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Twilight (special bonus Patreon shit)

This is the first in a Patreon-only review series of THE TWILIGHT SAGA. For as little as $1 a month you can support an ol’ so-called outlaw in his writing endeavors, and as a thank you I got these exclusive reviews for you.


This one was originally housed here on outlawvern.com but I had to move it to Patreon due to technical difficulties, and I didn’t want to delete all your comments so I left the post here. So what the hell, this time I’m gonna include an excerpt so you non-Patreons can get an idea of the approach I’m going for.

Vampires & Longing

In 2008, a couple weeks after Obama was elected president, and about a month after Beyoncé released “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),” the movie TWILIGHT came out, based on the 2005 book Twilight. And a while later, around the time it came out on video, I realized it was a thing. The romantic teen vampire book and movie series soon became an enormous pop culture phenomenon that seemed from the outside like lusty TITANIC melodrama smeared onto half-assed Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan-fiction. Certain young women swooned, many horror fans complained, much of society turned up their noses, hundreds of millions of dollars were spent.

Didn’t seem like my thing. But I was always curious.

Time passed. The world went to shit (although Beyoncé only got better). The two main stars of the movie went on to do good work and be pretty respected. Young people turned into a little older than before people and theoretically gained new obsessions. The series was maybe arguably somewhat forgotten, spoken of mostly with disdain. I still kinda wondered about it.

And then, like the day a young man suddenly takes his shirt off and realizes that he’s a buff werewolf, it came: the instinct to start renting the TWILIGHT movies and write about them as an exclusive bonus for Patreon supporters. These will be very detailed and spoiler-filled, under the assumption that either you’ve already seen them or don’t care and are curious what they’re like. But I want you to know this isn’t going to be a hit piece. My goal is not to make fun of these movies, in the event that I don’t like them. I’m more just looking to see what they’re all about and try to understand what the deal is with them. We’ll see how it goes.

Part 1 is TWILIGHT, directed by Catherine Hardwicke (THIRTEEN, LORDS OF DOGTOWN, THE NATIVITY STORY; production designer of THRASHIN’, I’M GONNA GIT YOU SUCKA, POSSE and TANK GIRL; crew member of the T.J. Lazer show-within-a-movie from ROBOCOP) and written by Melissa Rosenberg (STEP UP) from the novel by Stephenie Meyer.

Isabella “Bella” Swan (Kristen Stewart, PANIC ROOM) moves from Phoenix, Arizona to Forks, Washington to live with her dad (Billy Burke, DRIVE ANGRY, FREAKY DEAKY), who is the chief of police. This is not a necessity, but a self-sacrifice – she doesn’t like this gloomy town that she’s visited off and on throughout her life, but she wants her mom (Sarah Clarke, THIRTEEN, married to Xander Berkeley in real life) to be able to travel around and have fun with her second husband (Matt Bushell, S.W.A.T.: FIREFIGHT). This girl likes to martyr herself.

So she pouts her way to her first day of class, where she immediately makes friends with Jessica (Anna Kendrick, who at the time had only done two theatrically released movies). Early on it’s a normal high school movie. Jessica shows her the ropes and welcomes her to a group of friends including Angela (Christian Serratos, Rosita from The Walking Dead), Eric (Justin Chon, REVENGE OF THE DRAGONS, director of a movie called GOOK that I heard was good), Tyler (Gregory Tyree Boyce, no other credits) and Mike (Michael Welch, ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE), who seems pretty presumptuous about making Bella his girlfriend.

You get the standard scene where she sits in the cafeteria and her new friends point out various people in the school as they walk by. Normally this involves explaining who the different cliques are (see CLUELESS for a famous example, or DISTURBING BEHAVIOR for an extra-obnoxious one), but that doesn’t really seem to be a thing at Forks High School. There’s just a family called the Cullens who look like rich weirdos, and then a couple other people.

