I'm Watching Twilight So You Don't Have To

Composed on the 16th of January in the year 2013, at 12:33 PM. It was Wednesday.

I can only promise I'll watch the first movie. But I swore I'd watch it before I'd comment on it, so I've had to sit on the sidelines while my betters, those with the strength, sat through it. I'm four, maybe five drinks deep. It's Tuesday. Girlfriend away. Facebook uninspiring. This is the moment. I will watch this shit.

Prepared: One bowl of chips. Dip, made with the soup mix and sour cream. Little bit of whiskey left. One bottle of wine. Two cats. Giant iron gonads or weird personal issues, take your pick. One iTunes account. One Apple TV. One TV. Pixels, prepare.

0:00

Starting with a voiceover. Bad sign. Shaky camera chases a deer. Turns to steady camera. Back to shaky. Back to voiceover. Pretty girl with terrible dialogue. "I would miss my loving, erratic, mumble mumble mother." Fucking enunciate. I seriously just listened to that line four times, I still have no idea what the mumble mumble was. It's a voiceover, for chrissake, you can have as many takes as you want. Should have picked up more wine. Or possibly less, since alcohol is what put me in this situation. Some shitty pop or hipster music playing now; I need a smoke.

5:00

We've wrapped up our token old native american and our token cripple in one character. Certainly efficient. Father buys estranged daughter a shitty truck. First day of school; one single alienating comment from a blond girl, then she has a bunch of friends. OMG THAT'S SO JUST LIKE MY HIGH SCHOOL EXPERIENCE in no fucking way at all.

9:00

Oh, it's okay, the friends are just for plot exposition. Ah, and as a lead up to the hottest, most unattainable guy in school walking in and staring her down immediately. Seriously, fuck you. I got beat up on the goddamn orientation day at my high school.

10:35

Hot guy appears to have stomach issues upon seeing new girl, despite the fan placed to blow her hair around in slow motion. I don't know who the set manager is, but it's the least sexy slow-motion hair I've seen to date. There was some dramatic guitar, reminded me of the early 90s, can't say why.

13:40

I think that may have been a plot point. Something about cute boys, are they treating you nice, mom is weird but not weird, distant but loving… no, it's nothing, it's meant to drop the phrase "cute boys" and that's about it. But that's okay, because we can cut to

13:48

EYES. And more 90s guitar.

13:50

Voiceover: "I plan to confront him. And demand to know what his problem was." Jesus Motherfucking Christ. Updates will have to come slower, or I'll be here all night.

15:30

She slips. She says, "Ice doesn't really help the uncoordinated." Dad replies, "Yeah, that's why I had some new tires put on the truck." THAT DOESN'T MAKE ANY FUCKING SENSE. FUCK YOU YOU FUCKING HACK. Seriously, fewer updates.

17ish

Hot guy back. At least we're approaching the primary relationship, if not the main conflict, which most decent movies establish before the title music. Hot guy has gotten over his stomach problems, though still can't enunciate any better than the protagonist. Or act.

21:20

Saved her life with superhuman strength and speed. Guess that makes up for not being able to act. Worked for Superman. Why the van was screaming out of control toward her in a parking lot is unclear. Oh, wait, it was driven by the black guy, that explains it.

23ish

If I knew absolutely nothing about this movie going in, I would know the doctor was a vampire. Or Tom Cruise pre-makeup.

24:10

Hot boy is now lying to her and telling her she's being irrational, with a fratty smirk on his face. Nice. I know this will seem sensible later, when his immortality problems are revealed to be so much more important than her mortality and sanity problems.

27:52

Still lying, with a dash of condescension. Teenage girls are watching this and thinking he's a dish. Mull that over for a bit, see if you don't vomit. I've seen porn with more progressive relationships. Oh, then he tells her she's a klutz, but it's cool, because he says, "Sorry I'm being rude all the time," then gets cut off. Inside info, this guy's supposed to be a century old or whatever; I figured out how to talk to women when I was 23, and that's pretty late.

