Am I broken?

Ok, so. Just went to see New Moon and the one word I can think of to describe it is “meh”. I feel nothing for it. It was not good, it was not bad. I am neutral. If Switzerland could have an opinion of New Moon – I would be Switzerland.

But this does not make sense! I am not a hater, I am one of the many obsessed fans of The Twilight Saga. I was the one that made my friends read the books and now they are more excited than me. And in the first paragraph there is already a Twilight reference! FFS.

My level of obsession is large, maybe not as large as some, but it is decent. I have lost count of how many times I have read the books. I saw the movie five times while at the cinema, then bought it on DVD immediately and it lived in my player for the next few months. So it is safe to say I have lost count of how many times I have watched the movie. The soundtrack lived in my CD player for the majority of the year and some of my favourite songs come from that soundtrack. I follow several of the actors on twitter. I have posters and calendars and the five ticket stubs from the cinemas are kept in a box of trinkets!

This is not the behaviour of someone who thinks New Moon is “meh”. I’m having trouble liking the soundtrack, even though I love the majority of the artists on there. Could it be that I overexposed myself to the hype of Twilight and now there is nothing left to give to New Moon – absurd! Or could it be that I am squarely in the Team Edward camp and because New Moon revolves mostly around Jacob and the wolf pack, I have become disillusioned with the hype. Um, no. I love New Moon just as much as the other books.

Could I blame the fact I was in the second row of seats and struggled to make my eyes focus, therefore could barely watch at all? I don’t think so, I like sitting up the front and do so frequently – I sat up the front for Twilight.

So what could it be? Maybe it could be that it seems everyone has jumped on this bandwagon and I was an original fan before the release of the movies? But that just means I would have more people to obsess with! So that cannot be it.

Could it be the movie actually was just average? WASH YOUR MOUTH OUT WITH SOAP. Or perhaps I am just a bigger fan of the books than the movies and that is the way it will always be – just like Harry Potter. Or, maybe I need to go and see it a second time before I make any hard and fast decisions. Or could it be that Jasper just looked creepy this time round and I am secretly hiding the fact I am Team Jasper instead of Edward?

Or, am I broken? So for now, after all my ranting, I will reserve judgment of New Moon for another day – the day that I have watched it again. Because there is no way someone with my level of obsession can think New Moon is “meh”.

The Ugly Truth

Everything is not always as it seems. In the world of dating you have to wade through the truth and lies before you find Mr Right, which is where The Ugly Truth comes in.

The Ugly Truth gets down to business and tells it like it is: Women – you need to look hot before a man notices you, and men – only ever think on a primordial level. If you get those basics down, you can master the ups and downs of dating.

Another rom-com from the boughs of Hollywood does not fail in following the typical set-up – guy meets girl, guy and girl begin to like each other, something happens through fault of, usually, both to make them stop speaking, guy and girl realise perfect for each other, guy and girl make up, guy and girl live happily ever after in the land of Hollywood make-believe.

But the difference comes with writers Nicole Eastman and Karen McCullah Lutz, the former a new comer to the movie writing biz and the latter having brought us such gems as 10 Things I Hate About You and Legally Blonde, adding a male perspective to the mix.

Director Robert Luketic (21 and Legally Blonde) has managed to get superb performances from some difficult actors and is the additive to perfect the male perspective.

Set in Sacramento, The Ugly Truth follows Abby (Katherine Heigl), a morning show producer who is forced into working with Mike (Gerard Butler) by her boss Stuart (Nick Searcy). She finds him utterly repulsive, while he finds her hot.

It highlights the typical differences between the sexes – females are complicated and males are simple.

Abby Richter (Kathrine Heigl) is the typical female lead, strong, independent, but lacking Mr Right. She also has the tendency to be overbearing, critical and slightly OCD. Heigl pulls off the role naturally, if she is not careful she will be type-cast. The next Julia Roberts perhaps?

Mike Chadway (Gerard Butler) is a real man’s man. He is brusque, references everything in a sexual way and definitely has that blokey feel to him. You think he is all talk and no think, but then you find his softer side, the side that makes females usually go “awwww”.

Butler is not the typical type of male actor for a rom-com, it gives the lead a change. Having come from 300 and RocknRolla, he adds a new feel, making the male lead more believable as he is the rugged man, not the pretty man. Although, fear not, you do get this in the form of Colin (Eric Winter), who Abby thinks is her Mr Right.

Butler fills this role perfectly, because he has the ability to be an ass, which is needed to make the part of Mike believable.

Adding a male perspective adds a new spin to the tried and true rom-com method, but this one is a bit on the weak side. If you are a fan of How to lose a guy in 10 days or 27 Dresses, then you will find appeal in this, but be warned it has some interesting parts, which may not be to everyone’s liking.

Review: Separation City

Have you ever felt like you had one last chance at happiness? For Simon that is the decision he is faced with when he finds himself in the epidemic that is Separation City.

Simon (Joel Edgerton) is married to Pam (Danielle Cormack). They have two kids. They live like they were meant to be together for the rest of their lives.

Then Simon sees Katrien (Rhona Mitra). Simon falls madly in love with Katrien. The only problem is Katrien is married to Klaus (Thomas Kretschmann). They also have two kids.

Separation City follows the entangled love lives of a group of friends.  It is a movie full of interesting characters and witty one-liners which have sprung from the mind of the male dominated perspective.

More well-known for poking fun at politicians, New Zealand cartoonist Tom Scott has made his first attempt at writing a screenplay. He includes his diatribes about politicians throughout, with the best example Simon’s boss Archie Boyle (Alan Lovell).

He is a typical politician – seedy, likes to drink before 11am, constantly fucks up and knows nothing. This creates many opportunities for a giggle and a few cringe worthy moments. He was essentially “monosyllabic but utterly convincing” as Simon once described him – just like any true politician.

Directed by Paul Middleditch, Separation City is Kiwi through and through, having being filmed on location in Wellington with Parliament as a back-drop. Funding from the very frugal New Zealand Film Commission, makes it a by product of the long white cloud.

However, the film has a very international feel. This may come from a small part being filmed on location in Berlin. It could also signify the New Zealand film industry surpassing the small country stigma and joining the ranks of Hollywood elite.

By following a typical pattern of a Hollywood rom-com the obsession Simon develops with Katrin is grand. He describes staring at her like a baby staring at a mobile above its cot. But the natural development of a wrong obsession soon blows the situation up in Simon’s face. In true Kiwi male behaviour, he gets rip-roaring drunk.

This bender ends with a chair being thrown through an umpteenth floor window and an attempt of a naked deep and meaningful.

Another laugh-worthy character is Harry (Les Hill). Harry is Simon’s best friend. Harry is a journalist. Harry is a typical Kiwi male of the thinking – in his own words – if he were to have a feminine side he would be touching it all the time. The character of Harry is well written and Hill manages to portray him without a flaw, creating the best character of the entire film.

This is a hilariously funny film, which male and female alike will enjoy with side-splitting agony. As a first screenplay from Scott, it is brilliant. The direction and acting has brought the wittiest screenplay this year to life in the amazing backdrop which is New Zealand.

The film encapsulates the idea of man-love gloriously – something I only know three fifths of five eighths of fuck all about, to use the words of Archie. But I will eagerly await more from Scott.