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Easy is nice.  The world is difficult and indifferent, and as such there’s nothing wrong with opting for something easy when you can.  I get that.  I’m not against that.  But there’s “easy” and then there’s “easy”.  The Twilight Saga film franchise has, it turns out, been easy in a way that’s so unbelievably lazy and dull that I can’t imagine how a thinking human being can find it entertaining.  People talk a lot about liking films they can just “turn their brains off” and watch, but surely there are some basic elements of storytelling that require at least some semblance of a conflict to make it work, even if it is perfunctory or dumb or obvious.  I finally watched the final part of the series, Breaking Dawn Part 2, and I have come to the conclusion that nothing at all of interest happened in the 9 or so hours of time I spent watching them over the years.  Of the many, many problems that have plagued this $3 billion franchise, the worst is quite possibly that it plays like a young child’s imagining of a narrative for his toys.  My incredible, adorable nephew was once playing with some toy cars and figurines, and was explaining to me, “this truck has to get over here so he can see the cows!”  “That’s great”, I said, “but where’s the conflict? The truck just has to get over there to see the cows, and that’s it.”  He was all of five years old at the time, so what did I expect?  I should add I said it in a playful way and I’m sure he didn’t pick up on my criticism, so I didn’t rudely offend a child.  Still, there’s nothing to what he was trying to achieve, and that, in a nutshell, is what The Twilight Saga has turned out to be.  Read the rest of this entry »

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The Twilight Saga: New Moon

December 1, 2009

Oh boy. I really don’t know where to begin.  The Twilight series of books and now accompanying films are a genuine global phenomenon, and it is almost enough to make me give up on the world altogether.  Okay, that’s unfair, as there are plenty of cultural touch points that are just as bad and befuddling in their popularity (Dan Brown, Transformers, and The Hills come to mind).  Still, there’s something insidious about the enterprise that just feels worse in some way.  The writing in the books (of what little I have read, anyway) is appalling, and I can’t help but feel that an entire generation is getting dumber for reading them.  At least with Dan Brown and Nicholas Sparks it’s a more adult demographic, meaning that an awful lot of people are already lost.  As Stephanie Meyer’s series is directed at tweens and teens,  I worry that it might stunt their growth.  Only time will tell, and that’s literature anyway, which isn’t my area in the first place.  Based on the two films so far, however, I wonder if they’re not just feeding a generation of emotional idiots, but actually creating them. Read the rest of this entry »