28:25

"Why didn't you just let the van crush me." She said that. You can't make this up. Taking a bathroom break, hoping I miss something.

32ish

I overheard a line from the bathroom, but I don't want to talk about it. More important, why is this guy in high school? When you live forever, it takes serious mismanagement of your education and your finances to have to go to high school for eighty years. Apparently homeschooling isn't an option for super powerful monsters avoiding the sun and trying not to eat teenage girls. Not like he's trying to make friends and influence people.

37:20

Judging by her current high school social status, the protagonist has been in this town her whole life, and was always the prettiest girl. And only started being awkward three days ago. When the "plot" kicked in.

39:40

Miraculously, hot guy knew she was being attacked by random rapey hoodlums in a rural town, pop 3000, and stared them all down, so I guess this makes him cool, since he's clearly not stalking her and was just making a handbrake turn into a dead-end for the hell of it. Then we're supposed to be sorry for him because he's not killing the hoodlums. End of scene. Really: end of scene.

42:43

Well, at least she called him out on the stalking. He feels "very protective" of her and was following her. See: stalking. Anyway, there's some nonsense, but now he doesn't have the strength to stay away from her anymore, his words. Because, really, it's all about men having the strength not to stay away from women and women being too pretty and HOW IS THIS NOT RAPE APOLOGIST PROPAGANDA? FUCK YOU.

47:30

This is the scene in the library where Giles figures it out or they have a bunch of much wittier coming-of-age dialogue than this movie is going to provide, so I'm smoking.

Addendum to 47:30

Anything in this movie that isn't stolen from popular nonsense is stolen from Ann Rice.

50ish

She has the "oh shit he's a vampire moment" at the exact midpoint of the movie, classically known as the turning point, when you're supposed to have a revelation that changes everything. At least the script doctor did his job. And hot guy says "Say it. Out loud." Because… you know. Oh, and he sparkles in the sun. Exactly like all the vampires never. Brilliant. You come up with a new vampire myth, and that's the thing you change.

54ish

She's his heroin.1 He wants her blood more than anything. He wants to kill her, but she trusts him, because he's a liar who tells her she's crazy to think he's not normal because he has superhuman abilities. Look, to any girls or boys in high school reading this, I've had these relationships, and they suck. Run. Run at 24:20.

56:12

Pan out usually means sex, but since this movie seems to have a 19th century set of values, I assume the pan out means they hugged real sexy-like, then she fainted and he had to call the butler for the smelling salts, after which they took a lovely constitutional in the courtyard so she could get some air and stop swooning and being hysterical.

56:38

Somebody hit a bunch of piano keys for this part of the soundtrack. Somebody who sucked at life.

57:34

Back to voiceover. Voiceover stating the obvious in bullet point form. Not only obvious, but obviating whatever was left of the emotional content into the simplest, most immediately accessible terms. Pardon, need to piss a better story.

1:02:30

Token crippled native american is back! Will he be a breath of fresh air, or reveal some ancient secret about the land and the people? I paused it, so if you haven't seen the movie or read the book, take bets now, since I know next to nothing about this story besides the agony of the last hour and the facebook babble. Bonus points for the following: "my people," "ancient," reference to how he came to be in a wheelchair. Going to be straight up about these predictions; if none of them come up, I lose three points.

1:03:32

I was completely wrong. For now. Merely a not-subtle-at-all subtle suggestion that token dude knows what's up. I expect something plot-related about the wheelchair will be revealed later or in the next movie. Which I will never watch.

1:08:40

FYI, Claire de Lune never got a high school boy laid.

1:11:00

Neither did playing piano. It's possible that playing Clair de Lune on a piano could get a high school boy laid, but I'm not having kids, so can't conduct further research. Please contact me if you have data points.

1:13:30

Somehow, our protagonist's surreal life has brought her closer to her dad, even though she hasn't had an interaction with him in a hour and no part of the story suggests that emotional awakening in any way.

