Twilight Saga Review (2008 – 2012)

twilight saga complete collection

Alrighty, I know this is Thursday and there should be a book review, but that will go up tomorrow. I have to complete this run of Twilight Thursdays properly. Might as well disrupt my OCD for one day 😛

gir eye twitch

Recently I sat down to watch these with Natasha for a Shitfest 2015 entry after I had read those godawful books (which most of you have read all about over the last few weeks). At any rate, I was not watching them alone. In actual fact, I was not going to watch them ever, at all, but after some mild forceful coercion, the Kidney won out and I prepared to watch them. Prepared, because I faffed around for ages, prolonging the inevitable. But eventually it happened.

However, something was soured for me. Completely. They are by no stretch of the imagination good movies, but I have read the books (ugh), and in terms of that, it cannot be denied that they are actually pretty decent adaptions. How does that work? Crappy books get loyal adaptions and remain shitty movies, while good books get crappy adaptions and ruin stories? Gosh, the world we live in. I really should consider another career.

book slappers movie job

Two big reasons that I actually made it through these movies:

  1. Jackson Rathbone is absolutely ridiculously fucking hot and yummy and he happens to portray the one character I simply adore;
  2. The fact that Natasha damn near bolted me to the couch. And found it highly amusing to watch me wallow in my unhappiness. My bestie is sadistic…

jackson rathbone smile omgjackson rathbone yumjackson rathbone smile omg2jackson-rathbone-hmmjackson rathbone

Huh, what? Sorry, sorry, got a little sidetracked there. I am back. Okay wait, last one…

jackson rathbone

However, after surviving these movies (and believe me, I had my doubts along the way that I would), I cannot help but have a soft spot reserved for them because I had ridiculous amounts of fun watching these with Natasha, ragging them blind, clinically assessing the type of adaption they were from the books, both of us having feminist freak out sessions because Bella is a useless lump and suicide is not the answer when your love moves along, but really, ripping it apart was a sheer blast. This does not make them good movies, I want that on the record. I don’t know if I can watch these again, or if I could ever view them on my own, but with the Kidney it was well worth it.

Ten points to Gryffindor. Bella evidently missed the lesson.

Alright, enough waffling (see, even now I am still procrastinating). I am going to talk about some things, but I will keep myself (mostly) in check.

The Good:

  • Casting choices. No, seriously. Most of the casting was done pretty well in here. Most of the time. The performances were also about as good as you could get on this level (a bit… uhm… wooden at the best of times, but they all tried). Michael Sheen was pretty entertaining, even when he ventured into territory that was a little dodgier than was required.
  • Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson actually managed to bring some passion to a really dead relationship (in the books – in there it was just poison, no passion), and they have to be given credit for it, even if they were a little wooden at times.
  • The Volturi’s outfits when they came for their showdown. Really good. You can’t blame me… you know how I get about the sweeping cape-like look… eeek. Plus there were all black and red and luscious and lovely.

volturivolturi guard

  • Jackson Rathbone. I would just like to take a minute (again) to wax lyrical here about how insanely gorgeous the man is. I mean, how hot is this guy?! He isn’t in many other things, which is a serious pity, and I have always enjoyed him. I guess I will take what I can get.

jasper spinning baseball batjasper baseball hot

  • Obviously I enjoyed the way the baseball scene was cobbled together, and not just to get an eyeful of Jasper… I swear… *super innocent whistle*
  • The wedding scene was really well done. I will have to give them credit for that.
  • Pattinson has the world’s most smug smile to demonstrate when Edward is getting his way, and I love it. I can’t help it, he starts smirking and then I do, too.

edward cullen smirk (2) edward cullen smirk

The Bad:

  • Some things were changed from the book to add more drama. As if things weren’t melodramatic enough.
  • Some extremely questionable effects, which is unacceptable in the later movies (where they got so much worse) considering the budget increased. How is it that the smaller budget films managed to look that much better? It evades the limits of my understanding. While we are at it, how you could see which sets were backdrops and what not. Awkies.
  • I was actually really, really looking forward to all the betting between Jasper and Emmett. Absolutely no such luck for me there, and it was the one thing that actually provided significant entertainment in the books. They were relentless.
  • Bella was whiny in these films, but seeing as it wasn’t internal dialogue for us to wade through like the books (thank goodness), it was more bearable, but I still wanted to shake her and slap her. She does not need Edward to breathe, there is no need to kill yourself if you cannot be together. The things this story taught young girls. Ugh. The feminist in me is revolting again just thinking about it.

