Lucky Jen Yamato got to meet with Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner to talk about “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.” Her piece for Fearnet.com, “Ten Truths Uncovered at the ‘Twilight: Eclipse’ Junket” has lots of great background. Pattinson just watched “Twilight” for the first time all the way through other than recording the DVD commentary — and that even he thinks you need to read the books to understand what’s going on in the movie. Kissing Lautner was a challenge for Stewart. And hitting Pattinson was a challenge for Lautner. Here Pattinson explains what drives him to succeed:
One of the many unpleasant elements of The Killers was the light-hearted portrayal of one of the main characters as a substance abuser. Catherine O’Hara plays the mother of Katherine Heigl’s character. Her role is one drunk joke after another. And there is never a suggestion that anyone in the family has any concerns or resentment or sadness about the fact that she is perpetually drinking, tipsy, or both.
A few decades ago, the funny drunk was a comic staple. Dean Martin and Foster Brooks created entire personas based on an “I’ll drink to that” approach to just about everything. (In real life, both drank very little.) Lee Marvin, best known for playing tough guys in war films and westerns, won an Oscar for a funny drunk role as a broken-down gunslinger (and his identical twin brother) in “Cat Ballou.” Another character introduces himself by saying that he is drunk and a sight gag shows a horse that has had too much to drink.
Lucille Ball had comic drunk scenes (after inadvertently imbibing) in both her television series (the “Vitameatavegamin” episode) and the movie “Yours, Mine, and Ours.” Many serious actors had comedy intoxication scenes on their resumes, from James Stewart (another Oscar-winner, for “The Philadelphia Story”) to Charles Laughton (directed by David Lean in “Hobson’s Choice”). Perhaps most surprising, these kinds of scenes and characters were even found in children’s movies like “Dumbo” and “Aristocats.”
But these days, with heightened awareness of the consequences of drunk driving and the visibility of celebrities who participate in 12 step programs or stay in rehab facilities like the Betty Ford Center, drunkenness, alcoholism, and other substance abuse problems are hard to make funny. In the case of “The Killers, it’s just evidence of the same laziness and bad judgment that makes the rest of the film so painful to watch. But even the deftest 21st century comedies may not be able to find a way to make comedy based on drinking too much work. I am pretty sure that’s progress.
The “Toy Story” movie characters have a warm, retro feel. For parents and grandparents, one of the many pleasures of the movies is the evocative memory they bring back of the beloved toys of our own childhoods. Woody, Jessie, and Buzz are Pixar creations that fit so well with the real-life Etch-a-Sketch, green soldiers, barrel of monkeys, slinky dog, and many others that we slip easily into their world. This third installment adds some new characters based on real or almost-real toys from the 1960’s, including Lots-o-Huggin Bear (with strawberry scent!), voiced by Ned Beatty.
Those madcaps at Pixar have created a fake 1980’s-style commercial for Lots-o-Huggin that are so perfectly realized those who grew up in that era will almost believe we might have a Lots-o somewhere in our attic.
They even did a “Japanese” version!