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Trashing twilight
February 16, 2009, 5:19 am
Filed under: review, Twilight | Tags: ,

“The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good,” Stephen King told an interviewer from USA Weekend.

Stephenie Meyer dreamed up Edward Cullen, a vegetarian vampire who sports a beige jacket and poloneck, while Stephen King gave us Kurt Barlow, the ancient master vampire who wreaks havoc on the town of ‘Salem’s Lot’. The two bestselling authors were never going to see eye to eye over their portrayal of bloodsuckers, but this week King went so far as to rubbish Meyer’s writing abilities in an interview. King compared the Mormon author to JK Rowling, saying that both authors were “speaking directly to young people.”

“The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good,” he told an interviewer from USA Weekend. King also drew a comparison between Meyer and Perry Mason mystery writer Erle Stanley Gardner. “He was a terrible writer, too, but he was very successful,” he said, going on to criticise prolific thriller author James Patterson — “a terrible writer but he’s very successful” — and fellow horror author Dean Koontz, who although he “can write like hell,” is sometimes “just awful.”

Meyer’s quartet of books — Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn — trace the love story between ordinary girl Bella and vampire Edward, throwing in a pack of werewolves, a coven of vampire royalty and a vampire baby for good measure. They have sold millions of copies worldwide, with sales receiving a huge boost from the film of the first book, Twilight, which was released late last year.

King went on to say that it was “very clear” Meyer was “opening up kind of a safe joining of love and sex in those books.” He told USA Weekend: “It’s exciting and it’s thrilling and it’s not particularly threatening because they’re not overtly sexual. A lot of the physical side of it is conveyed in things like the vampire will touch her forearm or run a hand over skin, and she just flushes all hot and cold. And for girls, that’s a shorthand for all the feelings that they’re not ready to deal with yet.”

Meyer’s fans have rushed to her defence. “Steven (sic) King doesn’t know what a real book was if it hit him in the face. He’s just a bloody guy who is jealous of Edward’s good looks,” wrote poster Kiki Alice Cullen. “King is no Gabriel Garcia Marquez so I don’t understand why he gets to say who is a good writer and who is not,” agreed another, while a third, who wished she could “just hit this guy,” suggested that “we twilighters should send him tons of hate mail…just to show him how many Twilight fans he just pissed off.”

The Guardian


The Twilight series: Is it really just soft porn for teens?
February 14, 2009, 1:36 am
Filed under: review, Twilight | Tags: ,

It falls, officially, under the banner of “romance/fantasy/thriller.”
Teen lit with an edge, you might say.
And it is probably just what 35-year-old Stephenie Meyer set out to write when she invented her brooding blood-sucking vampire, Edward Cullen, his beloved mortal heartthrob Bella Swan and the tender tension between them for her blockbuster Twilight series, a set of four books which have now sold more than 40 million copies, have been translated into 40 languages and, last year, hit the big screen as a movie starring the freakily gorgeous Robert Pattinson and the comely Kristen Stewart.
The writing, literary critics will tell you, is hardly the stuff of Pulitzer worthiness — here’s a sample, if you haven’t had the pleasure:
“He grinned his crooked smile at me, stopping my breath and my heart. I couldn’t imagine how any angel could be more glorious. There was nothing about him that could be improved upon.”
Nevertheless, it is, as they say, a teen sensation.
Fans dress up like the characters and mob Meyer at book signings. The movie pulled in $40 million on its opening day, with fans lined up hours in advance.
In Vancouver recently, casting agents for the Twilight movie sequel, New Moon, set to be released for the 2009 Christmas movie season, were besieged by more than 300 young native Indian actors trying out for a specific role in the movie, some turning up for the auditions from as far away as Florida.
Meyer, the mother of three sons, says the idea came to her in a dream, in which a vampire was in love with a human girl but still wanted to, you know, suck her blood.
Herbie the Love Bug it ain’t.
It’s more dark sultry sexy vampire boy worshipping heaving-chested virginal girl, who is then literally hunted by his vampire family and bit badly on her wrist, and is then rescued by her vampire beau and whisked off to the prom for a night of dancing and unrequited sexual tension. Cue sequel.

So who’s reading, and watching, all this nonsense? Well, young adults — Twilight is said to be second only in popularity to the Harry Potter series — which means kids, preteens and teens mostly.