Intermission

My roommate and his girlfriend came home and I had to admit to what I was doing. My roommate's girlfriend reports that her mother's best friend required her mother and her friends to watch all the existing movies prior to any release of a new one. I can't imagine such a hell.

My roommate's fundamental problem with twilight is that an ex-girlfriend gave him the book on the grounds that he had to read it since it was about vampires, and because hot guy was so beautiful, based on a few paragraphs of description. He feels he was tricked into carrying around a book for teenage girls based on the extrapolated fantasies of an effectively teenage ex.

I'm more offended that somebody wrote this for teenage girls.

1:15:02

He's been watching her sleep. This leads into a semi-sex scene that's oh so quaint. She apologizes for having sexual feelings. Because that would drive him into a blood rage, of course. Good thing she didn't wear a miniskirt.

1:18:30

At this point, we establish that the protagonist's dad doesn't like her boyfriend, doesn't respect his daughter, and that all the men in her life should probably have their balls removed by weasel. Cut to sexy baseball scene, based on a couple of Matrixy film techniques invented sixteen years ago, added to this movie to prevent all the twenty-somethings from slitting their other wrist.

1:23:40

In America, ancient battles between mythological beings are solved with friendly games of baseball. This could actually be awesome, if it wasn't so poorly done.2 Oh, wait, smelled human. Now everything's fucked.

1:28:20

Girl is too emotional, man has to drive. Oh, yeah, this just followed play 26 of the dad vs. daughter stock footage fight reels, so it doesn't matter how many rational faculties have been removed from the protagonist. It's daddy's fault.

1:31:20

Bunch of expensive cars blasting out of rural nowhere. There was probably another plot point leading up to this. I can't take it anymore. I have to go to bed and try to complete this tomorrow.

Next day

Coffee acquired. Don't want to do it, but I've come this far, and I owe it to society to report back, to save better men who might have trod this path from having these two hours of their life sucked away so cruelly. Waiting for my lunch break, and for the first time in my professional career, dreading it.

Lunch

Fast forwarding to where I left off. Should have done this in the first place: it's basically the same story, but without all the rapey dialogue. Still too long.

1:29:50

Catching up a bit. This is harder sober. The vampires are suiting up for a kill, and vampire girl says "What if they kill one of us first?" which is a line rightly ignored by everyone in the room, since its sum contribution to plot, situation, and character is slightly less than zero. Seriously. It just makes the movie two seconds longer.

1:30:15

Hot guy's stomach problems are back. Girl is part of the family now, so they're protecting her. That happened fast.

1:31:20

Okay, so the nice cars belonged to the vampires, that makes more sense. I guess we're in the third act. Girl looks like she's recovering from a coke hangover. There's a lot of music.

1:33:00

Okay, so vampire sister has visions of the future, except they change when people change their minds, making one think, hey, what fucking good are these visions? Has nobody brought this up during a staff meeting? "So, Jim, so we hired Sara to see the future for us, and, well, she kind of, you know, can't."

Actually, now that I'm thinking about various past jobs, this makes perfect sense.

1:33:50

The pacing in this movie blows. Some of the scene cuts look like they forgot to stop recording during the commercials. And I'm not clear on why the bad guy gives such a fuck about the protagonist. I'm sure that came up at some point, and I would go back and check if I had the stomach, but I don't, and frankly, I should have had a few more cues on the new primary conflict if this movie isn't going to decide what it's actually about. You can watch Star Wars blackout drunk and still know what was going on the next day.

And the writing is just brilliant. Bear with this scene:

1) Future girl's vision changes because she's useless.

2) New vision: mirrored room.

3) Protagonist identifies it as a ballet studio. Because we discover she did ballet. Just now. Maybe they mentioned this before, I don't give a fuck. Not like it matters except for this scene, because, 20 seconds later, bad guy calls up, having kidnapped her mother, and says she has to come alone. Where are they going to meet? Wait for NO OMG LEMME TELL U RITE NOW ITS THE BALLET STUDIO!

