A MinD in MoTown


I’ve come to suck your blood.

(Warning: This contains a few spoilers about Twilight. However, the real warning is that today’s blog is rather long. But really, it all had to be said. If you want to skip this post altogether – either because long blog entries frighten you or you don’t give a rat’s behind about Twilight – feel free. I’m sure Matt and most other males will, so you can, too, I suppose.)

As some of you may recall, I caved about two months ago and bought Twilight despite a strong urge to disregard the series entirely. I’d heard a lot of negative comments about the book – everything from a juvenile plot to Mormon undertones to being poorly written – which, for a long time, swayed me into completely believing that a vampire tale geared primarily toward teenagers would not hold my interest.

The TwitPic from when I bought the book.

The TwitPic from when I bought the book.

But, at that point, the hype became too much to bear. The movie was just released to DVD and I was feeling somewhat like I was on the outside of an “inside” story. Being “out of the know” is rather unpleasant for a journalist as utterly nosey as myself. Thus, I felt compelled to drop $12 on a text I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy whatsoever simply for the relief of understanding, or simply knowing, what the commotion was all about.

And I unexpectedly found myself quite engulfed in the tale of Bella and Edward. To say I was shocked at my eagerness to finish the book would be putting it mildly. It was as if I needed to know what would happen, rendering me almost powerless against Stephenie Meyer’s words.

I’m not about to spoil the book for those few of you who may not have read it. Though I will say that I was certainly swept up into the “high school love” the text possessed. I’m sure it’s just a “girl thing,” but it was rather easy to associate with the strong emotions Bella, the main character, felt and how enthralled she was with Edward, even if he was a vampire. I also seemed to enjoy the back stories, if you will, into how each vampire came into that new life of the undead. I’ve always found vampires and all tales concerning them fascinating – hence a love for the Underworld films and HBO’s True Blood – so that was a definite point of interest in Twilight.

However, with the good, there was the bad.

The text seemed contrived, without a doubt. The pieces fit together far too perfectly for the plot to continue its path, and I found that more than a little bothersome at times. Even the sub-conflict of the book – personally, I’d consider the love between a human and a vampire to be the primary conflict, but obviously the “action” toward the latter half was another issue that needed resolving – seemed forced, as if the author realized 300 pages into writing that a more defined antagonist and climax was necessary. That entire sub-conflict, if you ask me, was probably needed, yet truly left much more to be desired, including a more believable/valid explanation into its occurrence.

Also, a vampire that glitters? Come on! For the purposes of Meyer’s setting – high school – Edward obviously needed the ability to walk in the daylight, thus the immense cloud cover of a Washington-state lifestyle seemingly fit well. And then the author had to toss in the glittering effect a vampire’s body had when the sun shone, and I found that aspect ridiculous. I know my opinion matters little – but if you’re still reading, you have some interest in what I’m saying about this book – but it’d be perfectly plausible for vampires to be day-walkers so long as they avoided direct sunlight. There was no need whatsoever for a sparkly Edward, unless an entirely preposterous, laughable element was deemed vital, and I highly doubt that.

Lastly, it took me at least 50 or so pages to actually become invested in what I was reading. I didn’t expect to suddenly feel an attachment to the story, especially considering the wall I had already built between Twilight and myself. But the book took me nearly two weeks to read because for almost 18 percent of it, I found it dull and rather lackluster, leaving me unimpressed. But in sticking with it, I couldn’t pull myself away from the pages. I just wish it hadn’t so long to get to that point. I can imagine several readers finding the beginning portion somewhat tedious and never finishing the book as a result, and that’s a shame.

If I was forced to choose between either “good” or “bad” concerning Twilight, I’d go with the former. Sure, it had its pitfalls and disappointments, but like I said, the book wasn’t written for an adult audience, so how much blame can I seriously place on it for those faults? With that said, they remained apparent distractions that I simply can’t overlook.

….. My rating? 3.3/5 …..

Twilight: The Movie

After finishing the book, I definitely craved more Twilight, as sad as that sounds coming from an almost 24-year-old. So within three days, I rented the movie, finally ready to visually see if all the film buildup held merit … and it most certainly DID NOT. That’s right, I hated the movie SO MUCH that I’m busting out the caps lock.