Which brings us to this email sent to me recently from a local parent of one of those Twilight fans:
I have been bothered by something . . . and wondered if you have thought about it as well. I know that you have heard of the Twilight series for young adults. My now 19-year-old daughter read all four books when she was 17 and 18, and loved them (actually, she loved the first, and enjoyed them less as the series went on, saying the writing was pretty poor, and the same things happened over and over).
My Grade 6 daughter (who just turned 12) is telling me that most of her friends (11 and 12) are reading the books, and becoming “obsessed” (her word). My older girl (smart, studying engineering at Queens, and NOT a prude) said that these books are definitely NOT for Katherine’s age, but good for older girls.
I have read number one and parts of the others, and agree, for many reasons. My issue is with parents who are actually encouraging the reading (ie. “My 10-year-old must be so smart and mature to be reading such advanced books!”).
There are other series being read by young, like The Gossip Girl series, for example. It’s just soft porn (and superficial, mean, and poorly written), in my mind, and I can’t help but wonder: Have any of these mothers ever read one of these books?
And would they feel any differently if they did?
Good question.
I haven’t read the books, but hope to hear from some of you who have.


Twilight series provides absorbing plots, support group of fellow junkies
February 6, 2009, 11:21 pm
Filed under: review, Twilight | Tags: ,

Heres another Twilight review for you to enjoy

What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word twilight? Odds are you don’t think of dusk or dawn, like you did a couple of years ago. When you hear that word, it probably conjures up thoughts of vampires, obsessed middle school girls and “I love Edward” flair on Facebook. Those were the same thoughts that came to my mind. At first, I didn’t understand the appeal of this Harry Potter-esque book.

When Harry Potter first came out, I tried to get into it – I really did. I read the first book, but I kept falling asleep. I couldn’t get more than halfway through it. I decided then that just because everyone was getting into it, that didn’t mean it would necessarily be great or captivating for me. I’ve watched all of the Harry Potter movies and enjoyed them a lot, but I never really caught the pandemic.

The same thing happened to me when the Twilight outbreak happened; I saw tons of Facebook flair that said things about Edward and Bella. It didn’t really make me want to read the book; I mean, how could a book really be good when the flair is so lame? It did pique my interest, though, so I looked at Stephanie Meyer’s book Web site and found it to be very interesting.

But I still wasn’t really interested in reading her work.

Then my sister asked for the last three books in the Twilight series for her birthday, just when the fourth one came out. I got them for her, and she was done reading them within three weeks. I thought it was strange – who had enough time to read all of those books in that short of a time period? The last book alone is 754 pages long.

This got me interested. If my sister could like this book, maybe I would too. So I picked up the first book and began reading it. I only got through the first three or four chapters; it wasn’t really catching my interest, so I didn’t really read it anymore. Almost six months passed and I never really thought much about the books anymore. Then I was staying at my friends house and they were talking about the Twilight series. It struck me as odd that these people that I knew really liked this series, and they weren’t in middle school. I realized that there might be something to this whole Twilight craze. Maybe it deserved to be given another chance.

I picked up where I had left off in the first book and found that I couldn’t put it down. I finished the first book within a week and a half and then immediately began reading the second. That was a month and a half ago, and I’m already well into the fourth book. This really is an addiction; I don’t even know how it happened.

The book has a slow start, which kind of put me off; I think that’s why I got bored with the first one so quickly. But once Meyer got past the introductions and the set-up and started building up the characters, I got really into it. It’s a great series of books that keeps you wanting more. There is never a good place to stop, not even at 4 a.m. when you are dead tired and need sleep because you have to work in five hours. There is always something going on or something about to happen – there’s always a reason to keep reading.

I’m truly a Twilight addict; the great thing about it, though, is that I’m not alone. I was reading New Moon as I was waiting on my friend to meet me for lunch. When she got there, her first words were, “What are you reading? You are such a nerd.”

Then she flipped the cover over and saw that it was part of the Twilight series and quickly apologized and said that she completely understood.

It’s like being an addict with a built-in support group – everyone who is addicted knows exactly what you are going through. They will listen when you need to complain about Edward or Jacob, and they won’t tell you what happens next if they are ahead of you.

I never thought I would get so caught up in this series, but it’s different when you are on the inside looking out. When you are as caught up in the book as everyone else, you can actually understand what the craze is about. It’s not just some book – it’s a great work that is captivating with multidimensional characters. I am by no means wearing a team vampire shirt and wishing my boyfriend were Edward, but it is a great series, and it’s not just for obsessed middle school girls.

