Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Escape to the Movies: "Eclipse"


http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/escape-to-the-movies/1839-The-Twilight-Saga-Eclipse

Because I didn't have too much to do this week...

Regularly-scheduled episode also scheduled to run on Friday, as well, so nobody freak out.

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

Y'know, Bob. I gotta say, one thing I've thought about in the past is taking your reviews of the Twilight series & putting it in a movie theatre... packed with Twihards... right before an actual Twilight movie starts... just to see how the Twihards would react. I can safely say they wouldn't like this. Good review.

Bimmy said...

You know, even when I don't care about some of the movies you review (I mean the movies themselves), there are always nuggets of pure gold in your comments. Awesome as usual, Bob.

Leoja92 said...

The really sad thing is I know a lot of really book smart honor role girls who love the twilight series. I just don't see how girls can buy into crap like twilight.

Anonymous said...

I was looking foreword to that all week, thanks Bob.

Jon Ericson said...

I'm going to call you out on your hypocrisy right here. You say that someone can make a movie with any underlying message they want. Then you say the underlying message of Twilight includes the idea that virginity is a virtue, which you proceed to equate with future domestic abuse. Wow.

Look, I don't get the Twilight phenomenon and I don't doubt there are deeply problematic aspects of the books/movies for our society. But be a man. Own up to the fact that you don't get why a huge number of educated, intelligent, independent women and girls are so very attracted to these stories. I know some of these fans personally and let me assure you, there is no domestic violence in their future. If anything, Jimmy Cagney would be on the business end of the punch.

Don't pretend that just because your value set doesn't line up with the majority of Americans that you are somehow more tolerant of the opinions of others. You seem just as closed minded as you assume the creators and consumers of these sort of films must be.

Anonymous said...

I think Joe Ericson is on team Edward. It's OK Joe, we all have a guilty pleasures.


But i really think you hit the nail on the head here bob. i really disagree with alot of things you have to say, but i couldn't agree more on this one.

I just don't get what the big deal is about these movies.

I have a female friend that went and watched the first movie in theater. she said exactly the same thing you did. "so stalking means you love someone i guess" lol.

I would have felt stupid just buying that movie ticket..... sorry you have to watch non-sense like this for our entertainment.

Good review though.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Jon, but I think I get Bob's message a little better. He's saying the combination of things that Twilight exhibits is what will result in domestic abuse. The girls emulating shy Bella and giving themselves to overbearing men, emulating her needy, whiny, gimmie-gimmie-gimmie, me-me-me attitude IS a pretty bad combo.

Drexer said...

I have to ask you Jon. what exactly is Bob's hypocrisy here?

He himself admits that he does not like to judge a movie(and by extension book/game/whatever) by its message. He makes the point that it's really not something that annoys him normally because it's normally not that influential. But then he takes a moment to say that he is scared yes, because this is one of those cases where the influence is being made in the defining stages of a person's mind. It was not as if he said that he would not attack its message and then attacked it. He said, "I usually don't like to attack the message, but I'm doing it in this case because it's a pretty big audience that it's reaching".

Heck, I've read books and seen movies with messages that go against the very core of my thoughts, and yet I was able to analyse them based on other factors. I put the message aside because it might interest other people but not me. But Twilight? The message in Twilight really scares me, because it's not only going against one of the biggest social changes that has been occurring across the last decades, but because its audience is so big.

Jon Ericson said...

Fine. The combination of hidden messages to girls is bad. So they shouldn't make a movie about it. Right, Bob?

Or maybe if the target audience of these movies only knew the long-term damage they were risking, they wouldn't like them so much? I'm grasping at straws here.

But I still don't get why extolling virginity has anything to do with future domestic violence. Stalking = love? Sure. Early marriage? I'd like to see the research, but it's possible I guess. Virginity? It might be the third message of the series (I've never seen/read it so I don't know), but I don't see how that will result in grapefruit to the face.

To be brutally honest, I don't know why an adult man should be so worked up about a movie that's aimed at girls and women which sells a message about sexuality that is virtually non-existent in the rest of American culture. Do you honestly believe that a return to virginity as a value will take us all the way back to the 1930s?

Jon Ericson said...

Drexer: How is Bob's criticism of Twilight's message any less of a slippery slope than the criticism of Call of Duty he contrasts it to?