bella swan sandwich feminist setback

  • The wolves communicating with each other telepathically (which would have been bearable if done correctly). I actually cringed. Like holy crapsticks….
  • That baby that they made up as Renesmee? Good gracious, that thing was just creepy. WTF was angelic about that?! #confused

The What-The-Fuck:

  • The love story between Bella and Edward. Goodness, true to the books it just came out of nowhere and became an obsession. I just… I don’t… what… it’s… so dangerous and creepy and scary and dodgy and poisonous and… eeeeek.

twilight abusive

Somebody checked off that list here with examples.

  • Always the descriptions about how dreary and overcast it is in Forks (in the books). Which is fine. Twilight and New Moon both stuck to that concept for the movies, but the last three? Vampires everywhere in the sun with no freaking sparkles. And not because I am into the sparkles, this is purely based on consistency and continuity…. because who cares? Chuck it right out of the window.

supernatural kill the sparkling vampires for free

  • Natasha’s biggest gripe (and I am wholeheartedly behind her on this): all these books and movies teach you is that you can only be a real woman after you have gotten married and popped out some kids. Nice, really, very classy. I cannot be complete without a man, a ring, a rugrat. Men are what women need to be whole, apparently. Our very core and essence. Pfffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff. What the fuck? Are you kidding me?!

stephen king twilight comment

Stephen King was so totally right about this. He also went on to say what he wanted about Meyer and her godawful books here, and actually had a girl criticize Stephen King for knowing nothing about real books. OMG?! REALLY?! Yes. Quote? “Steven [sic] King doesn’t know what a real book was if it hit him in the face. He’s just a bloody guy who is jealous of Edward’s good looks.” – I don’t even know if I want to comment on that.

  • The fact that this is some huge phenomenon actually hurts my head. How did this happen? How?! It’s twisted and creepy and toxic!
  • How a love story could become so massive when it is flat, bland, unsexy, completely devoid of passion, but rates highly in the dangerous and toxic department. Is this what girls want nowadays? Stalker husbands, controlling boyfriends? I am so confused. Or I am too independent. I don’t know.
  • Naming your child Renesmee. Seriously, what the fuck was up with that?!
  • That even in the movies, Meyer’s supporting characters are still the ones you want to know more about. That is just something that boggles my mind, that she writes the most useless mains, but her supports are really good. I don’t understand.

what-is-this-i-dont-even

  • How they took one of the things that was actually excellent in the books (the history of the Quileutes, their legends and why they are as they are) and managing to bone it completely. That wasn’t even the right history, or the same, or told as gracefully. Meh. What the hell was the meaning of this?! It’s embarrassing to say the least, ruining the one thing that worked. Offensive.
  • I will never understand how it was socially acceptable for Jacob to be head over heels in love with Bella and making out with her and lusting after her and hating Edward to death, but then imprinting on their daughter (like OMG) and she becomes his life… because that isn’t a little sick and incestuous at all… no ick involved!

twilight snape voldemort mean girls

Then there was this article, one of the millions of articles you would find on the matter of how the cast hated the movies I know, but still. Also, this one had me giggling quite a bit, it really captures how silly things were at the best of times in the first book, Twilight. The AU-DA-CI-TY, I tell you!

So, overall, I have definitely watched infinitely worse movies in my life. I have, sadly. I am sure you have, too. I wanted to hate and despise these more than I did. They still sucked. They are Shitfest worthy. But maybe because I had way too much fun on the viewing experience, it lifted them all up for me a little. But I can recommend them if you are looking for a movie to watch with your bestie and trash beyond any and all logical reason.

supernatural vampires

Review: Breaking Dawn – Stephenie Meyer

breaking dawn cover

Twilight #4

Bella Swan is finally marrying her vampire boyfriend Edward Cullen. Her father Charlie seems to be accepting this all the more, though he is still not thrilled. After the wedding, Bella and Edward take off to honeymoon on Isle Esme. Bella’s part of the deal was to marry Edward to have him turn her himself, and his deal was that they would sleep together only after they got married. They honeymoon is perfect, and Bella is more in love with Edward than ever, and her sexual conquest with him has actually made her want to stay human longer (!!!!). Edward cannot believe that it is all the convincing she needed. However, things change rapidly when Bella realises there is something wrong with her body. It is impossible, but she is sure she is pregnant. Carlisle insists that Bella and Edward return so that they can get rid of the baby to save her, but Bella gets hold of Rosalie, Edward’s sister, and asks for her protection.

