Tuesday, November 17, 2009

OPINION: Twilight From Virgin Eyes...


I love lazy Monday nights.

I love redundant, over asked questions even more.

For about a month now, I have a certain tradition, that must be met, or else it’s just not a legit Monday. First, I get back from my Media Literacy class (tonight’s discussion was on Fringe, so yeah, I was in a pretty good mood). Then, I hop in my car, get some Chinese food (Honey Chicken combo from China 1, like you all care), and then I feast upon some television. However, tonight has been different. Tonight has been awful. Tonight has featured Twilight.

I hear the screams of all of my readers (yeah, Mom and Dad, I’m looking at you), all the way back here.

What I found on TV tonight was an MTV Special, entitled Twilight: Love Bites.
Have you ever sat there and picked at something on your body, even though it hurt you to the bone. Yeah, that’s about the feeling that I felt during my viewing of this retardation inducing piece of television this evening.

Twilight: Love Bites basically covers the life and times of “Robstin”. I can’t believe I just f***** said that. Hold on one sec.

Alright. The bleach that I just drank is now fully in my body, so I’m going to make this fast.

T:LB takes a look at, instead of you know, Twilight, or even the on-screen romance between Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart’s characters in the film, but instead focuses on Pattinson and Stewart’s off-screen emo-fest (although I would love to say that Stewart is looking ever so foxy in that black hair. Just saying.) This brings me to my major thought coming out of this Twilight inducing coma.

What the f*** is going on with Twilight?

I love me some romantic films. Before Sunrise/Sunset, Casablanca, or even Pillow Talk are all fantastic films, which stand wholly on their own. Seriously, does it get any better than Bogart and Bergman? This kid says not. However, it’s not Bogart and Bergman’s relationship off-screen that makes me want to watch that film. I want to sit through Casablanca because their onscreen chemistry is so brilliant, that it’s just a compelling watch.

I am sitting here, just a mere 10 minutes post viewing, and I am still wondering, why do people love these films? Well, here are the positives that I think are coming from these films.

First, the soundtracks are amazing. That is a given. When you put a group together that consist of St. Vincent, Bon Iver, and Grizzly Bear, you have my heart, and my soul. Summit has created the epitome of a soundtrack in their two Twilight discs.

Second, they have talent behind the camera. I have a soft spot in my heart for both Catherine Hardwick and Chris Weitz, and think that David Slade is one of the best up and coming directors, particularly when involving female leads (Hard Candy anyone?), so they do have cinematic talent working on the projects. That said, the first film was garbage, and the second one doesn’t look much better. Here’s why.

The fans don’t like this book, or really any of them for that matter.

This is ultimately the most puzzling thing about the film and book series in my eyes. I have not met a single person, male or female, who say that the books are truly well written pieces of literature. I’ve actually heard damn near the opposite, with some fans calling them down right shit. So why the hoopla? Sure, the guys are hot, the girls ooze sex (seriously, Kristen Stewart, hot), but only if you are like me and like your girls freshly squeezed out of your local boutique shop like little hipster infused oranges. However, they can’t act, minus Stewart. Not only that, but the source material is not worth its weight in pulp. I haven’t read the book, so I can’t personally talk about it, but from people who think it’s the Hot Topic Bible, it’s not as hot as the rabid fans would have us think.

The female lead is the antithesis of a modern female. This is personally the most troubling. I cannot tell you how many conversations I have had about this subject, and about my personally outrage about this aspect. Sure, I understand the reasoning behind it. Stephanie Meyer is a Mormon woman, and in that faith, a man is nearly worshipped. Therefore, in Twilight, Bella is willing to not only do anything, but jump off a f****** cliff to get the attention of a man who would kill her if he had the chance. Yeah, I love my girlfriend, but if I knew that she deep down wanted to kill me, I would probably not stick around to get my penis destroyed by a piece of wood (Antichrist reference anyone?), and I damn sure hope that my daughter(s) don’t think that this is what they should strive to be. People have said that I’m taking this far to serious, and that it’s just a female wish fulfillment, like a Prince Charming, but that in and of itself is a bit screwed up. I’m not knocking fans, I’m basically writing this in hopes for some clarity.

Really, if you think about it, not only is the relationship between the three lovers a bit screwy, but it’s horribly cliché. You have the standard trope of girl who must choose between the reliable, sweet dude, and the badass, effeminate, and super creepy douche who runs away when the heat turns up. Oh, and what does she choose, yeah, the guy who sits in her room while she sleeps, before even meeting her. Yeah, that’s the ideal guy. THAT is who I want my children dating.

In conclusion, I guess I just don’t get why Twilight fans put themselves out there, by supporting a show that is about the film that they are a fan of, but instead, spends 30 minutes on interviews with 50 year old crew members talking about how the two leads were caught cuddling off-screen one afternoon when it was cold. Not only is that slightly disturbing on an overall level, but really, being a film guy, I would hope that others would get behind a film that they can you know, get behind, instead of getting behind gossip brought on by the film. You know, now that I think of it, I may have to go see 2012 just so I know what to expect this Friday, when New Moon hits theatres.

That all said, you may just see me snapping photos of Twilight moms come this Friday. Who knows.

Now excuse me, I have to get back to watching my Criterion copy of Godard’s Made in the U.S.A. Yeah, I’m a pretentious film snob, f****** deal with it.

Go see something good!

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