I got locked out of my old email, so will try posting from my new one.
Monday, May 20, 2013
I just wrote a long post about how all of my phone problems, after buying a new (defective) battery and doing a factory reset and everything came down to having plugged my phone charger in the wrong outlet and also about how in my head, books have feelings and I pet my e-reader because I feel bad for not using it more and also I hoard notebooks, but I post via email and I sent it to the wrong address. I'm kind of okay with that, because in hindsight, it actually made me look nutty as all hell.
I guess I'll clarify the "books have feelings" thing. It makes me sad when I see a book just LANGUISHING, never to be read or loved properly, because that book WANTS to be read, you know? And I rarely use my Nook because I have enough things to charge but I feel sorry for it! I KNOW IT WANTS TO BE READ, and I think I even apologized to it once, a long time ago. I'm also afraid of being without something to write with, so when I see the college ruled composition books I like, I buy the shit out of them, but sometimes I get tempted by things called Ideal Books because I'm a slave to marketing, but I stop myself because that notebook would get bumped to the front of the line, but it'd have to wait until I finished my current notebook, and it seems really unfair to everyone involved. Everyone being, of course, myself and a bunch of blank books. There. THAT made me look crazy and I don't even care. I HOPE THE INTERNET IS HAPPY.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
New Moon starts where Twilight left off, which is to say the same place every one of these movies starts and ends because no matter what changes, no one really grows or learns anything because of it. It's Bella's birthday and she's freaked out about being a year older than Edward, even though she isn't really, because he's 109. No one actually seems to think about emotional age, except for Edward who's so emotionally stunted that he's afraid Bella will outgrow him someday. He's got nothing to worry about, because Bella doesn't care to think of silly little things like personal growth.
Anyway she celebrates her 18th with Edward's vampire family, and his brother tries to eat her, so Edward breaks up with her and leaves her alone in the woods. Happy birthday, Bella! She sits in front of her window watching the world go by for a while, and then eventually she decides to go and try to get kidnapped and locked in some dude's basement because she discovers that she hallucinates a vision of Edward when she does dangerous shit. I think that's one of the stages of grief. Anywho, she buys two broken motorcycles and has her friend Jacob fix them so she can hallucinate some more. Jacob's destined to turn into a werewolf and have his furry little heart stomped on by Bella, which is kind of a shame, because unlike Edward, Jacob actually does stuff with her, like share a hobby and talk about something besides how desperately he wants to kill her and feast upon the remains.
Then Bella goes cliff diving and Edward's psychic sister has a premonition that she threw herself off a cliff for suicidal purposes and not just to recreationally make herself hallucinate. And now Edward thinks Bella killed herself and is off to kill his own self by breaking laws and making the vampire police kill him. Being a vampire sounds pretty awful, especially for Edward because he's basically doomed to be a high school student forever and he can't eat people and now he can't even kill himself without going all the way to Italy to jump through hoops with the vampire police.
But Bella gets there in time and saves him and there's a showdown with the vampire police and they say that Bella has to become a vampire. Edward's brother later says that's a great idea so he can stop wanting to kill her so damn much. Then Jacob flips his shit and Bella says she loves him, but not as much as she loves Edward because she's kind of a terrible person.
New Moon is better than Twilight, but only by a little. There isn't much romance, and Bella spends a lot of it being horribly depressed. However, the werewolves are fun to watch and I've always liked Jacob's character, and it's nice to see Bella pal around with someone who doesn't want to kill her. It has a little more plot than the first movie, but the reason why the first two movies seem to be plotless is because almost all the plot is Bella's internal conflicts. The things that happen outside of Bella's head really do pick up steam from here on out, and even the book counterparts of Eclipse and Breaking Dawn are more exciting.
Monday, May 13, 2013
I'm going to start off by bitching about my phone needing a new battery, because I have a phone fixation and can't help myself. I HOPE it's the battery, because I ordered a new one. Though I suppose if it weren't the battery, I have insurance on the phone, it could be replaced and I'd have a spare battery which wouldn't be the worst thing. I dunno, I've just had PHONE ANXIETY, which you know is bad because I wrote it in capital letters. "LET ME HELP YOU," I beg. "JUST TELL ME WHAT'S WRONG AND I WILL FIX IT." Frankly, I've had some charger issues for almost a year now and I'm thinking it might almost be time to pick up a backup again, even though now I'm starting to wonder if maybe the MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of chargers I've had to buy and either return or throw away in disgust weren't the problem, and it was the battery all along.
