The Problem With Twilight

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The Problem With Twilight

It's more than just bad moviemaking.

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You've summed up very well what's so, so wrong with these books and films. Thank you.

It's a shame most young girls interested in Twilight won't read this or, worse, will claim that you "don't get it" as they defend their beloved fandom.

MovieBob:
The Problem With Twilight

It's more than just bad moviemaking.

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Silly Bob! The Middle ages didn't have wars fought over a single woman. That is the stone age we are talking about! Hit girl with club and she is yours to drag to your cave! Get your history right.

What's with the link to Dead Rising?

OT: Pretty much on point.

Great read. Now I have something to link people to when they ask me why I think Twilight is bad.

... I'm too lazy to type it again and again myself >.>

MovieBob:
The Problem With Twilight

It's more than just bad moviemaking.

Read Full Article

I'm so glad someone else sees the problems with this series that I do.

Although I worry much more about teaching girls that their lives should revolve around a guy (or two), then brainwashing them into thinking they have to stay virgins. An entire generation of girls who can't think for themselves just scares me, thats all there is to say.

There are SOOO many better books for teenage girls with MUCH better messages . . . not to mention better writing. Although I'm pretty sure I've read elementary school book reports with better writing than this series :)

Just want to add my +1 to this being a great article.

And so continues the series of softcore porn for teenage girls..

Well said, Bob. I've drawn much the same conclusions in my interpretations of the films, and the underlying metaphor of these books and movies troubles me quite deeply. I'm not sure whether it's better or worse that this franchise is aimed at young girls. On the plus side, I'd say overwhelmingly the (pre) teens watching and reading probably aren't picking up on the underlying message (at least not in any explicit way), but at the same time, how can anyone make that claim that the characters interactions aren't still informing their world-view?

-m

Actually watched the films and got just extremely bored. Its like endless soap opera with fancy pants effects. Nothing more. Nobody takes real action to move things foreward.

Two best videos of twilight:
Why its popular:

How it should have ended:

For those that don't know. Stephanie Meyer is a Mormon. She went to BYU and grew up in a conservative culture where abstinence until marriage is the norm. These books were never supposed to go with the norm and I as much as anybody else is surprised that anybody outside of Utah even read these books. Don't get me wrong, I hate Twilight (I'm a fan of "Nymphos of Rocky Flats" and the other vampire books that follow Felix Gomez...if you want vampire fiction about sex...there you go!).

So within the conservative culture that is was written in the books make sense and follow values that quite honestly many people find quite fulfilling (no matter how unfathomable it is to normal people). However, MovieBob is right, these books really don't make sense in the mainstream world and smacks a lot of long accepted beliefs in vampires and modern life in general in the face. But I fault movie makers and publishers for trying to sell this story to those outside of the intended market.

So yeah in my opinion MovieBob is right as far as "mainstream" goes. For the audience the author had in mind when writing these books, I don't think they are so bad.

I'm glad you mention what's always been my opinion; it's the bad writing and not the bad morals that make Twilight bad. But unfortunately, that kind of "morals" is very easy to make some people buy; remember the old adage: If it's fun, it's sinful.

Ridergurl10:

MovieBob:
The Problem With Twilight

It's more than just bad moviemaking.

Read Full Article

I'm so glad someone else sees the problems with this series that I do.

Although I worry much more about teaching girls that their lives should revolve around a guy (or two), then brainwashing them into thinking they have to stay virgins. An entire generation of girls who can't think for themselves just scares me, thats all there is to say.

There are SOOO many better books for teenage girls with MUCH better messages . . . not to mention better writing. Although I'm pretty sure I've read elementary school book reports with better writing than this series :)

For perspective's sake, though, is the "your life revolves around your life interest" any different from any romantic comedy? I mean, a review of even some of Gaiman's work would have some very similar undertones of female vulnerability, male heroism, ect.

Every form of media focused on romance is based in large part on the premise that "my life revolves around my love". I mean, come on, from D.N Angel and Full Metal Panic to Stardust, to John Cusack's extended resume, it's all about obsession (perhaps love) being the driving force in someone's life.

