Posts Tagged ‘Harry’

ONE DIRECTION: THIS IS US: FOR FANS: 4 STARS IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHO ONE DIRECTION IS: 1 STAR

one-direction-this-is-us02The members of Britpop boy band One Direction seem like five nice young lads—and they fight poverty with Comic Relief!—and I don’t want to hurt their feelings, so Zayn, Harry, Louis, Liam and Niall if you’re reading this, please skip ahead to the next review.

“One Direction: This Is Us” is a behind the scenes look at the singing sensations from their beginnings as 2010 “X Factor” contestants to teen dream superstars.

Like five tousle-haired Justin Biebers they prance about onstage and off, prompting fans to squeal things like, ”They make me laugh! They make us believe anything is possible! They make me happy when I’m sad!” and newscasters to emote that, “the Beatles didn’t have such transatlantic success so early on!!”

In the concert segments they make vocal sounds that clearly hypnotize anyone under 17 years old, but will have no effect whatsoever on people who have outgrown their training bras.

If this movie could be summed up only using punctuation, I’d suggest younger folks might use the exclamation mark (!) while their elders may prefer the question mark (??).

Of course boy band pop music isn’t supposed to be appreciated by people of a certain age. What’s the fun of liking something of your parents also enjoy? So the music isn’t exactly the point here, but the bar is quite high for these kind of docs and I don’t mean in comparison to “Don’t Look Back” or even “Behind the Music.” No, I mean “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never” and “Katy Perry: Part of Me.” Both were finely honed promotional pieces but neither were dull, which is “One Direction: This Is Us’” greatest sin.

While Keith Moon used to while away the time on tour driving Rolls Royces into swimming pools, Zayn, Harry, Louis, Liam and Niall tweet to fans and try to figure out the vagaries of miso soup while in Japan.

The movie is as sure a hit as will be released this year, so it’s disappointing that it feels so prepackaged. It would have been interesting to learn about the marketing and selling of the band but that, I guess, isn’t the stuff that teen dream movies are made of.

Instead the movie is a parade of banality. Despite a few moments with the boys’ parents that ring true and an almost revealing bit near the end when the boys contemplate life after One Direction, the movie panders to fans expectations while revealing very little.

“One Direction: This Is Us” is a blunt force promotional object that portrays its stars as cuddly young men. It preaches to the choir, but anyone of a certain age will feel like they’re being beaten… with a bunny.

Beautiful Creatures, Hollywood’s next cash cow? By Richard Crouse Metro Canada In Focus Wednesday February 13, 2013

beautiful-creatures-17178-1920x1080Film studio executives are always on the look out for properties that can be spun into profitable movie franchises.

And for good reason.

Following an interesting set of characters over the course of multiple movies can be a cash cow. The James Bond movies have earned over 6 billion dollars, while Harry, Ron and Hermione have raked in almost 8 billion since their series debut in 2001.

This weekend producers are hoping to kick off the Beautiful Creatures franchise. The supernatural romance has Twilightish overtones, a cast that mixes news stars like Emmy Rossum with established faces like Viola Davis and Emma Thompson and the kind of tale of good versus evil that propelled Harry Potter to the upper echelons of the box office.

But not all movies catch on with audiences in the way that the super spy and wizard have.

Recently I Am Number Four, starring Alex Pettyfer and Glee’s Dianna Agron fizzled. Rotten Tomatoes said, “familiar plot and unconvincing performances add up to one noisy, derivative, and ultimately forgettable sci-fi thriller.” Not really the stuff of ongoing franchises.

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, a 1984 film starring future RoboCop actor Peter Weller and John Lithgow, was so convinced of its sequel potential they announced the next movie in the closing credits. It’s a wild ride, but poor box office killed any chance of the proposed Buckaroo Banzai Against the World Crime League hitting screens. Star Weller says he’d still suit up, if anyone asked. “I’d certainly do it if it all came together,” he says. “I don’t understand the movie myself, but people love it.”

With sales of over 60 million copies the book series Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events seemed to have natural franchise possibilities. With thirteen books in the collection—a “tridecalogy” author Daniel Handler called it—there’s source material galore, but even though the Jim Carrey movie did well no sequels emerged.

To skirt around the problem of having child lead actors whose looks change as they grow up, there has been talk of producing a stop motion animated sequel. “In an odd way,” said director Brad Silberling, “the best thing you could do is actually have Lemony Snicket say to the audience, ‘Okay, we pawned the first film off as a mere dramatization with actors. Now I’m afraid I’m going to have to show you the real thing.'”