Anonymous said...

I really hope your Friday review is The Last Airbender, and if it is, judging from what I've read in other reviews, I offer my sincerest condolences for having to sit through it.

bobbzman said...

Eh, I kinda have to agree with Jon Ericson. Yes, Twilight is dumb, but it's dumb for the exact same reason 90% of teen media is dumb: because it takes the sophomoric teen emotions that everyone is supposed to grow out of by age 25 and treats them way too seriously. There's a lot that's wrong with the movie cheering Bella on as she throws herself at Edward because of some puppy-love emotions. But virginity has nothing to do with this; that's a moral value, not some common mistake teenagers make due to lack of perspective. If anything, it's the rush to LOSE virginity that gets people into trouble.

And saying this is all going to lead to domestic abuse victims? Now you're just being sensationalist. Look, I love mocking the poor quality of Twilight as much as the next dude, but there's a point where you need to let the girls have their fun and stop condescending. Unless you want them to turn around and talk about how Grand Theft Auto is turning men into domestic abusers...

Taylor said...

Jon Ericson, you are completely ignoring the point. The combination leads to unhealthy relationships, not that sole and only point.

Marrying early to a guy who is obsessed with you and has anger issues is a bad idea. The virginity component goes to the idea that once you've given yourself to one guy he's your one, and you will never be as good for anyone else again.

Again, not bad on it's own, but combined with the overall message it leads to a potentially negative view of love. And even then, Bob isn't hypocritical, he's just saying he's bothered by it.

Terence Mann said...

@bobbzman and Jon:
Oh, my God. You're from the fifties. Out! Back to the fifties! Back! There's no place for you here in the future! GET BACK WHILE YOU STILL CAN!

Bob said...

Jon Ericson,

On it's face, of course there's nothing technically "wrong" with abstinence. The modern "purity ring" movement is one of the DUMBEST examples of mass-wishful-thinking currently going on, IMO, but that's a seperate issue.

The problem is, "Twilight's" running-metaphor isn't about virginity as a "good thing" but as a COMMODITY. If vampire-biting = sex, you've basically got a story about two guys who's "love" for the girl is contingent on her remaining "human" - aka pure and sexless.

Bella wants to become a vampire - i.e. "get laid" - but Edward is reluctant because he sees himself as a "monster" and doesn't want her to become such. Does that have a familiar and unpleasant ring to it? Hell, in case we're not quite getting it, Edward spells it out: He thinks he doesn't have a soul, and that vampirizing (read: fucking) Bella will mean she won't have one, either. Meanwhile, Jacob doesn't want her "doing it" either - at least, not with anyone but him - because if she does she'll be just another vampire he's honor-bound to run down and kill.

See what I mean? This isn't "abstinence," this is regression to the old-time patriarchal bullshit notion that a woman is only worthwhile if she's "unsullied." It's despicable.

Jonathan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
T said...

I will say that although you bring it up briefly, you also manage to gloss over a rather large inconsistency in your viewpoint. As you mentioned, you disagree with the notion that violence in video games or movies has a direct and attributable influence on youth that would cause them to act violently, a point-of-view you have espoused often. How is that particularly different from your view that the Twilight series can negatively influence women?

In the previous case, you put the emphasis on personal responsibility. Are you suggesting that female audience members are unable to take responsibility for their choices and that exposure to these books and movies will instantly turn them into submissive victims? Is that not just as irrational as the idea that playing Call of Duty will turn gamers into psychotic mass murderers? You give as little credit to those women in the audience as those other critics you loathe give to gamers regarding their ability to separate fantasy from reality and make their own choices. You can't really suggest a causative link to one without establishing it for the other, no matter how much you may not like the material. In that regard, are Twilight's dangerous "messages" any worse or more potentially damaging than the type of message a young gamer in his or her formative period might take away from "Grand Theft Auto" or "Manhunt"?

As you might say, I call bullshit. :)

joemello04 said...

Bob said you should be allowed to embed any message in a movie. "Allow" and "like" are two separate things.

If I owned a movie theater, I would show Eclipse. If I owned a movie theater and had a teenage daughter, I would show Eclipse, but actively discourage my daughter from seeing it, and explain why.

T said...

