movie thoughts: Twilight (2008)

I need to say this first: I am not a fan of Twilight.  I couldn’t even finish the first book and I only know what happens in the other three from talking to my friend Amy and reading Cleolinda‘s hilarious summaries.  I can’t stand Bella, I felt that Edward was not attractive at all, and that it had all been done better in Buffy.

That being said, the movie totally lives up to the book. 

First red flag – a narrator.  I remember reading a book on screenwriting and the guy said you should never EVER have a narrator, that this was usually a sign of lazy writing and most of the time the things being said would work better shown.  So…yeah, Bella starts off the movie in voiceover mode.

Bella Swann moves to Forks, WA and OMG IT SUCKS. Everyone is so pasty (so the vamps can blend in a bit better, except for Carlisle who still looks WHITE), and nice to her (I don’t remember everyone being so nice to her in the book) and she wants to be with her mommy (who is, at least, a presence in the movie more than I felt she was in the book).  That is, until she sees Edward.  Because he’s not just pasty, he’s also dazzling. 

Okay, I can’t do it anymore, the snark is too easy – you probably know the story and if not, click on the link .  I will say that I was ready to watch a movie starring Alice and Jasper because they seemed far more interesting than Bella and Edward.  Robert Pattison’s hair had a co-starring role in the film and clearly weighed heavily on his forehead because he spends the entire movie with his brow furrowed, looking like he has a massive headache (though if Bella was your “girlfriend”, you probably would to).  I guess Kristen Stewart was fine as Bella, because Bella is pretty much worthless and Kristen seemed to be okay with that (though she doesn’t seem to be able to close her mouth all the way and she bites her lip waaaaay too much). 

I think one of the biggest mistakes the writers made was actually giving Bella friends.  In the book, she doesn’t really make a connection with anyone in the school and that bothered me because she had no human friends to talk to.  But in the movie, they make everyone in the school really nice and they want to get to know her and be friends with her but she’s just too good for them.  And once her and Edward are together, she comes off as “I’m so much cooler because I have a boyfriend – I don’t need you lame meatbags”. 

And you don’t realize how lame Stephenie Meyer’s vampires are unil the fight sequence at the end.  They have no fangs, they have relfections, they can go out in sunlight — honestly, they are not even vampires.  She should have named them something else.  When Edward and James are hissing at each other like cats, its more comical than intense.  And when Edward wants to show Bella his true face, I was ready for something a bit weird, but he just sorta looked…moist.  “You’re Beautiful”.  Oh yeah, that’s real tought to say when he’s shimmering like diamonds (and not, say, getting a big bumpy face with fangs).

Look, I’m a HUGE Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan and it’s hard to read/watch Twilight without thinking of Buffy/Angel.  And now I’m watching the relationship between Sookie and Bill evolve on True Blood.  Both of these pwn the characters on Twilight.  Because Buffy and Sookie are real people, with hobbies, friends, jobs – they are fully formed characters before they get caught up with the bloodsuckers.

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movie thoughts: Get Smart (2008)

So close Hollywood, so close.  Get Smart could have been a solid comedy at an hour and a half, but for some reason the scriptwriter/director/studio – whoever, decided the movie should be almost 2 hours long and include the most cliched end sequence. 

I used to watch the original Get Smart on Nick at Nite with my aunt when I would spend summers with her in Florida.  I knew the basic gags and the movie throws enough of them out to please the old fans. 

Steve Carell’s impersonation of Don Adams, the original Maxwell Smart, seems to turn off and on, which was okay by me – I didn’t think it was necessary.  Sometimes he sounded like Steve and other times it felt like he was trying to hard.  It was probably the order that the scenes were shot, but when edited together it felt a little weird.  Anne Hathaway was great as Agent 99, putting up with Max’s bumbling antics.  And Alan Arkin.  Just put Alan Arkin in every movie from now on.  He just has too much fun.  Dwayne Johnson (formerly “The Rock”) was the biggest surprise.  That man has some great comic timing!

Oh but those last 30 minutes…they just ruined the movie because they were not part of this movie.  They were left over from some other movie.  And why WHY do they insist on inserting some sort of half-assed romantic plot?  It was just frustrating.  While we laughed and giggled at the first part of the movie, the last 30 minutes we kept asking “OMG is it OVER yet???  How long is this?” proving to me that they pushed was should have been a light comedy too far. 

So rent it, but when you feel like it should be over (and it had an ending all ready to go, you feel everything slowing down before the biggest spy movie cliche of all kicks in) just stop it and pretend that was the end.  Because then you have a solid comedy that goes well with popcorn.  If you watch it all…well, you can’t say i didn’t warn you.

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movie thoughts: Baby Mama (2008)

I’ll admit it now: I love Tina Fey.  I will watch her do almost anything, so it’s lucky that she tends to be funny most of the time.  Amy Poehler cracks me up too and the two of them together just works.  You can tell they had a lot of fun making this movie.  It feels like they had a pile of pregnant woman and professional woman jokes lying around after an SNL writers meeting and decided to put them all together and make this movie.  So there are lots of funny one-liners and random moments.  Unfortunately, the plot never really quite works.  But it is still fun to watch, if predictable. 

If you just want a movie to veg out with, which requires no heavy thinking and should make you giggle, Baby Mama will fit the bill.

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movie thoughts: The Incredible Hulk (2008)

If Incredible Hulk does anything, it has a nice amount of fan service to anyone even remotely familiar with the big green guy.  “Don’t make me angry”, “Hulk Smash!” and the “sad walking away song” are all featured in the movie. 

The Hulk isn’t really a superhero. He’s not fighting for anything.  He’s just sort of spazzing out.  He has more in common with King Kong than Ironman or Batman.  And while the screenwriter made the (I think) wise choice to gloss over the initial Hulk creation story and jump right to Bruce hiding out, which go the story moving along, I think it made it a little harder to connect with him as a person.  And poor Liv Tyler spent the whole movie alternating between staring sadly with her mouth half hanging open or screaming “BRUCE!” at the top of her lungs. 

I felt a little cheated at the end of the film, because they began to set up the movie I wanted to see as opposed to the 2 hours I just sat through.  In fact, I wasn’t really interested in a sequel until the last few minutes. 

A good popcorn movie, but definitely one you shouldn’t think too much about after you watch it.  Also, it comes with a built in drinking game – take a shot every time you spy something GREEN!

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