Pretty Vacancy: Watching The Entire Twilight Saga Back-To Back Part 1

Twilight

First there was Fast & FuriousThen there was Step Up. Now, for some stupid reason, I’m going to watch the entire Twilight saga back to back in a single day. 10 hours and 8 minutes of, well, whatever it is. Something about vampires and werewolves maybe?

The truth is, as derided as these films are… I’ve never seen a single minute of them. Not even a trailer. They’re massive, easy targets for mockery, it seems. But I can’t comment on them, at least not at the time of writing this introduction.

Some scene setting, then. I’m pretty hungover, it has to be said. Much more than I was intending to be for a task such as this. As with Step Up, I’m facing this challenge alone (roping anyone into sharing this experience turned out to be a pretty hard sell, although I nearly had it). Like a mantra I’m repeating to myself “Just keep an open mind, just keep an open mind”, but really, what with the hangover and all, it’s going to take a lot to stop this quickly devolving into a snarknado. I’m sorry in advance. I’m mainly apologising to myself.

09:53 am: It begins. Twilight (2008)

09:54: Portentous narration. Moody atmosphere. Erratic deer-chasing camera. That’s a bit much so soon after the brief, blank sleep of drunkenness.

09:55: The town is called FORKS??

09:56: So, the imdb description of this movie is simply, “A teenage girl risks everything when she falls in love with a vampire.”

09:59: “I’m more the suffer-in-silence type” says Bella, played by Kristen Stewart. I’m sure we’ll see about that. So far though, this is all pretty solid. Everything’s being introduced, there’s a fairly pleasing washed-out look. Oh, hey! Anna Kendrick! As beginnings go I can handle this.

10:02: Oh good grief, look at the size of Robert Pattinson’s hair. Yeah, introductions have now extended to a bunch of washed-up hispters who stare at everyone, look vaguely pissed-off and, according to Kendrick’s Jessica, are weird for living together. Apparently living together should be illegal.

10:06: Bella wags a ketchup bottle in the air. Receives no ketchup.

10:11: Bella and Edward start conversing. I’ve seen Pattinson in other things. He’s great in The Rover and I’ve enjoyed his Cronenberg work. Here he seems… … … … Sorry I got distracted by the line “I don’t like the rain or any cold, wet thing”. That didn’t need a re-write, no siree. Snarknado level: a mild rustling of leaves.

10:16: Who the hell is Dr Asshat, skulking around this hospital scene like a Patrick Bateman wannabe? Ah, he’s another one of these hipsters. More stilted dialogue exchanges. I can’t say this is terrible though.

10:21: Compost fisting. Bella is very slowly getting it that Edward might not just be a hipster. “I’m sorry I’m being rude all the time; I just think it’s the best way” is a line I might find use for in my own life, mind. In other news she is really clumsy.

10:25: That was a really bouncy apple. Jeez these scenes of them talking are getting more and more laboured.

10:28: Jacob (Taylor Lautner) praises Bella for basic listening skills. Haven’t really got a handle on that guy yet. Hangover dictates I start in on the snack food.

10:34: Bella runs into a local pack of jerks. Edward turns up and… breathes on them ’til they quickly back down? Guess he needs some gum.

10:35: “You should put your seatbelt on.” “You put your seatbelt on.” Followed quickly by, apparently, the World Championship of Being Socially Awkward. Edward’s hair looks like Christopher Walken in a wind tunnel.

10:38: “Money. Sex. Money. Sex. Cat. Nothing.” Edward’s mind-reading skills. Snarknado level: a quickening breeze.

10:41: Dr Asshat is currently winning the I Make A Pouty Face competition. In other news Google should be pretty happy with the amount of screen time they’re getting. More than that Lautner dude so far.

10:43: EURMAHGERRRRDDD HE’S A VERMPURRRRRR. Ta, Google.

10:46: Edward whizzes Bella up a hill like a human ski-lift. Ooops, sorry, inhuman ski-lift.

10:47: Oh! He goes all sparkly in the sun! And he’s a nice friendly vermpurr, except if you’re a gopher or something. First laughable scene as he hops around the woods showing off his ability to throw branches about and get shouty.

10:52: Oh, yes, more narration please.

10:54: Remember the “I don’t like the rain or any cold, wet thing” line? Well now they’re just sitting out in the rain, chatting. Just sayin’. One in a series of exhausting conversations setting out the vermpurr rules.

10:59: Bella has yet to risk anything.

11:00: Edward takes her home to meet the family. Oh shit, it’s Pouty Face Central. Even Pattinson looks appalled at the really bad new additions to the vermpurr cast.

11:04: Time for a game of Crouching Tiger in the trees, spider monkey.