The Cullens are furious when the newlywed couple returns and Rosalie automatically takes control of the situation, keeping everyone away from Bella. She will not let anyone harm the baby. Jacob Black, Bella’s werewolf best friend, is still smarting from the pain that he has been caused, and is furious that Bella and Edward are now married, and that Bella will soon be turned. Upon hearing that she is back in the country and having heard that she is deadly ill, he races off to the Cullens to kill Edward, and instead finds a pregnant Bella. He is sickened. His La Push pack refused that morning to strike against the Cullens for discarding the treaty between the vampires and werewolves by turning Bella, but when they hear that she is bearing some abomination, they decide that they want to kill the Cullens. Now Jacob is not a part of this plan, and refuses to follow Sam’s order, ultimately accepting his Alpha birthright of the pack and fleeing to warn the Cullens that the La Push pack might attack. Edward and Jacob cannot stand one another, but are working on the same side – protect Bella, they both love her.

It soon seems that the pregnancy is changing – after hearing the thoughts of the unborn baby, Edward finally supports Bella’s decision to have this baby, and they have a contingency plan to turn her right after she gives birth. Jacob is shattered and flees to the city, desperately seeking out the girl that he will imprint on, and finding nothing. Returning to the house, Bella goes into labour, and will need all the help she can get. Her baby girl, Renesmee, is born, and Edward struggles to turn Bella, while Jacob leaves the scene, intent on murdering the baby that killed Bella, and instead he imprints on her. Bella is finally turned, but it seems that the Cullens are never destined for peace.

How will Bella deal with the transformation? Will she still love Edward, or will she be ruled by the insatiable thirst for the first few years of her life before falling back into some form of love with him? Will Edward be able to deal with Bella’s change? What will happen due to Jacob imprinting on a hybrid creature, Edward and Bella’s daughter? How will the Cullens accept the new addition to their family? Will the powerful ruling vampires, the Volturi, finally leave the Cullens be now that Bella has been turned?

GRADE 4.5It’s over. Finally finished. So I can finally say that I have held up my end of the deal and read these four novels, but I have decided to disband the book club with my friend because I just can’t do something like this again. Breaking Dawn has quite a bad rap from the readers, and it is justifiable. The first half of it wasn’t too bad, but then it just peeved me endlessly. I think that the change from school and all that helped in some ways (I was so over reading about the classics and stupid school crap, all the while there was major lust for Edward going on), and the obsession, as bad as it still was, did not take front and centre stage anymore. I liked how Breaking Dawn was divided up into three parts, starting from Bella’s perspective, switching to Jacob’s perspective, and then flipping back to Bella. I was wondering whether this would be the case after Eclipse closed from Jacob’s point of view. At any rate, this book was so long, I must say. It is almost like it didn’t know where it was going for a long time, and there were moments where I felt the plot got convoluted and just went around and around in circles. Also, after this whole fancy wedding and all, I thought there would be some more passion between Edward and Bella, but I can honestly say I only felt more of that towards the end, after she finally got turned, and even then it was lacking (but still spicier than when they were in school). I was so glad that the story was told from Jacob’s perspective for the duration of her freakish pregnancy, I just don’t think I would have dealt with that if I had to read all of that as told by Bella. I mean can you imagine how disturbing and disgusting and annoying that might have become?! Ugh. Edward was certainly grating on me less and less now, it seems being a husband suited him more (again, he is such a dodgy love interest, and again this book harps on how you need kids and a husband to be fulfilled as a woman – meh). Let’s not even forget to mention how much Edward and Bella started banging after she was turned. I am stating this because they seemed utterly unconcerned about Renesmee or their parenting responsibilities. What the hell is up with their priorities?! I was also a little grossed out about Jacob imprinting on Renesmee. It was a little disconcerting for me – he was wildly in love with Bella and then it was all about Renesmee, and they just went back to being friends? Strange and just incredibly incestuous. Eeeeeeew. Not really the neatest way to tie things up there. Naturally there was more drama than you could shake a stick at in here, and everyone was on the brink of dying again and all that and wars were being prepared for, but oh well, I guess that is simply how this worked. ALSO, and I know this is a bit bizarre, but it always freaks me out when reading these things, I would love to know how a century-old dead thing gets a hard on, never mind the fact that the dead thing can somehow miraculously reproduce. It just freaks me out. It’s disgusting, is what. I can at least say that I have read all these books now, though I certainly don’t get the hype surrounding them whatsoever.

