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David Poland

By David Poland

Twilight BD: Part II Premiere Review-ish

I am not a Twilight fan.

I have seen one of the series prior to tonight. #2… which was #2.

But my wife really wanted to go to the CRAZY final premiere and as it turns out, Bill Condon remembered her wish and very kindly made sure we were able to attend.

And I found this film to be a real surprise.

It’s still, as it apparently always has been, a daytime soap opera for a young audience with less sex and more abs on display. I mean, the dialogue is just amazing and then the person who has spoken whatever line it is strikes a pose and the score soars. “I could use a sandwich”… pose… sting! Wall-to-wall music here. Glossy. Pandering. I don’t know whether this film is better because Kristen Stewart is finally allowed to smile, not apologize for being sexual, and kick a little ass… but those elements worked pretty well, certainly compared to reviews of the previous films.

This movie looked a lot better than the Twilight I had previously seen. The wolves, for instance, looked like they were superimposed with major problems with scale and weight. The daylight vampire glow was laughable… like a broken Star Trek transporter. And things just didn’t seem to be done at the highest professional level.

But more to the point, the third act of this last of the (current) Twilight series (this film seemed to be loaded with spin-off possibilities)m kicks ass. I mean… serious ass. I had no idea Bill Condon was capable of great action. And do keep it in context… this is still people flying at each other, wolves running, heads threatened with removal, etc. It’s not reality action. But Condon gives us 20 good minutes of epic, fun, popcorn action.

Yes, it helped that the hysteria in the upper decks at the LA Live theater screamed at pretty much every turn. It was like being on a roller coaster or a Springsteen concert.

But the action in this sequence was truly fun. Big time. And i don’t know any of the characters. (They screamed as each of the characters not from the main group turned up.) Condon did what great action directors know how to do. He got the audience slightly ahead of the punchline of each part of this series of 15 or so specific confrontations between characters. So we could anticipate and have the fun as each specific fight hit its climax. And again, I don’t know who is who and who has what grudge, etc. Didn’t matter.

A bit later, after the film wraps up its narrative, Condon & Co also do a tribute to the entire series, which I found entertaining and charming even without a relationship with this series, aside, perhaps, from a negative one.

It’s not the 3rd act of Titanic. But it’s the kind of thing where the third act actually makes having mocked your way through the first two acts worth the wait.

I have been to plenty of premieres where I was not happy to have been there by the time we’re walking out the doors. But when the credits rolled, I’d had a good time. Never mistake this for a Good Film. But like going to see a horror film or a low-end action movie… it was that kind of good time.

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73 Responses to “Twilight BD: Part II Premiere Review-ish”

  1. Jenny says:

    Really interesting review. I read the book and there was no action in the final “fight” scene because every time one of the vampires tried to attack a member of the Cullen faction, Bella would block them “mentally” and they couldn’t do it. The wolves showed up, but just stood there and had no involvement. So it sounds like they changed the book quite a bit because the book as written would not translate to the screen at all.

  2. Ra says:

    Blah blah blah *yawns

  3. Cj says:

    Does anyone else see that this critic contradicts himself? In the beginning of the review he states that he has never seen another Twilight film and then goes on later to say “than the Twilight I had previously seen”. Whatever… Lol these movies are for a targeted audience of either sexually unhappy housewives or Tweens who have some fantasy about marrying a sparkly person. Extremely overrated in my opinion, sorry.

  4. LJS says:

    @ CJ, he actually says he saw the second movie. You are obviously not their target market, so of course you are going to think its overated. It doesn’t mean their target market needs to continually take jabs from people There are several genre of movies that I don’t care for. I just don’t go to those movies or read articles on their stars. I do however try to respect that they do mean alot to those who do. I think this guy did a nice job of staying unbiased considering he wasn’t their target audience, hasn’t read the books and isn’t a fan. I appreciate he was able to see some enjoyment from it.

  5. YancySkancy says:

    Yawns and amateur sociology–you can always count on Twilight-bashers!

    I don’t care about the franchise that much one way or the other. My girlfriend’s a fan, so I watch them. I usually find enough to enjoy for the running time, then go on about my life.

    Ra: I find if I avoid articles about subjects that bore me, I don’t yawn so much.

