Last year I finally watched the entire Twilight Saga movie series. My review first appeared on SERENDIPITY.
A Late Review, By Rich Paschall
Yes, I know. I am late for the party. It is good to be late for some parties. For other parties, it might be better to have not shown up at all. This is one of those.
It started in the pre-pandemic era when I was in Best Buy one day. In the discounted DVD bin was a copy of Twilight, the first of 5 Twilight Saga movies. It was such a sensation when it first came out that I thought I would watch the first one and if I liked it, move on to the others. Like a few other movies and TV series I own on DVD, it sat on a shelf for the past few years.
Since we still have to Hunker in the Bunker to protect ourselves against those who still believe the coronavirus is a hoax, I have decided to consider all my entertainment options. If you have stumbled into our cave in the past, you would have seen some of my TV and music lists and reviews. I finally decided to give Twilight a try and report back to you. I don’t want any of you old-timers to confuse this with the excellent television series, The Twilight Zone. It is weirder and nowhere near as entertaining.
The five movies are based on the four Twilight novels by Stephenie Meyer. Somehow you have to think that the popular novels series made more sense than this collection of films. Four directors perpetrated this drawn-out series on the public to huge financial success. As I was watching these films I kept asking myself, “What am I missing here?” It certainly was not just teenage girls that helped them rake in billions of dollars worldwide. Yes, billions. I guess teenage boys like handsome vampires and cute werewolves too; not so cute when they are angry, I guess.
In the first outing (2008), Bella (Kristen Stewart), a forlorn teenager, goes to live with her father in the Pacific Northwest. You know, where the deer and the werewolves roam. At her new high school, she makes some new friends but becomes smitten (not bitten) by the pale-looking teenager, Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). When Bella discovers that Edward is a vampire, she too would like to be a vampire so she can be with Edward for all eternity. Edward, of course, thinks this is a bad idea and refuses to bite her on the neck. Bela (Lugosi) would certainly have bitten Bella but that is another story for another time.
Have you got this so far? Keep in mind that the Cullen family are good vampires and they end up having to protect Bella from bad vampires because Edward has been hanging around with Bella, a human! Bella is saved, evil vampires are vanquished, and Jacob (Taylor Lautner) gets introduced into the storyline. Lautner has a small part in the first movie, but don’t worry. He is a major character in the rest and will have plenty of opportunities to take his shirt off. Perhaps that was the real attraction of the series, but I digress.
In the second movie, New Moon (2009), not a full moon, Edward tries to leave as a way of keeping Bella safe and she does increasingly stupid things as a way to get him back. She also learns that her friend with the buffed-up body, Jacob, is actually a werewolf who tries to keep her safe. It seems the werewolf pack does not need a full moon to turn into wolves. Getting mad will do it. This film kept the CGI (Computer Generated Images) department busy. So did the rest of the series.
Film three, Eclipse (2010), saw even more evil vampires coming for Bella. At this point, I was rooting for the vampires, but the good vampires and their natural enemies, the werewolves made a pact (not a pack) in order to protect Bella from the large horde of vampires on the way for an overwhelming CGI and green screen battle. In the massive battle, Jacob, aka werewolf boy, was massively injured. Bella, of course, rushed to his side to comfort him. This was after she was spending all of her time with the vampire boy. The series finishes with Bella seemingly torn between a werewolf and a vampire. What’s a teenage girl to do?
The fourth book gave us two movies that could easily have been just one. Movie four, Breaking Dawn, part 1 (2011) begins with Bella marrying Edward the vampire right after high school. The first 50 minutes are the wedding and honeymoon. There is nothing salacious here. It is PG-13 after all. We do find out later on that Bella is pregnant with some sort of fast-growing demon child. That’s going to cause a problem. If the pregnancy doesn’t kill her, maybe the demon child will.
The final movie, aka part 2 (2012), has another group of upset vampires preparing to come and kill the half-human, half-vampire child out of concern the child will grow up to have superpowers and kill them all. The first half of the film has the Cullens trying to round up some allies against the Volturi who seems to be some sort of ruling vampire family with a very large army. They have a nice castle, anyway. Since the Cullens and friends are severely outnumbered, you know who they will recruit to help them again.
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson must have gone to the same coach for mumbling lessons. If you watch the series be sure to turn on the captions in English, if that’s your language, so you can follow along. This is indeed the same Kristen Stewart who is nominated for an Oscar this year for Spencer. Robert Pattinson will next be up as The Batman. Yes, from vampire to Batman. Taylor Lautner will show up in a sports comedy movie this year, Home Team, his first film in 6 years.