Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Movie Review: Twilight



You know those women who sit in the front row at serial killers' trials, write letters to serial killers, and sometimes marry serial killers? Yeah. Um. This movie is about a girl who's kinda like that.


But it's irresistable, anyway. First off, it has a very unique setting for a vampire romance; instead of dank alleys in Prague, you're treated to the mossy old-growth splendour of Washington state. Vampires outdoors in broad daylight! What a concept! And instead of being the typical new girl in town (a sullen outcast, mocked by everyone), 17-year-old Bella is immediately adored. She even attracts the attention of pale-but-hot Edward Cullen, who belongs to an extremely weird foster family. Edward and Bella become a couple. As Edward is about 90 years old, this is somewhat pervy (a plus in my book, heh heh). On the down side, I'm pretty sure they won't be able to own any pets if they get married. But there are enough wonderfully unique twists on traditional teen romances and vampire dramas in this film to make it enjoyable even for people who have melanin and don't listen to Morrissey.

7 comments:

Z-kid said...

http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e98/sharkbait407/1227256036595.jpg

:(

Wandering Coyote said...

I might get this when it's on DVD. I tried to read the book but it was just so bad...

tweetey30 said...

I want to see the second Lost Boys movie.. I want to see what they did with that like 20 years later.... Hopefully they didnt chop it up to much..

SME said...

Z, I think I need a password.

I have no desire to read the books. I looked at some reviews last night, and they were pretty awful. A lot of readers complained that the entire series is based on what's basically a very bad relationship - a guy who admits that he wants to kill his girlfriend, and a girl who's cool with that. Not exactly a sterling message for female teen readers. I mean I bitch about old Disney movies because the female characters make too many sacrifices for men they barely know! I want Demi to see movies and read books about resourceful, smart, independant girls who stand up for themselves; that's why we watch things like Bend it Like Beckham and the original Hairspray. Twilight is fine for adults, but I'm a little concerned about the message it gives young girls.

Wandering Coyote said...

Totally agree.

The review I heard on the CBC said something to the effect that the whole restraint Edward shows in not biting Bella and their not giving into carnal stuff is a metaphor for teenage sexual abstinence. The author is a Mormon (oh, what do you think of that, BTW? ;)) with an agenda, in other words. As someone who's seen the film, what do you think about that?

SME said...

I was actually surprised by the sexiness of the film. It was a lot more "carnal" than I expected a young adult story penned by a Mormon to be. But the teens are chaste - no actual sex. I understand that in the last book, Edward and Bella get married and finally have sex, but even that's not very pleasant for them due to Edward's superstrenth (and perhaps his inhuman speed? I mean, you have to wonder about that...). So it's a baffling mixed message that's being presented: Teenagers are sensual and responsive, but physical expression of those naturally beautiful urges will bring nothing but pain. I wouldn't call that a Christian message, necessarily; it's a very Gothic sensibility underlying the whole thing. "Sex leads to death, madness, obsessive love, etc." One could argue that the entire vampire genre is based on the notion that sexual expression is dangerous, or that the genre is a subversion of sexual aggression and/or "aberrant" desires (look at the homoerotic overtones of Anne Rice's work, for instance).

Obviously, a Mormon woman can't sit down and write erotic fiction for teenagers, featuring an old guy and a young girl. So I do think that the author transferred some of the sexual tension of adolescence into a vampire tale to make it all seem, well, less pervy. That's not necessarily a bad thing. I'm more concerned about the overtly masochistic behaviour of Bella. I mean she practically throws herself at Edward right after he tells her "I've killed people." She doesn't even ask him who he killed, for crying out loud! By the end of the film, Bella wants to become immortal just so that her high school relationship doesn't have to end. In the timeline of the film, she's known Edward for maybe half a school year. It makes me cringe that young teenage girls are absorbing this message. And it's a well-packaged message! I was totally taken in by the characters and the story, and I'm 30! Can you imagine the emotional impact the books and film are having on 14, 15-year-old girls?

SME said...

P.S. Wikipedia sez the author was inspired, in part, by Jane Eyre. Another hella masochistic "love" story. "Oh, your first wife is locked in your attic? That's OK, I forgive you. That's what she deserves for being a drunken slut." I suspect Charlotte Bronte based the "madwoman" in the attic on her dissolute brother, of whom she disapproved, but that's a whole different post...