Twilight

by

If like me (until yesterday morning) you hadn’t already heard of this Twilight phenomenon, I’ll try and explain. I should also point out that I haven’t read any of the books (though we were given complimentary copies at the cinema), mainly because I read grown up books these days, or badly written books with vast amounts or gore in them.

Before the curtain was raised, someone from E1 films came out to give a little speech (this was half industry screening, half fan-base). He quoted amazing box office figures from America at which all the teenagers in the audience whooped. This movie has performed better than Harry Potter or Quantum of Solace and will no doubt be a huge success over here too – the cult of the ‘Twilighter’ is ready to kick off. It was bizarre, this self celebration – like the kids were cheering the suit’s economic nous rather than any artistic achievement. There were a lot of teenage girls in the room. And a lot of them cheered the figures, then cheered the names of all the actors. This is a serious cult that’s about to go overground.

The film opens like The OC crossed with Lost Boys. In fact, there are so many elements of the latter in the film’s opening few reels that to start comparing would take all day, listing the borrowed ingredients. Apart from that, there’s some interesting stuff concerning native Americans in the opening – the best character being Jacob who explains the background. Apparently a pact was made between the ‘wolf-tribe’ of the indigenous folks and the blood-suckers back in the day causing an uneasy truce between the two.

In practice, at one point this brings up the uneasy sight of the ultra-slick, white-yuppie, all-American vampire being hostile to the far better intentioned native American lad, which looks very awkward onscreen. Was this a comment on settled Americans agreeing to stem their blood-lust to live in harmony with red indian-folk, or was it a just a clunky bit of ill-thought through scripting?

Hard to tell. Maybe in the book these ideas are fleshed out more. As it is, the film is all about love, love love. It’s aimed at teenage girls, so in looking for a low certificate the film-makers go for heart-throb of the day, Robert Pattinson as male lead and half the film is his face filling the frame looking all moody and pale. His character, Edward Cullen has fallen for Bella Swan played by Kristen Stewart. Sadly, she is a human and he is a vampire. All boys are vampires. They only want one thing.

Given the writer, Stephanie Meyer’s Christian background, I think it’s fair to say that the heavy-handed allegory is one of abstinence. He tries his damnedest not to bite huge chunks of her flesh out throughout the film, suggesting this is a story about the dangers of getting too close. It’s not that huge a twist on the usual vampire tale. The fact the female in the equation doesn’t care about the danger and, in fact, urges him on, implies that this is the woman’s fault. Weird.

In fact, the vampire element is pretty much redundant, aside from a silly baseball scene where the players use their supernatural skills to play a beefed up version of the game. In the end, this is just a cautionary tale about virginity and teenage lust dressed up with an edgy, blood-sucking twist. The fact that these vampires can walk around in daylight adds to the misery – apparently they avoid direct sunlight because it makes their skin go all sparkly. Strange – I always thought it was because beams of sunlight made them crumble or melt into a slush of flesh and bone. Silly me.

What bothers most is that teenagers are lapping up the movie and its message because of its emo-lite soundtrack and hunky leading male. It’s such a straightforward story with all stereotypes intact that it doesn’t do anything for the genre and, like superheroes in Smallville and the rich-without-responsibility in Gossip Girl, it sacrifices its best and darkest asset for smoochy, pedestrian relationship tales, almost lowering it to the Mills and Boon-for-kids level of entertainment we’re largely sick of – but not quite. It’s still watchable trash.

To sum up, and without wishing to patronise:

If you enjoy Twilight, download, rent or steal Martin by George Romero. It says a hell of a lot more than this mildly entertaining but ultimately throwaway stuff does. Failing that, The Lost Boys has got a proper cool bit with a vampire, a bath and shitloads of holy water in it. Death by stereo!

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91 Responses to “Twilight”

  1. indy Says:

    twiiiiii… liiight

    *sings, dressed up in enormous shapeless dress and black wig*

  2. Swineshead Says:

    Bit early for that, indy.

