Monday, May 20, 2019

Manview: Twilight Saga 5 Movie Collection

Today, I have a special Manview by my friend, Arni, and it's been a while since we've had a Manview since Mr Manview himself has been busy on the project that's consumed us both for the last year. My guy BFF, Arni, recently watched the entire Twilight Saga and left a review. I asked if I could pinch it for the bloggity.

Twilight Saga

Twilight Saga 5 Movie Collection
Purchase link: Amazon

Arni's rating: star star star

Twilight Saga blurb

Guest Manview by ArniWhelp, people requested a review, so here goes nothing:

*Many giant spoilers to follow, including the ending*

Twilight (2008) - 6/10
New Moon (2009) - 4/10
Eclipse (2010) - 6/10
Breaking Dawn Part 1 (2011) - 7/10
Breaking Dawn Part 2 (2012) - 8/10

Starting from the beginning, the premise of Twilight, which is a Young Adult book series, is of course a love triangle between a Vampire boy, a Werewolf boy, and a Human girl. That has promise.
The story begins when Human and Werewolf are in their late teens, in high-school, with all the wonderful teenage angst that this entails. Thrown in the mix is the perpetually 17 year old 150 year old vampire, genetically engineered to be so irresistibly beautiful that every woman in a 50 mile radius swoons at his every breath.

Act 1: Moody protagonist human girl falls for beautiful vampire guy. Gets real horny. Beautiful vampire guy falls for moody human girl. Gets real horny. Withdrawn long-haired childhood friend falls for moody human girl but stays firmly in the friend-zone. Moody girl and beautiful vampire look at each other horny for 2 hours.
Act 2: Vampire and girl are still horny. Beautiful vampire accidentally hurts moody girl. Decides to leave her forever to save her from him. Moody girl becomes more moody. Moody girl seeks solace in companionship with long-haired friend. Long-haired friend turns into a werewolf. Cuts hair, becomes insanely hot. Beautiful vampire returns. Moody girl becomes less moody with two men on her tail. Jealousy ensues. Girl decides to become vampire to stay with vampire guy forever. More jealousy.
Act 3: Girl works on becoming a vampire. Lots of vampires try (and succeed) to kill other vampires. Werewolf tries to win girl's heart. Succeeds partially, but her heart still beats for beautiful vampire. Vampire and girl decide to get married before girl becomes a vampire.
Act 4: Vampire and girl get married. Werewolf is still jealous. Newlyweds go to a deserted island for their honeymoon. A wonderful, perfect first night of sex for girl. Vampire bruises girl during sex, feels bad, broods for a month and refuses to sex his bride anymore. Girl gets pregnant from first time. Half-vampire baby girl is a freak, grows insanely fast, eats her mother from the inside, gets born in only a couple of weeks. Girl dies giving birth to half-vampire baby girl. Werewolf falls in love with the future half-vampire girl because werewolf voodoo. Vampire guy injects all of the poison in the world, turns her into vampire.
Act 5: Vampire couple, their half-vampire baby girl and her werewolf protector gather people to fight the vampire overlords coming to kill half-vampire baby girl. A splendid battle ensues. Countless vampires get torn to pieces, a bunch of werewolves die, vampire overlord sees his entire kingdom crumbling. Battle was only a vision of the future. Vampire overlord decides he likes living and calls off the attack.
Everybody lives happily ever after.
Okay, let's get to the good, the bad and the ugly.

These movies total 10 hours 10 minutes, but subtracting the credits they're roughly 9.5 hours long. Being generous, I would say that these could have been made in three movies (6 hours) without ANY loss of information. There are so many pointless, emotional, beautiful, blabla scenes that offer nothing to the story or the movie. So many! And the brooding and the angst. Oh, all that brooding and angst!
Oy, the pitfalls of Young Adult writing.

Discounting the ridiculousness of disco-ball vampires, the CGI in these movies is for the most part pretty well done for their time. The wolves transform nicely, the fight scenes are tolerably animated and they do manage to rend people in twain (or more) quite satisfactorily while still keeping their PG-13 rating. Personally I would have preferred less PG and more R, but.. Young Adults and all that.

Despite being almost 10 hours long, there are some pretty giant gaps in the storyline, and even some that are more glaring than a disco-vampire on a sunny beach. They obviously had the time to actually fill those gaps, so I have no idea why they didn't. Having not read the books I don't know whether this is just a problem with the source material or not. At times it's like the editors simply forgot to put in entire 10-15 minute scenes here and there. Not that I wanted the movies to be even longer, mind, but those extra minutes would still have been worth it to fill the gaps. Generally speaking, a vampire and werewolf series with lots of fighting and romance could be a winning combo, but they managed to just water it down so much that it became at parts quite boring.

The acting cast for this movie is obviously a bunch of young people with various degrees of acting chops.
Of the main cast, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner are quite good in their roles, and do indeed get stronger as the series goes on and they get more comfortable with their profession and their roles. Robert Pattinson, however, is dreadful from the start and never gets better. Seemingly perpetually constipated, mumbling mostly through clenched teeth or closed lips, he completely fails to be interesting while he's all broody and miserable. His only redeeming moments are the few where he's actually smiling and emotionally connected to the scenes.. which unsurprisingly mostly happens after his movie daughter is born and he's coincidentally also started dating his co-star and movie-love-interest.

All this is the long way of saying that the movies could have been better. Had they been shorter, had they bothered to write out the missing scenes, and had Robert Pattinson been actually engaging, I would probably have loved these movies.
Although the last movie delivers and is by far the best, as it is, the series as a whole is hardly more than tolerable.
Had they actually made these movies 6 hours instead of 9.5, they would probably have been infinitely better. Solid 8's and 9's. Alas, it was not so.

6/10 for the series. Would not recommend.

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About the reviewer

Arni Vidar Bjorgvinsson

Arni Vidar: Goodreads

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  1. They're almost flawless adaptations of the books. I was thrilled. And I'm not an imbecile nor an ignoramus.

  2. You must not have read the review, or understood it, because literally nowhere in that review am I calling you (or anyone else) an imbecile or ignoramus. Projecting, much?

    But I'm both sad and glad to hear that the movies are near flawless adaptations of the books. That just means the filmmakers didn't mess up (glad) and that the books themselves were the source of those gaping plot holes (sad).