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I was invited to "The Host" premiere last night and was very impressed
by the film. I'm not a Twilight fan and have not read the book; If
anything I was very suspect of this film and for whatever reason even
felt negatively towards it (in an eye-rolling manner).
That said, I found myself walking out of the theater quite surprised. And yes, I still have my manhood and haven't transformed into "A Hoster" or a "Hostling" or whatever they may call the new breed. Honestly, I thought it had a wonderfully intriguing plot, good acting, and I was completely engaged. Yes, there was a bit of "romantic cheesiness" but it seemed to handle itself well and even poked fun of itself at times for this fact. I think if it wasn't for the excellent work of Niccol and Saoirse it might have easily slipped into laughable cheese, but amicably doesn't. Plenty of sophisticated action as well as thought-provoking concepts of love, loyalty, perseverance. A well rounded film overall. I especially enjoyed William Hurt but all the acting was on par.
Perhaps the Twilights were focused on teenagers but as a 30something guy I really liked it. I would definitely recommend giving this movie a chance to all. I'm just in the market now for a shiny silver Lotus.
This movie you will either enjoy or hate to be honest. If you want
something that is action-packed and filled with cool sci-fi moments do
not see this movie. Yes the movie is sci-fi but it's more about
romance. It also is a tad slower.
However, the cast was fantastic and the script was beautiful. There were cheesy moments but it was still really sweet and well done. Basically what I am saying, is if you like romance with a twist go and see it! If you are expecting something like Gattaca, you will be disappointed.
I really loved the movie and felt it held up to the book. I usually hate movie versions of books but this was really good! If you like the book chances are you are going to like the movie. There are tweaks of course, but I thought they were mainly well done and helped get the same message across.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I read The Host book when it came out and it became one of my
favourites. Say what you will about Meyer's writing for Twilight, but
The Host is different. For one, Wanderer is a very likable heroine.
I only heard about the movie version a week before it opened here. Didn't have high hopes for it, as I thought it would face the same fate as the Twilight series.. But I needed to see it to make the call...
And I was pleasantly surprised! It stayed true to the book - of course they had to cut out some scenes, otherwise it would've been very long - but I never felt like the cuts ruined the story.
One thing I will really praise is the acting. Unlike most movies today I thought The Host had a great cast and never did the acting seem unnatural. Even the cheesy lines were delivered well. Props to the kid who played Jamie, he made me cry! And Saoirse was brilliant in playing two personalities.
Anyway, I wrote this review (my first ever IMDb review ever) because I felt it was unfair that the movie was getting too much flak just for its relation to Meyer or Twilight. There are worse movies out there, just relying on special effects and pomp to cover up the lack of plot and characterisation. See the movie or read the book first before you judge this one.
The Host has an intriguing conceit. It is about a post-apocalypse where
aliens take control on every human body then the remaining unpossessed
humans fear them despite that these aliens only want peace. The story
might have an idea that the humans could be the real enemy here or it's
just both of them. The Sci-Fi bits are pretty interesting but it
doesn't end there. It's based on a young adult novel so definitely
there will be teenage hormones scattered around the context. It has
romance that is suppose to save their world and change their lives, but
once again just like any other young adult film, the romance is nothing
more than a bunch of good looking people falling in love and doing
romantic cliché stuff. Love may not be a problem to these stories but
this romance is terribly empty. They're just making out and saying
ridiculously cheesy lines. It would have been a fascinating idea but it
just can't get away from its typical teen angst.
It is kind of similar to the recent young adult novel based film, Warm Bodies, except the antagonists in The Host are virtuous beings instead of ravenous monsters. It seems that both stories have the same morality. Humans are not the most peaceful beings either and maybe the order and mentality of both sides are the reason why they couldn't get along. When it goes to the romance, it says that Melanie and Wanda's love between the boys might revolt their world's condition. But it strays from its plot giving us a lousily told story and romance. Mostly the romance. It is noticeable that most of their "love" only rely on their lips. Which means they kiss a lot. We do not get to know much about why they care for each other, other than being one of the last normal human beings of their age. It is also filled with plot holes because of course it wants to appeal teens for the endless love that didn't even work. It is directed by Andrew Niccol who is somewhat a Sci-Fi expert but it looks like he's afraid that too much Sci-Fi than romance might disappoint these children. He could have been more indulgent.