11:06: This film has very quickly turned into an 80’s music video. Only needs Bonnie Tyler at this point. I can’t understand how there’re 9 more hours of this. It’s as daunting as it is inexplicable.

11:11: Wah. Wah. Forbidden love. Ow, my hormones, wah, wah. This is SO Buffy season 2, except without most of the fun parts. Wouldn’t hurt itself to allow the funny in, mind. I’m getting a little weary for the first time.

11:15: The baseball game. I guess the film found the funny… unintentionally. Snarknado level: The wind rises.

11:18: I feel like I should be describing what’s happening for the benefit of others who haven’t seen this. But I’m not sure I can do the sudden ridiculousness justice. Just… the entire baseball scene. Wow.

11:20: Suddenly everything is laughably serious! Regret is setting in. My regret.

11:23: I want to be fair to this series, if I can. So much of the internet is sarcastic, and this is such an easy target… Being mean-spirited about it is like shooting fish in a barrel. I feel, briefly, like I ought to be ashamed of myself, like I’m picking on the handicapped…

11:24: ..But the film itself is making me feel more ashamed for choosing to even watch it in the first place. Baseball really isn’t a laughing matter, it turns out. I miss Anna Kendrick. What’s even going on now? My interest level has plummeted. Something to do with drawing mirrors.

11:30: Oh shit, I fumbled with the remote trying to see how much is left and set it back to the beginning. Now I have to figure out where I was.

11:33: Oh shit, I figured out where I was. Bad Ponytail Vermpurr is tossing Bella around some miscellaneous big space, and videoing it. Cue Edward. Time for a lot of gnashing of teeth and jumping about.

11:37: EMOTIONS.

11:38: When Edward sucks Bella’s blood she pulls a face like Predator without the mask on:

exhibit a

11:42: EMOTIONS! For the record, Kristen Stewart has not really been bad in this so far, certainly not to the degree I’d heard.

11:43: Film seems to be in wrap-up mode now. Lautner’s turned up again. And wandered off. Guess he’s being bedded in for later in the series. Seems like a regrettable casing decision at this point.

11:46: Yay! Prom! (and Anna Kendrick) (and Iron & Wine on the soundtrack)

11:47: Think this has sullied this Iron & Wine song for me though. Edward’s hair looks bigger than ever. The gazebo sure looks pretty though.

11:50: And now Radiohead’s “15 Step”. STOP TAINTING THE SONGS I LIKE. Oh, credits. I do like it when movies do a cast roll like this one’s doing, I must admit. Er… that was tolerable. First hour was perfectly acceptable teen drama. I did lose interest right after the baseball scene, but overall, yeah, forgettable but harmless. Plus Radiohead has given way to some terrible emo-y business which I’m more than happy to associate with this franchise. Movie 1 gets 2/5

*     *     *     *     *

12:05 pm: I’m back. Armed with toast. Twilight: New Moon (2009)

12:06: THE MOON. Followed by, I’m guessing, a later bit of the movie, or possibly a dream? I’m getting Nutella in my beard. Yup. Dream.

12:09: Apparently when you buy a camera it doesn’t even come with a box or manual or anything. This toast is definitely making me more sarcastic.

12:10: Slow-mo hunk-o-vermpurr shot. The film actually addresses the creepiness of a 109 year old being sexually attracted to a teenager.

12:12: Fuck, Lautner looks like a cross between a beaver and an infant Wolf from Gladiators.

12:15: Pattinson appears to have been handed the following acting note: “Be more Shatner.”

12:16: Why is he even in school? I mean, don’t they notice he’s been going there forever? Does he get any stimulation from spending his time there (apart from Bella-based pants-chafing)? I suppose being immortal you have a lot of time to kill, but really?

12:20: Vermpurrs vermpurrs vermpurrs. ‘Hey, you’re bleeding, let me help by smashing you against this wall so you bleed a load more!’ Dick move, Edward, dick move.

12:23: Think they’ve handed Stewart the same note. Keep…. talking…. in fits and starts….

12:25: I guess Canon got the same deal Google got for film one.

12:29: They’re breaking up!? Edward vows to never see her again. Let’s see how that goes… Also asks Bella not to do anything reckless. Hmm…

12:31: Most feeble attempt to follow someone through the woods ever. Snarknado level: a steady current.

12:35: Moping montage.

12:38: Wait, what? Edward’s doing an impression of Bill Cosby in Ghost Dad? Anna Kendrick might be playing irritating for the first time… and she’s still the best one in this. Excuse my apparent crush.

12:42: When Lautner acts he looks like he’s concentrating so hard there’s a possibility he might disperse into separate atoms if he doesn’t. Like simply existing is full-time exertion.

12:46: Things I could be doing… Being outdoors. Sleeping more. Updating my CV. Really anything else.