@Joemello04: here's a question then: would you actively discourage her from seeing anything that you believe would be harmful or that would not align with your values even if she desired to see it? And if you succeeded and she acquiesced and chose not to see it based on your advice, thereby embracing your values and rejecting her own original intention, wouldn't that also be making her less "willful and independent" by encouraging her not to pursue her desires by to conform with yours?

Bob said...

"T,"

The operative difference is that "Call of Duty" doesn't HAVE a thematic message, aside from a certain amount of generic patriotism. The implication by those who have a problem with it is that it will cause harm via "imitation."

"Twilight," on the other hand, DOES have a thematic message: Female-submission, virginity-worship and patriarchy. That doesn't necessarily "make it bad" (the execution does that) or even "worse," but it DOES skeeve me out increasingly and I thought it rated some discussion in-addition to the nuts and bolts of the film; just as some discussion of Frank Miller's neanderthal approach to women and minorities has a place in discussions of "300" or "The Spirit." (And before you go digging it up, YES I'm aware that my original day-of review for "300" was entirely too forgiving.)

I'm not saying that "Twilight WILL turn little girls into abuse victims," merely that the "advice" it offers is a good blueprint for doing just that.

Anonymous said...

Bob, I think you need your own forum.

RestamSalucard said...

@Anon above
Why? Is there a problem with the above one?

Drunken Lemur said...

Soooo...The last Airbender is next, right? Looking forward to it. It's either that or Jonah Hex. The only way you could weasel out is with Grown Ups, or maybe another one of those videos where you don't review a new movie in theaters. But you only do that when it's a slow week, which it hasn't obviously.

RestamSalucard said...

@Anon above
EDIT: I mean, is there something wrong with the escapist one?

Danny said...

Bryce Dallas Howard really needs to get a new agent. I mean, her 3 biggest blockbusters are Spider-Man 3, Terminator Salvation and now this.

T said...

@Bob. Ok. But then by that rationale, wouldn't you have to agree then that games such as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Manhunt or films like Taxi Driver and A Clockwork Orange, through their thematic messages of violence and crime, offer just as much of a good blueprint to turn young viewers and gamers into violent criminals?

Ninja-Z said...

@T You're simplifying the messages of those works. A Clockwork Orange isn't so much thematically about "violence" or, as you seem to be implying, "violence is good," but that society can't change who somebody is and make them good without taking away their humanity. Likewise, Grand Theft Auto games often deal with trying to get by in an oppressive and corrupt world (best exemplified in GTA4). The fact that these works contain violence and crime does not necessarily make them their thematic message.

Anonymous said...

@T

That would never work. GTA is actually one of the WORST ways for one to be a criminal. In the real world, you would steal one car, or shoot one person and be put away for life. If one wanted to actually become a crime lord, he'd have to work with more....subtle crimes.

Bob said...

"T,"

Again, the difference is between something that has a message and something that either has NO message or the opposite message: "Twilight's" implicit message is "this behavior = good." You can't say that about, say, Clockwork Orange.

There's a SLIGHTLY better argument to be made in that direction via Manhunt or GTA, but that brings up another difference: Those are M-rated games for adults. "Twilight," on the other hand, is a PG13 movie for young teenagers.

Jon Ericson said...

Clearly anyone who draws a direct line between the act of "vampirizing", as you put it, and sex has a screwed up view of sex. But that's not the aspect of the message that seemed to bother you.

For the sake of argument, let's say Twilight offers a blueprint for turning little girls into abuse victims. Who exacting will be following it? Men in general tend to despise the series altogether. So the builders of this particular dystopian future must be women. And they will construct the future either by imitating the heroine of Twilight or by encouraging their daughters to imitate her. Thematic message or not, how is this different than a kid walking into a gun shop and asking to see an ACR that he learned about in Call of Duty?

Or let's put it another way. Which woman caused domestic violence: the woman who valued her virginity (as a commodity) or the one who did not? It's a trick question. The man who abused her caused the domestic violence. (And he probably valued her virginity not at all if he is a member of American society.)

Whatever distinction you invent, the fact is the Call of Duty argument has the same form as your criticism of Twilight. Both are slippery-slope arguments as you pointed out. They work by suggesting that B inevitably follows A and that C is the certain result and so on. But at any point, the "victims" of the cycle may simply end it. So it's fine to disagree with the actual message of Twilight (and I have no vested interest in the series myself), but it's fallacious to suggest the imagined consequences of the message are identical to the message itself. Let's not jump down that particular rabbit hole.