The film has a solid cast but not all of them standout. Saoirse Ronan plays two roles here and she fills enough heart on both characters. Diane Kruger looks like she is enjoying playing the film's villain. The roles of Max Irons and Jake Abel seems to be only designed for kissing, slapping, and sometimes strangling, leaving William Hurt being the only likable gentleman of the picture.
The script explains some points of the concept which is fine in that way in spite of the plot holes but it gets terrible on the romance. There are dialogues that may get way out of hand, ends up being laughable. Even more laughable is one scene when the protagonist tries to wake up her subconscious by kissing her boyfriend. I don't know if I should blame anyone about it. I mean what choice does she have? Still, it's ridiculous. The film is at least stunning. It gets to explore something magnificent around. The exteriors serves a lot of intrigue to its world. It features shiny cars and choppers. Most of the action are well shot even though the action itself isn't really that interesting but everything in the film looks good.
The Host is not interesting enough. It thematically talks about peace and stuff. Well, you can make peace out of love but the film only shows kissing and I think there is more in love than just making out. Hormonally, this could be a perfect escapism for teens. An apocalyptic world about relationships of these good looking couples with fast awesome cars crashing on the road. But the story seems to offer more. Again, they are unable to show it because the only fan service for adaptations of teen books is to follow every single sequence from the book because they love comparing. Too bad, they could have also shown what's behind the words as well. The Host is another victim of a generic young adult film adaptation that doesn't understand much of the meaning of the story, and throw away the most bland of all romances.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"The Host" (from Chockstone Pictures) opens and closes with two scenes
that contain elements of great science fiction. The problem is that
what comes in the middle is one of the longest, chunks of torpor you'll
ever experience. This movie is so slow that after a while you fear that
the movie will go in reverse. Some movies dare you to look at the
screen. This one dares you to stay in your seat.
To be sure, the movie has a fantastic premise. Imagine what might happen to Earth after "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" ended. Aliens from another world, called "souls," have come to Earth, taken over our bodies, flushed out both our personalities and our emotions and replaced them with their own. Imagine what happens if one operation doesn't go quite right. What might happen if the human personality was still inside a mind that had been replaced? That is the problem facing an alien host named Wanderer (Saoirse Ronan). She hears a voice in her head, the human voice of the person who previously occupied the body she has been given. The girl inside her mind is named Melanie, who still has memories of her human occupation. Soon those memories are being shared with Wanderer. She keeps this information from her betters and goes on the run. You can already guess their response.
This means we get to sit through a long series of laughable scenes in which actress Saoirse Ronan is forced to spend a lot of time talking to herself. We hear the alien speaking, and then we hear the human voice in her head. This works when she thinks she is about to die, but when Wanderer kisses a guy that Melanie can't stand, it becomes ridiculous. Ronan is a fine actress who has been better elsewhere. Watch her sometime in "Hanna" and her Oscar nominated performance in "Atonement." Here she's a real trooper, pulling off dialogue that is to put it nicely utterly ridiculous.
What develops from this plot isn't as ingenious as one might hope. Instead of exploring the possibly of this bizarre situation, "The Host" becomes one of those old familiar last-hope-for-humanity stories in which characters stand around talking about the situation in long, boring scenes of dialogue that should have remained on the cutting room floor. It opens with an effectively creepy leisure pace but then never picks up any steam. More on the plot will not be revealed here, suffice to say that after that great opening, the rest of the movie just kind of coasts.
"The Host" was written and directed by Andrew Niccol who has a talent for creating smart, inventive stories about people trapped by their circumstances. He wrote the great "Gattaca" (1997) about a natural-born man trapped in a world of synthetic humans. He wrote "The Truman Show" (1998), about a man trapped in his own reality show. He made "Lord of War" (2005), about a man who confronts the moral implications of the international arms deals that he puts into motion.
Niccol has some of those inspirations here but he is at the mercy of a script based on a book by Stephanie Meyers the popular writer of the "Twilight" series. This film, as with that series, is tilted toward something meaningful he can't seem to get the movie out of first gear. All of the characters look alike, talk alike, sound alike. They stand around and have long boring conversations about the same thing over and over and over and over. It's like the movie had a great launch and then spent the rest of its time driving around in a circle.
