I will repeat that.
New Moon made two hundred and fifty eight million dollars worldwide this weekend……the mind reels.
These are movies based on novels that are a stone’s throw away from being coloring books and yet people flock to them like the second coming. What did I miss? Is it really so compelling watching the sad Vampire do battle with the jock werewolf over a girl who does little more than mumble and complain? Apparently it is, apparently if you can re-write the masturbation material of a tween girls diary then you can be considered an “author” much like Stephanie Meyer is.
For all those who are about to hand me the “They aren’t written for you” excuse you can save it. The Last Apprentice books by Joseph Delany weren’t written for me and neither were the extremely well written Harry Potter books. Just because it isn’t written specifically for my age group doesn’t mean I can’t tell how bad the Twilight books are. These movie versions are little more than extended music videos were the kids from “Impossibly Attractive High” pout and whine over their lives. The only difference is we’re dealing with Vampires and Werewolves instead of the “rebel” kids taking on the football players in the parking lot.
Being a man who over analyzes everything I decided to try and focus my unending rage at the Twilight saga both film and written versions. It’s not that I’m jealous of Stephanie Meyers’ success because I never published a novel, not at all. I know that because I’m busy being way jealous of other authors much more talented than she is. It’s also not that I care how good looking the cast is, though I do find it silly that to be supernatural you have to be an underwear model but I digress. Why did I hate these movies so much? I harnessed my hatred and came up with ten reasons.
10 - The Depth Of A Cereal Bowl
I only read two of the Twilight books and I had to stop because nothing was going on that interested me at all. It wasn’t that I wanted more action I just wanted to care at all on any level about these characters. These books never go below the surface level of anything involved with them. Main character Bella and Edward (the Vampire) for all their endless love don’t invest much more feeling into what they’re doing than the average high school couple.
Bella spends most of her time oozing about how beautiful Edward is and he just acts like the wounded dutiful boyfriend. Edward never develops a personality of his own; he’s instead regulated to being what every high school girl wishes her perfect man would be. The vampire family he comes from are mainly plot devices put into play to move the story along instead of being a part of it. Same with the Werewolf posse that show up in New Moon and exist to protect people from Vampires but are really there to give Edward a foil for Bella’s affections via Jacob her wolf buddy.
The danger is never dangerous it’s never compelling or even a little frightening. Worse than that you don’t even care how the characters will get out of the mess they’re in because you know it’ll be just as simple as the rest of the book or movie. I also find it fascinating how Edward is supposed to be one hundred and eight years old but maintains the emotional maturity of a seventeen-year-old boy. You’d think simply by his length of bone he’d be a little more on the ball emotionally. Then again he’s one hundred and eight and still in high school so what does that tell you.
9 - Shirtless Werewolves Do It Quicker!
This is more a movie issue than anything else but it’s still kind of bizarre. Apparently once you become a Werewolf you want to make sure to go unnoticed by walking around in pants with no shirt. You’d also apparently inherit rock hard abs once the change happens. Are there no chubby Werewolves or are they simply eaten once they’re born? I would also think it’d be hard to strut through the Pacific Northwest in no shirt when it gets balls shriveling cold up there. I guess the intense heat of being a Werewolf trapped in the body of a street hustler keeps you warm.
I was also curious exactly why the transformation into a Werewolf took eight seconds from start to finish? Bones just don’t do that, skin doesn’t do that, and fur doesn’t grow that fast. Remember American Werewolf In London? That dude was invested in that transformation. Even the old fifties Werewolf had to sit there for five minutes while the camera “faded” him into lycanthrope glory. Not in Twilight, in that reality completely changing your entire physical make up is like sneezing or throwing up. I guess it’s why Werewolves don’t wear shirts in their human form. If they do they can’t change that fast. Much the same way that if you leave your tray down or seat reclined a plane can’t land.
8 - Diamond Skin, the Jazz Hands Of The Vampire World.
While the shirtless Werewolves have their own cross to bear it’s not nearly as silly as the Diamond Skin issues that plague the vampire world. Not being satisfied with making all the Vampires look like underwear models Meyer added in the gem of an idea (pun intended) that Vampire’s can’t go into the sun because if they do their skin shines like diamonds thus giving away their supernaturalness. Um, what? Why do that? How do you even think of something that stupid? I have an idea let’s remove the fundamental idea that sunlight destroys Vampires and instead make it that the sun makes them too sexy.
Besides just being a cheesy and lame idea it pisses me off because it makes no sense. I’m out tooling around through the woods and I see some guy standing around with diamond shiny skin I’m going to figure he has a dangerous addiction to body glitter not that’s he’s a supernatural predator. When I watched this scene all I could think of was the Kay Jewelers tag line “Every kiss begins with Kay” and that was only in-between bouts of hysterical hyena laughter. If Meyer wanted her Vampires to be this homoerotic why be coy, just change Bella to Ben and get on with it.
