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Movie Review: Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn Part II

Mike Finkelstein was recently treated to more stories about sparkling vampires. This time, however, a little girl was involved, and that caused a bunch of new problems. Damn kids…always starting sh*t…Here is his review of “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II”

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Mike Finkelstein was recently treated to more stories about sparkling vampires.  This time, however, a little girl was involved, and that caused a bunch of new problems.  Damn kids…always starting sh*t…Here is his review of “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II”

PLOT: Everything is right in the world of the Cullen clan: Bella (Kristen Stewart) is now fully sparkling and slowly discovering all the powers of being immortal (including constant sex), and Renesmee is growing into a beautiful young girl.  But when the Volturi hear a rumor that Edward (Rob Pattinson) and Bella’s new daughter is actually an immortal child (strictly forbidden in the vampire world), it is up to the new parents and all possible witnesses to convince Aro (Michael Sheen) of no wrong doing, before he takes out the entire tribe for good.

Check out the trailer:

MIKE’S REVIEW:  Ah, TWILIGHT…it’s the series that every guy loves to hate, and every girl loves to bring their hating boyfriend to see (we are such a weak gender).  I will admit that I have still only seen one TWILIGHT film and it was awful. (BREAKING DAWN PART I was by far the best time I have ever had in a movie theater for all the wrong reasons…read my review here!)  Going into PART II, I only expected more of the same.

For the first half of Edward and Bella Swan’s final entry together, we waste no time getting right back in gear with the crazy.  Let us list the ways, shall we?  Within minutes, Bella is on the prowl as a newborn vampire, trying to satisfy her thirst …Watch Bella run!  Watch Bella hunt!  Watch Bella be tempted by human blood, go after Bambi’s mom, and then chomp down on a tiger!  (And don’t forget that all of it is filmed like a bad 80s music video, complete with horrid special effects…).  The audience was laughing, and not at the parts that were trying to be funny…

The revolting messages to young girls were still going strong as well.   The sex scenes and subsequent references to how they have eternity to bang is just comical, especially when everyone might die in 24 hours, and seeing sparks fly as the sign for Bella finally having an orgasm (what, no volcano moment for Eddie?) is absurd.  Secondly, when Charlie Swan visits only to find his daughter (whom he last saw near death) surrounded by menacing men like she’s a brainwashed hostage, every paternal instinct in you wants to slap the mustache off him for being okay with it.  Something tells me if Stephenie Meyer had her way, every impressionable young tween would run away with a brooding serial killer, because that’s exactly what Edward seems to be (not my words…Rob Pattinson’s…)

And then, there’s the damn baby…the damn strange, creepily disturbing CGI baby that touches peoples’ face.  I know they wanted to showcase the emotion, but really?  On one hand, it’s impressive how far technology has come that you could even attempt such a feat.  On the other hand, between the other effects and this soul-sucker (it had to be made by the devil…it just had to have been!), it’s sad that in 2012, we still have a big budget epic whose SFX will be outdated by the time we see it close up on our high definition televisions.  And don’t forget about the absolutely hysterical battle between Bella and Jacob when Jacob admits he imprinted on Renesmee…just wrong on so many levels…

But then somewhere in the middle of all this crappiness and Taylor Lautner randomly stripping (really?), something happened…. I started to have fun.  I don’t know if they let him loose because it was the last film, or his constant interviews showing his hatred for the series rubbed off on me, but Rob Pattison’s vibe of not caring was just plain entertaining.  Mix that with the comic relief of Kellen Lutz, the sarcasm of Billy Burke, the cold-hearted viciousness of Michael Sheen, and some new, wonderfully sarcastic supporting actors like Rami Malek, Lee Pace and Erik Odom, and I really started to enjoy myself!

What really won me over, though, was the climactic final battle.  Don’t get me wrong…the bad CGI, the overacting, and ridiculousness is still there, but I did not expect anything like this to come out of TWILIGHT.  Bill Condon basically figured out a way to throw everything from the book out the window while still staying completely true to the story and the characters.  Whether you’re a die-hard fan or a TWI-newbie, there’s something to be appreciated about an audience having no control over your favorite characters’ fates, especially ones that you are so heavily invested in.  The scene basically made the movie and the series for me, and for that, I applaud Condon.