True, the male-centric stories tend more toward the deed of daring do, but even that's tinged by the "manipulative bitch" aspect; and if we assume that young men are just as empty-headed as young women, then the entire catalog of tropes in that genre are doing just as much harm.

How about we count it all as escapist fantasy, and assume that the readers (male and female) can distinguish between fiction and reality.

On the issue of Bella's self, sacrifice, though, it does raise an interesting question. If the roles were significantly reversed, and a guy had to harm himself/endanger his life in order to protect or aid his love interest, would we bat an eye? When Richard in the Sword of Truth series does stupid shit in order to protect Kahlan, do we consider it wrong? When Harry Dresden becomes self-destructive and retarded after the loss of his girlfriend (and, arguably, the love of his life), do we view it as self-indulgent crap, or as legitimate character development?

Maybe I'm spending too much time defending a series I don't have any actual affection for (and I have defended the mythological "everyone makes shit up" aspect of vampire stories), but it seems like the same behavior we deride in Bella (and consider antediluvian) we would praise in a male character.

I can talk about the "virginity/honor killing" thing another time, it just feels like we're not being entirely fair.

I had absolutely no idea that this series embodied that much evil.

In all seriousness, there is no way that Meyer thought of all that when she wrote it. I mean, I can't imagine why she would. If Bobs analysis is on the ball(And it usually is, he's pretty damn good), then it's taking a step back to when women wouldn't have been able to write a book in the first place. I think it's all pretty well coincidental, though that doesn't make the impact any less real. However, I think the saving grace to this are the fangirls. The utterly moronic fangirls that are just showing up for fan service and NOT reading into this at all. They're just there to see pretty boys and that's it.

Where have I heard that before? Oh, right - the Middle Ages.

Wow, I never thought you're that old!

Great article, by the way. There does seem to be a lot wrong with the underlying morals of this series.

I wonder what would be the vampire equivalent of FGM.

MovieBob:

Patriarchal-omnipotence. The surrendered wife. Virginity as commodity. Female sexuality as something deadly to be controlled. Women being defined entirely by what sort of men lay claim to them. This isn't just anti-feminist, it's anti-female, period - and anti-modern and anti-individual to boot. This is bad stuff, and it's bad stuff that most modern cultures have spent a long, arduous time digging themselves out of. But like some kind of stubborn recurring cancer, here it is again, tossed back to the surface.

The scariest part of this to me is that no one, or very few, see the underlying scariness. The media touts Twilight as a good role-model book for girls, but really? I don't want my hypothetical daughter to think she has to be a satellite to a man and that her soul worth is derived and defined by who she's with.

I understand the draw of the teen fantasy, but sometimes at that age it's also hard to objectively step back and say this is a fun man to fantasize about, but in real life he would be on Cops.

The movie is good because every girl has a crush for every guy in the cast and the other audiencies think that is just another story about a good-looking guy who loves a good-looking girl the only difference that this movie has,is that the guy is a vampire.

SpecklePattern:
Actually watched the films and got just extremely bored. Its like endless soap opera with fancy pants effects. Nothing more. Nobody takes real action to move things foreward.

Two best videos of twilight:
Why its popular:

How it should have ended:

Sums it up pretty nicely, no disagreement there at all!

OT : It really is a francise that needs to die its death...its creating such narrow minded view for the people who watch it...

I don't think you should blame the moralizing itself. The way its presented is the worst part. There is nothing technically wrong with a conservative approach to sexual relations. It isn't really about submitting to males (as I understand it), but more about being self-denying. Technically it also applies to males, but patriarchal societies have seen to that side of the story.

Queen Michael:
remember the old adage: If it's fun, it's sinful.

As far as I know, laughing was and is not sinful (it was almost though, read The Name of the Rose) And sexual activity during marriage is encouraged, and that's technically fun.

But yes, otherwise I agree with everything MovieBob says.

