Twilight for Dummies [movie review]
If you’re like me (or rather like I was until just a few weeks ago), everything you know about Twilight you learned from commercials for the film. Well, today I can bring you up to speed on that which has enthralled some segment of the world.
Essentially, this lady named Stephenie Meyer decided that she hates good story telling, characters with depth and me – so she wrote four books which have been adapted into five movies, and they’re about… something. I think they’re supposed to be about true love with a weird (and yet older than dirt) fantasy twist, but these movies are much more about a plodding plot than exploring the depths of love. At least the cover of the book is cool looking.
Anyway, here’s the trailer for the first movie – my previous base for Twilight knowledge until just recently, when I saw the films.
We meet Bella Swan (a name only equaled by the awful names J. K. Rowling gives to her antagonists – Bellatrix Lestrange, anyone?), who moves to Washington to live with her dad after her mom and step father move to Florida. Bella instantly makes friends because… I guess this is the friendliest high school in the world and, as we all know, changing schools your junior year of high school is an opportune time to make new friends. Anyway, all of her friends are useless and have essentially no importance to Bella’s story ever. At all. I really don’t know why they’re in the movie.
Anyway, the first time Edward sees Bella, they apparently fall in love at first site, but unfortunately, director Catherine Hardwicke has no idea how to convey this with the camera, so it’s more like a scene where two people are starring at each other from across a parking lot – a scene that seems to say, “Do I know you? You look familiar… oh, it’s the jacket. I have that jacket, too. But at home. Not with me. That’d be weird, if we were both wearing the same jacket…” But they’re not both wearing the same jacket, so they don’t speak to each other, but instead, go off on their separate ways. At least I think that’s what we were supposed to get out of the scene, but it looks to me like the jacket thing.
According to the kids at school, Edward and his brothers and sisters are like an exclusive club and don’t hang out with anyone – they just come to school and always ditch whenever the stereotypical Washington rainy weather clears up. And you’re thinking, “Oh, because Vampires hate sun light!” I wish. I SO FUCKING WISH THAT WAS THE REASON.
Things get romantic after a car, skidding out of control in the school parking lot (the very SAME SCHOOL PARKING LOT WHERE THEY FIRST SAW EACH OTHER!) almost flattens Bella, but Edward saves her – by pushing the car aside with his hand. No one notices this. No one thinks it’s strange that there is now an Edward hand shaped dent in the car -except Bella. Because everyone else in this town (including her father, who is a cop, for Christ’s sake!) is a moron. And after this episode, Edward’s family does not leave town because, “Oh shit, our cover is blown!” But then, when you send a bunch of immortals to public high school and they are frequently absent, you’re obviously not concerned about keeping a low profile (or social services), so whatever.
Bella now has a laundry list of weird things she’s noticed about Edward:
You’re impossibly fast. And strong.
Your skin is pale-white, ice-cold.
Your eyes change color. And
sometimes you speak like… you’re
from a different time.
You never eat food, or drink, or
come out in the sunlight. And you
said no to the beach trip only after
you heard where it was.
No one else has noticed these things about Edward and his family because, again, town of morons. Oh and I reject, “And sometimes you speak like… you’re from a different time” because he doesn’t. Quoting Shakespeare doesn’t mean you’re an immortal or a time traveler. But he makes her say she the word ‘vampire’ out loud for some reason, and, because director Catherine Hardwicke is good at directing, she puts the camera right on Bella’s lips, to illustrate that… words come out of mouths, I guess. Anyway, Bella forgot to mention that Edward can climb trees faster than an Olympic medal winning spider monkey. He can, and does… too many times in this movie. (Well, I guess that hadn’t happened yet, so score for you, Bella!) And she rides around on his back like she’s Yoda and he’s Luke in Empire Strikes Back. Now they are in love for some reason. Oh, and one more thing – I’m sorry, but I can’t let this pass:
Where are we going?
Up the mountain. Out of the cloud
bank. You need to see what I
really am. What I look like in the
harsh light of the sun.
No! The sunlight will kill you.
Myth. You need to see the truth.
A perfect circle of swaying grass, wildflowers and buttery
sunlight. HEAR a stream nearby. Bella looks around and finally
sees EDWARD, his shirt open, standing nearby in the shade of some
trees. He watches her cautiously. She takes a step toward
him, but he holds up a hand. She waits. Finally, he takes
a deep breath, and steps out of the shade
This is why we don’t show ourselves in sunlight..
As the sun hits him… EDWARD’S SKIN literally sparkles as if
embedded with thousands of tiny diamonds. He is magnificent,
shimmering, like a statue carved from glittering crystal. He
moves toward her.
This is what I am.
He nears, clearly expecting her to recoil, but..
He realizes that she’s in awe. She reaches to touch him, but
he immediately backs into the shadows, his skin normal again.
Beautiful? I’m a killer, Bella.
This is the skin of a killer.
