Tuesday, July 20, 2010
On "Twilight: Eclipse"...
Okay, so here's the thing... Over the weekend, my better half and I had ourselves a little 'movie marathon'. We attended a total of three movies over the weekend, consisting of Harry Brown, Despicable Me and Twilight: Eclipse.
Just for the record, Despicable Me: Very funny. Great writing and artwork.
Harry Brown: Awesome. Even if some might view it as a Brit version of Clint Eastwood's 'Gran Torino'. Michael Cain is brilliant and still very much at the top of his game.
Now... as for Twilight: Eclipse...
Right off the bat, (no pun intended...) I'm going to say that I had not seen any of the previous two 'Twilight' installments. My wife had attended one show while in Australia, along with her granddaughter. I suspect it was out of some sense of attachment to her, thet we went to see this latest offering. The whole plot line seemed silly, to be charitable and judging by the target audience these flicks were aimed at, I didn't hold out much hope for substance. As it turned out, I was not to be disappointed. While most fantasy movies rightfully ask that the viewers check their sense of disbelief at the door, this one asks that you leave your entire brain at home.
Now as you all know, I do not fancy myself a critic of movies. Like, at all. With that said, I am someone who grew up on a whole laundry list of good ol' vampire movies, so I'm pretty well-versed with the legend and lore. For any of you who are the least bit conversant with vampire mythology, you'll know why for me, this movie sucked from one end to the other. And it had nothing to do with the sucking of blood, which in this supposed vampire movie, was strangely lacking. For the most part, the 'good guy vampires' spent most of their on-screen time doing outfit changes and looking mildly annoyed.
The entire film is based on the premise of this young tart who is clearly jaded with her life as a 'mere mortal'. That very mindset assures this particular movie franchise a huge following amongst the overly-entitled, non-creative, dispirited youth of today. She has fallen in with both a 'clan' of vampires (who are so NOT vampires in any of the accepted descriptions provided over the last few centuries) and a 'clan' of werewolves, who are native North Americans and are actually shape-shifters and not werewolves per se. For as much as these werewolves are the size of small delivery trucks when they morph, they are woefully inadequate/savvy on the field of battle.
Our young heroine's quandry in this series, revolves around whether to marry her vampire love-interest (if that doesn't strike you as a gaping oxymoron, I don't know what would...), or let herself be seduced by the warm-blooded and generally shirtless young lad who poses as a werewolf. So her dilemma during the whole movie, is basically a choice between necrophilia and beastiality. In one scene, the leading lady and her blood-sucking Romeo are about to get down and do the nasty. He of course assumes the role of the moral guardian and declines her obvious wantonness. My spouse almost hit me when I explained it aloud for her and anyone else who might have been listening in: "He's dead. He has no heart... no heart, no pulse... No pulse, no blood flow... No blood flow, no hard-on. She ain't getting any, regardless...".
Then of course there was the 'vampires lolling about in the light of day' scenario. Anyone knows that exposure to direct sunlight for a vampire results in SHC (Spontaneous Human Combustion). These badly made-up refugees from the GAP? They emit like a shimmering 'glow'... almost like the light sweat found on a prom queen's thigh. "Could this possibly get any gayer???", I asked myself. Oh yes, it did. Turns out that these young lotharios attend the local high school... in broad daylight. As do their equally palid yet very trendily attired female counterparts. And of course, none of the other 'normal' kids notice a thing. That is the one aspect of this movie that I actually found believable. The whole movie was kind of like 90210 meets the Breakfast Club, meets De Grassi High, meets The Count on Sesame Street... (Except De Grassi had far better writing and acting).
In the end, campy vampires and ersatz-werewolves band together to fight an army of rampaging 'newbloods', which have been mobilized by some vampire super-bitch, who has an axe to grind with our movie's vampire hero. Apparently the latter offed her mate in one of the preceding episodes of this saga.
There are probably many scenarios in life that could stand to be 'romanticized' and which might leave us all the better for it. This is certainly not one of them. While many writers have taken 'creative liberties' when it comes to the definition and character of such mythological beings as vampires, et al... none have stooped to rendering them so bland, mindless and pitiful as these brand-conscious wannabes are portrayed. If you're looking for a shot of anything stimulating, you can safely pass this one by. This one is more a giant overdose of brain pablum, a true study in pre-pubescent shmaltz. If you're over twelve years old, you'll likely find this intellectually insulting.