  3. Swineshead Says:

    bit quiet in here…

    *drops tray of hot beverages*

  4. indy Says:

    *starts to clean up mess after recent drop of hot beverages*

    i’ve spent the weekend watching ponderland from youtube. i found it really funny… it hasn’t much to do with twilight though apart from that brand looks vaguely vampirish

  5. Swineshead Says:

    I like Ponderland – the scene with the big cat in the back garden is hilarious.

  6. indy Says:

    i really enjoyed the bit about telephone bookings, about the northerners trying to book a cinema ticket. which reminds me: i used to work three months with a bloke from newcastle (neil). i didnt understand a single word of what he said. i found out that he used to tell jokes so i put myself in the situation where neil said something and i responded with a laugh. it worked about 75 % of the times.

  7. Swineshead Says:

    Ah yes – do you have an iron-ing-serv-ice?

    I am English and I still can’t understand Geordies.

  8. indy Says:

    so what’s the definition of a “geordie”?

    i don’t get the concepts of scousers and geordies. scousers are from liverpool, right?

  9. Swineshead Says:

    A geordie is someone from Newcastle. They talk like this:

    Wy-aye man, that’s reet canny is that.

    Think of Michael from Alan Partridge.

    Yep… Liverpool = scousers.

  10. indy Says:

    ok. they speak in “funny” accents. are there any other signs from which you can tell a geordie from your average english person?

  11. Swineshead Says:

    I wouldn’t want to stereotype, mate. Though they are all overweight and live underground.

  12. Badger Madge Says:

    best bit in lost boys surely is when a vamp bites into some rocker’s head and it squirts like he’s just bitten into a juicy fruit. classic.

  13. Badger Madge Says:

    “they’re only noodles, michael”

  14. Swineshead Says:

    The rockers head bit – I’d forgotten about that. That looked mental. When I was a child I wanted to be a Frog Brother.

  15. indy Says:

    our swedish “northerners” speaks very slowly and tend to replace the letter “g” with “k” and “b” with “p” (example “arpetar i kruvan” means “works in the mine” which seem to be a connection between “ours and “yours”) and do strange inward-whistle sounds instead of saying “yes”

  16. indy Says:

    lost boys – the saxophonist! yeah! wish i could do that look.

  17. Swineshead Says:

    That’ what our Cornish people do, Indy.

  18. indy Says:

    me, my girlfriend and two friends had a road trip in laponia this summer. we hired a car, travelled about 5 hours a day (a 2 reindeer/hour ratio, spotting not killing) and had our lifetime share of swedish northerners.

    amateur ethnography/sterotype check:
    *crazy about coffee
    *northerners hates same people and but unite against finnish gypsies
    *very quite but if you have broken through the 5 minutes of silence, they’ll invite you home for, surprise, coffee
    *pro-eu subsidies but against “big government” and anti-stockholm-establishment
    *ice hockey fans
    *pro-immigration (very progressive) since the 90ies there are quite a lot iraqis and somalis in norrland, and they are replacing the swedes who had it with unemployment and the immigrants is the reason why there’s still trains, post offices and hospitals.

  19. Swineshead Says:

    Were there any vampires?

    Vampires are the new zombies – you heard it here first.

  20. extremelisteningmode Says:

    I like vampires. Bram Stoker did it best, mind.

  21. Napoleon Says:

    This film sounds shite. Why did you go and watch this shite film?

    I’m writing about ‘Survivors’, by the way.

  22. Swineshead Says:

    Have you read Dracula, ELM?

    It’s fucking boring.

  23. indy Says:

    what about werewolves? this is my own monster ranking:

    vampire (-)
    zombie (up)
    werevolves (down)
    man-made creature out of control (up)

  24. Swineshead Says:

    Because it was free, I like vampires, and I wanted to see what this femoniman was all about. Better than lazing about of a Sunday morning. Got me out of the house.

    You watch Holby City, Nappers – I don’t roundly ridicule you for that (as I should) so LEAVE OFF.

  25. indy Says:

    i tried to read anne rice. what a bore.

    also: shite alert: “the historian” – a very thick and more or less unreadable object about vampires.

  26. Swineshead Says:

    My monster ranking:

    1) Paedophiles (NON MOVER)

  27. Napoleon Says:

    I recall that when you rang me up the other week, you had just finished watching Holby City. Admit it! YOU WATCH HOLBY TOO.

