Sunday, November 25, 2012

Twilight 5: Sucking Long

Oh wow, a Twilight movie sucked.  Astonishing.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that "Twilight 5" was utterly awful.  This was a series that began what feels like a lifetime ago with "Twilight", a vapid pointless idiotic movie with utterly unbelievable romance story between two terrible actors who seemingly could not stand the sight of each other.  I don't know how I could have forgotten how just incredibly bad the first movies were, they were technical trainwrecks, they were acting trainwrecks.  At some point they started getting better, to the point that "Twilight 4" was bizarrely watchable and pretty solid ironic entertainment.  And I was legitimately excited for this last one, since the last one actually had pacing, tension, body horror, and surprisingly decent acting from even Kristin Stewart.  Well, "Twilight 5" came back and reminded me why these movies suck.  This series is shit.

I haven't read the books, but I was told that "Twilight 5" was going to be a huge mess.  And it was.  I even knew the big twist at the end here, but I couldn't have predicted that this movie would be so friggin' bad.  Once again, there's no plot.  There is an attempt to build up a huge battle sequence between Michael Sheen's Army of Fruity Vampires and the Last Alliance of Good Vampires and Werewolves, but it takes about two hours for that to get started.  The first half hour is meandering pointlessness as the vampires get into various misunderstandings.  Then finally we set up the war plotline, and this requires about six hundred new characters to appear.  So we'll spend another hour establishing all these people are - because the series wasn't bloated enough with about two dozen pointless characters who never do anything.  We need a hundred more.  90% of this movie is boring boring boring nothing.  Its basically sleep-inducing.  Its not even cringe-worthy like the scenes between Bella and Edward, its just dull people that you don't care about doing little or nothing.  This is possibly the most unwatchable movie in terms of boredom of the entire year.

However, its almost worth it since at the end, director Bill Condon has his glorious revenge.  Bill Condon, unlike Catherine Hardwicke, who directed the first , is no hack.  He's made legitimately great movies like "Dreamgirls" and "Candyman 2"... well scratch the last one, it sucked, but he still made "Dreamgirls".  This is a man who is much too good for this shit.  And he's had to spend two years of his life working on making Stephenie Meyer's ridiculous "saga" come to life.  So I'd be pissed too.  In "Twilight 4", he seemed to be giving it his all in order to make the work, and it was his filmmaking ability that made the movie seem watchable, along with how utterly Looney Tunes insane that movie got.  Remember Jacob falls in love with a Vampire Baby.  In "Twilight 5", he has given up.  He's slapped together a piece of crap, because he knows that no matter what he makes, the Twilight fans will love it anyway.  However, "Twilight 5" also features the greatest and most monumental case I have ever seen of a director playing a giant joke on his audience.  In one battle sequence Condon does more to show how pointless, idiotic, and worthless this series has been, is now, and forever will be then every word I've written on Meyer's work.

The whole of this last book in the Twilight series gives me the deliberate impression that Stephenie Meyer was making it up as she went along.  I don't think she was ever writing a good story, but I can at least somewhat understand where she coming from with the first three books/movies.  I mean, "Twilight 1" is a sexual fantasy about a vampire boy saving you from the doldrums of highschool, I get it.  "Twilight 2" and "3" are another fantasy about two supernatural boys fighting each other for you.  "Twilight 4" seems it shouldn't even exist, since we already have Edward and Bella together forever.  Meyer wrote the book as a coda for her grand love story, but the love story doesn't really work since it requires Bella to give up her humanity and life in order to become one with the undead.  I will give Meyer credit for taking the radical step of saying that humanity should be thrown away and that great fulfillment can be found by ascending to a higher species.  But to get to that Happy Ever After, you need to solve the issue of Bella having a kid.  You need a family for it to work.  Thus the Vampire Baby business, which was terrifying and for that reason, the most compelling stuff this Twilight franchise has ever concluded.  Meyer also wanted to make Team Jacob fans happy, so she could have easily paired him with another character, instead she took the bizarre step of pairing him with Baby Reneessseme...eemeere...whatever.  It might have worked in her mind "oh, Bella, Edward, and Jacob can now all be one happy family, what joy!"  But for the rest of humanity it didn't.  It was hysterically bad.

Now we're at the second half of "Breaking Dawn", and Meyer realizes that her book might have concluded the love story business, but she needs to pretend that she has a plot.  Thus the confusing rambling storyline about the werewolves wanting to fight the Cullens, and that getting solved due to some complex legalese involving Werewolf Constitutional Loopholes.  But that wasn't quite exciting enough, we need to have something grander.  Oh, let's bring back those Venturi People for one big final blast of a climax.  Only her existing cast was too small for a truly epic brawl, let's introduce hundreds of characters to increase the scope, to make this truly the most important event in all of the Twilight universe.  However, she never set up the structure for a huge brawl, the books have always had a small POV focus on just Bella.  But the new characters come out of nowhere and engender no sympathy in the reader since Meyer is a terrible writer.  Also, Meyer chickened out at the last second because she couldn't bring herself to actually kill off any of her darling vampire creations, so the ending of the book is just two sides talking over their differences in a reasonable adult discussion and going home happily.