In over 100 years of life, Edward never learned that teenage girls like things that sparkle (he’s a fucking diamond!), and more to the point, the vampires in these movies don’t die in the sunlight, they fucking sparkle. Take over for me for a quick sec, Jodie Foster, I need a break…
To further hammer home that this movie is about two high school kids falling in love, they actually watch Romeo and Juliet at school and Edward quotes from it by memory when prodded by a teacher for not paying attention. Except…
At no point does anything happen in this movie that makes you think that Edward and Bella have fallen in love. At some point, they just start spending long periods of time starring into each others eyes. It’s creepy, actually. Oh, and besides starring at each other, they both like music:
So you’re obsessed with music.
Do you have any favorites?
Depends. Alternative? Jazz?
Oh, she knows her music. Alright,
nineties. Eighteen-nineties. Classical.
I’d have to say… Debussy.
He looks at her, surprised, smiles.
My favorite, too.
Fucking Debussy. Just obscure enough that non-music students probably don’t know Dbussy by name but famous enough that if you google him, you’ll instantly recognize the first thing that comes up.
And what does Edward put on? You got it.
A solo piano version of CLAIR DE LUNE begins to play.
But yeah, they’re in love! They have so much in common! They both like music! Because, seriously, the idea that two people might have similar musical tastes… I mean, what are the odds? It’s not like anyone likes music – and teenagers?!? Teenagers definitely don’t like music.
Later in the movie, the vampires all play baseball and Bella umpires. It is the most ridiculous scene I can recall in a movie about two people falling in love, and I saw Kate & Leopold – Hugh Jackman does a butter commercial in that movie.
Why did you have to ruin Muse, Twilight? Why?!?
Somehow, this nonsense attracts other vampires – three other vampires, to be exact, who have been causing trouble by killing people in the area instead of just living off animals, like Edward and his family.
In fact, the cops are hunting the three vampires, and I saw a scene where they’re chasing one of them and that inspired me to see the entire movie – she’s running through the woods and she steps in a pile of dirt a prop guy left for her to step in so that later, the cops could find her footprint. The prop guy didn’t even bother to rake the dirt into the ground – he just dumped it out of the bag and left it there. It is FUCKING AWESOME! I’m sure someone was like, “Jeez, Dave, want to put in any effort?” to which I’m sure Dave, our fictional prop guy said, “I’m on a break, asshole.” Actually, I think it’s much more likely that director Catherine Hardwicke thinks we’re idiots have to be spoon fed everything.
At some point in the movie, Edward says:
We call ourselves vegetarians, by
the way… For our kind, hunting
animals is like living on tofu. It
keeps you strong but isn’t very
Fuck you, Stephenie Meyer – FUCK YOU. But anyway, I guess that’s why some vampires eat people and some don’t. Still, I feel the need to say that I’m perfectly happy with my diet, you Twilight assholes! Tofu is awesome!
So one of the three vampires that aren’t the nice vegetarian vampires wants to eat Bella for some reason. He could just go eat somebody else who’s not expecting it and isn’t protected by other vampires… but that’s not how this dude rolls.
To protect Bella, they take her to a hotel in Scottsdale, near her old home in Arizona. Why they go to the Scottsdale area, which seems like an obvious place to look for, I don’t know (or can’t remember, because fuck Twilight), but that’s what they do. Anyway, the non-vegetarian vampire that wants to eat Bella tricks her into believing he’s kidnapped her mother and lures Bella to the ballet studio around the corner from her former home. He did this by using audio from an old home video that I guess was left behind at the old house, because when you move to Florida, you still keep your house in Arizona, because you can afford two homes on two different sides of the country when you’re a minor league baseball player, like Bella’s step dad is. I guess. And you leave all your shit there. I guess.
Bella goes the dance studio without her vampire escort, but they arrive anyway in time to save her because one of the nice vampires can see the future and as per a previous conversation, they new that Bella would go there. Anyway, during the hilarious fight, the bad guy bites Bella and Edward has to suck out the ‘turn you into a vampire venom’ stuff and Bella ends up in the hospital. The evil vampire is killed and his body is burned so he never comes back to vampire life or whatever.
Finally, they all go home and Edward and Bella go to the prom! The junior prom, I presume, because they’re juniors, but they never say – and, spoiler alert – they never go to the prom in Twilight 2: On the Move, so… whatever. They dance in their formal wear in a gazebo! The end!
Or is it? No, it’s not! One of the other evil vampires is pissed that they killed that other vampire and burned his body, and she wants REVENGE! She’s at the prom, watching them! She’s going to start some SHIT! Nope, never mind, the movie just ends and this thread never gets picked up. Despite knowing where Bella lives, I guess the evil lady vampire just feels the need to stalk her.
After seeing the movie and writing this post, I’m still not sure I know why the series is called Twilight. I guess… because some of the characters are sort of bad (because they’re fucking vampires), but not all the way bad? I guess that’s it – or it just sounds cool.
That’s just scratching the surface of this shit, but now you are equipped enough to make Twilight jokes at parties. Go forth and spread the Twilight word! Oh, and prepare yourselves, for when next we meet, a New Moon will be rising! (See what I did there? See? Ah… you don’t care. Anyway, I’ll be doing a post about Twilight: New Moon in the near future.)