Jill said...

Thank you Bob. This review completely sums up my thoughts on Twilight. I have so many friends who are obsessed with these books that I finally caved and tried to read them. I fully admit that I couldn't make it through the series, because of the underlying message!

Bella is the WORST kind of role model to be giving girls in their teens. I was that age only a couple of years ago and THANK GOD it was before this series was out! Instead I read books about girls who kicked ass and eared their way to fame. The whole absinance message doesn't bother me as much as the fact that Bella is totally useless as a person and all she does is rely on the men around her.

So in conclusion, thank you for this review! I completely agree with it and look forward to watching more in the future!

Taylor said...

Jon Ericson: Again, you're completely wrong. First, the notion that "abuse victims can simply end the cycle" is a complete and total refusal to recognize even the basics of the psychology of abuse.

As a separate point:It is foolish not to equate vampire-biting with sex, because that's an association that has always been around and is as old as Bram Stoker and a man sneaking into a woman's bedroom and falling upon her neck. Every iteration of western vampires has always held this...even the hyper-bastardized vampires of Twilight.

Jon Ericson said...

Taylor: I may be completely wrong, but you don't understand my objection. When I talked about "victims" ending the cycle, I meant before any actual abuse has occurred. According to Bob, the women who watch or read the Twilight series are already "victims" of abuse since that's the inevitable result of following the blueprint or message of series.

I'm overstating the case so that you understand what I meant. I'm sure Bob doesn't think all women will fall for the "advice" but that some may. But the argument loses force (and certainly emotional impact) if the various steps are evaluated. No doubt many women will walk out of the theater and laugh at the film's silly premise. Others will simply ignore the message altogether. At no point are women compelled to believe and follow through with the message. But if that's so, why are we working ourselves up about it? This is a classic slippery-slope fallacy.

As to the link between vampires and sexuality, rape and seduction, why is this film any different than rest of the vast mythology of vampires? From what Bob has said, the problem with this particular mythology is that it makes explicit the implicit link between becoming a vampire via a bite and losing virginity. As long as nobody takes the mythology too seriously, I don't understand why this is a problem.

Taylor said...

It's not a slippery slope fallacy, the slippery slope is the idea that something will necessarily lead to more severe versions of itself, not the idea that messages will have an effect on people.

I guess what you're saying is that "Messages are irrelevant because people aren't compelled to follow them." And I think the very existence of propaganda proves that that isn't the case.

Also, the idea that people don't take this seriously is flawed because, well, people do. Bob doesn't, but he's a critic. A large number of vocal critics does not negate a die-hard audience.

Jon Ericson said...

Taylor: Please don't put words in my mouth. I'm not the one who stated that "you should be able to make a movie with any message you want". (I'm getting awfully sick of listening to the same sections of Bob's video over and over again. Maybe I should just give up.) If Bob just said, "I'm attacking this movie for the message", then I have no problem. But what he said was the opposite and then proceeded to attack Twilight for the message. That he hid the attack under the veil of some supposed larger social implications of the movie makes no difference.

Look, the video used perhaps the most shocking still frame in cinema's history--the breakfast scene in The Public Enemy--and used it to punctuate the heart of the argument. The image is (and was) carefully designed to shock the audience. It's emotional impact is huge. But that image needs to be earned by the argument and in my opinion it wasn't. It's a cheap trick unless someone can show how Twilight leads to domestic abuse. Not how it's a "blueprint" for abuse (whatever that's supposed to mean), but how it is an inevitable result. If Bob backs off of that image and that strong connection, then you're right--there's no slippery slope. But then I think his argument boils down to an attack on the message of the movie. Which, again, is fine by me as long as he's straight with us.

Joe said...

Just thought I'd post this here aswell...


I have had it Bob. I had put up with you and your ignorant double talk you spew on this blog such as...

" I don't generalize anyone!... even though the easiest prediction anybody will make this week is that General McChrystal will join the tea baggers cause army guy + criticism = TEABAGGIN LOL"

Not to mention your shitty Glen Wreck style analysis of one of the shittiest movies ever (Twilight 3) - "IM SO PISSED THIS MOVIE VALUES VIRGINITY! RAWRRRRRR! Its a blueprint for DOMESTIC ABUSE!
Marriage+Loving somebody=DOMESTIC ABUSE!
well not always.... but its still a possibility/blueprint. So therefore its bad.
BUT HOLD ON!
Im just an enemy of the slippery slope fallacy as the next guy! Remember when I made fun of those guys that said COD4 fans will kill everyone?"