Obviously, this is a huge problem.  You can't end a movie like that.  Honestly you can't even end a book like that, since it makes your entire last act pointless and your already superfluous characters all the more meaningless.  So this is where Bill Condon gets his revenge.  He shows the battle sequence.  And he makes it brutal.  Its one of the most savage battles I have ever seen in a movie, with both sides quite literally tearing each other to pieces.  This is shocking brutality the likes of which have never been seen in PG-13, and the only reason they got away with it is because the MPAA is run by morons who have this insane notion that just because there's no blood or tits*, the movie is safe for regular audiences.  Its glorious.  Michael Sheen holds up Carlyle's head for the camera just as the man is breathing his last breath.  They feed Dakota Fanning to wolves.  One guy's jaw is torn out and you see the sinews of his cheeks tear as his head is crushed.  They set a little child on fire earlier in the movie, and later on burn Michael Sheen's decapitated head.  This is amazing.  Bill Condon, you are the man.  I love what you've done here.  All the gruesomeness of a true horror movie and the viscousness of combat is thrown right in the faces of these horny schoolgirls and their mothers.  This is your Twilight fantasy.  Enjoy.

Anyway, there is enough goofy shit in this movie that I feel I could not merely cap off my discussion of "Twilight 5" without going over the entire movie, as I always do.  I kinda spoiled the best part, but don't worry, the forces of Badness win out in the end, as "Twilight 5" pulls the biggest bullshit move I think in the history of cinema.

 The movie begins right where the last one left off, Bella is now Vampire Bella.  Luckily they realized that the clown white make-up doesn't really work, so Vampire Bella ironically is tanner than Kristin Stewart was in "Twilight 1".  Her eyes are also red... or maybe yellow, the movie never decides.  She and Edward go hunting in the woods for some animal meat, since she's now a monster and needs to feast on the living in order to survive.  Luckily though, she can just eat deers and mountain lions, because she's a Vampire Vegetarian.  However, she does also nearly eat a hiker, but Edward stops her beforehand.  I should mention now that the effects in this movie are completely awful from beginning to end, and that the crew behind the camera has completely given up trying.  Most of the film takes place in the Cullen's ghastly ultra-modern mansion**, where the characters sit around and talk about their powers and explaining the plot.  Also, since this is a ridiculous fantasy, Bella overcomes her bloodlust almost immediately and never eats another living thing again as far as I can tell.

However, the hyjinks begin at full force once Bella returns home.  For past two days Jacob has been hovering over his new girlfriend the baby, which he has Imprinted Upon.  Bella, not too unreasonably, is absolutely furious and kicks the shit out of Jacob with her vampire strength.  This is probably the only real emotions and performance that Kristin Stewart has ever given in all these movies, since we've all wanted to see Taylor Lautner get his ass kicked.  Turns out Jacob has named Reneesseeemeemeemeeressee "Nessie" since her original name was awful.  Bella then gives the only good line in this movie "You named my baby after the Lock Ness Monster?  FUCK YOU!"  She just goes to town beating the crap out of this guy while the rest of the vampire brood points and laughs.  Jacob has to continually insist that his relationship with Baby Whatever is not sexual, even though we all know that it is.  Its profoundly creepy and terrifying and Bella should throw Jacob into a volcano to protect her family.  But she doesn't.  Instead Jacob acts like the same sarcastic dick that he's always been because Taylor Lautner is a terrible actor.  She holds the baby once and then goes off to her new cabin that the vampires built*** where can fuck Edward.

Oh, if you've ever wanted to see Kristin Stewart cum on camera, "Twilight 5" is your movie.  Bill Condon even throws in a little CG sparkle effect just to complete the joke.

Curiously "Twilight 5" has virtually no relationship between Bella and Edward, they hardly talk.  In fact, they're barely in this movie.  Bella's GODAWFUL internal monologues are back, tragically, and those represent a great deal of her dialog.  Bella and Edward have great sex, then they go back to once again find a way to save their relationship from needlessly complicated adversity.  Edward shares no time with his daughter, and Bella only speaks to Renethingymabob once, when you'd think the relationship between these new parents and their daughter would be a major theme here.  Nope.  Kristin Stewart could never pull that off, and it would require the story to fill out the details of this happily ever after.  Obviously Meyer does not have the talent for that.  So we'll let the pedophile werewolf watch the kid and instead focus on all these weirdo visitors.

