Archive for the ‘Film’ Category

 

Here it is – my most ambitious video project to date. In it, I explore five different (but often overlapping) theories on my new favourite horror film, The Babadook.

 

Any ideas of your own? Please do share – I still haven’t stopped geeking out over this film. I’d also rank Mister Babadook as one of the all time great movie monsters.

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Review: Big Hero 6

Posted: February 12, 2015 in Film
Tags: , , , , ,

bh6diagnosis

Disney movies haven’t been this popular since the nineties. They’ve been on a roll with Tangled, Wreck-It Ralph and the colossal mega-hit that was Frozen (it’s been over a year and no, we still refuse to Let It Go). Their latest 3D animation promises everything you could possibly want from a family film; action, drama, comedy and superhero antics, not to mention the cuddliest robot you’ve ever seen. Big Hero 6 faces some seriously big expectations.

Big-Hero-6-Characters

The movie is loosely based on the Marvel Comics series of the same name, thanks to Disney’s acquisition of the company back in 2009. It’s not the most famous series in the Marvelverse butthen again, neither was Guardians of the Galaxy. The original Big Hero 6 characters are reimagined as a bright young team of heroes-in-training. By day, they’re college students learning the ways of chemistry, physics and engineering; after class, they start using their knowledge to build gadgets and super suits. It’s refreshing to see that most of the obvious ‘nerd’ stereotypes have been avoided – instead we have a fun gang of guys and gals making science and study look cool. In this respect they’re positive role models for kids and with their costumes, catchphrases and unique powers, I get the feeling we haven’t seen the last of them.

But the superhero team isn’t even the real focus – the heart of the film is the relationship between 14 year-old Hiro Hamada (Ryan Potter) and his robotic pal Baymax (Scott Adsit). Baymax exists purely to help those in pain, whether physical or emotional, and he won’t give up until he’s healed the troubled teen. Considering the voice actor is best known for his work on Adult Swim programmes such as Moral Orel and Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Adsit’s performance is lovable from start to finish and is bound to win over even the most hard-hearted viewer. In fact, the odd ‘mature’ joke works all the better for the character’s innocence and charm, whether he’s enthusiastically explaining the symptoms of puberty or drunkenly slurring his words when his battery runs low. Been there buddy, now where can I get one of those charging units?

It all holds together fairly well, even if it doesn’t offer a huge deal beyond the sum of its parts. The city of San Fransokyo is one stunning location and lends itself to some nice touches in 3D, even if the name sounds like it started as a joke and somewhere during development it just stuck. The first act certainly could’ve benefitted from a rewrite – plot points often feel forced and at times the exposition drops like an anvil. However, the pace picks up as the story continues, with the audience warming to the characters and getting caught up in the action. By the time the credits roll, you might not consider it a life-altering experience but you’ll probably be feeling good.

baymaxhug

One of the main themes of Big Hero 6 is bereavement. Considering Disney’s infamous knack for traumatising children (we’ll NEVER forget what they did to Bambi’s mum!) the tragic event that sets things in motion somehow fails to create that same sense of loss. For a while, I thought my compassion chip might have been malfunctioning. It’s only as time goes on that we see the deeper impact on Hiro through Baymax’s attempts to cure his grief. Gradually Hiro learns to let go of his anger, cherish his memories and reach out to friends. It’s a sensitive subject handled in just the right way, creating touching moments but never ruining the fun or getting too heavy for young children.

Overall, this may not be the masterpiece it was hyped to be, but it’s still a solid family film. As a bonus, the animated short Feast played before the main feature – a grand tradition, long may it continue – is so adorable, it’s almost worth the price of admission alone. Big Hero 6 might not be the most incredible superhero movie out there or the greatest children’s buddy film ever written, but both elements are done well and there’s plenty for everyone to enjoy. As the big guy might ask – yes, I was satisfied with the care that went into making this film.

Sometimes you’ll discover something so weird and wonderful that you’re happy just to know it exists. Repo! The Genetic Opera definitely falls under this category.

