Movie Review: The Host (2013)

368243

Plot: When an unseen enemy threatens mankind by taking over their bodies and erasing their memories, Melanie will risk everything to protect the people she cares most about, proving that love can conquer all in a dangerous new world.

The Host is again one of the movies where the Internet and I do not see eye to eye. Based on the Sci-Fi/dystopian novel of the same name by Stephanie Meyer, The Host was released in the time where the Twilight craze was full blown. It’s not hard to see what the grand plan was here – the producers hoped the Twilight hype was enough to draw crowds for The Host. That didn’t happen – I don’t think the majority of the Twilight fan base would even appreciate Melanie Stryder – she’s way more independent than the ever whiney and spineless Bella Swan. The Host is also not strong enough to stand as a Science Fiction film, and any hardcore SciFi fan would be irritated by the predominantly romantic and schmaltzy moments between the lead characters. So while The Host failed rather in the eyes of the public, I enjoyed it.

Before I typically start only discussing characters again – let’s just talk about how dark the whole essence of The Host is. Humans being infected with aliens and their souls dying out while they are trapped in their bodies?Brutal man.

DI-The-Host

Also, there were some great scenery – the barren landscapes are gorgeous, contrasted sharply with the world environment created by the alien species. The CGI was also neat. The being network thing was beautiful to behold. The cave that was transformed by Jeb is also amazing to behold, and the harvest nearly angelical in its’ existence.

Saoirse Ronan ( Melanie / Wanda) en 'THE HOST (La huésped)', basada en la obra de Stephenie Meyer

I’m a big Saoirse Ronan fan – the girl can act life into any character. She applies subtle changes to her impressions of Wanda and Melanie, and can appear slightly alien and very human alternately. There is naturally a bit of a love triangle – it wouldn’t be a Meyer book without it – and Max Irons and Jake Abel, who star as Jared Howe and Ian O’Shea, seem at times a bit bemused by how they ended up in this film, and also comes across as unconvinced and bored, but that doesn’t stop them from being smoldering and sexy love interests when they must. I did enjoy Diane Kruger as The Seeker – the character is such a big pain in the ass, and proves not all the beings are as benign as Wanderer claims. It took me some time to place Frances Fisher – she’s Rose’s mom in Titanic – and I think she could have been worked in more frequently into the film with her character serving as the voice of doubt. William Hurt as Jeb was also fun, with some good one-liners that I enjoyed. Kidlet Chandler Canterbury as Jamie Stryder was likely the weakest performance – he was unconvincing and wasn’t really capable of acting out the role, I’ve seen other kids do much better work with similar source material.

-The-Host-movie-companion-pictures-jared-howe-32831037-1200-900

The Host focuses mostly on the romance and very little on the actual story – which is quite interesting and thus a shame. However, I do enjoy the romance part as I have a marshmallow heart underneath it all. The movie could have been better planned and executed, but overall I can see myself watching it again. That is the most important part of entertainment, right?

Rating: 6.5/10

host

 

Movie Review: Inglorious Basterds (2009)

inglorious basterds

Plot:In Nazi-occupied France during World War II, a plan to assassinate Nazi leaders by a group of Jewish U.S. soldiers coincides with a theatre owner’s vengeful plans for the same.

Rating: 9.5/10

So, I’m saying this at the start so I can get this off my chest: Is there anything more rewarding to a movie lover than an excellent film? I don’t think so, for very obvious reasons. I’m going to try and write out something for this but if you get halfway and decide that I sound like a lunatic, know that I loved this really really really.

Anyway, I can’t believe it took me so incredibly long to get to this. My sister, who really hates violence in movies, told me about the horrendous scalpings and I steered quite clear. I knew I should give it a try when my Bestie said that she thought I would like it a lot (and threatened to scalp ME if I didn’t educate myself in the Tarantino-business).

IB

It is madly intense. The first opening scene is a nail biter and Christoph Waltz is utterly charming and utterly terrifying. He seems so calm and pleased about being called the “Jew Hunter” that you can’t help but wonder if he is truly insane, whether he is very cruel or incredibly ambitious. Honestly, I think the character is all three.

Then there is Mr. Waltz himself, who speaks English with the clear precision that people who aren’t speaking their first language use. Hearing his voice is so lovely. I can also sit and listen to him for days speaking in his native German. Gosh.

bawnjourno

Then there is Mr. Bawnjourno Brad Pitt. It is so obvious that he is having the time of his life on set – he is so cocky, that ridiculous accent, the exaggerated mustache and the BAWNJOURNO. I’m still laughing my ass off at it every time I remember.

