Posts Tagged ‘Twilight’

Twilight (the Movie)

So last night i went to see Twilight, as it turns out, eleven PM on a Tuesday is a good time to go see a movie.

To me Twilight was deliciously comical and overall, a bit dragged down and slow. I actually enjoyed James, Laurent and Victoria’s screen time more than i enjoyed Edward’s screen time. True, he was incredibly cute in some scenes and in others he was not at all. Bella was great, the actress was awesome, but something was off in the character, i have no idea what it was, but it was odd. The best roles were the minor ones, by far.

Alice rocked the screen, and her happy demeanor was contagious. Emmet was amazing and definitely merited more screen time, Carlisle was creepy but likable, Rosalie was one adorable bitch, Jasper was lost, and Esme was almost non existent and should have had a little more interaction.

The best character overall had to be Charlie. His humor, hopelessly lost attitude and caring silent father role was played to perfection, he was also the source of a good number of laughs.

The Edward/Jacob dimension was played into and was wonderfully portrayed.

The best part aside from the humor was the fight. The worst part had to have been the slow and dragging attitude and the non-dramatic sparkling Edward, who was not at all like diamonds.

Go see it, and take something to snack on for the first half and then the last ten minutes, trust me, you’ll need it.

Breaking Dawn Review

Breaking Dawn is the final installment in the very popular Twilight Saga, authored by Stephenie Meyer, published in August of 2008. The novel finalizes the story of Bella Swan, a human, and her relationship with Jacob Black, a shape shifter, and Edward Cullen a vampire, who in the novel finalizes her transformation into a vampire after marrying her. The novel has gained much popularity, especially among younger teenaged girls, despite its intended older audience, and has lead to a movie which will be released on November 21st, causing many critics to call her “the American J.K. Rowling”

Twilight is one of the many series being written in the Urban Fantasy genre that has begun to grow in the United States, especially in the last ten years. It is, however, in this setting, that the Twilight Saga and Breaking Dawn specifically, shows its immature style. Breaking Dawn commits a form of literary treason to the genre in which it’s housed and the medium which it used to rise to popularity.

Urban fantasy is characterized by certain markers that set the fantastical in the contemporary. The vast majority of lead characters are female, educated and have a strong connection to the supernatural, and carry out both professional lives as well as secret ones. Isabella “Bella” Swan fits the profile, being able to defy the vampires’ supernatural abilities and despite her “outsider” perspective, manages to hold on to a popular and comfortable lifestyle. Bella is a high school student, whereas other protagonists in the genre are adult women, this immediately gives a different sense to the overall novel and style of writing.

The general attitude of Urban Fantasy is one that glorifies the odd or the awkward, serving as a form of social criticism by having powerful characters that are usually ignored by other fantasy and literature in general. Paganism, homosexuality, bisexuality, BDSM, ethnic minorities and social outcasts are heavily present in Urban Fantasy, all emphasizing a lack in need to be embraced by all of society. Rather than intergrading, they form mixed groups that understand that they are outside the norm and outside the good intentions of the people who are generally mainstream Christian humans, while still endowing those characters with very real human problems, such as unwanted pregnancies, questions of morality and very often, unrequited love and troublesome relationships.

In Breaking Dawn, Meyer fails to understand that attitude. Edward and Bella are allowed by their creator (Meyer) to live together outside the norm, and outside of human affairs, only after they adapt to them. Where in Urban Fantasy, marriage is not a priority and not a virtue in general, in Breaking Dawn, the vampires act in a purely human fashion, living upper middle class lives in a formalized one man one woman marriage setting. Meyer constantly emphasizes that Bella is an “ordinary girl” who just happens to be in love with a vampire, ignoring the outcasts. Save for the Native Americans, who she glorifies by giving them pure supernatural worth and ignoring their human aspects. Again, her characters are completely normal humans whose only problems are supernatural.

Most Urban Fantasy is highly sexualized, violent and criticizes the contemporary social system though their actions and their settings. One example is that of Anita Blake, who often points out flaws in society, such as prejudice toward minorities and though the novel presents several Asian, Black, Gay and Hispanic characters interacting in a American setting, while recognizing their heritage and even including their mythology into the general storytelling. Meyer attempts to do this by including Native American characters into her novels, however, their mythology is incredibly European, and largely ignores the Native’s own religions. Other urban Fantasy writers acknowledge the existence of other cultures and other perspectives though the actions of foreign vampires and other supernatural creatures, but Meyer’s foreign vampires act in a purely American style, ignoring the possibility of a rich cultural mesh.

The relationship between Bella, Edward and Jacob is largely based on sexual attraction. Bella’s obsession with Edward is described from a sexual perspective, Meyer does this in a manner that is very childish and immature, and using language that is heavily censored, breaking with the style in which sexuality is open and understood. The few sexual encounters that occur are omitted, yet the nature of the attraction is understood to be solely sexual based. The complex relationship between Bella and Jacob, which is described in a romantic way, is in the end cast aside as Bella marries Edward, with whom, other than an intense sexual attraction, she had nothing in common.

The main point in favor of the vampires in Meyer’s works is their behavior. While in other such works the vampires have a terribly childish and act in a very human manner, while stressing their inhumanness. Meyer’s vampires act as if they have thousands of years worth of knowledge and act in a way that both stresses the arrogance of having such knowledge, and the wisdom to use it. In other novels across the genre, despite the inhuman characteristics of vampires, they act very human. Rather than backing off when a fight is lost, or knowing when to act, the vampires act solely on emotion and in a very unintelligent way. Meyer’s vampires break this mold for the better. When faced with a large group of opponents offering peace, they wisely choose to back away, and reassess the situation. Meyer’s vampires also display a higher level of intelligence, having foresight and using their long lives to calculate and predict actions that will lead them to the better. It makes the reader actually believe that the vampires have existed before the conception of the novel.

The Novel’s popularity among the mainstream is largely due to its style and the break in tradition when writing into the Urban Fantasy genre. The confusion between lust and love appeals to a younger audience while the traditionally older audience of urban fantasy is left disappointed by the amateurish writing and the lack of complexity. Overall, Breaking Dawn fails to live up to the standards of the genre, while clearly paving the way to a more mainstream style, appealing to a younger and more specific audience. Unlike most works in the genre, Breaking Dawn serves no purpose other than to amuse, and fails to bring expansion to the genre. Meyer, in the terms of Urban Fantasy, has nothing of importance to give back.