Humor, Movies

So Now the Death Stare is Romantic?

Movie Analysis (with spoilers!!):

Twilight (2008)

Rating: 4 out of 10 stars

Intro

This analysis is a spoiler-filled review. If you don’t already know, my reviews that include spoilers are either for phenomenal movies that deserve analysis or movies that invite ridicule. I know many people enjoy the Twilight movies, but they are honestly poorly done and certainly not my style.

My siblings convinced me to watch it. I admit, romance is not my favorite genre, but this movie was particularly bad.

Background

Twilight was produced by Summit Entertainment and released in 2008.

The movie stars Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Billy Burke, and Peter Facinelli.

It can currently be watched on Netflix.

Analysis

The movie starts with 17-year-old Bella Swan leaving home to go live with her dad in Forks, Washington. This is followed by a scene in which Edward Cullen hunts and kills a deer. I think this is supposed to be serious, but seeing a guy come out of nowhere and grab a jumping deer was kind of hilarious. Watch the clip here.

There is something pretty respectable about deer hunting with a gun, but there is nothing remotely respectable about a pale teenager tackling a deer.

Soon afterwards we get to meet Jacob, one of Bella’s closest friends. His father Billy Black chats with them for awhile before trying to run someone over with his wheelchair. Bella hits Jacob with the door of the truck when she opens it, which reminds me of the movie Starstruck in which the heroine is hit by a car door. Both scenes are equally awkward, but the action seemed a little less pointless in Starstruck.

Bella joins in the middle of the semester, in March, and yet almost everyone with a speaking role either knows of her already or instantly is attracted to her. Mike introduces himself after she hits him in the back of the head with a volleyball, and he falls for her quickly. I guess it’s because she hit on him. Get it? With a volleyball?

(That was bad, I know.)

We meet the Cullen kids, who oddly enough are dating each other. I mean, I know that they are not technically biologically siblings, but it is still kind of strange to see the children of one family all around the exact same age and in love with each other.

The Cullen Teens

Immediately we get the first dramatic stare between Bella Swan and Edward Cullen. Now, if Edward’s stares were comparable to anything, it would be the infamous Luigi Death Stare from the Mariokart games.

When Bella walks in to the Biology classroom, there is a fan behind her that blows her hair around. I guess that’s supposed to be attractive, but really, it’s just awkward and contrived. And why is that giant fan even necessary? It’s March in a setting that is almost always rainy or overcast.

Bella ends up sitting beside Edward, who is obviously extremely uncomfortable. Something about Bella really rubs him the wrong way.

Notice the wings of the owl right behind Edward, making him look like some pasty-looking angel.

Anyway, Bella finds out Edward tried to quit Biology because he had to sit next to her and is understandably confused and annoyed.

Meanwhile, random people are being hunted and killed by vampires. My instinct was to blame the pale Cullen family, but apparently they are goodie-goodie vampires. Or what was it Edward said? That they were basically vegetarians. Who drink the blood of animals. So basically the opposite of a vegetarian…Yeah, he’s pretty bad at metaphors.

Despite the fact the relationship between Bella and Edward is supposed to be all romantic and cute, they have zero chemistry. They discuss the weather. They have apparently nothing in common. Edward apologizes, saying he is just trying to figure her out, as if she is a complex math problem instead of a one-note protagonist.

Then more staring until finally, the action starts! Bella almost is hit by a vehicle, which Edward stops easily with a hand. Before sneaking away, he stares deep into Bella’s eyes.

Then Bella dreams of Edward in her room. Or that is what she says happened. But I’m pretty sure if you’re awake when it happens, it’s either a hallucination or reality–not a dream. Later we will find out it’s the latter, which is so freakin’ creepy. Edward would literally be the perfect murderer if he was not a lovesick vampire.

“Bella, we shouldn’t be friends,” Edward says randomly a few days after their awkward interaction about the weather and Bella’s rescue from certain death. Bella really wants to be besties, however, because she won’t let him off the hook. He makes some stupid excuses suggesting he didn’t actually stop a car with his bare hands. Honestly, you would think someone who hid over a hundred years in plain sight would get used to lying about supernatural powers.

There’s a subsequent scene where an apple is dropped and it looks super unlikely and seems to serve no purpose. You can watch it here in the first few seconds of the video. The only reason I can think of for it being in the movie at all is that it could be a subtle reference to the cover art of Twilight.

Edward suggests that he is the bad guy in the story, which is not necessarily true. He’s just a 108-year-old man child who watches a girl minor sleep without her permission or knowledge long before they started dating.