  28. indy Says:

    do you guys got “wipe-out” (the tv show) in the uk?

  29. Swineshead Says:

    The only good vampire story I’ve read is a short from Bret Easton Ellis in The Insiders. They’re making a film of that starring neurotic, shoplifting beauty Winona Ryder.

  30. Napoleon Says:

    I read that Historian book too. Utter, utter drivel.

  31. Swineshead Says:

    I don’t watch Holby. Honest to goodness.

  32. Napoleon Says:

    Wipeout? The Bob Monkhouse gameshow?

  33. indy Says:

    1) Paedophiles (NON MOVER)

    yeah and 2) nazis!!!

  34. Napoleon Says:

    Swineshead – Yes you do … and that’s the end of THAT!

    Indy – I’d say The Historian is the second worst book I’ve read all year. The worst was that pile of shit written by that idiot Sebastian Horsley. I couldn’t even finish that rubbish.

  35. Swineshead Says:

    Depends on the kinds of nazis… the actual Nazis had some good principles (tidiness, discipline etc) but I can’t stand health and saftery nazis. So yes, here is the revised list…

    1.) Peaedophiles (NON MOVER)
    2.) Health and Safety Nazis (NON MOVER)

  36. Napoleon Says:

    I think you’ll find the correct term is ‘Elf ‘n’ Safety NAZIS’.

  37. Swineshead Says:

    Are you an illiterate product of Broken Britain, Nappers?

  38. Swineshead Says:

    I don’t watch Holby – but that asian nurse who’s just had a baby is the only nurse who looks better in civvies than in a uniform, which is weird. She’s my favourite new TV nurse.

  39. indy Says:

    napoleon (nappers): i didnt finish it either. i got bored of the tired stereotypes (always look out for the olive-skinned, black curly haired, thick moustached characters). it’s definetely in my worst book ever “top” list too.

    wipeout! the sadistic gameshow with cruel traps presented as funny game elements. i know that it’s a hit in the us and a friend of mine is in argentina participating right now in the swedish edition.

  40. Napoleon Says:

    I think I might be one of the silent majority wot’s being ignored in favour of all these bloody immigrants, Swineshead. I’m not sure … let me just consult the Mail …

    … hmm. It appears I was wrong. Apparently, my sort are part of the problem, not a part of the solution. Buggeration.

  41. Napoleon Says:

    She doesn’t look half bad in uniform, I reckon. You’d know this if you watched Holby. Indeed, you’d know she’s just had a baby if you watched … here! What’s the game?

  42. Swineshead Says:

    I watched it the other night and she’d popped her babby out and was wandering around in civvies. My watching it was an isolated incident.

    Where are all these Twilighters sticking up for their vampires then? Must be a media ploy.

  43. Napoleon Says:

    Indy – Our Wipeout wasn’t like that.

    Swineshead – An isolated incident? Right you are. Did you happen to watch The Devil’s Whore last week? I was a wee bit disappointed that it didn’t quite live up to my on-screen tit expectations.

  44. Swineshead Says:

    I didn’t watch that. Hasn’t it got McNulty out of the Wire as Oliver Cromwell? Bit odd that.

  45. indy Says:

    apparently it (wiopeout) is coming to uk, hosted by “the hamster”.

    check it out on youtube. it’s kind of “funny” (funny in the “people gets hurt” kind of way)

  46. Napoleon Says:

    I only half-heartedly watched one episode of The Wire, so I wouldn’t know. The bloke playing Cromwell played the fella wot gives the angry shouting king’s wife one in 300. May be the same chap.

  47. Napoleon Says:

    And they couldn’t pronounce ‘Croyland’ properly. This annoyed me more than it should have done.

  48. indy Says:

    here’s the link to wipeout – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wipeout_(2008_game_show)

  49. Napoleon Says:

    Indy – This was our version – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wipeout_(1988_game_show)

    It was rubbish.

  50. Swineshead Says:

    That’s the chap – I couldn’t watch 300 after he appeared as I was in the midst of Wire obsession and it put me right off.