    Cj: Who is overrating the Twilight films? Not the critics: Tomatometer for each is under 50%.

  6. StellaPD says:

    The fans? I have only seen the first Twilight. It is f*cking terrible. Laughably terrible. Your average Syfy original has better acting, effects, writing, etc. Maybe they get better. I can’t accurately assess the entire series. But the first one is a horrible movie.

  7. Bulldog68 says:

    I’m not the target audience or a fan either, but did watch the first one for pure academic sake and found it boring beyond belief, but I appreciate this review.

    Dave clearly states that he saw #2 and did not like it so you’re inaccurate CJ.

    Like em or hate em, they’re still a very successful model that many other studios are trying to emulate, and while we can bith and moan all we want about twihards and tween girls, don’t they derserve their form of entertainment too? Not too much all the regular working people behind the scenes whose mortgages were paid for by these films. I’m happy when films succeed because it benefits the film industry as a whole. Whether I like the film or not. Without Twilight, there might have been no 50/50 or Source Code, or Red.

  8. scooterzz says:

    i’ve never been a fan of these films but (as i may have posted in an earlier thread) found this one to be the best of the lot if only for its humor and self-awareness… hard to believe that this was shot concurrently with the dour ‘bd pt.1’…. agree completely with dp when he says ‘not a good film but a good time’…..

  9. Caterina says:

    I’m not thrilled about the message the whole Twilight series sends to young women and teens (it’s okay if a guy stalks you and controls your every move as long as he’s hot!) but honestly, the people who HATE it are way more obnoxious than the vast majority of fans.

    We get it! You like Harry Potter better! So does the vast majority of the world. Chill.

  10. Js Partisan says:

    How many qualifiers does one have to use to watch a Twilight film? No other film series has to put up with the nonsensical, “It’s not a good film but a good time.” Seriously, if you want to know why modern film criticism is dying, that qualifier is why.

    Ed Cullen stalks her? Yeah, he leaves the country and when he comes back they get engaged. The haters are more annoying but the weirdest part of the books is abstinence besides that, it rather chaste.

  11. StellaPD says:

    So the entire world breaks down to fans of Twilight and fans of Harry Potter? I learn something new every day. Keeping my finger on the pulse of the world.

  12. storymark says:

    Ill check out both parts of Breaking Dawn once this one hits Blu. Nice to hear this one is an improvement. I don’t HATE the series, but after finding the first one tolerable, found the second and third to be agonizingly dull.

  13. Js Partisan says:

    For the end of a SAGA, the publicity of this thing has been on the down low. Sure, the fans know when it’s coming out but the other four were treated like more of a big deal, but this one is just sort of there.

  14. Joe S says:

    Not sure the filmmakers should be condoning steroid use (i.e. Jacob)

  15. LYT says:

    “No other film series has to put up with the nonsensical, “It’s not a good film but a good time.””

    pre-Craig Bond
    Die Hard sequels

    Pretty common for blockbuster franchises, actually.

    scooterz, you really found BD 1 dour? The corpse wedding cake, the Bride of Frankenstein flashback, the wolves talking, the shtick with Edward’s housekeeper, the bloody birth…I dug the absurdity of it, so I’m happy to hear this one has a lot more. The first 8 minutes shown at Comic-Con were batshit.

  16. Sam says:

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with criticizing books or movies not made for you, so long as you take that into consideration. Writing is still writing, acting is still acting, and so on — these things can be judged.

    That said, people don’t really know how to do that, or they do so inconsistently. Twilight’s acting IS pretty bad, but people will rake the series over the coals for that while blithely excusing the bad acting as part of the fun when it comes to some explody guy movie.

    It’s hard not to fall in one trap or the other. I try not to begrudge Twilight fans their story, which is one that obviously resonates (however scarily, given how close to stalking it gets sometimes). But yeah, obviously the prose in the books is unaccomplished, and the movies suffer similarly from shaky craftsmanship. I’m comfortable criticizing those aspects but decline to press too deeply into story, character, and theme.

    I think of all the opinions about Twilight, the ones I respect most are neither of the blindly devoted fans or of the inexplicably angry detractors but those women who genuinely enjoy them and yet still recognize the problems (and in a way, enjoy those, too). They seem to be the only faction that as a whole has opinions that are honest, informed, and intelligent.