Interesting points but I cannot say they were prevalent in my critical thoughts of the series. I was more concerned about the complete lack of character development and the fact that the 4 books all have more or less the same plot:

- Bad guys wants Bella dead, Good guys will protect her.
- They think bad guys attack, but it's a false alarm x 5.
- Bad guys finally attack, good guys win.

Throw in some insults between vampires and shape-shifters for good measure, as well as a sprinkling of poor decisions and love triangles and there we go.

Man! The amount of fangirl rage moviebob would get if they read this. High pitched voices squeaking "you don't get it, its about love"...just imagine a thousand pre-teens saying that at the same time *shudders*

soapyshooter:
Man! The amount of fangirl rage moviebob would get if they read this. High pitched voices squeaking "you don't get it, its about love"...just imagine a thousand pre-teens saying that at the same time *shudders*

Is it wrong if I would find that funny as hell?

its funny, my aunt commented on facebook saying how much she loves the twilight series and praises it for having "good writing" (good writing and twilight do not ever belong in the same sentence unless denouncing it) so i post up the MovieBob review of eclipse. Then she says that the opinion is wrong and that she's happy to take her daughters to see the movie series. I can see why Bob fears the series so much in that perspective.

I can't disagree with you at all, Bob.
I'm not even one of those people who sits around going "Twilight is evil", I just think it's boring.

Though, a bad message certainly helps make it even more boring...

I once wrote a comic book (A very poorly written comic book... I was a kid) about Vampires who where pretty close to those in Twilight as far as powers go. Though the differences where that in Sunlight, they'd be much weaker and wouldn't have access to most of their powers. Also drinking fresh human blood would make them extremely powerful but cause them to go lose their minds overtime, while also being extremely addictive. The constant drinking of fresh human blood would eventually start to change their appearance and give them major weaknesses during the day... Like being burnt into ash :D. I liked those Vampires... Yeah doesn't keep to the myth but they were pretty cool. I had my main character a Gangster/Blood dealer, a bit of a thug with a deep enough personality to be interested in without being a whiny git. Trust me, my main character wasn't whiny or overly emotional... He was just a dick.

What's my point in saying all that do you ask? My point is that you could make an interesting Vampire out of what twilight as. Change a few thing here and there and you've got a new twist on Vampires without having them boring. Twilight however... Doesn't. They waste a lot of potential with their vampires because they are making a love story with as relies on idiocy. As pointed out by Bob... There's no disadvantage to being a vampire... So why wont he turn her?... Because he's a creepy fuck who prefers humans. Not to mention a 100+ creepy fuck who prefers young school girl humans... Yet this is acceptable.

Why hasn't Belle had him put on some sort of register with a restraining order while going into protection?. Because she's an idiot, she's a submissive tool. The type of women who's probably into bondage given that she doesn't seem to have a problem with people arguing about her as if she their property.

See we have a movie saga where the main plot is a love triangle between an submissive idiot, a creepy stalker and the only seemingly sane one out of them Jacob (Yeah, this guy is the sanest and possibly the most believable out of them all... Yet this is the character who claims a child as his).

We could have had so much more out of this. We have social rivalry going on between werewolf (well shapeshifters) and Vampires. They both want to rip each other apart... Why can't we focus on this?. Hand to hand brawling warfare between Werewolf and Vampires, all out war. Like Underworld without all the leather and guns. We have sinister organisations which run the Vampires versus the native American, live of the land, all for honour code that's running the Werewolf's. This would be cool, you have the makings of a deep and interesting book and movie here. Just take away this love triangle between Pilock, Stalker and Wolf.

B'ah, I'm probably talking shit, way too much Coffee today. I'd just like to see a movie like this, even with the sparkle vampires versus the shape-shifters.

Onyx Oblivion:
What's with the link to Dead Rising?

OT: Pretty much on point.

It's a video of The Escapist Show, which included MovieBob's review. The Escapist Show usually has more than one parts involved, the Dead Rising part was just the main thing on that episode.

Bob, I wholly agree with you- and it disturbs me even more that my sister is into Twilight. -.- (Not rabidly, and she's smart, so I don't expect anything negative to happen- but if we saw everything coming, it wouldn't be a problem, would it?)

