Salvaging Kulturblog’s Street Cred

In spite of what another KB Blogger has written, Twilight is one of the 5 worst movies I have ever seen among those I actually paid to see. I’m serious. My wife made we watch it Friday night and I still can’t get over it.

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75 thoughts on “Salvaging Kulturblog’s Street Cred

  1. Like don’t you know it’s all serious and stuff! Like totally deep and all spirichul. I, like totally felt the spirit, even after watching it like, oh my gosh, fifteen times.

    The Twimoms even have their own academic journal at A Motley Vision.

  2. OH MY GOSH. I watched it this weekend. It was so bad in so many ways, I don’t even know how to describe it. It was badly acted. The bad dialogue in the book translated to horrific dialogue in the movie. So bad. Easily worse than Jersey Girl, Titanic and Hope Floats, which is saying something…

  3. I tried watching it, but couldn’t quite make it through the first 15 minutes. I don’t get why people like it.

    On the other hand, can’t wait until STAR TREK comes out. W00t!

  4. I will never see this film, but I have in my Netflix queue the film Let the Right One In which is supposed to be amazing.

  5. It’s so bad. I went with my wife to see it in the theater, then fell asleep about twenty minutes into it when she wanted to watch it again on DVD.

    Horrible acting, horrible special effects and horrible writing. And the way they’re rushing the sequel out, I don’t have any hope it will be any better.

  6. Susan,

    The special effects were incredibly bad. It’s inexcusable for a film today to be made with special effects so poorly done. My 7-year old’s 1st grade play had better special effects.

    Also, if I were directing the movie, I would have made it 3rd person. 1st person just doesn’t do well on-screen. And neither the lead actress nor the character is strong enough to be in EVERY scene in the movie.

    You paid to see Twilight last Friday? You mean in a theater?

    OnDemand. It was my wife’s turn to pick and she had just finished reading the books so I relented.

  7. Easily worse than Jersey Girl, Titanic and Hope Floats, which is saying something…

    I agree, though Hope Floats is certainly close. Thankfully I didn’t pay to see that one.

    If only Cinemasochist was still around…

  8. It’s bad, but I kind of enjoyed watching it. The two leads drive me crazy and I hated the special effects, but there was enough story and enough style to entertain a bit.

  9. Sorry to break it to you, Tim J, but if Kulturblog wants to regain its street cred its going to have to do it like all cultural icons: through a carefully staged nipple slip or drunk driving arrest.

  10. BrianJ,

    Solid advice. I’m pretty sure I can get Supergenius to provide the nipple. Not sure what to do about the DUI though.

  11. My wife loves it. I have not seen and have no plans to see it. I can, however, recommend Let the Right One In.

  12. I’ve now seen it three times with my daughter and her friends. Maybe you need to have a thirteen year old daughter to appreciate it, but I like it even more now. You’re obviously just jealous of the fact that your wife was drooling over Edward.

  13. MCQ,

    I don’t see how anyone can argue that this isn’t one of the worst sequences in the history of cinema. I love the “showdown” at the end of the clip. Hilarious.

    It’s soooo bad.

  14. I should probably add, one thing that made the movie fun for me is that it’s set in an area of WA state I used to live in. Although it was all filmed in OR. It’s still odd to see a movie that’s supposed to be set in Forks.

  15. Rusty, I saw Let the Right One In a couple of weeks ago. Definitely overrated. Very slow although there’s some great composition in it.

    Twighlight definitely had some bad spots. (The whole “twinkly” bit and then tree climbing were unmitigated disasters) However I was surprised that it was no where near as bad as I expected. (I only mad it about 1/3 through the book before I gave up) I also have to disagree about acting. I think the two main leads nailed it and were what salvaged the movie. The director was horrible at composition and did some bad Direction 101 mistakes. But she really brought out some good acting I thought. Remember they are playing teen angst. And they seemed like teenagers rather than the tendency since Dawson’s Creek of making teenagers speak and act as if they were sophisticated 40 year olds.

  16. Oh I think there were parts filmed in BC. At least the baseball scene and the tree-climbing seen looked like Vancouver Island to me.

    They were originally looking at filming in Forks, my brother-in-law was going to play an extra on a beach scene (he surfs there) but they ended up filming the beach scenes at Indian Beach in OR. More accessible—Forks is way out of the way of everything and pretty isolated.