This is what it feels like when your intelligence is slapped with giant troll dick.

Oh, and yes, the girl's two vampire bodyguards, sworn to protect her, just left her alone in a crowded room, so her fulfilling the bad guy's demand of giving her friends the slip consists of her turning around and walking out the door.

1:35:14

Voiceover: "Dying in the place of someone I love… seems like a good way to go." Subtext: "Because I have no skills, initiative, self-respect, or emotional control, I may as well abandon my super-friends who could totally solve this situation and go die." Appropriate audience response: "Yes, please."

1:35:30

Voiceover: "I can't regret the decisions I made that brought me face to face with death." Trying to remember a decision she made. Oh, she moved away from her mother, an hour and half ago. That was a decision. Oh, and decided to do exactly the stupid thing the bad guy told her to do so he could kill her.

Some fucking time I'm never getting back

In this scene she looks a little bit like Hermione from Harry Potter. If I were Emma Watson and somebody mistook me for this girl and asked for an autograph, I would take the pen, sign "get therapy," and stab them in the eye.

1:36:10

Sound mixing sucks. Designed to inspire dread, inspires confusion.

1:38:20

Hot guy saves her. Well, after the bad guy cracks her skull and breaks her leg. Oh, and hot guy is so transfixed by her blood, he doesn't notice the bad guy counter-attacking. Fight scene. Actually not terrible. Would be better if this was the whole movie.

1:39:52

Rest of the good guys show up. Girl on floor, going into shock, screaming a lot. I'm guessing now hot guy has to bite her, since every good-guy vampire in the history of storytelling has had to bite a girl for her own good.

1:40:28

Well, the family just executed the bad guy, virtually off-camera, which was about as climactic as soft-core porn. Oh, and the bad guy's venomous. Or will turn her into a vampire, I think. Oh, and her femoral artery is cut, and they're solving the vamp-venom thing by sucking her blood, of course, so we've got our Good Guy Vampire Bite in the bag. And then he sucks for too long (about two hours too long, so far), and, as usual, the girl's getting off on it. Oh, and she should be seriously, seriously dead at this point.

1:42:00

Worst. Flashback montage. Ever.

1:42:40

Voiceover: "Death is peaceful. Easy. Life is harder." I just saw death portrayed as lying next to the boy you love forever. This movie just told millions of girls to kill themselves, as close to literally as makes no difference. This isn't even funny. This is sick and dangerous.

1:45:30

Is she freaking out because she almost died? Because hot guy might freak out at any moment and suck her dry? Nope. Freaking out because hot guy might leave her. You could replace 90% of her dialogue with "abuse me harder" and get the same movie.

1:46:50

Yay, Prom!

1:48:40

Men are fighting over her. Because god knows she's a whore and will run off with whatever.

1:48:50

Just paused it to get a time and discovered the chapter where they go to prom is entitled "important rite of passage."

1:49:26

Hot guy just said "Prom is an important rite of passage." That explains it.

1:50:30

She's dancing with her much taller, much older boyfriend. Her feet are on his shoes because her leg's broken. Daddy issues? Anyone?

1:51:20

She wants to be a vampire.

Him: "I'm not going to end your life."

Her: "I'm done. Already."

Jesus.

1:53:20

He doesn't turn her into a vampire. The metaphor for not getting fucked on prom night is about as subtle as, oh, I don't know, a giant troll dick.

1:54:00

We end on some red-headed skank spying on them and plotting their downfall. Followed by EYES. Mercifully, I can stop watching this.

Conclusion

I went in expecting this to be bad, but it is so much worse than I thought. This movie is explicitly telling girls to shut up, be pretty, obsess over abusive boys, and kill themselves if the going gets rough, because hey, life's over at seventeen anyway. But don't have sex. Ever.

It's fucking horrifying. I feel bad for my TV. I need a drink.

1 The lack of an "e" at the end of this word has never been so un-ironically poignant.

2 Historical note: this actually was done in a Ghostbusters cartoon some time around 1986.

The future of warfare.


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