Does my being half-naked bother you?

Yes, I did it.  You knew I would.  It was just a matter of time.

The DH took the terrors to something that involved cars chasing each other in a circle, and I was allowed to opt out.

So what does one do with a few precious boyless hours?  They go to see Eclipse, of course.  I did not go opening night or even opening weekend.  Y’see, I know how the story begins, middles and ends.  So there isn’t much risk of someone slipping me a spoiler.

I went to a matinée, thus saving myself a few bucks.  This is important to me because it helps offset the shame I feel at liking this whole stinking pile of a franchise.  And before you send in scathing comments realize this:  I have read every book, and have seen every movie.  I am a Twihard.  I am a Twilight Mom.  Bleck.

I knew several people who had seen it already.  My sister basically said that it was the best of the three, and I agree.  In case you were wondering, this is damming by faint praise.

Granted, we all know that there is nothing Earth shattering about these stories.  Bella has made it very clear by now that she is (mistakenly) choosing Edward.  Even if you haven’t read the books, you know that there will be a big war between various vampires and werewolves.

And if you were paying attention during the teasers, you would realize that Esme suddenly has very dark hair.  I think they did this to make her more menacing.  All they managed was to make her look creepy, and she is supposed to be very housewifey, so I’m not sure why.

Other puzzlers:

Ron Howard’s daughter did fine as the even more homicidal than normal vampire Victoria.  But there was no good reason to get rid of Rachelle Lefevre, who played her in the first two movies.  She was way more creepy even with way less screen time.  And honestly, the actress switch was distracting.

Jasper’s Southern drawl appeared from out of nowhere.  Though it was correct for him to have it, I didn’t remember it from the other movies.  Then again, Japser has about 2 lines total in the previous movies, so whether or not he was supposed to have an accent probably didn’t seem so important.  That or the people involved with these movies didn’t read ahead at all, and didn’t realize he was supposed to have an accent until they started scripting this movie.  I’m going with that.  I doubt deep prep was on anyone’s minds when working on these.

Speaking of Jasper I have issues with whatever crackerjack team they assembled to do the styling for him and this whole picture show.  Why is it that they can’t lighten Rosalie’s eyebrows?  She looks like a bad Madonna impersonator.  Why is Jasper’s hair suddenly red?  And Esme’s black?  Bella appears to be sporting a bad wig in some scenes, and Edward is still encased in dirty-water-grey makeup.  Oh yeah…that’s sexy.

I have some issues with the directing.  When you shoot a conversation, it is not very engaging if you just switch between close ups of the two actors who are doing nothing but gazing at each other.  The pacing was all over the place.                    And       sometimes         it         was          a           little          slow.

Stand outs:

Billy Burke (Charlie Swan) was the only stand out for good acting (cough cough Jackson Rathbone).  He was snarky and funny and his timing was impeccable.  Note to producer:  more Charlie.

Humor.  There were lots of one liners, including Edward wondering if Jacob “owns a shirt”.  I often wonder the same thing, though certainly for the opposite reason.

Taylor Lautner.  While he still has a long way to go as an actor, when he nails it, you see what he might grow into.  Sure, there are plenty of times when he is so self conscious about what he is doing that it looks like a bad high school melodrama.   But he’s leaps and bounds better than the other main leads.  Yes, I know I am biased about anything Jacob, but he really is getting better.

I will say that Robert Pattinson does a much better job.  What’s Her Name still seems to be relying on smell the fart acting.  That little face is screwed up so tight I’m worried it might actually get stuck that way.

The fight scenes were good, the CGI is living up to it’s potential.  I could have done with much more action.  It was a nice touch the way the vampires crumbled like brittle marble when slaughtered instead of bursting into flame.  And they finally seem to have figured out how to make the vampires run without looking like Looney Tunes characters.

Overall as a movie, it gets a:  favorable if you like that sort of thing.