    Not saying you can have an honest, informed, and intelligent opinion that is different from this. Just that most differing opinions I’ve heard strike me as suspect for one reason or another.

  17. palmtree says:

    The way I understand it, even fans of it acknowledge how bad it is. But as it is such a popular book and a social phenomenon, they have to watch it to stay conversant and even like it while knowing it’s bad.

    I know everyone here has movies from their childhood that are terrible terrible movies, and yet that objective knowledge isn’t enough for you to stop your love. For me, I think INDY 2 is not the best Indy movie and also somewhat racist, but you know what…it’s my favorite.

  18. John says:

    Twilight is just not good in any way. If compared to the likes of major Hollywood tent poles such as Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, The Godfather, Star Wars, James Bond, etc. it is nothing. Harry Potter is the highest grossing films franchise of all time with an average of 1 billion dollars per film, while Twilight only makes about 550 million per film. All of the Harry Potter films are critically acclaimed, Twilight does not have one that is well perceived. In short, Twilight sucks.

  19. Lex says:

    I would love to arm wrestle her. Might not be my arm though.


  20. christian says:

    “Andy and his Hardy clan simply can’t expect us to take their silly problems seriously and with any emotional ardor; yet they do provide young girls and families with a gay time as bombs drop overseas with no demanding thought, which makes Mr. Mayer the gayest of them all. So I expect we’ll be getting another serial madcap affair until Andy is a grandparent and his dimpled precocious children can take over. Such as it ever was.”

    – christian, The Hot Blog, 1940

  21. anghus says:

    Critical relent:

    The theory that film critics will eventually come around to a popular series of films, no matter how terrible, out of not wanting to feel culturally irrelevant or out of some misguided theory that anything popular must have some merit.

    Past examples:

    Fast Five
    Revenge of the Sith
    Transformers 3

    Fast Five is basically a best of/mash up of the previous films with the Rock thrown in for some added fun. The previous Fast & Furious films were harmless fun but critically brutalized while Fast Five was somehow ‘a breath of fresh air’.

    Revenge of the Sith was the same mediocre, poorly plotted soulless mess with terrible acting as the first two prequels. And yet, this one got a pass. To be fair, most of the star wars prequels got a pass because of the original trilogy.

    Transformers 3 was the same plot, almost note for note, as the first two films. And yet critics treated the third one like it was somehow better than the previous two when in fact it was the same basic movie as the first two with the same nonsensical plot and same ending.

    Now you have all these online film sites saying Breaking Dawn Part 2 is somehow a superior, standout installment when i’m guessing it’s probably just like the other four. If you like the other four, fantastic. But let’s not pretend this is some kind of standout film that deviates from the formula and provides a unique moviegoing experience. It’s more of the same. Some people like the same. But let’s stop pretending these overproduced monstrosities with wooden acting has somehow stumbled into quality.

    I’ve seen all of the Twilight films. They are not good on a number of levels. They struggle to get to adequate. Sub-par movies based on sub-par fiction. The kind of films that creates a fan base of crazy tweens and teens who get murderously angry because K-Stew boned the director of Snow White. This is not an intelligent fan base or people familiar with quality. These is the demo that made things like New Kids on the Block, NSync, and the Backstreet Boys multi-millionares. The demo that made Disney think there was a movie career for Jonathan Taylor Thomas. Very few things of quality are ever birthed from this demo. Do you really see a stunning film legacy for good looking blocks of wood like Taylor Lautner or Robert Pattinson?

    You could make an argument that Leonardo Dicaprio is the lone diamond produced from the hormonal overflow of this demographic with the massive success of Titanic. Thank God he was smart enough to pick challenging roles. He could have ended up relegated to the inside of lockers and neglected trapper keepers. Sure, movies like Celebrity and The Beach are hardly worth mentioning. But you had an actor who sought out Woody Allen and Danny Boyle instead of starring in big budget studio trash.

    Twilight is finally over. Let’s take a minute, reflect on it’s medicortiy, and await the next big young adult series to infect our lives for five or six years. Maybe The Hunger Games will get better.

  22. Lex says:

    I have a degree in Film and have the most refined tastes this side of 007, and I deeply love the Twilight series.

  23. anghus says:

    just because you love trash doesn’t mean it’s not trash.

    there’s nothing wrong with loving trash. Quentin Tarantino has made a career out of it.

