Part Six: Twilight – The Movies

Now, y’all probably don’t know this, but I have a film background. One of my bachelor’s is in motion pictures. That being said, even before I started to get into movies, boy did the entire Twilight movie franchise piss me off. You know, film wise. I’m not even talking about the shitty plot. No, I’m talking about how it was filmed.

First, like. . . .WHY IS EVERYTHING SO DAMN BLUE.

(It’s so blue. I don’t understand. It’s so blue!)

Seriously. The ENTIRE movie franchise is SO. DAMN. BLUE. Why? Why was this an aesthetic choice? Why blue? 

If I was the director, blue would not be the color I’d choose. Like at all. Forks is supposed to be like this really green place. In the books, Bella is always complaining about how green it is. That being said. . .WHY THE FUCK BLUE. I can not say that enough. I would not pick blue. Instead of blue, I’d like over saturated the colors. Make that green pop. Make Forks look like some damn Wonderland place, really play on the whole it’s too green thing. If you really wanted to be creative with the color scheme, that’s what I’d do. 

Or, I’d warm up the colors, make the people look normal. But then, I’d make the Cullens a different color. When they are on screen, maybe they are blue (you know since they’re dead) or maybe their colors are muted. Or maybe they have a red tint to them since you know, they drink blood to survive. 

That is what I would do, personally. 

Or you know what, keep the colors normal

Here’s a clip that someone did from Twilight with the colors being almost normal. They still need to warmed up but it’s better than the blue.

Twilight is the worst contender for the horrible blue tint. In the later movies, they scrap that and keep the colors normal. It’s a bit jarring at first, when you watch New Moon and expect it to be all blue and you’re like, oh thank god.

As I stated before, Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson had to work with what they had. Now for people who play love interests, they have NO chemistry. (But that is another blog post where we’ll discuss the love interests on screen with zero chemistry. Trust me. There are a lot. Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan from Fifty Shades for example. No. Chemistry.) 

Both Stewart and Pattinson come off as. . .awkward. And not in a good way. Stewart makes weird expressions that don’t really match with what she’s saying as Bella. It’s funny. I used to think she had no facial expressions and was all blank face. But when I rewatched the movies as an adult and with newer, film eyes, I realized it’s awkward because she has too many expressions.

(Haha, that’s true. Oh that’s sad. She put all her range into a rangeless character. Oof.)

It’s like. . .she’s overacting. Like she’s a caricature. LIke her face can’t decide what it wants to do. It does not work. At all

Pattinson, who was absolutely charming and adorable as Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, is awkward. He comes off as creepy and awkward (shit, I said that I need a new word). Which I mean, I guess is in character since Eddie is a creeper stalker dude. But he’s also supposed to be charming and all sauve and shit but that doesn’t come off? I mean if I met the Edward in the movie, I’d grab my pepper spray. (I mean, I’d grab my pepper spray for Eddie in the book too, though.) No one hates Twilight as much as Pattinson hates Twilight. I read a story once when he was somewhere and everyone was screaming “EDWARD!” and this one person was like “CEDRIC!” Pattinson went to that person and gave them an autograph.

I love that story.

Right? It’s so cute.

I feel bad for Pattinson and Stewart because due to the atrocity called Twilight, they are seen as terrible actors. They aren’t.

Thankfully, I think that’s finally starting to turn around. I’ll talk about it a bit more in mine.

Do you know how I get through the Twilight movies? The side characters. Like Jessica who is played by the wonderful Anna Kendrick.

Woot woot!

Seriously, the next time (though I don’t know why you’d willingly watch Twilight. . .) just pay attention to her. I feel like they didn’t give Anna Kendrick a script. They told her to just talk. It’s great. 

Also, Charlie. Since the books are written in Bella’s POV (*gag*) you don’t really get to see what everyone else is doing. She’s not a reliable narrator and she’s all like “Ohmygod, Eddie!” (Said in like an obnoxious anime girl voice.) But with the movies, you get to know Charlie better. Charlie is great. I love him. He SO deserves better. (More on Charlie in part seven.) 