For men, the TWILIGHT saga is one that will forever live in infamy.  At no other point in the history of film has there been a series that has engrossed female culture so much, and caused so much pain to the male gender.  BREAKING DAWN PART II is a worthy addition to the madness, yes, but somehow, for just a split second, Bill Condon was able to take a franchise that took itself way too seriously and actually infuse some life.  And while the end definitely doesn’t justify the means (we really didn’t need to suffer through five films for this…), you have to give the guy credit for ending everything on a high note…or at least the highest note that could be possibly given to sparkling vampire love…because quite frankly, who would have even expected

GRADE: B-

Mike’s LIKES:

1) ROB PATTINSON/EDWARD CULLEN DOESN’T GIVE A S*IT: I don’t know if it’s because he made it so obvious in interviews that he doesn’t care, or because Bill Condon just gave him some more freedom, but seeing Edward Cullen be sarcastic and so chill made for the best parts in the film.

2) EPIC FINAL BATTLE: Everything in TWILIGHT has been leading up to this: a moment that isn’t even in any of the books.  To take an unfilmable ending and twist it in a way that left both fans and newcomers in the dark about their favorite characters and still stayed true to the book is incredible, and I applaud Bill Condon on his work.

3) MICHAEL SHEEN: The man is five levels above this saga, and yet still brought a menacing and ominous quality to Aro.  Keep chewing the scenery, my friend…

4) SUPPORTING CAST: With a mix of old classics, including Sheen, Kellen Lutz, and Billy Burke, as well as newcomers like Rami Malek, Lee Pace and Erik Odom, BREAKING DAWN PART II was covered in the support department.  The characters may be secondary to Edward, Jacob and Bella, but they made the film.

Mike’s DISLIKES:

1) RIDICULOUS SPECIAL EFFECTS: Bella taking down a tiger, an 80s style music video, wolf transformations, and a unsettling CGI baby. ‘Nuff said.

2) HORRIBLE MESSAGES TO YOUNG GIRLS: Again, I don’t know what Stephenie Meyer was aiming for when she wrote these novels, but the messages to young impressionable females are absolutely awful.  If you ever hear your daughter say that she’s looking for her “Edward”, lock her up in her room until she’s 18…

3) TAYLOR LAUTNER AND NAKEDNESS…REALLY?: Yeah, there was no need for this…maybe they were trying to mask the awful acting…

EXTRA FACTS:

1) Ten actresses portrayed the rapidly-growing Renesmee Cullen, as well as the really unsettling CGI-animated baby.

2) Sitting next to me in the theater was a gentleman who looked like he had just stepped out of a “Planet Fitness” commercial.  He was seeing the movie by himself.   Forget stereotypes…THAT’S a fan right there…

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VIDEO:Rolled Ice Cream, Cheetos Bagels And Grasshoppers Are Just Some Of The Unusual Things Brian Balthazar Has Eaten On ‘The Wendy Williams Show’

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You’ve seen pop culture expert, Brian Balthazar, appear on The Wendy Williams Show quite a bit over the last few years. He even co-hosted the show on three separate occasions. It wasn’t until his last visit where he and Jason Biggs chowed down on a KFC Cheetos Chicken Sandwich that it hit me: Being on the daytime talk show makes Brian Balthazar hungry!

The proof is in the pudding…pun definitely intended. Carla Hall made sure to bring some snacks for Brian when they cohosted together.

Sure, Wendy is known for telling us to “grab a snack and come on back”…

But you’d have to be absolutely famished to want to eat fish sliders at 10am.

He’s gotten so hungry he resorted to eating GRASSHOPPER TACOS on the show!

Could it be that Brian isn’t actually hungry though? Could he just be a brave soul willing to be the taste tester so we don’t have to? Could my theory be flawed?!

I suddenly feel like maybe we owe Brian a big thanks…

Either way, it’s fun to watch! Click below to take a look at a compilation of all the fun stuff Brian Balthazar has eaten on The Wendy Williams Show!

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Get The Look! A Buyer’s Guide To Brian Balthazar’s Philadelphia Home Redesign

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As the world was forced to spend more time at home, Brian Balthazar found himself in a position where he had sold a house before the lockdown and had to find a new one.