  51. Napoleon Says:

    He’s a bit rubbish as Cromwell. He’s got one of those ‘oo-arr’ cundree-boy accents that people in London assume everyone who isn’t from the ‘ee by gum’ North speaks with. Indeed, until I watched ‘The Devil’s Whore’, I was under the impression Old Ironsides hailed from Cambridgeshire, not Cornwall.

  52. Swineshead Says:

    His Baltimore accent had a few holes in it, but the character was such a good ‘un that you let it slip.

    I’m about ready to give up on Eastenders, I ought to point out at this juncture.

  53. Napoleon Says:

    ‘Stenders is going through a right royal rum patch at the moment. This is usually signalled by the arrival of a Queen Vic five-a-side football team.

    They should bring back the mouldering corpse of Steve Owen.

  54. Swineshead Says:

    They should bring back Eddie Royal as a shambling zombie.

  55. Napoleon Says:

    I liked Eddie Royal. Indeed, I’d prefer an assault on Albert Square by the reanimated cadavers of past characters than the current sorry collection of storylines. The ‘Who Ran Over Max’ one is exactly the same set up as ‘Who Shot Phil / JR?’.

    P’raps they should have Dot as the filling in a seedy sex sandwich inbetween Patrick and Bobby Davro? I’d watch that if I had a bucket nearby.

  56. indy Says:

    *runs out into the snow storm*

  57. Swineshead Says:

    I liked it when Pat revealed the sexy box of tricks Patrick had bought her.
    My pork chop came back up the way it went in.

  58. Napoleon Says:

    I miss those heady days when we were rewarded with scenes of an overweight, naked Pat lying in bed waiting for the overweight and saggy Frank to climb on board.

    The thought of Peggy being one tit down pops into my head too much too.

  59. Swineshead Says:

    What do you make of Archie then? He’s like a pouting praying mantis. You get the impression he’s got really bad breath.

    I like the way picks something up and momentarily pretends to be interested in it in EVERY scene he walks into…

  60. Napoleon Says:

    I’ve yet to decide on Archie. I was pleased to see Harry Hill picked up on that weird scene where he appeared to be glued to Roxy’s face.

    He’ll end up being murdered by Phil, I reckon.

  61. Swineshead Says:

    Harry Hill’s guitar/woman’s leg combo was brilliant.

  62. Napoleon Says:

    That was funny. I also liked the wee shark in the box. His show’s about the only thing I can think of that’s worth watching on ITV at the moment.

  63. Napoleon Says:

    It’s all gone a bit quiet in ‘ere today. Do you think all the readers are off getting their pubic lice treated at the clap clinic?

  64. Swineshead Says:

    Is there an outbreak or something?

    It is dead quiet. Clearly I’ve not blogged about I’m a Celeb anywhere near enough. Truth is, I’m bored shitless of watching dull telly.

  65. Napoleon Says:

    Same here. Maybe we should go more high-brow? P’raps write about that boffin stuff Piqued pretends to like? You could do a review of that Radio 4 show where that egghead Mark Lawson blathers on about some rubbish most of us aren’t anywhere near London to actually go and see. I could do a piece on BBC Four’s last days of steam season. Or something.

    We could rename ourselves ‘Waffle With Mothers’?

  66. Swineshead Says:

    Or we could go the other way and just review porns. Rude porns.

    Moppin’ Up With Mothers?

  67. Dave Says:

    Ben Fogle has a parasitic disease that’s eating him alive and all you can talk about it BBC Four? By Christ!

  68. Napoleon Says:

    I’d be happy with that. Having access to the internet, I’ve had plenty of experience of blue movies.

    Strictly for research pruposes, I might add.

    That reminds me – when do you think Pete Townshend’s going to get round to finishing that book he was writing?

  69. Napoleon Says:

    Dave – I mentioned Mr. Fogle’s disease last week. Nobody cared then, so why should they care now? You halfwitted, unemployed dreg.

  70. Napoleon Says:

    Dave – You might be interested to know the Salvation Army gives away free soup at Christmas. Me, I’ll be having roast turkey with all the trimmings.

    BECAUSE I’VE GOT A JOB*.

    *Well, sort of.