I also really cheered for the strong female characters, most notable Shoshanna Dreyfus. Melanie Laurent did an absolutely fantastic job with her portrayal as our Jewish heroine. She manages to portray that innate classiness of French woman while accurately expressing her dislike in anything Nazi.

Inglorious basterds 2

I’ve discovered the following thing that I love about Tarantino: He is able to address heavy subject matter in a way that still has a few laughs but it never takes away that he is acutely aware of the atrocities he is addressing. He never shies away from a taboo subject and he never lends sympathy to the oppressors. Inglorious Basterds is such a film – I can’t even say the Nazis were terrible because that is too tame a word. IB does nothing to diminish that fact and shows through a little bit of humor and a whole lot of crazy what the Nazis were and how wonderful it would have been if the war had ended in such a way.

So, I hope you take it that I loved the film – if you haven’t seen it yet, put it on your Blindspot list and get it done!

#bawnjourno

Movie Review: The Host (2013)

The host poster

PLOT: When an unseen enemy threatens mankind by taking over their bodies and erasing their memories, Melanie will risk everything to protect the people she cares most about, proving that love can conquer all in a dangerous new world

Rating: 7/10

The Host is certainly better than its Rotten Tomatoes (8%) would suggest. A closer but probably still unfair score is the one IMDb (5.9/10) gifted it with.

The Host is adapted from a Stephanie Meyer novel of the same name. If you could ever possibly forget who that it, let me remind you; oh cave dweller: Mrs. Meyer is the author who penned the Twilight saga, those books who startlingly get more derision directed towards it than Fifty Shades of Grey does.

Apparently Meyer wrote this book between all the Twilight books, probably just to shake off that vague feeling that she was corrupting the minds of young women. Although I can’t begin to claim that I am educated in the science fiction world I do think that the story is interesting enough and I find the thought of these odd creatures inhabiting humans vaguely interesting and somewhat disturbing.

 The host 1

The Host was refreshingly devoid of a love triangle debacle and I liked that plenty. It has another issue that would have me screaming for a psychologist – Melanie is in love with her Jared but Wanda keeps falling for Jake. It’s more two souls in one body loving different people than the infuriating “I don’t know who to love” angle.

I had some major issues with Jake hitting Melanie while she was inhabited with Wanda – I don’t give a flying fuck if her body has been taken over by an alien that is still a girl sixty times smaller than you, douche bag. The violence on females was just a bit too pronounced and justified for me to fully enjoy.

The host Melanie

Saoirse Ronan really is the best thing about this movie. She moves through all her scenes with the grace the dialogue doesn’t always deserve. The story is a bit beneath a woman with her acting abilities, although to her credit she does not seem bored to be there. Max Irons is definitely someone I can watch in a movie, he is cute and doesn’t do a bad job being Jared Howe.

I would really have enjoyed getting more into the nitty and the gritty of these characters and their stories – it is mostly rushed through and only snippets are shown. Yeah, the time allocated is limited, but I’ve seen other movies do it before.

AV9D9558.CR2

I don’t think I’ve ever seen Diane Kruger in something, and it is nice to put something to her other than her dating Joshua Jackson. I won’t be weeping with heartfelt emotion about her performance anytime soon, but I did think she makes a good alien (erm, that is a compliment)

the-host-movie-wallpaper-7

If it sounds that I didn’t enjoy the movie, I did. I enjoyed it despite the corny dialogue and often dragging storyline. I think it is a good movie if you don’t expect too much and has decent popcorn entertainment. I liked that Melanie is so independent and that she took care of herself and her brother long before Jared entered the scene. I like that she was strong enough to fight back against alien invasion and that she wouldn’t just give up on Wanda’s existence so she could come back and kiss Jared. I loved the underground farm scenes and how they took efforts to show how humans were surviving in caves. I also liked that they tried to bring across that these alien life forms weren’t necessarily evil, just very different.

Review-TheHost-03

The Host interested me enough that I will soon start reading the book, something I’ve avoided until now. It is a decent enough movie, and although the plot isn’t solid or breath-taking, it kept me sufficiently entertained for a while.

Plot query: How did the first Wanderer enter a human? I get how the rest of them entered their hosts, but the first one? Someone had to help It and I have no idea who would even think of doing that.