Posts tagged Bella Swan.

Review of Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2

 Spoilers ahead, you have been warned.

Okay people, don’t ever say that I don’t do anything for you.  Yesterday, I sat through numerous previews of crappy movies I never want to see, as well as an hour and a half of (drum roll please) Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2.  The only good part about this is that the franchise is now at an end and I never have to watch another Twilight movie.

The movie is not significantly different from the book.  We got the scene with Bella hunting for the first time and getting distracted by a human, as well as her taking on Emmet and winning.  Bella has to adjust to her new life as a mother and a vampire.  Things go rather smoothly for her, until Irina comes for a visit and wrongly assumes that Renesmee is a vampire child, rather than a human/vampire hybrid.  Irina runs straight to the Volturi, who use this chance to attempt to shatter the Cullen clan and get their hands on Alice.

Once again a strong theme through this movie was Jacob’s imprinting on Renesmee.  Bella rightfully flipped out and attacked Jacob when she learned about the imprinting, but after being assured that this was unintentional and not sexual, she quickly adapted.  I continue to find this absolutely disgusting because imprinting , is nothing more than grooming a little girl for sex; it’s pedophilia. This scenario is further problematic with Jacob suggesting that his love and obsession with Bella was really about the fact that she would carry his future mate. It doesn’t matter that Alice had a vision of the future with Renesmee looking adoringly up at Jacob and placing her head on his shoulder.  The point is that Renesmee is being raised to accept the fact that Jacob will one day be her sexual partner and this means no autonomy for Renesmee in the future. It is further disturbing that of course the love between the White Bella and Edward is pure, while the relationship between Jacob and Renessme is absolutely tainted with darkness.

I was further unimpressed that several of the vampires of colour showed up in tribal gear to help witness in front of the Volturi, while the White vampires were all dressed.  I know that vampires don’t feel cold but not only was this ridiculous, it was outright racist. Yes, I know that this is true to the books but that doesn’t mean it had to be included. It served to remind us that these vampires of colour are still “other” in comparison to the whitesome and delightsome Cullens.

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Face Off: Kristen Stewart vs Movie Goers

Before the Twilight saga I had never heard of Kristen Stewart.  I went into the movies not expecting much because the text that it was based in constructed Bella - the role Stewart played, as a blank slate. The idea behind Bella is for everyone (by everyone, I of course mean everyone White, straight, cisgender and able-bodied) to be able to imagine themselves as this nondescript protagonist. For much of the three Twilight movies to date, Kristen has spent her time pouting, biting her lip, stuttering and falling.  However, to be fair to Stewart, Bella was written originally as a clutz.

In New Moon she perfected what I like to call the confused running girl. At the end of the movie Edward had decided to reveal himself and she was told by Alice that he would be at the clocktower, which, by the way, was straight ahead. Kristen ran and then she stopped, ran her fingers through her hair, looked behind her and then started running again.  If she has only moments to spare, why is she stopping to make sure the audience catches a glimpse of her oh so angsty zomg, I’m all concerned face? Then she runs again, only to stop again, run her fingers through her hair AGAIN, looking angst-ridden and concerned into the camera, before finally decide that this time it’s for real.

Kristen isn’t the worst actor in the series - I’m looking at you Taylor Lautner (his abs do his acting for him), but I’m not surprised that there weren’t any Oscars handed out. 

Okay, okay, fanpoodles settle down.  I know that Stewart is only 22 and is therefore young and not nearly as experienced as other actresses. Some of the the terrible acting could have been the fault of the director right? I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt until Snow White and the Huntsman.

In Snow White and the Huntsman, she was cast alongside of Oscar winner Charlize Theron.  This should have given her a good model to follow. We should have seen some improvement. Especially given that she was working with a new director and had a character that actually had somewhat of a spine (I can only say somewhat because Snow White is still the essential special snowflake that everyone seems to love) should have lead to an improved Stewart.  Not even an exciting actress like Theron could save her from banality.

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Face Off: Worst Idea Ever.

So, one of the most common things we’ve complained about from Urban Fantasy protagonists is that they don’t always act in an entirely sensible fashion. In fact, sometimes we have run the risk of damaging our e-readers throwing them at the wall in sheer disgust.

After much debate we just can’t decide which protagonist has had the worst possible idea - so we have to face off some of the finalists! Honestly we looked at a list of many many many Spunky protagonists but they just didn’t compare with these 4 - these are the Elite Spunkies

Elena from CW The Vampire Diaries

Elena spent most of the summer searching for Stefan her vampire boyfriend who had gone rogue.  After much hand twisting she learns that he is on top of a mountain where the werewolves have gathered to shift and hunt as a group.  Elena could have waited until after the full moon to go no looking but that would have involved far too much common sense and so she dragged Alaric, and Damon up the mountain.  Would you believe that they were actually attacked by werewolves?

Of course, a particularly bad element of this foolishness is that it drags others along with her - they can’t abandon her and are forced to follow her silly self into ridiculous peril.

Rose from The Vampire Academy Series

Rose is absolutely destroyed after the man that she loves Dimitri  is turned into a strigoi.  She is desperate to free him from his fate and decides to travel to Russia to find him.  She knows that he is from a very small town somewhere in Siberia. She takes off for Russia and somehow despite the size of the country she not only manages to find his family, but Dimitiri himself.  She must have stopped by the Palin house for directions, because with being able to see Russia from her house she must have intimate knowledge of Russian geography.

