The Twilight Saga

“And so the lion fell in love with the lamb.”
“What a stupid lamb.”
“What a sick, masochistic lion.”

TWILIGHT (2008, Catherine Hardwicke) 44

[ There are two different films interwoven here: a ridiculous B movie about vampires that sparkle in the sun, play wicked baseball and whatnot, and a surprisingly fascinating high school romance about the unhealthy relationship between a bewitched teenage girl and a moody, manipulative, “protective” yet dangerous guy. It’s not that the the two films can’t mesh. Obviously, the fact that Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) is a vampire works with the themes of Stephenie Meyer’s novel as adapted by Melissa Rosenberg. But the way Catherine Hardwicke directs the scenes depicting the vampires’ superpowers is really cheesy, making the whole thing hard to take seriously… Yet that potentially tragic central love story has me intrigued and Kristen Stewart is pretty great at making us believe in Bella Swan’s desperate longing for Edward, so I’m still looking forward to watching the next episodes in the series. ]

“Guess the wolf’s out of the bag.”

NEW MOON (2009, Chris Weitz) 41

[ These aren’t really good movies so far, not with the often hacky direction and all the ridiculous stuff (sparkling vampires, barechested werewolves, etc.). But again, the subtext — which is so obvious that it’s pretty much text — is sorta fascinating. Here, Stephenie Meyer/Melissa Rosenberg deal with the fear of aging and dying, thoughts of suicide, depression and whatnot. The unhealthy romance between Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson mostly works and, this time around, Taylor Lautner makes a strong impression. So yeah, still not a good movie, but I’m hooked. #TeamJacob ]

“Doesn’t he own a shirt?”

ECLIPSE (2010, David Slade) 43

[ There’s a feeling during much of this third episode that Stephenie Meyer/Melissa Rosenberg are stretching the storylines and the themes thin, with endless talk about Bella’s will-she-or-won’t-she? eventual change into a vampire, Edward’s pending marriage proposal and the threat posed by Victoria (now played by Bryce Dallas Howard, taking over from Rachelle Lefevre for some reason), plus some new subplot about serial killings in Seattle and a bunch of backstory about this and that. But I still get a kick out of the teen soap opera, with Edward and Jacob being all macho and shit around Bella, trying to prove which one of them has the biggest swinging dick. Also, the climax is pretty awesome/ridiculous, with vampires and werewolves fighting each other all over the place. Looking forward to how they wrap up this whole nonsense in the final movie(s). ]

“Jacob imprinted.”

BREAKING DAWN – Part 1 (2011, Bill Condon) 26

[ All the movies so far have been rather bad, but at least they were amusingly bad. This one is mostly just boring… But what’s most frustrating is that the potential was there for at least an entertainingly awful flick, but all the best/worst ideas are wasted. Like after the (boring) wedding scene, Bella and Edward go on their honeymoon and they have some violent human/vampire sex… But we don’t really see it, just the warm-up before and the aftermath. Then almost the whole movie is about Bella becoming pregnant with… something. Again, there’s potential here for some disturbing and/or ridiculous body horror, but we mostly get endless (boring) melodrama about what Bella, Edward, the rest of the Cullens, Jacob and his wolf pack worry will happen if the pregnancy comes to term. Did I mention that it’s boring? There’s one wonderfully WTF moment near the end when Jacob imprints on Bella’s baby (don’t ask), and the final shot makes you kinda eager to see what’s next, but it’s too little, too late. ]

“Forever.”

BREAKING DAWN – Part 2 (2012, Bill Condon) 70

[ Well, what do you know: it took until the last episode before they actually made a good movie! This is by far the best film in the series, right from the opening sequence, which fulfills the promise of the final shot of “Part 1”, showing Bella (Kristen Stewart, better than ever in this franchise) finally transforming into a vampire, going hunting and testing her powers. It’s over the top and kinda ridiculous, as these flicks tend to be, but for once, it’s genuinely exciting and fun and sometimes downright hilarious – even intentionally so sometimes! Bella vs. a cougar? So awesome. I also loved the early scene when Bella learns about the WTF moment from the previous outing. “You imprinted on my daughter? She’s a baby!” Then overall, while some of the previous movies were boring and uneventful, needlessly stretching things, this one is full of action and drama, finally delivering payoffs to everything we’ve seen before, up to the final confrontation with the Volturi, which is actually pretty damn thrilling and heartbreaking… Though I haven’t decided yet if the bullshit twist that follows ruins it or not. In any case, I enjoyed how they wrapped things up afterwards, almost convincing us that this has been a wonderfully romantic love story all along. ]