You know what? Maybe he is a bad guy.

Another human bites the dust when the nomadic vampires come to feast again. Their fast movements look basically like the film was fast forwarded, not realistic at all.

Bella and her friends go dress shopping, but Bella is not into it. Clearly it’s another one of those “not like the other girls” tropes.

After dress shopping, poor helpless Bella is rescued from a bunch of potential rapists by Edward, who has been stalking her. He stares them down until they leave.

You heard me. He stares at them. I mean look at this. Wouldn’t it scare you away?

The Stare

I mean, it does make me uncomfortable. But I don’t see how it would be sufficient deterrent for a rowdy bunch of drunk rapists.

Edward tells Bella to distract him so he doesn’t go back and kill the men who were threatening Bella. Apparently that doesn’t clue her off to the fact that maybe, just maybe, he isn’t just a hot guy. On that note–he really isn’t, according to both of my siblings. I never think of people as hot, nor do I really understand what makes someone hot, so I can’t speak my mind on the subject, but I trust my siblings. This dude is not hot.

Then they bond over the fact that they both know the square root of pi. Now being a nerd is cool, in my opinion, but I still don’t like Bella or Edward, and especially not Bella and Edward.

He cannot read her mind, which is definitely not explained, at least in this movie. He can read everyone else’s mind, except hers. Now that makes me think of Nendo. In The Disastrous Life of Saiki K, Saiki K can read everyone’s mind, including animals, but he can’t read Nendo’s mind. Why? Because Nendo is so abysmally stupid. Maybe he can’t read her mind because she doesn’t think?

Edward has all these lackluster pick up lines that are creepy for any guy to use who doesn’t know her well. “I feel very protective of you” and “I don’t have the strength to stay away from you anymore.”

His hands are always cold, which I don’t know why she is cool with, because she literally says earlier how she dislikes cold things like rain.

Bella studies vampires when she gets the chance, reading articles in particular about Egyptian vampires. Because obviously if you are looking for info about vampires in the U.S., Egypt is the place to study.

Bella says the Edward is a vampire and he admits to it.

He also says he is 17 years old and has been for a long time. Now that’s simply inaccurate. If people were assigned ages based on appearance, I would have been marked down as a 12-year-old even when I was 17. No, age is based on how many years have elapsed since one’s birth. So yeah, he’s 108 years old.

Edward gives Bella an awkward superspeed piggy back ride to the top of the mountain to show off his sparkly skin. What’s better than a pasty vampire, you wonder? A bedazzled one, clearly. He seems to think he is hideous, but Bella apparently is attracted to people who could be used as disco balls.

And people who have killed. And people who subsist on blood. And people who literally have to resist the urge to eat her.

Edward compares their budding relationship to a lion falling in love with a lamb. This guy sucks at pickup lines. I mean, comparing yourself to a predator and your crush to prey is not the best way to get a date. But man, Bella is digging it.

Edward takes Bella to his house, where everyone is awkwardly nice to her except Rosalie, who without provocation destroys a poor salad bowl. The others do their best to whip up some dinner for her, but obviously are as clueless as me when it comes to cooking.

As they walk to Edward’s bedroom, they pass a wall of graduation caps. The five Cullen kids have graduated countless times, and all I can think is why? Why don’t they get jobs? Or move on? Why do they think they need to repeat high school in a new place over and over again.

There we learn that Edward doesn’t sleep, but we knew that. He wouldn’t have time anyway, what with watching Bella sleep.

They attempt dancing in the room, but Bella is reluctant and doesn’t really feel like it. He says, “Well, I could always make you.”

Um, what?

Then he calls her his spider monkey and carries her into the trees on his back. Spider monkey. That’s so cringey.

After more awkwardness, this interaction is finally over.

She has some father-daughter time. Her dad orders for them at the restaurant, picking a steak for himself and a salad for her. If my dad did that, I would be less than thrilled.

Next, a kissing scene that looks like…just not right. I’ve seen a lot of people kiss on TV, and their kissing looks more like the kissing from Jumanji than anything actually romantic.

The only other interesting things that happen in this movie is vampire baseball and the actual villain hunting Bella. And the baseball is just a bunch of superpowered people playing so loudly the thunder has to mask it. Then a rival team shows up, a bunch of vampires that want to play until they smell Bella. Then they just want a snack. (They have really short attention spans.)

One of them, James, hunts Bella until the end of the movie where he is burnt alive, but not before biting Bella. Yep, that got dark real quick.