They broke up the last book, Breaking Dawn, into two parts. Which, I mean, I guess? Whatever.

$$$

The movies are just as bad as the books. They are boring and dull. The acting is terrible, which again is not the actors’ faults, the writing is to blame. I’m trying to think of something good to say about the movies besides Jessica and Charlie but like, there’s nothing good to say. I will say that I like that we kind of know more about James and his gang before you meet them at the baseball field. That’s interesting. Breaks up the boredom.

OH. I know. 

The soundtracks. The soundtracks are pretty awesome. The soundtracks deserve better than the Twilight movies but they are awesome. They did not have to go that hard but they did.

Here’s a playlist that I found on Spotify.

https://open.spotify.com/embed/playlist/2ruxBdlFrwLmtgIShhTfe5

We got songs like “Decode” and “I Caught Myself” by Paramore. “Eyes on Fire” by Blue Foundation. “Supermassive Black Hole” by Muse. “Leave Out All the Rest” by Linkin Park. 

The one part that I will say I liked was in Breaking Dawn Part 2. They’re all facing off against the Volturi (shit, does that need to be a separate part too, Angela?).

Oh, I could think of some shit to say, sure.

They’re all against the Volturi and they’re fighting. Carlisle loses his head. Seth dies. Jasper dies. Then Aro is killed by Bella and Edward. And you’re like “Whoa, whoa, whoa. WHAT? Because that wasn’t a part of the book at all. It definitely throws you off. I was like, “DAMN!” I didn’t know what they were doing with it but I liked it.

. . . .then it came back to the present and you realized it was a vision by Alice. Which brings me into another rant.

(Enraged snoring, somehow.)

In Eclipse (I think it was Eclipse?) it was established that Alice can’t see the shapeshifters. New Moon, maybe? Since that whole “Bella jumped off a cliff and never resurfaced” thing happened? But then in Breaking Dawn Part 2. . .she can? Meyer, you broke your own lore. What the fuck. Don’t break your own lore. Like, what the hell. I can’t even. (Is that also my catch phrase?)

I can’t even talk about the monstrosity that was that baby. I feel like CGI would’ve been better. That thing was horrific. *shudders* 

Okay, so as previously mentioned, everything is blue and it doesn’t make sense and it is mind-boggling and frustrating. But the WORST thing in Twilight. Not the source material (iffy), the acting/directing choices (oof), the writing (yikes). It’s. The make-up.

(My 12 year old brother could do better make-up than that disaster.)

OH MY GOD.

IT’S SO BAD.

AND I CANNOT HANDLE IT.

I’m not much of a make-up person, but I was in theater in eighth grade and so I know the bare fucking minimum about stage make-up. I know about blending. All you have to do is make sure there’s not a line as pronounced as the fucking coastline showing that this is not your actual skin color. And since the vampires were supposed to be walking jars of mayonnaise, make sure their fucking neck is white, too.

HOW DID THE MAKE-UP DEPARTMENT (was there a make-up department? This seems like the kind of job that they just pulled a random person off the street and said, “Hey, you want 5 bucks?” If that’s the case, at least this would make sense and be… not forgivable, but understandable.) FUCK THIS UP SO HARD.

You can clearly see where they were like “this is the corpse part of Edward’s body” and then “this is where we gave up.”

(Let’s not even comment on his “glittering skin” that was something they totally bought from Bath and Body Works. . .That was terrible and just what?)

Oh my god, the sparkles. Okay. When I saw the movies, I had already read the books so I knew to expect sparkles. I honestly expected it to look like when middle-schoolers got a hold of body glitter (don’t judge, it’s easier than make-up. It’s not better, but it’s easier and sometimes that’s what matters. – Don’t listen to me, especially since this is seventh-grade me giving advice.). But what we got was worse than that. I didn’t think his skin was sparkling, I thought his skin was boiling. My boyfriend at the time (poor fucking guy watching this movie) thought Edward looked like a fish. He had scales.

And whose bright idea was it to give Bella (human) the same skin tone as the walking corpses? I know the books said she was pale, but nowhere in the books did it say she already looked dead.

(I fucking snorted.)

They did get better in the later movies (they gave up entirely in the later movies, but it was still an improvement). But before we could get that reprieve, they did Carlisle dirty. I’ve seen photos of the actor just out being normal, and yeah, he’s attractive. But as Carlisle? They painted his face white and dyed his hair blond (and slicked it back! Why???) and the first time I saw him on screen (every time I see him on screen in that movie) all I could think was “naked mole rat.” I don’t know why, but every time Carlisle Cullen walks into the hospital, I’m reminded of Rufus from Kim Possible.