“We sold our home with all the furniture in it, so not only did we find ourselves struggling to find a new place, once we found one we didn’t have any furniture to put in it.”

And so, Brian and partner Dennis got resourceful, turning to refurbishing and buying store floor models. They were inspired to make bold, fun choices in color and style when they started shopping around for wallpaper.

Below is the segment as it appeared on the Today Show, and further down, a rundown of where you can find the pieces or ones with a similar look!

THE DINING ROOM

Let’s start with the Dining Room!

Move the slider dividing the image to see all of the before or all of the after!

Brian saysThe dining room was the first space we wanted to do. I haven’t had a true dining room since I was a kid, and I’ve always wanted a big table for dinner parties! There were no tables within the price range we wanted, so we found a floor model at one of our favorite go-to stores, Arhaus. We easily saved 75 percent on this table by getting the one that they weren’t going to carry anymore. The chairs are from Wayfair.  On each side of the fireplace (not seen in the photo, but visible in the Today Show video) are two black tall lanterns flanking the fireplace. I got them at Target. I can’t currently find them on their app, but similar versions pop up every year. Get thee to Homegoods! Homegoods and Homesense (same parent company) are my go-to spots for home accessories for virtually every room in the house. You never know what you’re going to find, which is part of the fun.

But let’s focus on the real WOW element to this room – the wallpaper! This pattern is called Bellewood, by RebelWalls.   As you will soon see, I’m sort of obsessed with their patterns. To me, this room is magical with the added whimsy of this forest pattern. (They also have a more muted version with grays and even one with blues.) I also love that by hanging the paper from the chair rail up, you almost get the feeling that you’re standing on a balcony overlooking the forest. I surrounded the whole room with this paper, which I love, but you could easily add the same magical feeling by just doing one feature wall. Their website shows how it can translate to a bedroom or office. You might be intimidated by hanging wallpaper but don’t be! This pattern has so much going on that it really looks perfect when it goes up!

ON TO THE GUEST BEDROOM!

GUEST BEDROOM AFTER
GUEST BEDROOM AFTER
GUEST BEDROOM AFTER
GUEST BEDROOM BEFORE
GUEST BEDROOM BEFORE
THE GUEST BEDROOM

Brian says: The guest bedroom is on the top floor of the house, so it’s got roof lines on two sides that make it a tricky space to navigate if you’re not careful. The planning of this space alone resulted in a few bonked heads. On the upside, the wall where the bed goes is tall, so it was an obvious place to create some visual pop. Again, the wallpaper takes the spotlight.  Called “Nude Roses,” also by RebelWalls, I love this design. Floral wallpaper was ‘big’ in popularity back in the 1920s when this house was built, but the patterns at that time were smaller, repeated more often, and were often really bold in color. This interpretation is so fun to me! Gone are the small roses in favor of oversized blooms, and the bold colors are more subdued pink and gray hues, with touches of dark green and creamy whites.

While roses can inherently feel feminine, the plaid bedding (30 dollars for a queen set from Target) are a surprising complement that keeps everything from feeling a little stereotypical. The side tables are mismatched – partly because we didn’t want to go too “matchy=matchy” – but also to save some money – the one on the left side (hard to catch here) was from West Elm. Normally $199, we got it for half off as the floor model. The one on the right we found in the trash. It was perfectly fine, clearly someone had just gotten tired of it! Nothing some disinfectant can’t fix. That gave us some extra money to spend – To reduce the softeness we went with industrial lamps and edison bulbs. The lamps  are called “Ginyard,” from Wayfair. The headboard was on sale at Arhaus. The dark gray takes balances out the pink hues well. The pillows are from Target and Homegoods.

For the 360 degree view of this room, watch the Instagram reel below!  You’ll see the dresser, on sale for $599 from Arhaus, a lamp from Homegoods, and mobiles from Amazon which we fashioned into a ‘piece of art’ that keeps you from hitting your head on the angled wall opposite the bed. Watch the video to check it out!