By the way, I mentioned before that the CG in this movie was awful, right?  Well, the already subpar effects company decided that they could complete Baby Reneeneenee with a CG face.  The CG face effects were miserably terrible in the last movie, but that was only a second and you'd think after how bad that turned out that they wouldn't try again.  Instead they could just get a real baby and have the actors hold it, like real movies do.  Babies can be a pain in the ass to film, but people have done it, they've made entire movies starring babies, "Look Who's Talking" was great.  This time, however, its brutally obvious that the actors are holding a doll and that the face is completely fake.  The baby never cries or moves properly, they just took the face of the child actress who plays toddler Remessme and pasted it onto the doll.  It looks worse than the Young Jeff Bridges effects from "Tron Legacy".  At least Clu in that movie was supposed to be evil, in this film the baby is supposed to be an idyllic cherub representing the beautiful fulfillment of Bella and Jacob's love, and it looks like something out of a nightmare.

I was worried going into this movie that Billy Burke would have been cut out unceremoniously and his character would be forgotten.  Bella's Dad never really belonged in these movies, everybody else seems to be playing along with the farce, but Burke just seems to get increasingly cynical and more and more drunk as every movie progresses, and he's by far my favorite character.  But he's legitimately worried about his daughter, and his character thread needs to be settled somehow.  Bella seems all too willing to put it off for later, but Jacob insists that Bella's Dad know that his daughter is safe after she nearly, I mean actually died.  So Jacob's solution to reveal the entire situation is to strip to his underwear (WOOO NAKED JACOB SQUEEEEE!!!) and turn wolf for the camera.  Then they shove Bella's Dad in front of Bella while she's still in her bloodlust so they could hug and whatever.  He doesn't quite know what's going on, but I think somewhere within himself he's surrendered.  Billy Burke all but winks to the camera.  "Hmmm, that baby grew three times as big since the last time I saw her... whatever."  Later they remove him from the story by offering a fishing trip for him and his inexplicable new Indian girlfriend, and Bella's Dad immediately knows something is going on.  But then he says "fuck it, its a free vacation, I've officially stopped caring."  I love Bella's Dad, he needs five movies all to himself.

The new baby is like half human or something, so she's basically the girly version of "Vampire Hunter D".  In a few months she grows to age four almost immediately, and now she can fly or something.  This causes lots of problems since Baby Vampires are illegal.  The Vulturi saw "Interview With a Vampire", they know how crazy Kirstin Dunst got in that movie.  Vampire Babies are apparently super dangerous since they cannot be controlled and they're so cute that nobody can bring themselves to kill them.  Reneemontoya is just a half vampire, and she grows super fast and can fly(?) but as with all the conflicts in these movies they're based on complex misunderstandings.  The Vulturi decide they're going to attack so the Cullens need allies.

The next hour or so is based finding the allies, establishing their character traits, and showing off their powers.  Its almost exactly like the middle act of "X-Men: First Class", only there are about three times as many mutants and exactly none of them are important.  There's this kid from Egypt who is the Last Airbender, there's this one girl with electric fingers, one guy never stopped fighting the Revolutionary War, there are two Russian guys who lost their Vampire Empire to the Vulturi 1000 years ago in a far more interesting movie, and there are two lesbian Indians from Brazil who can create illusions.  Some of them seem like they could be enigmatic or interesting characters, but their all wasted.  We even see some new Vulturi character who can complete block all five senses (like Tousen from "Bleach").  Oddly, most of these powers are never used.  The only important power is Bella's shield powers, because she can block all the other vampire powers and she spends most of the battle doing X-Men psychic poses blocking evil energy and whatever.  There was one bearded character who spent his time up in the attic acting enigmatic and mysterious.... we never learn what his deal is, I don't think he even appears in the final battle.  None of this crap matters, but its the bulk of the film.  Its all filler.  The original book was mostly ill-conceived filler to begin with so the movie comes off many times more pointless.

Then there's the battle sequence.  This is where "Twilight 5" turns dramatically from dull as dishwater to awesome as All Hell.  It happens in one quick move.  Michael Sheen, as hammy as ever, kills this one chick, then Carlyle jumps in to save her, so Michael Sheen jumps back.  You don't see what happens in the air, but when Michael Sheen lands, he's grinning like a third grade boy who saw his first real life pair of tits and is holding Pape Cullen's decapitated head.  I've already describe the wild savagery of the battle, but its also like the most over-the-top and amazing battle scene of the year.  Its like throwing all the X-Men together into a single brawl and throwing them at each other as they go at it.  The entire thing is an incredible spectacle of terrible special effects but still true carnage and actually interesting things occurring on screen.  I can't be sure how awesome the action sequence was since I didn't care about a single living thing, but in a movie that's mostly been talking in an IKEA-designed living room, when you see somebody strangle a giant wolf, suddenly you're interested again.  Suddenly the movie becomes incredible.  And for these all-to-brief ten minutes, the Twilight Saga goes full circle.  All the dreary lovesick droning and meandering plotless movies all becomes very nearly worth it.  If it was leading up to this pandemonium of slaughter, I can dig the entire series.