Review: Eclipse – Stephenie Meyer

eclipse cover stephenie meyer

Twilight #3

Bella Swan and her vampire boyfriend Edward Cullen are finally back together after an exceptionally unsuccessful breakup. This works them out well, but it absolutely crushes werewolf Jacob Black’s heart. He is Bella’s best friend and he is hopelessly in love with her. Bella’s dad, Charlie, grounded her after disappearing when she went to save Edward’s life in Italy, though he does not know this. Jacob is not taking any of Bella’s calls, and Charlie is being totally nasty to Edward, though he deserves it all. In an attempt to get Bella grounded to prevent her seeing Edward, Jacob brings the motorcycle he fixed up for her home. He soon establishes that that is not the reason that she has not been to see him.

Bella, meanwhile, is desperate to see Jacob again, to find a way to be his friend. Edward will not let her anywhere near the La Push reservation where Jacob stays, though she truly wants to fix things. This ends up with her launching an escape to spend time with Jacob. Bella and Edward argue furiously over this, until such time as Edward sees that he cannot force her to leave her friend behind, never mind the fact that the vampires and werewolves are sworn enemies. Things go so much better for Bella after this agreement is reached, though she still has to deal with Jacob, who is constantly making his feelings for her clear. Graduation is coming up, and much to Edward’s chagrin, the rest of the Cullen family took a vote on Bella’s wish for immortality to be with Edward forever and have decided that Carlisle will turn her after graduation. This adds more friction between her and Jacob.

It seems that someone is hunting Bella again, and the Cullens are worried that it is the Volturi, coming back to see if the Cullens have kept their word and turned Bella. Whoever it is is making sure that Alice, Edward’s sister with the gift of seeing the future, does not see who is doing what and where. Edward is desperate to keep Bella mortal for as long as possible, and proposes that he will turn her himself on the condition that she marry him. Ultimately she gives into this demand, though she is extremely upset. In Seattle, there is a huge problem with a bunch of newborn vampires being made. Soon it becomes clear that the newborns are likely to launch an attack against the Cullens, and that Bella seems to be the target. Jacob is anxious, and his pack gets involved, a truce is being spoken about.

Will the werewolves and vampires stand together? Who is coming for Bella? Are they also responsible for the newborn army of vampires that is being bred in Seattle? Will Jacob and Edward ever get over their rift? Will Jacob ever accept the fact that Bella is with Edward and off limits? Will their friendship endure? What will Jacob do when he hears about the fact that Edward and Bella are to be married? Will he ever accept that she has requested to be turned?

GRADE 5It just so happens that I have somehow managed to drag my way through three of these things. I am going to chalk it up to the fact that you can read one of these in an afternoon. But alright. Also, as soon as I accepted what the hell I was reading, it didn’t totally piss me off anymore, it reduced to an irritation at best. Eclipse was infinitely better than that piece of garbage New Moon, so that’s saying something. Meyer’s writing has improved a bit here, but I can still not say that she is a particularly good writer. There is just too much that gets on my nerves. Obviously Bella and Edward can never just be happy, and I am so over her referencing classics. She has not written a classic, that is all. I enjoyed it a bit more when the stupid jealousy thing between Jacob and Edward reached a place that it was manageable, though I honestly think that Bella acts like a freaking child and then has the gall to get all peevish about things when they don’t go her way. I don’t know how Meyer can still claim that Bella is a mature girl for her age – I think she’s like an obsessing rugrat. But whatever. I was also a little fazed by the way that Charlie was alright with Jacob kissing Bella, though she was obviously superbly unimpressed by it seeing as she broke her hand trying to get him off of her. That just didn’t sit right with me – like your daughter has actually seriously hurt herself in an upset, don’t humour the guy she broke her hand on. I know this is going to sound mad, but hear me out. I think there is zero passion in the relationship between Bella and Edward, which makes this all the more irritating to read about seeing as there is nothing in the relationship to sort of draw you in or interest you. It’s hollow. Then she’s gotta beg for sex… like there are two sides to this story, I get it. He wants to get married, she is adversely against it in the absolute extreme, he is forcing her hand on that, and she wants to get laid. It was so freaking annoying, that is all. I seriously am over Jacob flipping between being a toolbag and being nice, but I also think Bella needs to get the hell over herself. One or the other, stop dragging everyone along with it. There was nothing revolutionary about the plot but I did like reading more about Jasper. He is one of my favourite characters. It amuses me that Meyer manages to write really good supporting characters, but her mains just lack a bit, you know?