Bella claims to hate “cold wet things,” in the tradition of Anakin Skywalker hating sand, but that’s gonna change. As we know from general pop culture awareness, she falls for Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson, THE ROVER, died in one of the HARRY POTTERs), a hunky dude with hypnotically thick eyebrows. Her longing stare at him across the cafeteria is comically intense, and to her shock she finds herself sitting next to him in biology class. Good news for her: there’s a fan on to glamorously blow her hair, J-Lo style, as she walks in. Bad news: as soon as she sits next to him he looks like he’s gonna puke. His reaction is so over-the-top she has to check to make sure she doesn’t smell.

Then he dismisses himself and doesn’t come back to school for a week.



This entry was posted on Thursday, November 15th, 2018 at 10:33 am and is filed under Horror, Monster, Reviews, Romance. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

39 Responses to “Twilight (special bonus Patreon shit)”

  1. First, thanks for the exclusive review!

    When the first movie came out, Twilight was EVERYWHERE. Ten years later, I rarely hear about it, but at the time, it was ubiquitous. It seemed to vanish into thin air shortly after Taylor Lautner showed up.

  2. Normally when a new “worst film ever” comes out, I’m on team “It’s not so bad”. I can’t defend TWILIGHT, though. I do have to say that the series does get a bit better with every installment (except the 4th) and I even consider the last one a legitimately good popcorn movie.

    But it’s interesting how this big phenomenon suddenly disappeared. I guess all those teenage girls moved on to FIFTY SHADES OF GREY. Probably because it has anal sex. I asked a while ago my (Not FIFTY SHADES reading) girlfriend if she is still into TWILIGHT. She just said “Eh”. (Note: She is Canadian, but in that case it was more a bored “I don’t know”. Also I’ve never heard a Canadian say the stereotypical Canadian “Eh”. Or “aboot”. But that’s a different topic. I’m on medication right now.)

    Looking forward for your reviews of the rest of the saga.

  3. This may be the first time in my life where I feel like a legit VIP.

    Like the Transformers movies, I think I will continue to consume the Twilight movies in form of Vern’s reviews. Everything about them sounds absolutely batshits insane, and I can’t say I haven’t been curious, but there are a ton of these films, and who has the time?

    I remember it seeming like the films showed up every year like clockwork. And considering the fact that no one really talks about these movies anymore (as far as I know), the studio probably made the right financial decision to stamp out these films before their audience aged out of them.

  4. Patreon somehow made it so my real name was used instead of RBatty. Weird. I guess the cat is out of the bag. I might as well admit that, yes, this is in fact David Hasselhoff.

  5. We’re all exposed here with our Patreon accounts using our real names! Of course, I posted under my real name Michael Mayket for years before switching to emteem (which is supposed to be my initials M T M spelled out, but no one would ever get that).

    My favorite part of this movie was the vampires all in the kitchen with cookbooks or whatever because a human was coming to dinner and none of them had made or eaten food in like a hundred years.

    My favorite part of this review is the part where you discuss the very real fact that people look down on these movies marketed to teen girls or to black audiences or, really any entertainment not marketed straight at them, because I guess those audiences don’t deserve entertainment that is marketed toward them. I’ve argued that with a few people in my time back before I gave up arguing with strangers on the internet.

  6. I never thought my meager contributions to your journey would lead to me wanting to watch the Twilight series. Kudos!

  7. Taking movies people reflectively dismiss seriously is why I read this site so much, and why it’s about time I started contributing a bit. Looking forward to the rest of the series.

  8. It’s renfield. I swear on my mother’s soul that when you teased the idea of doing a patreon exclusive, my very first thought was “I hope it’s Twilight!” I remember 3 standing out as weirdly good. The last two installments go off the deep end in spectacular fashion… really looking forward to your analysis.