I can see by reading your past comments that your "fans" are getting tired of you talking about politics and moral issues for two main reasons...

1.You're a hypocrite who wants to appear as an independent thinker,(even though you rape your blog posts and videos with you liberal bias nonstop)

2.You have the tendency to contradict yourself in 2 minutes or less. (see examples above)


Newsflash dipshit. You aren't qualified to talk about sensitive issues just because you can point out the obvious flaws in Twilight while exaggerating them at the same time.

You aren't "politically aware" just because you can laugh at idiots like Glen Beck and Sarah Palin.




Go read a couple of books, go take a couple of classes at the community college, and get a job that isn't sitting at home all day watching movies while jerking off to Bayonetta. Maybe then somebody will take you seriously.

Taylor said...

Wow...

I think it's pretty obvious Bob is correct or else people wouldn't get so mad at him.

Ninja-Z said...

@Jon Ericson - It's already been pointed out that a) Bob's argument does not fit, in any way, the definition of a slippery slope, and b) the disclaimer about Bob's stance on thematic messages is basically saying that he doesn't usually object, morally, to messages placed in movies, but in this case it stuck out to him, separating him from the media watchdogs that exist to pick on those subtexts. As for his comment on a "blueprint" for abuse, that's basically saying that it won't make girls go out and get abused (like the CoD argument, which states kids will go out and shoot other kids automatically), but it's a very good possibility, based on the vehemence of the fanbase, and it is a VERY vehement fanbase, something I'm not sure if you know or not.

Whether you agree with his assertion or not is another thing - I, personally, think Twilight isn't making girls more demure but rather more cruel, selfish, entitled in their minds to have the boy of their dreams that Stephanie Meyer has constructed so carefully. However, I don't see the problem with his argument. He's afraid of the implications the message of Twilight contains, but he never said girls will automatically be abused if they watch it. That's taking his stance in a wrong light, I'd say.

@Joe - Butt-hurt, much?

Anonymous said...

Yeah. Consider how many teen girls wanted their boyfriend to be more like Edward when Twilight first erupted onto the scene.

Jon Ericson said...

Ninja-Z: If it's not a slippery slope, please explain to me the mechanism that will begin with girls watching Twilight and ends with them being abused. Don't handwave that the film is a "blueprint"—show me the steps that one would follow.

To illustrate, look at Call of Duty:

1. Young boys experience the act of shooting another human in a virtual world.

2. Those boys get bored with the game and set out to do the same act in real life.

3. Disaster.

But there's a problem with step 2 since boys usually are able to tell the difference between doing something in a fantasy setting and doing the same thing in real life. They aren't stupid. So you need to add some more details to step 2 to make it work. Which makes the argument much less plausible because you start adding other factors besides Call of Duty that are more direct causes of step 3.

Call of Duty has a similarly vehement fanbase, which makes it an excellent counter-argument. It could be part of the argument, but exactly how?

By the way, your second paragraph stands as a much more plausible criticism than Bob's because you don't try to push it too far. I'm on board with attacking a movies that send the message girls should be "cruel, selfish, entitled in their minds to have the boy of their dreams". That's plenty. Even if Bob had just said that Twilight makes girls more demure, that would be a better argument than saying he's afraid it will lead to a generation of abuse victims.

Everyone knows the formal definition of a slippery slope, right? The Causal Version seems most appropriate in this context.

tyra menendez said...

Wait... *two* more movies? I thought there was only 4 books in this sorry "saga".

Anonymous said...

yea...... Twilight as a hole just blows.
Don't get the hype. Just glad my gf want's nothing to do with these movies either.

Jim said...

Hi Moviebob,
I'm in no way affiliated with this guys site or blog or whatever it is,but I'm a big Escapist fan and you constantly have me laughing my balls off with yout excellent,on the money reviews...also I love your Twililight rage,so I just had to link you this,funny as fuck..keep up the good work-Schiz0phren1c.
http://itthing.com/twilight-almost-cost-me-my-wife-and-my-life