Review: New Moon – Stephenie Meyer

stephenie meyer new moon cover

Twilight #2

Bella Swan is being all moody and sour with her sparkling vampire boyfriend Edward Cullen on her birthday and is still miffed that he won’t turn her. His brother Jasper tries to eat her, and the Cullens move away. Nasty breakup ensues between Bella and Edward, she spirals into a deep depression like her family has been massacred, not like she has lost her boyfriend whom she has only been with for a few months. Months of obsession and depression after all that, eventually she starts hanging out with Jacob Black, an old friend. They get very close. He is in love with her, she cannot think further than Edward, but has no qualms crushing Jacob’s heart. Eventually Jacob goes on the fritz and she gets sour that he, too, would leave her. Turns out he is actually a werewolf (seriously). Huge misunderstanding at the end causes Edward to try out a suicide mission, and Bella runs with his sister Alice to stop it. Seems they just go back to normal, doesn’t matter about Jacob anymore, who is bitter because the Cullens are his tribe’s sworn enemy and he is in love with Bella, who loves his natural enemy, and he is a werewolf and has to protect his people from them.

GRADE 1Blah, blah, blah. Bitch, bitch, bitch. Moan, moan, moan. Me, me, me. Turn me, turn me, turn me. CRY CRY CRY. Breakup ensues. Depression. Mope, mope, mope. Edward, Edward, Edward. Longing. Suffering. Torture. Pain. CRY CRY CRY. Selfish up the wazoo. Bad writing. Descend on Jacob Black. Use him. Use him some more. Tug at his heart strings. Vampires, werewolves, panic. Edward, Edward, Edward. Mess Jacob around some more. CRY CRY CRY. Betrayal when Jacob has personal issues to deal with that don’t involve her. Sulk, sulk, sulk. More bad writing. Do some stupid stuff. More me, me, me. More moan, bitch, sulk, cry. Obsession, obsession, obsession. Depressed. Suicidal thoughts (because all these books seems to highlight is that losing a love is worth popping yourself over – especially after a few months). Bad writing. Romeo and Juliet references for Africa. CRY CRY CRY. Panic, panic, panic. Discard Jacob. Run to Edward. Edward, Edward, Edward. Obsession. Unhealthy. Unhealthy. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Fuck it. I will never get any part of my life back over this.

Review: Twilight – Stephenie Meyer

twilight-meyer

Twilight #1

Isabella Marie Swan moves from her mother in Phoenix to stay with her father, Charlie, in Forks, Washington. She is incredibly upset about this, seeing as Forks is dreary and rainy and horrible, but she wants her mother Renée and her new husband Phil to be happy together. Charlie has bought Bella a truck from an old family friend, Billy Black, and she loves it more than she imagined. Sulkily, she starts school the next day, which seems relatively normal until she meets Edward Cullen, who is more beautiful than just about any guy she has seen in her life, and he seems to hate her on sight. Bella does not understand this, and before she knows what is going on, Edward has stopped coming to school, and his family seems so removed from the other students that no one seems to know what is going on.