And then, just as everybody else in the theater was horrified and I was laughing in joy... Evil Won.  The entire battle sequence was a dream created by Alice, the future-seeing vampire to scare off Michael Sheen.  None of it happened.  Everybody is okay.  There wasn't even a single punch thrown.  Stephenie Meyer's ending remained intact, even in its preposterous stupidity.  Alice found an Indian sterotype in the jungle who is apparently also a half-vampire hybrid, and he's perfectly fine.  Who is this dude?  I don't know.  He's never even been hinted at.  Stephenie Meyer wrote herself out of her corner by invented characters to solve her problem.  Its the worst kind of writing.

But even so, Bill Condon still got his war scene.  The people in the theater might feel warm and fuzzy since Bella and Edward now have the greatest love story ever and can live perfect vampire lives, but somewhere in their subconscious they still will see a werewolf spitting out a human hand and then ravaging Dakota Fanning.  They'll still see Michael Sheen's head pulled off like a soda cap.  And somewhere they'll understand just how awful these movies were.  Bravo Bill Condon, you are a hero among men.  Right now he's laughing himself all the way to bank with the huge paycheck he got for this movie.  I don't know where the 120 million dollar budget for "Twilight 5" went, it sure didn't go into the special effects or filmmaking.  Somebody is swimming in a pool of money right now, having successfully conned the entire world for a fifth time.

Hopefully now that Twilight is over we all can move past this series.  I already pretty much know what the fates of our lead trio are going to be.  Taylor Lautner is going to stick around for a few more flops, then disappear off the face of the earth.  Maybe one day he'll open a business with Rupert Grint and other lost refugees from completed film franchises.  Kristin Stewart will probably still get used as eye candy for awhile, but I think her days of fame are ending too.  Jennifer Lawrence is the new star of the new teen franchise, and she can actually act, Kristin Stewart is completely superfluous.  Probably the actor with the most legs is going to be Robert Pattinson, who has at least peppered his woeful performance in these movies with assurances to the rest of the world that he honestly hates these movies.  But still, he isn't all that great either.

Stephenie Meyer is going to keep writing books and people are going to keep falling for them.  She's already made "The Host" and its already getting made as a movie for next year.  I think I can skip that.

Anyway, Twilight is over.  Its been a wild ride, with a few ups, many more downs.  Its something I will never forget.  Someday we're going to have to explain to the next generation why we let this Twilight thing happen.  I at least have these blog posts to prove to my children's children that I fought back against this monstrosity.  I tried.  But I also bought tickets to three of these movies and helped fund Stephenie Meyer's new house.  In the end, we're all hypocrites.  We all have nothing to say for ourselves.  We're all guilty, and "Twilight 5" was our punishment.

At least from now on vampires won't fucking sparkle any longer.

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* A vampire movie with no blood, the irony slays me.

** I always figured vampires would live in a traditional old home with antique furniture and whatever.  Something traditional, stately, something classic.  Instead they live in a glass box not dissimilar to the home of the trendy piece of shit from "Robot and Frank".  Well there you go.

*** I have no idea when this cabin was built.  I'm guessing its been around for awhile, but I get the impression that it was made just that afternoon by the vampire boys.  Also, its more than a little odd that Bella has so few opinions that she let other people build her entire life, picking out her cloths, and even filling the bookcases.  She had nothing to contribute as to where she wanted to live or what she wanted there.  Most people have very specific opinions as to where they want to live, Bella is not actually a person though.

4 comments:

  1. I find it horrifying that you've seen this... abomination, and yet haven't seen (as far as we know) Wreck-It Ralph. Seriously, if it wasn't for Avengers and Dark Knight Rises, that would be my nomination for Movie of the Year.

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  2. Please go see Wreck-It-Ralph to wash the shame away.

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  3. Oh god I hate this sssssssssssooooooooo MUCH! I was so happy when I saw the end of this monstrous piece of shit, then the next day my friend tells me their making a TV series. I cried for three hours. I've been emotionally drained for three days now. God save our souls.

    And on the whole Host movie thing: Don't watch it. Yes Twilight is stupid and and should be forgotten, but at least if your drunk enough it's still funny to watch. The Host is just going to be three hours of dull, pointless, Hippocratic, forced through the mouth shit.

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  4. Fuck this film. because of this abomination I couldn't see wreck it ralph it replaced every slot. god I am so pissed.

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