  9. BTW, one thing I forgot to mention: I too admire the original take on vampires, that this series offers. Is it a good take? Nah, but you can’t be too mad at a writer who says: “Hey, I just realized that vampires are completely fictional creatures and all the rules were made up by other writers, so when I make up my own rules I don’t have to prove in front of a bunch of scientists that vampires sparkle in the sun, instead of exploding, so fuck it, these are MY vampires now!”

    The rest is just personal preference, like slow/fast zombies or werewolves who can transform at will.

  10. that tofu shade bugs me to no end too, i eat meat but one of my favorite foods is mapo tofu! i really thought it was over as shorthand for “bland vegetarian food” by the time this movie came out but i guess not :/

  11. Thanks for the bonus! I read these books because a younger coworker was all into them and I’m always interested in zeitgeisty things. Plus, I think I read them all in about two weeks. They didn’t connect with me, but didn’t hate them either. Kinda liked The Host (never saw the movie though). I’ll be interested to hear what you think of the other movies. Part 2 is probably my favorite if I had to pick (which is funny considering the production timetable).

    More importantly, big up to tofu! Ever had an Impossible Burger? It’s really impressive for us plant eaters. I ate about half and was still questioning whether they gave me meat instead.

  12. Well I have been meaning to donate again for some time but haven’t because I am a slacker, and now I guess I need to sign up for Patreon to read more of this shit. I sort of associate Patreon with strippers trying to get a new set of boobs and that kind of thing but maybe I have the wrong impression.

    I have only seen a few snippets of the TWILIGHT movies and they struck me as simultaneously awkward, boring, inept, silly, and desperate. At least they are not aggressive bad like the TRANSFORMERS movies. They are more like what you would get if some serious filmmakers tried desperately to adapt a hack writer’s lousy book into a cash grab film before the fad ran its course.

    The last 30 minutes of the last movie are worth watching, as recommended by many people, to witness the final descent into madness.

  13. This is The Dean. Happy to support my favorite writer on the interwebs. I am not ashamed to admit I have a 12 year old girl inside of me that ate up those Twilight books. I was so involved I threw book 3 across the room. That said, they are horribly written by someone with a huge imagination. I think it was a weird time, J.K. Rowling had just released the last Harry Potter in 2007. The Hunger Games 1st book came out in 2008. And there was just a hunger for reading. I miss that in 2018. Can we have more people reading in 2019? Even if it’s Twilight, just read a book. Anyway, thanks Vern. Look forward to the next installment. Oh and I just sent that bit about tofu to my coworker who is constantly giving me shit for eating tofu.

  14. I have watched all of these, but I must admit, not in good faith, and not in their pure form. I decided that if I was going to continue to mock a ladyfriend of mine for her love of these novels despite their gallingly bad writing and alarmingly retrograde gender roles, then I’d better have a more than secondhand familiarity with the story. Life is too short to read prose as horrendous as Stephanie Meyers’, so I watched the movies…with the Rifftrax commentary on. This now seems cowardly in the face of Vern’s noble sacrifice, but I am not as generous a spirit as our humble host.

    Simply put, these movies are worse than you’d heard in ways you’d never imagined. The blocking alone is so awkward that a shot of a character walking across a room could make you burst out laughing. Every scene goes on forever and has no point. I think of all the thought I put into plotting my stories in efficient ways that pack as much incident and color and sense and theme into every scene, and then I think about the 45 scenes this series has where the two dullest motherfucking jerkoff young lovers in the world just fucking lie there and stare at each other and fucking pout about nothing while the story plods along to its inevitable fizzlement. If you don’t consider the question of whether of not this personality-deficient loser will ever get to fuck the pasty sex predator she’s unhealthily obsessed with to be the most epic tale ever told, then there simply is nothing to hold onto here. Those are the only stakes this story has, and if you’re not 100% in the tank for it, it offers no other value. That would be fine if there was any sense of romance about this thing whatsoever. Sheer embarrassment from the filmmakers who sold their soul to bring this glorified piece of merchandising to life permeates every frame of the film. Every performance is bad and every other actor knows it. Some of the aware (Anna Kendrick, Michael Sheen, Plaid Dad) just have some fun with it, while the rest just grit their teeth and try to endure it. The filmmaking and spectacle is at the 90s syndicated TV level. The pace is interminable. The themes make me weep for the future. There is nothing to recommend here.

