Rather like the HARRY POTTER movies, TWILIGHT is not really designed to be great cinema; it is designed to appeal to a pre-sold target audience emotionally invested in seeing their favorite literary characters rendered on the big screen in a way that conforms to their fantasies. In fact, the adaptation tries so hard to please the fan base of the Young Adult novel on which it is based, that the film feels not only as if it were written for teenagers but also as if it were written by teenagers. With that in mind, we handed over critical chores to our teenage corresponded Jimmy. Jimmy is the imaginary older brother of Timmy, the imaginary five-year-old who reviewed UNDERDOG for us last year. Read on to hear Jimmy’s opinion of the movie…
Man this movie sucked. It was like supposed to be a horror movie but instead it was like all this girly-girl stuff about this girl who comes to a new school and hooks up with the coolest guy there, except he doesn’t look really cool, he looks kinda sick and pale which I guess is supposed to make him seem sad or something which the girls in the audience like my girlfriend seemed to like because they were all like screaming and cheering for him all the time and going like “Ooo” and “Aaahhhh” over him like he was really something but he wasn’t really.
The girl who moves to the new school is kinda hot but she walks around with her mouth open all the time like she’s going to say, “Duh!” but she never does. I don’t know why she did that but when I looked around the theatre a lot of the girls in the audience (it was mostly girls in the audience which was like the only cool thing about seeing this movie) were looking like that too, especially when that guy was on screen who was supposed to be really cool but wasn’t really.
It turns out the cool guy (who isn’t really) is really a vampire, but he doesn’t want to bite the girl with the open mouth for some reason. He says he’s a killer but they never show that, which made me mad because that’s what I want to see in a vampire film, not some other stuff about high school and proms and stuff. Instead, he walks around looking sad a lot, which my girlfriend liked but I didn’t, but I did like the one time where he first sees the girl with the open mouth in class and he looks like he’s gonna barf. I don’t know why she made him wanna barf but it would have been sweet if he did. Too bad he didn’t though.
There’s a lot of things that could have been good but they aren’t. Like there’s a scene where these guys are all like surrounding the girl with the open mouth and she’s all scared and then the guy she likes (who is supposed to be cool but isn’t) drives up in a car and you think he’s gonna kick their ass but he doesn’t for some reason; he just takes her and drives away.
And later there’s another scene where these other vampires come in and we know they’re bad because they kill people. (Not like the vampire who’s supposed to be cool – his family are vegetarian vampires because they only kill animals). Anyway, this one wants to kill the girl with the open mouth and he’s supposed to be really scary but he just looks like a jerk and I knew I could have kicked his ass even if he was supposed to be a vampire so I couldn’t understand why everyone was so like “Oh, he so scary, I hope the girl with the open mouth doesn’t get killed by him.”
This leads to the best part of the movie where the vampires get in a fight and throw each around and break stuff in a ballet class – which is really sweet because ballet is gay anyway, so it was good they break all the mirros and windows and other stuff while they beat each other up. After sitting through the whole movie I finally thought I was gonna get what I came for because they talked about how they have to kill vampires by cutting them up into pieces and burning them, but then they didn’t show it, they just catch the jerk-vampire-guy and one of the good vampires grabs his head like she’s gonna rip it off but just when you’re going “All right” the movie goes back to the girl with the open mouth and the good vampire guy who has to suck the poison out from where the bad vampire guy bit her but he has to do it without sucking out all her blood and killing her and making her a vampire but I could never understand why he didn’t want her to be a vampire so they could likve together forever and anyway then she wouldn’t have to worry anymore about other vampires trying to kill her because she would be as strong as them. So it didn’t make any sense.
And then they go to the prom and dance and the movie ends but it’s like not really over because there is a bad vampire lady who liked the jerk-vampire-guy and you know she’s gonna come back in the next movie and mess things up for the girl with the open mouth. But no one in the theatre seemed to care, they were all like my girlfriend, just clapping and applauding and saying how good it was, and I guess they had all read the books but I never did so I just didn’t care about any of that, I just wanted to see some vampires and blood but I didn’t and there wasn’t even any scene where the girl with the open mouth takes off her clothes, but maybe that will be in the unrated DVD when it comes out.
