Monday, March 16, 2015

A Comprehensive List of the Stupidest Minutae in 'Twilight.'

This thing's been done to DEATH. It's been discussed and analyzed and fawned over and shit-talked so many ways to Sunday that it seems there isn't one possible thing I could add to the lexicon. I mean, we've endlessly covered the obvious stuff like glittering vegetarian vampires and how Kristen Stewart's mouth hangs open all the time and how this is the gem that spawned '50 Shades'; that's clown shoes. I don't even give a fish's tit at this point about how crappily the book was written. There are five-year-olds in Kiribati who know it sucks.

Lo these many years later, I somehow feel compelled to take this dog for a spin on the dance floor. What on earth can I bring to the table that DListed, Jezebel, and The Deseret News haven't already? Very little, as the other entries in this blawg have proven time and again, but Imma try, Imma try. Keep in mind that I read the book a long time ago and I'd never actually seen the movie save for parodied snippets and the trailer, so all of my basic knowledge comes from the zeitgeist, as opposed to actually having factual information about it. But, then, that's how the Inter Nets works, right?

Thirty seconds in and I knew what I'd do: I'd note the weird, bad, ludicrous little things that were integral threads in the shit-fabric of the shit-tapestry of this movie. Things that, if they'd been replaced by things that were not weird, not bad, or not ludicrous, they wouldn't have been noticeable at all; and as opposed to having been repeatedly eviscerated by churls like me, this little movie might have simply drifted placidly along in the gulf stream of cinema, a rainy Saturday afternoon favorite like 'She's All That' or 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.'

Captain 'Murica might as well be talking about Bella Swan, right?

I'm going to take for granted that you all know this movie is poorly executed, clumsily written, misogynistic and full of smell-the-fart acting, and just move on to the minutae. After every dumb thing I point out, I will check The Google, and see what troofs I missed.

1. In what post-9/11 world, real or imagined, would someone be allowed to hold a potted cactus for an entire plane flight, or series of plane flights if we're talking Southwest, from Arizona to Washington? Kristen Stewart gets out of her dad's cop car cradling a cactus to her boob like it's a rosary (or a baby FORESHADOWING), and as she was holding it wistfully before she got on the plane, Imma assume it's the same cactus and not a lookalike cactus she grabbed in homesick desperation from the Lowes Garden Centre after they left the airport. I don't understand why the cactus gets so much screen time. Is it meant to represent her prickly nature? Is it the state flower of Arizona? (Yes, actually, so I have to take that back.) I hope the cactus got a solid back-end deal, because this movie series made a grip.

The Google Troof: the cactus is a 'pet.' Which is sad. But still doesn't explain how she managed to get it past TSA.

2. 'Reading is Sexy.' This is a bumper sticker on Kristen Stewart's childhood bulletin board, which has clearly been curated by a set dresser and not an imaginary teenage girl, as it looks like the entire thing was purchased already completed at Bed, Bath and Beyond. 'Reading is Sexy'? Pinned up by someone with a pet cactus? Really?

The Google Troof: nothing.

3. When Kristen Stewart pulls into the school parking lot for the first time in her cool vintage truck, a dude says "Nice ride," which sounds complimentary but is probably supposed to be snide, because all the other kids are making stink face. A girl next to him taps his arm and says, "Good one!" She's right, it IS a good one! It is so fucking funny and sarcastic and 'a good one' when someone funnily and sarcastically observes that an old car is is nice! Who WROTE that?! And I'm disappointed in that extra for just saying that terrible line like a meat puppet. She should have improvised and thrown her breakfast burrito at the new girl instead!

The Google Troof: nothing.

4. At the diner for dinner, after a very strange closeup of one of those red plastic ketchup bottles, Kristen Stewart squeezes a large bloop onto her plate and then proceeds to keep shaking the bottle sideways. I backed this up and re-watched it like 8 times. It was utterly mesmerizing. Did she think she needed more ketchup action for camera? Was she unsure that the ketchup bottle was fully functional although she'd clearly already squeezed a bunch of ketchup out? Has that actress never operated a squeezable ketchup bottle before and was not coached properly through the process? Was the ketchup bottle going to be pissed that it didn't get as much screen time as the cactus, so she thought she'd ingratiate herself with it by wiggling it side-to-side for a while even though THAT'S NOT HOW YOU GET KETCHUP TO COME OUT OF THAT KIND OF BOTTLE?

The Google Troof: "I think we all knew that Bella Swan couldn’t handle her love life the minute she shook the squeeze bottle ketchup." Well said, Tumblr.

The superstar can o' veg from 'Wet Hot' wants the squeezable ketchup bottle to know that once word gets out around town that the fucking cactus is hogging the camera, it won't be able to get a table at Katsuya. Ever.

5. Two vampire dudes come to school in a big townie-style jeep. One of them is driving, the other is standing up in the back seat, holding a textbook. This is so deeply stupid-looking that there is no way anybody on set would have allowed it to happen during shooting, so everyone must have been gone that day to a Renaissance Faire or a Seahawks game and the actors just went ahead and used their IPhones to shoot it themselves.

Here, you can see what that looks like. If there was a railgun mounted to the roll bar of the jeep, and the vampire dude was replaced by, say, Chris Hemsworth dressed as Thor, and he was simultaneously firing the gun with one hand and twirling Mjolnir with the other while his cape and his hair whipped in the wind, well, then I'd be OK with this, but since that's not what's happening here, FAIL.

The Google Troof: nothing.

6. In the cafeteria, Kristin Stewart pokes carefully at what looks like raw chard, large ears of pickled corn, cucumbers and cauliflower arranged in a bowl as though she were about to hand it off to Vermeer to paint. Is this a salad she's going to consume? What kind of red-blooded teenager eats a chard and pickled corn salad? But, really, I want to know: who the fuck eats big pickled corn?