Now here’s the actor, Peter Facinelli. We had no idea he was a good looking guy.

Elizabeth Reaser (Esme Cullen) with Peter Facinelli (Carlisle Cullen)

See? If they had put him on screen, I would have paid a lot more attention.

(Heelllllooooo, Daddy. Ahem. Sorry.)

I had no idea he was actually attractive, I had to go and look it up. I had wondered “why did they cast an unattractive man to play an attractive man?” They didn’t. They cast an attractive man and made him unattractive. The choices this movie made

The chick who played Rosalie, Nikki Reed (who is funny enough married to the guy who plays Damon Salvatore aka Ian Somerhalder) ruined her hair for these movies. Like fucking fried her hair. Also, it wasn’t even a good dye job! Her hair was so yellow and it definitely needed some damn toner. Seriously, purple shampoo would have made that less brassy and actually a pretty blonde. As someone who dyes her hair at home, I could’ve done a better job than those professionals. What the fuck, ya’ll.

This is a screen shot from the movie. They look like wax figures. *shudders*

Oh my god the wigs. Jacob’s wig. Jacob’s fucking wig. I can’t. Remember how I said that I forgave Jake for being awful because of Taylor Lautner? That didn’t happen until Movie #2 when they cut his hair.

(OH. I forgot his wig. I like deleted it from my brain. Why did you remind me?) 

Just. The choices this movie made.

Don’t worry. We have more content to come. Angela and I are having a lot of fun with this. What should we discuss next? Tell us in the comments!

-K

Part Five: Bella Swan

You don’t know this about me, but I tend to not like the main female character in like, anything. It’s a joke that Angela and I have. She is well aware of my general dislike of main female characters.

(Not just the women, though. If there’s a protag, Keely goes “grr.”)  

It seems like no matter what I read or watch, they just. . .can’t get female characters right. LIke sometimes they almost got it but then they don’t? Or like it’s inconsistent and it bothers me. (Read: Arrow. Hello. But that’s another blog post for another day. Seriously, it’d be all about the female characters.) 

Now of course there are exceptions to this rule. Like Max from Maximum Ride, Jessica Jones from Netflix’s Jessica Jones and well, any female main character other than Elena in The Vampire Diaries and The Originals (Caroline is awesome. Bonnie is the bomb. Hayley is a badass. And Rebekah is a delight. But in general The Vampire Diaries and The Originals have some great characters, female and male). Of course, I love Wonder Woman and Black Widow. That’s all I can think of right now. 

All this to say that Bella I can’t even dislike as a character because there really isn’t anything to dislike.

Bella Swan

(*eyebrow raise*)

Okay, so . . . .I dislike her. I do. There are teeny, tiny moments where I like her. Mind you, teeny tiny. Miniscule.

In a paper that I once wrote for my class (and that was then published in my university’s nonfiction journal Quills & Pixels) I said that Bella was Mary Sue. But like, the worst kind of Mary Sue. 

Now let me explain something. 

I write like a shit ton of fanfiction. Most of the time, there is a Mary Sue. However, I develop those characters and make them you know, a character. When I create an OC (original character) I make it where that if I was to take this character out of this fandom and put them in an original idea of mine, that character could stand alone. In fact, one of the OCs I created, Hunter Glass, originally was apart of a Batman fanfiction I was writing. I liked her so much, that I decided she was going to be the main character in my original superhero-verse. If the OC or ‘Mary Sue’ has no place in the story, then what’s the point? What do they bring? And that’s how I feel about Bella.

What does she bring to Twilight? What exactly is her purpose?

Bella (and I’m stealing this from another blog post) is a cardboard cut out. She has no personality. At times, you kind of think she does. Her sarcastic quips, though she doesn’t say them outloud, are almost funny. You kind of want more of that. Meyer should’ve drawn on that sarcasm. (Come on, how funny would that be? Eddie would have no idea what to do with a strong, sarcastic independent woman. He’d tuck his tail and be like ‘Omg feminism. What? You’re not a doormat? I can’t allow that.’

