"Sorry if my snoring bothered you."
Those are not the first words I'd expect out of the mouth of someone who got up on a Friday morning to catch the 10:30 AM screening of a new movie but that is more or less what the fellow who'd been sitting behind me said as I passed him on my way out. I'd heard him snoring over the constant rat-a-tat-tat of bullets and butt-kicking being doled out by Milla Jovovich et al in this latest iteration of the never-ending Resident Evil series (this time in IMAX 3D) but I figured maybe I was hearing things. Nope he was asleep.
I used to play Resident Evil on my ancient PlayStation when it first came out. It scared the crap out of me. I enjoyed the first two movies — hey they included the skinless zombie dogs! — but I lost interest soon after that. How many times can you make the zombie apocalypse exciting? How many different skintight outfits can Jovovich wear while killing grotesque creatures who shoot evil grasping tentacles out of their mouths? Why should we care about all the blood and guts when we know the people we're supposed to be emotionally invested in will never die? We don't.
Try as he might there are only so many ways for writer/director Paul W.S. Anderson to give the Resident Evil series fresh new layers for each new movie. The Umbrella Corporation is the big bad. They were playing with biological weapons and somehow there was an accident that let one of the viruses loose... and boom you've got a zombie apocalypse on your hands. Our heroine is Alice played by Milla Jovovich and there is a rotating cast of characters who help her fight the good fight against the hordes of brain-eaters and whatever is left of the Umbrella Corporation that's now after her. There are some parallels to the video game series but Paul W.S. Anderson (a gamer himself) has taken lots of liberties with the basic plot over the years. While Anderson's flashy style is especially suited to these types of movies there's not enough plot to make it work.
We don't go to video game movies for plot of course but there has to be something to hold onto; otherwise why would we care if our protagonist were in danger? Anderson tries some neat tricks to snap us back to attention like bringing back characters that were killed in previous movies and throwing in a cloning subplot that calls into question some of the characters' true identities but it's still hard to get worked up about anything onscreen. However it ultimately sidesteps any deeper ideas that might take our attention away from all the guns. And there are so many guns and explosions and elegant butt-kickings doled out by Milla and her pals (or former pals in the case of Michelle Rodriguez's character Rain) that they blend together.
It is especially difficult to work up any interest in the story because it's a franchise and no matter how many times the stars or director might say they're not that interested in doing another everyone is just waiting to see how much money this will make before deciding to go forward. There is no question how franchise movies will end; there will be no derring-do on the part of the writer or director to actually kill off a beloved character permanently. At one point it seemed like Anderson was going to pull the old "And then she woke up!" trick which would have been bold both because it's such a hackneyed idea that it would make writing professors' heads explode all over the world but also because it would have required Anderson to play in a different universe and expand his repertoire a bit. Alas like Alice and Anderson himself we just can't seem to escape this rabbit hole.
Model/actress Liberty Ross returned to work on Saturday (07Sep12) to walk the runway at New York Fashion Week for the first time since her director husband Rupert Sanders was caught cheating on her with Kristen Stewart. Ross modelled for designer Alexander Wang.
The actress stunned fans earlier this summer (12) when she admitted to an "indiscretion" with married director Rupert Sanders behind the back of her boyfriend and Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson.
She has been lying low ever since, and was not present last month (Aug12) for the London premiere of her new movie On The Road, an adaptation of Jack Kerouac's novel.
But on Thursday she returned to the public eye as she hit the red carpet for the drama's screening at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival in Canada.
Stewart, who wore a floral couture dress by Zuhair Murad for the event, posed for photos with co-stars Garrett Hedlund and Kirsten Dunst and met with fans who had waited hours for their arrival.
Speaking to an ETOnline.com reporter about her red carpet appearance, she said, "I do kind of black out a little when I show up at places like this, and I've felt so welcomed. I'm so proud of the movie... Everyone who cares about this book has been waiting forever to see it, so I think that's the most important thing."
Pattinson was also in the spotlight on Thursday night - he took to the stage at the MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles to present a trailer for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2, which is set for release in November (12).
In legal documents filed in Los Angeles, screenwriter and filmmaker Jules Mann-Stewart reveals she and her TV producer husband John Stewart, the Twilight star's dad, have been estranged for the past two years.
Mann-Stewart filed legal papers on 17 August (12), citing irreconcilable differences for the split.