    I fully despise everything this series represents. I don’t hate it because of the target audience it’s made for; I hate it because of how little it respects that target audience. But I do respect Vern’s humanitarian efforts to meet it on its own terms and try to understand it. I am not the man for that job. Even beyond my contempt for the craftsmanship, I know Edwards don’t glitter when you drag them into the sunlight. They just reveal their rot.


  15. I mean, in six movies they never even give any practical reasons why these two dullards would even like each other. He’s pretty, she smells good. That’s it. Do they have interests in common? (Do they even have interests?) Are their beliefs compatible? (I would think not, considering he’s a hundred-year-old man and she’s a goddamn 15 year old. I’d imagine his thoughts on the New Deal to be a lot more multifaceted than hers.) What will they talk about now that they’re together and can’t talk about how horrible it is that they can’t be together? The only thing binding them is mutual angst.

    It’s not a story about two people in love. It’s a story about one author in love with the idea of love in its most simpering form.

    Christ fuck I hate this story.

  16. At the height of Twilight-mania I had an attitude like Majestyk. I read the first book to see what all the fuss was about and was shocked at how poorly written it was. It made me angry. But then I realised that when I was a teen I used to read Dragonlance novels and whatever other fantasy trash, which were almost as poorly written and had subtext which was just as corrosive, maybe moreso. Women aren’t fucking idiots; they know that what they are consuming isn’t a healthy or realistic depiction of a relationship, just like I know that violent revenge-killings aren’t a healthy way to respond to a grievance. Let the ladies have their fun.

    The Rifftrax for these movies are fucking funny, though. The ample silent-staring leaves room for some great running jokes.

  17. Mr. Majestyk, you are parking your car in my garage. In that I 100% agree with your opinion of the TWILIGHT series, both the awful books and the shitty movies.

    And I TRIED. Jeezus pleezus, I tried. Read 10 pages of that first frakking book and then just said “Nope, nope, nope. This isn’t writing, it’s typing. Life is too short.” And then I watched about 15 minutes of this first movie with a roomful of people, and then stood up and peaced out and never saw any of them again.

    All respect to anybody who watches these flicks on behalf of others (that’s you, Vern – awesome write-up) but I just could not hack these things and it soured me on the entire Young Adult category in books and films forever. I can’t hate anybody who likes them because they probably are simple in the head so that would be cruel, therefore I’ve reserved all my hate for Stephanie Meyers.

    To her, the horror genre may be something so worthless that she just feels fine desecrating the creators and creations that came before, but I think that if you’re going to play in the sandbox, you need to learn the fucking rules and not just pull down your pants and take a giant shit in there. So she can take her magic underwear and piles of money and please go ruin some other genre.

    Heck, for all I know, maybe she’s given up writing all together and now she’s doing something that’s a much better use of her talents – like needlepoint or velvet paintings of Elvis or cleaning office buildings or hand washing diapers. Go for it, Stephie!

  18. I can be forgiving for the vampire-baseball…

  19. But… she didn’t desecrate anything. She didn’t ruin the genre. There have been tons of great horror movies in the ten years since this came out. She just had a different take on it that’s not really my thing, but that appealed to many people who may or may not like all the same ones I do. More for everybody to try.

  20. Not to mention that she didn’t even try to write a horrorstory. Yeah, the creatures in it are technically “monsters”, but at no point in the series (at least judging by the movies) she tries to scare anybody with them. That’s a bit like saying “Mel Brooks ruined horror, because he made YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN”.

