Gutenfilm Presents: Twi Hard: Twilight
Twi Hard is not complete without a Gutenfilm documentation of what I’ve been enduring throughout the series. This is the first of what will, at the end of this weekend, be no fewer than three accounts (plus a full review of Breaking Dawn, because I hate myself) of my experience with what will sure to be an experience that is equal parts soul-sucking and uproarious. Fifteen minutes into the film, I already deeply regret what I have gotten myself into.
First off, this movie is boring. Like seriously, what the hell. Soul sucking, melodramatic boredom sets in almost from the opening seconds of the film. It’s difficult to even describe it. I have not had the “pleasure” of reading the novels that the films are based on, but what I’ve seen here is enough to seriously worry about the future of what teenagers are reading. Twilight opens with Bella Swan (a mouth-breathing Kristen Stewart) moving to a town called Forks because of her parents getting divorced or something. She goes to high school and meets friends, and finds herself getting stalked and stared at (and inexplicably aroused) by a pale young man named Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). She eventually learns through a requisite research montage that Edward is a vampire and totally wants her. Despite the fact that she watches her while she sleeps, stares at her relentlessly while she is awake, follows her everywhere, and literally compares the addictive nature of her scent to heroin, she is totally on board with being his girlfriend and “trusts him” (there are some seriously unnerving undertones here) Then it turns out that there are evil vampires that also want Bella, and they do some stuff, and something. Well before this point, I was fairly heavily invested in making derisive jokes about the storyline, and by the time these plot points rolled around, I was still paying attention but the comedy had reached a fever pitch. The climax is in a ballet studio, and some vampires have a CW-style throwdown and Edward sucks Bella’s blood to the background track of whatever stupid song by Robert Pattinson the producers chose to use. I’m literally bored trying to recount the film’s plot to you right now.
I’ve often felt that it is a bit of a curse as a student of film to take notice of the technical elements of a film. As such, it has been impossible to ignore the outrageous use of absurd camera movements. The camera sweeps and pans in damn near every single shot, whooshing through every object possible as if director Catherine Hardwicke attached the camera to a miniature X-Wing and told it to fly wherever it possibly could. When the camera isn’t flying around, it instead pans, turns, and rotates, creating Dutch angles and other artsy techniques. It’s a subversive attempt at style on its most demented level.
Probably the most depressing part about watching Twilight is the realization that this is an honest attempt at a dramatic, powerful film. The filmmakers seem as though they truly want to make a deep romantic adaptation of the novels. Displays of the vampires’ power is emphasized through a budget Smallville-style motion blur effect. It looks utterly ridiculous and elicits derisive snickers at every instance. It is extremely difficult to emphasize how incredibly stupid this effect looks, and how hilarious it ends up feeling.
That’s not even considering the way that Twilight utterly destroys the cinematic vampire motif: Vampires here can be photographed and appear in mirrors. Even worse (and this is probably the most horrible, senseless, idiotic, and infuriating/depressing element), they not only don’t die in sunlight, they glitter. Edward steps into sunlight and his skin turns into freakin’ diamonds. There might be some metaphors about sexuality and abstinence in the Twilight saga, but if glittery vampires (the initial reason I joined Team Jacob) is a metaphor for something, it was completely lost on me. If it was a comedy device, it totally worked.
And the baseball scene.
Oh, the glorious, hilarious baseball scene. In this section of my writing, I originally had a brief rant on the stupidity of the sequence. However, I feel it more indicative and representative of the scene to just post the sequence itself, in all of its idiotic, hysterical glory:
I’m simultaneously enthralled and upset that so many millions of people are so enamored by so appallingly stupid of a film. I’m slightly excited, and more than a little apprehensive, of what awaits me in the next two films that I have sitting here on my desk. I’m downright nervous to see Breaking Dawn Part 1 in theaters. Even so, I will continue forward and survive all the way through the saga. I can’t quit now; the stupidest part of the movie was right at the end credits (with an alarmingly ridiculous montage of some villain doing villainous plotting things), and now I feel compelled to follow this poisonous rabbit hole as far as it goes.