 

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THE GAME ROOM

BASEMENT AFTER
BASEMENT AFTER
BASEMENT AFTER
BASEMENT BEFORE
BASEMENT BEFORE
BASEMENT / GAME ROOM

Brian says: The idea for the basement game room was to create a space that feels like a lounge you might find if you went out with friends. When you go into this basement it definitely feels like you’ve gone someplace unique! Believe it or not, I found out the Today Show had invited me to to record my house tour just a few days in advance, and so we turned around this spot in just THREE days! There was literally no pool table at the time, (although it had already been scheduled to come on Friday, the wallpaper came on Saturday, (as well as the floor tiles!) and by Sunday we were covered in paint and glue and drinking wine to celebrate it’s completion! I recorded the final video that Monday.

Some people might not think to take a bright basement and make it dark, but that was our first instinct. Clubs are dark and moody, and we wanted this to feel like that. We painted the walls Wrought Iron by Benjamin Moore, which is a very dark gray that seems to take on different hues based on where you paint it and the light that shines on it. We painted the ceiling black. This was Thursday night! Then Friday the pool table came. The floor tiles (“Tweed Indeed” in black by Flor) hadn’t arrived until the next day, so when they did arrive I meticulously trimmed four tiles to fit around the pool table legs so it looks like they were there the whole time. I had ordered the pool table online weeks before from PoolTables.com and by sheer coincidence it was scheduled to arrive in time for me to shoot the redesign. This was the second time I have ordered a pool table from them (which was initially scary because you’re not even seeing it beforehand!) but it always arrives in perfect condition to your specific selections. I love that the felt jet black and keeps things dark and moody. In the time that has passed since this photo was taken, I’ve added more of the carpet tiles to make the carpeted floor area darker and bigger.

But once again, the wall mural steals the show in a marvelous way! This mural is called “A Priori” from Rebelwalls, and is inspired by The Allegory of Divine Providence and Barberini Power, a famous fresco by Italian artist Pietro da Cortona. Fitting, because this house is Italian in style on the outside. You can’t see it from this photo but the wallpaper runs up part of the ceiling as well. It truly gives the room a wow factor when you enter it. The lamps are from Homegoods, (we’ve since added some industrial floor lamps for extra mood lighting) and the piano was something we brought with us. The bar tables are from Amazon ($72 each) and the stools we brought with us – they were discards from someone who didn’t like their original bright colors and thought they were dated! We covered them ourselves with gray plaid fabric and they’re better than they were new!

 

So there you have it! Hope you enjoyed the rooms and find something you like!

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The Pentagon Has Released Official UFO Videos Because 2020 Is The Absolute Worst

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Aren’t swarms of locusts supposed to be the next installment of this plague?!

Can we finally declare 2020 as the worst year ever? In January there were fears of a third World War. In February the coronavirus began its rapid spread. In March the world essentially shut down due to social distancing and quarantining. And now in April…with only two days left in the month…we have official government footage of unidentified flying objects. I’m sorry but Milton Bradley’s game of “Life” never prepared me for any of this!

The Pentagon has confirmed the authenticity of three videos that have been circulating the web but didn’t really answer what is visible in them. In the videos, now declassified by the Department of Defense, navy pilots capture “unidentified aerial phenomena” aka unidentified flying objects aka UFOs! Pentagon officials were sure to state that the videos do not show “any sensitive capabilities or systems,” meaning we probably won’t be seeing any little green men any time soon.

The first video dates back to November 2004 and the other two from January 2015. Of the Pentagon’s confirmation of authenticity, Pentagon spokesperson Sue Gough said the videos were released “in order to clear up any misconceptions by the public on whether or not the footage that has been circulating was real, or whether or not there is more to the videos.”

So great. We now know that these strange videos are real but what exactly are we looking at? Well, the Department of Defense says it has no concrete answer as to what might be floating around the skies and has classified the phenomena as “unidentified.” And…just like that I suddenly feel less defended.

Social media is having a field day with this revelation of course. The #AliensAreReal has been trending high on Twitter since the news broke. One user referenced Independence Day and said the aliens are “getting ready for July 4th.” Of the bad timing, another wrote “Et tu aliens?” And finally one user couldn’t help avoid sarcasm and wrote”Where’s the space force when you need it?”

Well 2020, you have worked your awful black magic once again. What’s next, cat videos get banned from the internet?! You’ve taken everything else from us!

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