  21. Been meaning to get the Pateron going for a while now, as a way to show my appreciation to Vern for being my favorite filmwriter out there. This is the push I needed.
    Never seen any of these movies, but I did see the Vampire Baseball scene a few years ago and laughed my ass off at it. Not sure if I could stomach watching the whole series, so more power to you Vern.

  22. Yeah, you guys are right – my hyperbole gets out of control sometimes. Technically, she didn’t “ruin” the genre or even try to bring the scares.

    I guess my big gripe is that I feel like horror has a reputation problem with a lot of people. Because there is so much dreck out there, it probably deserves that reputation to a certain extent – but when horror breaks into the culture and finds success, I feel like that’s the chance to bring new folks into the fold. If that success is because it’s actually something good (SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, THE EXORCIST, the IT remake) that that’s a win for the horror community. It makes new fans and encourages more people to dig into those filmmakers, those writers, and deeper into the genre itself.

    But when it’s something like TWILIGHT that has just the trappings of horror, it makes the whole community look cheap and silly and one dimensional, justifies the people who say “Oh, it’s all garbage anyway”, and when all the hype and marketing died away, as far as I could tell, it left nothing positive behind. It’s ESPECIALLY painful because it was always just awful, tepid romance fiction with a thin veneer of vampire paint over it.

    I mean, I’m the guy who watches Andy Milligan and Jess Franco movies on purpose, and can still find to appreciate in them, even if I have to admit that they’re completely an acquired taste. Of course Andy and Jess wanted to get a paycheck, but there’s a pulse in their work that felt like they HAD to make those movies. Whereas it felt like Meyer and the filmmakers of this franchise just wanted to cash in while holding the genre and the audience in total contempt.

    Sorry if I sound like that one guy who complains about Elvis because he got rich on the back of a generation of black rock artists — I just really love Little Richard, Howlin’ Wolf and Chuck Berry, you guys.

  23. I mean, I’m pretty sure the series only features vampires because Meyers fantasizes about fucking someone who’ll look like a teenage boy forever. I really don’t think her interest in the genre extends any further than that.

    I’m also pretty sure it only features werewolves because she saw UNDERWORLD one time.

    I get it, though. It’s just a dumb fantasy. Men have them all the time. I am particularly sensitive to stories that romanticize abusers, though, and Edward is a textbook creepola abusive boyfriend. He destabilizes her home life, separates her from her loved ones, threatens her with violence, and in the end transforms her into what he needs her to be without changing himself at all. There’s a reason 50 SHADES OF GREY spun off of this series. Now, I get that women are allowed to have their retrograde fantasies just like men are, but I don’t have to feel good about it. Especially when the retrograde fantasy is served up as incompetently as this story is. It’s not even good at being a retrograde fantasy. It makes retrograde fantasies look pretty fucking boring.

  24. You know, it actually occurs to me that a vampire is the perfect metaphor for a particular kind of religious person. Here you got this lady, Stephanie Meyer, clearly bubbling over with sexual energy, and her most deeply held spiritual beliefs tell her those feeling are wrong and bad, they are the work of the devil, they must be suppressed. What better way to articulate that than through a vampire, whose most basic, fundamental drive (to feed) is, inherently, an act of evil? So vampires, like sexually repressed Mormon women, must choose to live a life of either constant, vigilant self-denial, or venal evil. With that as the abiding metaphor for Edward’s state of existence, the novel is then free to explore the burgeoning sexuality of its characters with less guilt and more fear. TWILIGHT more or less allows Bella to be a character entirely defined by her overwhelming desire, and places Edward as the guardian of her sexuality. He feels desire too, but must primarily focus on a strenuous self-control for himself, or else he’ll doom them both. Which is, of course, also a very Christian Woman way of thinking about the world, wherein men are seen as guardians of women’s sexuality. You could also read it as a kind of gender-role reversal of the commonly held notion (especially among Evangelical Christians; not sure about Mormons) that men are essentially unable to control their lustful feelings, and women have a responsibility to help them avoid sin by exercising the sexual restraint that men are incapable of.