The Google Troof: From the 'Twilight' script: "Bella artfully designs an architectural salad." WHOA. Did you know this character moonlit as an architectural salad designer? Why bother with high school, with THAT career already established?

7. After Edward Vampire rescues Kristen Stewart from almost being gang-raped in his awesome Volvo, because misogyny, they go have dinner together, because bad writing. Her dinner is served by an actress who hogs the shot even more than the cactus, a woman dressed flashily in purple and black, with a Joan Crawford 40's do, with a big tat angled awkwardly on her cleave.

This qualifies as 'stupid minuta' because there's no reason whatsoever for a low-rent Rachael from 'Blade Runner' to be a waitress in this movie. The boob tat ends up directly above the lamp in the middle of the shot, so there's no way you can't stare at it for the eternity this actress lingers on in her scene, serving no purpose - just hypnotizing us with her stupid tattoo. Here's what the real Rachael has to say about that:

Mm hm, that's right.

The Google Troof: this character is exquisitely named 'Amber.' This, naturally, makes me think of this:

...and then I'm automatically in my happy place!

8. So Edward Vampire invites Kristen Stewart over to his place. When they come in the house, he helps her off with her cardigan. Uh - sure. He takes it about halfway off in slow-motion, then walks away, leaving Kristen Stewart to shrug it the rest of the way off and dump it - even more oddly - on the arm of a bench.

I am entirely at a loss as to why she has to take her cardigan off. It's not a North Face parka, nor it is a Superman cape. It's a cardigan. And unless the temperature in the house is blazing hot, why wouldn't she just leave it on? It is not customary to have a gentleman vampire attempt to remove your sweater upon entering his domicile. Edward Vampire should know this, as he is from the olden-timey days, right? Is he afraid that his stylish coven will be horrified by Kristen Stewart's awful taste in cardies?

The Google Troof: Her costumes came from Loehmann's. Emily would be appalled.

9. Sorry, old-school fans of 'Twilight,' but the cameo of author Stephenie Meyer sitting at the counter of a diner - presumably writing the next installment of the movie franchise on her laptop, in a glorious display of meta-cinema - is grotesquely, terribly stupid. The waitress even calls her "Steffie." I bet you know what's coming next:


The Google Troof:, a bastion of reporting (rather like this blawg), quotes vampire Kellan Lutz thus: "It was a little Hitchcock moment...I love his movies, where he throws himself in there as a small little speck." OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD.

10. Kristen Stewart's cop dad cleans his shotgun at the kitchen table. This may look semi-ridiculous to the uninitiated, but I do know a police officer who cleans his guns in the kitchen as well, so I'll buy it. What I don't buy: two beer cans and a bunch of live shotgun cartridges all over the table, in alarming close-up. We all know these characters are lousily written and blah blah blah, but this is verging on insane. Are these idiot filmmakers serious that they would show a do-gooder cop getting drunk while cleaning and loading his gun in front of his daughter? Was there NOBODY on set that day to lift an index finger and say, "Hey...guys? Can we get set dressing in here to put these cartridges back in the box and swap the beer for an LDS-approved Diet Dr. Pepper?" Maybe the person who would have had the wherewithal to say that was off at the Seakhawks game. Before I get genuinely riled up about this, Imma stop and check the Google Troof.

The Google Troof: First hit - 'Fanpop quiz: How many beers did Charlie drink while he's cleaning his shotgun?'


11. When Edward Vampire and Kristen Stewart are running away from some bad vampires, they drive past the diner. All the cool teens are coming out, and by 'cool teens' I mean Hipster Tie-Wearing Guy, Nerdy Photographer, Guy Who Thinks Kristen Stewart's Truck Is A 'Nice Ride,' Guy Who Wears Khakis But Is Hard As Fuck, and the girl from 'Pitch Perfect.' Two of them are examining white coffee cups in slow-motion fascination. Did they...steal the cups? Are they confused as to the purpose of a coffee cup? Ordinarily, take-out coffee is served in a paper cup, or, perhaps, a travel mug. As these mugs are devoid of coffee, and are also not gift-wrapped, I can only assume that these characters who live in Washington State have never seen a coffee cup before, and are fundamentally stupid, or possibly aliens.

The Google Troof: When special effects-guru Rick Baker talked about developing retro alien designs for 'Men in Black,' he - oh, wait, oops, sorry.

12. Kristen Stewart decides to go to the prom with Edward Vampire. Now, her femoral artery was severed by a bad vampire, which means, for some mysterious medical reason, she has to wear a splint on her ankle, and this means that she can't wear cute shoes with her pretty blue prom dress. It means, instead, that she has to wear a single Chuck Taylor (and grey leggings? Confusion), because it would be impossible to wear a cute flat or even a sandal. IMPOSSIBLE, I say. Maybe one could argue that she has no style (see earlier bullet point re: Loehmann's), but I would point-counterpoint with the fact that there's no way a girl slopping to prom in Converse and leggings would be able to do her hair and makeup as beautifully as Kristen Stewart's hair and makeup look. (Sidebar: Yes, I am aware that this character is costumed and made up by professionals. THAT IS NOT THE ISSUE!) Then, when she stands on her vampire boyfriend's feet to dance in a perverted echo of a father-daughter dance, the camera lingers on the stupid Converse, and before I have further opportunity to roll my eyes, the movie's over, and I'm left with the same feeling I get after I eat a hot dog with too many toppings on it: halfway through I think, Urk, I feel a little barfy. And yet I keep eating, because it's a hot dog, and by the time I'm done I know unequivocally that finishing the hot dog was a bad idea. Just like watching this movie was.

The Google Troof:

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