Ever wondered what would happen if you put Anthony Stewart Head, Sarah Brightman, Paris Hilton and the chick from Spy Kids together in a musical produced by the folks who brought us the Saw movies? Or did I get drunk and put a film together and somehow forget about it? Either way, more people need to watch this thing.

Sometimes I feel sorry for Young Adult Fiction. More often than not, it’s written off as shit and mercilessly panned solely for the crime of existing. Maybe it’s a reflection of how society views teenagers in general. Once you’ve been through it all and safely reached your twenties, why not pull up the ladder and have a jolly good sneer at the poor sods down below? “Bwahaaha! Look at those stupid adolescents struggling with their angst, hormones and social awkwardness. Glad I was never like that!”

This goes double for any teen-friendly media that dares venture into the horror genre, especially when monsters are portrayed with sympathy. The beauty is you don’t even have to READ the book or SEE the movie to stick in the proverbial boot. C’mon guys, you know the chant… “Just like Twilight”. This is lazy, ill-informed criticism and I’m sick to death of it.

Now here’s a twist – I’ve just seen a movie where direct comparisons with Twilight are not only merited but actually make it quite interesting. Warm Bodies is a tale of zombie-meets-girl that I’m 85% certain is a subconscious piss-take of Stephenie Meyer’s sparkly fap fest. The thought occurred to me during a romantic flashback to a young couple lying together in a meadow exchanging sweet nothings. Why? Because A. The exact thing happens in Twilight and B When it appears in Warm Bodies, the young man in question is having his brains devoured by a zombie. Okay Summit Entertainment – I may have flinched like a classicly trained lab rat when I saw your logo but now you’ve officially got my attention.

Two zombies walk into a bar - stop me if you've heard this one before

Two zombies walk into a bar – stop me if you’ve heard this one before

Here are three ways in which Warm Bodies compares quite favourably to Twilight.

Humour
If there’s one thing I can’t stand about the Twilight films, it’s the haughty po-facedness of it all. Read the dialogue and you’ll swear blind (as I did) that it HAD to be read aloud with a healthy dollop of snark. The premise is batshit crazy and the characters would have to acknowledge this in order to claim any level of credibility. As it turned out, I was horribly, horribly wrong.

At least Warm Bodies knows it’s own ridiculousness from start to finish. Our protagonist “R” (Nicholas Hoult) is completely self aware despite being a walking corpse. His inner monologue shifts from deadpan wit to neurotic stammering depending on his proximity to a pretty girl. We laugh with him at the state of the world and we laugh at ourselves when he succumbs to shy awkwardness. Lest we forget, we’ve all been there. And – as the film effectively tells its target audience – that’s okay.

We need humour in stories like these, as they push our suspension of disbelief to breaking point. Hopefully during Warm Bodies we’ll be too busy enjoying the ride to start pulling at loose threads, because there are plenty of those! People pick apart the Twilight “Saga” not just because it’s ridiculous but because it takes itself far too seriously. It’s also incredibly long and boring, so uncovering plot holes is a fun way to pass the time when you’ve been dragged to the cinema.

Filth
No, I don’t mean sex, explicit violence or gore (mind you, for a 12A you get a fair amount of brain munching). I mean dirty stinky human grubbiness, which Warm Bodies delivers in the visceral connotations of the title alone.

(apologies for the blatant “uni-speak” there. One day I hope to break the habit and be able to talk like less of a wanker)

Helloooo ladies!

Helloooo ladies!

There are no zombies in Meyer’s world, with the possible exception of Kristen Stewart. Twilight is perfect, pristine. Twilight is virginal (big selling point) and sanitary. Vampires wear nice clothes, drive nice cars and have shiny white porcelain skin. Werewolves – a hairier, messier supernatural breed by nature – are all waxed, chiselled and (I hope) fully housetrained.

