Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Twilight Zone

Wilkommen. Since I was an itty-bitty girl listening to the Cabaret cast recording, and Sally Bowles sang that wonderful mental breakdown number and convinced impressionable little me that life was a cah-bah-ray, I have loved the live theatre. I love how the audience can see and hear the actors, and how the actors can see and hear the audience. But, alas, this only goes for the thee-ay-ter. Apparently, the thousand screaming fangirls who sat through Twilight with me weren't aware of that. Oh, my God. There hasn't been that much screaming since Judy Garland played Carnegie Hall. From the very first moment when we first saw Kristen Stewart's Night of the Living Dead face, these freaks did not shut up. And, when Edward made his first entrance, with hallelujah choruses trilling and lights shining from behind him (I'm NOT making that up), the shrieks were ear-splitting and never-ending. So to the people that were in the theatre with me last night: Nobody cares that you think Edward Cullen is hot. He isn't real. Yeah, it was pretty cool when Alice ripped a guy's head off, but you don't need to scream, "YOU GO GIRL!!" No matter how many times you scream, "BITCH!" at Rosalie, she will not hear you and/or get insulted. Yes, we all recognized Stephenie Meyer sitting at the counter in the diner scene. You didn't have to shout out, "LOOK! IT'S HER!!!!!" And, to the girl who was sitting directly behind me. "Yell I love you, Jacob!" one more time, you freaking banshee. I dare you.

Now, I'm about to pull a Palin and recant a previous statement. That's right, I'm taking back what I said about Twilight. Yes, the movie was cheesy, and spoonfed the info mercilessly, and ripped off every other vampire movie ever made, but...I liked it. Don't get me wrong. This is not Gone With the Wind. We're not winning any Oscars here. KStew and RPattz are not the next Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable. But still, I enjoyed it. It had its moments. I liked how they incorporated the three evil vampires from the beginning, and didn't just throw them in towards the end, like Stephenine Meyer did in the book. A few very good, sweeping shots of the Pacific Northwest. Good special effects. Passable performances from some of the supporting characters. But, (and this is a huge but), there were drawbacks. Lots. One: Absolutely no character development, but the blame for that lies with Stephenie Meyer. Two: Lots of uncomfortably close close-ups of Edward, Bella, and, at one point, Bella's mother. That last one was so close it actually got a few laughs. Three: The movie seemed to assume that absolutely everyone had read the book. Example: Edward doesn't make his first entrance until at least ten minutes in, in order to purpose build tension for the one moment the director knew the audience would be waiting for. You can almost hear the voice saying, "Preeeesenting, in person, that six-foot one bundle of dynamite... EDWARD CULLEN!!" That may fly with the twelve-year-old fangirls who will love this movie even if it's worse than From Justin to Kelly, but it won't fly with me. Four: It was sooooo incredibly smug. You can tell that every single person in that movie knew it was going to be a hit, and they acted that way on the screen. "Grrrr! I'm Kristen Stewart! It doesn't matter that my method of acting is to make weird facial expressions and show no emotion! I don't have to be a good actress! I'm in Twilight and I can do what I want to!" Well, there you have it. They took a semi-good book and made a semi-good movie, complete with a rather violent scene in which Edward pins Bella to her bed. I thought the fangirls were going to die. All in all, I give it three stars out of five. By no means would I go out of my way to see it again, and by no means should you go rushing out to see it. Wait for the DVD. With the millions this movie's already made, you won't have long to wait.

Side note: Tomorrow I will be going back to Gypsy to see Patti LuPone play Patti LuPone. Starting tomorrow at precisely three o'clock, I will sit in the beautiful St. James Theatre and have to answer old ladies' questions such as: "There is intermission?" Yes, there is intermission. "Oh, Patti LuPone doesn't play the stripper?" No, she doesn't play "the stipper." Read your freaking Playbill. Hooooowwwwweeeevvvveerrrrr, word on the street is that Queen Patti isn't feeling too good today. She skipped the matinee. Maybe, just maybe, we'll get to see her understudy? It'll be like Stewie said in one of my favorite Family Guy episodes. "Oh, my God! We get to see Kurt Russel play Jean Valjean! Oh, God, how lucky are we, huh? Oh, curtain UP!"

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