Skepticism

Reclipse: Yes, Twilight still sucks

Many of you have been wondering when I was going to write my review of the latest Twilight movie, Eclipse. Unfortunately, it’s been delayed due to my travels for Skepchicon and TAM8. Also, seriously people, I write this blog for free. Do I really have to pander to your every whim when it comes to watching terrible movies? However, because I love you all, I did manage to watch the movie last week in between travels, so here we go:

[SPOILER ALERT]

It blows. No really. It blows. It’s really sad: this movie is being touted as the best of the three movies so far and THEY MAY BE RIGHT. Man, does it ever blow.

[END SPOILER]

Are you surprised? Is this a shock to anyone at all? More after the fold.

The movie picks up a few months after the last one left off and Bella continues to mope over her abusive, controlling boyfriend Edward. She wants more than anything to be turned into a vampire so Edward can control her forever and ever… Edward is still resisting because he doesn’t want to let her have any opinions of her own oh and also something something immortal soul…

Stay away from my bum, dude...

He says he will turn her if she agrees to marry him. No shit. The only way he can find to give her what she wants is to force her to be with him forever not by turning her into his immortal companion but by signing some paperwork that says the state of Washington claims them to be man and wife.

But Bella is pretending to be conflicted because Stephenie Meyer signed a contract for FOUR books and we need some bullshit padding here, so she tries to make us think she loves the werewolf, too, because he has taut manboobs.

Edward doesn’t like that she is still friends with the werewolf because he suspects she might actually show some emotion around Jacob (he’s wrong). So he (I’m not kidding) sabotages her car to prevent her from visiting Jacob.

[SPOILER ALERT]

This was pretty much the point where I died inside. I’m dead inside now. Deader than Kristen Stewart’s eyes when she’s supposed to be expressing passion or humor or kindness or… well, anything.

[END SPOILER]

After about 45 excruciating minutes, it’s obvious to the audience that Edward and Jacob are in love with each other, but neither wants to say it. The scene in the tent with the intense stares and the attempted smoldering and crummy pacing is one of the saddest scenes in the entire vampire/werewolf slash genre. But it’s not to be — Edward must have a female companion because he can’t become any more effeminate without turning into Liberace, and Jacob has a secret fetus fetish. (Oops! Don’t let me spoil the next movie!)

There is also some crap about Victoria and a big vampire army and a werewolf alliance. I don’t know. I was trying to find a Butterfinger bite that had fallen between the seats.

In the end, of course Bella picks Cedric Diggory. They’re gonna get married and have children and Jacob will have someone to love and everyone will be happy except the people who watched it.

There. I just saved you two hours of your life. You’re welcome. But we should at least examine its redeeming qualities, no?

.

..

I’m sorry, people, I got nothing. This movie was a giant turd amongst turds.

One point of note: there was ACTUALLY an eclipse that happened on June 26. Wouldn’t it have been clever and a neat tie-in to release the movie on that date? Yeah, they released it 4 days later. Nothing about this movie or the franchise it’s tied to is clever. It’s just depressing. And it’s a shame that this movie has taken over valuable rage space in my brain. There are a whole slew of things that I think I should be more outraged about. Things I should care more about. I shouldn’t be ranting about Twilight because Twilight is a substandard, boring, piece of crap movie that doesn’t deserve the money it is printing. But there are, in reality, so many things far worse than Twilight. Here are five:

Five Things That Are More Important to Rage About Than Twilight:

5. X-Rays from outer space are blinding our satellites. According to Phil:

On June 21, an intense blast of X-rays from a distant explosion slammed into NASA’s Swift satellite, and was so bright it actually temporarily blinded the observatory!

I think I speak for all of us humans when I say “HOLY FUCKING SHIT.” The universe really is trying to kill us. Or at least to cut our cable.

4. It doesn’t matter what is true, people will still believe what they want.

In a series of studies in 2005 and 2006, researchers at the University of Michigan found that when misinformed people, particularly political partisans, were exposed to corrected facts in news stories, they rarely changed their minds. In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their beliefs.

That’s right, people, you know you your aunt who constantly emails you urban legends and never pays any attention no matter how many Snopes articles you send? Yeah, she’s normal. And most people? Are JUST LIKE HER. As a skeptic, it’s hard enough to find the truth behind the nonsense. Now we also have to deal with the fact that when we do find the facts, people probably aren’t going to listen to us anyway.

3. Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is still the official policy of the US military. The ability to discriminate against people simply based on the people they love is so ingrained into the system that they put out a set of guidelines on how to handle it. In comic book form.

What. The Fucking. Fuck. Seriously? Teh gays don’t have enough issues, we need fucking Jughead to tell us how to deal with them?

2. The Catholic Church is still pussyfooting around the fact that it has institutionalized child rape.

The Vatican will add the possession of child pornography to the list of most serious crimes, declare the abuse of any mentally retarded person to be as bad as the abuse of children, and double the statute of limitations on the Vatican’s prosecution of suspected abuse

Wait. What? That shit wasn’t considered a ‘most serious crime’ before? So abusing a child was REALLY bad but abusing a mentally retarded person was eh.. not GREAT but sort of understandable y’know, if it had been a while and dood, it totally would be a while because, you know.. you’re a priest.

Also:

The Vatican also plans to make it a major crime against the church to ordain a woman as a priest, the source said.

Words fail me. If you need me, I’ll be stabbing myself in the head with a bear.

1. While scientists are busy finding new vaccines to potentially help prevent HIV, make H1N1 less of a risk and prevent meningitis, Jenny McCarthy is still spewing her anti-vaccination bullshit so more and more people will choose NOT to use this life-saving technology. So, we get more and more stories about outbreaks and deaths from measles, whooping cough and mumps. Fuck you, Jenny. You’re killing people with this shit. Literally.

So you see? There are lots of things worse than Twilight! Yay? Thanks Catholic Church – I knew you’d come through for me!

Still a couple more movies to go people. (The next one covers abortion! Yay! I am sure they’ll be perfectly reasonable in how they handle this sensitive topic…) We better prepare by spending the time learning to avert our eyes and hate ourselves.

Masala Skeptic

Maria Walters (a.k.a. Masala Skeptic) has spent a lot of time in ‘furrin parts,’ including Hong Kong, Trinidad, and Pittsburgh. Although her passport is from India, she’s spent most of her adult life in the United States. She currently lives in Atlanta and has an unhealthy affection for science fiction, Neil Gaiman and all things Muppet.

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46 Comments

  1. “But it’s not to be — Edward must have a female companion because he can’t become any more effeminate without turning into Liberace,”

    That’s where I died. Died laughing, that is.

    Only one question remains unanswered for me: Did you find the Butterfinger Bite? :D

  2. I’m so relieved to see that I’m not the only one who realized that Edward is abusive and controlling (and still read nearly the entire series…). Seriously, I find it deeply disturbing that girls–and even adult women–are reading this series and calling it “the greatest love story of our time.” Really– I read that in a grown woman’s facebook profile!

    You took the words right out of my mouth with this post. Only, you made them much funnier. Thanx!

  3. Bravo. A real call to arms. There really are more important things to care about than Twilight, things we need to focus on. Well, except the x-rays bit. I mean, what the hell are we supposed to do about that?! A lead shield around the Earth would mean bye bye pretty stars… and my career. :-P

    Nevertheless, it’s good to have a laugh at some silly shit our culture has excreted out, and be aware of the silliness that our tween family members are subjecting themselves to. Thanks for once again taking one for the team!

  4. @teambanzai: I, personally, am grateful you have done this. I saw the preview, and was pondering if I should see this movie. It looked like there was going to be a lot of asskicking in it. I am an equal opportunity asskicker. I’m all for everyone getting the asskicked.

    But, another part of my brain was telling me that the first one was a chick flick disguised as a vampire movie, so this was probably a chick flick disguised as an action flick. Thank you for pointing this out.

    You are like the superhero who takes the beating from the supervillian to protect the masses from the cruelty of said person. You need a sexy suit to wear the next time you do this!

  5. Well Maria I can’t find the words to say how proud I am that you are so willing to take one for the team. Is there a Twilight de-tox program available in your area?

    I can say there is one bit of silver lining to all the Twilight spasticity going on. The small town of Forks where the stories take place (and the movies are not filmed in) has been depressed and losing jobs for decades. There is now a small tourist industry catering to the Twilight tourists that come from around the world to see where stuff happened. Pathetic as it sounds its good for the locals.