Zombies on the other hand are the unattractive, smelly kind of monster; shambling around in their filthy, brain-splattered clothing (SO last season) and making appalling groaning noises. Imagine one of them taking you to the prom! They barely possess the motor functions to string together the most basic flattery, something the Bella Swans of the world crave like oxygen. Other repulsive zombie traits – cold flesh, pallid skin, eating people etc – are also shared by vampires. But hey, who cares if you’re dating a living corpse that feeds off the innocent, so long as they have a nice haircut?

Zombification (the Z factor?) gives more depth and meaning to the bond between R and Julie (Teresa Palmer). She has to look beyond the repugnance of her zombie companion to see the person inside. He has to make the effort to be gentle and reassuring, in spite of his frightening appearance (“don’t be creepy, don’t be creepy” he repeats in his head) and the fact he’s barely articulate. Whether or not you buy the tenderness of their shared screen time is hit or miss, but I saw far more chemistry in Warm Bodies than in all five Twilights put together.

“Star-Cross’d Lovers”

Warm-Bodies-Heart-PosterBoth Warm Bodies and Twilight: New Moon deliberately reference Romeo and Juliet. As one of William Shakespeare’s most accessible plays and one frequently studied in high school, the target audience should be familiar with the source material. However, it’s a play that’s commonly misinterpreted as a romance rather than a tragedy. True, it has elements of both but the focus on romance so often distracts from the deeper themes.

In New Moon, Bella studies Romeo and Juliet in English class then she and Edward have a nice cuddly chinwag about the play’s ending. Y’know, the suicides, which in a piece of SUBTLE FORSHADOWING Edward mentions he would totally do if Bella died. And… that’s about it. No wait – in the book I’m sure Bella had a brief ponder over “what if Juliet married Paris?” when she was considering boinking Jacob. That’s it. For a story that goes to great pains to acknowledge its Shakespearian influence, it uses surprisingly little of it.

Warm Bodies is centred on the trials and tribulations of R and Julie. Yep, we see what you did there with the names. There’s a balcony scene, an enabling friend of Julie’s who wants to be a Nurse, an “also ran” guy named Parry (who gets his brains eaten) and a father who’d gladly shoot R in the head given the opportunity. But there’s something else going on – this film DOES get across the theme of prejudice, using the humans as the Capulets and zombies as the Montagues. I’m sure that’s exactly how Shakespeare envisioned his work, possibly in an earlier draft.

Yes it’s silly, yes it puts an ideal spin on certain events but at least the cues taken from Romeo and Juliet go beyond the “star crossed” couple in Warm Bodies. This phrase, by the way, is misused to the point where it annoys the piss out of me. It may SOUND pretty but implies the inevitable tragedy of the plot rather than the pure divinity of “one twu wuv”. Please excuse me, I have to vomit.

Final Thought

The goal of R in Warm Bodies is to become more human. He desperately wishes to feel joy and love again even if it means exposure to pain and death. The bond with Julie goes beyond the two of them, inspiring hope that barriers can be broken and the world can be a better place for all. The goal of Bella in Twilight is to rid herself of that pesky humanity thing for the sake of eternal prettiness. She’ll spend her immortal life being adored by her rich vampire family and making goo-goo eyes at her perfect hubby. So, which do you think is the better message for teenagers?

clockworktwilight

After enduring four books, five movies and enough alcohol to knock out a bull elephant I am officially DONE with the Twilight series! It’s been a thorn in my side since I was subjected to New Moon on opening day for the sake of a review. Sometimes at night, I can still hear the screaming.

I don’t review movies for that site anymore but I had to do something to get a sense of closure. Here are five questionable things about the Twilight Saga. No, I haven’t asked “why does it exist in the first place?” As Stephenie Meyer managed to make virtually every pitfall of the novice writer, there’s a lot to choose from. This is not a definitive top five – just some stuff that ticked me off. I’ll try to remain objective but hey, no promises!

1. Why do they go to school?

For the students of Forks High School. You poor bastards.

For the students of Forks High School. You poor bastards.

Is this the one downside of vampirism – repeating high school? Harsh! Or at least it would be if it made sense.