Outside of The Twilight Saga, The Host is Stephanie Meyer's biggest
novel and since the success of her supernatural series, her sci-fi
novel has been adapted. There is a stronger cast and director for The
Host, than the Twilight Saga, but how does it fare on its own terms? In
the near future, Earth has been conquered by a parasitic alien race
known as The Souls, who implant themselves into human bodies. Melanie
Stryder (Saoirse Ronan) is a member of the human resistance who gets
captured when she tries to protect her younger brother, Jamie (Chandler
Canterbury). Melanie gets implanted with a Soul, called Wanderer, with
the aliens planning to use Melanie's memories in order to find the
human resistance. As Wanderer explores Melanie's memories, she finds
out about Melanie's lover, Jared (Max Irons) and the pair plan an
escape to the desert to find the resistance camp. Within the camp,
Wanderer falls for another human, Ian (Jake Abel), causing problems for
all of them.
Let's get the comparisons with Twilight out the way; yes there is a is love triangle (or should that be a love square?), The Host has a much better lead actress with Ronan then Kirsten Stewart and has a stronger supporting cast, with the likes of William Hurt and Diane Kruger. Andrew Niccol also gives the film more creditability behind the camera, acting as both the writer and director. The Host has interesting ideas that had many potential avenues to explore: but unfortunately it focuses more on the love story instead of all of the other aspects that could have lead to a much more meaningful film.
Ronan does rise above the material and gives very strong performance, as you would expect from her. This is even more remarkable that she has to argue and talk with herself, like Homer Simpson arguing with his own brain. Whilst there was the potential for themes of locked in syndrome as Melanie is trapped inside her own head, fighting to control her own body or going through a more literal, internal conflict. But it turns really silly when she argues with herself over two men, as opposed of having a much more difficult time of having a stronger conflict within her character. Ronan gets battered and beaten throughout the film as she gets hit, verbally abused and discriminated against and yet, still persevere through everything she's up against.
Whilst Ronan does a good job, the two men she is meant to be conflicted about are blank stales. Neither actor has much of a personality or character and they are very indistinguishable from each other. Ronan has no choice but to carry the film, considering that there was nothing going for the main love interests. At least Hurt and Kruger looked like they were having fun with their roles and were highly professional with their performances.
The idea of some sort of insider for an oppressive regime having an awakening, usually because a love interest and ends up turning against their own side has been used before. We have seen it in novels like Nineteen-Eighty Four, Fahrenheit 451 and We and films such as Metropolis and THX-1138. The Host does twist this age old idea in sci-fi, even if the execution was lacking.
The Host had a really strong premise with opportunities to explore multiple themes. They could have been themes about identity, the battle within the mind, split personalities, trust and how humans would survive after this invasion. But like Twilight, the film only touches on these concepts and puts all of its focus in the wrong places.
Much like Twilight, The Host has been criticised for its dialogue and being unintentionally funny. It is true that the film has some bad dialogue, but with some of the moments that were comical that had be intentional, with some of its moments of cultural clash and the bickering between Wanderer and Melanie. There are also some dark moments and there were really refreshing when they do come around.
Niccol is known for being an excellent writer director, making Gattaca and Lord of War and was nominated for an Academy Awards for his screenplay for The Truman Show. The Host is his first adaptation and it felt very rigidly close to the source material. What it results to is a bland experience that has episodic nature, having mini-plots with some developments, instead of a larger overarching story. Looks wise, the film is pretty flat and dull, using nothing but silver chrome for the alien technology, concrete and glass for the buildings and the humans are based in an empty desert environment. The cinematography and the special effects were solid but, Niccol was coasting and he is much more capable then this.
Currently on Rotten Tomatoes, The Host has an 12% rating and seemingly on course to be considered one of the worst films of 2013. Whilst it is hard to argue that The Host is a good movie, it is certainly not terrible: its crime is merely being mediocre, dull and forgettable.
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If I had payed to see this I would've asked for my money back
afterwards... that's how bad it was.
One of the worst book adaptations I've ever seen. I read the book a couple of years back and absolutely LOVED it. It's a great book - intelligent, innovative, entertaining, and addicting. To put it in perspective, the book in about 600 pages, and the move was about maybe 200 pages of it? It made me sad because they turned it from Hunger Games status to Twilight status - and Stephanie Myers is to blame there. Known for Twilight and vampire love stories, the writers and director of the Host tailored to the sales rather than the story. They cut out all the action and background information and just gave the love triangle - which is exactly what the Twilight movies did. Honestly, it was just so bad. My friends never read the book and were so confused the entire way. I had to explain everything to them afterwards because in the movie they took out all the background information! They skipped over WAY too much. The result of the movie: a futuristic story about aliens taking over the mind's and body's of the human race which leads to rebellion and a cheesy love triangle. ALSO: The ending sets up for a sequel to this movie - a sequel that doesn't exist because Myers never wrote a second book of the Host... so I don't know what they're trying to pull but seriously I don't get it. PLEASE I BEG YOU DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY. I'M TIRED OF THE FILM INDUSTRY GETTING AWAY WITH THE MURDER OF GREAT NOVELS. DON'T SEE IT!!!!!!!!