    Regardless, I think it works rather well towards Meyer’s aims. In fact, to me, the curious point is not that this tale of forbidden love involves vampires (illicit romance in vampire fiction goes back to the very, very beginning; look at Polidori’s The Vampyre or Le Fanu’s Carmilla). The curious thing is that once Meyer introduced this element of fantasy, she really let it spin out of control into this crazy elaborate worldbuilding behemoth that really seems to have wandered pretty far away from the modest young adult romance ambitions of its inception. You add a vampire as a simple, obvious metaphor for rapacious sexuality, and you end up with reams of writing devoted to baroque political infighting between factions of a secret magic world government. I sort of think when it unexpectedly became a huge smash sensation, Meyers may have panicked a little and tried to reverse-engineer what fans were going to want, and maybe miscalculated a little bit about what the appeal was.

    Or maybe not, because it seems like they stayed popular even as they experienced some pretty wild mission drift. So who knows what fans were getting from these books. In truth, I never knowingly met a TWILIGHT fan, and would be curious to hear from such a person what made them stick with it.

  25. Bake him away toys!

    November 20th, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    First time poster, long time reader.

    Couple of things. A. This patreon only thing is a fantastic idea and was the push i needed to start sending some cash your way as thanks for all the fine work you produce.

    And b. With regards to twilight, I watched a YouTube essay by Lindsey Ellis that argues the same point with regards to the Viterol movies targeted at teenage girls receive and makes some interesting comparison to fast and the furious. But yeah great review and spot in as always . Look forward to trying to post more and get involved with the awesome community you’ve built up

  26. Bake him away toys!

    November 20th, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    P.s big respect for the tofu support

  27. I can see the comparison, but I would be interested to see if anyone actually thinks the fantasy fodder TWILIGHT is selling is anywhere near as effectively conceived or executed as F&F conceives and executes its fantasy fodder. Those movies may be dumb as a box of rocks but they show real imagination and craftsmanship. Dramatically and filmatistically, the TWILIGHT movies are utterly inert and incompetent, with wheel-spinning plots that build to nothing and set-pieces that are wildly incompetent.

    I’m also curious as to how it’s just taken as a given that teenage romantic angst is considered to be inherently girly and car chases are considered inherently manly. That might be the way it generally works out but isn’t that kind of generalization we should be moving beyond? If I thought there was anything effectively romantic about this story or its execution, I wouldn’t let the fact that I have testicles stop me from liking it. I have watched BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER in its entirety four times. I am not immune to the charms of well-executed vampire romance. This shit sucks because it’s bad, not because it’s for girls.

  28. I also enjoy tofu.

  29. For example, let’s take the sparkle thing. If you can put aside the fact that it replaces a vital component of vampire lore with something demonstrably less dramatic, there’s some potential to the idea of it being a sort of glamour, the evolutionary adaptation of a predator. By turning into a being a hypnotic light and beauty, a vampire could more easily lure in an unsuspecting victim. It could work. But is that what we saw in the film? Was that the effect the filmatism achieved? Were we able to share in Bella’s awe at this ethereally beautiful creature and understand why she would be drawn to him despite the danger? No. Absolutely not. Everything about the scene was perfunctory and unconvincing, from the staging to the cinematography to the visual effects. It doesn’t matter if your ideas are any good if the execution is this laughable. That’s what the films should be hated for: their total shoddiness as a cinematic product.

  30. I’ll have to see what her comparison is. I know they were huge hit movies, but until FAST FIVE came out and won over many critics I experienced almost universal snobbishness toward them. I remember defending their right to exist in the talkbacks every time AICN did a post about a new trailer or something.

  31. Bake him away toys!

    November 21st, 2018 at 12:45 am

    Majestic: congrats on making the sparkling considerably more interesting then I had ever previously considered but yeah totally agree; the execution throughout is definitely not the greatest.