When you’ve got minors in your care, having them attend school is a legal obligation. However the Cullens clearly believe they are above the law; see their history of fraud, theft, speeding and murder for more details. I’m sure they could claim to be homeschooling. Nobody’s batted an eyelid over those questionably young foster parents so far.

So high school; it’s a place for education, both academic and social. The Cullens don’t need the former and reject the latter.

Now, I’m all for learning but in secondary education you can only learn so much. Once you exhaust the set texts, you inevitably get bored. Hell, some of them are dull to begin with. At least in arts subjects you could reinterpret the works – can you imagine how tedious it would be repeating biology when you’ve already passed med school? Worse, to avoid drawing attention you must move sluggishly in the gym and dumb down your written assignments. Imagine the frustration this would cause for beings of superior intellect, physical prowess and wisdom. Frankly it would bore the tits off me.

Do the Cullens socialise? No, they sit together at the back of the cafeteria and don’t talk to anyone. Charming. Actually when I think about it, the implication of hundred-and-something year old predators hanging round a bunch of teens is even worse…

You like sparkly popsicles?

You like sparkly popsicles?

Vampires attending school is not only pointless, it’s dangerous. First off, their secret might be discovered. Are you telling me their classmates spend years around a family who don’t eat, don’t age and don’t go out in the sun and NEVER find this questionable? Bella figured it out and she’s an idiot! More importantly, doesn’t the coven pride itself on respecting human life? Putting innocent children at risk seems to contradict this. All it takes is a paper cut and that’s Jasper on the rampage. Think of all the witnesses they’d have to eat!

Carrie White. Just sayin'

Carrie White. Just sayin’

High school kids generally aren’t kind to anyone “different”. I don’t care HOW scary the pale, quiet kids are – bullies would hound them. Provoke them, push them to their limits just to see what they do. It’ll get under your skin if you’re subjected to it on a daily basis. What happens when a suped-up teen gets angry and finally snaps?

If you’re absolutely 100% sure you can be around humans without getting the bloodrage, go to college. That’s what I’d do – spend eternity as a scholar and researcher. Failing that, there are such things as distance learning courses and hobbies. Create works of art. Meditate on the beauty and wonder of the universe. Find plotholes in sub-par fantasy fiction and bitch about it online. Read every book in the library, learn every language, finish every video game (my gamerscore would be through the roof!) You could even go totally nuts and get a job. Anything but high school.

2. Do vampires have souls or have we just stopped caring now?

Immortality comes at a price. Often it involves physical vulnerabilities, horrible deeds or personal sacrifices. Meyerpires are immune to the usual sun, stakes and garlic and the Cullens have gotten around the need for human blood by devouring woodland creatures. Their hands are essentially clean till someone sics PETA on their sparkly asses.

So what’s the sacrifice? In New Moon the question is raised about whether vampires have souls. Edward thinks they don’t but his sugar daddy Carlisle believes they do. This is the reason Edward won’t turn Bella. The naive girl claims she doesn’t care about her soul and will gladly toss it aside for her boyfriend. He, in an alarming act of selflessness, tries to talk her round. Maybe he didn’t want to spend the next millenium lumbered with the dozy bint.

Don’t give it too much thought guys – the debate’s been dropped by book three. This might actually be the biggest let-down of the whole series. Let that sink in for a moment.

Bart is familiar with the works of Pablo Neruda

Bart is familiar with the works of Pablo Neruda

I do love when philosophy is explored through fiction. Good stories aren’t about providing answers, they’re quests for meaning that help us grow as people. The Twilight franchise brings up the soul question – as a major character motivation no less – then sweeps it under the rug hoping nobody mentions it again. What does that tell us? The characters gave up searching for meaning so hey, why should the audience bother? For a story that takes itself so damn seriously it abandons all purpose pretty early on. Christsake, I’ve seen episodes of The Simpsons that looked at the concept in greater depth.