Movie Bob:
Straight-male geeks, be honest: Invert the genders, and a scene like this in "genre" fiction would've been an important part of your adolescence, too.

Not really, I would notice it is shit and then go watch some porn.

Irridium:

soapyshooter:
Man! The amount of fangirl rage moviebob would get if they read this. High pitched voices squeaking "you don't get it, its about love"...just imagine a thousand pre-teens saying that at the same time *shudders*

Is it wrong if I would find that funny as hell?

No, it just means your ears can endure insane amounts of annoyance and pain. Mine would start bleeding within a few seconds. xD

Twilight's problem is that it is a trash book about trashy vampires.

Onyx Oblivion:
What's with the link to Dead Rising?

OT: Pretty much on point.

Further on in the video there is a review of the first film.

I still say this is a big double standard and overreaction. Women read all kinds of shitty romantic stuff. So what if one of them happens to have vampires and abstinence allegory? Get over it. It wasn't written for you.

This is like a woman complaining that porn is sending the wrong message.

Amen...just amen. I've read all the books and seen all the movies thus far, but because I'm actually an intelligent, literate person I have always been able to take a step back and see them for what they really are.

Very, very poor writing (I mean, have you seen some of the grammar mistakes she's made in these books?) mixed with archaic, detrimental ideals.

I giggled the whole way through this last movie, not because it was actually funny, but because it was just so, so cheesy. I don't regret my $5.50 at all.

I've enjoyed both the video review of the movie and this commentary...I usually avoid the Moviebob column (at least until I've had a chance to see a given film for myself) but this was one case where I knew I wouldn't be seeing the movie and wanted to see what you're take was on it.

The only concern I can see over the views you are presenting, and specifically over the suggestion that this movie might define or influence behavior in young women, is that it seems to be the same error that conventional critics and the media in general makes constantly toward the movies and games so prevalent in our gamer/nerd culture. Suggesting that the women who enjoy Twilight will be inclined to develop anti-feminist, submissive and/or powerless roles against stalker/domineering males sounds very close (in my mind) the popular assertion that if I love to play Modern Warfare 2 then I must either be a gun nut, prone to violence in real life, or otherwise am easily influenced in some way for the worse. We know the people who make such assertions about our gamer culture are full of it, because we know that we, as people, are not so shallow, desperate for guidance and malleable that playing a violent game or watching a violent movie will otherwise change our very nature as people....so why are we assuming that the average Twilight fan is so gullible?

Rather, I would suggest the nore realistic reversal: Twilight is popular because it speaks to an audience that is already gripped with a mixture of interest and feelings regarding the topic it addresses, which may or may not be the same as the allegations in this article, but which are most certainly present. Not having seen the movies, I can't really be certain that the underlying themes are, in fact, quite as the article describes, or perhaps some variant: if a woman feels like she is powerless in our society, or that she is expected to embody a hapless woman trapped between honor (werewolves) and the desire for an unattainable sexual freedom (vanpires) in the real world (which might be expectations of the woman as a home maker in a traditional family vs. a liberated career seeker for an alternate analogy) then this movie takes these concepts and embodies them as something more exciting, with the extra perk of hot men and sexual tension, as well as the manifestation of need interposed. Both men need the protagonist, and will fight over her. She is needed, and therefore made important. I don't think this movie is teaching them how to behave or feel this way; I think a lot of women already do.

Anecdotally, I don't know any teens or tweens so I can only assume that they are the teeming rabble that makes this series popular. However, within the office where I work, all of the women I work work (who range from 27 to 40+ years of age) group up and have hit the premiere showing of this show. In fact, according to my office manager (she's 28) she was surprised to see that almost the entire audience on opening night was of women she characterized as "50+" years of age who tittered and giggled during the emotional "sex" scenes like they were all tweens. She described the entire experience as "creepy" while then going on to assert to me that the newest movie rocked.

I talked to her (my boss) a bit about the content of this article....she thinks we're a bunch of over-analytic nerdragers. Sigh....

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