    So I’m guessing by the general vibe of these comments, no ones looking forward to that prequel book by Meyer retelling they first story all from Edwards POV and the inevitable movie that blossoms?

  32. I actually thought she cancelled the book based on Edward’s point of view because someone somehow got their hands on a copy of a draft and leaked it? (Looked it up and this seems to back me up on that. Midnight Sun)

    The funny thing is, the reaction of vampires in these stories is actually closer to the original Dracula than the whole bursting into flames and dying business, sunlight being fatal to vampires actually came along somewhat later than Bram Stoker’s book.

    The Debunker: Was Sunlight Fatal for Bram Stoker’s Dracula?

  33. Is this different from the one I read about that’s the same book with different names and genders swapped?

  34. Yes, I hadn’t heard of that one but when I looked up the Wikipedia entry for Midnight Sun, I saw an entry for what you’re describing, which is this (Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined).

    After reading that entry, to quote Colonel Kurtz “The horror, the horror.”.

  35. On this franchise evaporating from the public consciousness the week after the DVD hit shelves; I think a large part of that was THE HUNGER GAMES films had launched just prior to the release of the last TWILIGHT, a series that was aimed primarily at the same demographic, and as the films were much better or at least were perceived a lot more positively they also crossed over into other audiences. Weirdly THE HUNGER GAMES also seems to have been more or less forgotten as soon as it ended, and the YA adaptation trend mostly dead, with the odd exception like THE HATE U GIVE not really feeling like part of the same movement.

    Bake him away toys!- I watched Ellis’s video and thought her point about people wanting to distance themselves from the tastes of stereotypical teenage girls was particularly salient. People hated this franchise in the same way they hate boy bands, excessively in a way that they seem to see as part of their identity, for something that will inevitably collapse on its own steam soon enough anyway. That said I only watched the first of these and it was pretty bad.

  36. Bake him away toys!

    November 22nd, 2018 at 8:02 am

    Pac-Man- the whole YA thing that seemed to spawn from this was super weird! So many were optioned and churned out without so much as it thought it seemed. Where would we put twilight in the pantheon of YA greats?

  37. Twilight Turns Ten: What the Response to a Hit Franchise Tells Us About Who’s Allowed to be a Tastemaker | Balder and Dash | Roger Ebert

    An essay on the legacy of Twilight and how the critical response to it matters to how we talk about hit franchises.

  38. Great review, as always Vern. Like most other people I pretty much forgot this franchise existed, but I think that’s just as much a commentary on our nation’s ADD attention span as well as the unremarkable-ness of the whole thing. Hell, I forgot 50 Shades was a thing and that franchise ended like 9 months ago! (Side note: I think it’s interesting that Twilight ended strong on a movie that did well financially and alot of people say it’s the best – most franchises like Shades and Hunger Games and Divergent just peter out and die one or two movies too late)

    Anyways, Twilight 1 is adequate enough – a little too long, a little too dull. The leads don’t have as much chemistry as they should. Nothing blows me away or angers me; it’s a movie I saw once ten years ago and have no desire to rewatch again. I do like that it actually has an ending instead of leaving you completely hanging for the next chapter like so many other movies do. It’s too bad Catherine Hardwicke wasn’t able to capitalize but I have to admit I prefer Red Riding Hood – it’s gloriously campy, a delightful cross between Twilight and The Beast Must Die with a little Wicker Man thrown in. It’s better than Twilight in pretty much every way.

    Side note: I guess in the future we’ll look back at the glut of YA adaptations of the 2000’s the way we look at all the Jaws and Star Wars copycats of the 70s. And I hope people discover Beautiful Creatures, which is easily my favorite. Vern would probably get a kick out of it essentially being a gender-swapped reboot of Twilight, except this time the leads are appealing and likable and have real chemistry (Alden Ehrenreich plays a YA lead as goofy and funny instead of dark and brooding which is great).

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