It’s one of the rare instances when Meyer remembers that stories need conflict, but forgets that they also need resolution (she was an English major, right? Seriously, this is very basic stuff) An event or revelation should have convinced the protagonists that an immortal life lived for good is evidence of a soul. But no, that would bring in pesky old Morality and interfere with our heroine’s goal of being rich, pretty and banging her husband in a fairytale cottage that neither of them paid for.

Have your cake, eat your cake and demand more cake – that’s the Twilight moral!

I could really use some cake right now!

Actually, I could really use some cake right now!

3. What’s with the villains?

Let’s clarify: by “villains” I mean the Big Bads A.K.A. the Volturi. I’m not talking about the guy from the first movie, his ginger girlfriend or her stupid “vampire army” (why was she venging Edward anyway? Alice ripped her BF’s head off.) I think – THINK – the Volturi are supposed to be evil. After all they’re the series antagonists, wear black cloaks and their leader keeps giggling wickedly. Still I’m not sure if it’s simply a conflict of interest with the Cullen cult family.

Sheenypire: the most entertaining character in the "Twilight" movies

Sheenypire: the most entertaining character in the “Twilight” movies

Okay, so here’s a rundown of their dastardly deeds:

New Moon:
First they REFUSE to murder Edward when he asks them to. Clearly Sheenypire’s will is stronger than mine. Later they haul him in for breaking one of only two laws the vampires seem to have, smack him around a bit (awesome!) then let him go as long as he promises to turn Bella. They eat some people but hey – they’re vampires, it’s what they do.
Eclipse: The Volturi B-team show up looking like they’ve just come from a My Chemical Romance concert. They see a vampire army and do nothing. Then they appear right at the end of the “epic showdown” (that lasts about half a minute of screen time) and remind the Cullens to stick to the agreement. Oh yeah, and they kill a girl vampire that the audience doesn’t care about, just to prove they’re not messing around.
Breaking Dawn: “Objective: Kill the baby” FINALLY a properly evil plan! Well, almost – in the end they decide not to bother and just go home. Seriously, that’s all folks! Almost forgot; once again they kill a girl vampire the audience doesn’t care about, just to prove they’re not messing around. Because it worked so well the first time.

What do these guys DO all day? I hear they create and enforce vampire law and have been doing this for, what, hundreds of years? Thousands? And how many laws are there? Two, apparently – don’t tell humans and don’t bite babies. Some epic productivity there guys!

If controlling the masses is your bag then why not conquer and enslave humanity? Seriously, what’s stopping them? It’s not like humans stand a chance against vampires. Is it laziness? Does it create a butt-tonne of paperwork? Sheenypire also collects supervamps for no good reason. Why build an army if there’s no-one to fight or defend against? If it’s just collecting for collecting’s sake then he may as well be amassing Beanie Babies.

4. Charlie Swan: worst cop ever?

How I wish he'd use that gun

Oh, how I wish he’d use that gun!

The good folks of Rifftrax have sworn their allegiance to “Team Moustache Dad”. Charlie Swan (Bella’s father) has been the only sympathetic character in the franchise since Jacob went all sexual-harrassy. I’d support Team Charlie if only for one thing – he doesn’t seem to be very good at his job. This guy’s a cop? Sorry guys, I don’t buy it.

*checks wiki page* He’s the CHIEF of POLICE?!! Holy SHITSNACKS, Forks is doomed!

Cast your mind back to the end of the first Twilight – the ACTUAL end, not the pointless “Bella goes to prom” finale. The last time Charlie saw his daughter, she was having a tantrum because of a fight with the Cullen boy. Next thing she’s in a hospital bed and his family have spun the doctors a yarn about clumsy old Bella falling down some stairs and through a window. Jesus Christ Monkeyballs, are you telling me he actually BELIEVED that story? Any father would start watching the Cullen family like a hawk, making sure nothing else happens to his little girl. Any COP father would investigate said family and uncover some extremely suspicious leads.