  71. Dave Says:

    I’m going to dress up as santa on Christmas Day, collecting money for a faux charity that’ll really fund my back pocket.

  72. Swineshead Says:

    You’ll be on the sex offenders register within minutes if you try that one, Dave.

  73. Dave Says:

    Fleeing the scene dressed as Santa’ll be a doddle on a day such as Christmas. You don’t scare me with your petty threats.

  74. Napoleon Says:

    Forgive me, but I was under the assumption that Dave’s name was already on the Sex Offender’s Register. You’re telling me he’s slipped through the net?

    BUT WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN?

    Sorry – WHAT ABOUT THE URCHINS?

    (I temporarily forgot he lives in Manchester.)

  75. Dave Says:

    Unfounded accusation there, Perry

    I could respond ‘Napoleon buggers goafers dressed in PVC vicar suits of varying garish shades’ with as much authority. But I won’t. I, as everyone on here will know, have far too much class to type such a thing…

  76. Napoleon Says:

    ‘Goafers’? What are they, Dave?

  77. Swineshead Says:

    I wouldn’t understand you if you said that, because there’s no such thing as a ‘goafer’.

  78. Dave Says:

    The Goafers are a family line traced back to the year 1258 in Sheffield.

  79. Napoleon Says:

    Maybe it’s a cross between a goal and loafer? Or perhaps it’s a Manchester thing? Something to do with kids on the corner of the street in their sparking clogs?

  80. Dave Says:

    ‘Sparking’ clogs? Are these clogs lighting a cigarette upon the cobbles?

  81. Napoleon Says:

    Don’t ask me, Dave. The lyric comes from ‘Matchstalk Men and Matchstalk Cats and Dogs’ – the most accurate song ever written about that shithole Manchester.

  82. Dave Says:

    Sparkling’s the word, you cartoon of a man. And Manchester has buildings constructed with glass sheets these days. We even have a Burger King and a Tesco Metro.

  83. Napoleon Says:

    ‘Sparkling’ would be the word if they’d written that instead of what they actually wrote, Dave. You moron.

    Has Manchester managed to remove its air of smug self-satisfaction yet? And do they all still walk like monkeys?

  84. Nick T Says:

    I caught a glimpse of that god awful Cumm Dancing thing.
    It is quite dreadful…

  85. Swineshead Says:

    Strictly Cum-Drinking… disgusting.

  86. Napoleon Says:

    Nick – It’s just fucking dancing. I don’t understand why it’s become the most watched television programme on earth. All it is is dancing.

  87. Napoleon Says:

    By the way, some FACTS about Manchester:

    1. They all walk like monkeys.
    2. They’re all pig-ignorant.
    3. Liverpool shits on ’em.

  88. Nick T Says:

    The judges are nausiating.
    I could only stomach 15 seconds of it.
    I’d shoot the lot of em…..

  89. Kremble Says:

    *slinks out from under rock*

    Hiya chaps,

    Just got in from work. Quiet in here today, isn’t it?

    Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…

    A few points to make on today’s discussion:

    1) I’ve never heard of twilight but it sounds awful.

    2) I’m from the north. I live in the north. Northerners are (delete where applicable):

    a) salt-of-the-earth-tell-it-like-it-is-call-a-spade-a-bloody-shovel types with more wit and invention than anyone else ever.

    b) stupid-fat-layabout-gobshite types whose only purpose is to serve as Jeremy Kyle fodder and piss their life away with chips, fags and cheap warm beer.

    3) Dave is unemployed. This makes him prone to layzeenuss, benefit fraud and simplistic opinionated ranting.

    That is all. Carry on.

    *slinks back under rock*

  90. cyanide Says:

    twilight is the best book and film in a long time the cast fit perfect with the books

    also why review a film then comment about something different

    also dont judge a book by its film read the book’s my whole family has read them & liked them its not just a book for teenagers yes am 16 but thats not the point everyone has there own view so go and see the film and judge for yourselfs

    i when to america to see the film but my family will be going seeing it when it comes out over here

  91. Akira Says:

    Re: “Given the writer, Stephanie Meyer’s Christian background”

    I thought she was a Mormon.

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