Warm Bodies Review

PUBLISHED ON 24/4/12 ON STUDENT VIEW

NEW ZOMBIEFIED, SHAKESPEARE-BASED CLASSIC

So I’m not necessarily a fan of zombies, but when you’re running late for Scary Movie 5 and the only other choice isWarm Bodies, you learn to love them! There is something about zombies that has become so interesting to society — perhaps the new fad after the vampire era that was Twilight?

I walked into the cinema not knowing what to expect: would it be an apocalyptic-type film with zombies roaming the Earth and killing humans?

Warm Bodies is the fourth feature from director Jonathan Levine. Like most films nowadays, it has been adapted from a book – in this case, the Isaac Marion novel published in 2010. It’s a more modern take on the zombie genre. People have begun calling the genre a “Rom Com Zom”.

The protagonist isn’t given a name, but simply goes by “R”, and he has forgotten everything about his past. Although audiences aren’t provided with insight as to why, they are expected to just accept it because, after all, he is a zombie.

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In the beginning, the only form of communication he has is with his friend “M” at the airport bar. R calls the airport home, his belongings consisting of vinyl and other objects.

Nicholas Hoult portrays the lead protagonist, but is best known for his character Tony in the UK Skins. He eats people’s brains and takes on their memories and thoughts.

A human encounter occurs halfway through the film with R meeting Julie (Teresa Palmer) while on an eating frenzy with other zombies. It is a stereotypical moment of love at first sight — after he eats Julie’s boyfriend’s brain. They are a person and a corpse from different worlds fighting to be together — Romeo and Juliet-like. Also, notice the two main characters’ names: R and Julie.

The tone, charm, and the fact R would like to kill Julie’s boyfriend and eat his brain, makes the classic tale feel fresh.

R and Julie’s newfound love seems to be bringing R back to life, as he begins exhibiting human-like traits — like dreaming. They must convince other humans they have found a cure for the zombie nation. However, Julie’s father doesn’t see eye-to-eye with their young love. Consider Disney’s film Pocahontas, in which John Smith and Pocahontas must convince their families to unite, rather than start a war between races.

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Along the way they face obstacles that try and disable their path for justice; namely, the “bonies” — skeletal zombies that have given up hope of finding a cure, and become hateful.

Zombies are traditionally used as a metaphor for society’s conformity. In Warm Bodies, the metaphor’s a bit more personal: R is a young man with feelings he can’t express (and dodgy personal hygiene), yet Julie can see beyond that and loves him for who he is inside. As subtext goes it’s pretty thin, but does get a few decent laughs.

Warm Bodies is a story with many different influences, and perhaps a “zombiefied” Shakespeare classic. There are moments of gore, but not enough to classify as a horror film. If you’re after a film that presents amazing, mind-stopping dialogue then Warm Bodies isn’t that; R can only grunt the occasional word or phrase. But, there is some good onscreen chemistry between Hoult and Palmer.

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Although if you want to remain surprised, don’t look at the trailer: it shows all of the mind-blowing scenes from the film (which aren’t many!).

MasterChef’s ‘Guys vs Girls’ Spin: An Interesting Plot Twist or a Stereotypical Hype Fest?

PUBLISHED ON 24/4/13 ON HITZ247

Is MasterChef taking a step back in time? MasterChef, prepare for the social media backlash!

OH MY GOD. Normally I refrain from dipping my toes into the mess that is gender politics, but this new advertisement for MasterChef 2013 is utterly horrifying. The forthcoming new series of MasterChef Australia is a groundbreaking examination of gender politics in the kitchen.

In short, the theme revealed for this year’s MasterChef is: BOYS VERSUS GIRLS. It remains to be an utter cesspool of stereotypes, sexism towards BOTH genders and annoying, tired clichés. It is so utterly horrifying that it cannot be a mistake – television is now out to be irritating as opposed to charming… a technique used to reel in the viewers (see: Joel Madden, My Kitchen Rules contestants). Calling the new series “an original” and “the world’s most loved cooking show” is like calling cancer a holiday. In the promo contestants are dressed in baby pink and powder blue. A particularly judicious contestant observes: “If you look at all the top chefs in the world, they have one thing in common: they’re all men.” A sassy lady counters with: “Women can multitask!” as she sprouts extra limbs.

