smoke

I write better when I smoke. Don’t ask me to reduce it to a science.

twilight

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Finally saw twilight. Never read the books, so I went into the movie with only the trailers, the hype, and the criticisms as background.

It wasn’t as bad as I expected. The first hour dragged by as director Catherine Hardwicke took pains to establish Bella’s character as a whip-smart, tough-as-nails, but vulnerable young girl and Edward’s bona fides as a good-guy vampire with sparkly skin.

It was, however, fairly easy to accept that you were looking in on a high-school romance. Which was strange because for a vampire more than a hundred years old, Edward acted exactly like the 17-year old he claimed to be. Consider how Kirsten Dunst’s little girl vampire grew up into a sexpot without growing old – or even taller. Edward, on the other hand, seemed stuck just short of the age of consent. 

Bella’s fascination for the brooding Edward was played out well enough, with Stewart clearly being simpatico with her intended demographic – the teeny-boppers – without damaging the noir feel of the movie. Lines like “Your moodswings are giving me whiplash,” were reason enough to forgive the endless inanities spilling out of the Asian boy’s pie-hole.

The last three-quarters of the movie moved like a speeding bullet compared to the set-up. Shortly after having to accept the familiar ordinariness of vampire of homelife – “what did you expect? Moats?” – the movie-watcher is confronted with the existence and depradations of a vampire who has whole-heartedly accepted his place at the top of the food chain. And so the chase is on sending Bella and Edward on a curiously time-telescoped run for safety.

Throughout  tho,’ it’s hard to ignore the battered wife syndrome chic that this movie is peddling. I mean, Bella is determined to stay with a guy who constantly has to stop himself from sucking her dead. How screwed up is that? Sure, teenage romances become sweeter when there’s that element of unthinking self-sacrifice, which is precisely why this movie’s appeal is destined to be severely limited to the teen crowd and to those grown-ups who still think like love-struck juveniles. Most mature grown-ups would cringe at the nascent stockholm syndrome being presented here.

On vampires.

underworld3pic1

The vampirology in this movie – and presumably the book – is decidedly light-weight. But then again, I’m coming from Bram Stoker and Anne Rice and White Wolf. One particularly grating thing here is the obvious move towards adding to the vampires v. werewolves trend. I’m not particularly happy with that, being of the school of thought that believes – and this requires  some serious suspension of disbelief – first, that werewolves are solitary creatures and cannot live in packs lest they wipe out the prey; and second, that vampires are more likely to avoid conflict with werewolves lest they betray their existence to the world. 

Having quibbled that quibble, the Underworld franchise, in its coming prequel, presents a nice rationalization for that ‘war.’


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Filed under: movies, pop-culture, stories, vacuity, , , ,

9 Responses

  1. BrianB says:

    Yep, Jack Nicholson and Michelle Pfeiffer’s werewolves is my preference too. A lot nicer, right? I have watched the movie and I can see its appeal to younger people. It’s sexy. Vampires made to attract, skin glitters in the sun.

  2. lana says:

    if it’s any consolation, you’ll discover later on that they are not werewolves… 😀

  3. rom says:

    lana: welcome to the smoking room! Thanks for setting me straight! 😀

  4. Edrie says:

    Hm, which one did you play, The Eternal Struggle or The Requiem?

  5. Edrie says:

    Hm, which one did you play, The Eternal Struggle or The Requiem?

  6. rom says:

    Edrie: The book we used was old. Vampire the Masquerade. 🙂 I was a Tremere

  7. Edrie says:

    Sorry, for the double post. Anyway, I would have been a Tremere in The Eternal Struggle and a mage in Worlds of Darkness except that Wizards of the Coast won’t let go of my soul.

  8. BrianB says:

    I forget to mention. Notice how sex is removed from the table? The series can be a big anti-teen-sex propaganda.

  9. There are a lot of us who can’t wait for this week to be over. By Monday the question of whether or not Twilight will actually break out a magic spinning wheel to turn the obsessed shrieks of teen girls into gold will more or less be

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