The Cullen money comes from several dodgy sources. Alice exploits her psychic powers to play the stock market (I know – just go with it.) Edward has “inherited his family’s money from himself” several times over. The family own numerous properties that lie vacant for decades till they move back into that particular area. Collectively, they must have forged hundreds of fake identity papers (birth certificates, passports etc) by this point. This doesn’t scream “vampires” to a sound-minded law enforcer but it DOES say “balls deep in criminal activity”. How many times does his only daughter have to “walk into a door” before Charlie takes a peek at their files?

"I'll protect you honey... just not very well"

“I’ll protect you honey… just not very well”

Chief Swan reaches new depths of stupid in “Breaking Dawn: part 2”. Bella’s wed a boy he disapproves of, been whisked off to an undisclosed location, called home sick and then vanished off the face of the earth. People think she’s DEAD for crying out loud and he hasn’t even checked the Cullens’ last known residence WHERE THEY’VE BEEN THIS WHOLE TIME?!! This is BEFORE he sees a werewolf and subsequently stops questioning all logic in the world ever. Not his freakish daughter, not his rapidly maturing “adopted” grandchild, not nuthin’.

The worst part is that Billy Burke was the only cast member who decided to act in that movie and showed us a loving parent worried sick for a child who treats him like dirt. I’m not kidding – my heart went out to poor Charlie when he went to visit his ungrateful shit of a daughter and her bad CGI offspring. His wife left him, his friend died of a heart attack, he saw his teenage girl through a mental breakdown and now this? Leave Moustache Dad alone!

5. Who gets to be immortal? Why not bite the whole family?

This stuff? Not a problem!

This stuff? Not a problem!

Okay, so we’ve established that Meyerpires are more-or-less invincible and that we no longer give a crap about the soul thing. So what’s stopping Bella from biting more people and granting unto them eternal sparkly goodness?

Here’s how the transformation works; immediately after being bitten, the venom starts coursing the veins, healing any injuries or diseases sustained as a human. After three days of terrible, excruciating bad writing physical agony, the Meyerpire awakens all shiny and purty. No more pain, no more disease and no more growing old and dying. As a bonus (cause you, like, need one) vampirism might even unlock special abilities like psychic powers or telepathy.

The only snag is that every non-vamp in the world you care about will die. Bella’s family will die, her friends will die and her only daughter might also die. Sorry Meyer – “mortal” and “immortal” are mutually exclusive states. Renesmee (yes, that’s her actual name) may have an increased lifespan but that doesn’t equal eternal life. We don’t know what happens to vamp-human hybrids after a few hundred years. Wouldn’t it be awful for her parents if, after spending centuries together, their daughter suddenly withers and dies?

Werewolf Leah Clearwater - potentially a far better heroine than Bella Swan

Werewolf Leah Clearwater – potentially a much better heroine than Bella Swan

The werewolves might not have to die as (apparently) they won’t age as long as they keep shape-shifting. HOW DOES THAT WORK?!! Sorry but if that’s an exploitable loophole in werewolf genetics then why has nobody tried it yet? I’m guessing it’s so they age and expire alongside the girls they’ve groomed imprinted on, because when your twu-love has snuffed it then there’s no other reason to live, right? RIGHT?! Urgh, this world makes me sick.

ANYHOO, back to the humans. Bella’s mother is supposed to be her best friend (don’t look for any evidence in the text, it’s more of a “tell, don’t show” deal.) Why doesn’t Bella bite her? Because mama’s got a new BF? Bite him too. And what about dear old Dad? Get him bit – it’s the least you can do after putting him through hell. You’ve already upset the natural order of things with your immortality shindig so why suffer the agony of losing a parent? Don’t tell me it’s because the werewolves won’t stand for it. It’s not that big a tribe and the fursploding gene has already resorted to changing little boys and *gasp* a WOMAN in the struggle to make up numbers. The Volturi wouldn’t give a shit either – they’d just appear, giggle and sod off back to Italy.

I guess the real reason is that having her lame-ass parents around might cramp her style around her new super-special-Members-Only-vampire-family-club. In that case SCREW YOU BELLA!!!

And here are five ways to polish this sparkly turd

When I get bored with a story, I change it in my head. Sometimes I even fill in a plothole or two! Here are a few ideas that might have made the Twilight Saga better. No, I have absolutely no clue how you could make it worse.