    And to be fair, loving something terrible isn’t anything new, or novel. You and forty million fourteen year old girls love Twilight. And none of them have film degrees. It didn’t cost them $40,000.00 to get hard for hot garbage.

  24. bulldog68 says:

    John you can’t go about citing box office as a measure of quality and compare Twilight to Harry Potter, and then have Bond in the same conversation when this will be the first Bond ever to gross more worldwide than the last three Twilights.

    As for not being well perceived, see LYT’s list above and I add Pirates of the Caribbean, save the first one, to that list. Twilight is a member of very profitable but populated list of critically maligned club of films.

  25. storymark says:

    “the most refined tastes this side of 007”

    Wait, I thought you gave up comedy?!

  26. lazarus says:

    So many moments of outstanding pure cinema in Revenge Of The Sith; to call it a “soulless mess” is just riding a bandwagon of another color.

    I enjoyed the other two prequels as well, but Lucas really upped his game on part three, and a lot of critics acknowledged it. Certainly not all of them.

    Movies aren’t just about dialogue and acting (and the actors in Sith also brought their A-games, for the most part). If something provides thrills, a little poetry, a legit connection to a nostalgia for the past, an great musical score, etc., one can overlook some flaws.

  27. Richard says:

    Color me stupid here . . . but Poland gives this movie a thumbs up after saying “Never mistake this for a good film.” ???? Really? It must be opposite day.

  28. Revenge of the Sith was a superior film to Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones while delivering an emotional capper to a 30 year series, delivering most of the highs and lows that fans had waited so long to see. Not only is it the best of the prequels (better dialogue, better action, better acting, etc.) but it’s among the best Star Wars movies period.

    Transformers 3 had a streamlined narrative that kept the star robots front-and-center of the action while actually delivering massive robot fighting scenes that didn’t feel encumbered by budget.

    Fast Five was a massive improvement over the prior four entries while also using the continuity of the prior four films for emotional pay-offs and viewer familiarity. It played like a satisfying series finale to a long-running TV series. I watched the prior four films for the first time a week before seeing Fast Five and didn’t care for any of them, only to be shocked at how much I enjoyed the fifth entry.

    As for Twilight, I rather liked Hardwicke’s initial entry, full of bubbly supporting characters and a genuine self-lacerating wit. The next three films were burdened by the presumption that the source material was biblical gospel, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the series finale is a genuine improvement over the prior sequels if only because they can go nuts since it’s the end.

  29. David Poland says:

    Richard… when it comes to the narrow definition of “thumbs up” or “thumbs down,” I made that call. There are a ton of movies I like – some, I even love – that I would define as “not a good film,” but they give me pleasure. I think the review is fair and tells you pretty much exactly what my experience of it was. It’s a cheesefest for the first two acts, filled with curtain calls from cast members I can’t begin to identify. But the third act is fun and well done and I would be happy to watch the last 40 minutes of that movie a bunch more times. There is something visceral and raw and pleasurable about it… again, not unlike a chop socky film.

  30. christian says:

    i don’t think anybody has used the phrase “chop socky” since a Variety headline circa 1975.

  31. anghus says:

    Lazarus, to claim that Portman. McGregor, or Jackson brought their “A game” to Sith is laughable.

    It’s those kind of statements that make it hard to be taken seriously. Even if you like Star Wars films, to think that there is A game acting going on means you’re either a) bad at judging the craft of acting or B) a fanboy swept up in the mania of the star wars phenomenon.

    I like the Matrix films. Would I describe Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburnes performances “A game” acting. Never.

    There’s nothing wrong with liking Twilight or Star Wars, but let’s abandon the conceit that they are in any way high art that should be classified as quality filmmaking.

  32. Sam says:

    anghus: But Fast Five WAS a better film than the prior four. It’s not caving to the masses to acknowledge that. I’d have considerably less respect for a critic who continually panned every installment of an uneven series just because.

    That said, the phenomenon you describe isn’t entirely out of line. Star Wars 3 IS a better movie than 1 or 2, but it’s still not good, and I think critics overreacted. Ditto for Transformers 3, although really it’s the first one that’s the best if barely adequate installment of that franchise.