  17. Tim, you chose to mock my favorite scene in the whole movie. The baseball scene is fun, because, you know, they’re vampires playing baseball, and because I love “Supermassive Black Hole” the song in that sequence. As for the confrontation at the end of that scene, yes, it’s cartoonish, but you have to make some allowances for the genre. BTW, I also agree with those who say the sparkly skin thing is ridiculous.

  18. I absolutely still agree with Clark that the leads are good in this movie. These are pretty well-proven actors, btw, not some amateurs. They have been good in other roles, as have many of the supporting caharacters, so it’s not credible to say the acting is terrible.

  19. Remember they are playing teen angst.

    But that’s the only thing they play. The characters, by way of the acting, are completely one-note. Bella had the same miserable look on her face the entire film, and considering she was in all but two scenes, that’s the ENTIRE film. The movie was completely devoid of any humor and was for the most part an emotionless piece of crud.

    If you want to see teen angst + depth, watch Friday Night Lights.

    These are pretty well-proven actors, btw, not some amateurs.

    Just because they’re proven, doesn’t make them good. Julia Stiles is still given the occasional movie role.

  20. They have been good in other roles, as have many of the supporting caharacters, so it’s not credible to say the acting is terrible.

    Good actors can act poorly in other roles. Just because Ed Norton was nominated for an Oscar, doesn’t mean he was good in Death to Smoochy.

  21. The genre is about angst and teenage longing. I also don’t think she had the same look on her face the whole time. While you might not like the humor I thought it was there in many places. I thought it was stupid but the baseball bit was supposed to be funny. (It’s problem was more that it wasn’t directed well)

    Certainly good actors can bomb in other roles. I just don’t think they did in this one. The movie overall isn’t a good movie. As I said most of that was due to the director. But I thought her one redeeming quality was bringing out good performances of almost everyone.

  22. BTW – it’s weird I’m defending a movie I didn’t like and ultimately have zero desire to see again. (Although my wife has now seen it several times – I got the HD version for my AppleTV for her)

    The only thing I liked was the acting and cinematography. I thought that the director in terms of composing scenes was horrible (and apparently the producers agreed). The story itself is silly but clearly resonates profoundly with many. So who am I to criticize it? Buckaroo Banzai resonates with me better.

  23. I feel the same way Clark, there’s no reason for me to defend it other than to bring some sane context to the debate.

    #30, Tim, because if not then you give no context from which to judge the movie and the performances. That should be overwhelmingly obvious to a sixth grader.

    What I mean by that is that it’s a vampire movie which was written, directed, designed and marketed with 13 yr old girls in mind. Did it hit its target? You better believe it.

    With that in mind, is it the slightest bit surprising that you don’t like it? Not at all. Are there some parents of the target audience who (thank God) found some redeeming qualities to appreciate in the movie? Yes, count me among them. No one was more surprised than me that they were there, but it is uncontrovertible (despite your brilliantly argued denial above) that they were.

    BTW, if you think you can restore your street cred with a one sentence trashing of a teen chick flick then you imagine street cred to be much more cheaply purchased than is traditionally considered reasonable. But by all means, continue.

  24. I think the tax breaks were the main draw that brought the film to Oregon. There was coverage of the filming in the local papers. A few of the scenes were filmed not too far from me in Silver Falls State Park (including the tree-climbing scene and the opening scene with the deer). Susan’s right about the beach. Most of the rest of the scenes were filmed in the Portland Metro Area.

  25. What I mean by that is that it’s a vampire movie which was written, directed, designed and marketed with 13 yr old girls in mind. Did it hit its target? You better believe it.

    You’re making excuses. The reading level for Harry Potter is approx ages 9-12, and yet those movies were vastly superior to this one in direction, writing, and acting. Pixar chiefly markets to to my 5 and 7 year old. And once again they are masterfully done. Just because this movie targets 13-year old girls (which is a lie, most who saw it were middle-aged women) doesn’t mean the movie has to suck. Not even for me.

    BTW, if you think you can restore your street cred with a one sentence trashing of a teen chick flick then you imagine street cred to be much more cheaply purchased than is traditionally considered reasonable. But by all means, continue.

    Uh, ya think? I thought my use of the phrase “street cred” was obviously tongue-in-cheek. BrianJ caught the joke. None of us middle-aged, middle-class white folk have much street cred.

  26. Tim: Bella had the same miserable look on her face the entire film

    I’m told that is exactly how the character is in the book. If she plays the character as written that is good acting right?