But maybe not because in the one scene where she is in bed with the good vampire guy who is supposed to be cool (but isn’t) she acts like she wants to do it with him but he won’t for some reason. I thought maybe it was because vampires can’t do it but my girlfriend says it was because he was afraid he couldn’t control himself, like he would bite her and kill her or maybe make her into a vampire too, which doesn’t sound so bad to me so I couldn’t understand what he was afraid of. But anyway I didn’t like his hair, it all stood up and it was supposed to look cool but it didn’t, it just made him look like somebody you see in a commercial or in a magazine where it’s like an ad for jeans or something.
Oh, and one other thing I forgot to say, the scenes where the vampires were supposed to be like really fast and strong – they were like so sucky I couldn’t believe it. They would like kick someone and their legs would be like blurry but they wouldn’t be any faster than normal and it kind of reminded me of something I saw in some movie I never heard of that I rented once on DVD cause the cover art looked cool and it turned out to be really cheap and the special effects looked stupid just like in this movie, except this movie was in theatres like it was supposed to be good or something.
Oh, and like another thing I forgot was that the girl with the open mouth had a dad who was like really cool because he left her alone and I thought I wish my dad was like that, he wouldjust leave me alone when I needed to be by myself, and it was like in those scenes even though they were kind of boring you almost felt like you could believe the movie was really happening, but then they would go back to the “cool” vampire dude and it would be like a jeans commercial again and I would be thinking “Why do the girls like him so much – just because his hair stands up and he walks around like saying I’m all sad and I want to be with you but I don’t want to bite you so I don’t know what to do but you should get away from me but I want to be near you I guess I just don’t know what I want to do so lets go out in the wood and run around and I’ll show you how fast I am and your mouth will open even wider while you think I’m even more super-cool than before.”
I did kind of like the part where he took her to meet his family and they were like trying to cook from a video because they don’t eat real food so they didn’t have any practise. It was kind of like something you see on a comedy show on TV and I laughed, but then they got in an argument and went upstairs to his room where he has all these CDs he listens to – I guess because he’s so old he has a lot of time to listen to music. And then I thought, he’s not really a high-school kid who likes cool new stuff like I like. He’s really like some old guy who would say to you, “That garbage you listen to ain’t music; real music is this boring stuff I listen to.” And I really wondered if the girl with the open mouth was gonna have to listen to boring music with him the rest of her life or if she would get smart and pick some realy cool kid who was more like me and listened to music that’s really cool, not with like violins and stuff.
I told this part to my girlfriend about the violin music but she didn’t want to listen. I said what’s so great about hanging with some old guy who listens to boring old music just because you like the way his hair stand up because it makes him look like a high school kid but he’s really not. She wouldn’t answer me. We got in a fight and she went home and said she doesn’t want to see me again unless I read the books and admit she was right.
I just want to add that, despite Jimmy’s negative reaction, TWILIGHT is not without its entertainment value. Although the concept of vampirism is not handled in a particularly interesting way, the movie works on its own low-ambition level as mindless fun. Just keep in mind that you are watching a high school romance where the complication is that the attractive bad boy with the heart of gold is a vampire instead of merely being from the wrong side of the tracks or of the wrong religion or ethnic background to gain approval from the leading lady’s parents. I suspect that, within ten years or so, this film (and its inevitable sequels) will look as outdated and ridiculous as the old BEACH PARTY movies do now, but that shouldn’t stop us from sitting back and enjoying the camp with a quiet chuckle.
TWILIGHT (2008). Directed by Catherine Hardwicke. Screenplay by Melissa Rosenberg, based on the novel by Stepenie Meyer. Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Billy Burke, Ashley Greene, Nikki Reed, Jackson Rathbone, Kellan Lutz, Peter Facinelli, Cam Gigandet, Taylor Lautner, Anna Kendrick, Michael Welch. Justin Chon.
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