7 - Twilight Moms
There is nothing more sad and pathetic than a Twilight Mom. For those of you who have been spared this travesty of human evolution let me clue you in. Apparently there is an entire sect of Moms in this country whose lives are so empty and devoid of meaning that they have latched onto the Twilight books. Try to imagine this without feeling the Douche Chills. I seriously doubt you can. These are not just mothers trying to relate to their daughters these are full-fledged fans of this series who show up at the movie premieres and festivals armed with signs and screams about loving Edward and Jacob.
Am I alone in finding this incredibly bone chillingly creepy? What do these woman do between books? Hit on their kids friends? Is there a batch of happy delivery boys who get an extra “tip” when they show up to these overheated ladies’ homes? How sad and hollow must an adult’s life be to be a devoted fan of badly written children’s books? It’s even sadder than the romance novel women because at least those stories are about adults. Fabio may be cheesy but at least he’s of age. I’m guessing Twilight Mom may become the new MILF.
“Dude did you see that girl’s mom?”
“Yeah dude, total Twilight Mom.”
6 - The Cast Blows
This is a pretty simple reason but one that still burns my gears. Everybody in these movies has an emotional gamut that runs from A to maybe B on a good day. Edward just looks sullen, he seems to have other emotion. Even when he’s supposed to be angry it looks more like heavy pouting. Robert Pattinson’s acting makes me think this is what would have happened if Pinocchio remained a wooden boy but somehow grew up to become an actor. I’ve seen more intensity on Iron Chef than this guy ever puts forth in these movies. No matter how close to death or destruction Edward gets he never seems more than bored with it all. That doesn’t really add up to excitement or tension on screen.
Then we have Kristin Stewart who plays Bella and while I do think she’s extremely attractive she’s another one that can’t do much more than look bored. She delivers her lines like her inner volume has been permanently turned down to four and if she wants to show real inner turmoil she puts her finger in or near her mouth. Stewart is even worse than Pattinson because she also seems irritated she has to be there, as if the whole process is just too annoying for her. Sorry sweets you signed up, you cashed the check you get in there and pretend you’re amped.
5 - Nobody Puts Baby In A Corner!
Focusing back onto the books I was amazed and a little pissed that after all this falderal and excitement the Twilight series ends with Bella and Edward trying to save their kid. It’s not even a fight to the death save or a battle save it’s a long court scene, like something out of Law And Order: Vampire Intent. That’s the best Stephanie Meyer could do, a giant cliché court scene complete with a clichéd last minute witness who helps solve everything?
Apparently the Volturi (the Vampire court system) are told the new Baby is an immortal and has to be destroyed. That could’ve been a great catalyst for a vampire civil war or maybe Bella goes back with Jacob and the Werewolves go head to head with the Vamps for Bella’s life. Nope, not at all, it’s time for another go-round with the undead legal system.
I also laughed for like an hour when I heard Jacob sees this baby when she’s first born and “imprints” on it. Apparently in the no-time-for-plot-development world of Stephanie Meyer Werewolves instinctually “bond” with a person and they become soul mates. Sounds more like a bad plot device to turn all the characters in Twilight into some kind of undead Clampet clan. Creepy!
4 - The Directors Can’t Leave Fast Enough
So now not only are the filmmakers organizing their colorforms playset in order to create the third movie in the Twilight series but also they’ve already hired a new director. As of this moment no one director has stayed on more than one Twilight movie. While this might not be a full on reason to hate a movie it is something that bothers me. What do these directors know that we don’t? My theory is that they just can’t take doing another one. That the amount of liquor and alcohol needed to keep from hanging themselves when they realized what they were involved with took too much of a toll on their bodies.
I also think that Twilight somehow takes talented directors and forces them to put on this tripe, which is something the directors can’t handle. Catherine Hardwicke the woman responsible for the movie Thirteen which was quite good directed the first Twilight movie and it was downright horrible. Chris Weitz directed The Golden Compass as well as About A Boy and then turned out New Moon? I’m guessing after the first few weeks of production the directors started hitting the sauce and flying through the script to get it finished, not caring if it’s any good or not.
The next movie, Eclipse, is set to be helmed by David Slade who directed the difficult but well done Hard Candy and 30 Days Of Night. I wonder how long he’ll last before he has to self-medicate in order to stop crying long enough to shoot these marketing-schemes-disguised-as-movies. I guess only time will tell.
3 - Two Words: Racial Politics
Has anybody noticed at all the borderline offensive racial politics in these movies? Well let’s take a look see at how race breaks down in the world of Twilight. First off there’s the evil Vampire who is also black. Granted he’s not the only bad Vampire around but he’s pretty much the only black one. Much like George Lucas’s Star Wars there are very few black people in the Vampire world and the one we get to see mostly is evil.