  27. Not a fan of the movie or the books. Listen teen angst can be done right. Love or hate Gossip Girl it’s a good example of the teen genre done right. The acting has depth and the writing is witty. I really get bothered when the books are compared to the Harry Potter books. The quality is not even close. The Harry Potter books will be classics but the Twilight books are more on the level with the Gossip Girl books or any other popular tween series.

    Oh for the record I liked Jersey Girl but I’m a Kevin Smith fan no matter what.

  28. I’m told that is exactly how the character is in the book. If she plays the character as written that is good acting right?

    I didn’t think Kristen Stewart did that poor a job. Now the guy who played Edward on the other hand, ugh. But, as I stated above, you can do angst with layers, with depth. She had none. And she’s not strong enough an actress to be involved in all but two scenes in a movie.

    This is more the director’s fault though. She either should have altered Stewart’s character to give it a little bit more likability (I didn’t care about her character at all), or change the POV to 3rd person so we can get to know some of the other characters, some of whom were far more interesting like the head Cullen. If I were Meyer, I’d do some sort of prequel involving that guy.

  29. which is a lie, most who saw it were middle-aged women

    The movie unquestionably is targeted to teens. I don’t know the demographic breakdown of the majority of the viewers nor, I suspect, do you. Are you just making stuff up now?

  30. I liked it okay, but then I’m not very particular (I’m a recovering movie snob). Why do those who dislike it think it got serviceable reviews in the New York Times and the New Yorker?

  31. Man. I keep coming back to pipe in again, but I’m afraid I can’t gather up enough to even care. They were badly written books (good story, badly written). The movie was badly acted; esp. Edward. There was not nearly enough explanation in the movie for what was going on for someone who hadn’t read the books.

    I’m assuming the favorable reviews came in from someone who was either misguidedly in love with Edward, 13, on drugs or giving into the hype when they shouldn’t have…

  32. Yeah, the New Yorker employs lovesick 13 yr olds as movie reviewers now.

    The Boston Globe and Rolling Stone also gave it good reviews. Most of the good reviews focused on the good performances of the leads. All agreed the acting was top notch.

  33. “Yeah, the New Yorker employs lovesick 13 yr olds as movie reviewers now.”

    Yup. That was the only choice I listed. And I was TOTALLY being literal. (and…since you can’t tell? THAT was sarcasm.)

    Sorry we’re all trampling on your Edward lust (or are you a Jacob lover?), but I still think it was easily top 5 worst movies ever. Still a valid opinion, no matter what reviewers (big or small) say.

  34. The ABSOLUTE worst movie ever is There Goes My Baby. I saw it only because I had a goal to see every movie Mark Ruffalo was ever in (he has a tiny one-or-two line role).

  35. RE: Let the Right One In.

    Just be aware that it is a quasi-sexual romance between 12 year olds that is disturbing. Also be aware that it is amazingly slow paced. It’s kind of a Columbine (or the myth of Columbine rather than the reality) meets Twighlight as done by prepubescents.

    RE: Harry Potter.

    Come on. Good acting and movie? Did you see the initial movies? And after the first two it was extremely difficult to follow what was going on if you hadn’t read the books. (Much worse than Twilight) I think a lot of people liked Cuaron’s direction in Prisoner of Azkaban although I still thought it a problematic movie. But the rest of the films were unmitigated messes.

    That’s just not a good example to use to counterpoint Twilight since Twilight is arguably quite similar in flaws to Potter except that at least some characterization came through in Twilight that never graced the screen in any of the Potter films.

  36. I still think it was easily top 5 worst movies ever

    You definitely don’t see many bad movies. I could lay a slew of far worse films without even trying. Heck I could probably list more bad movies just in this year thus far. I think I should lock you in a room and be forced to watch the Cranked and then Fast and Furious movies back to back. And then be forced to watch Paris Hilton’s corpus.

  37. Top 5 Worst Movies that I had paid to see. And again, I was serious.

    Twilight got a whopping 49% on RT while the worst any Harry Potter movie got was 78%. I have never read any of the HP books and I had no trouble following along.

    Twilight had elements thrown in from the book (according to my wife) that just didn’t work at all.

  38. LOL. Memory lane of MST3K back in the 90′s. Bad movies never looked so good.

    I didn’t watch the deleted scenes on Twilight but my wife said she wished they were in and that other things had been taken out. She indicated some things would have made more sense.

    I can but say that I found Twilight much easier to follow than the recent HP movies. (The first two were simple enough that there weren’t much problems – not so much after that with the latest movie being amazingly weird with how much was cut)

  39. MCQ’s praise of Twilight is indefensible.

    But Susan’s love of Tokyo Drift is self-evident.