  6. Eclipse wouldn’t have been half bad if the main characters were Jasper and Alice. Then it would have been about a superpowered vampire couple (who aren’t batshit insane) taking on an army of undead children. It still would have been romantic too.

    Instead it’s about Bella and Edward who are the most inane characters ever devised. If you leave to go to the bathroom every time the two of them are alone together the movie is watchable.

  7. @banyan:

    If you leave to go to the bathroom every time the two of them are alone together the movie is watchable.

    Of course it’s watchable like that – it’s only 10 minutes long. But you lose 110 minutes of slack-jawed angsty goodness.

  8. DADT: My son just got out of the Army after two tours in Iraq so I asked him last night about his (and the general) view of DADT. He says it’s crap, he knew of 14-15 gays in his battalion and around them and very few people had any problems serving with them. He says the general consensus among the actual soldiers is to each his own. It’s hard enough being there without having to hide who you are.

    And yes, that whole series is crap. Very creepy and abusive. If Edward wasn’t an imitation vampire, he’d be arrested as a stalker. I’m team werewolf all the way, though the Jacob character has no personality which is good because the actor doesn’t either. But hot animalistic sex, what’s not to love?

  9. I was coerced into seeing the first two movies and I let myself be coerced into seeing the latest, and I agree with the review. I think this movie is deeply un-feminist and offensive.

    The thing that bothers me the most is the cultish undertone of the story. Bella is willing to sacrifice her normal life, a mortal human life, never see her family, cut off contact with the outside world, and isolate herself… forever… just to be with her man? Who doesn’t seem to show much affection for her, and in the previous movie flat-out told her he doesn’t want her? How is that not exactly like joining a cult?

    What possessed the author to write about a young woman giving up her entire identity in sacrifice for a man, with whom she will isolate herself for eternity? I really, really don’t like that.

  10. “What possessed the author to write about a young woman giving up her entire identity in sacrifice for a man, with whom she will isolate herself for eternity?”

    She’s Mormon, it’s part of the theology.

  11. Ah another movie I don’t have to see – and love the commentary. People still want to believe in magic- they still want something to explain the world – without having to do the work — whether Harry Potter (and belief that even though they are a nerd they might be something special) – or vampires and werewolves.

    Alas – as a skeptic- the hardest confession for me is my brother watches Fox News- and hence has become more isolated from reality. He also finds facts to be not important to his beliefs.

    So I wonder- which is worse- watching some silly Vampire/werewolf movie 0r watching Fox?

  12. Oh, please, please, please review the world cup tournament next!

    Come to think of it a chorus of vuvuzelas might improve the Twilight watching experience by drowning out the dialog.

  13. I did actually get dragged to see this movie, having managed to avoid the previous two. I did think about gouging my eyes out in order to have an excuse not to go but I figured the pain and life-long disfigurement wasn’t worth it.

    I was wrong.

    The movie basically falls into every possible bad-movie-trap there is.

    – It’s totally predictable.
    – Whole scenes don’t advance the plot or provide any sort of character development.
    – The lead characters lack any sort of personality.
    – Which makes it impossible to care about them (I was rooting for Victoria).
    – The story line is irrational.
    – The comic relief is boring and not funny.

    The only rational believable & interesting character in the whole movie is Jacob.

    Now if you’ll excuse me there’s something I need from the cutlery draw …

  14. @NoAstronomer: “- The lead characters lack any sort of personality.
    – Which makes it impossible to care about them (I was rooting for Victoria).”
    I have read all four books (okay, I got fed up and stopped reading the final one about half way through, when things really got unbearable–I’m sure those of you who’ve read as far as I have will agree with me on that) and I couldn’t agree with you more on this point. Victoria is the only character in the entire *series* whose actions follow logically from her motivations. I mean, she’s evil, but at least she follows a clear line of reasoning– she encounters a problem, devises a solution, and goes for it, without being whiny, manipulative, or just plain stupid.

    As for the characters we’re *supposed* to root for, the only one I find bearable is Jacob, but I think it’s mostly the abs…

  15. @Noadi: This is true. I was raised Mormon and so I can spot the parallels in the story (and I disagree with anyone who says they don’t exist). I guess I just don’t get why Meyer thinks this story is appropriate to present to the world as an ideal romance for women. Is she really prepared to admit that a Mormon woman’s ultimate fantasy is to completely abandon her own identity in favor of her creepy controlling husband’s, for eternity? It’s so incredibly cultish and I think she should be called out on that, repeatedly.

