Twilight and the Era of Filmmakers that Don’t Have to Care

LOOK AT IT

After a ridiculous weekend filled with sparkling and moody stares, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2: Electric Boogaloo hopped its way up to the number one spot and just laughed at everybody else that tried. It made $340 million dollars globally, the first weekend alone (At the time of finishing this article exactly a week later, it’s bumped up to $578 million, respectively).

Far be it from me to judge a person based upon their movie selection, my favorites are certainly open to mockery in one form or another, but dang; they don’t make as much as Breaking Dawn in their existence as a film, much less one weekend. The following is a short examination as to the success of the film series’ success with reasons being a little more than the obvious selling points of that kid taking his clothes off, as well as musings on an age where cast, crew, and fans alike all agree to make something they openly acknowledge sucks.

If you needed any more signs of impending doom the earth is soon to experience, then this should do the trick. God help us all.

After having seen enough pieces of all of the Twilight movies over the past couple years, I can safely say they are horrible. Not in the generally understood way that they’re not movies of high quality. There are plenty of films with low budgets, low production value in any sense and even low acting talent but there’s enough promise that at least carries the tone of the film along with a few scenes that at the very least, show potential; something to make you feel as though the filmmakers had “good intentions” or at least liked what they made even if it’s just awful. Case in point, Troll 2.

This isn’t the case with “The Twilight Saga.”

All five of the Twilight movies seem to have been created with the sole purpose in mind to make money. This statement is stupid by itself, as all films of course, are made with the purpose of getting more money back than they spent on it. But Twilight and its sequels aren’t even trying to make a good film, if you want to put it bluntly. And the crazy part is that they’ve never had to.

That’s also his response to acting classes.

Soundtrack, clothing, merchandise and all that stuff is great because it all sells, sells, sells and that’s how it goes and it’s all fine. Many people seem to think that when a movie sells merchandise, or directs much of its marketing at kids, then the movie must be of little cinematic integrity and not worth their time. And while what’s worth a person’s time is entirely up to the viewer, it’s arguable how marketing directions and how action figures degrade the quality of the actual film. Movies like the Transformers series are always brought up these discussions, often being called two hour commercials.

But while Transformers has the most advanced computer-generated technology available to animators today, along with several actors who actually seem invested in the “run-from-here-to-there, pretend-a-giant-robot-is-shooting-at-you” scenes that the movies employ so often, Twilight seems known for its poor use of even poorer CGI, cardboard-like acting, and bland story complete with dialogue it seems a 7th grader could write.

And is this debated? Nah. People pretty much agree. Look at this string of interviews from lead Twilight-er, Robert Pattinson.

He makes many of the same jokes that anti-fans of Twilight do, mocking the moodiness of a hundred-year old kid, how the author of the books appears crazy and that the book didn’t seem like it should have been published (That was a favorite of mine) and the fact that he’s happy to be done with it.

If you’ve ever been in a screening of Twilight, may or may not have been surprised at the laughter from fans during scenes that aren’t supposed to be funny. Before the supernatural CGI baby is born in Breaking Dawn Part 1, name is revealed- Renesmee (pronounced Reh-nezz-may) and a wave of laughter went through the audience. When talking to some fans, they admit the movies are just all around bad, but they like it anyway and I can definitely respect that. But crap, have you seen this video?

Are there any Evil Dead fans that feel this way about the series? Or X-Men? Or anything else? I don’t know how old she is, although I assume she’s not a teenager or a mother like most fans are pegged. I’m just having a hard time understanding where all this emotion comes from involving a movie that isn’t made out of respect for the fans or even the creator but rather, the sheer devotion to making money. That, and the attitude is clear they take a “Hey, nobody complains” approach to the films. If people had complaints, would they have been heard? Probably not, but couldn’t they at least get the freaking giant wolves to look a little more life-like? I recently read the budgets of the last two films, Breaking Dawn Part 1 and 2 and was genuinely surprised to see that both of them went over the hundred million dollar mark.