    But I think we can chalk a lot of that up to relief that the continuation of the series isn’t as horrible as what came before. That’s a natural reaction and not at all confined to critics. Certainly we can take that into account, but I don’t know why all the disdain.

  33. lazarus says:

    Anghus, some actors are able to transcend shitty dialogue, some aren’t. Doesn’t mean they aren’t trying.

    I really believe McGregor stepped it up, and think his scene in Padme’s apartment is as good as any acting in the series. He’s also clearly committed during the duel.

    Portman wasn’t given much, but delivers her chilling Senate line perfectly, with a touch of Carrie Fisher’s steeliness.

    Jackson’s not a great actor anyway IMO, so perhaps his A-game doesn’t mean the same to both of us.

    And I wasn’t calling SW high art, but to deny/ignore the creativity and storytelling in Lucas’ compositions, some of the expertly-cut sequences, Williams’ music…you threw a blanket over the whole thing without qualifying anything and just sound like another bitter fanboy hater.

  34. lazarus says:

    And I should also add that Christiansen really did put forth a great amount of effort in this one to add some shading to his character in Sith, whatever you think of the results.

  35. dave says:

    Why do critics have to qualify their impressions? Good movie or no, damn it! Not Titanic? What the hell does that tell me. Is this guy too embarrassed to admit he liked the Twilight film? Or is he hiding it; qualifying his response for the next cocktail party with people of similar ilk. Drives me nuts. I don’t care about this guy, his wife nor any relationship he has with the director. I want to know if I should use some of my unemployment money to see this movie?

  36. John says:

    “But like going to see a horror film or a low-end action movie… it was that kind of good time. ”

    Nearly 90% of all horror movies are better than this series…and writing off an entire genre makes for a joke of a critic.

  37. anghus says:

    Everyone grades on a curve. The best Twilight gets a pass and reluctant reccomendations because the bar has been set so woefully low. Is Sith the best prequel? By a country mile, but its still pretty bad when compared with other films in its category like Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter.

    Fast Five is the best film in the series, but it is not radically different from the previous entries. The heaping of praise feels more confusing when you consider you’d have to have seen three previous entries to get Fast Five.

    I liked Fast Five. I liked the original and the fourth as well. Unlike many, praising Fast Five wasn’t a radical departure because the difference between the fifth and the fourth was marginal. Where some claim its some kind of rose that grew from the garbage. People are reccomending Breaking Dawn part two for the same qualities they used to crucify earlier installments. These kind of reviews always strike me as a critical reward for endurance, like the kid admitted to the frat after a long string of humiliating hazing.

  38. storymark says:

    “I like the Matrix films. Would I describe Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburnes performances “A game” acting.”

    Then you’re just being a hipster poseur. Keanu was absolutely bringing HIS A game. Maybe not Deniro’s A-game – but that’s not the discussion at hand.

  39. LYT says:

    If we’re talking acting in Sith, let us not neglect Ian muthafucking McDiarmid. The dialogue scenes where he slowly casts doubt in Anakin’s mind are among the best acting in all of Star Wars, for whatever that’s worth, and his deep, croaking “evil” voice was him, not an audio effect.

  40. tbunny says:

    “Anakin the Chancelor is evil!”

  41. Daniel says:

    “But like going to see a horror film or a low-end action movie… it was that kind of good time.”

    Wow, that is a complete insult to the Horror Genre…especially considering the Horror genre has churned quite a number of masterpieces in its time…examples

    1.) The Exorcist – A Masterpiece of Horror Cinema

    2.) Let the Right One In – A brilliant and moving Horror Drama.

    3.) Rosemary’s Baby – It’s a classic horror masterpiece…has 98% over at RT as well. Considered an iconic masterpiece by many

    4.) Psycho – Again, a horror/suspense masterful piece of work from the master

    5.) Nightmare on Elm Street – Wes Craven’s original film has more in its head to say then a single ounce of Twilight ever did.

    I just named Five Films within the Horror genre that are masterpieces…so please don’t insult the genre I love by comparing this mindless, souless, crass, commercialized product that is simply designed to wet the panties of frustrated house wifes and teenage girls to a genre that has churned out a fair number of masterpieces in its time

    It just makes you look foolish

  42. David Poland says:

    Daniel… the only thing I really disagree with is you taking the phrase and the genre a bit too seriously for my taste.