  16. Wonderful. I especially loved the 5 Things More Important to Rage About. Hilarious, and enlightening.

    You know, I’m starting to actually look forward to more Twilight movies, as it means more awesome reviews from Maria.

  17. @k-rex, @Noadi:
    Agreed. As a fellow former-Mormon (or at least former-Jackmormon — it’s a word, look it up), there is no doubt that Bella/Edward ship is close to the expected ideal for girls to aspire to: If you can find a man to love you, you should marry him as soon as possible. Then, submit to his will and he’ll take care of you. You need not worry your pretty little head about boring worldly concerns. The man’ll take care of all that for you, for gentle little thing.

  18. I haven’t seen any of the movies and haven’t read any of those books. People around me bombard me with information about this movie. I see articles, satire and funny videos online about this.

    The 5 more important things part made me read this to the end.

  19. I don’t know how you do it. I tried reading the first book, and couldn’t finish it. I think it ended up in the same place as that moron Dan Brown book.

    In any case, we all know the real love store of ALL TIME is that snog between Iker & his journo girlfriend:

  20. My daughter read the first two books during the stage when she was reading lots of vampire books. She got disgusted with them, including the the anti-feminist slat (she was only about fourteen).

    Oh, the adorable Norwegian college* guys who brought us “Gandalf Goes to the World Cup” also have a couple Twilight parodies. At least one not safe for work. There is more than one, so I’ll just link to their channel:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/pistolshrimps

    * I’m guessing that they are in college. They remind me of my son and his friends.

  21. I watched about 5 minutes of the first film on a flight back from Mexico. Thankfully they wouldn’t let me out of the plane en route, because I would have done anything to escape that shit.

    Great review. You’re right about the 5 things worse than Eclipse too. The catholic church is really starting to enrage.

  22. So, what I’m getting is that this is a “love” story between a teenage girl and an old, old vampire…super old. In other words a May-January 31st 11:58 pm romance. That’s abusive and near-criminal right there.

  23. I can only watch the shitty Twilight movies with the RiffTrax commentary. It’s from the old Mystery Science Theater 3000 guys, for those who remember the show. Some of the funniest shit I’ve ever come across.

    At first, I thought Twilight brought hope. As a tall, pale, skinny guy, I was thinking “Yes! Tall, pale, skinny guys are sex symbols now!” But then I watched the movie (with RiffTrax) and saw what a rude, creepy, abusive, unlikeable douchebag Edward was, and realized that there really is no hope.

  24. I only bring this up because I did six years enlisted in the USN. DADT has a dark little secret…its really not used in the way that people think it is. Say you want out. You got a shitty attitude and there is nothing that you want to do other than get out of the military. Well pretty much everything takes a long time (such as conscientious objector) and/or hurts your record significantly (drugs or AWOL). By saying your gay, you get a quick admin sep as opposed to an OTH. I knew of a bunch of guys (and as a supervisor walked two junior sailors through the process) of obtaining a rainbow chit so they could get out. None of them were gay…hell a couple were married. All other alternatives were insanely difficult to do, even if the command was dead set at getting rid of someone.

    My real big issue with DADT is that the article in the UCMJ that deals with sodomy is insane. Oral sex between a married couple is a punishable offense. Hell, under the adultery article, holding hands could get you in the shit. And because the articles were written over a century ago, they are never routinely enforced throughout the military with any regularity because every single person in the military would be found guilty of sodomy. People in the same situations could receive vastly different outcomes depending on their command and their rank.

    We always had a line when people talked about what they got kicked out for…”That may have been the excuse, but that ain’t the reason”

    As per gays actually serving openly, well I was in a nuclear command so perhaps we had a different view than the rest of the military…but we sure as hell didn’t give a shit.

  25. @scribe999: “So, what I’m getting is that this is a “love” story between a teenage girl and an old, old vampire…super old. In other words a May-January 31st 11:58 pm romance. That’s abusive and near-criminal right there.”

    Hey, if Hugh Hefner can do it…

  26. I only watch them because of Kristen Stewart; I’ll probably keep watching the Harry Potter movies as long as Emma Watson is in them ;-)

    Oh, that and because Christian fundamentalists hate BOTH series.

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