Netflix February 2017_day.27 – Twilight (2008)

_I have exciting news. Tomorrow, I should be receiving my new bed…well, it’s exciting for me. I hadn’t really thought about how old my current one was until recently, and then realized “Holy shit, it’s almost 10 years old, that probably explains a lot.” So…new bed time. It’s exciting. More comfy sleep is exciting. Lying down on beds to try them out while I was shopping for them was exciting. It felt great. I’m excited. Moreso than I’ve been for anything in a good long while.

Not that I can’t get excited for other stuff. But this is the most immediate. So…I’m excited. Should be slightly awesome.


Hottest guy in school, eternal devotion and sparkly skin: totally solid reasons to date a vampire. No necking, though.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Twilight.

_So a few months ago, I’m on Skype with my sister, and she goes “OMG Austin, I was listening to these podcasts about the later Twilight movies. They sound so amazingly awful, we need to watch them.” And I go “I agree wholeheartedly, but if how could we possibly understand anything in the later movies without watching everything in a row?”

So we watched the first Twilight movie then, and it was incredible.

So yup, this is gonna be my second time watching this movie in the last 6 month period.

More spoilers: That other time wasn’t even my first time watching it, I took both my sisters to the movies to see it when they were super Twi-hards. Although Riley totally won’t admit to it. But it was totally a thing.

But because I’ve seen this movie multiple times, I know this for a fact: Twilight absolutely falls into the “So horrid, it’s amazing” category of movies. Because it’s amazingly horrible.

_The start of Twilight introduces us to Bella Swan, teen girl, moving from Phoenix, Arizona to the small town of Forks, Washington. She’s the product of a broken home, her mom just re-married and going on the road with her new minor league baseball husband, prompting the move. Bella is super awkward, though. That’s why she’s so pale. She has problems making friends at school for about 1 minute until she finds herself with a circle of friends at lunch. Then she learns about the Cullens, these crazy super cool group of teens, adopted by the local doctor. Who are also very pale. How mysterious!

_Bella’s first meeting with future beau Edward Cullen is amazing. She steps into a class they share, directly in front of a giant fan blowing right at him, and he gives a look like someone farted point blank into his face. That’s basically the foundation of every great romance.

_Suddenly, Bella is about to get hit by a car in the rain! Then suddenly, Edward appears out of nowhere to stop the car! How did he get there so fast? How could someone repel a car with their hand? Mysteries abound about this pale teenager…

Direct quote of Edward explaining it: “I had an adrenaline rush. It’s a common thing. Google it.” Dialog for the ages.

_I never spent that much time with teenagers, but I’m fairly certain that all of the interaction in this is not how anybody talks.

_One of the low key best parts of the movie: Bella and friends go to the local beach, and Bella invites Edward. The beach is on the land of Jacob’s (another old friend of Bella who just can’t seem to fend them off) tribe. The group ponders why Edward didn’t come along when invited, to which random Native American loudly blurts out “The Cullens don’t come here!” which prompts along, awkward silence and everybody awkwardly staring back and forth at each other. Literally a instant later, Bella asks Jacob what they meant by “the Cullens don’t come here.” His response: “Oh, you caught that.”

Oh, you caught that comment that cut through the conversation and stopped everyone in their tracks? The one that caught everybody off guard like somebody suggesting ethnic cleansing over dinner?

_”It’s like diamonds. You’re beautiful.” “Beautiful? It’s the skin of a killer!”

_Every time any vampire tries to look menacing in this, it’s like what you’d expect to see in a kids movie: Hunched over and hissing and snarling. What makes it so great is that the target audience for this is young teens and this is supposed to be completely serious.

_”My dad paid me to come talk to you. He wanted me to ask you to break up with your boyfriend.”

The actual lines of dialog in this movie.

_Now, I haven’t read…any Young Adult supernatural romance novels, so I don’t know if it’s par for the course, but I can say the amazing thing about Twilight is that it’s basically the same set up as the typical trashy romance novel you’d see on a supermarket stand with Fabio on the cover. Bella is so plain and average, but is a closeted intellectual, extraordinary, has some special something that separates her from everybody else. Edward, and honestly all of the vampires in Twilight, is a complete Mary Sue. He basically has no faults, is a free roaming swashbuckler who roams the high seas and bows before no man. OK, that’s my vision of romantic pirate interest and not Edward.

But let’s get into the crux of the issue with vampires in Twilight, and it has nothing to do with them not totally adhering to whole Bram Stoker folklore and stuff. It’s the whole Mary Sue thing I mentioned. There’s really little downside to being a vampire in the world of Twilight. Can’t go out in the sun cause…you’ll sparkle! Personal thoughts on sparkling aside, it’s a decent trade off from “Burning up and dying.” So…they don’t burn up in the sun. There must be some kind of a trade off, right? Well, while vampires still feed on blood, the Cullens don’t feed on humans. They feed on animal blood. And can survive on it! So they don’t die in sunlight, can suppress the need to feed on humans, they’re still immortal, and some of them even get random, arbitrary powers! Edward can read minds! Alice can see visions of the future! Like, classic vampirism clearly has huge downsides. When you look at it objectively, the only real “downside” would be the stigma of being a vampire.

_Oh, and that whole thing about Bella being an average plain Jane? That clearly got lost in making the movie. Not in that Kristen Stewart is some knockout, she’s pretty plain, but man, everybody in the movie is constantly doting on her. She has two normal guys from school ask her to prom within a month, and also catches the affections of two supernatural beings. If you’re gonna try that kind of thing, go look at Romancing the Stone. And Kathleen Turner was a knockout in that movie, but they played her up as a plain Jane awkward romance author in that, and the writing in that stuck with it.

_So yeah, I’ve never read Twilight. Big shocker. But even if you’re never read it, you can really…reeeeeally clearly make out those moments in the movie where characters are reading lines from the book verbatim. You can tell because they’re even more awkward than the rest of the dialog in the movie. You know, written with flowery words and sentences nobody uses in actual spoken language. That’s not on the books, either, lots of good books use words and language normal people don’t use. Some stuff just works better on the page than it does when spoken. That’s adaptation.

There have been movies I liked based off books I liked, and their biggest flaws were that they didn’t didn’t streamline stuff enough. If you want to try to keep everything, do what Song of Fire and Ice did and make it a TV show. If you’re gonna do a movie, just keep it simple, man.

_All of this doesn’t mention that every line of dialog from Kristen Stewart’s mouth sounds like it was her a first read straight off of the script. Her wooden delivery nails so much unintentional humor in this, especially when Bella meant to wow us with her worldliness, like when she turns on Debussy in Edward’s room and goes “Clair de Lune is amazing.” It’s like trying to dazzle someone with how much you know about classic art by bringing up Michelangelo’s David.


_Tomorrow is the last day, so I should try to end on something good…but instead, I’ll pick something else I expect to be shitty. Judge Dredd. See you then~

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