But anyway, onto the real topic, which is Twilight. The manpanion and I have been watching the movies, because I hate watching Twilight alone and he's super nice. (Twilight is like good spaghetti or any of life's other blessings- better when shared.) I'll be doing a review on each of the films, but I think I'll do at least this one a little differently than the Haunting in CT review, which is to say, I won't do a liveblog-style post. Basically all you need to know about the plot is that Edward is a vampire and Bella is in love with him. There's a plot about Bad Vampires who show up near the end and want to eat Bella, but that only lasts for about thirty seconds and generally has no impact on anything. God forbid there be an actual conflict to detract from the sparkling. I've seen Twilight about four times now, and while I like it better each time, I also kind of consider it to be a two hour prologue to the rest of the movies- literally, all it does is set up the Edward/Bella relationship and introduce characters you'll never really see again. I mean, I guess it also gave someone an excuse to make Robert Pattinson wear a lot of lipstick and at one point Rosalie has on these gorgeous shoes and there's a close-up, so that kind of justifies the movie's existence. All that being said, I'm going to focus on the part of the plot that seemed to matter- that Edward and Bella are in LOVE, and they don't need silly things like REASONS. At one point, my boyfriend pointed out that this was a bunch of bunk, as if to carefully gauge my grasp on reality, because Edward being a vampire isn't even the most unrealistic part of the movie. It IS a bunch of bunk- like, they don't seem to have any particular reason to want to be together, they literally just one day profess love and that's that. And the thing is, I could see reasons why they might love each other- maybe Edward would love someone who accepted him, and maybe Bella would like to be with someone interested in taking care of her and keeping her safe, but they both seem to hate things like that- Edward is vehemently opposed to the idea of Bella accepting him, or worse, becoming a vampire too; Bella seems disdainful when Edward wants to display generosity toward her. And you know, I don't think that the fans would've been completely opposed to watching them fall in love realistically, with compelling reasons and shared experiences that bring them closer- I can totally see how Bad Vampires hunting Bella would bring them closer! BEING SEEN AS PREY IS A BONDING EXPERIENCE. But it doesn't work that way, because their love was already as great as could be or some such tomfoolery. I do like that they're both horribly awkward around each other at first- I love how Robert Pattinson plays Edward, because he's weird and awkward and not all that great at socializing, which is EXACTLY how a vampire would be.
I guess the thing that I like about the films is that they're told through the Female Gaze. I'm not talking about the "eye candy", because I genuinely think that the only reason why women get hot and bothered for Edward is because of the way he looks at Bella, like every time he sees her, affection starts to ooze out of his pores, because it just can't be contained. Cleolinda Jones pointed this out in a post of hers once, and I 100% agree that what makes the movies (and books) so compelling is the massive amounts of tenderness that Edward displays for Bella. I think that what women want isn't a boyfriend who sparkles and desperately wants to exsanguinate them- they want that same tenderness directed at them. People love to holler about how ALL OF THESE WOMEN WANT TO BE MARRIED TO A 100 YEAR OLD STALKER BECAUSE LADIES JUST LOVE SPARKLY SHIT and I know that you're not cool if you don't make fun of Twilight, but it's not as though Stephenie Meyer just happened to tap into some secret fantasy coded into the DNA of anyone with two X chromosomes. Men talk a lot about how women are SO COMPLICATED while making fun of things women like without considering WHY they like it. It's not very hard to understand that women like when men are vulnerable enough to be honestly tender- and if you find that you can't do this, you're likely trying to do it for the wrong woman.
This is meandering, so I'll give my overall opinion. Twilight is my least favorite of all the movies, but I think it's still worth watching because not only do the movies get better as they go along (Breaking Dawn Parts 1 and 2 are honestly two of my favorite movies), but it also has one of the most romantic scenes I've ever watched- where Bella is asking to be a vampire, and Edward says, "Isn't a long and happy life with me enough?" Flawed as it may be, when this series gets it right, it REALLY gets it right. I feel like it's the right story told by the wrong person, which unfortunately means that the focus is pulled in completely the wrong direction.
Incidentally, while I would consider this movie the worst one out of all five, it's also the hardest for me to make fun of. I really think that Catherine Hardwicke was a bit tongue-in-cheek about things like Edward "dazzling" people- one of the funniest bits is watching him talk to Bella and her friends in this completely deadpan manner while the three girls act totally lovestruck. I give it five completely bloodless bodies out of ten!
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Today I watched the 2009 masterpiece A Haunting in Connecticut. I LOVED it when it came out, and even saw it twice in theaters! Let's see how it held up.