Then there’s the Werewolf Native American Tribe who are basically the subservient workforce. Their job is to protect all the rest of us from Vampires, especially the lily-white girl at the center of it all. Looking at it another way the Native Americans in these books are the working class, here to serve and protect the white boss man but when they try to date a white girl they get completely shut down.
I also love how the Werewolves live and dress like working class people, living in the forest and out of sight. Meanwhile the porcelain white Vampires get to go wherever they want, they have a big fancy council and all this prime real estate in Italy. Why not have a supernatural banker named Frankensteinberg or a chef named Mummy Chang? How about The Creature From The Middle East Lagoon or something really sensitive like that.
I’m sure there are those who say I’m off base here and I may be overdramatizing it but the whispers are there. Not to mention all the just-under-the-surface Mormon messages that Stephanie Meyer managed to work into the writing. Whether on purpose or just pure insensitivity it kind of pisses me off when so many young kids are going to end up reading this drivel.
2 - Yep, Now Vampires Are Pussies.
Remember when Vampires kicked ass? They were evil creatures of the night that swooped down and ripped you to pieces, sucking your blood and taking your life in a violent manner. Even when they were seductive they were still fearsome and terrifying. Yeah well, that’s all gone now thanks to Twilight. With the success of these movies all Vampires have become emo bandleaders with winning smiles and cool clothes. All around us right now in pop culture the vampire is nothing but a giant pussy, no matter how tough he acts.
Even though The Vampire Diaries is based on a book series actually older than Twilight it would’ve never come to TV if not for the Era Of Edward. Mainly because nobody would buy vampires as high school fashionistas. Twilight has drained all the fear and excitement out of Vampires and neutered them into that sad kid at recess who writes poetry and thinks a Beret makes him look sophisticated. No more Vlad The Impaler now it’s Edward The Charming.
Even the supposed bad guy Vampires in Twilight had zero in the way of real menace to them. Is it that hard to do? Anne Rice managed to swath the Vampire Lestat in silk and knickers but keep him a brutal, evil killer. No more of that, no more blood on the teeth and flesh on the mouth we gotta make room for Diamond Skin and perfect hair.
Even Vampire movies like 30 Days Of Night (no, the irony of the director is not lost on me) are shunned and tossed aside in lieu of the newer, friendlier, house broken Vampire Boyfriend. Stephanie Meyers has managed to obliterate the entire crux of what makes Vampires so great in new fell heavily coiffed swoop. It’s enough to make you cry.
1 - Crazy Chick Syndrome
Another awesome thing about the Twilight series is how it will introduce a whole new generation of woman to the world of being total psychopathic bitches in order to get their way. Bella isn’t misunderstood; she’s flat out nuts. She’s the embodiment of that crazy girl we all dated who we tried to save or fix until she made our lives so miserable we had to run screaming into the night. Only this time we don’t run we’re supposed to root for her.
Bella’s hit parade of cuckoo starts almost instantly when she sees Edward. He wants nothing to do with her and ignores her so what does she do? She doggedly pursues him because he’s so good looking. That’s a good role model for the girls out there. Even when Edward tells her he’s a creature of the undead it’s fine with her as long as they’re together. This allows new girls to know that if a guy is hot, accept whatever damage he has because that’s what’s important.
When Edward leaves her high and dry in New Moon does Bella flip him off and go find another boyfriend? Nope, she goes right off the reservation and starts acting out insanely dangerous stunts in order to think about him. Not only does that make no sense but DING DING DING it’s another super win for the bad example for young girls department. When Bella finally finds another beefcake supernatural stud to lead around by the dick (Jacob) she still isn’t happy.
She makes Jacob The Werewolf believe they have a future together and even gets pissed when he isn’t around as much because he’s out trying to find the Vampire looking to kill her. The bastard. Then when Edward, who LEFT HER ASS returns she kicks Werewolf boy to the curb and starts following Edward around.
Forget at all the human guy who tries to ask Bella out he’s just shattered into pieces because there’s no way some lowly nice guy would be good enough for this tempest of heartbreak and sorrow. Bella is a narcissistic, self-involved cocktease who does little more than bitch and moan about her life. She’s almost calculatingly unlikeable and the idea that young women identify with her frightens me for young men everywhere. Congrats Stephanie Meyer you’ve managed to reinstall the idea that crazy chicks are something to aspire to.
Well that’s it, those are the ten reasons this whole Twilight phenomenon chaps my ass. I’m hoping it becomes yet another fashion trend that ten years from now is seen as a total embarrassment ala leg warmers or giant Benetton sweaters. If Twilight becomes a footnote in the apocalypse of pop culture then fine but I fear it won’t. I fear vampires and their fans will be suffering with this for years to come.