“Let me try and be as direct as I possibly can with you on this. There was no relationship to repair. I didn’t intend for Harvey to buy and release The Immigrant – I thought it was a terrible idea. And I didn’t think he would want the film, and I didn’t think he would like the film. He bought the film without me knowing! He bought it from the equity people who raised the money for me in the States. And I told them it was a terrible idea, but I had no say over the matter. So they sold it to him without my say-so, and with me thinking it was a terrible idea. I was completely correct, but I couldn’t do anything about it. It was not my preference, it was not my choice, I did not want that to happen, I have no relationship with Harvey. So, it’s not like I repaired some relationship, then he screwed me again, and I’m an idiot for trusting him twice! Like I say, you try to distance yourself as much as possible from the immediate response to a movie. With The Immigrant I had final cut. So he knew he couldn’t make me change it. But he applied all the pressure he could, including shelving the film.”
~ James Gray
By David Poland firstname.lastname@example.org
Twilight BD: Part II Premiere Review-ish
I am not a Twilight fan.
I have seen one of the series prior to tonight. #2… which was #2.
But my wife really wanted to go to the CRAZY final premiere and as it turns out, Bill Condon remembered her wish and very kindly made sure we were able to attend.
And I found this film to be a real surprise.
It’s still, as it apparently always has been, a daytime soap opera for a young audience with less sex and more abs on display. I mean, the dialogue is just amazing and then the person who has spoken whatever line it is strikes a pose and the score soars. “I could use a sandwich”… pose… sting! Wall-to-wall music here. Glossy. Pandering. I don’t know whether this film is better because Kristen Stewart is finally allowed to smile, not apologize for being sexual, and kick a little ass… but those elements worked pretty well, certainly compared to reviews of the previous films.
This movie looked a lot better than the Twilight I had previously seen. The wolves, for instance, looked like they were superimposed with major problems with scale and weight. The daylight vampire glow was laughable… like a broken Star Trek transporter. And things just didn’t seem to be done at the highest professional level.
But more to the point, the third act of this last of the (current) Twilight series (this film seemed to be loaded with spin-off possibilities)m kicks ass. I mean… serious ass. I had no idea Bill Condon was capable of great action. And do keep it in context… this is still people flying at each other, wolves running, heads threatened with removal, etc. It’s not reality action. But Condon gives us 20 good minutes of epic, fun, popcorn action.
Yes, it helped that the hysteria in the upper decks at the LA Live theater screamed at pretty much every turn. It was like being on a roller coaster or a Springsteen concert.
But the action in this sequence was truly fun. Big time. And i don’t know any of the characters. (They screamed as each of the characters not from the main group turned up.) Condon did what great action directors know how to do. He got the audience slightly ahead of the punchline of each part of this series of 15 or so specific confrontations between characters. So we could anticipate and have the fun as each specific fight hit its climax. And again, I don’t know who is who and who has what grudge, etc. Didn’t matter.
A bit later, after the film wraps up its narrative, Condon & Co also do a tribute to the entire series, which I found entertaining and charming even without a relationship with this series, aside, perhaps, from a negative one.
It’s not the 3rd act of Titanic. But it’s the kind of thing where the third act actually makes having mocked your way through the first two acts worth the wait.
I have been to plenty of premieres where I was not happy to have been there by the time we’re walking out the doors. But when the credits rolled, I’d had a good time. Never mistake this for a Good Film. But like going to see a horror film or a low-end action movie… it was that kind of good time.