  40. I thought my use of the phrase “street cred” was obviously tongue-in-cheek. BrianJ caught the joke. None of us middle-aged, middle-class white folk have much street cred.

    My comment was not meant to be serious either, Tim, but there’s no use comparing anyone else to Brian J. He’s much quicker on the uptake.

    Gabby, (#46) I was agreeing with you!

    I like the Harry Potter movies (for the most part) a lot better than Twilight, but it’s not fair to compare all of them to this one movie.

    If you just look at the first HP movie vs Twilight, they’re very similar in quality. The difference is that the source material in HP is far better. I read the HP books and, though the writing was not stellar, I enjoyed them. I have not been able to get through the first chapter of Twilight, partly because I’m just not that interested and parltly because the writing quality is so frustratingly poor.

    With that source material, it’s much more difficult to get a good product with the movie.

  41. Five movies that are worse than Twilight that I paid to see:

    Moulin Rouge
    Sliding Doors
    Chicago
    The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover
    Battlefield Earth

    Worse as in I either didn’t make it all the way through them, or I *wish* that I hadn’t.

  42. Clark, I’m less confident of that. My wife loved Moulin Rouge and hated Twilight. I thought Moulin Rouge was torture and thought Twilight was surpisingly good. I think people that liked Moulin Rouge are fans of offbeat musicals. Twilight doesn’t fit that description.

  43. We rented Moulin Rouge and subsequently turned it off about 20 minutes in. Now every time my wife brings up wanting to watch Australia I remind her, “You sure? It was directed by the Moulin Rouge guy.” That usually takes care of it.

    Susan M. apparently accounted for half of Battlefield Earth’s box-office take.

    I’m not really comparing HP to Twilight directly per se. I’m only pointing out that just because a movie is intended to appeal to a narrow (and young) demographic doesn’t mean it has to suck. And Twilight definitely sucked.

  44. Tim: She either should have altered Stewart’s character to give it a little bit more likability (I didn’t care about her character at all)

    According to my wife the Bella character is completely insufferable and unlikable in the books too. Maybe they were just staying true to the text with the film verion and your scorn is misdirected(?)

  45. Geoff J.

    I don’t find that argument persuasive, but like I said, Stewart’s performance would not have bothered me as much had she not been in almost every scene.

    I don’t fault Dan Brown nor Ron Howard for Tom Hanks’ sucky performance in Da Vinci, even though from what I hear it was pretty faithful. Though lines like “I have to get to a library…fast!” should probably have stayed in the book and not made it onscreen.

    There were similar lines in Twilight:

    About three things I was absolutely positive. First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was a part of him, and I didn’t know how dominant that part might be, that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

    Someone take a stake and stab me in the heart already. Those lines are fine in print I suppose, but to actually have Bella say it? Not a good idea.

  46. You’re right. I DON’T see many bad movies. My time is to be enjoyed, not suffered through. Twilight went against my very nature that way!

  47. Tim,
    Frankly, pretty much everything Dan Brown wrote in Da Vinci should probably have stayed in his head or been fixed by an editor. I didn’t care one way or the other about the plot, but the writing was abysmal.

    And I’m roughly with MCQ on this–Twilight (or at least the first half that I’ve seen) is not good. (I wish everybody would quit with the Jerry Bruckheimer everything’s-blue-but-the-red-pops-out.) But it’s not bad, and certainly not near the worst movies. It doesn’t seem to aspire to greatness–it seems, instead, to be content to be an overheated and mediocre teenage girl movie.

    I’ll probably never finish it, I’ll certainly never see it a second time, and I wouldn’t have seen it a first time except that my wife wanted to and I couldn’t find the DVD I wanted to counter with, but I don’t feel like I’m a worse person for having seen it. (Spiderman 3, I’m looking at you.)

  48. I liked Moulin Rouge. I think the worst movie I saw in the theatre was Gladiator. I’m still waiting to get those 2 1/2 hours of my life back. The first two Harry Potter movies were fun to watch but not great however every thing since the third one have been really good. Maybe the actors in Twilight will grow into their characters in the next few movies. They have done some pretty good casting for the next one so there is hope.

  49. So you’d rank it up there with Jack Weyland’s Charly? (That particular movie made me want to vomit.)

    For the record, I thought Twilight was going to be terrible, but I actually enjoyed it quite a bit.

  50. Pingback: Kulturblog » So, You’re Thinking of Seeing “Adventureland”?

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