Instead, Meyer did not. Bella is bland. She’s like oatmeal. You know, the really shitty, thick, goopy kind that sticks to your spoon and you can’t get off, and no matter how much sugar or butter or whatever you put it in, it still tastes the exact same. Bland and boring. (Wow. Okay, so that was not nice at all. I”d apologize but like, I’m not sorry?)

What if secretly, oatmeal was Edward’s favorite meal as a human and THAT’S why he’s so drawn to her?

I just died. Omg. Seriously. Dying right now. Also snorted. (Angela cackled at my snort.) 

Reading from her POV is terrible

Here’s the thing (again, my catch phrase) Bella is all mopey about moving to Forks with Charlie (who is wonderful and honestly, he deserves better).

(CHARLIE IS THE BEST!) 

He really is. I get through the movies because of Charlie and Jessica.

Anna Kendrick for the win!

She’s a goddess. I love her. Will talk more about her in part six.

Moving to Forks was HER idea. She didn’t have to move to Forks. She could’ve stayed in Arizona (which reminds me of a Tumblr post that said what if Bella never showed up and Twilight is about Charlie who finds out the town doctor is a vampire and his BFF is a shapeshifter. Then it’s about Charlie defending the town with his besties when he’s a human but he’s got a shotgun and all is like ‘I got you, bro.’ I’d read the fuck out of that. 

Back on track). 

The whole moving thing, HER. IDEA. Why are you bitching about it? It was YOUR choice? LIke what the fuck. 

And even if it wasn’t her choice to move, like make the most of it? Moving sucks. I get it. As someone who has moved 17 (18?: 19? Fuck, I don’t know) times in her life, I get it. Being the new girl fucking sucks ass. I was the new girl in sixth grade. Then the new girl again in ninth grade. Then the new girl again junior year. It sucks. AND I went to huge schools. I can’t imagine going to a high school in a small town where everybody knows everybody. 

But you make the most of it. Bella does not. She doesn’t even try to make an effort. She makes decisions based on everyone’s expectations. She agrees with whoever to avoid conflict. When she and Edward start dating, she ignores her friends and is all about Edward. When he comes back after you know, leaving her in the woods, she clings to him and panics when he leaves because he’s become her whole world. Which is a problem. Sure, she at first tries to fight him on the whole seeing Jacob but then she folds. Just like she does when it comes to the whole marriage thing and she becoming a vampire thing.

Now, there are moments, like I said, where she’s not a doormat. LIke when she punches Jake in the face after he kisses her without her consent. That was good. Go you, Bella. 

Now according to Meyer, she wrote Bella in a way that the readers can put themselves in her shoes.

(Oh, I forgot that. Oh, that’s horrifying. I’m gonna try to cut her a little slack in my piece, but I really don’t want to be Bella.)

I don’t know about you, but I don’t really want to put myself in her shoes. Even when I read Twilight as a teenager, I couldn’t relate to her. Reading her angst was painful (and I didn’t think anything could be more painful than that but BOY was I wrong. Bella’s angst has nothing on Edward’s in Midnight Sun. Holy shit.)

(Oh dear lord.)

You have no idea, Angela. Seriously.

(I mean, I did read some of it. Very quickly. More on that later.)

And I feel so bad for Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson because they are not actually bad actors but they got a shit script based on a shit book and like, they had to do what they could with what they were given. . . .which was like nothing, basically.

You can’t play a character when there is no character. You just gotta do what you can with what you have. But we’ll talk more about the movies in part six.

OH. Vampire Bella. 

What a fucking cop-out to have her being like instantly all I have control as a newborn yay me! BITCH NO. That is so lame.

(Suuuuuch a letdown.)

I wanted Bella to struggle as a newborn. I wanted her to kill people and work her ass off to fight her hunger. Instead, we got her being “Oh, I can do this!” And poor Jasper is in the background having a crisis thinking that he’s a freak because he’s struggled with his hunger for a century or so (I think, check me).

(Poor guy.)

No, Jasper, you are not a freak. Bella is. She didn’t struggle at all it seems as a newborn. And I hated it. Especially since they stressed so much that as a newborn vampire, the hunger for blood is overwhelming and everyone slips up. (Except Carlisle? Like what but that’s for part eight on the Cullens.)