Twilight: a biased attempt at a film review (abridged version)
January 29, 2009, 10:07 pm
Filed under: review, Twilight | Tags: ,

Heres another review for your amusement (:

Three things to sum it up plus “mini” elaborations in between:

1. Awkward pacing – A linear story that was made complex with its jumbled scenes and choppy lines. Most of the scenes felt so out of place that it seemed like they were just plucked out from the book and was just forced to be put together. The film was so forcibly compressed into 2 hours (which felt like it ran for more than 2 hrs) that there were so many scenes bluntly chopped off from the whole storyline. The seques from one scene to the other was so off that some of them didn’t even make sense. Even the dialogues appeared inept. Parang lahat minadali, that not even the characters had time to build up on their own temperament. I was so anticipating to see a lot of scenes be brought to life (i.e. Meeting the Cullens, The La Push Reservation outing, the meadow scene, hotel scene of Bella, Alice and Jasper), but I guess they all decided to devote more screentime on the googley eyes of Bella and Edward. Not too mention the way the flashbacks were incorporated, they all seemed so out of place.

2. Blair Witch Project meets Can’t Hardly Wait sidelined by Not Another Teen Movie – it was a low budget film made to actually look like one. The make up looked so strange and fake that they all looked pasty. The opportunity to put in some really good special effects for some of the scenes all went to waste. The vampires were described to be beautiful and flawless both in their physical looks and movements, but they all looked like puppets being moved by strings. Well in effect they were since they were mostly using harnesses. And oh my god, couldn’t they have skipped out on the “pabida” effect, wherein the protagonist goes into a room, pauses in front of some wind-blowing contraption and takes look around. Everything was just odd.

3. Characters vs the actors – Kristen as Bella sounded like she was bored out of her wits…all the time. RPattz as Edward, though a hot vampire, looked like he was constipated most of the time. Peter as Carlisle looked like he was dead instead of the undead. Because the pacing was just too rushed, there wasn’t even enough time to develop on at least the Cullens, Bella and Edward and Bella and Charlie. Even the way they were portrayed in the film was just contrary as to how Meyer described each of their character in the book. Hell, with the popularity of the book series, they had all the time to develop on each character, so why not start from the beginning right? What a waste also not to at least establish the menacing character of James and the quirky but talented Alice.

Maybe it’s because I read the book before I saw the film that I inevitable nitpicked through the whole movie, finding faults in it. But I felt disheartened and shortchanged by the film. There were so many ideas and storylines in the book that the film could have focused on. Maybe the screenwriter was trying to apply a more modern perspective on the story by incorporating contemporary puns and funny quips, but instead of giving it a comical feel came out corny and forced.

Despite the fact that Twilight the Movie didn’t sit well with me, I did find some “redeeming factors” in the film. There was at least a show of special effects in the baseball scene, which I am totally raving about J I love how the scoring of Supermassive Black Hole complemented every bit in that scene. The prom scene was so pretty! Billy Burke as Charlie Swan was spot. And next to Edward, Jasper is the hottest vampire out there. And I really think that this movie has a kick ass OST.

New Moon is set for filming, if I’m not mistaken and I really really hope that this would fare out much, much better. IMHO, the bulk of the book series is grounded on the storyline of New Moon, so maybe they can opt to at least spend for it. Sayang if the budget constraints will be the only thing pulling them back from making this into a good film. Harry Potter started out with unfamiliar British actors, but it worked, so why not this series?

I do plan to watch Twilight the second time around, just to ogle at the eyecandy. And maybe I could feel some sense of appreciation for the film after watching it again J


‘Twilight’ a satisfying adaptation
January 27, 2009, 7:07 am
Filed under: Twilight | Tags: ,

Another review…

One word describes the feeling I got from watching “Twilight” — wow!

Just waiting in line was an event in itself, as I stood among people of all ages excited to see the most anticipated movie of the holiday season. While a friend and I waited in line for a good 45 minutes to be let into the theater, we talked to a few other “Twilight” fans.

It was a diverse group, not just the expected teenage girls, but also mothers, grandmothers, boys and men. Despite all of the differences, the entire group seemed to be buzzing with excitement.

The movie begins when 17-year-old, Bella Swan, played by Kristen Stewart, moves to Forks, Wash., to live with her father, Charlie. On her first day at her new school Bella meets Edward Cullen, played by Robert Pattinson. He’s her biology partner but is not as welcoming as the rest of the student body.

