The Cynical Optimist Vs. Twilight


For Your Consideration…

I don’t get it. I just don’t fucking get it. I work at a movie theater, which, as you know, is a big stretch for someone who writes film reviews and spends their free time prowling film sites searching for the latest news, trailers and production photos. The theater business is not as glamorous as the Hollywood visions that are attached to it – in fact it sucks.

I’ve worked the entire opening weekend of “Twilight,” and in that three-day span I can tell you that I pretty much hate anyone born after 1990. I’m sorry to lump all of you into such a broad spectrum of hate, but it’s not my fault that the majority of your generation is full of shit-for-brains.

I had to witness countless 15-year-olds lose their fucking minds over Robert Pattinson and his fellow vampires. I had to endure the gasps and swoons of his good looks and the constant outcry of “Best movie ever!” I mean seriously, if you’re sitting out there and you think Stephenie Meyer’s books are fine works of literature, you probably need to expand your reading outside of the young adult section.  But if the best movie you’ve ever seen is this piece of shiny shit marketed by Hot Topic – then that’s a whole other problem altogether.

Now look, before I go any further – let me assure you that I can understand the cult fandom of any particular franchise or series, regardless of its quality. There is a reason the Sci-Fi Channel keeps churning out low budget original films and shows that are, for the most part, absolutely awful. On that same note, every day there are tons of direct-to-video releases that see their fair share of rentals and purchases.

“Twilight” has succeeded in feeding off the market created by J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Back in the ‘80s there was G.I. Joe and there were the cheap knock-offs called CORPS. On that same note, I’m sure those from back in the day will remember the not-so-cool cousins of the Transformers, The Go-Bots.

“Twilight” substitutes magic potions and invisibility cloaks for pure female wish fulfillment and the dark emo moodiness of vampirism. The problem is, Meyer’s mythology (while attempting to be original) really has little in common with the traditional vampire mythos we’ve seen on screen.

Why do I have the feeling that most diehard “Twilight” fans know nothing of the great legacy of vampire stories that have come before it? I’ve heard fans say that the story is so unique because of the drama involving Edward (Pattinson) and his family who refuses to kill humans and drink their blood.

I’m pretty sure Brad Pitt’s character in Anne Rice’s “Interview with the Vampire” lived off of animals before eventually succumbing to his fate. On that note, the idea of a vampire fighting adversity and falling in love with a human girl is so well worn its practically cliché, like giant apes and movie monsters wrecking cities just to reclaim the love of a voluptuous blonde.

These vampires don’t have fangs, and likewise the story itself likes bite. The characters are about as deep as a two-year-old’s vocabulary and there isn’t a single memorable, revolutionary thing about the whole damn franchise.

The vampires come off as more of run-of-the-mill superheroes than anything else, gliding through the air in such unnatural poses you’ve got to wonder how many wires were holding their body up in the air.

This breed of vampire frolics about in the sunlight, but only if its overcast. Luckily the story takes place in the Northwest and the film itself is eternally gray and muddled, so no worries of hiding from the ultra bright sunshine.

You know who else could walk in pure daylight? Blade. In the film, Blade’s villain Deacon Frost comes up with a short-term solution so his vamps can travel around during the day as well. Blade would make short work of Edward and his no-fang having friends – and he’d look damn good while he did it.

Aside from “Blade,” films like “The Lost Boys,” “Bram Stoker’s Dracula,” and even “Underworld” seem to outdo this property in terms of story and style. Hell, “Twilight” makes “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” look like “Citizen Kane.”

Books and film are, as everyone knows, a completely subjective business. It’s entirely understandable that one person may hate something while another will unabashedly love it. I just don’t get it. I can only go off what I have read and seen and compare “Twilight” to that criterion. If a young girl out there thinks “Twilight” is the best movie ever, then I can’t wait for them to experience something on the level of “Lord of the Rings.”

It’s the difference between junk food and healthy meals. Junk Food, in this case sappy vampire romance novels written for young adults, can only take you so far. You need hale and hearty, sustainable substance to help you grow – great works of art, such as literature and film.

If I’ve offended you, feel free to burn your “Team Edward” or “Team Jacob” shirts in protest – but just know that you’re obsession with “Twilight” is just as cheesy and worthless as a man’s love for Chuck Norris action flicks – just substitute out all that teenage angst for roundhouse kicks to the face.

These people are our future. And that scares me more than the fact that Sarah Palin presidential run in 2012….

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