roll in the introduction and I knew it would be hard for them to walk out of the theater hating the outcome of the film. This is the best movie out of the whole franchise, for the fans of both the books and the movies this will not be a disappointment, the director is truthful to the source material while enhancing some of the scenes for the good of the film.


The movie picks up right after Renesmee’s (Mackenzie Foy) birth, Bella (Kristen Stewart) is starting her new life as a vampire and her husband Edward (Robert Pattinson) couldn’t be more thrilled. After dealing with some issues with Jacob (Taylor Lautner), The Cullens and the wolves live in harmony, but not for long. Once again they find themselves in trouble with the Volturi who threaten to harm Renesmee. In order to save her The Cullens decide to call upon their acquaintances for support. 


The fourth book(half already explained in Breaking Dawn-part 1) has the most concepts that are far-fetched and hard to accept, so seeing them play out in the big screen makes many people laugh although that’s not their purpose; I admit a lot of them are ridiculous and this coming from someone who loved all four books. It tries to explain imprinting, superpowers, immortal children and some vampire history. The tension some scenes are meant to have are laughable, because of the soap opera element the series has always held and although these actors have shown they can act in other movies, here they haven’t improved much as a lot of the lines they deliver feel flat and emotionless. Since the story gets more complicated Bella becomes a narrator throughout the movie, which is a little off-putting but does help, especially for those not familiar with the books. Renesmee is a computerized baby and as weird as she looks I understand why they couldn’t use a real baby, since she’s described as a unique child and she’s more advanced than a regular baby. But as she grows they continue to use a computerized face, which I thought was unnecessary because they seemed to be using Foy’s body, but finally towards the middle of the film we get to see Foy’s real face.


If you are seeing this final chapter then you are clearly a fan and are willing to open your mind to the new concepts. There’s just not comparison with the first film of the franchise and this last one, as they both have completely different budgets and directors, and it shows. The introduction to the film is a blend of beautiful white and red backgrounds that set the stage for the film. The camera work does a great job at showing the different world Bella lives in and how acute her senses are. It perfectly shows how Bella feels and the audience had fun laughing at things that were expected and are overacted such as an argument between Bella and Jacob, because of his imprinting. This has a lot more intended and unintended humor than the other films and everyone seemed to enjoy that. This is no longer a film for teenagers but more so for young adults, the sex scenes get even hotter than the last film and the jokes are also a bit more mature.


Everyone was excited about seeing their favorite vampires once more, The Cullens: Carlisle (Peter Facinelli), Esme (Elizabeth Reaser), Alice (Ashley Greene), Jasper (Jackson Rathbone), Emmett (Kellan Lutz) and Rosalie (Nikki Reed). This movie introduces a whole new set that the audience was just as static about, I won’t name all, but the ones that certainly stood out were: Irina (Maggie Grace), Jane (Dakota Fanning), Elazar (Christian Camargo) and Zafrina (Judith Shekoni). Seeing them all come together is what makes this movie, their preparation for the stand off against the Volturi is entertaining, but the final scene when the tension builds and no one knows what will happen will take everyone in the theater by surprise.


I couldn’t have imagined a better way for the franchise to end, although I read the books it was refreshing to see what the director did with what he was handed. The crystal clear images of the beautiful setting add a nostalgic and memorable tone to the film. There are some scenes where you can clearly see the CGI, but they are easy to overlook, the baby is one of the toughest ones to get used to though. For anybody that’s ever enjoyed this story whether it was in print or the big screen, get ready to live out this last chapter in a more sophisticated, fun and thrilling way than all the other chapters.  

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