Two (Mostly) Good Vampire Flicks.
I'll not compare the two, despite their
two decidedly different genres.
We'll start out with something soft
and easy to chew on.
2008, Catherine Hardwicke
Girl moves from Arizona to Washington State to live with her dad. Girl is quiet nerdy loner. Girl meets boy. Boy is vampire. Boy is a good vampire with nice good vampire family who don't eat people, but it gets tough. Other vampires DO eat people. Shenanegans abound!
I really liked this film. Taken for what it is, it's great. It's got fluff, it's got humor, it's got action, it's got romance, and the good guys kill the bad guy (but conveniently forget about his girlfriend, YAY villain for the sequel!). Sure some of the acting and dialogue is stale, but the leads have palpable chemistry. Sure some of the directing is melodramatic, but the attention to detail is amazing and makes for a beautiful setting.
And for me, frankly, I like it more than the book. There are two reasons for this, I think. One, the conflict is more pronounced, is not JUST about the fact that Edward is a tortured soul and Bella is in love with him anyway. The threat the nomads present is just there more, leaving you uneasy through almost the whole film. But much more than that, I actually LIKED Bella in the film, whereas at least in the first book, I got sick of her pretty quickly. I think this is entirely due to Kristen Stewart, who...I don't think she could play a helpless female character if her life were on the line, it doesn't seem like something she'd want to do, from what interviews I've seen. Instead of being in Bella's head listening to her whine for pages on end, we're presented with a self-sufficient, introverted, kinda bored and clearly very smart, well-adjusted teenage girl. I enjoy this fresh air, thank you.
Now I know there are a million things to pick apart about the series, as far as the messages it sends teenage girls, and I do agree with some of the criticism. I do wish our female lead wasn't SO dependent on her boyfriend, wasn't so weak, didn't have getting married and pregnant at 19 ridiculously romanticized, etc. and so forth (HUMAN GIRLS, your baby WON'T be a cute super-fast growing half-vampire, and you WON'T be able to take that cruise with your fabulously rich vampire husband, kay? You'll be changing diapers. Lots of 'em.). However...in the grand scheme of messages that are being thrown at teenage girls from various sources (The Hills, Gossip Girl, 99% of the programming on MTV), which would you rather your little sister emulate? Your sexuality is a weapon, use it to manipulate or be manipulated, all that matters in life is money, clothes, and who you're with, etc? Or falling madly in love with one person, not just for the rest of your life but for eternity, being faithful only to them, through good times and bad...and having a sister-in-law with an amazing shoe collection?
Bella Swan might not ever come close to filling Elizabeth Darcy's shoes. But she can fill Rory Gilmore's. Rory had nice shoes.
2008, Tomas Alfredson
This film is...fairly amazing, actually. It alternates seamlessly between sweetness, sadness, cuteness, and absolute horror. The filming itself is beautiful, drab sets shot through in places with bright color. This is a violent movie, not everyone's cup of tea, but the two leads are children...with a child's capacity for accepting people as they are, mixed with the dangerous fact that because of this, they may not realize what they're getting into...it adds this amazing layer of innocence and empathy and, as I said, weird sweetness.
Personally, I loved it. The end, even though it's bright and the two characters are happy, had me crying because of what was implied...if you see the film, you'll know why. It is subtle, sweet, beautiful, and I will probably be having some really weird nightmares tonight!
Some things, you do not have to add much to.
to figure out ways to dress up this particular
Free People tunic. Finally, though, I
realized that it speaks just fine on it's own.
Sometimes all you need are the right shoes,
and the right necklace.
From Paraphernalia, of course :D