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Obviously they are trying to get a rise out of people, but there are other ways to get the attention of the public without completely disregarding a century of social progression. I am stunned that this made it past their PR people. Surely nowadays there is no reason to pigeonhole people into pink frilly aprons and blue flannelette and other gender conformity norms.

“Women are better at presentation… we’re used to grooming ourselves!” Is Masterchef being serious? I’d have thought that the potential PR nightmare would’ve been too much of a risk to do something like this, but perhaps reading between the lines, maybe it just says they don’t care about the opinions of those groups in society who will complain. Is this a perfect example of why people don’t pay any attention to mainstream media anymore?

Since the show’s first season in 2009, audience numbers have dwindled, but some genius thought the idea of gender stereotypes would be just what the franchise needed to be revived. There are unspoken concepts of “girls” versus “boys”, pertaining to the inherent differences in the way they cook. In Australian culture, men are associated with a “barbie and a beer”, whereas women are associated with a mixture between working and still having time to place a meal on the table. As a frilly, flakey woman says: “Men should stick to barbecues. You know, the simple stuff.”

Even in the recent MasterChef: The Professionals, both host judges were male, Marco Pierre White being the one with a booming voice and general alpha-male vibe. Professional chefs are depicted as aggressive and egotistical, creating the image of a man. What about women in the industry who are questioning if they have to act the same?

MasterChef shapes how its audiences perceive contestants, manipulates how we view guest judges and how we see the industry as a whole. The audience are presented with the media’s gendered representation of the chef: male chefs are aggressive, whereas female chefs are gentle and calm. Some people may say it is just a television show, but the way the mainstream media creates gender stereotypes can affect careers and the way individuals see themselves.

The social media backlash of the show’s 2013 promo has already begun: YouTube comments are reverberating disgust and Twitter is full of snide tweets. Facebook has seen the link of the clip placed in numerous newsfeeds with comments pouring in. The promo is attempting to communicate certain types of people in this season; people others can relate to: ‘The Tiger Mum’, ‘The Dude’, ‘The 1950′s Housewife’, ‘The Cattle Rancher’, ‘Daddy’s Little Princess’, ‘The Tough Cookie’. Not only is it waging a war on gender politics, but also on identity stereotypes. Do individuals have to fit into the path of one of those types?

Still from the Masterchef Promotion.

Still from the Masterchef Promotion.

The promo concludes with a pie being thrown in the face of judge Gary Mehigan – perhaps what awaits the PR department and conceptual creators of this season!

Why do we need to perpetuate this ‘boys vs. girls’ mentality that pervades our society? Why can’t we all just get along, rather than reinforcing gender stereotypes and inequalities? What message is that sending to our kids – that boys and girls are constantly warring off with one another and cannot cooperate together?

Budgeting Micropayments – Is it Possible?

PUBLISHED ON 18/4/13 ON HITZ247

In the way society is changing, the rise of people opting for safe financial transactions over the Internet has led to many experiencing times of money tightness. The online community is emerging in a new culture of it’s own, and comes with it the increasing popularity of online shopping, music downloads and newspaper subscriptions. These have been called “Micropayments”.

“A micropayment is an e-commerce transaction involving a very small sum of money in exchange for something made available online, such as an application download, a service or Web-based content” (WhatIs.com, 2013).

People aren’t sticking to budgets any longer, tempted by purchases, which are available at their fingertips. The most prominent forms of Micropayments are Smartphone Apps, Newspaper Stories, Virtual Goods and upgrades, and a new idea that has just recently been heavily discussed: user generated content!