12:53: School gossip about something hairy in the woods? A bear, maybe? I WONDER WHERE THIS IS GOING? SURELY NOT A REVELATION SIMILAR TO THE LAST MOVIE?

12:54: “Do you guys wanna go see Face Punch?” Do you wanna see face palm?

12:56: Did just spot a Pontypool poster, though. So that’s the best thing in this movie so far.

12:59: Woah, random hostility time. Jacob flounces off. I’ve got to be honest, I’m really struggling with this one. Although it strikes me that I don’t really have to get dressed at all today. In other news I’m finding it difficult to accurately count the number of pictures of glasses on my duvet cover. Not that I’m finding the film hard to focus on…

13:01: More standing in the rain. Bella tells Jacob he’s had a haircut. Which is at least true to life; whenever you get a haircut everyone tells you that you have, in case, somehow, this has happened without your knowledge or consent…  What’s with that? Jeez, what am I talking about? This film is turning my mind to mush. Aaaanyway, there’s lots of lip-quivering going on.

13:04: “Alice, things are bad again.” YUP.

13:08: Well hello wolfy; you certainly look… really, really bad. Everything just got disagreeably loud. Hangover is presently in full force.

13:11: Jacob just bounded into Bella’s room. She’s got a look on her face that simply says, “Oh no, not more of this shit again.” His face looks, well, like a video on standby. His lines sound like nothing more than vague social media statuses that bait people into asking what’s wrong. ‘Oh, I’ve got a secret.’ ‘It would be so much easier if you knew…’ ‘I wish I knew where all my shirts were…’ etc.

13:15: EURMAHGERRRRDDD HE’S A WEEHHRRWARRRF! Did someone just say, “The wolf’s out of the bag”?

13:21: Exposition and emotions. Less pouty faces this time with the vermpurrs out of town; didn’t think I’d miss ’em…

13:23: Vermpurrs versus wehhwarrfs. Vermpurrs versus wehhwarrfs. And, most excitingly, a Thom Yorke song I don’t recognise which is, I have to say, this film’s glowing highlight so far.

13:24: So Bella jumped off of a cliff and hit her head on a rock in the sea. Cue one of the men in the movie to save her just in the nick of time. Everything is a retread of film one, just with a different, less capable actor. Seeing as Bella is the leading character here, it would be nice if she was resourceful enough to get herself out of trouble for once. But then, not jumping off of a cliff would’ve helped her out a lot in this instance…

13:30: “Sometimes I feel like I’m going to disappear,” says Jacob. I’ve been optimistic about this also, but my optimism frequently gets the better of me. Case in point, I feel.

13:32: I definitely have a little bit of Jack Daniels left after last night. It might be my only recourse here… Snarknado level: getting blustery.

13:33: “I have never met anyone more prone to life-threatening idiocy!” exclaims Raven Haired Girl Vermpurr, almost breaking the fourth wall and addressing the audience.

13:34: Lautner looks like he’d lose a battle of wits with Channing Tatum. Which really is its own special skill in a way.

13:37: In the most productive development of the day, I’ve just pre-ordered Arrow’s forthcoming special edition re-issue of Nekromantik. Don’t panic, I still have one eye on this nonsense…

13:41: Ah, we’ve clearly looped around to the start of the movie, which was part-flashforward, part-dream, it turns out. Bella’s rushing around, it’s all rather sunny, but we’re back in vermpurr story mode and it’s frankly a lot more engaging than anything the last 80 minutes has been offering. Guess that makes me Team Edward? I’d like to think I’m Team Me. Meaning if I’m rooting for anyone in this, it’s my own ability to walk away at the end of this day unscathed. Snarky snark snark.

13:44: OH. MY. GOD… I got a text.

13:45: I take a lot of that back, this is still drivel.

13:46: Thought this was wrapping up. Turns out I have half an hour of this movie left. I’m a little crushed.

13:51: At least Michael Sheen seems to be having some fun. Now the vermpurrs are fighting one another and, I’ll be honest, I think I might’ve missed some key information while doing some internet shopping back there. I’m not going back though. There is no going back.

13:54: Sheen is looking at Bella like Jimmy Saville surveying a Top Of The Pops audience.

13:58: Are we wrapping up now? I realise my hopes are misplaced seeing as I have another six hours of this story to go…

14:01: All the vermpurrs are now voting to see if Bella can stay in the Big Brother house or something.

14:05: EMOTIONS!

14:07: Gasp! Credits. I’m trying to keep an open mind, despite all the sarcasm and so forth, but damn that was a lousy movie. And no cast roll-call thingy at the end of this one. Bad move. I’m fairly worried about the rest of my day, and my ability to keep this entertaining in any way, to be honest. I’ll see what I can do. But for now, New Moon gets 1/5.

To be continued…

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