By Brian D. Johnson - Thursday, November 15, 2012 - 0 Comments
One of the strangest movie franchises every created has finally drawn its last breath. At least for now. Nothing is more undead than a blockbuster franchise, so just because they’ve run out of novels, that doesn’t rule out more movies, as James Bond has amply proven. But the series finale, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, brings Stephanie Meyer’s series to a close. Which will come as a relief to a certain breed of pallid bloodsuckers. I’m talking about film critics, of course. It’s easy for us to be cynical about these movies. Their erratic tone, which careens between unabashed romance and shabby camp, almost encourages it. And even the most devoted fans aren’t immune to the odd burst of derisive giggling. That’s part of the fun. I’m not a fan—wrong gender, wrong age.
But I’ve always been twi-curious, and as I’ve dutifully sat through each of the installments, there have been plenty of guilty pleasures along the way. Twilight‘s extended family of bloodsuckers are downright adorable—the best-looking, most wholesome collection of vampires you could ever wish to meet. It’s hard not to feel affection for them. Even while panning the honeymoon-from-hell of Breaking Dawn Part 1, I had to admit that “the actors are such a perky, spirited bunch you want to cheer them on, like a high school football team.”
The finale is, above all, a fond farewell to these characters, who are now getting along like never before.
By Brian D. Johnson - Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 10:23 AM - 4 Comments
True confession. I’m no teenage girl, but even though I’m totally the wrong demographic, I liked Twilight—the first movie. I was charmed by the novelty of it, by the fresh-faced vampire family, and by the actors, who were clearly relishing their roles. It was funnier than I’d expected. And there was an intriguing chemistry at its core. For a boy-crazy girl, Kristen Stewart conveyed a cool, self-possessed intelligence, and Robert Pattinson smoldered with the slow burn of a mock James Dean. The film found that elusive sweet spot between earnest romance and comic irony. The special effects were as makeshift and unsophisticated as Catherine Hardwicke’s direction, but somehow the thing worked. Yet despite the movie’s massive success, Hardwicke was summarily dumped from the Twilight series almost as soon as it was launched. And Chris Weitz (The Golden Notebook) was hired to replace her for the first two sequels, giving them a more mainstream gloss and shooting them back to back in British Columbia.
Last night I was among a handful of male viewers in an audience of several hundred girls and women at the Toronto premiere of Twilight: New Moon. Sometimes a movie is not just a movie; it’s a pajama party. But I was expecting screaming hysteria, and was surprised at how relatively subdued the audience was compared to the one that turned out for the first film. With me was Jessica, a Twi-hard fan who works at Maclean’s. She was so keen to score a ticket, I expected she’d be beside herself. But this self-confessed addict of the Stephenie Meyer saga told me she was expecting the movie to be bad. Nevertheless, she was happy to devour it, like a junkie who’s in no position to quibble with the quality of the smack. She compared it to candy. I’ve found this to be true with a lot Twilight fans, who are often well-read, literary girls longing for a little guilty pleasure. Most of them feel they’re smarter than the stuff that has them hooked. They have a love-hate relationship with their trash. So how bad was New Moon? I’m not quite sure. But it feels like it’s waning, not waxing. The novelty has definitely worn off. And the allegedly timeless romance between Bella (Stewart) and Edward (Pattinson) already feels belaboured—it gets mired in so much lovesick sludge that the movie should be called New Mooning. Continue…