Later she sees him trying to change his schedule so he won’t have any classes with her. When that fails, he disappears for the next couple of weeks. When he comes back, he apologizes for his behavior, but after Bella is almost hit by a car, she becomes suspicious.

After a couple more incidents and the help of an old Native American legend, she figures out Edward is a vampire. Despite this, they fall in love, but soon their relationship is tested when three vampires begin to hunt humans in Cullen’s territory.

The filming was very impressive, and the scenery was absolutely breathtaking. The cast does a nice job of bringing the characters to life. Stewart and Pattinson portray their characters exceptionally well, as does Billy Burke as Charlie, Bella’s father, adding surprising humor.

“Twilight” is tastefully adapted into an impressive movie that will leave viewers and fans satisfied and waiting for the second. It comes out on DVD on March 21.

The next movie installment from Stephenie Meyer’s book series, “New Moon,” is set for release in late 2009 or early 2010.


Twilight Review
January 23, 2009, 12:14 pm
Filed under: Twilight | Tags: ,

Reading Twilight reviews can be interesting…

Twilight is the movie based on the book [my reviews of the series here]by Stephenie Meyer. And if you haven’t heard anything about it, you must be new to this blog and not have any teenage girl in your vicinity.

The plot follows the book closely: After her mother remarries, Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) moves from Phoenix, Arizona to Forks, Washington to live with her father. There she meets beautiful Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), who turns out to be a vampire. The rest is smiling, stalking, clumsiness, over-protectiveness, a tentative kiss, dazzling perfection, angst and an evil vampire.


Anyone who hasn’t read the books: They’re bad. Badly written, drenched in religious imagery, poorly crafted characters, feministically dubious at best. BUT they are completely addictive. And when I say addictive, I mean that I own all the books and read them within weeks – additionally to all the other books I read. And somehow feel compelled to defend them, at least a little bit.

The movie is equally bad. They tried to make it better – start with the murder plot earlier and not 20 minutes before the end, make Bella into a character – but ultimately, they failed. And unfortunately, where they also failed was the addictive quality: Whatever it is that made the books that way, the film doesn’t have it. [I’m sure this won’t change the popularity of it, though, because it has very pretty people acting in it.]

I was completely ready to fight for Catherine Hardwicke, the director, because she got kicked off New Moon even though Twilight is immensly successful. But I really can’t do this anymore. Not and still have a clear conscience. Her directing sucked. Like big time. She had a couple of scenes, where the camera makes circles around Bella and Edward and those scenes were so messy that I almost got nauseous. Also, there’s this thing called subtle symbolism, which is completely lost on her.
[Btw, Chris Weitz was chosen as her replacement. Because he completely destroyed The Golden Compass, he definitely is the perfect choice to adapt yet another fan favourite fantasy book.]

Who has the worst haircut? Edward or Jasper?

I have to admit that one of the things that had me most curious about this adaptation was whether Edward will sparkle in the movie (for all, who don’t know: in this world, vampires can’t go into the sunlight because they start sparkling and people’d notice). Well, he does. (Yay!) It’s very subtle and as beautiful as a sparkling person can be, I think. The thing is only that they added a sound effect to it and now vampires don’t only sparkle, they also tinkle. And let me tell you, if they wanted to augment the effect of the sparkling, that was the wrong way to go. Instead I couldn’t help but laugh about it. Why not make the sparkling a little bit more visible, which will be important in film 2 (New Moon) anyway?

Optically, they have done well – except for Jasper (Jackson Rathbone), who looks less anxious than constipated most of the time. And, seriously, can you imagine him having Jasper’s backstory that is revealed in Book 3?
Other than that, it was fine. While neither of the guys is my type, I can see the pretty. And especially Alice (Ashley Greene) is exactly as I imagined her.

As for the acting abilities… Well, let’s leave some things unsaid, shall we? Let’s just say, “It was not good.”
Okay, I will have to say a bit more: Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson are good actors by themselves. Together, they are a catastrophe of chemistry. I mean, there is supposed to be a spark between them, isn’t there?

The best thing about the movie: Charlie, Bella’s Dad (Billy Burke). It’s a steady, good performance, for a steady, better-than-in-the-book character. And his conflict with Bella and the development of their relationship is really what works best in the entire film.