    And I would put Nightmare more in my camp camp than in the masterpiece group. Halloween is a better movie… but also a glorious bit of cheese.

    Arguing the ideas of Twlight is like trying to count the sand on the beach as it falls through your fingers.

    Yes, four masterpieces. And I would put other Polanski films on the edge of horror. And Friedkin is a genre master. And Hitchcock wrote much of the book.

    If i had said a movie was was like “one of those biopics,” I don’t think I’d be talking about the half-dozen bio-pic masterpieces.

  43. Sam says:

    “Why do critics have to qualify their impressions? Good movie or no, damn it!”

    Is that seriously as simple as your thoughts are?

    It’s not a critic’s job to reduce a work of art to a pinpoint on a linear scale. It would not be useful if it were.

  44. anghus says:

    If you sat Ewan McGregor and Natalie Portman down and declared their acting in Star Wars was “their A Game”, they would laugh.

  45. MarkVH says:

    Yeah, the horror comment kind of threw me too. Wasn’t it Scorsese who said that if you couldn’t appreciate horror and musicals, you couldn’t appreciate cinema?

    I get the comparison, though.

  46. Rashad says:

    The fuck? Keanu and Fisburne definitely brought their A game to the Matrix.

  47. palmtree says:

    Why do people always confuse quality with enjoyment? You can enjoy something in spite of its quality and you can also recognize something’s quality without enjoying it.

    These two aspects are not inseparable. Otherwise, a good number of male film critics would have to praise their favorite porn movies. Am I right?

  48. Js Partisan says:

    Laz, the person you are arguing with wants all the prequels to be fan-edited, and that makes arguing with him about anything involving the prequels rather pointless.

  49. Daniel says:

    “Daniel… the only thing I really disagree with is you taking the phrase and the genre a bit too seriously for my taste.”

    No not really,then you are implying with that line that the entire genre is on the lower end…if you had said “low end horror” then sure I could see your point…but the way you phrased it was labelling the entire genre as being the “low end of the spectrum” when that simply isn’t the case

    And yes I would put Nightmare on Elm Street in the potential masterpiece category. Craven has always been an oddly moral film maker and that film is, I feel, much smarter then people give it credit for. In the genre, it’s right up there as being one of the better pieces of work…it’s not just a run of the mill slasher flick like Friday the 13th…it does have something to say, it does have ideas.

    Anyways the point was that you labelled out the entire genre as being on the low end of the spectrum when that simply isn’t the case. It does come off as a backhanded insult to the genre as a whole.

  50. Daniel says:

    Personally, I don’t really care about the Twilight franchise…I know what it is and I know why it’s fanbase likes it. I’m not expecting “high art” from these movies.

    I don’t like these movies simply because I do not like the protagonist. I think she is one of the most plain, boring, dull, sexually unappealing creations to ever hit the big screen. That character is as empty as a fresh vaccum bag. Hence why I don’t like this series, why should I enjoy the series where I don’t like it’s main protagonist and where I feel that she only gets progressively more idiotic with each installment.

    These films are trash pure and simple. And if the fanbase likes them for that reason then more power to them.

    It’s not a problem with Twilight…but it does scare me a little that these films make the money they make considering just how little really does happen in these films.

  51. anghus says:

    Actually Js, I could give a Fuck who edits them. It’s rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

    Glad you came back to provide the predictable fanboy opinion on everything. This place had almost become reasonable.

  52. cadavra says:

    There’s nothing wrong with cheesy horror provided it’s done well and the makers know that they’re not trying for anything but. The textbook example for me is BORDELLO OF BLOOD. I went in expecting boobs, blood, Dennis Miller ad-libbing most of his dialogue and some groaners from the Crypt-Keeper, all very slickly packaged. And that’s exactly what I got. Masterpiece? Of course not. Darn good time? You bet.

  53. Joe Leydon says:

    Like David, I saw only one previous Twilight movie — New Moon — before this grand finale. So pardon me if I ask a naive question or 2. Like, are all of the movies this funny? And does Michael Sheen simultaneously channel Pee-Wee Herman and Alan Cumming in all of them? (I don’t remember him being quite so obviously campy in New Moon.)