(The bloodthirst was literally the entire reason Bella insisted they fuck before she changes. Because she didn’t want to be more overwhelmed by blood than she was by Edward. So she puts her life in danger for sexytime – I’m feeling generous, I’m gonna let her have that one even though I probably shouldn’t lol – and then gets pregnant which nearly gets them all killed. And she barely notices that she’s thirsty? Really?)

OH. And that made me think. . .Did Bella not think about the whole sexy times and how hard

(Heh heh

FTT. I seriously almost said “HA. PUN INTENDED.”)

it would be for Edward? Her being human? Like her blood is supposed to be like crack, right? Sex is all fun and hormones and excitement and junk. Was Bella not at all worried that he’d get lost in the moment and uh, rip out her throat? Just saying. (I mean the guy broke the headboard and ripped several pillows with his teeth. AND she woke up covered in bruises. Like, there was a chance he could’ve ripped out her throat in the heat of the moment.)

Bella had all the potential to be a good, interesting character. . . .if Meyer hadn’t had written her. So here’s to Bella, the girl that could’ve been something. 

My turn.

And, uh. I don’t really have much to say about Bella.

She feels like a missed opportunity. Maybe that’s why we’re so disappointed in her? She could have been anything: witty, brave, headstrong, funny, kind, scathing. Anything. But if she was given any character traits, she couldn’t be a blank slate for reader self-insertion; so she’s none of those things, at least not consistently. The only thing she does consistently is badly misjudge the situation she’s in. And that’s not super fun. (I feel like she never reacts normally to any situation.)

I think one thing Meyer importantly missed in this “anyone can be Bella” is that, if that’s the case, then we want to see Bella/us win or grow or something. Bella doesn’t have an arc because she’s supposed to represent everyone and therefore represents no one. And since Bella is a stand-in for us, that means we don’t have an arc and that’s just so incredibly frustrating.

As far as the writing for Bella goes, not much was done to give her much of a personality, as we’ve said. But as for how we as fans (or anti-fans) viewed her, I don’t think she was given an entirely fair shake.

Twilight was published at a time when it was important to be “one of the guys” or “not like other girls.” Because there was this pervasive but unspoken attitude that girls were not as of much value as boys. And we all want to have value. A lot of girls and young women internalized that and took that to mean that they had to distinguish themselves by hating and shitting on “girly” things – basically anything that a lot of girls liked. “Chick flicks” and YA romance novels very much included in (probably topping) that list. 

This isn’t a judgment on the girls and young women who took on that attitude, on purpose or unconsciously. I was one of those young women. It was a core part of my personality for a while to hate anything seen as feminine. (I had a vendetta against the color pink, y’all.) But looking back it does make me sad. And that attitude is more than a little gross. So I’m glad that it seems to be starting to change. (This next generation, I swear. Y’all are doing good. Things are looking up. Thanks.)

Anyway. Twilight was a YA romance novel and the POV character was a bland teenage girl. Cue the intense hatred. From boys who haven’t read, won’t read, and don’t care about the book. From girls who haven’t read, won’t read, and don’t care about the book. And from girls who read it, too. 

Poor Bella.

Edward doesn’t have a personality, either. He wasn’t universally hated. (Not until the Twilight renaissance when we all started to take a step back and actually think, “Hey, is this okay? Ya know what, I think this isn’t okay.”)

Katniss from The Hunger Games also is written blandly and makes poor life choices. (From what I can remember. Twilight did burn me out on young adult novels for a hot stretch of time, so I sped through The Hunger Games series pretty quick.)

From what I remember, Katniss isn’t so much as bland as more. . . .abrasive? Book wise, she’s not a likeable character. She’s written as intentionally not a likeable character, which is funny since she becomes this symbol. But really, once you think about it, her reasons are pretty selfish. She only cared about herself and her family. Or at least that’s how I remember her in the books. In the movies she’s a bit different.)

But Katniss is lifted up as a paragon of strength. (Which opens a whole new can of worms that we don’t necessarily have to get into right now.)

Bella’s not the best character. There are more well-written, more engaging characters out there. But she didn’t deserve all the hate she got.

Thank you listening! Er, we mean reading. Stay tuned for part six! Yes, part six. There is still plenty more to talk about in this special blog series about Twilight. Until next time!

-A&K