First, let me explain that I’m the kind of person who very strongly believes that if you make a movie BASED ON A BOOK, one should do EVERYTHING in his or her power to keep that 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 hours as close to the author’s narrative as possible, and Twilight fell extremely short in doing so. Because I’m refraining from divulging the story itself, I can only list a few small examples I saw throughout the film (and please keep in mind that there were huge, overshadowing changes as well to the general plot):

  • Jacob and Billy Black certainly appear much later in the book than they do in the movie, with a completely different introduction – as well as a slightly less-close relationship – than the film portrays.
  • An entire character – Lauren – is missing. And while that relationship wasn’t vital to the story, her lack of appearance in the movie was noticed.
  • Prom in the movie/not prom in the book.
  • People died in the film that weren’t even mentioned in the text.
  • Bella never had a cell phone and corresponded with her mother via email, mostly. Do I grasp that the book was published in 2005 and cell phones were slightly less pervasive? Yes. But regardless, Bella’s only 16. Not having a cell phone isn’t entirely unfathomable.
  • I don’t recall Edward climbing up trees with Bella in the book. Did I entirely miss that?

twilight_dvd_artworkAnd these are just a few points that clouded my viewing abilities.

Need I even mention the poor manner in which the plot was pulled together for the short film timespan? I actually find it hard to believe viewers would grasp the story in front of them without having read the book.

Poor film quality, poor special effects – although I did enjoy the baseball scene – and a rather childish portrayal of the book. I also find Robert Pattinson (who played Edward) rather unattractive and I don’t believe Peter Facinelli fit the role of Dr. Carlisle Cullen well whatsoever. Need I even mention how ABSURD the diamond-glittering vampire-in-the-sunshine effect was?!?!

My boyfriend, who was forced into watching Twilight to begin with, found the movie so pitiful, so immature, that he left the room only halfway through, refusing to accompany me for the remaining hour. He has never stopped watching a movie with me before just because he wasn’t enjoying it (and I’m talking about some real crap that has graced our TV). His departure says a lot.

I absolutely hated this movie. I was left utterly disheartened and unsatisfied. I expected better, for sure, and was quite frustrated at myself for having wasted two hours of my life watching that disaster of a film unfold. Whoever truly took pleasure in that trainwreck – yep, I’m talking to you (possibly) – is clearly a nutcase.

….. My rating? -7 (that’s a negative)/5 …..

Despite all of this, I purchased New Moon (and I’ve already heard I should keep my expectations low) over the weekend, curious to find out what happens in the saga of Edward and Bella. But, believe this, I have no plans nor any desire to see the movie. None. At all. Perhaps I’ll change my mind if pigs fly, tap water tastes like Coca-Cola and I grow to be 5’6″. If all three of those things occur, we’ll talk. ‘Til then, no chance in hell will I waste my cash money on that craparoni.

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Who doesn’t love a Hallmark holiday?
February 13, 2009, 1:02 pm
Filed under: $10 is too much for a movie, VDay

As odd as this is going to sound, I’m fairly certain the marketing/planning powers behind “Confessions of a Shopaholic” are geniuses. To take a film that undoubtedly looks a bit ridiculous and open it on Valentine’s Day weekend? It’s an absolutely brilliant ploy to bring in more bodies, thus revenue, to a movie that may have otherwise completely flopped.

confessionsofashopaholic_galleryposter

Although I’m certain “Confessions” was not as highly anticipated as “Sex and the City” or even the week-old “He’s Just Not That Into You,” I’m sure at least some minor buzz was created among the female population. And had this movie opened in July, for example, you’d find girls clinging to one another to go see it as their boyfriends resiliently refused to spend even a moment in the theatre watching some seemingly helpless “shopaholic” get a job and fall in love. That’s at least half of the population already disregarding the movie, with some obvious exceptions, of course.

But because it’s opening today, the day before VDay and the start of a three-day weekend filled with romantic gestures, I’m willing to put cold, hard cash down that a good number of fellas will be in attendance … and not simply because Isla Fisher is pretty damn hot.

isla-fisher

Can you believe she's engaged to Sacha Baron Cohen!?

I can only imagine all the men getting suckered into seeing “Confessions” as they beg their girlfriends to see “Friday the 13th” instead.

GF: But it’s Valentine’s Day. Don’t you want to make me happy?
BF: Wouldn’t you rather cuddle up as Jason murders people?

Sorry boys, it’s just not going to work this particular weekend and all attempts will be in vain as you shell out $30+ – cause naturally the girlfriend will want some salty or chocolately treat – for 1 hour/45 minutes of pure girly torture, as Touchstone Pictures racks in anywhere between $8 and $20 per ticket.

The marketing/planning team for “Confessions” most definitely knew what they were doing as they scheduled a Feb. 13 launch. Without question, this one lovey-dovey holiday will bring in a huge audience they otherwise would have lost and major kudos must be awarded to this brilliant tactic. 

Personally, I’d choose the slasher flick… Happy Valentine’s Day folks!