The worst thing about the movie: The vampire-superpower special effects. When Edward started running, I wanted to throw myself on the floor, laughing.

Interesting sidenote: Nice try to make Meyer’s world more diverse by including some people of colour. Originally, there were only the Quileute, who were not white. In the movie we have 2 black guys, 1 Asian guy, 2 latinos. Yay.

Summarising, this one is only for the fans. And they won’t care about reviews. 🙂


Another Twilight Review
January 19, 2009, 10:41 pm
Filed under: Twilight | Tags: ,

Dont you just love Twilight reviews …. ?

Yes… yes I did, indeed, see Twilight.

In my defense my girlfriend and some friends of ours wanted to see it, so that’s why I went. As marks against me, I bought her the novel for Christmas and she really enjoyed it, and that’s why, down the line, I did eventually have to partake in this film.

That being said, here comes the review!

Alright, to begin, this film was directed by Catherine Hardwicke, who directed such films as Tombstone, Tank Girl, Three Kings, The Newton Boys and Vanilla Sky. I guess what I’m getting at is that she has done some fine films beforehand. I remember enjoying The Newton Boys and Tombstone, and Vanilla Sky was, as I recall, visually pleasing.

It stars Kristen Stewart as Bella, who you may remember from Panic Room or Cold Creek Manor, as well as Robert Pattinson as Edward, whom I can only really remember from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, as Cedric Diggory.

As far as the acting, I don’t remember anything stellar from anyone. If I had to choose who I thought did the best job, I’d say Ms. Stewart, but I suppose that both the main actors made due. Other than that, I think a lot of the acting was stiff and well… crappy. Her teenage friends were way too cliche, and the vampire family, the Cullens, just seemed awkward. I think that might’ve been what they were going for, though. I’d like to take back what I just said. I think that Bella’s father, Charlie Swan, played by Billy Burke, was probably the best acted. He was awkward, and he was supposed to be, but he shows some very genuine moments.

So, on to the story. Alright, this has been said over and over again, I’m sure, but this is not a vampire film. Sure, there are vampires in it, and there’s some background mythos associated with them, but this film is first and foremost a love story. And a poorly played out love story, I might add.

The story line is all about how Bella Swan moves in with her father, in a small town in Washington State, I believe. Here she doesn’t have a hard time fitting in, because anything new in this small hamlet is something exciting to the students of the local high school. During her first few days, however, she finds out about the Cullens. A family of adopted kids that keep to themselves, and are considered very strange by the locals. The Cullen kids are all good looking, and very exotic to the high schoolers, but one in particular catches Bella’s eye; Edward Cullen.

Over a very short period of time, where the two simply have awkward moments together, and rarely speak (if you ask me, anyway) apparently they fall madly, and irrevocably, in love.

I guess this where the film loses me. If they are so in love, I didn’t catch any of that romance on screen. Like I said, they were most often mad at eachother, and confused by whatever relationship was forming, and then all of sudden couldn’t get enough of one another. On Edward’s end, he couldn’t help it, he’s attracted to Bella on a more basist level. She, however, seems to just get a good teenage crush.

Some notes from people that I know that have read the novel (as I have not): The love story between Bella and Edward is much more fleshed out in the novel. This isn’t shocking. Novels always do a better job of the story, as they’ve got more to work with than a two hour time span. That being said, since that’s the point of the whole story, the film really blew the mission. Another point is that apparently we don’t get the whole thing about how the Cullens are supposed to be insanely attractive and model-like in appearance. They were a good looking crew, but apparently they just weren’t up to par. That doesn’t really infringe on the story, if you ask me, so whatever. There are some other points, like how Bella is a huge clutz, that weren’t really touched on, but that’s neither here nor there.

So, from what I can tell, this movie is just for the teenie boppers that loved the novels, and to cash in on it. I’m sure it’s doing amazingly. From a few of my friends that saw it, and hadn’t read the novels, they didn’t mind it. From some of my friends that did read the novels, they pretty much hated it or, at the very least, didn’t like it. Myself, a self-appointed movie buff, and story-critic, I thought it was crap. The love angle wasn’t played out nearly well enough, there was a ton of stuff that was put into the movie that really didn’t need being there, and in the end the whole thing falls flat because I’m not a teenage girl, and I just didn’t give a damn.

So I guess what I’m saying is, don’t see this one, but if you MUST, rent it. If you’re a fan, even, it appears to miss the mark.

2 out of 5.