1. Give vampires at least ONE major weakness. And no, the “thirst for blood” DOESN’T count unless we see some real evidence of this within the text. Take your pick from traditional vulnerabilities or better yet invent a new one. Create limitations that the vampires must overcome with unconventional and innovative means. Think of Spike from Buffy driving around with his blacked out windows – stuff like that can reflect a character’s personality. Y’know, if they HAVE one to begin with.

Spike is not amused

Spike is not amused

2. Make the transformation dangerous. Want to give Edward a reason not to turn Bella? Want to give her a reason not to turn all her loved ones (besides utter selfishness?) How about giving the transformation a poor success rate, like a one-in-ten chance they’ll survive at all. It’s a pretty extreme process with venom, petrification and systematic organ failure so it makes sense. Makes the people who become vamps that bit more special too.

3. Have a good ol’ battle for humanity. It may be clichéd but giving the Big Bad aspirations to world domination certainly ups the stakes (no pun intended, although there are one or two fictional douchebags I’d dearly love to shove a stake “up”.) Why is Sheenypire collecting supervamps? Simple – to take over the world.bisonofcourse

Why does he want Renesmee? A unique ability that’s the last piece of the puzzle. An ancient prophecy of a miracle child he’s been obsessed with for years (and the reason he let Edward and Bella off the hook?) Maybe he wants to study her? Dissect her, even? Quick, protect the child from this madman! Hey look – MOTIVATION!

4. Write a tragic backstory. This idea actually came from my good friend Krystal so I can’t take credit. What if the reason Bella moved in with her Dad in Forks was because her mother passed away? What if Bella had been her sole carer until that time, never admitting how sick she really was? You want a character who’s had to grow up too fast and had to act like the parent? That’ll do it. It’s why everyone at school is nice to her but she remains awkward and withdrawn. That’s why she relates to Edward, who lost his real mother a century ago but still remembers the pain. It’s why she’s so desperate to be part of a family again.

“But wait” I hear you say, like you give a shit, “what about the climax of Twilight where the bad vamp uses Bella’s mother as human bait?” Answer: have him lie to her that her mother is still alive… as a vampire! If you’re grieving for someone, you’ll believe anything for a chance to see them again. Vampires are now a reality in Bella’s world so it’s reasonable that she’d fall for this. Even if it wasn’t convincing, she’d WANT to believe it and would willingly run into danger. After the Cullens rescue her, she accepts it’s finally time to let go and move on with her life. OMG, A CHARACTER ARC!!! BURN IT! SEND IT TO HELL!!!

5. Kill Bella. Straight up – I actually thought this might actually happen when I read the last book (wishful thinking perhaps?) I’d heard that Breaking Dawn received a bunch of negative fan reviews. I didn’t know the ending and it seemed like Meyer was pulling out any old crap for one last wacky ride. “But it’s written in first person!” you exclaim. For the last time imaginary audience, stop pretending you give two shits!

Actually the perspective shifts from Bella, to Jacob (where Meyer writes how she thinks teenage boys actually talk) then back to Bella again. About halfway in, I reckoned the third part would either be read by Edward or his unholy spawn in Bella’s absence. Yeah, it sounds mad now but think about it – what a twist!

Because of her sacrifice, part of Bella will live on forever (literally… maybe… we need to get that mortal/immortal thing sorted out.) Her last wish was for a truce between the vampires and werewolves in the hope of a better world for her daughter. Hearing this, Jacob swears an oath to guard his best friend’s only child Renesmee/”insert less ridiculous name here” with his life, passing down the honour to future generations of wolfies for as long as the girl lives. See, we can even do away with Pedowolf!

What does this ending say? That life goes on. Like the changing seasons, death arrives and life is born anew. We mourn what was lost but stay strong – tomorrow is another day. It’s all symbolic and shit. What’s this book called again? I forget!

"Frylight: Shaking Prawn"

“Frylite: Shaking Prawn”