How?

Part 1 has made more than it’s money back while Part 2 is breaking record already, but I assumed that all films were done similar to the first one: put a little money in (By Hollywood standards anyway), make a lot back. Evidently, the answer is to throw money at it, until you get all of it and more back, putting it in there with many big-budgeted hollow action films. But once again, the difference between this and something like say, Transformers again, is that Transformers at least have the special effects going for them if nothing else.

Do you know who directed these films? Below is the list of directors, the Twilight film they directed, along with a couple of their other films. See how they add up.

1. Catherine Hardwicke- Twilight (2008)/ Thirteen (2003), Lords of Dogtown (2005)
2. Chris Weitz- New Moon (2009)/ About a Boy (2002), The Golden Compass (2007)

3. David Slade- Eclipse (2010)/ Hard Candy (2005), 30 Days of Night (2007)
4. Bill Condon- Breaking Dawn Part 1 and 2 (2011/2012)/ Kinsey (2004), Dreamgirls (2006)

I’m not saying all of them are amazing films and I just love’em all to death. Some of the above mentioned I actually couldn’t stand. But from an objective viewpoint, they’re not poorly made. If you’d asked me who directed The Twilight films, I would have assumed it was all the same person because each every one of them suffer from the exact same problems, none of them improving based on previously stated problems or director.

This isn’t entirely blaming them, these films were no doubt the pet project of “executive meddling.”

"WHEN I SAY 'SPARKLE,' YOU SAY 'HOW BRIGHT?'"

“WHEN I SAY ‘SPARKLE,’ YOU SAY ‘HOW BRIGHT?'”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa! What are you doing? That looked too believable, do it again, and make it AWFUL this time. We’re making not Twilight part 5, not something GOOD.”

That’s how I imagine shooting going on the set of Twilight.

Now studios are looking for “The next Twilight” and while The Hunger Games has definitely made it’s mark, it cannot be considered the precursor to the sparkling wonders because it wasn’t a bad film. I’ve figured it out already what studios are at least hoping to follow in the Twilight footsteps. Look at this poster for Breaking Dawn Part 2:

While an average fan of the series would be amazed at the pretty colors (not really meant to be a joke), you’ll notice, just like all the other posters for these movies, it really only consists of the characters standing in place, looking generally unhappy because immortality is like, whoa. Now look at this poster for the upcoming adaption of Beautiful Creatures, due out next year.

This also features the cast standing around looking constipated. Why? So you can get a good look at anybody you may find beautiful and become obsessed with them maybe? My bet is on Jeremy Irons. There’s actually another poster I found that even resembles Twilight even better but I just stuck with this one.

So here’s the synopsis for Beautiful Creatures, according to Wikipedia (SO WHAT?):

When newcomer Lena Duchannes arrives in the small town of Gatlin she quickly captures the attention of Ethan Wate, who only wants to escape what he views as a boring and dead end town, he quickly gets more excitement than he bargained for, as Lena possesses strange powers that has long kept her at a distance from others in her life. Lena and Ethan are drawn together, but their budding romance is threatened by the dangers posed by the Lena being a Caster and her family’s Dark heritage, for upon her sixteenth birthday Lena must undergo the Claiming, a process that will decide her fate forever: Light or Dark.

So instead of the guy’s abilities being a threat to the relationship, it’s the girl’s. Whoopee.

What do we take from this? Movies made for the masses have always been made, and will always be made as long as film is around, that’s not my problem; I enjoy a bit of stupidity myself from time to time (actually a pretty good bit of the time).

The issue, if any, is that how soon is it before it’s the norm for movies to not only be bad, but for the lack of even an attempt to be obvious while it just rakes in the cash, smashing all other films underneath it’s gigantic, expensive boot.

ONE MORE TIME.

One Response to “Twilight and the Era of Filmmakers that Don’t Have to Care”

  1. Randy Says:

    When I look at that picture all I hear in my head is Brando in Apocalypse Now. “The horror…”

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