Thursday, April 16, 2009

Twilight; or How Dead Do I Need To Be To Like This Movie?

“Death is easy…peaceful.  Living is hard.” – Bella Swan

Nice.  Not exactly the lesson I’d choose to teach young girls who are impressionable, dramatic, and tend toward the suicidally romantic.

Seven months ago, I reviewed several of the “Twilight” novels by Stephanie Meyer.  Overall, I found the premise interesting but the delivery uninspiring.  Uninspiring.  HA!  They were sophomoric, insipid, poorly written dreck.  However, I’m the first to applaud Stephanie Meyer for making a gazillion dollars with this story.  God Bless her.

This weekend, I bought the dvd for my daughter.  She’d seen the movie several times during it’s release and was thrilled that she now owned it.  The minute we got home from the store, she popped it in the dvd player and popped her ass on the couch.  She was in for the night.

I tried.  I kept my mind open.  I had hoped the opposite might be true – maybe for once the movie would be better than the book!  I lived in hope.

Hope.  It springs eternal you know.  Unless you are one of the undead, the damned, one of the blood sucking creatures of the night.  Then there is no hope.  Only…perpetual high school. 

For those living in Forks, Washington, life is perpetually gray in the land of monsters and mud.  It is to this land of the mythic beasts our heroine arrives; Bella.  Emo Bella from Phoenix, Arizona - the land of sunshine and dry heat.  Bella of the Blue Foundation.  Bella of the Stuttering Awkward Dialogue. 

Bella the Monotone falls in love with Edward Cullen the White.  Edward of the Perpetual Seniors.  Edward the Deer Blood Sucking Vampire.  Edward is powerfully attracted to the wafting scent of Bella as she walks into chemistry class (HA!  Get it?  They have CHEMISTRY).  Edward and Emo.  Why, it’s practically a song. 

It was awful.  Good thing they had chemistry class together – since there was otherwise no chemistry to speak of with the lead characters.  Robert Pattinson as the tortured Edward Cullen might have been a more dynamic character had his Bella (played particularly badly by Kristen Stewart) not been awkward and stone-faced.  Every scene was painful to watch and easy to pick apart – it’s really a bad mark when I’m completely taken out of the movie and making jokes about the makeup.

harold lloydTHE MAKEUP.  Pwhphthawrpth.  Sorry.  I just threw up in my mouth.  It was like I was edward cullen watching Harold Lloyd in a 1920s silent movie.  Eyeliner, lipstick, and whiteface with an undercurrent of blue.  The girls’ makeup was no better.   Look, I get that these are the tragic undead.  I get that there is no blood flowing through their cold, black veins.  But if the hero of the piece – by all accounts as misunderstood as the classically romantic Fitzwilliam Darcy – grosses me out just by looking at his foundation?  Blech.

There was little redeeming about this film.  James, the scary evil human blood sucking vampire was a wonderful villain.  Jacob Black – very cute and engaging.  I know what happens to him a few books down and that could be cool.  Though they both have very small roles, they played them well.  Shame James didn’t kill Bella. 

Had there been more focus on Edward’s internal struggle to love a woman who was full of life…had we seen more conflict in Bella as she dealt with her attraction toward what amounts to a walking corpse – I might have bought it a little more and invested in the characters some.

As it is, I’m still choking down the bile.  I can’t recommend it.  Go rent Nosferatu, or “Salem’s Lot” or “Dracula; Dead and Loving It”.  Hell, wait for re-runs of “The Night Stalker”.  Anything is better than this.  “Death is easy…peaceful.  Living is hard.”  Yeah, who you tellin’?  Living through this movie…please pardon the expression - sucked.


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