Conspicuous Trailer of the Week: Water for Elephants

Happy almost-Friday folks! Wow, I just realize I haven’t posted ANY trailer since the Jane Eyre one last November. Heh, I guess I should be more consistent, but why be predictable? 😉

This movie has been on my radar since casting began, something about the story intrigues me. The movie is adapted from a novel of the same name by Canadian author Sara Gruen. Here’s the gist of the story:

Set in the the Great Depression, the story focuses on 90-something Jacob Jankowski as he reminisces on his youth working at the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show. Upon his parents death, Jacob leaves his veterinary training and ends up becoming a vet at the circus. It’s there that he falls for Marlena, the beautiful circus performer married to the charismatic but vicious animal trainer, August. Jacob and Marlena’s shared compassion for a certain ‘un-trainable’ elephant makes for an unlikely trio and their bond becomes their only hope for survival.

Well I’m certainly glad to see Christoph Waltz in place of Sean Penn who was previously cast. Looks like August is a juicy role worthy of him instead of being a run-of-the-mill comic book villain you see him in The Green Hornet. But it seems to be a Hollywood tradition that a relative newbie is cast in a superhero movie following their award-winning turn. Go figure.

Pattinson & Witherspoon on set

Reese Witherspoon as Marlena shows that she’s a versatile actress, jumping from her typical rom-com genre (as in the generic looking How Do You Know). Robert Pattinson must be delighted to be away from the Twilight set and actually get the opportunity to actually act instead of brooding and sparkling day and night. He looks pretty good here, he obviously has screen presence and he seems to have that melancholy, love-struck look down pat which I reckon works swimmingly for this role as young Jacob. Seasoned actor Hal Holbrook plays the older Jacob. I’m not as familiar with the director, Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend, Constantine) as I am with the screenwriter Richard LaGravenese, who penned the script for The Bridges of Madison County, The Horse Whisperer, Beloved, Freedom Writer and P.S. I Love You, among others)

A couple of interesting trivia courtesy of IMDb:
In a deleted scene of Vanity Fair (2004), Reese Witherspoon plays Robert Pattinson’s mother., but in this movie, they play lovers. Scarlett Johansson apparently turned down the role of Marlena, that’s a good thing in my book as I like Reese better as an actor. I am however curious to see how Andrew Garfield would fare as Jacob. He auditioned for the Jacob role but I guess he’s not considered bankable enough, yet. Just wait until Spiderman comes out and he’ll be in high demand.

Well folks, any interest in seeing this one?

Random Thoughts: Musings on Robert Pattinson in Remember Me

This movie’s been on my radar for a while, as my colleague and long-time FC supporter Mike B. gave such a good review of it last April. I’m not going to review this again, except to say that it had that ‘whoa’ kind of ending. Though I sort of already knew the main character’s ‘fate,’ the circumstance surrounding it totally hit me out of left field! The movie is good indeed, it’s a sad one though, as Mike said, the movie is filled with one tragic circumstance after another. Perhaps that’s why this bombed at the box office, barely making $20 million total domestically, which is just scratching the surface of any Twilight movie’s take in a given week! It goes to show that his ‘fans’ care more about Edward than the actor playing him, which is too bad as those flicks barely reveal what the guy’s capable of.

Ah, young love …

In fact, having seen Twilight AND New Moon prior to this, I had serious doubt about Rob’s acting ability, but watching this movie changed that. I was pleasantly surprised by his convincing and affecting performance, the image of Edward didn’t even cross my mind at all throughout the whole thing, thank goodness! Pattinson plays Tyler, a rebellious 21-year-old who’s crestfallen over his brother’s suicide, and whose strained relationship with his father makes life even more unbearable. Then comes Ally, his classmate who had witnessed her mother’s murder ten years prior and attempts to live life at the fullest because of it. Lost‘s Emile de Ravin as Ally and Rob work well together and their romance feels genuine and refreshingly devoid of banal over-sentimentality. It’s been a while since I saw a movie about young love, but I can easily say this is one of the best portrayal I’ve seen.

Rob as Tyler & the emotive vampire Edward

All this makes me think even more how wasted Rob was in those Twilight flicks. I guess the guy should be grateful of the opportunity the franchise has afforded him, but sheesh, I bet he couldn’t wait ’til it’s over so he could actually sink his teeth (pardon the pun) into a meaty role like this one. Inevitably, all the hullabaloo over the prince of emo-vampire really leaves me scratching my head. I’m not talking about people who appreciate the books and the story, but those who literally watch the movie repeatedly JUST to see the Cullen boy and drool over his pasty face! There’s hardly a cringe-free minute when I watched that darn thing on screen, he’s even worse during the supposedly romantic scenes when he starts wincing like someone just pulled an atomic wedgie on him. How is THAT attractive?? I guess I’ll never understand Edward’s allure, on the other hand, I find his bad-boy-with-a-heart portrayal of Tyler pretty darn appealing.

Oh, another thing. I thought the guy pulled off an amazingly believable American accent in Remember Me (Rob’s a Brit in case you didn’t know), which is definitely a great asset if you want to continue working in Hollywood. He even put Pierce Brosnan’s intelligible attempt to shame, and he’s been working in the biz for much longer! Not to mention his extremely wooden acting throughout, not sure if Brosnan was trying too hard or not hard enough.

In any case, suffice to say Rob’s gained a fan because of this. I’m looking forward to see his post-Twilight flicks: period dramas Bel Ami and Water for Elephants, both of which look pretty promising. So folks, if you’re like me and avoid this flick like a plague because he was in Twilight, give the movie (and Rob) a chance.

What are your thoughts about the movie (if you’ve seen it) and Rob in general? Please chime in below.