Online micro-payment transactions have allowed people to make quick, simple payments. Attempting to manage an individual’s budget in the new virtual world proves extremely hard, as not only do you have to budget the cash you have in your wallet, but also your direct debits to the micro-payments. PayPal writes that a micropayment is “any transaction less then $12.” So all those coffees, iPhone Apps and car-parking tickets are adding up.

Looking at the most prominent forms of micro-payments, I do believe it creates interesting ideas people may not think about. dreamstime_xs_11071862-334x272

iTunes is a big contributing organisation that stands by “micro-payments”. People can now purchase individual songs of an artist, rather than an entire album. But then, the same question is asked: ‘Why pay for music when you can download it illegally?’

That really cool iPhone App you play on the train in the morning on the way to work or university did originally only cost you 99 cents. ‘What a bargain,’ you think, but then there is the purchase of the extra lives or items you buy throughout game time. A once cheap way of entertainment may even add up to the cost of a movie ticket for one single app.

A new IDC Research report, conducted online with data from 7,446 Android and iPhone users aged 18 to 44 during a week in March, reveals some eye-opening mobile social media Intel. It found that 49% of the entire U.S. population uses a Smartphone. By 2017, the percentage of Smartphone users is expected to reach 68%. Four out of five Smartphone users check their phones within the first 15 minutes of waking up, with 80% stating it’s the first thing they do in the morning.

Although these are American statistics, the economic and social climates in both the U.S and Australia are similar. I also am one of the 50% of people owning a Smartphone and I do check my phone within the first 15 minutes of waking up.

With our phones so connected to us, what is stopping us from purchasing app after app?

I have to say, though, I’m not one to purchase any apps ever; I’m one of the people who use the “free version”. A lot of the time I get over an app within a few weeks and delete it off my phone, henceforth not seeing the need to download apps that cost anything. Additionally, my skills at playing apps seem to be limited and I very rarely complete all the levels in the free version, which then lead to me purchasing the full version.

But now in games and apps, virtual spheres that players emerge themselves into, there are options to complete transactions for virtual property. Rather than buying clothes or household objects for ourselves, audiences are purchasing the items for their virtual character or identity. But of course it’s a bargain – a virtual chair might only cost $10.00, whereas a real chair might cost a few hundred. You can argue you’re saving money there, but one small factor – you can’t actually sit on it!

This means there is only one way to save money: be shocking at playing the games – that way you will be bored of the app before you feel the need to purchase and download the full version!

Nielsen reports the average number of apps per device has also increased significantly over the past year. The company notes: “This time last year, 38% of U.S mobile subscribers had a Smartphone, whereas that figure sits at 50% today.” Nielsen adds that: “Android and iOS users accounted for 88% of people who downloaded an app in the past 30 days.”

Are we Apps hungry?

Interestingly, however, in the past twelve months the average number of apps per Smartphone has risen from 32 to 41, representing a 28% rise. Considering that the average gaming application costs anywhere from $1.00 – $5.00, there is about $102.50 worth of apps on anyone’s phone, not including music purchases or the cost of the phone itself.

Are people spending more time playing on the apps they purchase rather than with other people? iPhone-Apps

Is the “Pass and Go” card system the weak point for people?

I marveled at the idea of being able to apply for a Debit MasterCard; that I could just hold my card against a little system, which automatically debits a purchase, which is under $100. The Debit MasterCard also allows students to have VISA and MasterCard abilities while accessing their own money. Is it this card that is the main contributing factor for allowing people to make micro-payment transactions?

Will the future of the concept of micro-payments affect what people do for a living or the social media phenomenon?

USER GENERATED CONTENT:

Flattr is now allowing people to donate money for content that they find on the World Wide Web, using the already popular “favourite” or “like” buttons that appear on numerous social networking sites.

Imagine if a status or tweet you ‘liked’ or ‘favourited’ could earn the author/owner monetary income. Would this then start a new branch of employment opportunities? Would the numbers of professional bloggers increase in the hopes of securing income from their thoughts and ideas?

Sitting behind a computer and unleashing your thoughts on the world would be in your job description.

Would individual’s Resume employment history then look like this?

EMPLOYMENT HISTORY:

March 2012 – Current: Professional Blogger/Tweeter/Writer/Contributor/Facebooker

  • Published articles on issues that I deem and believe to be important
  • Published mixture of political, cultural and lifestyle pieces of my own opinion
  • Participated in the online management of individual published content
  • Online contribution to social media
  • Continual updates of Twitter and Facebook social networks
  • Acceptance of friend requests and followers
  • Maintenance of an ongoing and well-known social media Internet presence

Every time your favourite author or organisation tweets a new post, creates a status update or a new blog post, a small donation will go to them, when you select them as a “favourite star”. In order to do so, you have to create an account with a set amount of money per month that gets split-up based on the number of times you “like” or “star” something across many social networks, including Twitter, Instagram, Soundcloud, Github, Flickr, Vimeo, 500px, and App.net.

In a statement released by Instagram in January 2013, it was stated that: “At last count, more than 90 million people use Instagram on a monthly basis. Moreover, the company is seeing growth rather than decline; that number is up ten percent, month on month, in the period from December to January.”

Facebook has released figures, which indicate the activity of the social networking site; Facebook reached 1 billion monthly active users in September 2012. It is stated that last year it logged: “1.13 trillion “likes,” 219 billion photos uploaded, and had 604 million mobile users.” Now that is a lot of activity on that one network alone. Imagine if each of those 1 trillion likes earned 50 cents – that would create online monthly revenue of $500000000000 just from Facebook. If each of the major social networking sites produced monthly revenue like that, one word: WOW!

It might actually be possible for people to subsidize their additional income by venturing on this online employment path. Many of the bloggers and users of social networking sites are struggling students; if you tell them that they can be earning money from what they are already doing, not many of them would say no.

Would there be different account options as to how much content users saw every day?

With the increasing popularity of social networking sites and the online prospect of micro-payments, would they still remain as popular?

If such a scheme was implemented, does that mean you would have to pay to see any actual content on the sites?

I know that if Facebook, Twitter and Instagram began costing me money I wouldn’t be one to pay for its use. Although in saying that, we are a generation that is so linked to what other people are doing and the mobile technology devices we own, I’m not sure I could resist.

Will this concept affect newspaper subscriptions?

Will we become an un-educated, misinformed nation because of it?

People with the click of a button can be connected to the newspaper website and can read breaking headlines and updates more efficiently than going out and purchasing a paper in the morning. It costs money to purchase a tabloid, but what will happen if websites require a subscription service? Isn’t it the same thing as buying a paper in the morning?

Will it encourage people to create software to illegally be able to download the daily tabloid for free? Imagine, Pirate Bay is no longer used just for music and movie torrent illegal downloads, but a PDF version of the local tabloid of the audience’s choice.

Will the new cool kids will know how to download the paper? Rather than comparing music on their iPhones, will it be The Age or The Herald Sun? thCA3YO87B

Should information be free, or should it be charged? At what rate?

These and many other questions are facing society today!

How do you manage to keep to a budget in the 21st Century, when now not only do you have to keep track of the money in your wallet, but direct debits and online “micro-payments”?

Only answer: live in isolation! Good luck with your battle against the ongoing “micropayments”, stay strong and ask yourself: “DO I REALLY NEED IT?”

Time to Modernise Marriage…

PUBLISHED ON 16/04/13 ON HITZ247

How will future generations view our inaction on marriage equality?

The Australian society we know today seems to be on the brink of change, with the public supporting the change for marriage equality now more than ever. However, the nation’s politicians seem and remain unwilling to take action on the key area of social reform that needs to be addressed in the upcoming political election. Due to the Government’s failure to respond to the public outcry for equality, Australia’s progression is being left behind.

 

Rodney Croome, the national director of Australian Marriage Equality,  trusts that in 10 to 20 years marriage equality will become “part of the social fabric”. He believes Australians will look back at the current state of marriage inequality and question why it has taken so long to address. “It will seem as antiquated as not allowing women to vote,” says Croome.

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Our generation has grown up hearing stories from parents and grandparents about the injustices that existed in their eras; marriage inequality is an injustice we will tell our children and grandchildren about. There can be parallels drawn between same-sex couples and other marginalised groups in Australia’s scandalous history. Women and Aboriginals have both been denied equal treatment before the law, just as the LGBT community is now experiencing.

 

Until recently, women were forbidden from working in male dominated fields, unable to make decisions about their own body and lacking the right to equal pay. Similar to this, Australian Aboriginals were dispossessed of almost every basic human right; they faced hardships from bloodbaths and oppression, to being stripped of their land rights and even their children. Aboriginals weren’t legally considered people until the referendum of 1967, which recognised them as Australian citizens, rather than native wildlife. How is it that people can even be considered “native wildlife”?

 

Both women and Aboriginals are today in a more favourable position in society than during earlier generations, and it is unfathomable to think that they were once so entirely repressed. When we look back in disbelief at the way we treated our fellow Australians, I can’t help but wonder: will our children view our mistreatment of same-sex couples with the same incredulous outrage? In other countries the rights for the LGBT community are facing more serious issues than marriage equality. So many countries have embraced marriage equality, though there are still places where harsh penalties exist for homosexuality; some even enforcing corporal punishment and the death penalty.

 

This sort of response to homosexuality, echoed by many others worldwide, is both unreasoned and narrow-minded.It is imperative that Australia distances itself as much as possible from this outdated manner of thought. Although the incapability to marry is not comparable to the death penalty, it still shows intolerance towards same-sex couples and a mindset that they are inferior to heterosexuals. They are all people.

 

The 2012 Galaxy Poll on marriage equality revealed that a majority of Australians showed their acceptance of same-sex couples: 64% of Australians supported marriage equality, including 61% of married people. This display of public support demonstrates that change is what Australia wants, so what’s stopping the change from occurring? More than 50% of the population believes it should be changed.“Public opinion is not the barrier,” said Croome. “It’s that politicians that need to start responding to the public opinion.”

 

The failure to legalise same-sex marriage signifies that homophobia is acceptable in Australia, but this isn’t acceptable! How can we explain to young people that everyone is equal if our government does not promote the same message? Are we a forward-thinking country or stuck in the past?

When gay marriage is legalised in Australia, the burden will be on us to explain the inequalities faced by the LGBT community to the next generation. Three-quarters of Australians believe that marriage equality is “inevitable”, but Croome says we need to be careful when using this label as it implies that no action is necessary.

 

It is time for Australia’s politicians to stop wavering on the issue and ultimately acknowledge that our laws no longer reflect the views and values of our society! Come on Politicians, you are representations of Australians! Are you truly representing us?

Are People Overreacting?

PUBLISHED ON 15/4/2013 ON HITZ247

Over the past few weeks, Melbourne has seen the annual event of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival take place, with the last show due to finish this weekend. The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is the third–largest international comedy festival in the world and the largest cultural event in Australia. It has seen names such as Rich Hall, Tommy Bradson and The Writers take the stage.

It also promotes three development programs: Raw Comedy – Australia’s biggest open mic competition, Class Clowns – a national comedy competition for high school students, and Deadly Funny – an Indigenous comedy competition that celebrates the unique humour of Indigenous Australians.

One of the international acts to take to the stage in the 2013 Festival was American comedian Tracy Morgan. It is his first time touring in Australia but now perhaps his last! Shot_3-10863

Audiences should know what to expect from the comedian, looking at his previous works. However, last night at his show many Melbournians walked out of Hamer Hall after what they claimed was a “sexist rant with offensive material.” Tracy Morgan is well known for his performance on television shows 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live. Outraged people have been appearing all over radio stations and newspapers today, disgusted by the show that they bought tickets to see on the weekend; with some even demanding a refund. The outpour of disgruntled remarks have appeared on various social media outlets this morning, after the sold-out shows on the weekend.

Morgan’s Melbourne publicist, Hannah Watkins, said ticket sales to Morgan’s show came with clear warnings about language and subject matter. His shows are as you’d expect: outrageous, riffling on sex, on race and the gender differences between men and women.

A lady by the name of Sue on 3AW radio this morning stated the performance: “went beyond the gutter. It was all sexually related. He said he was a pervert and this is the sort of stuff he liked and then it went on from there.” Perhaps “Sue” didn’t use the online video-sharing tool of YouTube to gage an idea of what Morgan portrays in his comedic acts and characters.

People have said the show was a denigration to women. Perhaps it was, but in the scene of the International Melbourne Comedy Festival is this acceptable?

In everyday conversation in Melbourne, such subject matter and topics would be viewed as inappropriate, but is this so for the Comedy Festival?

After all, isn’t the Comedy Festival a showcase of different comedian’s talents despite what humour they target?

If he was such a crude, disrespectful man, would he have been offered a place at this year’s festival?

There is no question that the Australian Government is currently promoting campaigns that stop denigration and violence towards women, but how can such behaviour in mainstream popular culture be claimed to promote this?

The Festival director Susan Provan has stated that she too wasn’t aware of the outrage surrounding Morgan’s Melbourne shows. Media sources are claiming 50 or so people walked out of Hamer Hall. If these numbers were in fact true, surely 1 or 2 of those disgruntled individuals would demand to see management?

Is this all being blown out of proportion? Have Melbournians lost their sense of humour? Some people may be directed towards crass and crude humour, but who are we to judge what is funny and what isn’t?

Perhaps just one hint to people, before you go and spend a hundred dollars on a ticket to a stand-up comedy gig, Google or Youtube the person so you know what you are seeing. Who would go to a mainstream popular culture event without seeing past examples or gigs of the individual they are paying to see?

If you are one of the people who, in fact, left disgruntled but had never experienced Morgan’s humour prior to Saturday night, I will give you a hint – try this new modern search tool: “GOOGLE” and type ‘Tracy Morgan’ in the search bar!

Detect Online Deception

PUBLISHED ON 12/4/13 ON HITZ247dreamstime_xs_17338156-325x272

How to detect online deception in dating profiles: Research findings provide cues to deception

Catalina Toma and Jeffrey Hancock dared to examine the words used by online daters in ‘Reading Between the Lines: Linguistic Cues to Deception in Online Dating Profiles’ (2010). They wanted to determine if deception could be identified through linguistic cues in online self-descriptions.

Their conclusion: Yes, there are indeed indicators of deception in online profiles. However, one must be careful not to paint the devil blacker than he is: “Lies did correlate with changes in the way online daters wrote about themselves in their open-ended descriptions, although their self-descriptions themselves were mostly accurate” (Toma & Hancock, 2010).

What the study found was that people who attempt deception in their online profiles tend to use fewer self-references in order to avoid the negative emotions involved with making false statements. Deceptive profiles also tended to use fewer negations or exclusion terms, such as “except”, “but” and “without”. These terms increased the cognitive workload for a deceiver. Such terms are easy enough to manage if one is drawing upon memory. However, if you’re trying to reconcile imagination and fabrication, mental processing increases dramatically – i.e. it’s harder for people to lie than it is to be honest. Therefore, people trying to deceive use simpler language.

A result that surprised the researchers was a tendency for deceivers to use few negative emotional words. The hypothesis was that, due to negative emotions associated with deception (guilt, shame, dissonance, etc.), a dodgy individual would communicate more negative emotion in some form, thus avoiding the inevitable dissonance associated with saying things one does not feel. This was not found to be the case. Misleading profiles had fewer negative emotional words in the self-description section. The researchers suggest deceivers may have avoided appearing negative or were attempting to secure positive first impressions.


Advice for online daters is summarised below

Deception in online dating profiles:

– Men tend to misrepresent their height and social standing (i.e. we are generally shorter and less likable than we say online)

– Women tend to misrepresent their weight and physical appearance (i.e. female online daters are heavier and more homely than they say)

– Deceptive profiles use fewer self-references (they will attempt to dissociate from false information)

– Deceivers will tend to use more negations in their self-descriptions e.g. “no”, “not”, “never”

– Untruthful self-descriptions correlate with fewer negative emotional words

– Misleading profiles will contain fewer overall words (allowing the deceiver wiggle-room in their claims due to vagueness and the incomplete information)

These findings were independent of the time or flexibility of media used i.e. regardless of preparation, the cues are valid indicators of misleading information.

Curiously, the findings may generalise to other social platforms, such as Facebook (there will be exceptions of course).

Being able to see someone can also reveal other, less obvious information. Being able to see someone’s eyes or watch their body language will also give you a better idea if this is someone you want to meet in person.

If someone refuses to use a web cam or makes a bunch of excuses, they could possibly be trying to deceive people.

To sum it up, online dating should be based on truthful information. If you even suspect someone is being dishonest or deceptive you should find someone else. There are plenty of other people out there for you.

Remain vigilant dear Love-Seekers, use this information well and best wishes for your online adventures!

References

Toma, C. L., Hancock, J. T., 2010, Reading Between the Lines: Linguistic Cues to Deception in Online Dating Profiles, CSCW, February 6-10, Cornell University, Ithaca NY, USA

The Host: Movie Review

PUBLISHED ON 08/04/2013 ON HITZ247

THE HOST

If you’re looking for a romance film set during an alien invasion with little action and a predictable plot with few developments, then “The Host” is the film for you. Otherwise, I would recommend alternative plans. I just assumed, being another Stephanie Meyer creation, there would be more to expect.

Director Andrew Niccol directs a post-apocalyptic sci-fi film based on the novel by Stephanie Meyer in which aliens, called “seekers”, have taken over human bodies and essentially the world. Saosirse Ronan is the female lead, “Melanie”, who is fighting back and whose body is taken over by an alien known as “Wanderer”. The film circulates around Melanie/Wanderer and a group of survivors with their battle for survival and identity. Melanie (Saoirse Ronan) is one of the last few human beings alive, and is on the run with her brother, Jamie (Chandler Canterbury) and her lover, Jared (Max Irons). Eventually she gets captured and injected with a Soul, named Wanderer. Through a series of internal (and annoying) arguments, debates and turmoil between Wanderer and Melanie, they escape and eventually attempt to search for her loved ones. The-Host-181x272

Although Meyer’s plot leads way to an action packed alien invasion film, the movie is almost a polar opposite. As Stephenie Meyer so infamously managed to do in Twilight, she turned a film that should focus upon a supernatural war into a teenage romantic narrative. If you are looking for a romance, then this is quite a good watch. Featuring a messed up love triangle and lots of romantic confusion, which, when mixed together with an end of the world scenario, may even cause you to leave the cinema with teary eyes. However, if you’ve seen the previews and assume it is about alien invasion, look again!

Overall, if you are interested in “The Host” for its romance and teenage relationships it’s definitely worth seeing, however if you’re seeking a Science-Fiction Action-Adventure film then you’ve come to the wrong place! There’s more time spent on-screen kissing then shooting. Depending on the type of person you are “The Host” could either hit the spot or force you to leave the cinema unsatisfied. I was a person left unsatisfied, because I am a massive Twilight fan.

I was impressed with Ronan’s performances in Atonement and The Lovely Bones, but I felt this performance fell short. She seemed slightly too young and innocent to be cast as the role of Melanie. The film had potentially interesting concepts and themes, which were basically ruined by the lack of character development and the shallow love triangle the film opted to revolve around instead; it could have been executed much, much better.

If you’re a Meyer fan or even enjoyed the likes of Twilight – then go for it, eat your heart out, because no matter how much I warn you, there is probably nothing I can do to stop you. Otherwise, save your money and spend it on something more useful and entertaining: perhaps the purchase of the Twilight SAGA!

I really didn’t like this movie, I wasn’t pleasantly surprised and I don’t recommend seeing it.

Even though, I really wanted to.

Overall, I’d give it a 6.5/10