Bella is battling with all the boys in school asking her out, and she is not interested in any of them but Edward. Before long, Edward returns to school looking very different, and he actually starts talking to her civilly. Bella’s obsession deepens, though Edward does not seem interested in her, a plain Jane next to him. Her obsession does not change when Edward saves her from being killed one day by a speeding truck, which he seems to bodily stop, appearing beside her before it could possibly happen. Going to the beach at the Quileute Reservation with some friends at school, she reacquaints herself with childhood friend Jacob Black, who tells her a tribal tale of werewolves and vampires, naming the Cullens as the vampires the werewolves are to protect the tribe from. Bella starts making assumptions, and decides that Edward must be a vampire. He is too pale, his eyes change, he never comes to school on sunny days, not to mention the incident in which he saved her with superhuman strength and speed.

Again Edward saves her in the city one night, and they get to talking. Eventually he has to admit to her that he is not human, as she has ascertained this and does not seem afraid. The Cullens are not like normal vampires, and do not feed off of people. They hunt animals for sustenance. He desperately wants her to stay away from him to be safe, though it seems he is immensely interested in her. The two start seeing each other, much to the shock of the school. Bella meets the Cullen family, whom Charlie has a lot of respect for. On a family outing, after she knows that Edward is deadly and glitters in the sun, she joins the family for a baseball game which they can only play when there is a storm due to the racket they make when playing. A small coven consisting of James, Victoria and Laurent appear at the baseball game, and James becomes obsessed with Bella. He is a tracker, and he is going to make a meal of her. The Cullens rally to protect Bella, running her off to Phoenix, while Alice fields visions on what James is planning. James has an elaborate plan to draw Bella away from Jasper and Alice, and it might just work.

Will Bella take the bait and go to James? Will the Cullens be able to save her from him? Will Edward and Bella ever just have a simple and normal, happy relationship? Will Charlie be safe with the Cullens divided up between looking after her and him? Can they stop James and his plans?

GRADE 3.5Alright, so just to set the record straight, it was not my desire or choice to read these. I got bullied into it (I don’t think this is a fair trade – I recommend a few decent books to a friend, she insists that this is what I must read after she read three good ones). Anyway, getting down to what I thought of the novel, the biggest glaring issue for me is that Stephenie Meyer cannot write. She has no understanding of pacing. I mean there are plenty scenes that are squeezed in here and come across as unnatural and forced. It is like she knows what she wants to say, but has no idea what vehicle to use to convey it to the reader. Before reading these books, I thought Katniss Everdeen was the most annoying and selfish heroine I had ever read about. Boy, oh boy, was I mistaken. Then I met Bella Swan and I damn near chewed through my own wrists. She is more selfish than I ever realised. It freaks me out that it is teenage girls reading this and looking up to such a useless lump. Also, something that bothered me immensely, you would think that Edward would be more mature, considering he is like a century old. His character is incredibly inconsistent, and that annoyed me endlessly. When I read and think vampires, I think Count Dracula and Anne Rice type things. This is just awfully embarrassing to end up in the same lot. The relationship between Edward and Bella is bizarre, and lacks emotion and passion. They are obsessed, but not even in a passionate way, and they are all about suicide if they cannot be together. Stephenie Meyer keeps quoting Romeo and Juliet like she is giving us a modernised version, which is extremely annoying because this will never be on the same level. Bella and Edward are like petulant children together. The story offers nothing more than a girl completely obsessed over a boy and willing to throw her whole life away for it. Then… what is this bullshit that “normal” people can’t smell blood? It smells like freaking iron last I checked! Also, Bella has no character development aside from getting more and more obsessed with Edward, and then next thing you know she is adept at using people (Jacob Black). I rapidly got over reading about Edward, always in connection with the words perfect, beautiful and flawless. Seriously, is there nothing more to say about him than that? Bella’s blind acceptance about Edward is ridiculous, and really makes it even more difficult to identify with anyone, as if it wasn’t hard enough as is. Edward is really like a sulky, angry, churlish child. Meh. I couldn’t understand his insistence of someone knowing where she was or her insistence of lying about it to everyone. All she had to say was “hey, going out with Edward”, not “hey, going out with Edward the sparkly vampire and if I am not home and safe by six, get the stakes ready and come and get me”. Seriously Meyer, wtf?! Edward glittering in the sun in the book is the same as in the movie – throw in the towel and be done with this crap. Wow. Anyway, the “action” that comes by the end of the book again feels out of place and forced. I cannot say that it was a joy to read this book at all, and I cannot, for the life of me, understand how this became such a huge phenomenon. Alright, I will stop now, otherwise this will never end.