One thing I do like about the movies is that they seem to be trying to make Bella a little tougher.  It is the biggest fault (in a very long list) of the books.  Bella is such a reed in the winds of whatever Edward wants, it makes me SICK.  While it’s true that teenage girls are like that, you don’t have to write your protagonist like that.  After all, if you are going to ask for suspension of disbelief so the boyfriends can be a vampire and and a werewolf, couldn’t you  give Bella some balls?

Just asking.

Dear Deborah Lautner

Mrs. Lautner,

I can’t imagine what you must be going through.

All of us are having a lot of fun, giggling about your son’s physique, enjoying his screen time in the New Moon movie.  We crack jokes about 17 being the age of legal consent in our state, and look up shirtless pictures of him on the internet.

He should be proud of his body.  Lord knows he worked hard enough for it.  And he did so under an extreme amount of pressure.  It shows a maturity and discipline that few boys his age posses.

From the few interviews I have seen with him, he seems polite, humble, and as normal as a boy in his situation can be.  A hearty congratulations to you for raising such a well balanced young man.

But as proud as you must be,  you must also be more than a little freaked out by the scope of lust surrounding him.

Sure, it’s cute when the little 12 year old girls want his autograph.  How sweet that one of his 15 year old fans asks him to her Homecoming dance.  But as you continue to go up the ladder, it gets creepier and creepier.  Grown women talking about licking food off his chest.  Forty year olds asking him to sign their “team Jacob” underwear.  Eeewww.

I am firmly team Jacob and I have to say that it is getting out of control.

After all, that’s your baby up there.  The little guy who used to spit up on your shoulder, who filled your days with private joys and heartaches.  Someone so special and unique that your heart bursts just looking at him.

I know about those feelings because I am the mother of three boys.  Looking at them after seeing a lust filled website about your son makes me queasy.  For all his maturity, he is just a boy.  A boy that will break hearts and have his broken.  A boy with a million things left to discover about life, and work, and fame, and privacy, and compromise, and all the things that we think we know so much about at 17 but are really we don’t have any clue.

And right now, that means dealing with legions of women old enough to be his mother having impure thoughts about him.  Again…Eeewww.

So, as one of the women that sucked in her breath when she saw your son in New Moon, I would like to offer my sincerest apology.    I will admire him the same way I admire Michelangelo’s David, and leave it at that.

Sincerely,

onebarkingdog

Yep, I am One of Them…

I went to New Moon yesterday evening.

There, I said it.  I am one of the crazy people.  I didn’t line up at midnight, but I saw it during the opening weekend.

I sat through over two hours of two beautiful boys fighting over the most unremarkable teenage girl ever.

I giggled at the shudder that ran through the theater anytime one of the beefcakes took off their shirt.

I had impure thoughts about a certain wolfy 17 year old.

I felt shame, and loved every minute of it.

The movie is a definite improvement over the original Twilight movie.   The special effects were actually fairly special.  The pacing was better.

There isn’t much to say about it, because there isn’t much to it.  It’s a teen romance.  There is no real struggle between good and evil, unless you count everyone prattling on about whether or not vampires have a soul.  It is mindless entertainment, and good at it.

It was not without problems:

Edward still suffers from some of the worst make up artistry in the business.  They had painted him some kind of hue that made it look like he was the only one filmed in black and white.  Except for his lips.  They need to reign in the red lipstick.

There were some seriously distracting wardrobe issues.  Carlisle wears this all white preppy polo outfit at the birthday party that made you step out of the movie and say “What the f%*& is he wearing?!”  And Alice, who is supposed to be this little fashionista, was dressed up like my grandmother in the fifties.  First she has on some sort of painter’s smock, and then wears the most unflattering and unfashionable jacket through the scenes in Italy.  She might be 100 years old, but trust me, at any age, you want to dress like a teenager.  Why is she in such matronly clothes?  And the wacky hair was gone.  I liked the wacky hair.