In fact, this whole situation can be summed up with this wonderful drawing from Chai Latte

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Thankgoodness for Mary Sue

The term Mary Sue is quite common in discussions of urban fantasy. It has become so ubiquitous that  I often wonder if everyone is truly aware of not only what the term means, but how it effects historically marginalised women.  A Mary Sue is a character who is perfect, flawless or only having very cutesy flaws (cute non flaws), and who is instantly adored by all of the cast.  If someone is not instantly enthralled with a Mary Sue, it is because they are jealous and or evil, and sometimes even both.

Sookie Stackhouse from True Blood,  Elena Gilbert from the Vampire Diaries, Clary Fray from The Mortal Instruments Series, Tessa Grey from the Infernal Devices series, Elena from Kelly Armstrong’s Otherword Series, Clare from the Morganville Vampires, Abby Corrigan from Sanctuary, Bella Swan from Twilight, are just a few examples of the Mary Sue phenomenon from books, movies and television.Each one of these characters is beloved for absolutely no reason. The people around them follow them without question and without cause quite frankly (especially considering that these women have the sense of a concussed penguin), even in cases when doing so places themselves in jeopardy. Mary Sue represents the most privileged form of femininity in that she is normally straight, cis gendered and White. 

It is rare to see a protagonist of colour in this genre and they never ever fulfill the role of Mary Sue. (In fact, when “Mary Sue” or “self insert” as a criticism is levelled at authors of colour and other marginalised authors, it is usually because the mere presence of a POC character that is capable and not a side-kick is considered “overly perfect” in a genre that frequently prevents POC from being main characters) Mary Sue then on some level relates to the perfection of White womanhood and marking it as superior to women of colour.  In many ways, it reminds me of the faux pedestal that White women have historically been placed upon.  This pedestal exists solely to give them race privilege and certainly does not apply to equality with White men.  

Even as it works to oppress in terms of race, it is also extremely sexist as it leaves no room to appreciate strengths based in intelligence, loyalty, speed, humor or strength.  It tells women that they must perform womanhood in a very specific manner to be considered truly feminine. Mary Sue is not complimentary to women, and in fact acts as a sort of literary corset, restricting individuality even as it promotes a false form of agency.  Real women are not made of sugar and spice and all that’s nice.

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Twilight Breaking Dawn, Part 1 

Breaking Dawn Part I is the fourth movie in the Twilight juggernaut. This film was much anticipated due to the wedding of Bella and Edward and of course the honeymoon night.  For many twi fans, these scenes were the culmination of a romance.  Just as with any other wedding there was discussion about the dress and plenty of hype.  I believe that the directors felt that this hype was enough to carry the story however, this assumption proved to be incorrect as far as I am concerned.  Rather than advancing the plot, this movie was two hours of fan service.  
Like with every other Twilight film we had the savage native represented by the werewolves, and the every so whitesome and delightsome vampires, represented by the Cullens.  The other prominent messages were of course one must marry, even if said marriage is ill advised for various reasons, a pregnancy is gift no matter the risk to the mother and of course the ever popular imprinting as a cover for pedophilia.

Rosalie’s transformation in the books from dedicated hater of Bella for giving up her mortality to utter devoted servant to the fertile one was pretty unpleasant - and it was no more palatable in the film.. See, I think Roaslie’s dislike kind of had a point - it is fairly reasonable to be vexed by someone deciding to make a vast life decision at the age of 18, especially when that life decision involves nothing more than “I got me a maaaan, I don’t need anything else”. But with Bella’s pregnancy and Rosalie’s conversion to Bella fandom, it’s clear that all those life decisions and missed opportunities are meaningless in the face of the White saviour baby. This means that Rosalies dislike of Bella was really about “you haven’t had a baby and are giving up your fertility!” rather than giving up her life and mortality. So an 18 year old’s lost potential and choices basically comes down to fertility; her value and opportunity boils down to having a child. Blessed be the womb.

Of course, Rosalie has all her anti-choice card’s marked with her constant chanting “it’s a baby! Call it a baby!” The one vague bright spot (kind of like a rose on a midden heap) there was Alice resolutely refusing to accede to that and continue to call a foetus a foetus. In some ways, this is presented as Bella’s choice - but it’s all about Bella’s sacrifice; especially when we consider how extreme the situation is. The foetus is breaking Bella’s bones and starving her to death and there is literally no way she can survive giving birth without a desperate attempt to become a vampire, which they’re not even sure will work. Her survival is secondary to the foetus, the loss of her life, even as a near certainty, is considered less important and she is expendable. I think this is even more problematic when we consider how much time Bella spends devaluing herself, how low her self-esteem is, and how Rosalie  reduces all of Bella’s potential down to childbirth. Throughout these books and films, Bella’s existence is defined in relation to other people - she lives to be Edward’s girlfriend (she almost literally stops existing when he leaves) and to be Reneseme’s mother; she herself is unimportant and discardable.

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Enter to Win The Twilight Breaking Dawn Celebration Package

Hello everyone, it’s time for another exciting giveaway.  As you all know, Breaking Dawn part 1 hits theaters Nov 18, and so we thought in celebration, this months giveaway would be a Twilight extravaganza.  This is your opportunity to win:

Yep, a Robert Pattinson watch, a Breaking Dawn 2012 calender, and a Breaking Dawn tote (note: the third image, is the image on the tote bag).  This everything a twi fan needs to celebrate the release of Breaking Dawn Part 1.

To enter, you must be a resident of Canada or the U.S.

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Which Urban Fantasy Protagonist Gets on Your Last Nerve

As you know we love urban fantasy but there seems to be a conspiracy within the genre to make the female protagonist as irritating and useless as possible.  The following are a fair selection of protagonists who are: incapable of defending themselves, have master the art of making it about themselves, are queens of the most ridiculous plans conceivable, and are just generally speaking unpleasant people.

This is your chance to have your say on whom you believe embodies the worst example of female protagonists in the genre.

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