Bella has vampire venom in her, which Edward sucks out of her. He is almost unable to stop himself from sucking out all her blood, but hey, no harm done.

She wakes up in a hospital bed with a broken leg.

The movie ends with a prom. I guess he did make her dance after all.

Conclusion

Overall, Twilight is a bizarre and unconvincing romance. If this is what romance is supposed to look like, I want nothing to do with it. I would not recommend it for any audience, unless you just want a few laughs.

Rating System

If you are interested in how I rate movies, check out my rating system.

Links

Acknowledgements

Thank you to Finch for their feedback on this article.

Humor, Life

The Art of Bluffing (for Essay Questions)

person catching light bulb

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to be serious. Bluffing is a strategy that should only be used as a last resort, if you have no idea how to answer an essay question. Be sure to study hard for your exams and not wait until the last minute.

What is bluffing?

In this article, bluffing means writing an answer to an essay question as if you know what you are doing even when you have no idea what you are doing. This article will outline my top 5 tips for how to bluff an essay question effectively.

Tip #1: Show What You Know – “The Knowledge Dump”

File:The Battle of Gettysburg, Pa., July 3rd, 1863 MET DP831356.jpg -  Wikimedia Commons

With the blank page looming in front of you, it’s easy to focus on what you don’t know. Instead, take what little details you do know and emphasize those.

Maybe you don’t remember what happened in the Battle of Gettysburg. But you know what generally happens at battles–lots of casualties, bloodshed. And you know where it took place–Gettysburg, duh. Hopefully you remember it was a battle in the American Civil War, but even if you don’t, you could probably spin an answer worth a point or two.

If you do remember that it happened during the American Civil War, you could hazard a guess at which side won and what date. Give a date range when it may have happened if you’re not willing to take a chance.

For example:

The Battle of Gettysburg occurred in Gettysburg, PA around the 1860s (during the American Civil War). It was an occasion of great bloodshed and high numbers of casualties. It was a pivotal battle in the war, pitting the Union and Confederate soldiers against each other in what became a bloodbath.

Sure, it’s not long, but with bluffing you have to be satisfied with whatever you come up with.

Tip #2: Use Key Words – “Parrot the Teacher

close up of a yellow and blue macaw

Does your teacher have favorite words? Does the particular field you are studying have technical words or jargon you can fall back on? Maybe it’s an English class and you are given a vague prompt like “Compare and contrast Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer.”

And oops, you happened to have only read the CliffsNotes. (Not that I advocate that in any way. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a masterpiece, and frankly, you are missing out if you haven’t read it.)

Instead of: Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn are different in many ways.

Try: Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn are foils, polar opposites who are nonetheless are attracted to each other. Their personalities are complementary yet differ greatly.

Tip #3: Feign Confidence – “Show No Fear”

text

Teachers can smell fear.

Nah, not really. But if you seem uncertain about your answers, they’ll be able to tell. Even if you have no idea what you are talking about, write it clearly and without hesitation.

Avoid saying that you believe or think something – if you write the sentence, it is already obvious that you believe it.

Avoid these words: slightly, maybe, seems, appears to, perhaps, may be, possibly, in my opinion, I think, I believe

Tip #4: Fill the Page – “Quantity, not Quality”

yellow rubber ducks

If you don’t know what to write, just write. Repeat the same idea in as many different ways as possible. Discuss how you feel about the topic, even if that does not seem relevant.

For example:

Evolution is built on the idea that changes in organisms and the development of species occurs through natural selection and chance. This, of course, means that the results could be described as accidental. If the results are accidental, this implies that there is no purpose behind design….

This example repeats itself multiple times with slight differences, filling as much space as possible with a single idea. It is not, however, completely obvious that this is what is happening.

Tip #5: Answer a Different Question – “Be Evasive!”

If you can’t answer the question given, answer a slightly different question you do think you could answer. This is not the easiest one to pull off, which is why it is number five. The reason is, most teachers realize you have neglected to answer the actual question.

Actual Question: Why does the author of the book we have just read make the curtains in the living room red?

Question you answer: What emotions are commonly associated with the color red?

Even though you will have evaded the question, it will sound like a thorough analysis of why the curtains were red.

Conclusion

Once again, this article is not meant to be serious. Bluffing is a strategy that should only be used as a last resort, if you have no idea how to answer an essay question. Be sure to study hard for your exams and not wait until the last minute.

If you’re a college student, good luck with finals!