I came to see this film because of Andrew Niccol (Gattaca is my
favorite movie),a bit afraid of Stephanie Meyer's work but still open
minded to a quite good SF plot with some romance. But I found myself in
front of a terrible teen-movie. And not the good kind like we used to
see in the 90's. Artistic work is completely absent. The world shown in
this film is interesting but not described sufficiently.
I found that the narrative form was quite ineffective and the dialogs were so dull that not a single piece of "philosophy" can be extracted.
On the top of all that, the love story is foretold and occupies the 3/4 of the scenes. And the acting (even Saoirse Ronan that already did very good job in other movies) was so lame, you can't relate to the characters.
In my opinion, this film lacks of an audacious directing to be good. There was material but it has been spoiled.
If you're over 15, I don't recommend this film. If you're under, well I don't recommend it neither, but I'll understand if you find some pleasure to see it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The current score on IMDb is too low. This is a fairly good film. It's
worth about a 7.5. To see the true IMDb score, click the link for the
number of users and look at the bell graph. Eliminate the 1s and 10s,
and you'll see that what you're left with is a solid 7.
Saoirse Ronan was perfectly cast for this role as the sensitive, conflicted alien slowly gaining the trust of the human survivor group. Diane Kruger and William Hurt were also good. (Once again, I'm struck how so many Hollywood movies lately have non-American actors playing Americans. What's that all about?)
"The Host" is part of a new genre I would call "sci fi for chicks". If it bothers you to see a "soft" science-fiction film with love-sick young people, noble suicides, impossibly handsome young men, aliens with emotions, etc., don't go see this one. It's the old male v. female dilemma: Should we kill the hated aliens or coax them out and make friends with them?
There was not enough exposition at the start about the horrors of the alien invasion. The writers and producers seem to have assumed that moviegoers would understand why the characters want to "remain human" and why they would refer to a human-hosted alien as "it". Perhaps it was better explained in the book.
The device of Melinda's consciousness remaining fully alert, and Wanda and Melinda actually talking to each other for our benefit, might put some moviegoers off. (I'm not sure. I haven't read the other reviews.) However, once I suspended my disbelief, I was able to go with the flow.
They threw the male viewers a bone: Kruger and Ronan, to start. there were a few car and motorcycle chases (involving futuristic-looking chrome vehicles), and shoot outs. Hey, this is a Hollywood movie, after all.
The theme of humans hosting aliens is not original, but they took the concept in a different direction. The movie is slick and well made, but there were a few clichés and many, many aspects of the story that were glossed over, left unexplained or just not realistic. The survivors here were mostly young Hollywood pretty boys, not a ragged group of tough survivors (like on "Walking Dead", for example.)
Still, I appreciated some of the details of the "good alien" theme, like a society of honest and trustworthy aliens that doesn't need cash to function, or where they will simply give you their car if you need it, or where everyone drives at the speed limit. (God forbid we should have a society like that! Kill them!)
And I liked the part where the other seekers looked at the evil seeker (played by Kruger) and pointed out that she was getting a little too obsessed. After all the aliens saw themselves as the good guys. There are many species that coexist in symbiosis. It's interesting to think that maybe it would do our species good. This is actually a very old theme. There's not much difference between "her body has been taken over by an alien" and "she is filled with the Holy Spirit", or even "she is possessed by a demon".
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
4 of us went along to this movie yesterday after thinking it looked
action packed from the trailer. The only action scenes were the ones
you saw in the trailer!!!
All the back and forth talking between Mel and Wanderer drove us nuts!! It felt like we were listening to a couple of young teenagers arguing whether to kiss or not to kiss the boy! Shiny silver cars, bikes and helicopters did nothing to excite us as there was no exciting car chases!! It was just a big dull teenage aimed romance!!
Im so glad we had free passes to see this movie or we would have all asked for our money back!
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