The movie opens up with Virginia Madsen's character looking for rental properties close to the hospital where her son Matt is being treated for cancer. I do not like what she's done with her face. She picks out the perfect house- big and spacious and haunted as fuck- and moves her two neices, two sons and her drunken husband in. Matt gets first choice of bedroom, so naturally he picks the terrifying basement saying it picked him. Then he hallucinates his mom mopping the floor with blood as she says she doesn't understand why he picked the basement. I suspect it has something to do with how half the room is behind a sealed door. How cozy! He goes and hallucinates some more, which is a problem because if he hallucinates, he'll be dropped from the experimental treatment program he's participating in. Mom shows her older neice around the house. There's a ghost in her bedroom and the wallpaper is hideous, and I'm not sure which is worse.
That night, Matt has some old-timey dreams about the sealed door and some beardy dude writing on corpses with a scalpel and stealing their eyelids.. He tries to open the door, and it BURNS HIS HAND, but that doesn't stop him from trying to get in again. This time, he's successful and finds himself standing in some kind of embalming studio IN HIS FUCKING BEDROOM and oh my fucking stars, I would want a new room in a new house on a new planet. Matt seems pretty okay with it, though, and invites his brother to play with the eyelid cutter and take a spin on the embalming table. Alkie Dad comes in and looks at the bottles of god knows what and the tables full of IMPLEMENTS and freaks out because his wife knowingly moved their family into a former funeral home. I know that feel, Alkie Dad. I'm on your side. Matt has some old-timey visions about a seance and freaks out because that's apparently way worse than a mortuary in your bedroom. Everyone had their eyelids and everything! He goes to the hospital and hallucinates some more and meets a priest. There's some stuff about death and I really just wanna get to the goddamn ghosts already. TIME'S A-TICKIN'.
Later that night, the younger neice is playing with dolls when a carved-up hand appears right by her hand and a shadow runs through the hallway. She calls for the lights to be turned on, and the ghost obliges, which is polite, I guess. The next day, everyone plays hide-and-seek and Matt follows a ghost down into his personal embalming studio, and when he gets there, there are bodies laying on the tables. Predictably, they've been visited by the eyelid snatcher and his scalpel. They surround Matt, who screams and scares his family, so he calls the priest. I'd call a realtor. After seeing the preist, Matt does sit-ups, like anyone else on death's door, and a burned up zombie appears. Then later his family comes home to find him in a fort fashioned out of all their chairs, clawing at the walls, and that's why I never do sit-ups- I don't have enough chairs to make a proper fort. Alkie Dad drinks while mom prays for something new to inject into her face. Matt keeps scaring the hell out of everyone by being creepy. Then everyone plays hide-and-seek again! That worked out well last time. Little brother hides in the dumbwaiter which is stupid, because the only thing those are used for is a hiding place for mummified babies. Except for THIS dumbwaiter, which contains a burned up zombie. The younger neice goes up to the attic and falls through the floor and comes across a box of eyelids. Don't lose those! Someone might be looking for them. Along with the eyelids, there's some old photos and Matt recognizes the subjects as people from his hallucinations, so he heads to the library to research. He learns about a deranged mortician (is there any other kind?) and the priest comes back to talk about necromancy and pray with the kids. Where the hell are mom and Alkie Dad? Mom barges in (presumably from shooting spoiled mayo into herself) just as Matt's having a vision, and throws the priest out.
That night, the hideous wallpaper comes to life and there's a ghost bird and a zombie, then mom finds a zombie in her room. It's like night of a thousand zombies. Alkie Dad comes home and drunkenly shouts about everyone sleeping with the lights on, so he steals the lightbulbs and leaves. The ghosts make the missing lightbulbs flicker on, which is kind of nice of them. They're HELPING. The priest comes back and makes the house angry, but says he fixed it. He leaves and Matt gets all carved up like the eyelid snatcher's cadavers, so he goes to the hospital. All the food is SUDDENLY ROTTEN and older neice gets attacked by a shower curtain while the priest calls saying OOPS THERE'S ALL KINDS OF BODIES HIDDEN IN THE HOUSE AND Y'ALL SHOULD GET OUT.
Matt's parents are informed that he's dying fast, but before they can see him, he runs away and goes back to the house, axe in hand, ready to chop shit up. Bodies come tumbling out of the wall- the preist wasn't kidding. There are DROVES of bodies. No wonder there are so many zombies. Anyway, he sets that mother on fire and finds himself surrounded by bodies before being pulled to safety and making a miraculous recovery. The lesson here is that ghosts are a better cure than experimental treatments.
What's the verdict? I feel teased by the promise of necromancy, but all I got were some fucking eyelids. I don't want eyelids! I want Dark Arts and voodoo curses! Also, there's a saturation point for eyelidless carved-up zombies, and I've reached it. Overall, not bad, but I'd rather hear less about praying and drunkenness and more about that beardy dude and his nefarious purposes.