  54. leahnz says:

    “the most refined tastes this side of 007″

    Wait, I thought you gave up comedy?!

    (this comment by storymark made me laugh)

    Joe, the series has gotten slightly more camp and prone to taking the piss out of itself as it’s worn on (I haven’t seen this last one and don’t intend to make an effort to do so, but if it’s on cable late one night while i’m paralysed on the couch I’ll watch it – like i’ve seen most of them – just to be a completest; the last one – part one – had a touch more of the macabre about it too, which made it a little more bearable)

    it’s weird to see DP referred to in this thread as ‘this guy’ so often (and I’m deeply distressed to see carpenter’s original and sublime Halloween referred to as “a glorious bit of cheese”…perhaps a re-watch is in order! it’s a lean, mean creepy machine)

  55. chris says:

    Joe: Michael Sheen isn’t in the first or third films at all, I don’t think, and he doesn’t have much to do in the second, but he’s definitely the class of the joint in these last two (in no way would I recommend seeing “Dawn, Part 1,” which is the worst of them, but he is fun in it). This is the funniest one, by a long shot (most of them have no sense of humor).

  56. David Poland says:

    Oh, I love Halloween, leah… more and more as years pass.

    But it embraces genre cheese while raising the bar, from the first murder to PJ Soles’ perky sexy, to “why the long face” Jamie Lee to Plesance to the hangers in the closet to the legendary music.

    I don’t say “cheese” in a pejorative way. Some of my most beloved moments in the movie theater were cheeserific.

  57. Js Partisan says:

    Oh anghus, I know it seems impossible for you to grasp that fans can be objective, but that’s a truth you should learn to embrace. It’s also good to know that when there are more SW movies, you will no longer care about them. Hurrah. Hurrah. Let me also add that you using the word “reasonable” as if you have any understanding of the words definition is rather hilarious to read.

    Joe, all of the Twilight movies have had a great sense of humor to them. All of them. People seem to think that when Edward is staring at Bella in the first movie that it’s supposed to be serious, when it’s not. If you have ever seen these films with a raucous crowd, it’s easy to get how funny and self-effacing they are. It’s also quite funny to hear people howling when Jacob takes off his shirt.

  58. anghus says:

    ” it seems impossible for you to grasp that fans can be objective”


    : an enthusiastic devotee (as of a sport or a performing art) usually as a spectator


    : expressing or dealing with facts or conditions as perceived without distortion by personal feelings, prejudices, or interpretations

    So technically JS, fans can’t be objective. But why let proper use of language get in the way of a good argument?

  59. Js Partisan says:

    Anghus, you dear little chap, how can you believe enthusiasm doesn’t lead to insight? I am sure Bill Simmons, a basketball fan, who wrote one of the best basketball books ever, would totally believe your interpretations of fandom (Objective? Objective? Yeah, your inability to differentiate from a definition and a objective is hilarious), as he sits on the Kia NBA TIP-OFF show due to his fandom.

    Of course I wouldn’t have to point this out to you if you were actually a fan of anything. Seeing as you aren’t, I really could careless what your opinion of geeks or fans are. You once again are caught up in your beliefs of how you believe people are and not how those people actually are. This is an old chestnut with you, but you keep on playing it.

  60. StellaPD says:

    I can’t comment on the rest, but the first Twilight takes itself super seriously and doesn’t seem to be self-aware or laughing at itself. Arguing otherwise seems like a fan’s attempt to blunt harsh criticism.

  61. Joe Leydon says:

    Does Billy Black — Jacob’s wheelchair-bound dad — die in the books? Or in <i.Part 1?

  62. YancySkancy says:

    Twilight is set in high school; of course the characters take everything seriously. The film takes its cue from that, but it’s still not without humor.

    anghus: I suppose your opinions, unlike those of everyone else in the world, are objective?

  63. StellaPD says:

    Yes there is plenty of unintentional humor. I don’t recall much of the intentional variety.

  64. anghus says:

    I’m a fan of you JS.

    Bringing basketball into a film discussion seems oddly appropriate for your malignant form of logic. Basketball is A sport. There are facts in sports. Points, stats, winners and losers.

    Movies don’t have such values. They are about feelings, emotions, and opinions. How does one remain objective about something they admit to being in the bag for?