She lists the date of separation as 15 June, 2010, according to TMZ.com.
The former couple has two biological children - 22-year-old Kristen and her older brother Cameron. The Stewarts are also parents to adopted son Taylor.
News of the split comes six weeks after Kristen was caught cheating on her boyfriend Robert Pattinson with married director Rupert Sanders. Her confession to the "indiscretion" put an end to her three-year romance with her Twilight co-star.
The action star, reprising his role as tough detective John McClane, sobs over Stewart's break-up from Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson in the clip, which aired during Willis' appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman on Thursday (30Aug12).
The hardman breaks down in tears as he tries to deliver his catchphrase, "Yippee-ki-yay, motherf**ker!" in the mock trailer for fake sequel Twi-Hard: With A Vengeance.
He wails, "I'm a little distracted lately, I lost some friends... Kristen and Rob, Bella and Edward - they broke up! They were supposed to be together forever, goddamnit!"
Introducing the sketch, Willis joked to host Letterman, "It's a pretty emotional scene, but very tough. There's a lot of action going on."
Stewart shocked fans in July (12) when she confessed to an "indiscretion" with filmmaker Rupert Sanders and publicly apologised to Pattinson.
Executives at Sony Pictures Entertainment, who produced the 1982 movie, have signed a deal with bosses at Scott Sanders Theatrical Prods. to bring several pictures from their film library to the New York stage - and the cross-dressing comedy is set to be the first.
Casting for the play has not yet begun, but theatre producer Sanders cannot wait to begin working on the adaptation, stating, "Sony Pictures has given the world some of the most exciting and compelling films in history. We're thrilled to have the opportunity to work with such extraordinary source material and to mine it for titles that make sense for theatrical adaptation.
"Our goal is to rediscover stories and characters which speak to the human experience, and that audiences want to see again, but from a new perspective."
The film company is behind a number of popular films, including Men in Black, Something's Gotta Give and My Best Friend's Wedding.
Sanders and Stewart, who had been dating her Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson, shocked Hollywood last month (Jul12) when they confessed to having an affair and publicly apologised to their significant others.
Ross, who starred in her husband's film Snow White and the Huntsman as Stewart's on-screen mum, has been keeping a low profile since the news broke, but she decided to step back into the spotlight at the Hollywood premiere of Shia LaBeouf's new gangster drama, Lawless, on Wednesday.
And the beauty, who was not wearing her wedding ring, refused to let her personal problems spoil her night out - she was all smiles for the cameras as she walked the red carpet at ArcLight Cinemas.
Ross has yet to directly address the cheating scandal, although she simply posted "wow" on her Twitter.com page when news of the affair hit headlines before shutting down the blog.
She resumed her duties as a contributing blogger to Vogue.co.uk on Monday (20Aug12), but chose to let a captionless black and white photo of a soaring bird convey her sentiments instead of sharing her feelings with fans online.
The status of Ross and Sanders' 10-year marriage is not yet known, but reports suggest the actress, who has two kids with the filmmaker, has recently been seeking advice from divorce lawyers.
The actress shocked fans of the vampire franchise last month (Jul12) when she confessed to an "indiscretion" with married moviemaker Rupert Sanders.
Pattinson and Stewart had reportedly decided to avoid each other by pulling out of appearances at four events in the U.S., but a spokesman for Pattinson insists the rumour is untrue, claiming the actor was never scheduled to attend the conventions.
The rep tells GossipCop.com, "We have not cancelled any confirmed professional appearances for Robert. Specifically, he was never invited or set to attend these events."
Stewart stunned devotees of the fantasy franchise last month (Jul12) when she admitted to an "indiscretion" with married director Rupert Sanders behind the back of her boyfriend and co-star Pattinson.
She has been lying low ever since, while Pattinson braved the spotlight last week (ends18Aug12) for a round of press duties for his new film Cosmopolis.
However, the pair, who are reportedly no long dating, have decided to avoid each other by not attending the final four conventions in Detroit, Los Angeles and New Jersey over the coming months.
A spokesperson for Creation Entertainment, the company behind the events, says, "Although Rob, Kristen and Taylor (Lautner) will not be with us this time out we will have a super lineup of other 'Twilight' stars and the weekend will be filled with special events, movie prop and costume displays, contests, panels, auctions, parties, exclusive merchandise, music and much more, including some surprises!"