Speaking of hair… Jacob’s hair extensions were a joke.  Jasper’s do was just…ugh.  A very attractive man made hideous by a hair cut that I can’t even describe.  The best I can come up with is it reminds me of Fisher Price hair.  And would someone please teach the boy how to look tortured by blood thirst without looking like he is desperately trying to hold in a poo?  It shouldn’t be too hard.

Bella jumps off a cliff into the ocean.  We are given a wide shot of it early in the movie:  big tall cliff, breaking waves.  No beach.  Yet when Jacob pulls her out of the water, he revives her on this wide expanse of black sandy beach.  Not a cliff in sight.  Nowhere.  They cut to Sam standing at the foot of a cliff…but there is at least 20 feet of beach between that cliff and the water.  No one can jump that far out.  And you don’t cliff dive into water off of a beach, unless you are hoping not to survive, since it is usually pretty shallow.  Maybe I am the only person that would notice something like that.

And the whole theater giggled when Aro watched Alice “remembering” Bella and Edward splendoring through the grass after Bella becomes a vampire.  She is wearing a dress.  They are running, slow motion, through the woods.  It was ridiculous and silly and damn near unwatchable.

Okay, rant over.  No movie is perfect.  Okay, Field of Dreams, but we’re not going to go there today.

So, why do all of us Twilight nerds love it so much?

I think I can speak for the women when I say its the boys.  Not the actors.  But the fact that two supernaturally spectacular boys both are so crazy in love with such an ordinary girl.  Every one of us who reads these books sees ourselves as hideously normal, unnoticeable.  So we plop ourselves into Bella’s place and let the boys fight over us.  Oh yeah.

So we will fight through the shame of getting together as a group, comparing teams (I am team Jacob), and enjoying something deep in our souls we know we shouldn’t.

 

Glower…loses?

So I had mentioned before about the word “glower” appearing with alarming frequency in the Twilight books.  Last time I was at the library, they miraculously had Twilight on the shelves, so I thought I would read it again and count…to satisfy my own curiosity.

Well spank my bottom and call me sugar…she only uses it  5 times!

No one was more surprised than me!

It’s possible that I missed one or two, but that is still way less than I would have put money on.  She certainly uses stare more (and cold chest, but that’s for another post)  Perhaps the word sticks out because it is something we don’t use in daily conversation.  I don’t know.

I apologize to Stephenie Meyer and to her editor.  I was wrong.

Glower Wins!

This is not something I like to admit to persons real…I have read all of the Twilight books.

Hate the sin, not the sinner.

They are the most badly written best sellers I have ever read.  Like most of the adults I know that have read them, I spent the whole time thinking:

This is trash.

This book is soo badly written, it’s almost unreadable.

Why do I keep reading?

But then I would finish the book and think to myself

I wonder if the next one is available at the library?

(I feel I should be given credit for using the library.  It is the one redeeming facet of this story.)

So I plowed through all four books in about a week, which gives you a clue to how densely written they are.  And now, much to my personal horror, I am using the audiobooks to while away the time spent doing laps in the pool.

And something I vaguely noticed in the actual books has become GLARINGLY obvious in the recordings.  Stephenie Meyer loves the word “glower”.

It is all over all four of the books.  All over them.  I went to a thesaurus to find the synonyms for it:  glaregloomlook, look daggers, lowerscowl,staresulkwatch.  There were certainly plenty to choose from.  But she chose “glower” as the word mascot for her novels.

Now, I know that as a writer, when you find the perfect word it can make you as giddy as Christmas morning.  There is no better feeling.  That kind of giddiness can lead to bad things, though.  Especially if you trick yourself into believing that it is always the perfect word.

I blame her editor, actually.  If I, the casual reader, noticed it’s overuse, then a professional wordsmith should have seen it like a neon sign.

So I am on a personal mission.  I am going to go through the books and count how many times she uses that particular word.  I might even speculate on what word might have worked as well, or better.

I will try to keep you posted, and hope to have the final count up here soon.

One would think I would have better things to do with my free time.  Apparently, I don’t.