    Would you pick lex to judge a fashion show where Kristen Stewart is the model? It doesn’t matter what she wears, he’s going to be thrilled.

    There are no objective opinions, only varying degrees of subjectivity

  65. Joe Leydon says:

    Again: Actually, this is a kinda-sorta serious question: Did Billy Black — Jacob’s wheelchair-bound father — die in Breaking Dawn — Part I? Or in Eclipse? Because he’s nowhere to be seen in Part II. Did he just get left on the cutting room floor, or…?

  66. Js Partisan says:

    Anghus, if this election cycle has taught us anything, it’s that facts and math are even up for discussion. You can feel the way that you do about fandom but from my experience, fans are the biggest supporters but also the biggest critics. Lex might be a lot of things but he’s no idiot. If K-Stew wore something he didn’t like, his critique would be scathing. Much in the same way that Bill Simmon’s critique of Oscar Robertson’s TRIPLE-DOUBLE season is scathing compared to conventional wisdom that’s supported by numbers and supposed facts.

    Everything is open for interpretation but that does not mean the interpretation is always right. You, love to believe that fans cannot in anyway be objective. Unlike you, I am a fan of much more than you have ever been in your life, and that leads to me stating empirically that while I love “The West Wing,” the season five episode “Han” is complete and utter shit. See? Objectivity is in the eye of the beholder and how dare you or anyone dare assume that all fans work the way that you believe that they do.

    Joe, he didn’t die. They just cut him. Also, “Twilight” is in no way serious and full of itself. You cannot state as much, when the movie features a ridiculous Vampire Baseball scene.

  67. anghus says:

    “objectivity is in the eye of the beholder”

    Thanks for the laugh.

    You argue like a ten year old. Words, their meanings, and basic reason do not exist in your dojo. You’re a wonderful product of a society that believes, as you said, “everything is open for interpretation”

    Your beef isn’t with me. It’s with Merriam Webster. Objectivity requires an opinion based on facts, not influenced by personal feelings or interpretations. Everybody can’t have their own personal take on objectivity. That’s what subjectivity is.

    I’ve never seen a fanboy take on a dictionary, but its pretty funny.

  68. palmtree says:

    ” if this election cycle has taught us anything, it’s that facts and math are even up for discussion.”

    Don’t want to interrupt your love/hate fest, but this past election taught us the exact opposite. One side ignored facts and math and lost as a result.

  69. Js Partisan says:

    Palm, no, it didn’t. When you have a side that deny it until the results and then deny it after the results are in, that’s the point. Math won the day but that does not change how that side denied it until the end.

    Anghus, I’d rather be a 10 year old than a bitter old man, yelling at clouds, and failing to grasp the words objective and subjective, and how it’s very easy to be OBJECTIVE when you are a fan. Being a fan, something you have no understanding about what so ever.

  70. anghus says:

    i’m a fan of logic, intelligence, and the proper use of the English language.

    “objectivity is in the eye of the beholder”

    You basically declared that objectivity… is subjective. And you counter with ‘you don’t know the meaning of the words’?

    You sir, are hysterical. I swear there are days where i debate whether or not you are a real person or doing some sort of shtick.

  71. Yes, Joe, I do believe that Jacob’s father was killed by the red-headed villain (forget her name…) in New Moon. To answer your other question, I’m actually quite fond of the first Twilight precisely because Hardwicke doesn’t treat the material with too much reverence. It’s witty, a little charming, and the utterly daffy supporting characters make up for the relatively bland main characters. New Moon is by far the worst of the series (it’s very dull and self-serious, almost nothing happens, it contains most of the franchise’s “bad messaging”, and is ultimately irrelevant to the broad narrative), but I’d recommend checking out the initial installment.

  72. Joe Leydon says:

    Scott: No offense, but I believe you are mistaken.

  73. Upon checking Wikipedia I am mistaken… I did not spot him in Breaking Dawn II either. For what it’s worth I felt the same way about BD2 as I did (relatively speaking) about The Matrix Revolutions. The opening 25-30 minutes and closing 25-30 minutes are strong, but the middle portion is a giant drag and quite unnecessary to the grand arc. Both Breaking Dawn films could have been trimmed to a perfectly fine 3 hour finale as there is plenty of fat in both portions. But sweet Jeebus that final action sequence is awesome…

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon