I watched the final Twilight movie this weekend and, while it was certainly not GOOD or anything, I think it was probably the best of the series. Well, I haven’t seen one of them (the third one I think?) but I still feel confident saying this one was better because it was thankfully not as focused on Edward and Bella’s gross relationship. She’s a vampire now, so Edward can be less controlling/emotionally abusive/terrible. But don’t get me wrong, there were still lots of incredibly stupid moments in this film. I’m just going to recap the whole hot mess. If you’d like to catch up on Breaking Dawn: Part 1, you can read my insightful recap here. Obviously there are going to be spoilers, so you know, don’t read on if that’s a thing you care about.
OK, so, Part 2 basically starts where the last movie ended. Bella wakes up from her near-death experience as a vampire. It turns out being a vampire is a lot like being on drugs. Everything is extra bright and clear and you can watch flowers bloom and move super fast and jump super high (with the help of terrible CGI) and basically there are no down sides. Bella almost crushes Edward with her new super strength, and he reminds her that she needs to drink blood now (oh right, that’s kind of a down side) so they run off to the woods. Some dumb mountain climber is mountain climbing by himself near a vampire clan like a dummy, and Bella scales the mountain like some kind of gremlin when she smells his blood, but then she doesn’t eat him because Eating Humans is Wrong so she eats a bobcat thing instead.
Now that she’s full of bobcat blood, Bella remembers she has a child, the horribly named RENESMEE. I still just cannot even with that name, it’s so terrible. Bella goes to say hi, and Jacob is there, being all weird and protective. Bella’s like, “huh?” and he’s all “oh, sorry, I imprinted on your infant daughter, I COULDN’T HELP IT” and Bella is rightfully mad because seriously, ew, and she beats Jacob up a bit with her new super strength. Then she sees the baby, and doesn’t even comment on the baby’s totally creepy CGI face. She really should have mentioned it, because seriously, this is weird:
Anyway, the baby is fine, and she has a super convenient gift where she can show people her first memory (being in Bella’s womb…gross) by touching them. This will be convenient later, you’ll see. Oh yeah, and somehow in the last two days the Cullens have made a house for Edward and Bella. Or maybe it was there all along? Who cares. They go there and have sex, which they can do without Edward freaking out now because Bella can handle it and she won’t even get several bruises on her! They’re like, “we’re gonna have sex forever, why would we ever even stop?” Uh, I don’t know, don’t you have a baby to take care of? Vampire teenagers are SO irresponsible.
They manage to stop having sex so Bella can be informed that her dad, Charlie, is calling all the time. She’s like, “ugh, oh yeah, that guy, I guess we should move far away so I never have to deal with this whole situation, and also he is THE WORST COP EVER so he’ll never remotely figure out anything that happened.” But Jacob doesn’t like that idea because of how HE’S IN LOVE WITH A BABY so he goes to Bella’s dad shows him he’s a wolf, and says Bella is different now, but doesn’t say how, because if Charlie knows about vampires his life will be in danger I guess, even though Bella knew about vampires before she was one and she was OK, sooo….whatever. In any case, he visits Bella, and the Cullens teach her how to pretend to be a human (which she wasn’t great at when she was a human) and remind her not to eat her dad, but it’s fine because Charlie is dumb as shit so he’s like, “well, you seem different somehow, like maybe you’re the living dead? But I’ll just accept it and not question it I guess.” Also they tell him RENESMEE is Edward’s niece who they adopted and he just accepts that, too. Obviously.
Then everyone lives happily ever after, except RENESMEE keeps growing at an accelerated rate, so Bella thinks she won’t live long or something, but what can you do when you have a half-human, half-vampire daughter, you know? But it’s all mostly fine until one of the Cullens’ cousin or something sees RENESMEE and assumes she’s an immortal child. An immortal child is a kid who’s turned into a vampire and goes on killing sprees because kids are the WORST and this is bad. So this vampire cousin lady goes to the Volturi who are like, the head vampire people or something? I don’t know, they were in another one of the movies, I forget what their deal is. They’re kind of bad, and their leader is a hilariously campy Michael Sheen.
So yeah, they’re pissed about this whole immortal child thing, so they decide to fight the Cullens, but also I guess they were just looking for an excuse to fight the Cullens because of something to do with wanting Alice (that one who can see the future) to join them? I kind of tuned out I guess because I have no idea what their master plan was. Speaking of Alice, though, she was so squirrelly in this movie! She has a vision that the Volturi are coming and then she just up and disappears for like, ever. I don’t really understand why.
The next part goes on FOREVER and basically the Cullens just gather up all their vampire friends to meet RENESMEE so she can touch them and show them her first memory so they can realize she was born and wasn’t turned into a vampire, and I guess they’re all going to tell the Volturi about it so they’ll back off. All the vampires have powers and they’re all stupid powers and I don’t care about any of these people so I don’t even want to get into it. This whole thing is so inconsequential it’s crazy how much time is spent on it.
A bunch of other stuff happens (Charlie is really dumb! Jacob hangs out with RENESMEE a lot and no one ever really comments on how wildly inappropriate that whole thing is! It turns out Bella’s super special magical vampire gift is a shield, which is lame! Etc!) but mostly it leads up to a standoff between the Volturi and the Cullens and friends. You can tell the Volturi are bad because they have hoods. RENESMEE touches Michael Sheen, so he knows she was born and isn’t an immortal child. But then it still seems like the Volturi are going to attack for some reason, so Alice shows up (good timing, Alice!) and shows Michael Sheen a vision, but he attacks anyway, and there is an actually kind of awesome, epic battle where a lot of the main characters die, including Michael Sheen!
Except, wait, ACTUALLY NONE OF THAT EVER HAPPENED IT WAS ALL JUST ALICE’S VISION AND WHEN MICHAEL SHEEN SAW IT HE DECIDED NOT TO ATTACK. Lame. Lame, lame, lame, this was such a dumb annoying cop-out thing, which only emphasized how useless the previous scenes establishing the random supporting characters and their dumb powers were. Oh yeah, so after the non-existent battle some Brazilian dude who’s a half-vampire is there, and he’s like, “yeah, I was born and I grew for seven years and then I was full grown and now I’m immortal and I can eat blood or regular food and basically I’m the shit.” So don’t worry, everyone, RENESMEE is gonna be fine and in seven years she can be with her mom’s friend who helped raise her and who has been in love with her the whole time and it will not be weird for anyone. Also Jacob jokingly called Edward “Dad” at the end and I vomited in my mouth. I REALLY HATE HOW NO ONE SEEMS TO PLAN TO ASK RENESMEE WTF SHE WANTS. That is a half-vampire girl with no agency right there. And also, besides the obvious reasons why this relationship is messed up, Jacob isn’t immortal, right? So how does that work? This whole thing is a total bummer for everyone.
The whole thing ends with Bella and Edward hanging out in a field, sharing a montage of their beautiful and inspiring love story and everything will always be perfect and we should all aspire to be vampires because no one is happier than vampires. That is the moral of Twilight, I think. We’ve all learned a valuable lesson. Thank god it’s finally over.
So last year I rewatched a sort of horrifying movie from my childhood and live blogged it. The movie, called The Peanut Butter solution, continues to haunt me, so I’m reposting it. This will be interesting to a nearly microscopic portion of the population. Enjoy!
When we were kids, my sister and I made our parents rent this particular movie from the library over and over again. Also I think maybe they played it on TV sometimes? Anyway, we watched it a bunch. It was called The Peanut Butter Solution. It’s this low-budget Canadian movie from the ’80s, which I guess is a children’s movie, but as it turns out, it’s kind of deeply disturbing. Actually, based on having googled it as an adult, it appears many children from my generation were haunted by this movie. A lot of them actually thought it was a weird dream they had, because it’s just that strange. But no, it exists. In case you have any doubts, here is the preview:
I told this friend of mine about it in university, and she actually ended up finding a copy on DVD (why the hell anyone put this on DVD, I have no idea) and gave it to me for my birthday. I think I’ve only watched it once since I got it. It’s just…did I mention that it’s really strange? In any case, I’m going to watch it again, and provide an extremely detailed synopsis. This could be fun! But it’ll probably just be weird.
The first season of Homeland was an excellent season of television. So far, I think it’s fair to say that the second season is shaping up to be even better.
Homeland is interesting because if you try to explain the premise to someone who hasn’t seen it, it sounds pretty terrible. It’s all like, TERRORISM and CONSPIRACIES and ELECTROSHOCK THERAPY. There are all kinds of coincidences and close calls and scenarios that are pretty much impossible in a world that seems to closely resemble our actual world. But none of that matters, mostly thanks to Claire Danes and Damian Lewis.
When they first encountered each other in the first season, Carrie was playing the role of a voyeur, a CIA agent spying on Brody, a U.S. soldier who made it home after spending eight years as a prisoner in Iraq. Carrie was convinced he had been turned, that he was working with the terrorists who kept him captive to plan some kind of attack against his own country. In the process of investigating all of this (mostly without the help of the CIA, since they were way not into her theories) Carrie and Brody fell in love. Well, Carrie did, anyway. We have much better access to her mental state, to her thoughts and feelings. Brody, despite being kind of a mess, is more inscrutable. Where his loyalties lie and whether he’s capable of betraying his country and family are themes the show is still investigating.
At this point, they’ve both sort of ruined each other’s lives. Brody got Carrie kicked out of the CIA by convincing everyone (including Carrie) that she was crazy. The fact that she’s bipolar didn’t help, but of course Carrie was right, which was definitively revealed last season, when Brody nearly killed a bunch of people including the vice president. The only reason he didn’t go through with it was because of a desperate phone call from his teenage daughter, Dana. But Carrie has messed with Brody’s life, too. Their affair nearly destroyed the already shaky relationship between Brody and his wife, Jessica. And while Brody held all the cards in the first season, now his lies are unravelling and suddenly Carrie’s the one in control.
See, I told you that when you try to explain this show it sounds pretty ridiculous. Somehow, the connection between Brody and Carrie is so compelling and destructive and filled with chemistry, that they manage to sell the whole thing. The other great thing about Homeland is that it’s always so action-packed. Incredibly, there have only been six episodes so far in the season, and each one has covered, like, the equivalent of half a season worth of material on most other shows. It’s all, BAM! Brody’s a congressman…BAM! Carrie has a reason to be involved with the CIA again…BAM! Her former boss, Saul (the always wonderful Mandy Patinkin) finds out Brody really was involved in a terrorist plot and Carrie was right all along…BAM! After briefly spying on Brody, Carrie leads a charge to take him in for questioning…BAM! Brody admits some of the shady stuff he did and joins forces with the CIA.
Phew, that is a lot of stuff. Homeland doesn’t slow down, but it still has all these meaningful moments. The best scene was when Carrie came in to interrogate Brody. She has feelings for him, and that’s real, but she uses those feelings as a means to an end, to make Brody admit what she already knows – that he’s been up to no good terrorist stuff ever since he returned to the States. Brody lies to everyone, but Carrie is his soft spot. He doesn’t say much, but you can see him questioning everything over the course of the interrogation. By the end of it, he unravels.
Homeland isn’t perfect. The subplots are kind of stupid. Dana is a great character who feels like a real, complex, emotional teenager, but her current plot, which has her involved in a hit-and-run along with the VP’s son, is pretty terrible. Then there’s Mike, Brody’s army buddy who had an affair with Jessica when Brody was captured and Jess thought she was a widow. Lately, Mike’s been investigating Brody on his own based on very little evidence. It could lead to an interesting story – he did recently have an encounter with Saul that only furthered his belief that he’s on to something – but for now it’s just kind of silly. Jessica’s story has been focused on her attempts to play the role of a politician’s wife, something she’s adapted to quite easily despite Brody’s increasingly erratic behaviour. She’s not an idiot, and she knows something is wrong, so it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out.
As far as current dramas go, I think Homeland is one of the best. I would say it’s second to Breaking Bad, but probably on par with Mad Men, which I also adore. I’m really excited to see what happens by the end of the season; if things keep going the way they have been, everything could be completely different in just a few episodes.